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better sleep naturally - bedre søvn naturlig

13 Tips for better sleep naturally

I don’t know about you, but I love to sleep. However, if I have to be honest, some nights are better than others. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to get better sleep more often. See what these 13 tips for sleep better naturally can do for your shut-eye:

  1. Eat a banana
    Believe it or not, bananas are a great natural source of the sleep hormone melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan. Both will help induce a good night’s sleep.
  2. Avoid the night-time jitters
    Stay away from sugary food or drink, alcohol, coffee and tea before bedtime to reduce any late night jitters. Remember, caffeine stays in your system often up to six hours.
  3. Unplug to unwind
    How many of us are guilty of screen-time before bed-time? The artificial light emanating from our screens (TV, pc, smartphones, etc.) act as a stimulant and suppress melatonin. Get off and stay off your electronic devices at least an hour or two before bedtime.
  4. Enjoy a bit of the bubbly (bubble bath that is)
    There is nothing more relaxing that taking an evening soak in a warm bath, and if you can turn the lights down low, it’s even better. This will prepare both your mind and body for sleeping better naturally.
  5. Keep cool
    After a warm bath, try getting into a cool bed. Turning up the heat and piling on the blankets at night can actually keep you awake. On the other hand, keeping things on the cool side will drop your temperature which in turn signals your body to produce more of that wanted melatonin.
  6. Make a sleep routine
    There is something to be said about predictability. Establishing a bedtime routine can actually help your body prepare for sleep. The routine could be as simple as turning off the lights in the house, washing your face, brushing your teeth, and then putting on your pj’s before you climb into bed. Just as long as you make it a routine, you can help lull your body to sleep.
  7. Keep yourself in the dark
    Having your bedroom really dark can help your body produce sleep hormones. You can invest in some blackout shades or curtains, or even get yourself a good eye mask.
  8. Lullabye lavender
    Diffusing or even just dabbing on some lavender essential oil on your pillow has been shown to induce relaxation and many claim to have longer, better sleep. Not a fan of lavender? There are other essential oils, such as cedarwood, that does the trick for many. We use essential oils from doTerra. Read more here and click here if you want to buy oils for the lowest price or contact us if you have any questions.
  9. Stick to a schedule
    Program your body to sleep better by getting up at the same time every day and going to sleep at the same time everyday. This way your body is conditioned to feel more alert when you’re ready to wake up, and more sleepy when you’re ready to hit the hay.
  10. Meditate
    Unwinding your mind is as important as unwinding your body after a long, hectic day. Achieving some kind of meditative state can relax the mind and body, slow your heart rate, and facilitate deep breathing – all helpful in inducing good sleep.
  11. Keep a journal by your bedside
    Sometimes it is hard to mentally and emotionally clock out. Writing every evening in a journal helps your mind to put the day (and you) to rest.
  12. Exercise (you knew this was coming)
    Working out relieves stress, muscle tension, and can make you downright tired. It is best, however, to make sure you hit the gym at least four hours before you hit the sack as your adrenaline levels can potentially make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  13. Use your bedroom for what it was meant for
    To spell it out, sleep and intimacy are what your bedroom is designed for. Keep your work and TV watching for other rooms in the house.

We urge you to try out these 13 tips for sleep better naturally. And since it contains no synthetics, your body will for sure thank you.

prevent the flu naturally

8 Tried and True Methods to Prevent the Flu Naturally

Many are skeptical to getting the flu shot (rightfully so) and would rather avoid the flu, or at least lessen the symptoms and longevity of the flu, by boosting their immune system. There are numerous natural ways to do this, but we are going to focus on 8 tried and true methods that you can easily implement into your lives to prevent the flu naturally.

Some of these suggestions might seem like no-brainers, but many of us need to be reminded of what our mothers always said (I know I do). I submit that following these tried and true methods will not only help us prevent the flu naturally, but will build a foundation for overall good health.

