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Mila W.

@mil_sww134

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Shut down those activities that stimulate your mind, such as work, emails, internet browsing and even watching TV. 

Try reading a book, taking a bath, listening to music or practicing some gentle yoga or meditation. Develop rituals that work for you.

@mil_sww134

5 Tips To Create An Evening Routine For Great Sleep

mindbodygreen.com

Try a brain dump

Dump it all out. Write some lists, or simply use the "worry diary" technique and jot down all of the things you’re stressing about. 

Do this before your "power down" time. This helps your mind let these things go. Once they're written down, you can relax; there's no chance you'll forget them.

If you’re experiencing sleeping problems: 

  • Cut back on caffeine (particularly after midday). 
  • Avoid eating a particularly heavy meal late in the evening.
  • Meditation and supplements can also affect sleep so it’s best to get educated about what you’re taking.
  • Intense exercise late at night isn't recommended.
Create the right environment for sleep

Ensuring your bedroom is sufficiently dark enough, quiet enough and well ventilated to allow for good sleep.

You might discover that your stress levels increase according to how much mess is in your personal space. 

Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. 

If you’re experiencing sleeping difficulties it’s also a good idea to keep a record of exactly when you do get to bed, how often (and for how long) you wake during the night and what time you get up. 

This information will be helpful for your clinician if you decide to visit your GP or a psychologist for help with sleeping.

False Hope Syndrome In Dieting

Many people continue to practice the same diet fad or routine to lose weight even after the effort is proven to be ineffective. This mentality of dieters is called the False Hope Syndrome and happens due to:

  1. Overestimating the weight loss amount.
  2. Misjudgement of the time it would take to lose weight.
  3. Not knowing how easy or difficult it would be.
  4. Unrealistic expectations of the result of weight loss.

False Hope Syndrome Reveals a Big Problem with Dieting

psychologytoday.com

A dieter often believes the diet is the cause of failure, and he or she hasn’t tried hard enough. They overlook their own habits and behaviours and blame their intake.

We like to be in control of any situation, and have false hopes about the benefits of the ‘perfect diet’ we are consuming. The media and marketing companies are also contributing to plant unrealistic expectations in many people trying to lose weight.

Dieting is not as easy as portrayed by the media. Many people abandon the process midway or replace them with realistic and scaled-down versions.

  • One has to realize that dieting is a long-term process and one has to create systems that encourage habitual and behavioural changes that are not abandoned after a month.
  • One should not see a failed effort as something to be ashamed of, but try to learn and evolve from it.
  • One has to let go of unrealistic expectations and be practical.
The Japanese Island Of Okinawa

Okinawa, an island in southern Japan is known for the longevity of its population and has an extremely low rate of heart disease issues. The elderly are active and happy in the 80s and 90s.

Part of the secret of their longevity and happiness is their varied diet, rich in fruits and vegetables.

The Biggest Reason Why the Okinawan Diet Works

heated.medium.com

The Okinawa Diet: A Large Variety Of Food

A rich and varied diet, comprising of 18 different foods is the key to a healthy stomach, activeness and longevity among the Okinawans.

The main focus of the diet is a large, diverse assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of gorging on a single superfood or avoiding something (like butter or bananas) just because everyone says so.

Placebo's as pleasing treatments: History of the concept
  • Plato's cure for headaches involved a leaf coupled with a charm. Without uttering the charm at the moment of application, the remedy was not effective. We would call Plato's "charm" a placebo.
  • In the 18th century, the term "placebo" was used to describe a doctor. In his 1763 book, Dr Pierce describes a visit to his sick friend, saying that he found "Dr Placebo" sitting at her bedside. She said she was well, and Pierce seems to imply that the positive effect Dr Placebo had was due to his great bedside manner, rather than the drops he gave.
  • Eventually, the word "placebo" started being used to describe treatments. In 1752, the Scottish obstetrician William Smellie used some innocent Placemus that his patient "may take between whiles, to beguile the time and please her imagination."

