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Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera (+5 Beauty Recipes)

Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera (+5 Beauty Recipes)

Are you suffering with acne, sunburns or ready to go on a cleanse to kickstart your diet? Maybe you just want to boost your immune system.  I have just the solution for you. ALOE VERA! What better way to cure all your insecurities and issues than to go all in and doing it naturally?  Why would I pass all those other products on the shelves at big name companies and settle for this rugged looking plant? Well, because its less expensive and easier to maintain. I don’t know but having $30 extra in my pocket is a big deal for me. So, instead of looking to brand name products for the best results, you could find the super plant in areas such as your garden or backyard. If you decide to go and plant it that is. I don’t want you going outside and looking for it when you didn’t put it there in the first place then when someone asks you, you say Shay said it would be there. Ahhh, no I didn’t. Just messing with you.Now, let me tell you a little more about this succulent plant.

Does This Really Work?

I have proven for myself that this plant does well with acne when I was back in Jamaica and had eaten all the junk the little island could offer. I had 2 weeks to leave to the U.S and my face was not looking the way I wanted it to be. I didn’t have time or the money to use products I couldn’t get at that point. Then, LIGHTBULB! I remembered seeing the aloe vera plant outside and quickly cut off a piece to let it soak in some water for about two hours before I drank the first  cup. Need proof? This is a photo I posted on my Instagram a while back to show people how much it helped me in just 9 days. This was done without a change in diet. Yes! you heard me! I still consumed the junk I wasn’t suppose to be eating and got these results just by drinking Aloe vera water. See how deplorable my situation was? Now, you be the judge. Does it really work?

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    The Makeup

    You will not believe the range of benefits that this one plant has. When you find out, it may become the legal cannabis in your life. Before you get carried away, it will NOT get you high! So, this is 99% water. What is the 1% made of and good for? The 1% is filled with countless vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Talk about POWERFUL!  Surprisingly, that’s not all.

    • The amino acids contains chains of atoms which construct protein within the body.
    • Enzymes aid in the production of rejuvenating aged tissues promoting healthy skin.
    • Germanium is a mineral vital for therapeutic benefits like cardiac disorders, eye problems, immunodeficiency and pain.
    • Vitamins A, E and richest in C. This enhances circulation by maintaining tone of blood vessels. This is also amazingly convenient for stress control.

    Others include Zinc, Calcium and Magnesium, Sugars, Lignin, Saponins, Fatty Acids Salicylic Acids and Anthraquinone.

    More Benefits

    As already established above, Aloe vera is works well with acne, sunburns, eczema and boosting immune system. Is this all? Nope! Not even. Well, it works with most skin conditions remarkably quickly but it has the same effect with pain if applied topically. When consumed, it helps with internal epithelial tissue. So, for genital tract, stomach and mouth ulcers, lungs, bowels, nasal and sinuses; Aloe Vera should be your go-to.

    Let’s go a little deeper with the effects on the immune system. It is an IMMONOMODULATOR. What does that massive word mean? It means it can both stimulate one issue and calms the next. It will calm the immune response for problems like Hay fever where less immune reaction is beneficial. On the other hand, it will stimulate the response for those suffering with weakened immune systems either from post illness fatigue or from existing conditions.

    For Aloe Vera juice, over 200 worldwide scientific research papers publicized the effect of soothing digestive tract irritations like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Where does this ulcer healing effect thrive from? It’s a possibility that it is from its ability to encourage the release of pepsin. That’s a gastric juice enzyme that is necessary for digestion. (Journal of the American Osteopathic Society, 1963, Vol.62). In another study, oral use for 6 months helped mitigate asthma symptoms.

    The juice also cleans the morbid matter from the spleen, stomach, liver, kidneys, bladder and is considered the finest, known colon cleanser. Also, if you have a heartburn, you could use it.  Clinical trials in Japan leads toward certain compounds reduce the secretion of stomach juices and the formation of lesions.

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    Wait! Check this out. In 1994, the US Food and drug Administration approved  Aloe Vera for the treatment of HIV. Unbelievably amazing! People claim relief from arthritis, leg cramps, constipation, hemorrhoids, insomnia and vaginitis. Yes, it is said to be an excellent vaginal douche.

    What makes this plant so rare? Researcher Robert Davis, Ph.D., an endocrinologist-biologist  explains that 15 different compound groups of nutrients work together to make the plant effective. This simply means that the effects of Aloe Vera’s effects cannot be synthesized so easily in a laboratory.

    Life hack offers more benefits here.

    Recipes

    recipe-575434_640

      Now that you know what Aloe vera is made from and what it can be used to cure, let’s get down to business. It’s time for you to start executing and putting this plant into practice. I’ve researched and put together the simplest, most effective recipes for you!

      LET THE HEALTH HACKING BEGIN!

      When used in your hair, they provide nourishment, prevent excess oiliness, eliminate dandruff, encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss.

      All of these benefits add up to beautiful shiny hair and a glowing complexion. Regular application of this homemade recipe is highly beneficial for reducing suntan as well. Both help reduce dark spots and blemishes on your face, and even help minimize stretch marks. They also help heal acne and acne scars.