  1. Wash your hands regularly
    Hopefully we all do this after using “the facilities”, but how many of us put our hands to our face throughout the day without thinking about it. At the very least, wash your hands before you eat, and for at least 15 seconds. Boring to count seconds? Sing the Alphabet song (preferably in your head) and by the time you get to “…next time won’t you sing with me”, you’ll be done.
  2. Vitamin D
    Not just for bones anymore, Vitamin D has been shown to impact the immune system. I advocate getting this as safe sun exposure when possible, but with today’s indoor lifestyle, especially in the winter season, taking a quality Vitamin D supplement is a must.
  3. Exercise
    I know. I know. It seems like exercise is a component of every healthy to-do list out there, but it’s not without reason. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health and keep healthy throughout the flu season. If exercise isn’t something you do regularly, start small. Taking a walk in the great outdoors will do wonders for your body and your mood. And you can catch a few Vitamin D rays at the same time!
  4. Sleep
    Surviving on little sleep and trying to catch up with a Sunday nap won’t cut it. You need good quality sleep every night to keep your immune system strong. Have a hard time winding down after a long day? Avoid screen time on the TV, computer, and smartphone a couple of hours before bedtime. The light emitted from these screens prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
  5. Relax
    How often have we gotten sick right around the time of that big presentation, meeting, or (dare I say it) the holidays? These can all be stressful situations, and stress is a major contributor to our health issues. What is your “chill pill” – taking a hot bath, yoga, reading a good book, knitting, shooting some hoops, lunch with the girls? What ever gives you peace and joy, prioritize it and even mark it in your calendar. Don’t try and “fit” it in your schedule because chances are you will find other things to do.
  6. Eat Food
    And by food, I mean the real stuff, as nature intended (or at least a close resemblance). I strive to eat organic whenever I can and always keep an eye out for special deals (yes, eating right can cost more). Look for foods that are minimally processed and that don’t contain a long list of unpronounceable words. And remember, just because it is advertized with healthy buzz- words, doesn’t necessarily make it is healthy choice, so read those labels.
  7. Avoid sugar
    I know this is a tough one for a lot of people. We love anything sweet. Even our mother’s milk is on the sweet side. But sugar is a culprit in many of our health issues and it also weakens our immune system. Unfortunately, our food is laden with sugars, especially refined white sugar and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Try and avoid these sugars at all costs and opt for natural choices (not artificial sugars) like fresh fruit, stevia, raw honey, and even then, in moderation.
  8. Whole food supplements
    It is very difficult to get everything we need from our food. This was the basis for the vitamin revolution. But not all multivitamins are created equal. Some contain synthetics, unrecognizable as food to our bodies and are virtually indigestible.These are often the cheap, over the counter types. Many “super vitamins”, even natural ones, contain too much of a good thing. We don’t necessarily need 200% of a certain nutrient, especially if that nutrient is stored in our organs and not flushed out of our systems. This can actually make us ill. Getting a good whole food supplement that gives you what you need, in the right proportions, that our bodies recognize as food, will not only boost your immune system, but is foundational for your overall health and wellbeing.

Following these 8 methods for boosting our immune system will go a long way in preventing the flu naturally this cold and flu season, but even more than that, it has the added benefit of building a foundation to ward off serious health issues that could creep up in your future.

There are also immune boosting elements in nature that can kick us on the right direction. For instance, check out these two articles:

sleep and weight loss - søvn og vekttap

Studies show strong link between sleep and weight loss. So sleep more, lose weight!

Sleep is one of my most favorite past-times and one that I don’t indulge in as much as I want, and I’m certainly not alone in this, but maybe it’s time to take another crack at prioritizing “proper” sleep as a way to shed a few unwanted pounds.

I know you are thinking of the of the obvious reasons that a good night’s sleep can potentially help you lose weight. No sleep leads to no energy, which leads to no workout, which leads to the doldrums and a king sized Snickers bar, so let’s all get enough rest, right? Why this may be true, there are other biochemical reasons.

Getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep is what most people need in order to rejuvenate. And while swigging down a triple latte and donut may artificially give you a boost of energy, your body isn’t fooled. When you don’t get enough sleep, there are three very important reactions that occur.

  1. The first is that your body makes too much of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin’s job is to let our brain know when it is time to eat. This is a good hormone to have when everything is functionally properly. However, lack of sleep triggers the production of more ghrelin, resulting in more cravings.
  1. While inadequate sleep increases ghrelin on the one hand, it also has the consequence of decreasing the hormone leptin on the other. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain when you’ve had enough. When leptin levels are low, your brain doesn’t get the message.
  1. Although the combination of too much ghrelin and too little leptin can have an undesirable effect on our waistline, this is compounded by a third hormone imbalance, cortisol. Too little sleep triggers higher levels of this stress hormone and signals your body to conserve energy. Basically, your body goes into survival mode and holds on to stored fat to be used for energy later.

Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though they ate the same amount of calories. They felt hungrier and less full after meals, and they had very little energy.

According to University of Chicago researchers, lack of sleep makes you “metabolically groggy,”. Within just 4 days of insufficient sleep, your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone needed to change sugar, starches, and other food into energy, goes down drastically. Insulin sensitivity went down by more than 30% which is very bad news. When your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, your body has trouble processing fats from your bloodstream, so it ends up storing them as fat.

So if you change to getting enough sleep, your body can get better control of the metabolism and you can lose weight more effectively.

If you are like me, you WANT to sleep more, but there are a million-and-one reasons why you don’t. Some of us bring our work home with us and work late into the night. Some of us are busy parents and just don’t get everything done until the kids are off to bed. Some of us just plain ol’ have trouble sleeping. Check out our article 13 tips for better sleep naturally to give you a kick start in the right direction. It isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Your belly will thank you for it :-).