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Advice for Coping With Anxiety in a Healthy Way

Today, more than ever in modern times, men, women, and children of all ages are struggling with excess stress and anxiety. Our daily lives are full and busy. From work and school, to family, friends, social issues, and beyond, we’ve got a lot to deal with day in and day out.

But in order to be healthy, strong, and prepared to face the normal, unavoidable stressors that are simply a part of life, we’ve got to learn how to get that underlying anxiety under control.

The following is a list of crucial tips for mitigating the anxiety in your life. While you may not find that you benefit from every single tip, go through them, use your discretion, and choose at least one or two that you can try implementing today to improve your stress levels.

Top Tips for Curbing Anxiety in Your Everyday Life

Start saying “no” more often.

Often, excess anxiety in life is caused by saying “yes” to too many things. Of course, we all want to be everywhere all the time. If your coworker asks you to help him move on the same weekend that you had plans to do some much-needed lawn work at home, chances are you’ll try to do both instead of just choosing one so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

These are the things that get us into sticky situations where anxiety is concerned.

When we have too much on our plates, it greatly affects our moods, and it also inhibits how well we are able to take care of ourselves.

It can be difficult to say “no” — especially when you have to say it to a friend, family member, coworker, or employer. But look at it this way: You’re not saying “no” to them as much as you’re saying “yes” to yourself.

Look into supplements that help with anxiety.

Did you know that anxiety levels can be affected by nutrition? For instance, if you tend to eat a lot of processed foods, instead of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, you may find that you have frequent low blood sugar. This can make you feel jittery and “off” throughout the day, which can exacerbate anxiety.

Making sure that you have all the vitamins and nutrients you need throughout the day is essential if you want to improve your stress and anxiety levels. Moreover, certain vitamins, minerals, and hormones can specifically boost your mood, yet you probably never get them in your regular diet.

This is where specific dietary supplements that target anxiety come in. Here are some great options to get you started:

Nature’s Bounty Nature’s Bounty Stress Comfort Mood Booster

Physicians Choice Ashwagandha Capsules

Dr Emil Nutrition 5-HTP Plus Supplement

Nobi Nutrition Magnesium Complex

The Genius Brand Genius Joy

Try deep breathing exercises.

A fact that’s surprising to many people is that most of us breath incorrectly.

In general, people tend to breathe only utilizing the top of their lungs. This can have numerous negative ramifications for both your physical and mental health. Because breathing is something we do constantly and unconsciously, however, it takes some concerted effort to change the way you breathe.

Deep breathing exercises can help you breathe better, and they are great way to reduce and diffuse anxiety as well. Over the long term, as you re-teach yourself to breathe, you’ll notice that the anxiety and chronic stress in your life seems to affect you less and less.

Here is a brief deep breathing exercise you can try right now:

Sit in a chair with your back straight, and gently close your eyes. Place your hands in your lap. Start by taking a deep breath in through your nose, but make it a diaphragmatic breath.

A diaphragmatic breath takes in air to the deepest, lowest part of your lungs. It utilizes the diaphragm muscle, which is located beneath the lungs. To know whether or not you are taking in a diaphragmatic breath, feel your stomach. As you breathe in, it should expand straight outward. Do this until you cannot take any more air in, then hold the air in your lungs for a count of three. Finally, forcefully exhale the air out of your mouth, and as you do so, feel your belly “deflate.”

Do this three to four times every day.

Remember: Stress Begets Stress

If you have been dealing with stress and anxiety for many years, you may have noticed that it tends to only get worse with time. Quite often, when we feel stressed, we get tired faster. When we are anxious, we are less likely to enjoy activities that we once loved. Of course, the cycle only gets worse from there. In the end, it can be anxiety inducing just to leave the house for some people.

What’s essential to do, therefore, is to break this cycle. Stress begets stress, and anxiety begets anxiety. Using some or all of the tips above, you can slowly break the cycle of stress and anxiety in your life and begin to reap the benefits of a calmer, more relaxed, and happy lifestyle.

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Anxiety Editor Picks

How Nutrition and Supplements Can Help With Anxiety

In the United States today, over 40 million Americans are struggling with anxiety disorders. And unfortunately, it looks like that number is only getting higher as time passes.

So, how do we attack this issue?

To be sure, there are a slew of resources about improving anxiety out there. Everything from virtual therapy and smart phone applications, to special exercise regimens and fad diets are recommended. Of course, for the layperson, this only adds to the problem. After all, it can be difficult to know which of these solutions will actually work.

In the end, only you can determine what the best remedy for your anxiety is — sometimes, by simple trial and error and other times, by digging in deep to the useful information and science that’s available.

In this guide, we will be presenting information pertaining to anxiety and how it reacts to specific improvements in nutrition. Specifically, we’ll be looking at how your diet may be affecting your anxiety levels and how taking certain supplements might be able to help as well.

How Nutrition Affects Your Anxiety

The truth is that a large number of people who struggle with anxiety never seek help. This not only hinders their ability to live a happy, thriving life in general, but it may also mean that their anxiety symptoms actually worsen as they age. Chronic anxiety frequently turns into exacerbated mental health conditions — depression or addiction, for example.

Luckily, there’s good news just around the corner: Before turning to medications, treatment centers, or intensive therapies, there is a large number of people who may be able to turn their anxiety levels around by simply improving their nutrition.

This means eating a healthier diet in general, but it also means taking specific supplements that have been proven to specifically address anxiety.

What a Healthy Diet Looks Like

Most of us are somewhat familiar with basic nutrition.

You probably remember the “Food Pyramid” from when you were a kid or perhaps the more recent ChooseMyPlate campaign put out by the federal government.

Regardless of what you thought you knew about nutrition, however, there’s still a good chance that you’re not completely in line with what many holistic doctors and scientists now say is essential for good nutrition. The following provides a breakdown.

