Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Home Remedies for Snoring

Snoring can be a serious health issue, disrupting normal sleeping patterns and disturbing partners as they try to sleep through the noise. Snoring affects more than 90 million adults and their partners. One British survey found that if your spouse snores, by your 50th wedding anniversary you'll have lost about 4 years' worth of sleep.

Besides just feeling tired all the time, people who don't get enough sleep can develop memory and mood problems; they're even at a greater risk of car accidents. Moderate snorers include people who snore every night, but perhaps only when on their backs or only for part of the night. Heavy snorers should see a doctor to make sure they don't have a serious sleeping disorder called sleep apnea.

For light or moderate snorers, here are home remedies that can help you—and your partner—sleep better.

Tennis ball
If you snore mostly when on your back, put a tennis ball in a shirt pocket cut from an old T-shirt and sew it to the mid-back of your tight pyjama top. The discomfort forces you to roll over and sleep on your side, without waking you up.

Extra pillows
Try propping your head up with an extra pillow to stop snoring. This opens your airway more, which prevents the back of the throat from collapsing and causing snoring. You can also raise the head of your bed by putting a couple of bricks under the legs of your bed, for example.

If a cold or congestion is behind your snoring, one way to unstuff your nose is to run a humidifier in your bedroom at night. This encourages your sinuses to drain, shrinking nasal mucous and improving airflow to reduce snoring. Smearing some Vicks VapoRub on your chest at night will help open your nasal passages too, easing your snoring.

Nasal strips
If you snore but don't have underlying sinus problems or coughing, you can relieve some of the snoring by wearing an OTC nasal strip, such as Breathe Right. These adhesive strips pull open the nasal passages so they're less narrow, giving you better airflow.

Mouth guard
A mandibular advancement device, also known as an oral appliance, is shaped like a mouth guard for you to wear at night. It helps keep the lower jaw pushed out, widening the airway and reducing snoring. Studies show it is 90% effective at reducing noise from snoring. Your dentist can fit you for one. For a less expensive option, you can buy an OTC device called a snore guard. You boil it and then fit it into your mouth to create an impression of your teeth and dental structure. The goal is the same: to bring your lower jaw forward a bit to make the back of your throat less crowded.

When to call a doctor
In general, the louder and more frequent you snore, the more likely it is related to a medical problem such as sleep apnea. If home remedies haven't helped your snoring, or if you have snoring and chronic stuffiness, or snoring and heartburn, see a doctor.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A woman's guide to age-proofing health!

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers have said that to age-proof her health, a woman must set health goals for every stage of life. "So take note of all of these tips — even the ones directed toward women older or younger than you," said Therese Bevers.

Your 20s: Avoid tanning and HPV
Say goodbye to tanning salons because they significantly ups a woman's odds of getting melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer), according to research.

Reduce exposure to HPV
The human papilloma virus – the most common among young women in their late teens and early 20s. Limit the number of sexual partners, consistently practice protected sex and get the HPV vaccine if you are younger than age 26.

Your 30s: Add weights and relaxation time
Most women begin to lose muscle mass after age 30 and exercising prevents muscle loss, build bone density and also increases the rate at which the body burns calories.

Relax more. Curb stress by doing breathing exercises and other relaxation-type activities.

Your 40s: Stick to a healthy diet and exercise
With age, a woman's metabolism goes down, so she becomes more prone to putting on weight. Making healthy food choices and staying active every day can help jumpstart the body's metabolism and keep off unwanted pounds.

Your 50s: Seek healthy hormone options
Taking hormones can increase a woman's chances of developing uterine cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, blood clots and stroke. So consult your doctor to know about healthier options to manage menopausal symptoms.

Your 60s and older: Stay socially active
For many, living alone can lead to loneliness and depression, which can harm a person's overall health so get involved in communities. Bevers encourages women who are retired and lack social interaction to find volunteer opportunities in their communities and get involved. It'll keep them active, engaged and sociable.

Get annual check ups done too.
"Whether you're in your 20s, 40s or 60s, yearly check-ups are a must. With the help of your doctor, you can create a personalized health plan to help you stay healthy for many years to come," Bevers said.



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Friday, April 1, 2011

Why going 'veg' is good for you

Experts tell you why going veg is a good idea, even if it's just once a week

- Detoxifies: A veggie diet contains dietary fibre (bottle gourd, pumpkins, spinach, cabbages), which flushes toxins out of the body. A diet containing only eggs, fish and mutton is a poor source of fibre.

- Stronger bones: Gorging on meat can lead to protein overload. This can tax our kidneys, interfere with the absorption of calcium and prompt the body to extract existing calcium from the bones. Such calcium excretion is rare amongst vegetarians.

- Carb deficiencies: A non-vegetarian diet is a poor source of carbohydrates. Carb-deficiency can lead to ketosis – a condition where the body starts breaking down fat (instead of carbs) as a source of energy.

- Easy digestion: Complex carbohydrates in vegetarian foods are digested gradually providing a steady source of glucose. Conversely, meats rich in fat and proteins are difficult to digest.

- Healthy skin: Eating beetroot, tomato, pumpkin and bitter gourd can clear off blemishes. And guava, apples, pears and peaches, eaten along with their peel, promise a glowing complexion.

- Weight management: Avoiding meat is the simplest way to reduce fat intake. Instead, eating whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and fruits, lowers cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and obesity.

- Easy on the teeth: Our molars are more suitable for grinding grains and vegetables than tearing flesh. Digestion begins with the saliva, which can only digest complex carbohydrates present in plant foods.

- Phyto nutrients: Diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, stroke and bone loss are partially preventable with a good intake of phytonurtients. As these are present only in vegetarian diet, the non-vegetarians are at a loss.