THERE is nothing quite like a good night’s sleep.
The ability to spring out of bed feeling rested and ready to take on your day is something we all crave.
Getty – Contributor Setting your bedroom up properly is the best way to get a good night’s sleep
But achieving that feeling is often easier said than done, especially if you have a busy lifestyle that keeps you running around until way past bedtime.
Have you ever put any thought into how some of the things you do in the bedroom may actually disrupt your sleep?
It might sound a bit obvious, but if you don’t set up your bedroom the right way you are guaranteeing you won’t get a good rest.
Here’s six things you need to be doing to get a better night’s sleep.
Getty – Contributor Sleeping naked helps your body regulate its temperature better
1. Sleep naked
This is probably disappointing if you are a fan of soft pyjamas.
But sleeping naked helps your body better regulate its temperature.
Sleep expert Christabel Majendie said: “Evidence suggests that going to bed naked improves your quality of sleep.
“It helps your body regulate its temperature, meaning your sleep will not be disturbed by being too hot.”
During the summer it is a good idea to open a window to let cool air in overnight.
“We sleep better in temperatures between 16-18 degrees so set the thermostat accordingly and regulate body temperature through the night with bedding, such as an extra blanket which you can add or remove,” she added.
“It may be worth wearing socks in bed if you suffer from cold feet as this can disturb your sleep.”
Getty – Contributor Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and invest in an eye mask to block out light
2. Set the mood
Making sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable is vital for an uninterrupted kip.
Christabel recommends sleeping with earplugs, buying an eye mask and getting thick curtains to block out excess light.
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“Many modern-day bedrooms are actually unsuitable for good – quality sleep,” she said.
“Research shows that improving your sleep environment can vastly improve our chances of getting a good night’s rest.
“Darkness helps your body get the most out of sleep.
“Getting rid of noises and keeping the temperature cool will make you more comfortable.”
Getty – Contributor Eating in the bedroom is a bad idea – you need to train your body to associate the bedroom with sleep and nothing else
3. Don’t eat in the bedroom
No more late night snacks for you.
You need to treat your bedroom as a place to sleep and nothing else.
“The bedroom should be reserved for sleep only,” Christabel added.
“Working, eating, talking on the phone and using the computer or mobile phones are daytime activities, which will weaken your association with the bedroom and sleep and cause you to have a more disturbed night.”
Getty – Contributor Try writing a to do list to empty your mind before you go to sleep
4. Leave your problems behind
Your bedroom is a place of sanctuary, so any emotion or problems you are having need to be left at the door.
“This is about creating a good inner environment,” Christabel explained.
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“Whatever inner conflicts you have, make a truce and establish peacetime.
“This will help you sleep better. You can always pick up the ‘mental fight’ the next day.
“Spend 10-15 mins each day writing down your worries and how you are going to deal with them.
“If worrisome thoughts enter your mind just as you are going to bed, you can remind yourself that you are dealing with the issues.”
Evidence also suggests writing a to do list before bed helps you fall asleep faster.
Getty – Contributor Change your sheets regularly to avoid things like dust mites irritating you when you are trying to rest
5. Change your sheets
Sleeping in clean sheets is just as important as picking the right bedding to keep you comfortable.
“Change your sheets no less than once every two weeks, better still once a week,” Christabel said.
“This will minimise odours and dust mites, which can cause problems for people with allergies and asthma.
“In addition, clean sheets provide a more welcoming and comfortable environment, making you relaxed and therefore, in a better position to sleep.
“Using sheets made from natural fibres may improve the quality of your sleep as they are better at regulating body temperature compared to synthetic fibres, and they can absorb more moisture such as sweat, keeping you cool and dry.”
Try breathable, hypoallergenic products to reduce allergies.
‘diabulimic’ Terrified Of Needles Risked Her Life Weightlifting Instead Of Taking Insulin Injections To ‘try And Manage Her Diabetes’
A DIABETIC terrified of needles admits she diced with death by using weightlifting to control her condition instead of taking her insulin injections.
Despite knowing the grave dangers, Hollie Smith admits she used exercise to try and manage her type 1 diabetes.
PA Real Life/Mike Tennant Weightlifter Hollie Smith diced with death skipping her insulin injections to control her type 1 diabetes, in favour of exercise
The 23-year-old said she didn’t start skipping her injections to lose weight, but admits that looking back she had some form of “diabulimia”, dubbed a “hidden eating disorder” by experts.
The weightlifter, who has won several bikini competitions, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17.
It destroys cells that produce insulin, leaving the body unable to produce the vital hormone.
