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August 2018

How to Avoid Snoring While Sleeping

According to a recent survey, 45% of the world’s population would have snored at least once-in-while during their lifetime; whereas, 20% of this crowd turn into chronic snorers after sometime. By definition, snoring is a health issue caused by the throat muscles. It shows that the individual has obstructed breathing patterns. In most cases, snoring can be cured through simple lifestyle changes, usage of nasal strips and healthy oral appliances. With all this being said, how will you avoid snoring in the long run? Here in this short write up, you will come across few natural yet effective tips to avoid snoring.

First, Sleep On Your Side: The list of snoring remedies begins with “Sleep on your Side”. Mayo Clinic believes that sleeping on any one of your sides will reduce the risks and chances of snoring. On the other hand, lying upside down will force your tongue to fall backwards. This will obstruct the flow of air through your throat and increase the likelihood of snoring. A narrow airway has high chances of snoring. Conversely, you should stop or at least avoid sleeping on your back. And, American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) believes that by stitching a tennis ball to your pajamas back will prevent you from resting on your back.

Second, A Perfect Diet: Secondly, you should engage in a wise routine change. Being overweight will definitely increase the chances of snoring. This is because bulky throat muscles will undeniably vibrate when you breathe. According to modern science, bulky muscles can block your throat’s airway and trigger faster vibrations. By reducing just 10 pounds, you will see a massive difference in your sleep pattern. This is a declarative statement devoured by the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). If you are used to food items with excess fat, try to cut them down from your dietary routine. Also, consume plenty of fiber and water to maintain a clean throat!

Third, Stay Away From Alcohol: Thirdly, stay away from alcohol. A recent study declared that 99.2% of those who consume alcohol before sleep hours tend to snore extensively. Likewise, 97% of habitual drinkers are ardent snorers. Alcohol is an amazing sedate that relaxes throat muscles and tissues. Relaxed throat muscles can obstruct the flow of air effortlessly. As a result, you are more likely to snore. Regardless of whether you are an ardent drinker or not, try to avoid alcohol at least five hours before hitting the bed.

Fourth, Singing: Do you know that singing can reduce the chances of snoring? When you sing, the upper throat and soft palate will become extremely strong. Consequently, you will have better muscle control. Mayo Clinic stated that 20 habitual snorers witnessed prominent changes in their snoring patterns by singing for just 20 minutes every day.

Fifth, Ultimate Bottom Line: On the whole, snoring is not a deadly disease. Simple changes in your day to day life will help you prevent snoring in the long run. From diet to sleep hours to lifestyle changes, there are several ways by which you can avoid snoring.

Is Back Pain Hereditary?

There are many characteristics that follow down from generation to generation but could back pain be one of them? Could it be that just like hair and eye colour, the chances of developing certain forms of back pain may be inherited?

Quite possibly.

Many medical professionals have long had suspicions that genetics play a role in the development of back pain and various studies have shown that persistent back pain often runs in families.

When evaluating the cause of possible inherited back pain, it’s important to take into account that we get many of our emotional and physical traits from our parents. Many of these dispositions, physical forms and personality traits are trickled down through the genes and enhanced by the lifestyle choices we make. In other words, being aware of our family’s medical history may be significant in discovering any increased risks of developing back pain. Early diagnoses and accurate treatment play a major role in the successful cure of many spine conditions. It is therefore important to know of any major back problems experienced by our immediate relatives so that we can be aware of any potential risk to ourselves.

Those of us with a family history of back pain can lower our risk by properly looking after our spines, maintaining a healthy weight and undertaking regular exercise.

One puzzling aspect of low back pain is the perception of pain between patients. For example, some people suffering from a herniated disc may report severe or even unbearable pain while others may experience no discomfort at all. With the growing number of studies suggesting that pain susceptibility or pain tolerance is inherited, it may be that some families have a higher awareness of pain than others.

