Archives for June 2017

Your Bedroom is Your Sanctuary – Organize It Like One

Collaboration with 3beds.com

 

If you think about it, our bedroom is the space where we’ll spend most of our lives. Granted, we spend it sleeping, but the quality of sleep we get has a profound impact on the rest of our day, from productivity to the way we cope with the rush of our busy lives.

Today, we’ll look at ways we can improve the space and turn it what it needs to be – a serene oasis.

Decluttering

Creation of a relaxing bedroom ambiance begins by tidying up any clutter that you might have laying around. Clutter is known to increase stress levels, and over time cause anxiety and this is something that you definitely do not want. It’s also a good idea to open up the windows and air out the room, get rid of dust and put on fresh bedding.

Keeping the room tidy will bring on a sense of peace and calm.

Focal pieces

Invest into a few decorative bits that will bring your room decor together like soft throw rugs, plants and succulents, soft blankets and throw pillows.

If your room is painted dark, choose lighter accent pieces that will lift up the space. Bringing in new colors and details into your surroundings naturally increases the levels of serotonin your brain produces making you happier and in turn also more relaxed.

Light and scents

If you’re sensitive to bright lights, pull the curtains and block any light coming into the room. You can also invest into light dimmers that will let you control just how much or little light you would like to have in your room. Lights that come from around us, either right below or in our field of vision are usually less strenuous to the eyes than the ones places directly above us.

For that relaxing aromatherapy spa effect, light a few candles and incense sticks.

Scents like lavender, chamomile, mint, jasmine, valerian and vanilla are well known for relaxing the nervous and their calming effects.

Sound

Some people prefer complete silence when they want to relax while others might prefer music.

If you’re someone that likes to relax to sound it’s a good idea to plan ahead and compile a relaxing playlist. And if you’re out of ideas or just can’t be bothered there are plenty of ready-made playlists made just for relaxing.

Turn off the TV and phone and eliminate any electrical disturbances.

Your mind needs to relax and rest from all the information it’s been taking in through the day. Things like reality TV, news and social media increase the stress levels so it’s best to put them aside and focus on things that keep you feeling comfortable.

Relaxation “tools”

Use relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing.

Focusing on the breath for a longer period of time triggers a natural reaction in the brain that relaxes the entire nervous system. By bringing in more oxygen into the body, the muscles begin to relax and create a calm, relaxing sensation.

Practicing these techniques will benefit you in the long run as the brain learns to stay relaxed and “in the moment”.

Choosing the right mattress

A mattress is the last thing we should skimp on. It’s not a piece of furniture; it’s an investment in our wellbeing. Let’s look at some of the options we can choose from.

Innerspring Mattresses

This type of mattress is still by far the most widely used.

Its support comes from enclosed spring coils. Keeping the springs confined adds to the longevity of the mattress itself and keeps the coils from popping up over time and making sleep difficult and uncomfortable.

Innerspring mattresses come in a wide array of materials made for comfort like memory foam, latex, pillowtop, etc. Spring based mattresses are the most popular choice because of the balance between comfort and support they offer.

Mattress toppers and pads

As the mattress “decays” and you start feeling the coils underneath, adding a good mattress topper or pad will do the trick for most people. If you’re looking for support, go with a Talalay or Dunlop latex topper but if you’re looking for something softer, down feather of synthetic fibre toppers and pads are the best choice.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam mattresses have been growing in popularity lately and rightfully so.

Made from different types of foam with different densities, they respond to the temperature and the weight of the body. Their comfort comes from the ability to contour and mold to your body shape.

They also reduce pressure points, relieving back ache and muscle fatigue. The foam absorbs movement, so if you’re someone that’s prone to tossing and turning at night, rest assured that your partner won’t be disturbed.

Latex Mattresses

Made from either natural or synthetic rubber, these mattresses are known for providing a very firm, bouncy support. The support is the same throughout the whole mattress.

These mattresses are very firm and push back at the body instead of molding to it like the memory foam types and do not absorb heat. Good if you’re heat sensitive and prefer a more cooling effect.

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but the ones that will offer you the best sleep support are made just like a standard innerspring mattress, but instead of enclosed coils the best of air mattresses feature air chambers and the high-end models come with either a pillow of memory foam top.

Airbeds are also known for being used with people on bed rest and patients with back injuries. They can be a temporary option for welcoming guests, sure, but the best of the inflatable beds, or air mattresses, whatever you want to call them, can be as comfortable are any other type.

Final thoughts

Nine thousand, one hundred and twenty five days – that’s how much an average person spends sleeping in a lifetime.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Any further argument about the importance of proper sleep would be redundant.

Sweet dreams!

Choosing the Right Contraception For You

 

When it comes to choosing a form of contraception the choices available can be a little overwhelming. While historically we were fairly limited by what was available, there are now several options available to couples. All have their own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s often a case of trial and error to find which works best with your body.

While condoms are always recommended for safe sex (particularly with a new partner), those looking to avoid pregnancy have various other options available. Here we’ll take a look at some of the most common contraceptive methods and the pros and cons of each.

The Pill

A popular method of contraception, the contraceptive pill uses a combination of hormones to stop your ovaries releasing an egg. The pill is only available if prescribed by a doctor, and must be taken at the same time each day.

Pros

If taken correctly, it can be up to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Some versions of the pill can even make your period lighter or reduce menstrual cramps. Popular pills include Microgynon and Cilest, but it’s important to find what works best for you as everyone reacts differently to the pill.

Cons

Forget to take the pill at the right time and you risk getting pregnant as the pill becomes less effective the longer you leave it. There can sometimes be side effects such as bleeding between periods, nausea/vomiting, weight gain and reduced sex drive. The more popular ‘combined’ pill (eg. Microgynon) is not suitable for some people, for example smokers or those with high blood pressure who may need to take a pill that contains lower levels of oestrogen.

The Implant

The contraceptive implant is inserted by a medical professional into the skin of your upper arm. Much like the pill, it thickens the cervical mucus and releases hormones into your body to prevent your ovaries from producing eggs.

Pros

Once inserted, it lasts up to three years and is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. It can help to reduce menstrual cramps and heavy flow.

Cons

While they are less common, there is still the risk of side effects commonly associated with the pill, such as nausea, weight gain and changes in sex drive.

Contraceptive Injection

Administered by a professional healthcare provider, the injection is carried out every 3 months and contains hormones that thicken the cervical mucus and thin the lining of the womb to try and prevent eggs being released.

Pros

Unlike the pill, you do not need to remember to take something every day and it is over 99% effective. Due to the lack of oestrogen, it is often suitable for those unable to take the combined pill.

Cons

You have to go to the doctor every 3 months as this isn’t something you can do at home. Likewise, this obviously isn’t a great option if you’re scared of needles! Despite the lack of oestrogen, there can still be side effects similar to those with the pill.

The IUD (or Coil)

The IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) is a small t-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a medical practitioner. The length of time you can have the IUD varies but can be up to 12 years depending on the type you choose. It works by preventing sperm from surviving in the womb.

Pros

The IUD can be a longer-lasting solution and, once inserted, there is nothing more you need to do. Some IUDs (the longer-lasting type) can be completely hormone-free so may be suitable for people who react badly to certain hormones or who have existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure. It is usually over 99% effective.

Cons

Not everyone will feel comfortable with having something inserted into the uterus and the process can be a bit uncomfortable at first.