Is Your Health Keeping You Up At Night?

Often, when you can’t sleep or don’t feel you’re getting good quality sleep, then you’re largely told it’s your fault.

Okay, so that’s quite a harsh way of putting it – but think about it. You’re told that you have to ensure your room isn’t too cold. That you have to practice good sleep hygiene, going to bed and getting up at the same time on weekends as you would during the week. You’re told that you have to ensure there’s no light in your room, or…

Person Covered a Grey Bed Cover

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All of it amounts to the same thing: you’re causing your sleep problems, what you’re doing is responsible. It’s tough to take, especially if you have followed all of the above and you’re still spending your days yawning or your nights tossing and turning. Sleep is such a basic, fundamental thing – how have you managed to be bad at it? Why is none of the advice working?

You might be struggling for answers because… you’re not doing anything wrong. Your sleep hygiene might be impeccable. You might be doing all the things that you should be doing, in the right order, night after night – but you’re still not sleeping as you should be.

That’s not to discount the general insomnia advice you will see floating around. For a lot of people, the cause of their problem is nothing more than bad habits and problematic decisions. It could be drinking too much coffee during the day or just not having the right mattress to sleep on – simple problems with easy remedies. In these cases, the fix is relatively simple; all it takes is switching to non-caffeinated beverages or considering interesting advice from Mattress-Guides.net on next steps to take with your bedding arrangements. Sometimes, that is all it takes. On the other occasions (or if those steps haven’t worked), something else might be responsible: your health.

There are certain health conditions that can force insomnia to cross from a regular annoyance and into a chronic problem. Now, this isn’t going to be one of those infamous internet articles where you look up something benign and are immediately told your death is imminent. They’re no fun for anyone. All of the conditions below are lifestyle damaging, but they’re not going to kill you.

The problem with these conditions is that they tend to be hidden beneath the surface. If the general symptoms are “tired” or “prone to headaches” when you look up a condition, it’s impossible to see a difference between that and normal life. And, to be frank, chronic insomnia might indeed be idiopathic. However, if there is something nestling under the surface, then it’s worth knowing about – at the very least, so you can get a good night’s sleep for once…

(As with all medical advice online, if any of these conditions really chime for you, then see a doctor. This is meant as a guide, not a diagnostic tool – be smart, everyone.)

Hormone Disorders

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There’s a tendency in the lay population to think that hormones are some mystical problem that besets women on a cyclical basis. It extends as far as well-traveled tennis players; the idea that hormones are a female problem. Well, nope. There’s a whole bunch of hormones for both genders and, to an extent, they control our lives. They range from estrogen through to testosterone and even adrenaline – in fact, there’s tens of them. Together, they make up the endocrine system.

The difficult thing about hormones is that they tend to work in balance with one another. It’s not so much about their individual level in and of themselves, but their levels relative to one another. If one of those levels is not playing ball with the rest of the group, then you can have a problem.

Some of the most common hormone disorders include:

  • Underactive or overactive thyroid (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism).
  • Cushing’s Syndrome – an overload of the stress hormone, cortisol.
  • Diabetes.

All of the above will cause problems with sleep patterns.

Thankfully, these conditions are easily diagnosed and well-managed with treatment – so don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about them.

Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease

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Often abbreviated to GERD, this ailment is surprisingly common in people of all ages. It’s caused by an overproduction of stomach acid, leading to a burning feeling in the chest and back as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms. One of the most recognized symptoms is heartburn, which can lead to an overreliance on lozenges – without any idea of how the problem is disrupting your sleep.

The way GERD affects sleep is through a mixture of discomfort and general restlessness due to incomplete digestion. One of the best ways to combat it is to raise your head position when you sleep; use a pillow beneath your upper back and let gravity help you keep the stomach acid where it belongs.

One note of caution: prescription-strength antacids called PPIs (protein pump inhibitors) are often prescribed for GERD. Evidence is suggesting these can actually make things worse, so do try simple methods like raising your head position before you resort to them.

