How to not look so sleepy!

Okay so usually I would post about something a bit more serious… lifestyle tips and tricks to help you get into a better sleep routine.  We are nearing the end of semester which means you’ll inevitably encounter some sleepless nights finishing an assignment or getting ready for that exam that you are so prepared for (ha!)

Here’s a video by renowned YouTube personality and make up artist Wanye Goss teaching us how to look a little less tired!

http://videos.nymag.com/video/How-To-Look-Less-Tired

I’m well aware that my male readers will be less inclined to try these tips but I couldn’t help but share!

Wayne’s tip:

1. Apply an under-eye brightener such as a liquid corrector (Wayne uses a Bobbi Brown one) on the top of the cheekbone and blend with fingers by using tapping and pressing motions. Remember to not carry the product all the way up under the lashes as it may have the reverse effect and make you look tired!

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Alcohol vs. Sleep

You’re young, all you want to do is enjoy yourself and make plenty of mistakes on the journey to adulthood but is your social life getting in the way of sleep?

Alcohol is an almost required component of any social activity at university. A lot of us can’t even go to a party without having something to drink. The idea of speaking to strangers and potentially hooking up with someone without liquid courage is unheard of but all this alcohol isn’t just going to give you a nasty head ache the next day and make you throw up yesterday’s dinner. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also interfere with sleep.

Alcohol can interrupt your deep sleep cycle (REM) and keep you from feeling that refreshed and energised sensation when you wake up.

Alcohol is a diuretic which means it’s going to make you want to go to the bathroom during the night once again interrupting your slumber!

Ever wondered why you think that greasy kebab is a good idea after a night of clubbing? Alcohol makes you hungry because it affects your blood sugar levels and triggers your appetite.

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Foods to avoid for better sleep

1. Sugar!!
Is this a surprise? Probably not. You’re trying to finish an assignment at midnight and feel peckish. A sugary treat seems like the perfect snack to keep you going. WRONG! Sugar is not only making you fat and giving you diabetes but it is also to blame for your lack of sleep.
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2. Caffeine
Obviously. Put down that can of Red Bull. You might think that an afternoon pick-me-up cappuccino is harmless but the effects of caffeine can last for up to 12 hours!
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3. Spicy foods
Your favourite chilli ramen noodles could be keeping you up at night! Spicy foods can cause heart burn and may keep you up!
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4. High-fat foods
Heavy meals will activate digestion and might cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom!
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5. Don’t crash diet!

6. Alcohol
It may bring on sleepiness but excessive consumption of alcohol will result in broken sleep.
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7. Salt
Salt raises blood pressure and can dehydrate the body leading to poor quality of sleep.
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8. Nicotine
Smoking is bad for health (o rly?). The nicotine in cigarettes acts as a stimulant and can disrupt sleep.
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9. Protein
Protein before bed isn’t the best idea as the body finds it hard to digest.
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10. Eating at night
Studies say that you should stop eating three hours before bed to allow your body to prepare for sleep. If you feel hungry before bed have a small snack like a banana or crackers. Going to bed hungry will make it harder to fall asleep as your body will instinctually send signals to your brain to go find food.

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The best sleep apps!

Here are some of the best sleep apps on the market (imo, of course) and they’re iPhone and Android friendly!

1. Blocking Mode – Okay, so this isn’t technically an app but it’s a feature most smartphones come with and it turns off all notification settings and incoming calls and messages. Turn this on right before bed so you have an uninterrupted, peaceful slumber.

2. Sleepmaker Rain – If you’re the kind of person who loves being in bed when its raining then you’ll probably enjoy this app. It plays a variety of rain sounds to help replicate the sound of rain hitting your bedroom window.

3. Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson – This one isn’t free but I’m trust me, the soothing Scottish voice playing while the app runs will put you in the most relaxed state.

4. Do Not Disturb – This app takes the blocking feature on your smart phone a few steps further. With this app you’re able to time how long you would like the block feature to be activated so if it’s the middle of the day and you desperately need a nap, this app will save you!

5. Timely – This app is just a better looking version of your phone’s standard time app. It also features an alarm setting that will slowly wake you up in the morning without being jolted awake (story of my life).

6. Sleep as Android/Sleepio – These apps track your sleeping patterns, allowing you to achieve the optimal amount of sleep.

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Do you have Nomophobia?

You know that uncomfortable feeling you experience when you’ve left home for work or school and realise you’ve forgotten your phone at home? You reach into your bag/pocket and realise your phone isn’t there and feel naked?

Chances are, you have been (or currently are) a victim of Nomophobia.

Nomophobia
noun

  1. a state of stress caused by having no access to or being unable to use one’s mobile phone

This disorder is unique to the 21st century and is born out of the complete integration of media technologies into our everyday lives. Our phones have almost become an extension of our limbs. The fear of being out-of-touch with our networks means some of us can’t even leave the house without a charger or spare battery for our phones and is why this generation of adults cannot go to sleep without checking their phone right before bed or just after they’ve woken up.

Some studies warn that health professionals should be careful to diagnose nomopobia as it sometimes masks underlying issues such as social anxiety. If you feel you’re more attached to your phone than is healthy, you might want to try forcing yourself to put your phone down for an hour (30mins if that’s too long) every night and try to disconnect. I promise you’ll find the virtual world was right where you left it 😉

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Sleep deprivation & Suicide?

A recent study published by a team at Stanford University has found that there is a link between a lack of sleep and suicide later in life.