Similar lifestyle choices between family members also must be taken account. Obesity within a family or how a family tend to “carry” their weight is one example. An overweight or obese person who carries their weight around their abdomen will experience additional stress on the lower back. As the extra weight is not evenly distributed, the weight at the front of the body can result in an abnormal curve in the lower spine.

It must also be considered that people who are overweight or obese perhaps may not undertake regular exercise. A reduced amount of physical activity can contribute to poor muscle tone and muscles weakness. Untrained or reconditioned muscles do not have the optimum level of strain resistance to combat the risk of back pain.

Poor lifestyle choices such as being overweight can also aggravate almost all types of existing back pain.

Here are some simple tips to reduce your risk of developing back pain

1. Implement regular exercise into your lifestyle. Swimming and walking are great ways to strengthen the muscles in your back.

2. Make an effort to maintain a good posture. Avoid slouching and hunching and take breaks from sitting every 30 minutes.

3. Quit smoking. It has been suggested that smoking hinders the blood supply to the discs in your spine which could lead to disc degeneration.

4: Maintain a healthy weight and a varied diet.

5: Invest in a mattress that is correct for you. A good bed specialist will be able to provide you with bespoke advice.

Strategies to Avoid Negative Effects of Prolonged Sitting at Work

I started working in an office 5 years ago, and during the past two years I have started to suffer a few consequences of bad habits that can were formed while sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day.

The reality is that a large amount of people work office jobs these days, and a lot of them do not correlate their type of work with their health condition. It is hard to change the way society works and avoid working office jobs altogether, as we often don’t have that choice. However, we do have the choice of making a few adjustment at work that will allow us to prevent illnesses and health issues caused by sitting at your job for long hours each day.

In my case, I exercise very regularity, and always have made a decent effort to eat healthy. However the past two years a few health issues have started to manifest, and it took some digging to find out the root causes. I started to develop a lot of gastrointestinal problems, and inability to breathe properly. I had to make a conscious effort to intake enough oxygen, as I often felt as if I was choking.

I also noticed that I started to hunch over when I walked and even after doing yoga I had a hard time standing straight without effort. My spine started to feel weak, and I experienced a lot of back pain.

When I visited a chiropractor, I discovered that a bad posture when sitting at my desk, plus not breathing properly had compressed some vertebrae in my spine, and had shifted my stomach in a way that impeded proper emptying into the small intestine. A series of chiropractic sessions and dietary adjustment made a lot of improvement, and now I make a conscious effort to breathe deeply throughout the day and to have a correct posture while sitting at my desk, so that the problem does not come back.

A very well researched article by Dr. Mercola discusses part of the controversy about the negative effects of sitting for prolonged hours and whether or not standing at your desk is better that sitting. The article also mentions several studies that point at a variety of negative health effects that can result from sitting more than 7 hours a day.

I won’t discuss the details of those studies, but I will share with you the most important piece of information.

The bottom line as the article suggests is that the overall lack of movement might be the most detrimental issue for health, whether it is from standing or sitting; that said, it is important to mention that when you stand at your desk you are likely to get a lot more movement that when sitting, and I can attest to that because I tried standing at my desk for a while, and I did naturally move a lot more; I took some steps to reach things, I moved from leg to leg, and I changed my posture several times while standing, which increases the amount of overall movement in a day. I also felt more alert and less tired during the day. Standing is also a weight bearing posture which is beneficial for musculature and bone density.

Nevertheless, while standing might have less disadvantages that sitting, I agree with Dr. James Levine author of the book Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It in that the emphasis should be on increasing movement of the body throughout the day rather than on simply switching from sitting to standing.

That said, if you decide to try standing at your desk I strongly recommend that you position your screen, and keyboard at the right level to avoid developing issues, as a bad standing posture can be as harming as a sitting posture.

As someone who works a full time office job, but who is also committed to improve my health and prevent future health issues, for the past year I have tried several strategies in order to reduce sitting time, and more importantly to increase the amount of movement of my body on any given day at the office, which has also helped me in my weight loss efforts.