Anxiety Disorders

There are a vast array of anxiety disorders, from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder through to PTSD. Or perhaps you have a mixture of them all in one, with the all-encompassing General Anxiety Disorder.

If you find yourself panicked or worrying on a daily basis, then it might be a sign of such an illness. Often, it’s just dismissed as ‘the way we are’ – so we think no more of it. But in reality, being highly stressed and anxious could be a sign of a physiological illness.

It’s worth running through the GAD-7; a standard, medically-sound test that is used as a diagnostic tool for anxiety disorders. This should give you some idea on whether your anxiety is within normal limits, or if it might be time to speak to your doctor about your treatment options.

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If you do find you have a concern, then the way it has been impacting your sleep could be total. When you are panicked or anxious, your adrenaline is firing on a constant “fight or flight” mode. This results in hypervigilance, which in turn makes it difficult to get to sleep at night. Even if you score low on the GAD-7, if any of the above sounds familiar, it’s always worth a brief chat with a doctor to see if there’s anything they can help with.

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Shocking Secret Costs Of Home Buying

You might have quite a romantic notion of buying your first home. To be honest, it is a beautiful concept. You’re buying a little plot of land and a home that is yours and that you own. But you shouldn’t let that idea hide the very real costs that you’re going to face when you start to think about buying a property. There are a lot of hidden costs that you need to be prepared for otherwise, they can come back to bite you in a few years. Here’s an example of one of those nasty costs, the removal team. We know what you’re thinking. A removal team can’t be that expensive, can they? Be careful with this assumption though because different companies charge different prices. As well as this, prices will fluctuate depending on when you’re moving and where you’re moving too. If you’re traveling to a new home halfway across the country, removal costs are going to be a large chunk of the bill.

Home, At Home, Luck, Feel At Ease

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The best way to handle this is by looking at different companies online and finding the cheapest possibility. But you also want to check out reviews to make sure that the company you choose isn’t going to deliver a shoddy service. Here are a few other hidden costs that you need to think about.

Legal Fees

Lawyers are notorious for charging heavy costs for their services, and we often forget that buying a home is a legal transaction. It’s such a massive purchase that you need legal representation to make sure that everything is above board. That’s not even the only professional you’ll need to hire either. You will also need to think about getting an inspector as well as a surveyor, and the list just keeps growing. When you buy a home, you may need to hire as many as three different professionals to ensure that your purchase happens without a hitch.

Interest

Don’t forget that when you buy a home, you will almost always be taking out a loan to pay for it or a mortgage. A mortgage that, unfortunately, is like any other loan. What this means is that you can start paying back the cost of your home at a reasonable amount. But eventually, after a few years, you could end up paying a lot more than what your home was originally worth. That’s why you need to calculate mortgage payment before you actually buy a home. This will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into and can avoid the nasty situation of repayments becoming unmanageable.

Home

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Bills, Bills, Bills,

Last but not least, it’s worth thinking about home bills. They are probably going to be considerably larger than you’re used to and could be a shock to your finances. Luckily, there are ways to reduce this cost. You just need to think about going greener, conserving energy as much as you possibly can.

Good luck with these costs when buying a home. If you take this advice, you’ll be able to avoid the surprise and plan your finances accordingly.

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Everything You Need For A Functional Family Bathroom

When you put together your family home, certain rooms tend to take precedence over others. It’s a lot of fun to design a cozy family room or to picture your dreamy farmhouse-style kitchen in full action as you cook a delicious dinner for the family. But once room that is perhaps even more important to the everyday functioning of your family’s home is the bathroom. Sure, you aren’t all using it at once like you are the other rooms mentioned – but that’s kind of the point. When you have one bathroom to share between four or maybe even five people (depending on how many kids you have), things can automatically get a bit complicated. The inevitable queue for the toilet, the rush as you all try and brush your teeth at once – and there’s always that one person who takes way too long in the shower. To a certain extent, there’s not a great deal you can do about much of this – these examples are simply by-products of living in a family home, and you will miss the madness once your kids have grown up and moved out! But still, you shouldn’t be fighting a losing battle against your bathroom every single day. Take a look at these top tips for how you can make your family bathroom much more functional.