      Recipe 1 – How to prepare an aloe vera and lemon juice mask (2 In 1 Face and Hair)

      Things you will need:

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      • 2 aloe vera leaves
      • Half a lemon
      • 3 bowls
      • A sharp knife
      • A juice squeezer (optional)
        A blender

      Steps

      1. Cut two thick aloe vera leaves from an aloe vera plant with a sharp knife.
      2. Cut off the serrated edges of both the leaves.
      3. Slit the top layer of the leaves lengthwise. You will see the translucent aloe vera gel inside.
      4. Carefully peel off the aloe vera gel from the leaves.
      5. Put the gel pulp into a bowl.
      6. Squeeze out the juice from half a lemon.
      7. Pour the thick, succulent aloe vera gel into a blender.
      8. Pour the lemon juice into the blender as well.
      9. Blend the mixture for about one minute.
      10. Pour the mixture from the blender into a bowl.
      11. Hair: After working it into your hair, leave it in for about 20 minutes and then wash it out.
      12. Face mask: Make sure to apply the mask to your face and your neck to maintain an even skin tone. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it off.

      Aloe Juice

      • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (extracted from the leaf or purchased from a health food store)
      • 1 apple
      • 1 cucumber
      • 1 lemon

      Steps

      Blend, chill and enjoy

      Recipe 2 – Aloe Juice

      • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel (extracted from the leaf or purchased from a health food store)
      • 1 carrot
      • 1 apple (preferably green)
      • 1-2 cups of pineapple
      • Optional: a few tablespoons of coconut milk (health perk: coconut milk will increase your juice’s bacteria-fighting potential)

      Steps

      Blend, chill and enjoy

      Cool Fact: As you are tossing odds and ends into your blender, just remember: as you change the fruit, you’ll change the color. Because aloe vera gel is a clear substance, whatever you toss alongside it will determine what color your beverage becomes. Create a standard green aloe vera juice, or turn it up a notch with a red, yellow or even orange tint.

      Recipe 3 – Homemade Whipped Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera Gel Lotion

      Things you will need:

      • Fresh aloe vera gel
      • Extra-virgin coconut oil
      • Essential oils of your choice (optional)
      • A mixing bowl
      • Measuring cups and spoons
      • A blender
      • An electric or hand whisker
      • A glass container to store it in

      Steps

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      1.  Scoop out the gel from a small aloe vera leaf and blend it.
      2. Put ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil in a bowl
      3. Add the blended aloe vera gel.
      4. Whisk the mixture using an electric or hand whisker for 5 to 10 minutes until you get a fluffy, frosting-like consistency.
      5. Optionally, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender and peppermint oils and whisk again.

      Transfer your whipped coconut oil lotion into the glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for several weeks. Use it all over your body as you would use any other moisturizing lotion. To increase its effectiveness, apply it after bathing when your skin is somewhat moist to help lock in the moisture. It also works well as a good makeup remover.

      Recipe 4 – Aloe Vera Face Cream

      INGREDIENTS:

      1 cup aloe vera gel
      1/2 cup coconut oil
      2 tablespoons jojoba oil
      1.5 tablespoons beeswax pastilles (Can also use 3/4th of a 1 oz bar of beeswax, diced finely or grated)
      5-8 drops essential oil like lavender or geranium (optional)

      DIRECTIONS:

      Heat coconut oil, beeswax, and jojoba oil in a modified double boiler, stirring occasionally to make sure contents combine.

      Once liquid, pour mixture into glass blender and allow mixture to completely cool (about 1 – 1.5 hours.) Once the mixture has cooled, take a spatula and scrap down the sides of the blender to loosen the contents.

      Turn blender on low and slowly pour aloe vera gel into the mixture, stopping occasionally to allow contents to combine.

      Recipe 5 – Aloe Vera Stretch Mark Removal

      Ingredients

      ½ cup olive oil,

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      ¼ cup aloe Vera gel,

      2 tablespoons vitamin E gel and

      1 tablespoon Vitamin a gel.

      Steps

      Blend Well

      As soon as the ingredients are properly blended, put it in a container then keep inside the refrigerator until chilled. Put on the skin once daily. All the vitamins and aloe Vera will accelerate the production of new cell as well as lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

      Featured photo credit: Phonlawat_51 via shutterstock.com

      More by this author

      5 Common Mistakes People Make in Staying Motivated It Can Be Painful But You’ll Learn The Most By Failing How to Get Over Family Feuds that lead to Stress, Anxiety and Depression Award winning Cheatsheet to turn your life around. Try these amazing steps today. Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera (+5 Beauty Recipes)

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      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

      Feeling tired all the time?

      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

      Unfortunately, yes!

      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

      Symptoms of fatigue include:

      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Low stamina
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • Anxiety
      • Low motivation

      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
      2. Exercising regularly
      3. Using stressbusters
      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

      L — Living Healthy

      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

      1. Unplug

      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

      2. Unwind

      Do something to relax.

      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

      3. Get Comfortable

      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

      E — Exercise

      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

      That’s what happened in my case.

      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

      That made sense to me.

      So, I decided to swim.

      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

      A — Attitude

      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

      Breathing.

      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

      N — Nutrition

      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

      The Bottom Line

      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
      • Regular Exercise You Love
      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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