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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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