Sleeping well

Tips for Sleeping Well

 

A lot of times I go to bed and nothing happens. I sleep. I wake up. A new day starts.

Other times, I find myself gasping for air and screaming my lungs out, scaring my husband, cats and neighbors. As it turns out, my father used to suffer from the same sleep interruptions. Is it genetic? Is it psychological? Is there a mythological Old Hag sitting on my chest and tormenting me at nighttime? I’m pretty sure it’s that last one, though I went to Sleepnet to find some useful information:

*  Sleep is as important as food and air. Quantity and quality are very important. Most adults need between 7.5 to 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you press the snooze button on the alarm in the morning you are not getting enough sleep. This could be due to not enough time in bed, external disturbances, or a sleep disorder.

* Keep regular hours. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day. Getting up at the same time is most important. Getting bright light, like the sun, when you get up will also help. Try to go to bed only when you are sleepy. Bright light in the morning at a regular time should help you feel sleepy at the same time every night.

* Stay away from stimulants like caffeine. This will help you get deep sleep which is most refreshing. If you take any caffeine, take it in the morning. Avoid all stimulants in the evening, including chocolate, caffeinated sodas, and caffeinated teas. They will delay sleep and increase arousal during the night.

* Use the bed for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or using laptop computers. Know that reading in bed can be a problem if the material is very stimulating and you read with a bright light. If it helps to read before sleep make sure you use a very small wattage bulb to read. A 15 watt bulb should be enough. Bright light from these activities may inhibit sleep.

* Avoid bright light around the house before bed. Using dimmer switches in living rooms and bathrooms before bed can be helpful. (Dimmer switches can be set to maximum brightness for morning routines.)

* Don’t stress if you feel you are not getting enough sleep. It will just make matters worse. Know you will sleep eventually.

* Avoid exercise near bedtime. No exercise at least 3 hours before bed.

* Don’t go to bed hungry. Have a light snack, avoid a heavy meal before bed.

* Bedtime routines are helpful for good sleep. Keep routines on your normal schedule. A cup of herbal tea an hour before bed can begin a routine.

* Avoid looking at the clock if you wake up in the middle of the night. It can cause anxiety. This is very difficult for most of us, so turn the clock away from your eyes so you would have to turn it to see the time. You may decide not to make the effort and go right back to sleep.

* If you can’t get to sleep for over 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something boring in dim light till you are sleepy.

* Keep your bedroom at comfortable temperature. Not too warm and not too cold. Cooler is better than warmer.

* If you have problems with noise in your environment you can use a white noise generator. A old fan will work or you can buy noise machines from many sources.

* Know that the “night cap” has a price. Alcohol may help you to get to sleep but it will cause you to wake up throughout the night. You may not notice it. (It is worse if you have sleep apnea because the alcohol makes the apnea worse.) Sometimes people snore only if they have had some alcohol or may snore worse if they already snore.)

* If you have a sleeping partner, ask them if they notice any snoring, leg movements and/or pauses in breathing . Take this information and try the sleep test. You may have a sleep disorder or you may just need to increase your awareness about your own sleep need. If you have any concerns see your doctor.

Recap of what I learned:

  • No caffeine (at least a couple of hours before going to bed).
  • Use a tall pillow (or several).
  • If the crazies continue at night, take a sleep test.

Stepping it up

That is going to be my new motto.

These months (for me) have been an accelerated course on life.

I helped a teenager pass his 7th grade, even when everyone else said: “You will fail!” I helped him study, gave him unsolicited advice, cried with him, and intervened when his tutor was ready to hang the gloves and give up. This wonderful kid is part of the hundreds, if not thousands of kids that belong to the state here in Puerto Rico. A kid that cannot get his driver’s license, (even the apprentice one) until he turns 18. A kid who’s dad died and mom neglects. Who has been raised in foster care for over six years with a complete stranger. A kid that stiffens when you hug him, and answered: “No.” when I asked him: “Do you know what love means?” I told him I loved him that day, and I meant it. This kid is thirteen years old.

