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How Ginger Can Make You Much More Energetic Every Day

How Ginger Can Make You Much More Energetic Every Day

If you feel tired or run-down from day to day — no matter how much rest you get — and want a natural pick-me-up that doesn’t involve a ton of caffeine, then you should consider adding more ginger to your diet!  This spice does more than add a great flavor to your food, it will also help boost energy levels safely and naturally.

Here’s how ginger can make you feel more energetic every day.

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You’ll Reduce Inflammation

Some of the many active ingredients in ginger are called gingerols, compounds which have been proven to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.  This can help reduce your chances of developing many chronic, fatigue-causing conditions like heart disease or cancer. It can also help with the joint pain and stiffness that comes with arthritis, another debilitating condition.

You’ll Lower Your Risk of Bacterial Infections

Infections are another source of fatigue — and ginger can help with that, too! The active compounds in ginger apparently have the ability to fight against infections caused by bacteria — and its use as an natural antibiotic goes back literally thousands of years.  Scientists are studying it now because of its lack of side effects, among it many other benefits.

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You’ll Fight Off Viral Infections More Easily, Too

Cold and flu season is here!  And these and other respiratory infections can be a total drain on your energy – and it can take weeks to get back to normal once you’ve become infected.  Daily doses of ginger can help, however.  Studies have shown ginger to be affective at fighting off the RSV virus, which causes many respiratory infections and the rhinovirus which is responsible for many colds.

You’ll Stabilize Your Blood Sugars

For diabetics or pre-diabetics, unstable blood sugar levels can be another major source of fatigue from one day to the next.  These can also lead to serious, long-term health problems if the situation is not corrected.  Ginger can also help with blood sugar problems.  In one study, people with Type 2 diabetes who took 2 grams of ginger daily showed a remarkable 12% drop in their fasting blood sugars and a 10% drop in their AIC’s, a measure over time of how well blood sugars are being controlled.

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You’ll Reduce Menstrual Pain

The tiredness and pain that go along with a menstrual period can also leave you feeling completely worn out.  However, compounds like curcumin that are present in ginger can help to relieve this problem. Research has shown that women who took 1 gram of ginger during their period reported this to be as effective as over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.

You’ll Boost Your Mental Energy as Well

Physical tiredness is not the only problem people have from day to day – mental tiredness can be an issue, too.  If you feel mentally “foggy” or sluggish and have problems concentrating, remembering things and staying focused, ginger might be perfect for you.

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You’ll Have a Stronger Immune System

Apart from its antiviral and antibacterial properties, ginger is also a great general tonic to buck up your immune system and make it easier for your body to fight off illness and disease. Part of this is because of ginger’s strong antioxidant content.  It is a great source of powerful compounds like beta-carotene which reduce oxidative stress on the cells and even help to slow the aging process.

So if you want to take advantage of one of nature’s best pick-me-ups, then get more ginger into your diet! It can be drink as a tea, eat as crystallized ginger, or added as a powder to stir-fries, curries, smoothies and desserts, just to name a few.  Click here for some of the best ginger recipes around, and start feeling better today!

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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