Meal Replacements :A Diet Solution?

nutri meal

I came across an article about How Good Are Meal replacements in order to loose weight. I am honest with you to admit I am a meal replacement user.
I will not mention exactly the product I am using but I have believed on its effectiveness. I am quoting this line from their site :

” The main focus behind any meal replacement shake is supplying enough calories that a person requires and using hunger blocking ingredients so that you do not keep rushing for unhealthy cookies. However, as millions of people struggle with overweight and keep searching for the best meal shakes, the fitness industry niche has attracted a lot of interest with new products being designed and getting released to the market.” (meal shake)

Another blog has this contents:

Meal replacements are being used more and more these days due to our busy and rushed lifestyles. But are they good for use in a weight loss program or do they just make things worse?

Think about the number one reasons why people are overweight nowadays. Overweight people fall into one of two different categories.

Either they have an unhealthy lifestyle – working long hours, eating out all the time, not getting enough exercise. Or they simply eat too much, often in a compulsive way.

This type of eating – eating when one isn’t hungry, for example, or eating for emotional reasons rather than physical hunger – is really a type of addiction. It should be understood as an addiction, and it often is.

For example, the group Over eaters Anonymous functions on many of the same principles as AA or other twelve-step programs. Excessive eating is treated like an addiction because that’s exactly what it is.

But if that’s the case, it’s easy to see why this addiction might be harder to treat than some others. The way to deal with an addiction is to stay away from the behavior that’s out of control – alcoholics can’t touch alcohol, for example. The idea is to not do it at all until the addiction becomes a thing of the past. In fact, for many addicts, they can never indulge in their addictive behavior again, not even once.

With food addiction, though, that’s obviously impossible. People have to eat – there’s no getting away from it. That’s why food addiction, though it’s an addiction to a non-lethal substance, may be the hardest of all to deal with. And that’s also why companies such as Slim-fast, who produce and market meal replacements for people to use while dieting to lose weight, actually do succeed in helping some people.

The idea behind meal replacements is that you don’t really eat at all for a good part of the day. Instead, you have a special shake or other product that gives you all the nutrients you need and stops you from feeling hungry. This works in two ways: first, it controls the calories you take in because the meal replacements are quite low calorie. Second, it breaks the cycle of addictive behavior because you’re not really eating.

You can get away from the behavior much as an alcoholic can (and must) get away from alcohol. That gives you a better chance of breaking the addictive process.

Though most meal replacement plans do recommend that you eat one ‘normal’ meal per day, some people who are serious about losing weight don’t do even that. That’s precisely how Oprah Winfrey once lost a lot of weight – about fifty pounds. She said that she found it easier not to eat at all (subsisting on meal replacement shakes and bars) than to control her eating.

When you know that you won’t be eating ‘real food’ at all for a while, it takes the guesswork out of it. Everything becomes very straightforward, and it’s a fact that many people have lost weight using this method of weight loss.

There are drawbacks, though. For one thing, while a weight loss program is supposed to teach you about how to eat for the rest of your life – to establish healthy habits, in other words – using meal replacements clearly doesn’t do so. Once you go back to eating real food, you might find that your problems with controlling your food intake are still there. Though you will have lost weight, you are more likely to gain it back if you haven’t learned healthy eating habits.

Also, there’s a danger that some people will keep on using the meal replacements for extended periods of time, just because it’s easier and more convenient. Though they’re redesigned to give you a minimum level of calories and nutrition, meal replacement bars cannot substitute for real food over an extended period.

However, if you know or suspect that your problem with food resembles an addiction or compulsion, it may be worth your while to think about using meal replacements for a while in order to lose some weight. Try to make the time you spend using them as productive as possible, though. Really come to terms with your past behavior, and learn what it feels like to be full but not stuffed. Figuring out the answer to these and other aspects of healthy eating will help make your weight loss permanent.