This list is ordered from most important to least important. That is, the foods near the top of the list should be eaten in the largest quantities and so on until the last items on the list, which should be eaten in the smallest quantities:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Beans and legumes
  4. Whole and cracked grains
  5. Healthy fats, including avocados, nuts, and ground flaxseeds and hemp seeds
  6. Fish
  7. Whole soy foods, including tofu, soy nuts, edamame, and soy milk
  8. Other types of protein, including cheese, yogurt, eggs, and lean meats like ground turkey and chicken breast
  9. Herbs and spices
  10. Tea
  11. Healthy sweets, including dark chocolate (sparingly)

Why Does Better Nutrition Help With Anxiety?

There are a number of reasons why eating a healthier diet can improve your anxiety levels. Here are just two to be aware of:

  • First, if you’re not eating enough healthy foods, including whole grains and vegetables and fruits, you may be eating a lot of processed foods. These processed foods tend to metabolize quickly in the body, causing your blood sugar levels to be all over the place. This can lead to anxious, jittery feelings.
  • Have you ever heard of the gut-brain axis? If you’ve ever felt your stomach turn when you were nervous, that’s it. As it turns out, a huge percentage of the body’s serotonin receptors are found in the gut’s lining, which is heavily impacted by what you eat. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates feelings of happiness, well-being, and mood. A better diet means better regulation of the way these serotonin receptors interact with your brain.

The Role of Supplements in Reducing Anxiety

Scientists and the media go back and forth when it comes to dietary supplements and what they may or may not do for you. Sometimes, you’ll hear that taking supplements is a must. If you don’t do it, you’re crazy!

On the other hand, some people say that supplements don’t do anything. There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not certain brands or types of supplements actually contain what they say they contain. Moreover, there are some people who say that even if supplement capsules and pills do contain what they claim to contain, the effects of the ingredients are so minimal that supplements are simply a waste of money.

More recent research on the matter, however, has concluded that supplements can help in a number of ways. Of course, you’ll need to choose the right formulas and brands (we’ll have some recommendations coming up).

What Exactly Do Supplements Do?

Essentially, dietary supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, or calcium, fill gaps in your diet.

After all, try as you may, you’ve probably realized already that it’s pretty hard to get all of the essential vitamins and nutrients you need every single day. You’re bound to miss some here and there. The idea is that supplements fill in these gaps so that you get optimal nutrition every day, whether you ate “perfectly” that day or not.

Which Supplements Are Best for Anxiety?

Here are the supplements we recommend to help with anxiety:

Help Yourself Live a Calmer, Happier Life With Less Anxiety

Meditation, less screen time, and more exercise are all great things for helping with your anxiety. But remember: Nutrition is key.

If you have been struggling with anxiety in your personal life, try improving your diet and incorporating some of the dietary supplements listed above. We promise you’ll start to see a difference right away.

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Editor Picks Energy

Boost Your Energy, One Step At a Time

If there’s one thing most of us could use more of, it’s energy. Whether we come crashing down after a starchy work lunch, or just never feel like we’re operating at 100 percent, finding that extra energy can be maddeningly elusive.

But instead of kicking yourself for not being able to turn things around right away, why not start building up your energy stores by making changes over time? Read on to find a few places to start.

Tackle Your Sleeping Issues

It’s one thing to know you need about eight hours of sleep each night — and another thing to actually get enough that good-quality sleep. Even people who take their diet and exercise routines seriously forget that getting the proper rest also takes commitment. The first step, of course, is to go to bed at a reasonable hour. But if you have trouble either falling asleep or staying asleep, you may need to pursue rest more aggressively.

If you’re a heavy snorer, your doctor can advise you on devices to correct the problem, often with an unobtrusive device.

For chronic insomnia, try basic methods like not napping during the day, or gradually moving your bedtime back until you’ve achieved about eight hours of sleep.

Eat for Energy

Perhaps the most important thing you can do in terms of figuring out which foods give you energy is to keep a food diary. It may be that certain dishes can make you drowsy that don’t affect others the same way. Some people have mild dairy allergies that result in sleepiness, for example.

In general, eating to boost your energy isn’t a big mystery. Here are a few things to add to your diet, and a few things to cut back on:

  • Avoid starchy, sugary foods, especially those made with white sugar and white flour, which can cause energy spikes and crashes.
  • Consume more low-glycemic foods throughout the day. These are foods that help steady your blood sugar, so you won’t be feeling groggy after the initial “high” wears off. Good choices include nuts, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and high-fiber veggies like broccoli.
  • Eat more frequent, smaller meals. As with eating more low-glycemic foods, having smaller meals and snacks throughout the day helps you steady your blood sugar levels. Even if you prefer keeping to the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, try to make them less heavy. Keep nuts, healthy protein bars, and fresh veggies at your desk to keep you going between regular meals.
  • Trade coffee for water. While some coffee in the morning is OK, relying on it after lunch leads to insomnia. Instead, focus on hydration. When you’re not getting enough fluids, fatigue sets in. The best drink of all is water, because it won’t cause those peaks and crashes that sugary sports drinks do.

Fill in Nutritional Gaps

Whether it’s because of a busy schedule or dietary restrictions, you may be missing out on some nutrients that can bring you more energy.

Vitamin B12 is famous for its energy-boosting power, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you could be missing out on its energy-boosting qualities. (Your body can’t produce this nutrient on its own, and it is mainly found in animal products.) To correct this gap, consider a B12 supplement. Vitafusion offers an extra-strength version in an easy-to-take, cherry-flavored gummy form.

If you’re worried about your diet overall, or just want to jumpstart your healthier lifestyle, a multivitamin might make a better choice. Choose one that is suited to your specific needs. A multivitamin for women, example, contains antioxidants like A and C at levels recommended for women.

Kick the Habit(s)

It’s probably not news to you that smoking and heavy drinking can catch up with you in the form of heart disease, cancer or other chronic illnesses. But it’s only human to not worry about tomorrow’s problems today. One thing that can motivate you in the here and now? Kicking the fatigue “habit.”

