Why we need deep sleep

I was prompted by a lady at the ASN store who had trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

Everyday modern technology and lighting when it’s dark make it hard to get to sleep. Also, our sedentary lifestyles do not help one bit.

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So what is deep sleep

Deep sleep is when you move less in the bed. For some people, it may take a while to get to sleep and fall asleep.

Deep sleep is important to all of us as it helps repair muscle tissue and other things. It also helps us to recover for the next day. Deep sleep helps clear the mind for the next day’s activities. We should be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep a night. But many of us struggle with sleep.

Deep sleep is closely related to mental health. If you get a poor night’s sleep you suffer and your performance at work might drop a little bit.

The three stages to deep sleep

Phase 1 is where you slowly settle into sleep. This is where your muscles start to relax and you have light dreams.

Phase 2 is where you are in bed and are moving a little bit. Your heart rate slows down and your body temperature drops.

Phase 3 is the deep sleep part. This is where your heart rate slows down and your breathing is much more relaxed

After that, you’ll enter REM which is a deep dream-like state.

The poor sleeping effects:

  • Irritability
  • PMS for women- if we don’t sleep well a lot we can end up getting much worse PMS
  • Poor judgment
  • Not feeling your best and having tiny little accidents throughout the day.
  • We eat a lot more foods than when we should
  • We also crave and consume more caffeine to stay awake.
  • Depression

Here’s how to get deep sleep and stay asleep

  • Exercise- Exercise helps us get to sleep. We are meant to move. We need to do 150 mins of vigorous activity and 2-3 times of strength work
  • Practice gentle relaxation techniques such as yoga.
  • Have a warm bath before bed
  • Read a good book.
  • Magnesium helps us to sleep and sleep well. You can get this supplement from all pharmacies and health food stores.
  • For some people, valerian helps. You can buy valerian at all health food stores and some pharmacies.
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bed as you’ll find it hard to digest
  • Don’t have caffeine after 12pm.

Giving up coffee and how to do it slowly

We talk about giving up on coffee which has a lot of caffeine in there.

Cutting down on the amount of caffeine is a great idea. Coffee is a great source of caffeine. But some people just get too addicted to it and that’s where problems start. Office workers are prone to have more than one coffee a day including a three pm pick me up. Developing good habits say that the average person has about three coffees a day. Telegraph says that coffee is the world’s most popular drug. Once you stop you cannot give up. It’s an addiction.

For some people, coffee causes anxiety and stress.

Giving up helps with sleep and balancing hormones as well as losing weight. For women, we should try to not have as much caffeine as this will help cut down on PMS symptoms.

What happens when we give up coffee?

Erin Larosa has a lovely write up on Buzzfeed about this and its basically:

  • Sleep is much better- when we drink too much caffeine our body goes into adrenaline mode meaning that we are awake all night.
  • Skin looks much better
  • We lose some weight
  • Your blood pressure will go down as caffeine is a stimulant
  • Your teeth will look much better
  • For women, some of their PMS symptoms will go away.
  • Incontinence goes away as caffeine is a diuretic.
  • Anxiety goes, as a result, just look at Victoria’s piece in the Telegraph.

So you want to give up coffee but don’t know how?

It’s hard to give up coffee straight away so what I suggest is giving it up gradually and cutting down on it. In the first week, you can expect mood swings and irritability. Mannino tried and it was really hard. She eventually went back.

Decrease the amount of coffee by half each week and go from there.

Say if you have 4 cups a day decrease it to just two. And then gradually go from there.

Substitute coffee for other things such as tea. Stevepavlina says swap instant coffee for grain coffee which does not have as much caffeine in there. Twinings Asha tea is a great way to substitute as there is not a lot of caffeine in it.

Its hard at first as you’ll keep going back to the same old ways but it just takes time and determination.

And then, later on, you’ll be rewarded for this by better sleeping patterns and for some people, they may have lost some weight. For the women, their PMS symptoms may have gone down a notch.

 


Jordan’s Granola

Jordans Granola has been around for some time and its a favorite brand of mine.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and some people skip it because they are in a hurry,

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I got this at Woolworths for $3.50. And I love the brand. They come in a big bag. Normally museli is about $6-$12 for one carton depending on the brand.

I got this brand at Gumtree and there it was $8.

Here they are crunchy and really sweet. This brand uses real dried fruits and doesn’t have any added sugar. Add in milk and it tastes nicer! Also, add in Chia seeds for the extra crunch and fiber. You can also have it with plain yogurt.

They have about 200 mg of potassium in there to help you meet your requirements.

Do buy this brand of granola if you are looking for a healthier way to start the day. If you’re in a hurry you can take this to work. Or buy the packet for work and leave it in the kitchen.

They sell at all major supermarkets!


The Heart Health’s new guidelines

And why they are partly good for you. We explain here.

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The Heart health Foundation has some new guidelines about eating less red meat and unlimited eggs. And more dairy.

In a way, this is really good as Australians eat too much meat which is not good for the heart.

