• 21Mar
    Numerous studies have shown the importance of sleep and the effect sleep deprivation can have on our brains. It is well-known that poor sleep patterns can contribute to such brain disorders as Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss and the size of the brain would shrink.  A lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of problems. For those of us who are severely sleep deprived, we would have suffered the consequences of it,  ranging from irritability to a weakened immune system, weight gain, diabetes, lack of concentration and coordination, poor memory, heart diseases, just to name a few.
    Sleeping Woman

    Having a good night’s sleep allows the body time for replenishment, repair and rejuvenation. It nourishes skin cells and gives the body the chance to eliminate toxins.  Not having enough sleep can lead to a build up of toxins which in turn can be a contributory factor in the growth of fibroids.   This explains why the fibroid in my uterus is growing in size as I am severely sleep deprived!

    Sleep will also help to alleviate stress and allows the muscles to relax. Stress is a secondary cause of fibroids, so steps should be taken to control stressful situations wherever possible. Another problem with having insufficient sleep is that the hormones in the body will go out of balance and hormonal imbalances are another factor in fibroid growth.

    Therefore, lack of sleep can cause at least 3 potential problems as far as fibroids are concerned:-

    1. Toxic overload
    2. Stress
    3. Hormonal imbalances

    How much sleep do we need?

    Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

    As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep

    Why Is Sleep Important?
    1. Sleep boosts immunity

    2. Sleep can help you keep your weight in check

    3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

    4. Sleep prevents diabetes

    5. Sleep increases sex drive

    6. Sleep wards off heart disease

    7. Sleep increases fertility

    How to catch up on lost sleep

    If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more hours of shut eye. 

    It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks to months.

    Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired and sleepy, and allow your body to wake you in the morning naturally (no alarm clocks allowed!).

    Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

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  • 08Mar

    Ginger is among the healthiest and most aromatic spices on the planet. But you either like the taste or hate it.  As a child, I never liked ginger.  During confinement after the birth of my three babies, I started to develop a liking to ginger because whether I liked it or not, I had to eat loads of ginger (every meal was cooked with ginger!), drink ginger tonic and even bathe in hot ginger water! Ginger is a very important ingredient used in confinement food. It keeps the body warm and expels gas.

    Ginger is actually part of the plant family that includes turmeric and cardamom, which may explain why the health benefits of ginger are so extraordinary.

    The Chinese and Indians have used ginger tonics to treat ailments for over 4,700 years, and it was a priceless commodity during the Roman Empire trade around the coming of Christ because of its medicinal properties.

    Why is ginger so beneficial for our health?  In one word: Gingerol.

    Of the 115 different chemical components found in ginger root, the therapeutic benefits come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These bioactive ingredients, especially gingerol, have been thoroughly evaluated clinically, and the research backs up why you should use ginger on a regular basis.

    It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

    Health benefits of ginger:

    Relieve nausea
    Drinking a cup of ginger tea before travelling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. You can also drink a cuppa at the first sign of nausea to relieve the symptom.

    Improve stomach performance
    Useful in improving digestion and increasing absorption of food, ginger tea can bloating after eating too much.

    Reduce inflammation
    Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems. In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints.

    Fight respiratory problems
    Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Try a cup of ginger tea for the respiratory symptoms associated with environmental allergies.

    Improve blood circulation
    The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Ginger may prevent fat from depositing in the arteries helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

    Relieve menstrual discomfort
    This one is for all women suffering from menstrual cramps. Try soaking a towel in warm ginger tea and apply it to your lower abdomen. It may help relieve the pain and relax the muscles. At the same time, drink a cup of ginger tea with honey.

    Below – Pure Bentong ginger powder and organic ginger brown sugar that I have recently started to add to my diet.  I add 1 teaspoon of ginger powder with 1/2 cube of ginger brown sugar to 300 ml of warm water and drink it on most days. If I have painful periods, I drink this concoction twice a day. It provides relief from the cramps that I get.

    Image may contain: food

    Strengthen immunity
    Ginger tea can help strengthen your immunity due to the high levels of antioxidants in ginger.

    Relieve stress
    Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of the strong aroma and healing properties.

     

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  • 03Mar

    I have never heard of the medical term sleep paralysis though I have had episodes of it on and off. Each time it happened, I thought I was possessed by a spirit or some supernatural creature. I have been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was a teenager.

    When I was on a holiday in Beijing with my parents circa 1997, we stayed in a hotel where all the rooms had 2 floors.  My parents occupied the ground floor and I took the floor upstairs and slept alone. And it happened. Just before dawn, I felt someone tugging  my legs. I felt paralyzed and could not wake up nor open my eyes though I was aware of the present surroundings. I was overcome with tremendous fear and tried to break free from the ‘spirit / ghost’. That must be the feeling of being in hell I thought. I prayed  fervently and tried to shout but nothing came out of my mouth.   After a long struggle with the ‘evil demons’, I finally won and woke up. Thankfully we only stayed in that hotel for a night before we traveled to Chengde the next day. I was so convinced that the hotel was haunted and an evil spirit had ‘stepped into my body’ like what the Chinese call it.  The feeling I had each time I woke up from being ‘possessed’ was one of extreme lethargy, as if I had fought hard to win the battle against the evil.

    I only found out that what I had been going through is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis. I had read about Kate Beckinsale’s sleep paralysis terror recently from the newspapers.

    And it probably explains whatever is going on in this very famous Renaissance painting.

    Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during falling asleep or awakening, briefly experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). These hallucinations often involve a person or supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one’s chest and difficulty breathing. Another common hallucination type involves intruders (human or supernatural) entering one’s room or lurking outside one’s window, accompanied by a feeling of dread.

    Symptoms of sleep paralysis

    The main symptom of sleep paralysis is being completely aware of your surroundings but temporarily being unable to move or talk.

    This usually occurs as you’re waking up, but can happen when falling asleep.

    During an episode of sleep paralysis you may:

    • find it difficult to take deep breaths, as if your chest is being crushed or restricted
    • be able to move your eyes – some people can also open their eyes but others find they can’t
    • have a sensation that there’s someone or something in the room with you (hallucination) – many people feel this presence wishes to harm them
    • feel very frightened

    The length of an episode can vary from a few seconds to several minutes.

    You’ll be able to move and speak as normal afterwards, although you may feel unsettled and anxious about going to sleep again.

    Causes of sleep paralysis

    Sleep paralysis happens when parts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occur while you’re awake.

    REM is a stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams often occur. The body is unable to move, apart from the eyes and muscles used in breathing, possibly to stop you acting out your dreams and hurting yourself.

    It’s not clear why REM sleep can sometimes occur while you’re awake, but it has been associated with:

    • not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation or insomnia)
    • irregular sleeping patterns – for example, because of shift work or jet lag
    • narcolepsy – a long-term condition that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times
    • a family history of sleep paralysis
    • sleeping on your back

    In many cases, sleep paralysis is a one-off or very occasional event that occurs in someone who is otherwise healthy.

    Treatments for sleep paralysis

    Sleep paralysis often gets better over time, but improving your sleeping habits and sleeping environment may help.

    It can help to:

    • get a good night’s sleep – most adults need six to eight hours of good quality sleep a night
    • go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
    • create a sleeping environment that’s comfortable, quiet, dark and not too hot or cold
    • avoid eating big meals, smoking, or drinking alcohol or caffeine shortly before going to bed
    • get regular exercise (but not within four hours of going to bed)

     

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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