The fascinating story of placebos – and why doctors should use them more often

theconversation.com

Early placebo trials that tested the effects of homoeopathy tablets revealed that doing nothing was better than both homoeopathy and allopathic (standard) medicine.

In the 1990s, Danish medical researchers compared people who take placebos with people who take no treatment at all. They concluded that there is little evidence that placebos, in general, have powerful clinical effects, but the researchers made incorrect comparisons. Today it is widely accepted that placebos are effective for some things, like pain, but not for everything.

A review of over 50 placebo-controlled surgery trials shows that fake surgery worked as well as the real surgery in more than half the trials.

One famous study is from an American surgeon Bruce Moseley. 180 patients had such severe knee pain that even the best drugs failed to work. He gave half of them real arthroscopy and the other half placebo arthroscopy, where the incision was made, but no real procedure was performed. The placebo surgery worked as well as the real surgery.

A comprehensive study published in 1999 found that placebo effects were caused by both expectancy and conditioning.

But some researchers argue that there is something mysterious about how placebos work. While it is easy to see what happens inside the brain to the amygdala, or the other bits involved, it is less clear what moved the amygdala in the first place.

It is accepted that placebos are not ethical because they require deceptions. But this view does not account for the evidence that we don't need deception for placebos to work.
Further mistaken claims:

  • We can only trust placebo controls. New treatments that come along can be compared with a proven effective method. To be effective, it should be at least as good as the old one.
  • Placebo controls provide a constant baseline. This view is based on the view that placebo treatments do not work. It is mistaken. In a systematic review of placebo pills in ulcer trials, the placebo response ranged from 0% to 100% (complete cure.)

Placebos were used in clinical trials in the 18th century to debunk "quack" cures. The so-called "non-quack" cures included bloodletting and feeding patients the undigested material from the intestines of an oriental goat. These needed no trials because they were considered to be so effective.

An example of how powerful placebos are is during the second world war. Supplies of morphine were running out, and a nurse was seen to inject a wounded soldier with saltwater instead of morphine before an operation. The soldier thought it was real morphine and didn't appear to feel any pain.

A placebo can work even if the patient does not believe it is a real treatment.

This can be because patients have a conditioned response to an encounter with their doctor. Just like an arachnophobe's body can react negatively to a spider even if they know it's not poisonous, so a person can react to treatment from a doctor even if they know the doctor is giving them a sugar pill.

Approaching Burnout At Work

Feeling and identifying the signs of job burnout is a powerful way to arm yourself with the strategies and resources needed to prevent it from bringing you down. So if it’s time to sit down with your manager or HR team, set up that meeting.

Explain that working longer hours is not leading to your most productive and happiest self. Most companies rather make a small adjustment than having to hire somebody else.

Tips From Job Burnout Survivors: How To Heal From An Overachiever Attitude

blog.trello.com

Strong morning and nighttime routines increase your productivity levels, ability to focus, and improve your overall mental and physical health. Your routines can include a healthy meal, exercise, reading, meditation, enjoying time with your family and friends.

However you build your routines, they should be full of activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Self-care is essential to dealing with job burnout.

It’s a syndrome that results from an extreme accumulation of improperly managed workplace stress that can lead to physical, mental, and social consequences.

When a person tends to always be “on, ” they become more likely to burnout. Many push themselves to the point of depression, exhaustion, and helplessness by working countless hours.

Workload reduction and coping strategies are necessary to prevent burnout. Not dealing with the problem puts you at risk of having to quit and retrain, which might bring a whole host of problems on top of the burnout.

  • Being cynical and critical at work
  • Being irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers, or clients
  • Lack of energy to be consistently productive
  • Extreme difficulty concentrating on tasks
  • Lack of satisfaction in your achievements at work
  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Experience irregular physical ailments such as headaches and stomach aches
  • Lose enthusiasm for day-to-day responsibilities
  • Daily struggle to get out of bed
  • Resent people and things that keep you from working outside of work
  • Think that work is the only source of satisfaction.

