The link between diet and sleep …

You will always feel better and more energized after a good night’s sleep.  Consistently poor sleep will drag you down, and you will feel low and lethargic.  Poor sleep can raise our risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and lead to diminishing mood and higher levels of stress. Tiredness can also reduce the hormone levels of leptin (an appetite suppressant) and increase the level of ghrelin (which stimulates our desire to eat). Eating regularly and at regular times during the day will help our sleep patterns. Foods to Help You Sleep: Milky drinks, both dairy and alternatives, such as almond milk, are associated with helping you to sleep. Brazil nuts have the richest source of the mineral selenium, which scientists have found will help sleep. Eating more fibre is associated with a deeper and better night’s sleep. Foods such … Continue reading

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Are you suffering from insomnia?

The definition of insomnia is a prolonged inability to sleep, whereas sleeplessness is defined as a period of time when someone desires sleep but does not get it. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep complaints affecting up to 40% of adults.  It’s most commonly caused by a stressful event or by prolonged periods of stress. A technique called Bootzin’s which may help with insomnia: Don’t sleep anywhere except the bedroom. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something else. Return to bed once you feel sleepy, and if you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, repeat getting out of bed and doing something else. Set your alarm to wake you at the same time each day irrelevant of how much sleep you get. Getting a better bedtime routine will also help: … Continue reading

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Dealing with ‘Hangry’!

  We’ve all heard of the saying – being ‘Hangry”. This is where being hungry can lead you to being short tempered and grumpy. If you are someone who suffers from this condition, here’s a guide to why this happens and how to deal with it. As your body digests your last meal, the nutrients pass to your bloodstream, and from there they are distributed to your body and organs. As time passes after your last meal, your blood glucose level will drop. With some people this drop will send a message to your brain that this is a ‘life-threatening’ situation. It can lead to a drop in your concentration level and short temperedness. Often the body can increase your adrenaline and cortisol hormones, increasing your stress levels, and making you grumpy. There are some physiological factors involved in being … Continue reading

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Beat digital and screen overload

The use of digital screens among adults and children is very high.  Some adults use screens all day and then come home and watch TV or spend time on their phone all evening too.  Children are coming home from school and going straight on screens and are often staying on the screens for the much of the evening.  The effects of overexposure to screens can be detrimental to our health – here’s how it can affect us, and a few ideas of how to get off the screens… Mental well-being. Over use of social media sites can be linked to anxiety and depression.  This may be down to the comparison and feelings of inadequacy when comparing yourself to perceived lives of others. Sleep disturbances. Your sleep can be affected by a smartphone or tablet.  The blue light emitted can interfere … Continue reading

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Consistency in your health and wellness journey

Being consistent is one of the most important things we can learn in our health and nutrition journey.  It’s not about eating and doing the same things day in and day out.  Rather, it’s about the effort and thought that you put into those activities that counts. Make time for food preparation. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night, think about what you are going to eat for the coming day and prepare as much as you can.  This will reduce your stress levels during the day and ensure that you eat well rather than on the run. Hydration! It’s all too easy to forget to get your optimum water intake for the day.  Try a bottle with the times of the day measured on the bottle, or there are apps to remind you to … Continue reading

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Getting a good night’s sleep …

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just about what you do when you go to bed; what you do earlier in the evening can influence how well you sleep.  Here are some great routines to follow for a good night’s sleep. Breakfast in the morning. Sticking to a routine and eating breakfast at the same time each day can help regulate your body clock. Getting outside. Having some daylight exposure early in the morning can help your body clock reset.  As the day goes on your body clock can count down towards night, making you feel sleepier towards the evening. Watch the caffeine. Having a couple of coffees during the day isn’t a problem, but watch the overall level of caffeine, and if you are sensitive to caffeine then ensure you take your coffee earlier in the day. Work it … Continue reading

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Need a brain ‘spring clean’?

We all lead very busy lives these days and it is easy to let life get the better of us.  Feeling tired all the time, using sugar and caffeine to give us a boost, and keeping on the treadmill of life without taking a break.  Looking after our mind is so important so here are so ways we can take some down time and keep healthy. List the good stuff. It’s really easy to get bogged down in all that is a challenge in our lives, so take some time out and write down everything that is good in your life and take time to reflect on what is good. Cut back on sugar. If you need that 3pm sugar boost to get you through the afternoon, why not try something else rather than a sugary snack.  A protein snack … Continue reading

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Motivation made simple

It may seem like will power and motivation is never enough and we can’t get motivated to choose the healthy option. Here’s a few suggestions to invigorate your motivation: Make an exercise date with yourself. Remove the element of ‘surprise’ / ‘if I feel like it’ / ‘if I have time’.  If it’s in the diary, you’ll feel more like you ‘have’ to exercise to ‘tick it off’. Exercise with a friend, thereby making yourself accountable. No-one likes to let a friend down, and it’s a lot more fun with a friend. Even a ‘short spurt’ is better than nothing. ‘Every little helps’, as the saying goes … If you’re not up to your usual 45 minutes work-out, try a 10 minute walk.  Do something rather than nothing. Use apps to help you track your activity and to help you … Continue reading

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A guide to summer drinking

The summer hits us and there is nothing nicer than sitting outside of an evening with a cold beer or a glass of wine. But! There is a balance between enjoying the summer and not piling on the pounds. Hidden Calories It’s amazing how many of us spend a huge amount of time looking at a food menu trying to work out what to eat without sabotaging our diet ,but then ordering a large glass of wine or two, ignoring the calories in alcohol.    The average drinker consumes 10% of their calorie intake in the form of alcohol! The Sun Trap When the sun is out and the nights are long, we tend to socialize more, which often leads us to drink more.  When it’s warmer, we feel thirsty and drink quickly, the wine or beer does not quench our … Continue reading

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Good gut health

The subject of ‘good gut health’ is high on the media watch list at the moment with plenty of scientific research stacking up.  With autoimmune diseases on the up, along with the increased use of antibiotics, our gut is suffering. Here are some ways to boost your gut health: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and sprouts are anti-inflammatory, so getting in at least one serving a day is important. Olive oil is great for cooking. When cooking, ensure that you always cook at a low heat and enjoy the olive oil in salads as a dressing.  Olive oil has beneficial natural substances and is therapeutic too, which makes it a great gut food. Ginger aids digestion as it stimulates digestive acids, therefore supporting the digestion of food and nutrient absorption and assimilation. Sauerkraut and other fermented foods are great for us. The … Continue reading

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