Color coding

The last thing you need right after you’ve just got the kids settled for bed is an argument breaking out over who’s used who’s toothbrush. If you have multiple products in the same bathroom and they all belong to different people, try color coding them to make sure your family knows what belongs to who. This is especially important if certain members of your family need to use specific products for medical reasons – or if you just want to stop your children stealing your $30 a bottle body wash! Buy individual shower caddies in a variety of colors and get your kids to claim one each. It is also worth buying a variety of toothbrushes in different colors, so there’s no cross-contamination.

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The double sink

Sick of always dealing with a blocked and generally gross sink? Perhaps you’ve pretty much accepted that your kids will never wipe up their dried toothpaste no matter how many times you tell them, or perhaps your husband will simply never wash away his hair after his morning shave! If this sounds like something you’re used to, and you’ve got enough room, why not consider installing a second sink? Double sinks can look incredibly stylish and modern, and automatically free up space in your bathroom. There are a variety of styles to choose from, whether you want to go for classic porcelain or something a little more innovative, like marble or wood. Vessel sinks are also exceptionally popular and can immediately add a touch of chic to your bathroom. If overcrowding is the main issue you face in your family bathroom, this could be the perfect option for you – no more crowding around one sink just to have a go with the mouthwash!

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More storage space

If there’s one thing most bathrooms lack, it’s storage space. And if there’s one thing we all know about a family bathroom, it’s that a number of products we have in there sure can build up. Shampoos and body washes can be dealt with easily enough via the aforementioned shower caddy, but what about all the other things you tend to find in the average shared bathroom? Sponges, wash clothes, towels, hand soap, beauty products, hairdryers… the list is endless! Let’s start with the beauty products. This is a broad term that can cover everything from face washes to hair masks – and you’ll know how easy it can be to build up quite the collection. Having them just sitting on your sink surface can get crowded and also messy, as any leaks or spillages (and they will happen!) dry onto your surfaces. It can also be hard to know where to begin with your morning routine when you’ve got twenty different products staring you in the face! Chances are, there are only a couple of these products that you actually use on a daily basis, so install a cabinet of sorts to hide the rest away in. You don’t have to compromise on style either – you can get hold of some truly unique vanities from many great retailers. Try and get hold of one that offers multiple storage options: a big cupboard space for bulky items like electricals and cleaning products, and smaller drawers for miscellaneous items. It can also be worth investing in a towel rack or towel hooks, so you’re not constantly picking fabric up off the floor after your kids.

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Bathroom rules

It can be really hard to maintain the upkeep and appearance of one room on your own – especially a room that gets as dirty as quickly as a bathroom. The constant humidity and the amount of product used in a bathroom can easily make the place appear messy and unkempt – so encourage your family to abide by a set of rules in order to keep the place looking its best. Something along the lines of ‘leave the bathroom how you found it’ should suffice! Bathmats left to sit on a wet floor can easily become moldy and even a health hazard, so make sure whoever showers last hangs it up somewhere to air or puts it in the laundry basket. Hair in the plughole is also a common issue in big families – and nothing ruins the functionality of a family bathroom more than a blocked up bathtub. Place a hair catcher over your sink and your bathtub plughole, although encourage your family to pull any excess hair out all the same. By making these simple changes to your bathroom, you will find it much easier to use and the whole family will benefit.