To prevent a future burnout, when searching for a new position, consider the following:

  • Most countries have legal mechanisms that allow for at least unpaid leave.
  • Many companies have time-off policies for employees needing a mental health break.
  • Most interviewers are aware of their companies’ work-life balance and can inform you if it’s a good fit for your need for “offline” hours in which you’re unavailable for work issues.
  • Use balance and prioritization in your workday.
  • Watch yourself for burnout indicators. If you’re close to it, reevaluate your working habits.
  • Set clear boundaries.
  • Avoid answering to work-related call outside of work.
  • Try not to feel guilty if you need to or can leave work early.
  • Schedule regular wellness check-ins with your boss and team so you can identify overburdened individuals.
  • Redistribute work if someone is at capacity.
  • If you feel depressed, anxious or highly stressed, seek help from a trained professional.
Experiencing insomnia
  • If you are tired most days, have trouble retaining information, concentrating, or feel like you got off on the wrong side of the bed, you might be fighting insomnia.
  • Aromatherapy, melatonin, chamomile tea and acupressure are often experienced as a temporary fix.
  • What makes insomnia worse is the dread with sundown, knowing that you will toss and turn, desperately trying to sleep and obsessing over why you can't.

I Was Diagnosed with Insomnia. Here’s How I Get More Sleep.

hbr.org

Look at your full day to identify the causes of insomnia, not just the hours before you go to bed.

For example, setting too many meetings or not permitting yourself to take a break can leave you too wound up to fall asleep later at night. Instead, schedule your most intense work in the morning, and do more mundane tasks in the afternoon.

What works for you may only be discovered with trial and error.

For example, one can use smart mattresses, apps like Headspace, or fenugreek seeds. A mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, and fennel boiled in water contains flavonoids and antioxidants that help calm the body. Mindfulness meditation can help aim your focus on the moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions instead of thinking of the past or daydreaming.

Research shows that if you bring your work to your bed, you're likely to continue thinking about work even after you stopped working.

Try to create a separate work area - it could be your kitchen table or a small nook in your living room. Then retain your bedroom for sleep.

Cut out caffeine after midday, and limit blue light at bedtime.

We face relentless stimuli daily. We regularly talk, text, absorb voices, travel, and multitask. Try to disengage from all electronic devices after 9 pm, as the blue light interferes with melatonin and makes it hard to sleep.

Caffeine in excess cause anxiety, heart palpitations, and sleeping disturbances.

Up to 400mg of caffeine a day (two to four 8 ounce cups) can be part of a healthy diet, and over 600mg per day is too much.

How to make your coffee habit benefit you

bigthink.com

The signs of burnout
  • You dread going to work in the morning.
  • You show up late or find reasons to leave early.
  • You feel bored or don’t want to engage with the work when you’re there.
  • You’re complaining about work a lot.
  • You check your work email first thing in the morning and before you go to bed.
  • You plan all your vacations, so you are always available in case they suddenly need you.
  • You’re having frequent work dreams and nightmares.

Feeling burned out at work? Here's how you can take back your life.

vox.com

If your only friends are your friends at work, it'll be more challenging to avoid work on evenings and weekends. If you do have coworkers as close friends, consider setting some boundaries around work talk.

Try to avoid getting drawn into office drama, as it will increase the time you spend talking and thinking about work.

Speak up when your workload is too much. Tell your boss if you are stretched too thin or when you regularly work too many hours. Talk about what you can reasonably get done in a week.

Also, don't say yes to everything. If you have a hard time saying no, don't respond immediately. Instead say, "Let me get back to you", or, "Let me think about that."

  • Use separate apps for work email and personal email so you don't accidentally look at work emails on your weekends.
  • Move your email app into a harder-to-access folder so you don't open them out of habit.
  • If you can't resist working in unscheduled hours, wait to send non-urgent emails until working hours.
  • Inform your colleagues about your intention so they adjust their expectations.

If the nature of your industry is causing daily stress or you're putting in 80-hour weeks, and you still can't manage to complete your work, it might be worthwhile to change companies or careers. And that is fine.