Source

Advertisements

A case of Addiction: The Whitney Houston’s Story

banner Houston

The iconic singer’s life story is an eye-opening reminder of how addiction can affect the life of anyone — and our need to improve how we treat it.
Addiction can happen to anyone
There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that any person, Houston or otherwise, would turn to destructive behavior. This path can begin very early in life.

A prominent study on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), concluded that those who experienced abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), neglect (physical, emotional), or household dysfunction (mental illness, domestic abuse, substance abuse, incarceration, divorce) as a child faced higher likelihood for smoking, alcohol, and drug use. They’re even likelier to be overweight or chronically late for work.

A person can determine their proclivity toward these destructive behaviors by learning his or her ACE score, which is calculated through tallying the different forms of childhood trauma he or she experienced.

If she ever took the test, Houston may have had a high ACE score.

According to Janelle Westfall, clinical director at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona, a child who endures traumatic events like those experienced by Houston is at “a much higher risk” for developing substance abuse and health issues later in life.

The traumatic experiences endured by Houston as a child are discussed at length in “Whitney.”

Despite the image of the idyllic family they projected once Houston became famous, the family’s household was dysfunctional. Houston’s parents, John and Cissy, engaged in marital infidelities, which ultimately led to their divorce. Houston was bullied in a predominantly African-American school due to the light color of her skin.

And in a bombshell revelation, a source in the documentary revealed that a relative sexually abused Houston as a child. She was left in the care of this predator as her mother, Cissy, traveled frequently to pursue her career as a singer.

There’s also a genetic component to addiction.

Studies have estimated that genetics may account for up to 60 percent of an individual’s vulnerability to addiction. This explains why some people can use a drug and never try it again, while others develop a serious dependency.

“If [an individual has] a genetic predisposition to addiction, then that can be very dangerous, and that experimentation can turn into an addiction rather quickly,” confirmed Westfall. Therefore, it’s important to discuss a family history of addiction with doctors from an early age.

houston 1

A third factor is an individual’s peer group.

According to the experts at Devereux Arizona, if those surrounding an individual are using a substance, they are likelier to experiment.

As seen in “Whitney,” Houston grew up in a middle-class home in East Orange, New Jersey that was surrounded by drug culture. Her brother Michael admitted to enabling her drug use.

“If anything was gonna be done, I was gonna be the one to show it to her,” he said in the documentary. Her brother’s friend, Keith Kelly, claimed he was the first to give Houston drugs — marijuana and cocaine — on her 16th birthday.

Fame can complicate addiction
Adulthood and fame didn’t help Houston escape this environment. On the contrary, Houston was surrounded by enablers who procured her drugs and normalized dangerous behavior.

These “yes men” can present significant hurdles between a public figure and treatment, said Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, the owner of Benton Behavioral Health Consulting and author of “Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic.”

“The curse of fame is often that there’s a lack of leverage within the family or entourage to lead a celebrity towards treatment,” Benton said. “Celebrities such as Whitney often surround themselves with people who are related to them or paid and who benefit from enabling them. If an employee put pressure on them to seek help, they could risk losing their job.”

Benton added, “There are also pressures that famous individuals such as Whitney may face which can be the perfect storm for addictive and mental health issues: unlimited money and access to drugs, sycophants, career pressure, grueling schedules and a party-oriented lifestyle — for some.”

For many, including those who aren’t celebrities or dependent on substances, drugs and alcohol are common ways to deal with life’s stressors as a form of self-medication.

“In our society we use… drugs and alcohol to cope with sometimes just everyday things,” said Yvette Jackson, LMSW, DBH, assistant executive director at Devereux Arizona. Jackson cited a drink after a hard week at work as a classic example of this behavior.

However, “when that glass of wine becomes a bottle, and then that bottle becomes two bottles,” the body can become used to the substances, and the dosage must be increased in order to feel the same effects.