If you’re having trouble feeling energized despite doing the obvious things like getting more rest, it may well be that your recreational habits are spilling over into the rest of your life. Cigarette smoking has been linked to insomnia, because nicotine is a stimulant. On the other end of the coin, alcohol not only makes you drowsy, but can make you wake up after a few hours’ sleep.

If you can’t kick these habits right away, time them for weekends, when you can somewhat afford the lack of pep on “the morning after.”

Work It Out

If you’ve been meaning to work out for a long time but haven’t been motivated, knowing how dramatically exercise can provide an energy boost just might convince you.

Obviously, in the short term, each workout provides a dopamine boost, which improves your mood and stamina that can last for several hours. But over time, regular exercising will give you longer-lasting energy, giving you increased metabolism and improved circulation.

Of course, exercise can also lead to weight loss, when combined with a proper diet. The more extra pounds you carry, the more your heart has to work. Getting to your ideal weight for your height, age and gender will stop the diversion of all that needed energy.

Ironically, sometimes feeling severely fatigued is what keeps people from starting the workouts that will boost energy. To counter this problem, exercise in small-sized chunks — perhaps a 10-minutes walk at lunch, or a quick game of tennis on the weekend.

If you’re exhausted at the end of a workday but still want to get to the gym, try to stand up and move around a bit during the day, to give yourself a bit of a mini-energy boost to get you to the gym or to the walking trail.

Ultimately, you should aim for about 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week in order to maximize your energy levels, while also encouraging heart health and optimum metabolism.

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/energy-and-fatigue/9-tips-to-boost-your-energy-naturally

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/7-simple-steps-to-boosting-energy/art-20305553

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/5-simple-heart-healthy-energy-boosters

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/staying-motivated/how-to-get-energy-when-youre-too-tired-to-workout

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Energy

Top 8 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels

If you often feel lethargic or run-down over the course of the day, it’s easy to think that this is a normal reaction to your demanding to-do list. If you need any additional evidence to justify that feeling, you can just look to your left and your right. Chances are, everyone you know is feeling the same way! But as much as we’ve all gotten used to it, there’s nothing normal about it. We’ll look at 8 ways to give yourself more energy, so you have all the strength you need to get the job done.

  1. Avoid Napping

Naps can be a great way to recharge, but it’s also easy to let them get in the way of our normal sleeping patterns. If you find yourself constantly tossing and turning at night when you’ve napped earlier that day, eventually it will begin to sap your energy levels. Instead, aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night and fighting through the urge to catch a few winks once you’ve wrapped up with work.

  1. Increase Your Water Intake

The more water you drink, the more you replenish your cells. It’s also a great way to quench thirst without relying on the sugars of so many other drinks. If you’re low on fluids, your body’s first reaction is to slow down. People who are thirsty often don’t even realize it because they’re waiting for the tell-tale dry-mouth feeling. You need to pay attention to what you’re drinking during the day and how that impacts your energy.

  1. Watch Your Caffeine

There are a lot of conflicting reports about caffeine out there. You might have seen articles that claim the energy crash isn’t worth the initial benefits. The truth is that caffeine can be a handy tool if you’re looking to increase your focus — as long as you find a smart way of getting it into your system. So before you reach for that third cup of coffee, consider Genius Brand Genius Caffeine as a focus supplement for all-natural, sustained energy.

  1. Exercise More

Wearing out your body might not seem like a way to give you more energy, but tell that to someone who goes for a late-night run. Exercise helps you feel awake and alive right after you’ve finished up your workout. Perhaps more importantly though, it usually helps you sleep better at night. Giving yourself proper rest is the best way to ensure you’re ready to face the stress of a new day.

  1. Eat High-Energy Foods

Our culture generally promotes all of the worst possible foods to give you more energy. From simple carbs to empty-calorie sodas, it’s become a ritual for many people to have these foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is just one of the many reasons that we’re all feeling so exhausted by the end of the day. To increase your energy, try more dark green veggies, nuts, and whole grains. or try a supplement like Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy. Made from an amino and energy blend, this product can help you restore your body and mind.

  1. Limit Your Stress

Despite more awareness these days, people still tend to think of the body and mind as two separate things. Yet we can’t discount the number of stresses that we face on a daily basis and how this interacts with our energy levels. Certain stresses, like work and child care, can’t be cut out of your life. However, you can instill better ways to cope with them, such as deep breathing or taking more time for yourself.

  1. Delegate More

This is a subcategory of limiting your stress. The more you can rely on other people, the more you can give back to yourself. Like everything in life, you’re trying to maintain the right balance between taking on too little and taking on far too much. If you’re working 50 hours a week and then trying to take care of your family, you might see a big boost in your energy by carving out an extra hour or two a week that’s purely for you.

  1. Watch Your Vices

You already know that smoking and drinking are good ways to threaten your health. They’re also a good way to threaten your energy levels though. Nicotine is a stimulant that can lead to insomnia. Alcohol is a depressant that can lead to a mid-day or mid-evening slump. It can also disrupt the quality of your sleep at night.

There’s no point trying to give up alcohol or cigarettes completely if you’re not ready. However, you can try to limit these vices so you’re slowing cutting back on them. From nicotine patches to one glass of wine, there are plenty of ways to increase your energy by cutting back bit by bit.

  1. Try an Energy Supplement

Energy supplements can be a great way to keep you chugging along from one hour to the next. One useful tip is to think outside the box when it comes to choosing the right product for you. Certain supplements, such as the Women’s Supercharged Multi Gummy, are specific to the buyer and leave little room for interpretation. In other words, you should take it if you’re a woman looking to give her health and energy levels a boost.

Other supplements are a little more subtle when it comes to their overall benefits. For example, Physicians Choice Ashwagandha Capsules are anti-anxiety and provide everything from thyroid to cortisol support. This can help you maintain your mental well-being for more energy down the line.

No matter how you try to give your body a little more energy to tackle everything, the bigger picture is that you’re aware of how you’re feeling and you’re taking steps to control it. Instead of accepting being tired all the time, you’re giving yourself healthier tools to get more out of every day.

