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Alert: Screen Time Can Affect Your Hormones And Health A Lot

Alert: Screen Time Can Affect Your Hormones And Health A Lot

Ever returned home after a long dreary day and jumped into bed hoping to hit dreamland and phase out until the morning light – but sleep just does not come? You try counting and breathing and watching the ceiling, but still nothing. So then you switch to screen time by powering up the TV, or browsing your smartphone? And you are left wide awake, in the serene silence of the night?

The Inner Workings of the Body Clock – Melatonin

The pineal gland in the brain creates a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for your logging the control pattern of the biological clockwork program in the body. It controls the cycles of day and night and coordinates the dreamland journey into the next morning.

This body clock influences the amount of melatonin hormone that the pineal gland creates as well as the exposure to light. Melatonin levels begin to rise by mid evening after sunset. Melatonin levels stay elevated all night in darkness. Early in the morning as the sun rises they begin to drop as you wake up to a brand new day.

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    How melatonin largely affects your health

    Melatonin levels studies have indicated that they peak before menstruation and coordinate patterns according to the length of days. If there are disturbances due to shift work or other reasons the sleep clock ticks off into disarray. [1]

    Many are aware that melatonin is linked to sleep yet, it is also linked to prevention of other conditions like of heart disease, migraine headaches and Alzheimer’s. It has a role in strengthening the immune system and weight loss as well. Due to the interference of artificial lighting, many lack this wonder hormone

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    If your thoughts are flowing in a direction of ensuring enough melatonin production, remember that supplements may benefit, but the natural melatonin production of the body is naturally more beneficial and less pressing on regular digits of your budget. A few products have a slight percentage of melatonin like almonds, sunflower seeds, Goji berries as well as cherries and coriander.

    Yet by optimizing production in the body following steps of sleep hygiene, you create the perfect melatonin dosage your body requires. Improving your flow of sleeping will optimize melatonin.

    Sleep Hygiene

    How to increase your melatonin levels and sleep better

    Release gadgets an hour or so before bed

    In the evening or an hour or so before bed, log off and shut down the computer and TV and your smartphone. These techno gadgets emit blue light and the brain receives a daytime signal. The brain starts to emit melatonin at about 9pm. These light rays intercept the process.

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    According to the National Sleep Foundation, scientific documentation has revealed the role of light in promoting wakefulness. Photoreceptors present in the retina senses dark or light and message the brain on the outside world that aligns in tune. Light emitted from smartphones and tablets send false signals to the brain confusing sleep cycles. [2]

    Get exposure to the bright sun

    Get a few minutes of the bright morning sun if this is possible, setting the internal clock into motion that a new day has  arrived. Get exposure to the bright sun. The pineal gland will produce more melatonin approximating contrasts of lighting exposed to in the day and the darkness. If you stay indoors all day, with no difference detected, melatonin production is reduced.

    Try to ensure complete darkness at sleep time

    Try to ensure complete darkness at sleep time. A slight invasion of light can disrupt the melatonin production in the pineal gland. Even the glow of a clock radio or your mobile phone. Either get rid of these gadgets or cover them. Move electrical devices away from your bedroom.

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    Consider covering windows in blackout shades or drapes or wear an eye mask when sleeping. If you need light for night navigation, use a red light bulb as this bandwidth of light is less intrusive than blue and white lights. Salt lamps come at handy for this purpose.

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      Jump into a warm bath a few hours before bedtime

      The temperature should be kept lower than seventy degrees Fahrenheit. Jump into a warm bath a few hours before bedtime. This increases body temperature and signals the body you are prepared for slumber motions.[3]

      Try to avoid alarm clocks

      Avoid the use of alarm clocks. To be jolted up suddenly every morning can jerk up stress, and with sufficient sleep patterns in order, an alarm clock may not be needed. [4]

      Get a good flow of sleep hygiene, shut down, and get ticking away into the venture of dreamland wonders!

      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Nena Tenacity

      Nena is passionate about writing. She shares her everyday health and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

      1. Exercise Daily

      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

      The basic nutritional advice includes:

      • Eat unprocessed foods
      • Eat more veggies
      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

        5. Watch Out for Travel

        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

        6. Start Slow

        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

        Final Thoughts

        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

        More Tips on Getting in Shape

        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

        Reference

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