But not all drugs are bad. When prescribed by a doctor, for example, “opiates can help provide you that calmness and that helps relieve your anxiety,” Westfall added. “So, there’s good side effects from the use of drugs. The problem is and that they have to use more and more and more as time goes on.” And those suffering from a mental illness, like depression or bipolar disorder, are more likely to abuse drugs.

They “are very drawn to the use of medication because they’re trying to make themselves feel better,” Westfall said.

Finding healthy alternative coping mechanisms is key
Jackson and Westfall agreed that drugs and alcohol are not long-term solutions for stress, because they can lead to dependence or overdose.

Instead, these experts recommend finding alternative coping mechanisms. Therapy can be a key resource, as well as “replacement behaviors” like mindfulness training, yoga, and basic exercise, which can help an individual destress and “get the endorphins going,” Westfall said.

Overall, society can also take steps to reduce the stigma around mental health. One of these would be the integration of mental health into primary care.

“Mental health is healthcare,” stressed Jackson. “There’s no physical health without good mental health.” It’s a maxim worth remembering as the United States grapples with an opioid crisis, which is also a mental health crisis.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness.

Minority groups are at greater risk
In addition to genetics, a person’s race, sexual orientation, and gender can all factor into the level of stress they experience. African-Americans and those in the LGBT community experience chronic stress at higher rates due to discrimination and perceived discrimination, reports the American Psychological Association. Stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including diabetes, mental disorders, and substance abuse.

Despite her success, Houston’s race did not make her life any easier. From the beginning of her career, Houston, who is black, was carefully marketed to a white audience with an image that glossed over her racial identity. As a result, she became the first black woman to top the pop charts. But this marketing had consequences. In 1989, Houston was booed at the Soul Train Awards, an act that had a life-changing impact on her self-esteem.

Houston’s struggles may also be rooted in the stigma surrounding her rumored sexuality. The singer never identified as queer in her lifetime. But in “Whitney,” the singer was described as “fluid” by her musical associate Rickey Minor, indicating an attraction to both men and women. The 1980s and early 90s saw the height of the AIDS crisis. It wasn’t an accepting time to be queer in the United States. An out female singer risked being publicly and commercially rejected.

The film also showed that, even today, members of Houston’s family weren’t accepting of LGBTQ people. Gary Houston, Whitney Houston’s brother, described Robyn Crawford — Houston’s friend, assistant, and rumored lover — as “wicked.”

Family acceptance is a key part of good mental health and an important safety net, said Jackson, and “this was something that didn’t appear to be there” for Houston.

Moreover, whatever their relationship may have been, Crawford was a lifeline to Houston, and her forced departure from Houston’s team left the singer vulnerable, attested Bobby Brown, Houston’s husband of 14 years, in an interview with “Us Weekly” in 2016.

“I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today,” Brown said. “She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.”

Diagnosis is essential
It’s unknown if Houston was diagnosed with a mental health disorder — and all three of the health experts that spoke with Healthline cited a policy of not diagnosing individuals who they hadn’t treated personally.

But during her lifetime, warning signs of Houston’s troubles were on display for the world to see: her near-skeletal appearance at the Michael Jackson tribute in 2001; her admission of drug use to Diane Sawyer in a shockingly frank interview in 2002; her legendary voice reduced to a rasp by the 2009/10 “Nothing But Love Tour.”

Benton recalled the 2005 Bravo reality show “Being Bobby Brown” — which showcased Houston, her then-husband Brown, and her daughter Bobbi Kristina — as being a major red flag.

“I remember being shocked at seeing a hardened Whitney sleeping on the couch late into the day and appearing out of it,” Benton said. “It was concerning that Whitney and Bobby were shamelessly exposing their daughter to a partying lifestyle as well as to their impairment on drugs and alcohol.”

However, Houston is no outlier as an entertainer struggling with drugs and alcohol. Recently, Demi Lovato overdosed on heroin and is currently recovering after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder several years beforehand.

There’s a crisis in the music industry, which is enabled by “a culture of greed that views musicians, actors, etc. as commodities and paychecks,” Benton said. This is a culture that needs to change.