The Heart Foundation forgot to include seafood as part of a healthy diet.

They recommend limiting meat to three times a week equivalent to 350g of meat. We don’t eat a lot of meat in our household so that’s good. But for people that eat heaps of red meat at the pub that might be a great idea to switch to vegetarian meals.

Many Australians eat too much red meat and that is causing high cholesterol and heart disease. Those on low incomes should try and eat the 350g portion of meat a week and up their vegetables by visiting the markets or the food banks.

But the unlimited eggs is the bad part. If we eat too many eggs we can have high cholesterol. A carton of eggs is about $6-$7 at the supermarket. People on low incomes might not be able to have as many eggs as they want

And people with type 2 diabetes need to watch their intakes of dairy and eggs.

The dairy part of it is great as we don’t get enough dairy. But some of the milk in the supermarket are high in sugar. For some people, especially the Asian community think that dairy is fattening. But it’s not if you eat them in whole form such as low-fat Greek yogurt. It also depends on the type of dairy product that you are eating. If you eat ice cream, of course, it’s fattening.

Cheese can be expensive for those on low incomes but you can get 3 cheeses for $10 at the Vic Markets

We eat lots of vegetables though in our household. We eat about 1-2 servings for most meals. But Australia as a whole does not get enough fiber into their diets. We should be having more vegetarian meals as a whole.

It’s a good thing that sugary foods and junk foods are not included as they are high in fat and sugars.

The plate approach is still important. It should be half a plate of veggies, one-quarter of proteins such as meat, fish, plant-based proteins and the rest should be carbs. Remember that vegetables are carbs as well.

We also should be getting in our 150 mins per week of vigorous activity and they did not mention that.


Juice plus

We talk about Juice Plus and discuss some of the cons. 

Juice Plus is a Multilevel Marketing company that sells Juice diets and bloggers all over the net have been slamming them. This diet has been really popular for some time now. I was conned once into selling them, but I decided to decline the offer. I was conned on Facebook by someone from the Tribal Wellness group

In today’s modern society weight loss is everything for some people, but it does not need to be.

photo of lemon juice on bottle

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What is the Juice Plus diet?

Its just-juice replacing 2-3 meals a day. They come in capsules, smoothies and juice powders and you buy them from a distributor. Like Herbalife, they are not listed on the site.

What do they have in them?

They have soy, folic acid and lots of fruits and vegetables.

How many calories can one expect to consume over a day on it?

1000 calories. That’s way too little for anyone. We need about 1200-1500 calories a day (that is to lose a lot of weight) even more if we are really active. The average active woman needs about 2000 calories a day and a man about 2200 calories in a day.

I would be hungry if I ate just 1000 calories in a day. I tried that once before and it did me no favors. I could not sleep.

What plans do they have?

They have two-week plans and then after that, you have one cheat day. They are quite rigid with their diet.

What is the price?

It’s $315.30 (price is taken from their website)

But you can pay in monthly installments. The shakes are $70 per month.

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Why?

Because it’s not right to just have a juice diet to lose weight. You need to have food and exercise. By that, I mean real food. We should be eating plenty of vegetables and plenty of fruit as well as drinking water. There is no real education as to what a healthy meal should look like and for some people it may encourage eating disorders.

I don’t believe in rigidity in diets. I believe in eating whatever you want so long as it’s healthy. I don’t like clean eating. And you can’t go out socializing whenever you want.

And it’s expensive to follow. You may as well just eat good food and drink plenty of water for that price. The shakes are more than what I would pay for Herbalife. For Herbalife, I would pay $60 for the month.

Don’t get me wrong I like supplements but I like them even better as an addition to real food and exercise.

Too much soy and folic acid can lead to some serious health problems later on. It may lead to kidney disease and heart failures in some people.


Our August events

Here’s a roundup of what happened in August. August saw some new openings and some events. It is also the last month of winter.

International beer day

This day was really fun and I enjoyed sampling a beer at the Richmond Club hotel. The place is really close to Richmond station and the MCG that it was filled with footy punters. Here they were $7 a pint. This beer was just awesome. And then I continued it the following week with another $8 Mountain goat beer.

And at the end of the month and the start of September I went back there with a friend.

Daffodil Day

Daffodil day was on the 23rd of August where it was a really nice and sunny day to sell Daffodils! Here it was run by the Cancer Council and their volunteers do a lovely job of selling flowers and merchandise to help raise money for research.

The Opening of Ella

Ella is a new dining hall in Melbourne Central and they had a one week party to celebrate their opening. Here they gave away free food and beer. It was 200 serves of food.

The lines were long at Chilli Everest last night.

I wasn’t here for the food. I came to see the new bottle shop and they did not disappoint. I loved the chocolate flavored beer and it worked well with my chocolate brownie.

