How to Battle Spring Allergies Naturally

Springtime is most certainly a time of rebirth, but with that renewed natural beauty comes all the common allergies that leave our heads stuffy and our eyes itchy. Before that last thaw happens, follow these tricks to battling those spring allergies so you can truly smell
the roses and actually enjoy them!

Apple cider vinegar with the mother. Apple cider vinegar with the mother refers to the colony of beneficial bacteria that creates vinegar through a secondary process of fermentation. It helps break up the mucus in your body so you can breathe again. My favorite way to consume it is with hot water, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dollop of raw honey. Give it a try.

Go for the pro. Probiotics that is. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy is another way to support your immune system and stop those pesky allergies from making you sneeze. Foods like sauerkraut and kimchi naturally contain them, and kombucha is a great drink to soak in the probiotic properties.

Use a nasal irrigation tool. Some people swear by it while others are afraid to try it out, but nasal irrigation can bring you intense relief. A standard way to make this happen is through use of a Neti pot or a bulb syringe. It’s useful for relieving hay fever symptoms,
but if you’re going to try it, make sure you do it right!

Hot steamy showers. Steam up the bathroom with the hottest water your shower can emit, then hop on in. It helps clear out your sinuses and also enables you to rinse away the pollen that has landed on you while you’ve been outdoors. Word to the wise though: hot water is incredibly drying for your skin so be sure to moisturize as soon as you towel off.

Use essential oils. In particular, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender and peppermint essential oils are revered for allergy relief and anti-inflammatory properties. Just add a few drops to your diffuser and put it in your room or office. You can also massage some onto your chest to breathe in the reinvigorating fragrance all day long.

Spice things up. Choose spicier foods to clear things up. You can eat foods with spicy peppers or onions and garlic, or combine pungent with spice for amazing results. These all thin out the mucus in your body.

Allergy season will soon pass by quickly, but if you suffer from allergy symptoms, it will feel like a much longer time until summer. Take care of your allergies with these easy tips to feel your best this spring!

Ways to Know Whether or Not that You’re Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue

There are many glands throughout your body that respond to different things. Of those glands, you may have heard of the adrenal glands which are for responding to stress. You know, the old “fight or flight” is all about your adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands send out hormones in our bodies to enact our flight or fight response, whichever one we care to choose in a given situation.

However, because stress in today’s world is much different than the stresses of our ancestors, we have something called chronic stress that lingers about for periods of time from months to years. It could be work, marriage, kids, and the fate of the world riding upon your shoulders but whatever it is, it’s causing you ongoing stress that never quits.

So what are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue? Some symptoms could include:

Fatigue that doesn’t go away even after adequate sleep, trouble falling asleep as well as waking up, excessive cravings for salt and sugar, weight loss without trying, dizzy spells, skin discoloration, rashes, or inflammation, allergies that you didn’t have before, and lack of focus.

But like many conditions, these symptoms are very vague. How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue? That’s the tricky part. There are no medical screenings to determine it as of yet. Your doctor can look for a condition called adrenal insufficiency which is a bit similar. The best course of action is to visit your doctor and make a few changes to your lifestyle to see if that makes a positive impact.

Start by eating better. Swap out processed foods for whole foods and ditch the sugars. Start incorporating supplements like fish oil, probiotics, and other vitamins that you might not be getting currently. For example, many people are magnesium deficient, and that can cause a slew of problems. Take steps to reduce your stress, and you should begin feeling better. Whatever you do, listen to your body. You know you and if you don’t feel like yourself, you should make sure you get checked out to eliminate the possibility that it’s something more serious.

My Tips for Getting Better Sleep

Everyone wants a restful, uninterrupted nights sleep.  There are few things in the world that bring the joy of waking up knowing the last night’s sleep has prepared you to conquer the day.

Here are my  tips on how to get a better nights sleep!

  1. Get in a Routine:  Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day.  Your body’s clock will get in the routine of knowing when is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up, making it much easier to fall asleep at night and get up in the morning.
  2. Get off the Couch:  By regularly exercising, your body will benefit more from the sleep you get each night.  Exercise will also increase time spent in deep REM sleep, which is the most important part of the sleep cycle.
  3. Clean Up Your Diet:  By avoiding alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and large meals before bed, your body will thank you with a more restful sleep.  It will help you fall asleep faster and have a more regular sleep cycle.
  4. Meditate Before Bed:  By clearing your head of the distractions of everyday life, your body will be more at ease when you go to sleep.  Take a moment to yourself and focus on nothing.  It will relax you and prepare you for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
  5. Sleep in the Right Environment:  Make your bedroom a place of rest.  That means eliminating anything that makes unnecessary sounds, having a bed that fits your needs, whether it be firm or soft, and keeping your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  6. Avoid Long Naps:  Extended naps during the day can seriously mess with your sleep schedule.  Cap your nap at 15-20 minutes.  Those short power naps will energize you without causing you to still feel awake at bedtime.
  7. Kick Out the Pets:  When you let your bed sleep in your bed, you invite all kinds of obstacles to a good nights sleep.  You could react to pet allergies or have to deal with their movement throughout the night.
  8. Late Night Drinks:  Enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk before bed.  Both of these contribute to either the production of or releasing of serotonin or melatonin, both crucial factors when falling asleep and staying asleep.

In order to get the most out of your sleep, you need to make it a priority.  When you make sleep your priority, you will end up feeling more refreshed throughout the day and will be more productive overall.  Here are just a few things you can do to make sleep a priority.

  • Take the time to look at how you sleep.  Is your bedroom a dark, safe, relaxing place?   Are your mattress and pillows comfortable?  Do they give you enough support?  If you find yourself saying “no” to any of these questions, it may be time to reevaluate your sleep environment.  On average, a mattress should be replaced every seven years and pillows should be replaced every year.
  • Look around your bedroom.  What distractors are there that keep you from getting the sleep you need?  Take out anything work related, especially things that create stress.  You should also avoid using your smartphone, laptop, tablet or television for at least an hour before bed as well.  The backlight in those objects lead to the release of chemicals that tell your body it is daytime, making it significantly harder to fall asleep.
  • Make sure that if you are going to drink caffeine, you don’t do it later in the day.  I try not to have any caffeine after lunch to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact my sleep.
  • While many think it’s no big deal to have a couple alcoholic drinks in the evening, alcohol can actually have a huge negative impact on the quality of sleep.
  • Take shorter naps!  It has been shown that taking 20-30 minute naps during the day can seriously increase your work productivity and alertness without disrupting your sleep schedule in any serious way.  So close that office door and kick back for a few minutes every afternoon!

There are many more ways to help improve sleep quality, but these are some of the most important.  If you are serious about improving sleeping habits, do more research to find out other ways you could be getting better, more effective sleep!

 

References

http://www.bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/sleep-tips/

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-tips-to-get-better-sleep

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/how-to-sleep-better.htm