It’s treated with daily insulin injections, or an insulin pump, but Hollie resorted to substituting some of her insulin injections with punishing workouts in the gym.
PA Real Life Despite the dangers, which can prove fatal, the 23-year-old was so scared of needles she said she could not inject herself
“I especially did this after eating carbs, which are broken down into glucose quickly and can increase blood sugar levels,” she explained.
“I know it was dangerous to hit the gym, rather than using insulin, but that didn’t stop me.
“I’d do two hours of cardio every day instead of taking all my insulin.
“I didn’t do it to consciously lose weight, but, looking back, I do think I might have had some form of diabulimia, where you deliberately give yourself less insulin to lose weight.”
PA Real Life The 23-year-old said she didn’t start skipping her injections to lose weight, but admits that looking back she had some form of “diabulimia”
“I was terrified of needles and was told I’d need insulin injections after food,” Hollie, from Wimbledon, added.
“I’d had a needle phobia since childhood and it was always a joke in my family that it was lucky I wasn’t the one with type 1 diabetes like Lucie, who was diagnosed aged eight.”
EXPERT WARNING: NEVER SKIP YOUR INSULIN INJECTIONS
PEOPLE diagnosed with type 1 diabetes should never skip their insulin injections, experts warned.
Douglas Twenefour, deputy head of care at Diabetes UK, said neglecting to use insulin can be fatal for type 1 diabetics.
“People who have type 1 diabetes rely on insulin to live,” he said.
“If you omit insulin it can be potentially fatal and some people, who were undiagnosed, have died doing that.
“Managing type 1 diabetes can be a difficult task, but with the right access to education and support many people are able to manage their condition and live a normal life.
“Consistently high blood glucose levels can lead to a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, also known as DKA.
“DKA happens when there is a severe lack of insulin in the body, which means it cannot use glucose for energy and ketones – poisonous chemicals which cause the body to become acidic – are produced.
“DKA always needs to be treated in hospital and can lead to death if not treated quickly.
“Having high glucose levels for a prolonged period of time can also put people with diabetes at a higher risk of diabetes-related complications, such as kidney damage, amputation and diabetic retinopathy.
“We would strongly recommend that anyone who is finding injecting insulin difficult to talk to a doctor or nurse who can support them to find more manageable ways of injecting their insulin.”
All types of diabetes cause blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but the two different types do this in different ways.
Type 1 is far less common, affecting around 10 per cent of adults who have the disease.
The disease can be inherited and Hollie’s sister, 19-year-old Lucie, also has it.
PA Real Life The weightlifter, who has won several bikini competitions, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17
PA Real Life Hollie with sister Lucie, who is also type 1 diabetic
If left untreated type 1 diabetes can cause large amounts of glucose to build up in the body and damage its cells.
This can also lead to organ damage, amputation or a diabetic coma, but this wasn’t enough to convince Hollie to use her injections.
As a result of skipping her injections and excessive exercise Hollie’s weight plummeted from a size 10 to a size 6.
I didn’t do it to consciously lose weight, but, looking back, I do think I might have had some form of diabulimia, where you deliberately give yourself less insulin to lose weight
“Looking back, I feel embarrassed that I treated my body like that,” she said.
“I would never recommend anyone to live like that, but it was a part of my journey, and being in the gym got me into the competitions.”
While studying law at the University of Reading Hollie began training for bikini competitions after seeing photos of models on Instagram.
PA Real Life Hollie said despite knowing how dangerous it was she would do two hours of cardio at the gym instead of taking all her insulin
“I thought they just looked amazing and realised how much I would like to look like that, and not like the thin woman I was,” she said.
“So, I started weight lifting at the gym – just small weights to start off with – but I began to feel amazing.
“It was my turning point with insulin too as I realised I had been so stupid not injecting properly before.
“I realised I would probably kill myself if I didn’t look after my diabetes properly. I could lose a limb, develop heart disease or even have a stroke.”
PA Real Life As a result of skipping her injections and excessive exercise Hollie’s weight plummeted from a size 10 to a size 6
Hollie began injecting her insulin after every meal and controlled her diet to make sure she was managing her blood sugar properly.
She also trained five times a week, bench pressing with 10kg and squatting with 15kg at first – but raising this to 40kg bench presses and 100kg for squats.
What Is High Blood Pressure, What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Hypertension And What’s A Normal Reading?
WHEN your heart beats it moves blood around our bodies and as it flows, the blood pushes against the sides of the blood vessels.
