Months ago, we discussed natural alternatives to OTC pain relievers. Now, before you assume I’m some hippie snake oil peddler, mine is not a blanket, ideological opposition to pharmaceuticals; rather, it’s just that if there are more natural, cheaper, less intrusive ways to relieve pain, why not try them first?
But that last post was just about general pain relief. What about headaches? Nearly everyone gets them on occasion, and they’re seemingly common enough to warrant entire advertising campaigns revolving around their treatment. One of the natural pain relievers we previously noted was willow bark, which is chemically similar to aspirin. That’s an option for headaches. Magnesium, we said, is used to alleviate migraines, which are an especially painful form of headaches. Those are two common treatments, but surely there are other substances, methods, or solutions out there.
No matter how closely we follow the Primal Blueprint, dips in energy are bound to hit from time to time. Last week, I identified a bunch of tricks for getting yourself out of the hazy afternoon slump. The most popular – and most elusive, I’d imagine – was the afternoon power nap. There’s nothing like taking a quick one to restore energy, but sleeping on the job simply isn’t feasible for a lot of the work force. If you work outside or share a tiny cubicle with a couple other people, we can’t help you. But if it’s your boss giving you grief about a little naptime, there are ways around that.
Glazed over eyes. Slumped shoulders. A suddenly weighty cranium that keeps dipping toward the keyboard. Even heavier eyelids. Eyes that constantly sneak peeks at the clock, which seems to tick ever more slowly (the more you look). Work piling up without regard for your inability to acknowledge its presence.
My apologies for the string of sentence fragments, but my mind simply isn’t working quite right. I’m in the midst of ruminating on the dreaded mid afternoon slump. For my money, it’s the worst feeling in the world.
In the past, we’ve highlighted the importance of sleep in our lives as evidence mounts. A healthy amount of the stuff can help with memory, and a study showing that those who toss and turn to the tune of five or fewer hours of sleep per night have a higher incidence of “silent” heart disease suggests its importance in cardiovascular health. But it’s not like we needed science to tell us that getting plenty of sleep was good for us; the sluggish thoughts, rotten moods, and general uselessness we experience on inadequate sleep is our body’s way of telling us to sleep more and sleep better.
A study in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that sleep is an integral ingredient for heart health.
For the study, researchers from the University of Chicago outfitted 495 healthy, middle-aged volunteers with actigraphs, a device worn on the wrist to measure movement and rest.
Accounting for some degree of movement during sleep time – hey, we’ve all been there with the tossing and turning! – the researchers determined that the study participants slept an average of 6 hours per night but spent about seven hours in bed, presumably waiting to fall asleep.
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