“Agents and managers will often cover up and protect the celebrity from exposure and prevent getting treatment for selfish reasons instead of putting their employer’s well-being first,” Benton said. “I’d suggest that the industry culture needs to change so those closest to the celebrity have a process and leverage to get them help for whatever mental health, addiction, or medical condition they’re suffering from — without fear of losing their job. This should be viewed as an act of love and caring.”

Additionally, society’s overall attitude toward drug use and mental illness often perpetuate a culture of shame, making treatment even more difficult for those who need it.

This is magnified many times over when the person is a celebrity.

The larger legacy of an icon
Houston, through her music and life, gave love to countless people. Ultimately, her tragic end can also offer lessons to the world.

“Whitney’s story is a cautionary tale. She was a brilliant artist with the potential for lifelong success. However, fame and fortune don’t equate to happiness. Therefore, I hope that her fans can prioritize their wellness in life above success,” Benton concluded. “Additionally, I have read that Whitney never felt she could be herself on terms of the image that managers wanted her to portray. Let this to be a lesson that we must find and live our truth or we may lose ourselves in what others expect of us.”

For anyone with symptoms or a diagnosis of mental illness, the National Institute of Mental Health has compiled a list of helpful resources.

Suicide prevention
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
•  Call 911 or your local emergency number.
•  Stay with the person until help arrives.
•  Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
•  Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline.

 

Source

How To Make Your Kids Love Veggies

 

veggies for kids

As some of you moms have surely witnessed, kids more often eat when they’re hungry and stop eating when they’re full. In other words, children are naturally following their internal cues so parents should try not to undo this healthy intake by encouraging kids to eat past the point of fullness.

Teaching children to stay tuned into their own hunger and fullness indicators allows them to have a comfortable relationship with food and avoid overeating as they grow older.

But in this world of aggressive junk food marketing, it can prove difficult to keep kids on the path of wellness, much less convince them that a plate full of fresh, colorful vegetables can be as tasty as a bowl of sugary cereal.

This is where we parents need to get inventive. After all, the habits our children develop at a young age are the ones they’re likely to carry with them into the rest of their lives.

Reinvent the Wheel
I love encouraging kids to look at vegetables differently. One of the fastest and most creative ways to do this is by asking kids to assist you in making pizza—with veggie toppers, of course! You can even do a grain swap and use a head of cauliflower to make the base and create a veggie full pizza crust that you and your kids can then top with whatever you’d like (thinly sliced eggplant on mine, please).

Another way to get kids to view vegetables in a new light is to make pasta veggies.

in pasta

You can either spiralize a zucchini with a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler or bake a spaghetti squash and top a mound of the spaghetti-like strands with marinara sauce, meatballs, and Parmesan.

Remember to never deceive kids with these recipes. Provide full disclosure (during or after eating) that they are made with vegetables so that kids learn to appreciate their diversity and flavor while never feeling like they’re being tricked.

plate2

Play With Your Food
We all enjoy being able to pick and choose what ingredients we want in our salads and then adding dressing and toppings as if we were at our favorite frozen yogurt shop. So why not bring that same experience home with fresh, colorful veggies chopped up and placed in serving bowls?

Add a healthy salad dressing or two (along with some nutritious toppings that are fun to sprinkle) and you’ve got a new way to make family dinnertime a lot more playful, not to mention healthy. Plus, kids often enjoy helping to set up this homemade salad bar before partaking in it.

celery boats

Kids can also use different vegetables to create fun objects like celery boats. Fill celery stalks with low-fat cream cheese and top with red pepper “sails.” They can also cut veggies into strips and other shapes and then use them to design faces or artwork on whole-wheat mini pitas topped with nut butter, light cream cheese, or ranch dressing.