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Editor Picks Immunity

How to Naturally Boost and Protect Your Immune System

Lately, our immune systems have been somewhat downplayed as of late. Many of us have a tendency to doctors and medications when we should be relying on the body’s natural defenses. Sometimes our immune systems are capable, and we simply don’t give them a chance. In other cases though, the immune system isn’t able to handle the threat. 

Like all of our bodily functions, the immune system can get worn down over time. If it’s under too much pressure, eventually it will wave a white flag and just give in to whatever it’s trying to fight. Instead of accepting it, there are things you can do to give it back its strength. We’ll look at how you can build your immune system from the ground up and protect it once it’s on the mend. 

Cut Down on Stress 

This is a difficult one to conquer, but it’s also critical for both your mental and physical health. While it can feel nearly impossible, especially in a world where you’re constantly being pulled in a thousand directions, it’s exceptionally important to take time for yourself. It’s an old adage for a reason — you cannot pour from an empty cup. 

Whether it’s cutting back on work or opting for healthier activities, less stress means different things to different people. The more you give your body what it needs though, the more it will start to give back to you. Whether it’s an infection or inflammation, your immune system will have a better chance of coming through on the other side with flying colors. 

Examine Your Diet 

When there are constant new food advice and recommendations (seemingly every other day), the understandable temptation is to simply eat what you like and not worry about it. But even if you don’t want to read every new study that comes out, that doesn’t mean you can’t implement the basics.

There is no magic cure out there when it comes to the perfect diet. It all comes down to more fruits and veggies and less alcohol, fat, and sugar all around. (If you’re a regular smoker, you already know that this isn’t helping you stay healthy.) This doesn’t mean that you can never indulge, but it does mean that those indulgences can’t become a regular habit. 

Get More Exercise 

The more you exercise, the less likely you are the be stressed and the more likely you are to maintain a healthy weight. These are both incredibly important when it comes to keeping your immune system strong. Plus, exercise is pretty much good for your entire body, not just your immune system. From psychological benefits to physical benefits, the perks really do go on and on. 

It’s worth noting that the exact link between exercise and immunity is unclear. Some researchers have suggested that bacteria can be flushed out of the airways through vigorous activity, while others say that the immunity boost comes from the increase in white blood cells. In addition, increasing the body temperature, as you would after exercising, can potentially prevent bacteria from growing. Incidentally, that’s the same reason why you develop a fever. 

Identify Your Micronutrient Deficiencies 

When your gut is healthy, the immune system is in a better position to go to war. Micronutrients, like zinc, copper, vitamin C, and folic acid, have all had positive effects on the immune system in animals.

If you have trouble with consistency when it comes to your diet, you can try supplements to round out your diet such as Rainbow Light Counter Attack. This gluten-free gummy contains few allergins, but plenty of Vitamin C and zinc. 

Remember that extra doses of micronutrients doesn’t necessarily make you healthier. At some point, your body will not be helped by several extra vitamins. The idea is to take it consistently while slowing altering your overall diet. 

Practice Makes Perfect 

The most important thing to remember when it comes to giving your immune system more is that you’re playing the long game. Even if you do everything correctly, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to defend yourself against everything. Essentially, don’t expect everything to be fixed once you’ve made the essential changes. Your immune system is affected by everything from age to body chemistry to environmental factors, and some factors are simply impossible to control. 

As you fold in more of the good stuff and try to eliminate some of the bad, know that you’re taking important steps toward health. As difficult as it can be at first, it will become more automatic over time. The key is to be more aware of the choices you’re making and to look for habits you can stick with. 

Small Lifestyle Changes 

No matter what kind of health changes you’re looking to make, it can often be better to add rather than subtract (at least at first). So instead of cutting out fast food, you simply add a salad before you enjoy that combo meal.

Instead of throwing away your easy chair, you add a walk before you actually settle in for the night. Instead of giving up your cigarettes entirely, you add in a nicotine patch to see if that helps the cravings. 

Another small change that you can make is to incorporate a daily supplement like Mary Ruth’s Immunity Gummies, which contains the nutrients your body needs to support the immune system. Ingredients like echinacea and Vitamin D can go a long way toward shielding both adults and children alike. 

It might sound hyperbolic, but simply taking an interest in your health has a lot to do with your immune system. Your immune system has evolved to fight, but it needs fuel to keep its energy up. The more you run yourself down, whether it’s through long days or hastily put together meals, the less it will have to work with. Protecting yourself from whatever lies beyond begins with measurable changes that eventually add up to big differences. 

References:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

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Immunity

Try These Supplements to Boost Immunity

Can you take a supplement every day to boost your immunity and keep from catching an infectious disease? If that’s all you do, you might give your immune system a boost from the supplement, but that’s not all you need to do. According to Chris D’Adamo, PhD, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, following good health and lifestyle practices is important along with supplements. Think of supplements as their name suggests: adding to your normal health habits and daily healthy routine.

Immune system myths and facts

According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch, there are a few myths about the immune system. The first myth is that the more “active” your immune system is, the healthier you are. An overactive immune system isn’t good for your health. It can be related to health conditions and diseases like lupus, diabetes, and arthritis, among many others.

The second myth is that getting large amounts of vitamins or minerals will improve the immune system. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause immune system weakness. These deficiencies can occur because of unhealthy diets, but they can also be a response to aging, stress, and environmental toxins. If you’re deficient in any needed vitamin or mineral, your immune system may be weakened.

Boosting your immune system

Your immune system is complex and researchers don’t understand it completely. As one example, it’s not just medical knowledge but common knowledge that following a healthy lifestyle in general boosts immunity, but no one knows exactly how lifestyle factors improve the immune system. This is why experts like Harvard Health say that “general healthy-living strategies are a good way to give your immune system the upper hand.”

Which micronutrients boost the immune system?

