Posts tagged #sleep

10 Ways to Reduce Total Body Inflammation

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Inflammation is one of our biggest risk indicators for developing disease. Whether it’s in the gut causing poor digestion, in the brain causing diseases like Alzheimer's and Dementia, or throughout the body. Inflammation is the body’s response to the environment and its toxins and infections to prevent us from getting sick.

The strongest marker to measure for total body inflammation is high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). This protein reflects the presence of inflammation in your body. We all make this protein, which at normal levels helps fight off infection. Research has shown that hs-CRP levels have been associated with risk for developing cardiovascular disease, where levels below 1 mg/L are associated with the lowest risk, levels between 1 and 3 mg/L are at average risk and levels above 3 mg/L are associated with highest risk. However, there is more to the story. Recent studies have shown that low grade inflammation is also associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Multiple factors can exacerbate inflammation including stress, poor diet, physical inactivity and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Below is a list of ways you can reduce your stress1.

  1. Cut the sweets- sugar increases inflammation and is the fuel source for many chronic diseases. Reducing intake will not only help lower your CRP levels, but decrease your risk for diseases. 

  2. Eat a well-balanced diet- eating a diet rich in omega-3 source (like fatty fish and grass fed beef) can decrease inflammation since this healthy fat has anti-inflammatory properties.Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K) can also lower your body's inflammation.

  3. Get a good night’s rest- good quality sleep is beneficial in many aspects of our health. It can improve productivity, decrease risk of weight gain and chronic disease, improve your immune function and lower risk of depression. Another very important function sleep has is lowering CRP levels. 

  4. Get moving- exercising has shown to lower inflammation levels and decrease risk of all morbidity diseases. In addition, it can increase mood, energy and overall health.

  5. Increase your probiotic intake- research has shown that consistent intake of probiotics (naturally sourced or supplements) can reduce inflammation and decrease CRP levels2. Good sources of probiotics include kefir, kombucha, yogurt and other fermented products. 

  6. Be positive and mindful- being positive and distancing yourself from negative relationships can decrease the inflammation present around the body. Practicing mindfulness through meditation and being present has also shown a decrease in inflammation by slowing down and decreasing stress. 

  7. Try becoming a tai chi or yogi master!- slower, relaxing activities also have a role on stress and inflammation reduction. By practicing these unwinding moves, you can also dig into self-reflection, more mindfulness, muscle strength and toning. 

  8. Get adequate B vitamins- although there are many B vitamins, they all play an important role in the body and in reducing inflammation. The most dominant one being the B vitamins involved in the methylation pathway3. When deficient in these vitamins, homocysteine levels can increase, which is associated with higher CRP levels. 

  9. Decrease alcohol consumption- lowering intake of alcohol has been associated with lower levels of CRP. When consumed in limited amounts, red wine consumption can actually lower inflammation as well. This is due to the antioxidant properties in the wine. 

  10. Grab a cup of coffee- Good news right?! Coffee, along with green tea, have been associated with lower CRP levels due to their polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds.


    At Thrive Nutrition we offer different types of lab testing, including a cardiometabolic test, which measures hs-CRP levels. Good news, you don't have to be a client to take us up on this opportunity. Just go to our website to read more and purchase the lab test you are interested in. We work with the most comprehensive and detail-oriented labs to get you the clearest results!

Posted on September 14, 2018 and filed under Food.

6 Habits That Keep You Restless Throughout the Night

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Most people already know that consistently accomplishing good sleep every night will have a direct impact on the way you feel throughout the day. You’ll more than likely feel the effects of a sub-par sleep come the next day with feelings of sluggishness, perhaps tired eyes, or generally noting that you’re not as happy and running at less than full capacity.

The long-term effects of continually sleeping less and getting poor sleep can cause you to suffer from some quite serious health problems if you aren’t careful.

If you, like many others, know how vital good sleep is, and you’re still not hitting the snooze levels you’d like to every night, then there could well be some underlying issues preventing this from happening.