The study looked at 14,456 adults aged 65 and older and compared the sleep quality of 20 who died by suicide with the sleep patterns of 400 similar individuals over a 10-year period.

The team found that participants reporting poor sleep had a 1.4 times greater chance of death by suicide within a 10-year period than participants who reported sleeping well.

Poor sleep was found to be an independent risk factor and linked to depression.


Source: Bernert RA, Turvey CL, Conwell Y, Joiner TE, Jr. Association of Poor Subjective Sleep Quality With Risk for Death by Suicide During a 10-Year Period: A Longitudinal, Population-Based Study of Late Life. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(10):1129-1137. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1126.

No Screens Before Bed!

So you’ve heard it hundreds of times… and I’m quite sure that i’ve said it several times but do you know why you shouldn’t be using screens before bed?

Researchers at New York’s Lighting Research Centre have found that prolonged use of backlit media devices such as smart phones and tablets suppress the release of melatonin into the brain. The light emitted from these backlit media devices is called short wavelength blue light and interferes the most with your body clock or circadian rhythm.

The body’s level of melatonin is decreased in bright light and increases at night time, usually around 2 hours before you go to sleep. It helps regulate your body clock so your body knows when to sleep and wake up!

The problem with using smart phones and tablets right before bed is that you’re not allowing your body to prepare itself for sleep and you risk getting your circadian rhythm out of whack.

It’s almost instinctual to check your phone right before bed but if you’re having trouble getting to sleep at night why not try putting your phone down and reading or just listening to music that hour before sleep and see if you notice a difference?

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The right environment for sleep

There are a number of things you can do to get yourself prepared for a good night’s sleep. Here are the top 10 tips!

  1. Keep your bedroom quiet:
    Turn off any devices that contribute to noise. Make sure you turn off your television. You might not realise but your brain is stimulated by sounds even while you sleep!
  2. Turn off media devices:
    Computer, smart phone, gaming consoles, television etc. Your circadian rhythm is especially sensitive to light emitted by electronic devices so allow your senses to wind down for at least half an hour before you lay down to sleep.
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  3. Keep your bedroom dark
  4. Make sure your bed is comfortable and clean: 
    Clean bed sheets will ensure those of you suffering from allergies are able to experience a peaceful slumber without sneezing all night.
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  5. Try and get your bedroom to the right temperature
    Turn on a fan/air-con or put an extra blanket on the bed. 18˚C is the optimum degree for sleep.
  6. Get a new pillow if you sleep with one!
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  7. Eat the right foods:
    As you may have read in a previous post about the best food for sleep, foods that are high in Tryptophan will help you get a good night’s sleep
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  8. Cut down on caffeine:
    I love coffee as much as the next person but I try to limit my consumption to the mornings and make sure I don’t have any more after dinner
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  9. Set a regular bed-time:
    This might make you feel like you’re back in primary school but you’d be surprised how effective it is. Making sure you’re in bed by a certain time every night will encourage you to get things done before then!
  10. Quit smoking!
    Everyone knows smoking is bad for health. Much like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and has the potential to disrupt sleep.
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If you’ve tried any of these and they’ve helped you, comment below and share the post!

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All-nighters

Let’s face it, if you’re a student, you’ve pulled an all-nighter and are likely to pull many more but have you stopped and thought about the consequences of losing a whole night’s sleep?

Sure, it’s not the worst thing you could do. Two days roll into one, you’re in a twilight zone, can’t really focus… but at least you handed in that assignment! Right?… Almost…

Staying up all night whilst studying for an exam or finishing an assignment will most-likely see you eating after well into the early hours of the morning. Depriving your body of sleep means that the chemicals in your brain that tell you when to eat and when to stop eating are interfered with. You’re probably not eating a salad at 2am (put down the chocolate and coffee!) and will find that after several sleepless nights your body is not looking the way you want it to.

Sleep deprivation also means you’re less likely to remember all that information you spent the night trying to cram into your brain. Why is it that you’re stuck between two answers in every multiple choice question? You can’t make decisions properly! If you’d started studying sooner and got at least 7 hours sleep the night before your exam, you’d be able to think clearly.

Catch up on sleep? You can but repeated sleep loss will mean that you have a lot to catch up on and it could take weeks to get back to a healthy sleep cycle.

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Anxious?

One in 6 young Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition. Which, according to Beyond Blue, is equal to 435 000 young people today. This number is frightening and whether you suffer from anxiety or someone close to you does, you know how debilitating it can be to everyday life. Trying to juggle social lives, part-time jobs, study and whatever else occupies our time means that we often forget to unwind, take a deep breath and rest.

End of semester is only a few weeks away if you’re at uni which means that students all over Australia are scrambling to get assignments done, study for exams, work on the weekends and still maintain their sanity.

Staying on top of your work and planning ahead will ensure that your stress levels are kept to a minimum and you will be able to cope. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, all-nighters mean that you’re body is running on auto-pilot and the quality of the work you produce will be sub-parr.

If you feel that it’s all getting a little too much, you’re experiencing that all too familiar tight feeling in your chest stop whatever you’re doing, even if it’s for a few minutes. Take a shower, get some rest, do something you enjoy.

Remember, there is always someone there to help you. Most universities will have a counselling service on campus. If you don’t want to speak to someone face-to-face, you can also call Beyond Blue’s helpline. It’s available 24hrs a day 1300 224 636. Don’t forget, your lecturers are there to help you. They want you to succeed so if you’re struggling, be sure to make the time to see them.

References

http://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts

 

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