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When It’s Time to Take Snoring Seriously

When It’s Time to Take Snoring Seriously

Snoring is taken as a funny thing, and it’s depicted as a harmless, annoying feature of people. In reality, snoring can be a very serious problem — first, for the person who snores, as they can’t rest properly, and second, for the person who sleeps with the snorer. Lack of sleep leads to irritation and this is one of the reasons snoring is one of the most common causes of fights in couples. But recent studies show that snoring can lead to brain damage, so it’s time to take snoring seriously.

What Is Snoring After All

We all know how snoring sounds, but do you know what snoring is? Snoring is caused by the relaxation of the tissues in your throat, which start to vibrate when the air passes through them. These tissues partially block your airways — the narrower the gap where the air needs to pass, the louder the snoring will be.

Snoring can also be a result of alcohol consumption or a regular cold. After a night of drinking, the tissues are prone to collapse, leading to snoring. When you have a cold, the airways are already blocked and swollen due to irritation, so when the air tries to pass through, snoring takes place. The problem comes when you snore more than three times per week, as snoring can lead to potentially fatal conditions.

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Snoring Can Harm Your Brain

Snoring has a lot of health risks, but one study showed an alarming connection between snoring and memory loss. If you snore frequently, you probably suffer from a degree of sleep apnea. This condition makes you wake up tired, as it prevents you from entering the REM sleep, which is when the body really gets to rest and recover. Other side effects of sleep apnea, which is essentially a short time when you stop breathing, are weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A team of scientists looked at the effects of snoring and found that snoring damages the brain, leading to faster memory loss and Alzheimer’s. Strokes are another side effect of frequent snoring and sleep apnea.

Considering these new studies, you need to take snoring seriously. The first step is checking with your doctor and trying on natural remedies against snoring, which can reduce the sleep apnea and your risks of developing severe conditions, over time.

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Simple Devices Which Put an End to Snoring

There are many simple devices which can put an end to snoring, without much hassle. There are multiple types of mouthpieces which can be used to keep the airways open and allow the air to pass without making the notorious sound. Other products are as simple as belts which prevent you from sleeping on your back, which is the position most prone to snoring, as the tissues collapse easier. Some people even sew a ball on the back of their pajamas to prevent sleeping on their back.

If these tricks don’t work, you can turn to natural remedies for snoring.

Natural Remedies for Snoring

Snoring can be relieved with some help from nature, depending on the cause of snoring. If you don’t know why you snore, you can try these remedies before turning to more invasive solutions, like airway pressure machines or surgery. Adjusting your diet and losing weight can also help you reduce snoring, so pay attention to what and when you eat.

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Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it the best remedy against snoring. Peppermint can reduce the irritation in your throat, which can be caused by smoking, allergies, dry air, or simply daily pollution, helping you breathe normally during your sleep.

Make a mixture of a glass of water and two drops of peppermint oil and gargle with it before going to bed, daily. Another way to use peppermint oil is to add couple of drops to your humidifier machine. Massaging your nose with peppermint oil is another easy ways to relieve snoring.

Olive Oil

Another good anti-inflammatory substance is olive oil, which can reduce the swelling in your airways and reduce the vibrations which cause the unpleasant noise. You can take two sips of olive oil as it is or mix it with honey. Use the remedy daily, before going to sleep.

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Turmeric Powder

Turmeric is a strong antibiotic and an antiseptic, which can be used to reduce the swelling of the tissues and prevent snoring. Add two teaspoons of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and drink it half an hour before going to bed, daily. This mixture will also boost your immune system and will help you sleep better.

Cardamom is another natural remedy for snoring, being a powerful decongestant. Add one half of teaspoon of cardamom powder to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before going to sleep. Repeat this daily, to reduce snoring.

Ghee

Ghee can reduce snoring and help you sleep better. Warm a small amount of ghee and put two drops of it into each nostril. This will open up the airways and will help you breathe easier. Repeat daily before going to sleep and right after you wake up.

Steam Sessions

Steam is one of the most effective remedies for most people who snore, as the steam reduces the congestion and improves breathing. Boil water and add four drops of eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil to it. Place the water bowl in front of you and place a towel on your head, so you make a sort of tent for inhaling the steam. Breathe deeply for 10 minutes before going to bed. Repeat the procedure daily.

Featured photo credit: albumarium via albumarium.com

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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