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Sleep and Weight Loss
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Sleep and Weight Loss

A growing body of research shows there is a distinct relationship between sleep and weight loss. In fact, sleep is showing to be a critical factor in not only weight loss, but also in helping reduce obesity related diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and more. Let's take a look at the research into the relationship between sleep and weight loss to help you better understand how sleep might effect your weight loss efforts.

 The Relationship Between Sleep And Weight Loss

 

1. Obese people sleep less

It is still unclear as to whether obesity causes poor sleep, or poor sleep causes obesity, but more than 30 studies have shown that there is a distinct link between obesity and poor quality of sleep.  

2. Fatigue Makes you hungry.

Some of us get to the end of a long work week and binge by eating a whole pizza by ourselves or drain a bottle of wine.  Our body craved that tub of ice cream and, due to our fatigue, we succumbed. What's interesting is that this phenomenon is actually reflected in research - it's not just you (and me). Fatigue makes our body less effective at metabolising fat. This is already bad for weight loss, but the resulting effect of slowing fat metabolism is that we develop a craving for easily digestable macronutrients (i.e. more fats and simple carbs such as sweets, chips, fast foods etc ).  

3. Too Much Sleep Is Also Bad

A study from Quebec showed that people who were sleeping 5-6 hours a night gained more weight than people getting 7-8 hours sleep. This is no surprise given what we have already established - poor sleep is linked to weight gain. What was more interesting ab out the Quebec study was that people who slept 9-10 hours a night also gained more weight than the people who slept 7-8 hours a night. Too much sleep seems to also be somehow related to weight gain and obesity. The conclusion of the study was that 7-8 hours sleep a night is generally best for people trying to lose weight.  

4. Obese Kids and Sleep

The above relationship between sleep and weight loss are also observed in research involving children. Given this, it is important to make sure you kids are getting enough shut eye of a night time. There are a number of ways to help your child get settled at night, including increasing their intake of Omega-3 DHA. Talk to your health professional if your child is having trouble sleeping throughout the night. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on getting better sleep or managing your weight, visit www.health365.com.au.
The Effects of Alcohol On Sleep
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The Effects of Alcohol On Sleep

Alcohol is a depressant. That is, a substance that reduces stimulation and mental / physical activity. In theory, a depressant like alcohol would usually help a person get to sleep and/or sleep more soundly. However, excessive alcohol actually thwarts your ability to get a good night's sleep. We take a closer look at the effects of alcohol on sleep, and the reasons why alcohol can ruin a good night's sleep.

How Alcohol Effects Sleep

1. Alcohol is a diuretic.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the excretion of fluids from your body via sweat and - more typically - urination. This effect makes it more likely you will have to have to get up multiple times during the night to go to the toilet. Of course, this hurts your chances of deep, truly restful sleep. The diuretic effects of alcohol also leads to a second sleep disruptor... thirst. Your body needs water to replace the lost fluids, and this need for water can cause interrupted sleep as your body tries to tell you it is running low on it's most important nutrient.  

2.  Alcohol Increases Snoring

Drinking excessive alcohol may not just be bad for your sleep. It may also be a bad thing for the person you share the bed with. Snoring is typically caused by the partial blocking of airways, which leads to vibration as we breath in and out. This vibration is what causes the snoring sound. Alcohol can act to relax the muscles around the airways, which can stop air flowing in and out of our lungs as freely as it needs. This will increase the chances you will snore, and snore loudly.  

3. Alcohol = Sugar. Sugar = Bad.

Most alcohols (and common mixers) contain sugar. This has the obvious problems of causing a spike in blood sugar levels if you drink just before bedtime. This spike disrupts sleep, among other things. Excessive sugar also depletes the body of magnesium, a mineral that is critical for muscle function and relaxation. If your magnesium levels are low, you may notice you feel restless, anxious and have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep.  

4. Alcohol Needs to be Processed By Your Body

Your kidneys and liver process alcohol. Depending on how many drinks you have had and when you stopped drinking, your  kidneys and liver continue working away at metabolising and processing that alcohol for many hours after you nod off to sleep. This means your organs are working away at a time when they should be reducing activity so they can rest and recover for the next day. This, in turn, causes a number of problems for sleep. When we metabolise a food/drink (including alcohol), an 'exothermic' reaction occurs. That is, metabolism gives off heat and raises our body temperature. This can make temperature regulation more difficult and - combined  with the sweating and dehydration effect caused by alcohol - results in an overheated, uncomfortable night's sleep. Furthermore, when we metabolise a food/drink, energy is produced. Does energy production sound like something that is a good idea of a night time when you are trying to sleep?  

Final Tip

We have covered the main negative effects of alcohol on sleep, but excessive alcohol consumption in general can have a number of negative effects on your  health and mental wellbeing. If you like a drink, we recommend sticking to the Australian Federal guidelines for alcohol consumption to ensure it doesn't adversely affect your health. These guidelines can be found at http://www.alcohol.gov.au/. ------ This article was provided by our online partner Health365. For more information on getting a good night's sleep, visit www.health365.com.au.
6 Reasons You Can't Concentrate
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6 Reasons You Can't Concentrate

There are a variety of reasons why you might be struggling to ..
Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin For Men
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Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin For Men

Do you feel worn out, fatigued, not 100%? You may be going to bed stressed, which may cause sleep problems, resulting in feeling tired the next day. Rest & Restore Night MultiVitamin For Men is formulated to help you physically unwind by helping to relax your muscles and mind so you don't take your stress to bed. It also restores your body while you sleep.
Try Golden Calamari Oil
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Try Golden Calamari Oil

It contains more Omega-3 DHA than other supplements. DHA supports brain and sleep.
5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3
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5 Surprising Benefits of Omega-3

We all know omega-3s are good for your health. We also know the benefits of omega-3 range from protecting your heart, brain and eyes to supporting joint health and reducing inflammation. The definitive list of omega-3 benefits would certainly be a long one - there are tens of thousands of academic studies of the benefits of omega-3 intake. We take a look at some surprising, lesser known benefits of omega-3.  

