Fall asleep 38% faster!
Not enjoying your day to the fullest because of too little sleep, too much stress, joint pain, hay fever or backaches? Here’s how to start feeling your best . . . so you can fill every day with happiness!
1 KO joint pain with mussels!
If creaky joints are standing between you and your favorite activities, take 500 mg. to 1,200 mg. of green-lipped mussel extract daily. This remedy works so well at relieving joint pain and improving flexibility, it won the top spot in a recent review of 20 arthritis-busting supplements in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
✤ It works! Green-lipped mussels are rich in natural compounds that reduce inflammation and block production of pain-triggering prostaglandins, providing lasting relief. One option: Swanson Premium Green Lipped Mussel, $5.99, Swansonvitamins.com.
And eat almonds! Almonds pack lots of magnesium, a mineral that eases arthritis pain and stiffness by helping to spur creation of more cushioning cartilage between joints, say Chinese scientists. Other food sources of magnesium include spinach, fortified cereal and avocado.
2 Erase backaches with antioxidants!
If ongoing back pain is keeping you cooped up, start taking 600 mg. of alpha lipoic acid and 140 IU of superoxide dismutase daily. Backpain patients who followed this advice felt less pain within 20 days— and nearly all experienced so much relief within 60 days, they stopped using painkillers! ✤ It works! This antioxidant duo ups blood flow to nerves, repairs cell damage, tames inflammation and improves nerve connections. Options: Swanson Ultra Alpha Lipoic Acid, $8.99 per 60 capsules, and Source Naturals Superoxide Dismutase, $15.05, both at Swansonvitamins.com.
And lean back! Do you always sit up straight? Stop if you’re prone to backaches! Place a small pillow behind your lumbar area, then lean back at a slight angle when sitting. This lifts pressure off your back muscles and spine, so you’re less prone to pain, research shows.
4 Fall asleep 38% faster with white noise!
Missing the long, deep sleep that helps you get more done during the day? Start listening to white noise in bed! A Harvard study shows that listening to white noise— a combination of all the frequencies of sound—helps you fall asleep 38% faster, making it as effective as prescription Lunesta (eszopiclone) without any worry of side effects. Plus, it prods you to spend more time in the deepest, more restful stages of sleep. ✤ It works! White noise masks sounds that keep you awake while also changing brain wave patterns in a way that triggers relaxation. Find white noise machines starting at $17 on Amazon, or download the free white noise app at Tmsoft.com.
And eat pot roast! Two studies show that eating zinc-rich foods (such as beef, beans and dark meat poultry) or supplementing with 8 mg. of zinc daily improves sleep! How? By helping to regulate brain chemicals that spur high-quality sleep.
3 Sidestep stress with oatmeal!
Want to start each day relaxed and ready to take on the world? Breakfast on a bowl of whole-grain rolled oats, such as Quaker Oats Old-fashioned Oatmeal, and you’ll feel livelier, calmer and more optimistic —no matter what’s going on around you! ✤ It works! Oats are chock-full of prebiotic fiber, which nourishes the good microbes in your gut that keep the stress hormone cortisol in check, explain University of Oxford scientists. It also helps increase brain hormones that spark positivity. Other top sources of prebiotic fiber include asparagus, garlic, chickpeas, green bananas and onions.
And listen to water sounds! Listening to the soothing and relaxing sound of waterfalls, trickling streams and ocean waves reduces stress within 10 minutes, new research in the journal Medicine shows. How? By calming your sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for your fight-or-flight response!
5 Ease hay fever with baker’s yeast!
If hay fever keeps you from enjoying outdoor fun, like gardening and bicycling, take a daily 250-mg. dose of baker’s yeast beta-glucans (such as Now Foods Extra-strength Beta-glucans, $14.99, iherb.com). Folks with seasonal allergies who did reported 59% less nasal stuffiness, a 57% drop in eye redness and itching and 50% fewer other allergy-related symptoms within a month, reports Food Science & Nutrition. ✤ It works! This naturally occurring yeast compound activates receptors in the body that help curb the immune system’s overreaction to allergens, including pollen.
And sip ginger tea! Drinking one to two cups of ginger tea daily reins in sneezy, itchy hay fever symptoms! Thanks goes to 6-gingerol; the compound that gives ginger its zingy flavor also prevents your immune system from responding aggressively to allergens, reports the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
IMPORTANT: Consult with your doctor first before taking any new herb, vitamin or supplement.
— Gabrielle Lichterman