I have also learned that the US alone puts to sleep (nice wording for euthanasia), at least 5 million animals each year. I became aware of this truth when I found two puppies in the middle of the night, trying to cross a highly transited road. I took them in without knowing what would I do with them, since I couldn’t keep them. I bathed them, removing their ticks and fleas (which was pretty nasty). I dewormed them, fed them, and gave them as much love as I could. I started looking for no-kill shelters in Puerto Rico, to find out that even if we have 78 municipalities that by LAW are required to have a shelter each one, there are only 5 or 6 in the whole island including Vieques. Oh, and those do NOT guarantee the animals will be killed the next day.What broke my heart about this matter is that those kind souls who did have no-kill shelters, or sanctuaries, are in the verge of filing for bankruptcy because they lack the funding. I found around 3 or 4 of those, and only one was willing to take the dogs immediately. All of them were overbooked. The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.–Ghandi

I guess Puerto Rican’s can’t get mad when people call us a “Third World” country. Stray cats and dogs are part of our daily bread.

I did find them a home after two weeks of intensive searching and pleading for help. I thank the kind souls that helped  these two babies change the lives of two families for the better. I also thank my husband for being such a rare specimen in this world, and having the courage to support my decisions with understanding.

Aside from children in need of love and care, and animals in need of love and compassion, I also learned that I can’t change the world if I don’t start by changing myself. Not only my actions, but my thinking.

I want to be the person that changes your day when you talk to her or meet her. I yearn to be the one infecting the world with just one smile. I pray to God everyday, to give me the strength to carry out my life in the best way possible.

I used to be a selfish, careless person. I did wake up from that trance a couple of years ago, and now, close to my 25th birthday, I truly know that a life without purpose, is a life not worth living at all.


The best moisturizing cream is a non-comedogenic one

The Best Moisturizing Cream is a Non-Comedogenic One

 

Living with an oily skin isn’t easy. Your pores are so big, that they collect all dust and dirt throughout the day. By bed time, they are already filled with these residues, mixed with sebum and very difficult to remove. No cleanser can give you a perfectly clean face. You go to sleep with that stuff on your face to wake up in the morning with clogged pores and perhaps some irritations.

It’s a myth that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizing. It needs it badly, but you need to be very careful which cream you choose. There are some of them featuring special formulations for oily skins. These products are free from alcohol and fragrances, they are light and very effective at penetrating the superficial layers of the skin. If they are easily absorbed, there are slighter chances to get those nasty blackheads, pimples and acne bursts that are so common among people with this type of complexion.

 

Skincare is a science that has evolved tremendously over the past decade. Modern products are perfectly adapted to the type of skin they’ve been created for. They can help reducing and preventing acne outbreaks, while giving the skin a nice, matte look. Nobody wants to have a shiny face full of blackheads, so a mejor crema hidratante no-comedogenica is their best solution for a perfect skin.

The cream I’ve fallen in love with has all these properties. I apply it twice a day, once before bed time and once in the morning, before putting on my makeup. Since then, I have less problems with oily patches and clogged makeup. My pores seem smaller and cleaner. My T-zone area is still a bit shiny, but it looks much better than what it used to.

The texture of this cream is very fluid. This makes it get absorbed into the skin pretty quickly, thus preventing that greasy look everybody hates. This is essential for a non-comedogenic product, as the ones that aren’t fluid usually clog the pores, resulting in acne, inflammations and all kinds of blemishes. Good skincare products for oily skin are fluid, yet moisturizing. Their formulation is carefully balanced to cater to all problems of this type of skin.

The other good thing about this cream is that it doesn’t stimulate the already over-active sebaceous glands increase their sebum production. This allows the makeup to look good even after many hours, thus being ideal for all girls who don’t understand life without color. Besides, thanks to its emollient properties, this moisturizing cream softens the dry areas on the face, making the complexion more even and nicer. This is the solution to a problem all oily skin persons have; their skin has some dry patches that flake off, making them look like they never put a skincare product on their face. Luckily, thanks to these modern products, we can improve the way we look and feel, thus boosting our self-confidence and self-esteem. Indeed, a good moisturizer can make you feel better in multiple areas of your life.