1. Omega-3 may help sleep

Recent research from Oxford University has produced a number of fascinating insights into the importance of a particular type of omega-3 and children's learning. In these studies, children with low levels of 'DHA' (a specific type of omega-3) scored significantly worse on tests for memory, behaviour, concentration, reading and numeracy than children who had sufficient DHA levels. Furthermore, the researchers consequently noted that increasing DHA levels in the children with low DHA by using a DHA supplement helped them improve their performance and bridge the gap to their peers. Increasing DHA levels increased learning outcomes. What does this have to do with sleep? The Oxford team have recently expanded on their study. Their most recent results show that low DHA levels also can lead to poor sleep in children.  Giving a DHA  supplement to the children in the study with low DHA levels improved the quality of their sleep.  

2. Omega-3 may support male fertility

A 2010 study published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the relationship  between omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in fertile and infertile men. Fertile men tended to have higher omega-3 levels than infertile men. Further research is required to consolidate and expand on these findings. However, the results from the study do echo the findings of several animal studies in rats and guppies - both animal studies showed a link between fertility and omega-3 levels.  

3. Omega-3s may protect ageing brains

From the University of Maryland's overview of omega-3 research: "A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline or dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Scientists believe the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is protective against Alzheimer's disease and dementia."  

4. Omega-3s may support stronger bones.

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D may not be the only nutrients for supporting strong bones. Several studies have looked at the relationship between omega-3 intake and bone density. Whilst further research is required, there is preliminary evidence to suggest there may be a link between omega-3 levels and maintaining bone density over time.  

5. Omega-3 may help menstrual pain

Preliminary research and anecdotal evidence suggests women who take fish oil during menstruation may experience a decline in menstrual pain.
How To Stop Snoring
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How To Stop Snoring

Snoring might be embarrassing for you, but it can be torturous for your partner / house mates / family. Try these tips to stop snoring, and if your snoring persists, see a doctor.

Tips to Stop Snoring

 

1. No Booze Before Bed

An easy way to stop snoring is to limit your daily alcohol intake. Alcohol causes the palate (roof of the mouth) to swell. It can also cause the muscles around the airways to temporarily relax and sag while you sleep. Both these effects can cause narrowing of the airways, which causes increased vibration as you breath in and out. That vibration is what causes snoring. If you decide to have a drink of an evening, have your last drink well before bed time.  

2. Stop Smoking

Smoking causes inflammation and swelling throughout the body. Cigarette smoke also contains toxins that agitate the membranes in your throat. Both of these side-effects of smoking can cause snoring. Not only will quitting smoking make you better in bed (i.e. help you stop snoring), it might just make you more pleasant to kiss too.  

3. Roll On Over

One common way to  stop snoring is to prevent the snorer from sleeping on their back. Sleeping on your back can put pressure on, or bend, airways, which can cause obstruction. Sleeping on their side or stomach is less likely to narrow or obstruct airways, so can often help snorers stop snoring. If the snorer is unable to stay sleeping on their side or stomach throughout the night without rolling onto their back, grab an old t-shirt with a pocket on the chest. The snorer should wear t-shirt backwards to bed, with a tennis ball in the pocket. Every time the snorer rolls onto their back whilst sleeping, they will have that tennis ball sticking into their back. This will be so uncomfortable they will turn themselves back onto their side or stomach.  

4. Fluff Your Pillow

Having a fluffier or higher pillow may open up a snorer's airways, meaning less snoring.  

5. Drop a few kilo's

As we have already covered, snoring is almost always caused by vibrations from restricted / semi blocked airways as we breath in and out. If you are overweight, fatty tissue can build up around the throat, chin, mouth and chest. This can make semi-blocked airways  (and, in turn, snoring) more likely. Losing some weight may help mitigate this effect.  

6. Go Get a Gadget

If the above tips do not work, there are a range of devices to help address snoring:
  • Try a 'gum guard'. These devices - similar in style to a sporting mouth guard - hold the jaw muscles in a way that helps open up the throat and airway. Your doctor can help you choose which one suits you best.
  • If your snore comes from vibrations in your nose rather than your throat, you can get nose clips and nose strips that hold your nostrils open while you sleep. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose the right clip.
  • Finally, if gum guards and nose clips do not  do the trick, there are a number of other more advanced devices available which can help you not only stop snoring, but get a much better night's sleep. Persistent snoring is often associated sleep apnea. There are some impressively high-tech solutions out there... Australian company ResMed are worldwide leaders in sleep apnea device design and manufacturing and have a range that is suitable for most applications. Further, the CSIRO recently developed a technique to use 3D scanning of the mouth and a 3D printer to create custom mouth pieces. Again, your doctor can assist you with making the right choice and making sense of all of the options available to you.
 

7. Go Under the Knife

As a final resort, surgery may be necessary to stop your snoring. This should be treated as a final (and drastic) option. Your doctor is the best person to talk to should all of the above options fail and you decide to consider surgery. ------ This article was provided by our online health partner Health365. To learn more about getting a good night's sleep, visit www.health365.com.au.
Restless Leg Syndrome
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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is very common and is a major cause of ..
Odourless Fish Oil 1500mg
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Odourless Fish Oil 1500mg

Nature’s Way Odourless Fish Oil helps support healthy heart, brain, eyes and joint function. Nature’s Way Fish Oil is also great for general health and wellbeing. Available in 200 and 400 bulk value packs.