Research does show that certain micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, can support your immune system. One of the best-known micronutrients that can boost immunity is Vitamin C, regarded as an “essential micronutrient for humans,” according to the Journal of Nutrients. Two of Vitamin C’s specific benefits includes supporting your skin’s ability to block infection, and it has shown benefits in treating respiratory and other types of infection.

  • Vitamin C is also a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine, and is definitely on the immune-boosting supplement list. Other immune boosting micronutrients include:
  • Vitamin D: According to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Vitamin D can reduce the risk of colds and flu, and “should be taken on a regular basis.” Vitamin D is one of the most important immune system strengthening vitamins.
  • Vitamin A helps support the body’s ability to fight off infections, especially respiratory infections.
  • Zinc can help to reduce the number of infections and can shorten the duration of respiratory infections as long as it’s taken within 24 hours of symptoms.
  • Selenium is an antioxidant mineral and immune system booster.

Other supplements that boost the immune system

In addition to vitamins and minerals, some common substances contain ingredients and have a variety of properties that help immune system functioning. They include:

  • Garlic: Whether it’s fresh or in the form of supplements, garlic is helpful not only in warding off fictional vampires but also colds and other viral infections.
  • Probiotics: Probiotics support a healthy digestive system. These “good bacteria” also help the immune system.
  • Mushrooms: Some mushrooms have been researched and show a variety of helpful effects and are known as “medicinal mushrooms.” The varieties include Mane, Maitake, and Reishi.
  • Beta-glucans: Human trials have shown that beta-glucans decrease cold and flu symptoms.
  • Berberine – Berberine is located in roots, bark, and rhizomes of different plants including goldenseal, Oregon grape species, and goldthread. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. 
  • Elderberry: Several studies have shown that elderberry helps to fight off viruses.
  • Sulforaphane: This substance comes from vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. It has been shown to have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Other considerations for supplements:

Don’t defeat the purpose of taking supplements to help your immune system by taking ones with lots of added sugar or other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. Gummies can be easy to chew, swallow, and digest, getting the micronutrients into your system, but you also don’t need them to be made from animal products. 

If you’re vegan, you obviously want gummies that aren’t made from any animal products. Some people aren’t aware, but gelatin, used in many gummy products, comes from animal collagen. Artificial colors and other ingredients found in traditional vitamins can also cause problems, so you’ll also want to avoid those. Finally, if you’re gluten-sensitive, always look for clearly-labeled gluten-free products.

Evaluating supplements for your needs

Your diet, lifestyle, and personal taste are all important factors for choosing which immune-boosting supplement will be right for you. 

  • Airborne makes Elderberry flavored gummies that also contain the immune-boosting benefits of elderberry. This gummy has Vitamins C, D, and E, as well as Zinc and Black Elderberry. The gummies are gluten-free and don’t contain artificial sweeteners, although they do contain some sugar.
  • Boost’s Premium Elderberry gummies have simple ingredients: Black elderberry, Vitamin C, and Zinc. The gummies use a pectin base and non-GMO ingredients.
  • If you’re familiar with organic foods, you know that getting certification is important for product quality and standards. Mary Ruth’s Immunity Gummies are certified organic, non-GMO, Vegan, and use only natural flavors. These gummies have Vitamin C, Elderberry extract, Echinacea, and Zinc. These gummies have cherry flavor since on its own, Elderberry isn’t very sweet, but they also do contain organic cane sugar.
  • Rainbow Light’s Counter Attack is a gluten-free and Vegan dietary supplement that includes Vitamin C, Zinc, and an immune blend with Elderfruit extract and numerous other herbal extracts, including Echinacea, yerba santa, and oregano oil.
  • Genius Immunity Shield capsules contain Vitamin A, C, and D, along with organic elderberry, selenium, echinacea, and Wellmune beta glucan.

Whether you want a tasty gummy supplement that will give you a daily immune system boost, or would prefer capsules, you can find the right supplements to boost your healthy lifestyle and healthy immune system.

References:

https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/managing-medical-conditions/healthy-habits/boost-immune-system

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-eating/what-can-you-do-to-improve-your-immune-system

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/

https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/functional-medicine-approach-covid-19-additional-research-nutraceuticals-botanicals/#mushrooms

Categories
Inflammation

How Can An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help?

In the short term, swelling as protection against injury or infection is a good thing. But when inflammation becomes chronic, the consequences to your health can be disastrous. From joint pain to heart disease, chronic inflammation has been linked to serious health problems. But there are ways to reduce the internal swelling. What you add to your diet — and what you cut back on — is a good place to start.

Consequences of Inflammation

Whenever your body recognizes the introduction of a foreign or potentially harmful agent, white blood cells are dispatched to surround the “intruder.” For short-term problems like a wound or seasonal cold, this action can be helpful. But if you keep introducing those harmful intruders like fatty foods and cigarette smoke to your system, the internal swelling response becomes chronic.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of health issues. The buildup of plaque around the arteries, for example, may lead to stroke and heart attack. In addition, some people may develop or exacerbate conditions such as arthritis and other types of joint pain, along with Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. Cancer and a range of other chronic conditions may also stem from inflammation.

Because inflammation responses vary in intensity and location, predicting how it might affect you can be difficult. Doctors are also unsure whether inflammation directly causes chronic illness, or if it merely triggers stronger responses. One thing that is clear, however, is that measures to reduce inflammation can be the first step toward improving your health.

Adjusting Your Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet isn’t very different from those you’ve heard of before, such as low-fat and Meditterean eating plans. The key is moderation. You don’t have to give up everything you love, or force down foods you hate. But if you cut back on certain substances known to cause internal swelling, and add some inflammation-fighting ingredients that you actually like, it can make a big difference.

What to Cut

It’s not always clear why some foods set off an inflammation sequence in your body. Some lead to rapid weight gain, which stresses the heart and joints, while others simply set off a chemical reaction that results in swelling.

It’s thought that certain foods can release “messengers” that signal a protective response in your body. That’s not a bad thing if you rarely eat the food. But eating certain kinds of unhealthy foods are part of your lifestyle, then your body never stops releasing that protective inflammatory response. This can lead to chronic health problems.

