This is a much debated topic.  Various research articles have
propounded theories that gauge the exact amount of sleep required by a
person and how to find out if he is getting enough sleep. The amount
of shut eye necessary can vary from person to person.  Not only does
the quantity of seep count, but so does the quality.  The experts are
in full agreement that the number of hours of sleep required varies
from person to person, but they also agree that there is no minimum
number of hours of sleep for optimum health.  Some people remain
healthy while getting a mere six hours, while still others can not
function without eight consecutive hours.  To remain in good health
you need to progress through the five phases of sleep.

To feel fully rested your brain needs to go through the full cycle of
the five phases of sleep.  Enough time should be spent in each of the
phases so that your brain can rest completely.  Any interruptions in
these phases will lead to feelings of fatigue.  There are times when
the common alarm clock and your body’s internal clock simply are not
on the same schedule.  This can be the issue when you are chronically
not getting enough sleep.  Cases like this can happen to people who
work at night or the overseas traveler who experiences “jet lag” or
“jet daze”.  This lack of synchronization can leave you unable to
enjoy your vacation or unable to make the sale!  Dr. Judith Reichman’s
book – “Slow Your Clock Down:  The Complete Guide to a Healthy,
Younger You” is a great read on this subject.

There are several other conditions that can lead to your sleep cycle
being interrupted.  Three of the biggest are: sleep apnea, periodic
limb movement, and chronic pain and disease.  The signs of sleep apnea
are snoring, gasping, and pauses in your breathing that cause you to
wake.  Sleep apnea can be caused by many things like allergies,
enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and being overweight.  Periodic limb
movement is a common affliction of adults.  One of these type of
ailments is Restless Leg Syndrome.  The constant, unexpected jerking
of your arms or legs can wake you.  Maybe not completely, but enough
to interrupt your sleep cycle.  Pain and chronic diseases such as
arthritis, osteoporosis, congestive heart failure, and even too much
medication can hamper or interrupt the cycle and lead to fatigue and
sleep disorders. Continue reading ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?

Flattening Your Abs after Childbirth

Being a new mother is not an easy job. Besides being on call 24×7 for
the baby, your self-image takes a beating as you look at yourself in
the mirror- the svelte pre-pregnancy figure has disappeared and worse,
its showing no signs of returning! Do not fret and do not be too hard
on yourself. Flattening your abdomen after childbirth and getting back
your flat tummy will take dedication and regular exercise but this
should always be done in consultation with your doctor or midwife. It
is even more important to do this if you have had a Caesarian.

Your abdominal muscles get split down the middle during pregnancy and
it is important that they have completely healed before you start on
an exercise regimen. According to doctors weak stomach muscles lead to
poor posture which, in turn, is responsible for lower back pain,
sciatica, joint pain and inflammation. So, flattening your abdomen
after childbirth is not only essential for looking good but is
important for your overall health. Continue reading Flattening Your Abs after Childbirth

Hot Peppers for Reducing Appetite

The active heat source in all hot peppers is the potent compound
capsacin.  It is also the active compound that makes pepper spray
such an effective weapon.  If you enjoy torturing your tongue you can
try the jalapeno or habenero.  Another case altogether is the Bhut
Jolokia.  It has been certified as the world’s hottest pepper by the
Guinness Book of World Records.  Just in case oral torture is not
your thing, there are the many-fold health benefits of the hot pepper to
consider.  Either way, hot peppers should be part of your healthy diet
and lifestyle.

For many centuries people have used hot peppers as powerful
medicinal aids.  They are used to stimulate digestion, reduce appetite,
increase circulation, pain relief, suppress the common cold, and to
open clogged airways in the nose and lungs.  That is not a bad set of
benefits, but it is just the start.  The health benefits continue on to
include lowering cholesterol, reducing blood clotting and treating the
symptoms of chronic fatigue, asthma, and infections.

Some of the most incredible benefits of hot peppers is for reducing
appetite.  The type of hot pepper may not matter, although some
people claim that red (cayenne) peppers work the best.  The capsacin
is actually the relevant compound for reducing your appetite with hot
peppers.  Capsacin increases blood flow to the intestines and
increases the muscular contractions of the intestinal walls (peristalsis).
It also seems to block the sensory information from the intestine to the
brain. Continue reading Hot Peppers for Reducing Appetite