Think about what you want your life to look like in a few years. Consider how you would feel if nothing changed.

After a productive and long day of work, remember to say yes to the activities that contribute to your overall well-being.

Eat something nourishing, move your body, do something relaxing to make you feel more human.

What Intermittent fasting is

Intermittent fasting is based on the idea that when you reduce your calorie intake for limited stretches of time, your body will use its stored fat for energy. Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including losing weight.

There is no one way to do intermittent fasting. There is the 5:2 diet, which means eating very few calories for two days of the week, followed by five days of normal eating. Or the alternate-day fasting, which means eating normally for one day, then either nothing or just 500 calories the next.

The science behind intermittent fasting — and how you can make it work for you

ideas.ted.com

One intermittent fasting method is known as time-restricted eating: A person consumes all of their calories for the day within an 8-to-12-hour window. You might eat breakfast at 8 AM, including coffee, and finishing your dinner by 6 PM.

In an experiment, two sets of mice were fed the same diet and ate the same number of calories a day. One set had access to food for 24 hours, and the other group had access for only 8 hours. After 18 weeks, the group that could eat all hours showed signs of insulin resistance and had liver damage. The mice who ate in an 8-hour window did not have the condition and weighed 28 percent less than the other group.

Many of the human body’s processes are tied to our circadian rhythms.

Eating food at the right time can nurture us, and healthy food at the wrong time can be junk food because it gets stored as fat instead of being used as fuel.

Time-restricted eating gives our body a chance to use up fat. When we eat, our body uses carbohydrates for energy. When we don't need them right away, they get stored in the liver as glycogen or converted into fat.

When we finish eating for the day, our body first use glucose from the carbohydrates we've eaten before moving on to the stored carbohydrates, or glycogen, in the liver. Glycogen lasts for eight hours after we've stopped eating. After that, our body begins to tap into its stored fat.

When we shorten the period for eating and extend the time for fasting, we stay in the fat-burning mode of our metabolism.

The moment we eat food, even coffee with a bit of sugar and milk, we switch to the other mode and start burning carbohydrates while storing glycogen and fat.

  • Subjects in a study reported experiencing better sleep, more energy in the mornings, and less hunger at bedtime.
  • In a study of men at risk for type-2 diabetes, after one week of restricting eating to a nine-hour window, the men showed a lower spike in blood glucose after a test meal.
  • In another experiment of time-restricted eating, where the subjects were on medication to lower cholesterol, after 12 weeks, they found reduced cholesterol levels of about 11 percent on average.
  • Only consume water during your fasting window. It means no coffee, tea, or herbal tea.
  • Drink only plain hot water after waking up as it can give you the same soothing feeling as coffee.
  • If you have to be very alert in the morning, it's OK to have black coffee, but don't add any creamer or sweeteners.
  • Wait to eat breakfast until you've been awake for a few hours.
  • Finish your last meal about two to three hours before your bedtime.

While the time-restricted eating holds promise, there is a need for more research.

  • There haven't been studies with humans that lasted longer than a few months.
  • The gut microbiome actually changes in mice that restrict their eating to an eight-hour window, so they digest nutrients differently. It remains to be seen if it is possible in humans.
  • Research suggests that people practicing intermittent fasting eat more before and after their fasting days and don't receive calorie-reducing benefits.
  • There may be a potential danger for people who struggle with binge-eating disorder or anorexia.
Our Blood Types

Human beings have four major blood types, A, B, AB and O.

Blood cells, like all cells, are covered with molecules called ‘antigens', which depend on our genes. If we transfuse the blood of a certain antigen into a person with a different one, the immune system attacks it and that can cause major organ damage.

Why do we have different blood types? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

sciencefocus.com

Identified by Dr Karl Landsteiner in 1901, the most common antigens are A and B, and a person with type O blood has neither of the antigens, while some have both of them (Type AB).

Another antigen called RhD was discovered in 1937.

Currently, we have 36 systems to categorize blood types and 346 different antigens, whose exact purpose still remains unknown.

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