Habits Of Well-Groomed Men

“Ordinary things done consistently produce extraordinary results.” These wise words belong to seasoned entrepreneur Keith Cunningham, but their essence extends far beyond the world of business. For example, regular sit-ups reap washboard stomachs – not a monthly burnout at the gym. Similarly, small (and possibly tedious) chunks of daily revision will earn you a distinction. Cramming through the night on a diet of Pro Plus and Red Bull will not.

The same is true for a man’s appearance: a one-off investment in a super expensive moisturiser or a bi-monthly overhaul won’t affect your appearance as much as taking care of the small details on a regular basis. And with that, we unpack the ten habits of a perfectly groomed man.


2. Enter a LTR   (Long Time Relationship) with your barber.
This is one of the most important relationships a well-groomed man can have. When you click with a stylist, make a (silent, non-verbal) commitment to them. On a logistical level, that means pre-booking appointments every couple of weeks rather than waiting until your hair has reached maximum fluff and then cheating on them with a random barber.
And, just as in any functional relationship, let communication be open and consistent. The more a stylist or barber understands you, the more they will be able to mould your look to reflect your personality.

3. Seek out a signature scent (but don’t overspray it)
In an ideal world, you will become synonymous with a single scent – something unique that will instantly remind others of how you make them feel. Avoid the commercial concoctions that line department store shelves and go in search of the cult classics or niche brands that are less well-known. The endless testing will pay off when you find your true nom de perfume. Just don’t asphyxiate everyone with it.

4. Manage your facial hair
Attractive beards don’t just happen by accident. Even though your follicles have been left to their own devices, that doesn’t mean they’re exempt from a regular tidy. If you can house stray canapés in your moustache, it’s definitely time to give it a trim. Invest in a hardwearing trimmer like the Braun Beard Trimmer, which has 25 different length settings and will allow you to contour your style with precision. If you have a voluminous chin-strap, you might also want to think about conditioning it with a beard oil.


5. Exfoliate twice a week
An overlooked but critical component in any successful grooming routine, exfoliants yield immediate results by sloughing off dead cells and revealing a fresh, new layer of skin. Rather than scrub your skin with a “mechanical’” product containing microbeads, invest in a chemical exfoliant that will dissolve debris by way of natural acids.

6. Tame your feet
It’s little use making sure that your face is well groomed when you still have hooves for feet or discoloured talons for nails. These are the details your bed partner will notice (as will everyone in the street if you’re flagrantly airing your feet in sandals this summer). In summary, tend to corns and overgrown nails at home or, better yet, employ a professional to give you a pedicure with industrial strength power tools.

7. Groom in your sleep
Granted, your looks aren’t exactly a top priority when you’re sleeping but, as you snooze, your skin is considerably more receptive to reparative or “active” ingredients. This is largely because your body isn’t busy fighting off environmental aggressors during the small hours and will default into repair mode.


8. Manscape
Manscaping is a thing now. Deal with it. If you plan on taming fuzz below the neckline, do so with restraint. A little trim here and there is good manners but shaving or waxing everything off when you haven’t been a regular at the gym may make you look like a baby porpoise.
If, however, your pecs and abs are hiding underneath a wolverine sweater, then by all means get those pesky follicles removed with a dedicated product.

9. Sunscreen is not just for sunny days
Most guys only crack open a bottle of sunscreen when they hit the beach. But the fact is, we’re exposed to UV rays all the time – even in winter. And there is no quicker way to speed up the passage of time than by leaving your skin unprotected.
Start thinking about sunscreen as an anti-ageing product rather than seasonal protection. A minimum application of SPF 15 every day will be far more effective than any age reversal concoction on the market. Read our guide to find the safest and most effective sunscreens on the market

10. Learn how to shave properly
It’s a sorry state of affairs when a grown man can’t shave his own beard correctly. Most guys learn to shave through trial and error and inevitably pick up bad habits (shaving against the grain, using too much resistance) or do their skin unnecessary damage. Get a wet shave from a barber every once in a while and pick up some personalised tips along the way. This means asking questions, which they will be happy to answer. Larger cities may have barbershops with shaving schools. Alternatively, you can read guides to the perfect shave.