Whatever the specific mechanism that makes certain foods trigger inflammation, these culptits are usually associated with inflammatory responses:

  • Processed foods. Your body tends to react to preservatives, dyes and other chemicals by producing an inflammatory response. Reduce your intake of hot dogs, chips, processed cookies and pastries, colas and artificially colored sodas, and sugary cereals.
  • Red meat and processed meat. Some people react more dramatically to red meat than others. But even without the potential inflammatory response, the fat and cholesterol in red and processed meat make it something that shouldn’t be eaten more than once or twice a week. Reduce your intake of burgers, steak, bacon, sausage, pork chops, ham and lamb.
  • Fried foods. Take out and family-style restaurants are notorious for fried food. But the convenience and budget-friendly fare comes at the cost of an inflammatory response. Resist the temptation to choose chicken nuggets, fried fish or cheese sticks for your meals. Trade in sides like french fries and onion rings for healthier choices like rice or veggies.
  • “White” foods. Refined carbs should be avoided in an anti-inflammatory diet. These include ingredients that are made with refined grains, in which the grains have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber. White breads, white potatoes, white rice and refined pasta, as well as sugary desserts made with white flour, should be avoided in favor of their whole-grained or more nutritious counterparts, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread and sweet potatoes.
  • Harmful fats. The “bad” fats like margarine and shortening should be avoided on anti-inflammatory diets, especially when there are healthier alternatives.

What to Add

Anti-inflammatory foods don’t just offer alternatives to ingredients known to cause inflammatory responses. Many are believed to actually help reduce swelling. Just as an ice pack on a puffy ankle is helpful, certain foods offer a remedy to internal inflammation.

  • Omega-3 foods. Fatty fish, as well as certain nuts and seeds, contain the healthy fat known as Omega-3. These fatty acids work to control the response that triggers inflammation. Add more tuna, mackerel and salmon to your weekly meal plan. For snacks or salad toppings, include pecans, walnuts and ground flaxseed.
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables. Eating the “rainbow” of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables ensures that you’re getting a wide range of antioxidant protection. Include more dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale; orange/yellow produce such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash and oranges; red fruits and veggies such as tomatoes, beets and strawberries; and purple/blue selections like blueberries, eggplant and purple cabbage.
  • Other whole foods. In general, fiber-rich foods that haven’t had their nutrients processed are good for fighting internal inflammation. Along with adding vegetables and fruits, eat more whole grains, beans and lentils.
  • Healthy fats. Instead of inflammatory fats such as margarine, butter and salad dressing, opt for olive, flaxseed and walnut oils.
  • Spices and herbs. Studies have shown that green tea, along with spices such as turmeric, black pepper and ginger, have anti-swelling properties.

Consider Supplements

It’s not always possible to cram your weekly meal plan with all of the anti-inflammatory ingredients that you need. In some cases, supplements that contain helpful ingredients can add value to your anti-inflammatory diet.

Look for ones that contain ingredients noted above. Whether you prefer your supplements in gummy form, as with BeLive’s turmeric, ginger and black pepper supplements, or BioSchwartz’s turmeric and black pepper capsules, these additions to your anti-inflammatory diet may boost your efforts.

Always check with your doctor before adding supplements, especially if you are on other medications such as blood thinners.

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/ask-the-doctor-what-is-inflammation

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/how-to-use-food-to-help-your-body-fight-inflammation/art-20457586

https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/anti-inflammatory/the-ultimate-arthritis-diet

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/inflammation-and-heart-disease

Categories
Inflammation

These Supplements Could Be A Good Choice For Inflammation

If you have a cut and it gets red and inflamed for a short time before healing, this is an example of the body’s natural inflammation response. In the case of a healing cut, short-term inflammation is beneficial. But longer-term inflammation is associated with chronic illness, ranging from arthritis to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. 

Effects of chronic inflammation

The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care says that in addition to short-term inflammation that can result from injuries, allergic reactions, and sensitivities, chronic inflammation can result in immune-related disease. Common chronic inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

According to Dr. Varinthrej Pitis, Internal Medicine specialist at Scripps Clinic in Carmel Valley, “When you don’t eat healthy, don’t get enough exercise, or have too much stress, the body responds by triggering inflammation.” You might not have any obvious symptoms of chronic inflammation, or the signs could be subtle. 

Reducing inflammation risk

Nutrition can be just as important as supplements and medication, according to Dr. Pitis. Good nutritional choices include getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables each day and reducing the amount of refined sugar you eat. Basic anti-inflammatory fruits include grapes and blueberries. Other foods and ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties include:

  • Salmon and tuna
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Soybeans
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Olives
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric

As long as you’re eating anti-inflammatory foods, it can also help to cut back on foods that promote inflammation. Known inflammatory foods include:

  • Red meat
  • Trans fats (margarine, fried foods)
  • Process foods (which can include many preservatives and other inflammatory ingredients)
  • White flour
  • White rice
  • Refined sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup

This list shows why a fast-food hamburger could contribute to inflammation because most of its ingredients are on the “inflammation” list. 

Other ways to reduce inflammation

Getting enough exercise helps to prevent inflammation. The National Institutes of Health recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week. Adding weight and strength training can boost your exercise benefit.

If you are not at the weight you’d like to be, losing weight isn’t just a general health recommendation. It can also help to decrease inflammation. Managing stress is important as well. Yoga, meditation, biofeedback, and guided imagery can also help to reduce stress. 

Supplements can also help to fight inflammation. Some of them reduce some types of inflammation better than others, so when choosing an anti-inflammatory supplement, your individual health needs should come first.