The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. Here is what a normal reading should be and what to do if yours is too high or too low…
Getty – Contributor Blood pressure can be measured using a sphygmomanometer
What is a normal blood pressure reading?
The ideal blood pressure should be below 120 and over 80 (120/80) and most UK adults have blood pressure in the range 120 over 80 (120/80) to 140 over 90 (140/90).
The higher number is the systolic pressure, which is the force at which your heart pumps blood around your body, and the lower number is the diastolic pressure, the resistance to the blood flow in the blood vessels.
You can request a blood pressure reading at your local GP – it only takes a minute or so.
Blood pressure is measured with an instrument called a sphygmomanometer, where a a cuff is placed around your arm and inflated with a pump until the circulation is cut off.
Then, a small valve slowly deflates the cuff, and the doctor measures blood pressure.
Getty – Contributor You can get a blood pressure reading from your GP – it takes minutes
What are the risks if it is too high or too low?
If your blood pressure is too high (know as hypertension), it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
For the most part, the lower your blood pressure the better.
However, if you experience symptoms of dizziness, nausea, fainting and dehydration, then low blood pressure may be a problem.
If you experience any of those symptoms, it’s best to see your GP.
Getty – Contributor Bloody pressure can be reduced with a healthy diet and exercise
What are the symptoms of hypertension?
High blood pressure can present a serious risk of heart attacks and strokes if left untreated.
Some symptoms can include severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems and chest pains.
Sufferers of high blood pressure could also experience difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine and pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.
If you feel any of these symptoms, it’s best to get it checked with your GP.
Getty – Contributor Symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headaches and fatigue
What causes hypertension and how can can you reduce it?
The risk of hypertension is greater if you are over 65-years-old, are overweight, exercise rarely, and have a history of high blood pressure in the family.
You can take steps to lower your blood pressure by losing weight, which is helped by increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet.
Doctors also recommend reducing alcohol intake and cut out smoking.
Reducing the sodium in your diet is also a good step to reducing bloody pressure, so make sure you read the labels on food.
If you can’t reduce it by natural methods, your doctor can then prescribe you medication.
Fanny Farts Aren’t Just Embarrassing They Can Be A Sign Of Something Much More Serious
THEY can cause serious embarrassment, especially when they happen in the bedroom, but fanny farts shouldn’t always be laughed off.
Most of the time they don’t mean anything serious – it’s when they are joined by other symptoms that you need to see a doctor.
Getty – Contributor Trapped air down there can cause an embarrassing noise but can also be a sign something more serious is going on
A fanny fart is caused by trapped gas in the vagina, this is not flatulence.
The embarrassing noise is simply the air being released from your vaginal canal, also called queefing.
But since the farting sound isn’t being caused by waste gases and doesn’t smell, it is not actually a fart.
There are several ways air can get trapped down there, the most common being during sex.
Getty – Contributor The most common cause of air getting trapped in the vagina is sex
When you are getting down and dirty it is easy for air to become trapped down there.
That’s because the vagina expands and contracts when you’re aroused, allowing more air to enter.
Every time a penis – or whatever else you are using – enters your lady garden it pushed the air further up.
So when everything is over in the bedroom it eventually comes out in a farting sound.
Getty – Contributor Pelvic floor problems have been linked to vaginal gas
2. Pelvic floor problems
Trapped air can be a sign of more serious problems with your pelvic floor.
Some conditions, like incontinence and prolapse, have been linked to vaginal gas.
GIRLS…LISTEN UP! This is the one exercise all women should do EVERY day to boost your sex life and fertility
That’s why it is so important to do your pelvic floor exercises.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises help prevent the unthinkable – prolapse of a woman’s internal organs, that can happen after giving birth.
In severe cases a uterine prolapse can result in a woman needing to undergo a hysterectomy, leaving her infertile.
Training this key set of muscles will not only boost your sex life, it can prevent incontinence and makes life after childbirth an altogether more bearable time.
Getty – Contributor using tampons can also cause air to get trapped when you insert them
As discussed about, things being inserted into the vagina can cause air to get trapped.
It is no different when you are using a tampon.
Don’t worry though, the air will escape when you take it out.
Getty – Contributor Exams like a smear test can cause your muscles down there to tense up, which can also trap air
4. Tense muscles
If your pelvic floor muscles get tense they can end up holding air down there.
Your muscles can get tense for any number of reasons including stress, sex, holding in a wee and even gynaecological exams like a smear test.
Exercise can also cause your muscles down there to tense.
When this happens any air that might be you-know-where can get pulled in further as the muscles contract.
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