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3 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Garden This Year

For most people, the size of the garden is a huge selling point if they are planning to buy a property. It’s not just the idea that if you have a garden, children have a place to play. A little bit – or a lot – of land that you own is something to be proud of, and you want to be able to maximize on the space you have and not let it go to waste. There are so many ways you can use a garden and stripping the whole thing back to basics and starting from scratch is the smart thing to do. It’s your piece of private outdoor space to do what you want with and that begins from the ground up. Doing up the garden can be as fun as doing up any room in the house, but are you ready for the challenge?

Landscape, Japanese Garden, Ornamental Garden

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Some people decide to fully landscape their garden into one that is low maintenance. This generally is for those who have no real interest in gardening but still want to use the outside space for children, barbecues and generally having the outdoor area to entertain friends. This can be anything from laying patterned gravel like this to tarmacking the entire area so it’s got a slight bounce – great for children to play. Low maintenance gardens are great for people who don’t have time for the upkeep of planting flowers or vegetables and generally want to be able to tidy the space up quickly.

There are those who want a fully green garden packed with seasonal flowers, lawn and a vegetable patch to grow peppers and onions. Generally, these gardens are very high maintenance and require a few hours work every week to maintain their colour. Sprinklers in the summer and watering cans for the hanging plants are a feature and the pride in the outdoor setting is obvious. A fully bloomed garden is beautiful and smells amazing in the summer months, and it’s also a very peaceful place to sit and just be. There are some amazing ways you can maximize on the space you have in your garden, whether it’s a tiny little patio area or half a football field attached to the rear of your home and with these three fab ideas, you can use the garden in the way you have always dreamed:

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Planting is one of the most popular activities in a garden. You could choose to landscape your garden with a lawn and edge the entire thing with border flowers that relate to the season. If your garden space is a little smaller than you would like but you have big dreams for it, don’t grow around, grow UP! Adding fencing and bamboo can see some beautiful climbing ivy and other plants through the year growing upward in your garden. You can also plant squash and variations of beans and cucumber if a vegetable garden is something that interests you. Making a tepee of climbing plants for your garden can give it a green glow all year round. Don’t forget to invest in the right equipment though, you’ll need mowers and tools for your garden to keep it in tip top shape.

The grill man

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Entertaining friends at home is always a pleasure, but being able to spill out into the garden is even better. If you have gone for a low maintenance garden, you’re likely to be lacking much in the way of greenery and colour outside. Adding solar lights, bunting and fake bushes like these ones can add some beauty to an otherwise plain garden. Build your own brick barbecue and think about having inflatable hot tubs on standby to get out when guests are over. Drinks on a chilly New Year’s Even can be so much better when you’re relaxing in the warm bubbles of your new hot tub and eating tasty burgers from the new barbecue! Maximizing your garden for entertainment is a way to make the space you have somewhere you want to be. There’s no use having extra land if you can’t use it to make yourself happy and entertaining guests in a unique way is the best. Invite them over and remind them to bring their swimwear!

One of the most popular ways to maximize the garden space is to build on it. Not just plant and flower boxes, but conservatories. When you have a lot of land in the back of the house, you have the opportunity to attach what ends up being an entirely new room onto the house. This not only adds value to the house as a whole, but it gives you that extra dining room/play room/craft space you’ve always imagined you could have. A conservatory is a fantastic idea if you live in an area that is heavy with rain. You can then use the rest of the outside space for entertaining and planting beautiful flowers. You can read more about installing a conservatory here.

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Your garden is your own private haven to do with what you will. Add in a pond and some fish for a little touch of wildlife and hang bird feeders from the trees. You can even buy some fantastic garden furniture like this to make your outdoor area feel homelier than just a blank canvas to look at. Taking the time to make the most of your garden comes down to how busy you are and how much you care about the flush of colour that your garden has.

There are so many people who don’t have the time to maintain a garden but if you have the time, turn the garden from boring to brilliant. Make it an extension of your home and furnish, decorate and breathe life into it. You want to create a place you and your friends want to be; and your garden is that space as long as you take the time to make the most of the area you have.

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