Doctors Hangout

Ways To Feel Happier

meditate-2

 

Meditate
It might be an incredibly frustrating past-time to master, but the benefits make it worth sticking with. In research published in Depression and Anxiety, results showed the efficacy of meditative therapies in reducing anxiety symptoms.

Slipping into a meditative state can also light up the area of your noggin that controls complex thoughts and positive emotions. Some meditation can also build mental muscle in the brain’s other hubs for compassion, empathy and fear, allowing you greater mastery over your emotions and helping you feel closer to others. Om-en to that.

altruitic-2

Be altruistic
Yep, this is meant to be about you getting happier but it turns out, giving to others makes you feel great as well. Research finds that acts of kindness, especially spontaneous, out-of-the ordinary ones, can boost happiness in the person doing the good deed. Why? Among other things (like promoting the idea of “paying if forward”), being kind promotes connection and community with others, which is one of the strongest factors in increasing happiness.

driving

Shorten your travel time 
Ah the long drive home. Just what you need, eh? Whether in your car or on public transport, it sucks big time. Studies show that moving closer to work – 20 minutes away is ideal – is linked to greater happiness as more of your spare time is yours to enjoy. Not for the T2 lanes to swallow whole.

sweat-out-2

Get your sweat on.
But not for too long. In the greatest study there ever was, it turns out that even 7 minutes of exercise is beneficial for mood. Thanks Gretchen Reynolds and the New York Times for this gem! And in this study on exercise, yoga and depression found that getting sweaty demonstrated therapeutic effectiveness comparable with established depression and anxiety treatments. So workout regularly not just for the waist line but just as importantly, the mind as well.

texting-out

Get outside!
You don’t have to be a serial cycler, hiker or exercise-junkie to get the benefits of this one: just getting back to nature is important for sustained happiness. In a study by the David Suzuki Foundation , it was confirmed that a daily dose of nature boosts happiness and wellbeing.

In other research, 10,000 Canadians and over 250 workplaces participated in the David Suzuki Foundation’s Nature Challenge. The national program challenged participants to commit to getting out into nature for 30 minutes a day for 30 consecutive days. The results? “We found that participants almost doubled their time spent outside during the month and reduced their screen time by about 4.5 hours per week,” said Trent University Researcher, Dr Elizabeth Nisbet. “They reported significant increases in their sense of well-being, feeling more vitality and energy, while feelings of stress, negativity, and sleep disturbances were all reduced.”

more-sleep

Get more sleep
Constantly yawning from lack of sleep? There’s a load of research to support the theory that lack of sleep hampers your happiness. As noted by the Woolcock Institute, insomnia symptoms extend into the daytime, affecting mood, concentration, memory and work performance. If that’s not enough to make you glum, we don’t know what is. Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night, and if you’re having reaching this modest number, consult your GP.

 

not-happy-single

Source

 

The Video That Shows How Male-to-Female Sex Reassignment Surgery

The physical transition from male to female is a long one, but a new video shows in detail how male-to-female sex reassignment surgery actually works.

The animated video, uploaded to Vimeo by the European Association of Urology, lays out the process of removing a person’s penis and testicles and forming a vagina. And it. Is. Fascinating. Watch it below:

Uniklinikum Tübingen: Sex-Reassignment: Male to Female Surgery 2009 from Azraels-Art on Vimeo.

Strategies for Managing the Day After a Bad Night’s Sleep

sleep management of day

Most everybody has experienced at least a night or two of poor sleep. And many millions of us do so on a regular basis. A bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling anxious about making it through the next day. Will we have the energy, the focus, and the emotional wherewithal to do so? Is it even possible to have a good day after a bad night?

Yes, it is. I’ve frequently been surprised by people reporting okay days after seriously sleepless nights. In large part, this is a testament to the human capacity for resilience. But it’s also a direct result of using sensible strategies to manage the day after.