Supplements that can reduce inflammation

Studies have revealed the benefits of different supplements for different types of inflammation. Some supplements can fight more than one type of inflammation at a time as well. Here are some natural supplements that are made from plants and foods and the types of inflammation they can potentially fight:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon and cod. They’ve been shown to benefit vascular inflammation (found in cardiovascular disease) and degenerative disc disease.
  • Bioperine: Made from black pepper, bioperine has been studied for similar anti-inflammatory effects as the ingredient in red pepper which is anti-inflammatory: curcumin.
  • Curcumin: Curcumin is an active ingredient in the bright yellow spice, turmeric. Studies on the effectiveness of curcumin showed it could reduce inflammation from metabolic conditions. Conditions it may benefit include insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia.
  • Ginger: Ginger root contains compounds called Gingerol and Zingerone, which have been associated with reduced inflammation in people with a variety of health concerns. Studies have shown that ginger supplements, combined with healthy habits, reduced inflammation in people with kidney damage, ulcerative colitis, breast cancer, and diabetes.
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e): SAM-e is made naturally in the body, and it influences epigenetic changes. Epigenetic changes are changes in the body’s genes related to stress or external factors like pollution and tobacco smoking. SAM-e has been shown to improve conditions as varied as osteoarthritis (OA), fibromyalgia, depression and liver conditions.
  • Zinc: The mineral zinc helps to boost the immune system, and it has also been shown through several studies to reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress triggers inflammation and is associated with cancer.
  • Green tea: Green tea contains caffeine, but also a lot of other beneficial compounds that could reduce inflammation. Researchers have discovered that green tea can reduce inflammatory symptoms of arthritis and also slow cartilage loss.
  • Capsaicin: Hot peppers get their heat from capsaicin. It can relieve nerve and muscle pain, and a number of pain-revealing rubs as well as capsaicin capsule supplements are available.

Considering anti-inflammatory supplements

The type of supplement you choose to fight inflammation should be influenced by your individual needs. Some supplements have studies that show benefits on specific conditions, while others seem to have more general anti-inflammatory effects. When you’re considering taking anti-inflammatory supplements, remember that making lifestyle changes to improve your overall health play a role as well.

Evaluating supplements that could reduce inflammation

Gummy or capsule? Some people prefer gummies for a variety of reasons, including not being able to swallow capsules effectively, especially if they’re very large. Others can take capsules and prefer them. If you’re choosing a supplement to reduce inflammation, you’ll want to think about your dietary preferences, and whether the supplements contain natural or organic ingredients. Finally, be aware of added sugar or preservatives, because these ingredients promote inflammation.

If you’re interested in taking curcumin and ginger to reduce inflammation, BeLive’s turmeric, ginger & black pepper gummies have an appealing tropical flavor and contain no additives or preservatives. They are gluten-free and also won’t stick together if the bottle gets warm thanks to a nutritional sand coating. BeLive’s gummies are “vegan friendly” as well.

If you want to take capsules, BioSchwartz offers a capsule with refined and standardized curcuminoids, the ingredients from turmeric that have anti-inflammatory properties. BioSchwartz premium ultra pure turmeric and curcumin, along with bioperine (black pepper) capsules are also natural, vegan, and have no fillers or binders. Nature’s Nutrition makes an anti-inflammatory supplement that includes turmeric curcumin and bioperine (black pepper extract) which is non-GMO and vegan.

Other anti-inflammatory supplements can affect pain, anxiety, and sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is another way to reduce inflammation. GummiMi’s hemp gummies contain hemp extract along with Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamins B and E.

Adding ginger to turmeric and black pepper can also increase anti-inflammatory benefits. Vimerson Health’s anti-inflammation capsules include turmeric, bioperine (black pepper extract), and ginger extract.

Categories
Sleep

Trouble Sleeping? How Certain Supplements May Be Able to Help

Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?

For a variety of reasons, the evening hours can become a time that many Americans don’t look forward to. For these unlucky individuals, it’s certain they’ll be trying to go to bed far into the night, tossing and turning, hardly catching any sleep until their alarm goes off in the morning.

Because of the prevalence of sleep problems in this country, it’s no wonder that “the sleep industry” is booming. From special teas and elixirs to hypnosis, therapy, and essential oils, you can find all manner of “sleep fixes” on the market.

But do any of these things really work?

In fact, there are a few sleep remedies that can help. The proof is in the science and in the vast number of people who have personally benefitted.

Namely, there are two supplements that you should look into if you personally struggle with sleep. We go over both of these below.

The Best Two Supplements for Aiding Sleep

#1 – Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that is already present in our bodies. It’s role? To regulate your sleep cycle. That’s why it’s often referred to as “the sleep hormone.”

A variety of research has concluded that melatonin is essential for quality sleep and that taking it as a supplement is beneficial for those who struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep on a regular basis.

Here are some melatonin supplements to try:

#2 – Magnesium

Magnesium is also good for sleep because it increases something called GABA.

GABA is an acronym for gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that allows the body to relax and eventually fall sleep and stay asleep.

When individuals have low GABA levels, they are likely to struggle with sleep. In fact, a large portion of those who have been diagnosed with insomnia have also been found to have low GABA levels.

Looking for a good magnesium to take? Nobi Nutrition High Absorption Magnesium Complex is a great one to start with.

Other Important Tips for Improving Your Sleep

In addition to utilizing the supplements outlined above, here are some other tips and tricks you can use to improve your sleep:

Create a sleep schedule

Remember that our bodies run on cycles. When the sun goes down, it’s time for us to sleep. That’s in our nature. If you mess with the cycle too much, the body can get off-kilter, and sleep can become difficult every evening.

To get yourself on a solid sleep schedule, you may need to sit down with a pen and a pad of paper. Most people figure out their sleep schedule based on when they have to wake up in the morning. For example, if you need to wake up at 6am every morning and you want to get eight hours of sleep (which is how much sleep is generally recommended for adults), you’ll need to go to bed by 10pm.

So, start by picking a wake time and then move to a target “in bed” time. Keep up with this schedule for at least two weeks even if you don’t go to sleep right away every time you get into bed. Slowly, over time, your body will adjust to your new schedule, and you’ll begin to anticipate sleep around a half an hour to an hour before your scheduled bedtime.