Today I want to share with you some of the strategies I have implemented, and that have made a big difference in improving and relieving neck and back pain, indigestion, muscle soreness, and general energy levels.

1. Change positions several times throughout the day. For this, I Set a timer on my phone or computer to go off every 25 minutes, because it is very easy to get carried away with work, and before you know it 2 hours have gone by.

Dr. Mercola recommends to not sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. This might be a big compromise for a lot of people, depending on where you work. If you are lucky and have your own private office like me, this will be feasible if you are determined. I change positions every 25 minutes most of the time, and move for 2 minutes every time.

If you share office space or have a time of job where it is impossible to stand every 20 minutes, don’t worry! The point is to increase movement in general, so you will still benefit from changing positions in longer intervals.

How changing positions looks like? When your alarm goes off, stand up, walk around your own office, walk to the printer, walk to the water dispenser, walk around the hallway, do stretches, squats, walk in place, and roll your wrists, your ankles, do some standing yoga poses, anything that moves your body will benefit you.

If you are not able to stand up and move around, you can practice extending your legs while seated, do the rolling of the wrists, ankles, stretch your neck, etc.

You can also try sitting on an exercise ball and switch between that and your regular chair, like I do.

Trust me, I understand this is challenging in today’s world, but if you are serious about your health and understand that you are your first priority, you will make it happen!

2. Take deep breaths throughout the day. Breathe into your diaphragm, expand your chest, and ribcage to ensure adequate oxygen intake. This can also help you improve your posture, because it is hard to breathe deeply when you are slouching at your chair. Breathing deeply will also force you to keep your back straight.

3. Take a walk during your lunch break and/or coffee breaks. Your breaks are the best opportunity to get more movement in. Make a conscious effort to go out for a walk instead of staying in your office to read news or sitting in the lunch room. This is also extremely beneficial to give your brain a break, sometimes we come back with a much clearer mind and new ideas on how to solve problems.

Even if you walk only 20 minutes a day every day you work, and you work about 20 days a week like most people, you will put in 400 minutes of walking every month! That is 6.6 hours! That your body will thank you for.

Don’t underestimate the power of walking. It is a great weight-bearing exercise that the body was built to do!

4. Mindful Eating

Usually, People who work office jobs, myself included, have much more opportunities to eat throughout the day, than say, constructions workers, and yet us office workers move a lot less and therefore require less energy. You see the problem?

Food is comforting when we are stressed out, and even entertaining when we are bored, but eating under those circumstances can potentially lead us towards making bad eating choices or eating more than needed.

We must be aware of our emotional state before reaching for a snack. It takes awareness of your body to know how you feel and understanding your choices. However, as a rule of thumb it is better not to eat when you are under stress. Take a few minutes to calm down and ask your body: what will really nourish me right now? Sometimes a few deep breaths or a walk are much more relieving in the long term than food.

Recognizing when we are bored is important to avoid eating out of boredom. This happened to me a lot, when work started to be a bit daunting, I used to go to the nearest bakery as a way of having some distraction, and I would buy a pastry even though I wasn’t really craving it. Eventually, I noticed some weight gain after a few trips to the bakery!

Now I recognize when I am bored, or tired and I pay attention to my choices. I try to read an article instead or just go for the walk, pass by the bakery but don’t stop by. Usually after a walk I will have a better idea whether I am hungry or not.

Bottom line: Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored, stressed or tired.

5. Proper Posture. Whether you sit or stand at your desk, ensuring that you have the correct posture will prevent a lot of pain and discomfort. There are several resources on the internet that you can use as a guide.

Some suggestions to always keep in mind are: Avoid slouching, sitting cross legged, cradling the phone, and shrugging your shoulders.

Remember that when it comes to avoiding health problems from working at a desk, the key is to improve posture, and increase movement throughout the day.