1. Adjust your attitude. Begin by accepting and even forgiving last night’s sleeplessness and today’s sleepiness. Judging yourself about poor sleep will only further sap your energy. Can you think of a time when you or someone you know did all right despite little sleep? Stay open to that possibility. Let family, friends, or coworkers know you had a rough night and ask for their support.

2. Go with the flow… and slow with the ebb. Like all living things, humans are biologically programmed to ebb and flow through cycles of energy and rest throughout the day. Our energy levels will naturally fluctuate even after a good night’s sleep. And, of course, these fluctuations will be more pronounced after a challenging night. Use energy when it flows and let yourself slow and rest when it ebbs. Resisting or actively battling waves of tiredness will only squander more of the limited energy we have. When we yield to our need for rest, we’ll likely experience a refreshing buoyancy.

3. Plan to procrastinate. When our energy is compromised, it makes sense to minimize any and all non-essential activity. Get clear on your objectives for the day and let yourself put off until tomorrow anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be done today. Yes… this is a day when procrastination can actually be helpful. As Ellen DeGeneres once said, “Procrastinate now — don’t put it off!”

4. Get creative. Ebbing energy does not necessarily mean you’ll be drawn to sleep — it’s simply an invitation to rest. In rest we become less focused and attentive. We loosen our rational hold on the mind, allowing it to meander, get dreamy, and be more creative. When feasible, engage in activities that call for creativity. Highly creative individuals such as Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali actually facilitated their creativity by intentionally depriving themselves of sleep.

5. Follow your usual routine. Get up and out of bed at your typical rising time and set your sights on adhering to a normal schedule. Prepare for your day as you usually do, get some gentle exercise, and have regular, healthful and light meals. A cup or two of green tea might be helpful. It has only one-fifth the caffeine of a cup of brewed coffee and also contains L-theanine, a naturally soothing compound. And make sure to stay hydrated.

6. Light up your day. Get exposed to bright light for about 30 minutes as soon as possible after rising. Morning light energizes us and improves our mood by boosting serotonin levels. It also resets our circadian clock, contributing to better sleep in the future. Even on a cloudy day, it’s significantly brighter outdoors than in a well-lit room. If you can’t get out, brighten your indoor space as much as possible by allowing light through windows and turning on electric lights.

7. Avoid ups and downs. Try to stay away from energy spikes caused by excessive caffeine, energy drinks, or sugary foods. Although consuming these might temporarily increase our energy, doing so inevitably triggers a rebound of sleepiness. Unless it’s essential, try to avoid going down for a nap. Napping will likely draw you into deeper stages of sleep, leaving you with sleep “drunkenness” and potentially disrupting your circadian rhythms. And avoid using alcohol to slow down before bed. It can interfere with the quality of our sleep and dreams.

8. Breathe briskly. If you need to boost your energy and alertness at any point during the day, consider using a stimulating yogic breathing technique known as the Bellows Breath. With your mouth closed, inhale and exhale rapidly through the nose with very short in-and-out breaths of equal duration. Imagine your belly is a bellows pumping one to three full breaths per second. Limit this practice to rounds of 15 seconds to begin with and gradually increase it by 5-second increments to a maximum of one minute. (Check with your physician prior to using the Bellows Breath if you have any health concerns.)

9. Be extra careful. Maybe it goes without saying that certain precautions are in order. It’s now common knowledge that even minimal sleep loss can impact our physical and mental abilities. Even during periods of energy flow, our reaction time and judgment are compromised by poor sleep. Exercise due caution in all matters that require careful attention, especially driving and operating machinery.

10. Finishing your day. Take time to wind down and relax in the evening. Eat a light dinner and stick to your regular bedtime. Of course, your chances of sleeping better the night after are improved because absence does, indeed, make the heart grow fonder. Let this heightened awareness of sleep’s value strengthen your resolve about systematically doing all you can to heal your sleep. Promise yourself that you will make healthy sleep a priority.

Credit: Huffington post