Make your bedroom a haven for sleep.

Take a look at your bedroom and how you dress when you go to sleep. How do you have it styled? Is it a place you want to be? Is it cozy and comfortable? Do you like your bedsheets, your pillows, and your blankets?

Your bedroom should be a place you want to be and a place that is comfortable and cozy. Investing in nice linens and getting yourself some pajamas you look forward to putting on isn’t extravagant. To the contrary, it’s a way to take care of yourself and help make sleep a more relaxing and enjoyable activity.

In some ways, you have to shift your perception of sleep. If you struggle with it, you may think of sleep as a burden. Change that. Sleep is a luxury. It is a reward, and it should be something you enjoy doing.

Create a bedtime routine for yourself.

Many people assume that they should be able to plop down in bed whenever they want and fall asleep immediately. In fact, just as babies need to be rocked to sleep and young children need to have a bedtime story before they shut their eyes, adults to need a bedtime routine.

Creating a bedtime routine for yourself is easy. Basically, choose the time that you want to be in bed by and backtrack at least 20 minutes. This is the time when you should start your routine.

Your bedtime routine should include things that calm you. It shouldn’t involve any screens, so put your phone, tablet device, and computer away. Shut off the TV. If you want to play some light classical or jazz music, go ahead, but don’t make it too loud or frenetic.

Dim your lights. Spray some essential oils, or put a few diluted drops on your pillow or wrists. Finally, put on your pajamas, and take your time washing your face, brushing your teeth, and getting into bed. This should be a relaxing time, and if done correctly, you’ll drift right off as soon as your head hits the pillow.

Invest in Your Sleep Hygiene

If sleep is something you struggle with, don’t wait to fix the problem. Poor sleep is related to all sorts of health conditions — both mental and physical. Those who don’t get enough sleep each night tend to be more susceptible to illnesses and diseases, including everything from the common cold to serious heart problems, cancer, and depression.

Use the advice outlined above to help yourself sleep better. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

Categories
Sleep

Top Tips for Better, More Restful Sleep

Are you tired of feeling tired all day because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before?

Millions of Americans struggle with sleep every night. Fortunately, there are actions you can take right now, today, that can help you improve your sleep and reap the wonderful benefits that come with a good night’s rest.

Tips for Better Sleep

Give meditation a try.

Meditation is a scary word for a lot of people. Many assume that if you want to meditate, you must be a Buddhist. Similarly, many people are obsessed with “getting meditation right” and doing it perfectly.

In fact, meditation is for everyone, and it is used in many religions as well is by people who don’t consider themselves religious.

If you would like to try your hand at meditation, all you have to do is start slow.

Simply sit yourself down on the floor in a cross-legged position or on your knees. If this is uncomfortable, you can also sit on the edge of a chair. Close your eyes gently, and draw your posture up as if there is a string running from the center of your belly up through your spine, neck, and head and into the ceiling.

Take a deep breath in through your nose. The breath you take should be what’s called a diaphragmatic breath. This means that as you inhale, your stomach expands outward, filling your lungs with air. As you inhale, your shoulders should not rise.

Hold the breath in your lungs for two or three seconds, and then exhale. As you exhale, your belly should shrink in size. Complete three full breath cycles, focusing on how the breath feels as it goes into your lungs and back out again.

In fact, this is all you need to do to start meditating. Much of meditation has to do with focusing on your breath because it is the link between your physical body and your mental self. Simply doing this breathing routine can greatly improve how well you sleep each night. Later, if you would like to continue with meditation and try some guided meditations or longer sessions, you can add this to your routine as well.

Get some sunshine in your day.

Keep in mind that your body runs on a strict sleep cycle. Humans were created to be awake when the sun was up and asleep when the sun was down. In this way, our body responds deeply to sunlight. Because most of us spend the majority of our days inside, however, this can confuse thins. In essence, we often don’t see the sun long enough during the day for our bodies to know when it’s day and when it’s night.

Therefore, in order to help your body know when it’s time to fall asleep at night, get outside during the day. Making sure that you get at least an hour of outside time — preferably in the noonday sun (just be sure to wear sunscreen) — can help your body know that at that time, it’s day. Later, at the appropriate time when the sun has gone down, you’ll be more prepared for nighttime and sleep.

Create a bedtime routine for yourself.

Do you have a bedtime routine? While some people may think that bedtime routines are only for children, they can also benefit adults as well.

Your bedtime routine should be a timeframe that lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. It should be directly before the time that you want to be in bed, and it should include activities that help calm and relax you.

This will be different for everyone. For some people, a calming and relaxing bedtime routine might include a candlelit bubble bath. For others, it might mean reading a book by the light of a small lamp in a comfortable chair. Others may find that meditation helps them calm down at the end of the day. Do what works for you.

Make exercise a part of your day.

Long ago, our ancestors were extremely active during the day, and truth be told, there is little in history to suggest that they had trouble sleeping at night.

In other words, when you’re active during the day, your body is naturally tired at night, and you’ll sleep better. If exercise or general physical activity is not a current part of your day, make it one.

You don’t have to be active constantly, but even taking a walk after dinner or riding your bike in the afternoon can prompt you to make more of the hormones necessary to fall asleep when nightfall comes.

Consider taking sleep supplements.

Certain dietary supplements are associated with better sleep. Melatonin, for example, is actually a hormone that the body already produces. Melatonin regulates the sleep cycle and prepares us for each night’s shuteye.

Other useful sleep supplement ingredients include 5-HTP and magnesium. If you’re looking for some good sleep supplements to try, these are a few that we recommend:

Sound Sleep Is Worth It

No matter your age, gender, or physical abilities, sleep is important. In fact, humans cannot live without sleep. It’s essential to our existence.

As such, taking the time necessary to invest in your sleep and improve your sleep hygiene and habits is well worth it. If you struggle with sleep now, once you get a handle on this area of your life, you’ll never turn back.

Use the tips above to improve your own sleep, and we guarantee you will start to see results … overnight.