In today’s modern world, we see lots of habits and distractions for day-to-day living and indeed sleep too, which is why we’ve put together a list of some common bad habits people have in their lives that keep you restless throughout the night. Take a look and see if any are in your life and think about changing it up so that you can get the all-important top-quality kip!
 

1.     Tuck the tech away before bed

Yes, we’re sorry to have to break it to you, although you most probably already knew about the fact that technology and restful nights do not play well together.

It’s very common for people to have TVs in their bedrooms as well as other rooms in the house. And then there are the tablets, laptops and mobile phones that join you in bed too! this really is not the place for all your tech to be.

Screens attached to these devices, including TVs, emit a blue light which prevents your sleep hormones from doing their job. Instead of feeling sleepy when you go to bed, you before stimulated by what you’re staring at and the subsequent light too.

Therefore, shut the door on your smart devices and let the bedroom be your very own sanctuary for sleep.

 

2.     Eat at the right time

If you’re a late eater, then you could well find yourself struggling to drift off. This is because your stomach acids are beavering away as they try to digest what you’ve just eaten, and they can also make their way up into your throat.

Give yourself a meal no less than two hours before you head off to that glorious bed of yours and allow it to digest properly. And roughly an hour before bed, drink a glass of water as this will help to prevent hunger pangs. This is a subject that The Sleep-Advisor discuss this quite a lot, among other sleep-related topics.  

 

3.     Leave that snooze button alone

When you go to bed, set your alarm and then place it out of arm’s reach. This will prevent the classic manoeuvre of playing cat and mouse with reality by constantly hitting the snooze button!

This is also a good time to let you know that if you have to keep your phone in your room to use as an alarm clock, then get an app that mutes all the notifications that could unsettle your night’s sleep.

Don’t be tempted to look at the time if you happen to wake up either, or you could end up staying awake for far longer than you want.

 

4.     Kill off the coffee and cigarettes

Coffee and energy drinks that contain caffeine, along with cigarettes and even e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine are stimulants. If you have these types of things before bed, even as much as three hours before you slide under the sheets, it can cause difficulty when you want to get to sleep. 

Surprisingly, a study showed that e-liquid labeled as nicotine-free for e-cigarettes contained nicotine! In the 35 samples labeled 0 mg/mL, nicotine was detected in 91.4% of the samples. Six samples from 2 manufacturers labeled as 0 mg/mL were found to contain nicotine in amounts ranging from 5.7 to 23.9 mg/mL. Why such labeling inaccuracies? Perhaps these companies want to keep you hooked on their products! If you're thinking about quitting, check your health insurance to see if they offer free tobacco cessation programs.

The state of Minnesota also offers a free tobacco cessation service called QUITPLAN.  QUITPLAN is available to anyone who wants to quit tobacco and offers a wide array of tools for eligible Minnesotans. You can sign up for the QUITPLAN Helpline for a complete phone-counseling program or choose individual services in addition to free nicotine replacement therapies like gum, patch or lozenges.

 

5.     Alcohol is a culprit too!

We know what you’re thinking, and it might seem like we’re picking on the things you enjoy doing, but despite the fact that you may wake up and think you had a terrific night’s sleep after drinking alcohol, the truth is that you didn’t and you never will.

You can have a few drinks and then once it’s being digested, the body kicks into metabolising mode. This period brings about a stage of arousal and consequently interrupts your sleep. Sorry guys, no beer before bed!

 

6.     Are you being consistent?

Routine is a big part of avoiding restlessness. If you have a second job one night a week, or you stay out late in the week for an event, you’ll notice that it can throw you off for a couple of days.

Sticking to a routine is what humans love and benefit from. Don’t let that film you were watching keep you up, and simply make sure you’ve done what you need to before you start to wind down and eventually slip off to bed. Keep your sleep cycles the same and you will find restful sleep, continually.

By Guest Writer Sarah Cummings

 

Posted on August 31, 2018 and filed under Sleep.