The live entertainment was really good and they have it every Friday night during happy hour

I tried the coffee from Reverie. It was really lovely

The Winter Village

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The Winter Village was on during the winter, but I didn’t have a chance to go there until August. Here you can have lovely intimate parties so long as you book an igloo. The pizzas are $20-$30 and they are a cashless system. You have to buy your pizza online on this website that they post throughout the venue. I had the truffle pizza and it was amazing.

Also, their partners are Furphy beer and the beer is $10 per cup. The wine is from St Hubers.

You can go ice skating but I never got a chance.

They are on until the 29th of September


Tinker Tailor soldier spy.

We watched this movie on Netflix with a $10 a month subscription.

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This movie is set after the cold war and the themes of the movie can relate to everyday work life and personal life. We have to put up with moles and people that lie just to get their way!

The movie stars Colin Firth and Gary Oldman as George Smiley! Benedict Cumberbatch did really well playing Peter Guillam who works for George and is torn between the two sides.

The movie is set in 1973 where after the war going on between Russia and London. The movie featured Budapest. It started in Budapest where Jim Prideaux was going to meet a Hungarian official when he was shot. It was presumed that he was dead until the middle of the movie. When Control knew this he fell ill and died shortly afterward.

From there the climax went up and the mystery intensified until the very end. There were a few fights and confrontations.

The movie was dark and dramatic and I had to watch it a few times just to understand it. Colin Firth did great playing the mole (Bill Haydon). Viewers did not believe that he was the mole until the very end.

The movie was around Control and Jim Prideaux and how his life was in danger. The Circus where Control and others met was very secretive and things are not always what they seem.

In the end, though Bill Haydon was shot as a result of his actions.

So how to put up with the moles in your workplace

First, don’t be too trusting of anyone unless you really know them. Second of all if you suspect that they are the mole, collect evidence and then report them to higher up.

And second of all don’t lie to people because people will always find out the truth. And when they find out the truth is when marriages break down and you could be fired from work.


Twinings Asha Tea

We review another substitute for coffee!

This tea is good for those that are giving up on coffee.

We try the Kenyan flavoured one which is meant to be for morning!

Here it is energetic and has caffeine in it. And it made me pee a few times.

Like other Twinings tea this one is really strong at first!

They come in individual sachets for a pack of 18.

You brew this in warm water for five minutes!

Do buy this if you want to quit coffee!


Lenny and Larry’s The complete cookie range

We talk about this cookie range

This range is awesome. Here they have about eight flavors. One cookie is 400 calories but we can easily eat that as a runner. As a runner, I love cookies as much as I do protein.

At Fitness first, they sell them and members buy these to enjoy after a workout.

For one cookie it is 32g of protein. A cookie has about 24g of sugar but that sugar is the cultured dextrose which is a kind of sugar. And they have cane sugar in there.

I tried almost all the flavors and I love the cinnamon xmas flavor.

Its good as an occasional treat after a long run but I wouldn’t have this brand every day as the sugar kills. And I’d only have this after a workout at the gym.

The coconut one with the chocolate chips tasted really weird. It was really sweet and artificial. But I like the one that is white chocolate in flavor.

The peanut butter one was quite good too.

The white chocolate one sold out in minutes at my gym! That’s how good they are!

The birthday cake was all candy like! It really popped in the mouth!

The chocolate chip one was just fine and very chocolatey

Do buy the cookies at Fitness First and at other health food stores!


Share the Dignity

We talk about Share the Dignity which is an amazing women’s charity.

Share the Dignity is a women’s charity which provides much-needed women’s support for things like sanitary pads and tampons. No woman should ever have to go without.

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What is this charity?

This is a women’s charity which started a few years back and is going strong. They help vulnerable women such as the homeless or people that have gone through abuse and domestic violence.

The motto is: “Because we care!”

They believe that no woman should ever have to miss school or work just because they can’t afford pads. Nor should they have to choose between eating and buying pads.

Currently there about 110,000 people that are homeless in Australia, some of them women. When you are homeless you cannot afford these pads and tampons. Hence this is why you should donate any pads and tampons to this awesome charity

Women can seek emergency help when they need.

Share the dignity has partnered with Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse to provide some donation boxes and you can find them at the front of the store. They are also at RMIT too!

They have dignity drives throughout the year where you can drop your pads and tampons off. At RMIT there are lots of needy females so this was a great idea. At RMIT they have free pads in the women’s lounge.

Your generosity can help women in Australia who do not earn enough money. These pads and tampons that you donate get collected and taken to the many charity organizations such as the Salvos.

I donated some tampons that I didn’t use as they were taking up space in my cupboard. It felt great donating them to those that need it. But others bought theirs and donated it this way. A pack of pads and tampons cost around $5-$9 each depending on the brand you buy. That’s a cost of about one coffee and cake!

Ways to help this lovely organization

Do donate your unwanted sanitary pads and tampons to this worthy cause. You can also donate money.

They also need volunteers too for all states. You can apply here to volunteer.

Coming up will be their Christmas drive where you can drop off a bag of goodies for those that are doing it tough. There will be collection points around the city and suburbs and there will be more on that later.