IstockphotoBy Brittani Renaud
Poor sleep is nothing to yawn at-it takes a toll on everything from your job performance and sex life to overall health. And in women it's been associated with feelings of hostility, depression, and anger, as well as higher risks of diabetes and heart disease. Here, real ways to get the zzz's you need.
Nix annoying noises
A snoring husband, that beeping delivery truck-whatever keeps you awake-tune it all out with a relaxing soundtrack. (Check iTunes for downloads of sleep-friendly sounds.) For comfort, try SleepPhones ($60), thin speakers inside a soft fleece headband; they're especially nice for side-sleepers.
Health.com: The 11 kinds of insomnia
Prep your body
When you hit the sack, try this progressive relaxation technique, says Catherine Darley, ND, director of the Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine in Seattle. Curl your toes tightly for a count of seven, and then relax. Repeat through each muscle group, working up from your toes to your neck.
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IstockphotoBy Brittani RenaudRead More »from 5 ways to fall asleep faster
CorbisBy Frances Largeman-Roth, RDRead More »from The ultimate TV party recipes
The only thing better than settling in front of the TV for Oscar Night, the Super Bowl, or your latest Netflix score is doing it with friends. No need to have a gazillion-inch TV to make a viewing fête fun for all. Just stock your floor with pillows and serve up crowd pleasers, suggest the cool folks who run Ducks Eatery at SPiN New York, a celeb-packed ping-pong club in New York City. Their faves? Sliders and flavor-spiked popcorn.
Amazing Cheddar Sliders
Ingredients: lean ground sirloin, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, sharp cheddar, Martin's Famous Party Potato Rolls
Try this recipe: Amazing Cheddar Sliders
Vanilla and Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Ingredients: unsalted butter, vanilla beans, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, popcorn, sea salt
Try this recipe: Vanilla and Cinnamon-Sugar Popcorn
Parmesan, Parsley, and Maldon Salt Popcorn
By Michelle BenderRead More »from Degerm your gym bag
If you're tossing warm, damp gear in your gym bag after working out, you could be giving millions of germs a free ride home with you. "It's the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive," says Kelly A. Reynolds, PhD, a microbiologist and associate professor of public health at the University of Arizona. The results could sideline you with everything from colds and flu to a nasty staph infection. Don't throw in the towel, though. Here's how to sanitize the worst gym-bag-germ offenders.
Workout clothes and swimsuits
Why they're germy: You ball them up-still damp with sweat or pool water-toss them into your bag, and leave them in there for several hours or even days.
The cleanup: Put clothes in a plastic bag or stash them in a separate mesh pocket, then wash them as soon as you can. No time for laundry? At least hang them to dry so bacteria and mold don't multiply.
Health.com: The most flattering bathing suit for your body type
Why it's germy: Those
Eating a diet packed with the right kind of carbs is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.Read More »from 8 reasons carbs help you lose weight
When we talk about the right kind of carbs, we mean Resistant Starch. Hundreds of studies conducted at respected universities and research centers have shown Resistant Starch-such as grains, beans, and legumes-helps you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energized and less stressed, and lower cholesterol.
Sound too good to be true? Here are eight evidence-based reasons you must get carbs back in your life if you are ever to achieve that coveted sleek, slim look.
Eating carbs makes you thin for life
A recent multi-center study found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams.
That's the equivalent of several stuffed baked potatoes (a food we bet you've been afraid to eat for
Getty ImagesBy Lisa ZamoskyRead More »from The worst jobs for your lungs
Nearly 23,000 workers developed job-related lung disease in 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates. More than 16,000 people die from it each year.
But most types of occupational lung disease are preventable, says Philip Harber, MD, professor and chief of the UCLA Occupational and Environmental Medicine Division. "Simple control measures can markedly reduce exposure and the risk," he says.
Health.com: 10 ways to keep air clean at home
Here are some fields that can be risky for your lung health.
Workers who inhale dust in demolitions or renovations can be at risk for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, a disease that causes scarring and stiffening of lungs.
"We worry about people with exposure 20 to 30 years ago," Dr. Harber says, when many products containing asbestos were not banned.
Wearing protective gear, including a respirator, when working around older buildings and avoiding smoking can help.
Factory workers can be
IstockphotoTake heart with berries, beans, and other healthy fare.Read More »from The 10 best foods for your heart
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.
Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties-which contain more fiber-and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.
"Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant," says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.
Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Tue, Jan 18, 2011 8:45 PM EST
By Linda FormichelliRead More »from Your period: Whatâ€™s normal, whatâ€™s not, and what to do about it
Your period comes at the same time every month...except when it doesn't. Suddenly, without warning, you're early or late, or your flow is heavy, light, or nonexistent (and you know you're not pregnant!). You and millions of women understandably wonder, Is this normal or is something terribly wrong? "There isn't a day that goes by when I don't get questions about periods," says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, co-author of A Woman's Guide to Sexual Health and a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine. The good news: Most period puzzles are easy to solve. Read on for the answers-and the newest solutions-that every woman needs.
Health.com: Make over your period: How to finally fix your menstruation problems
What's up: Low-dose birth control pills often lead to breakthrough bleeding, but "99.95 percent of the time that's nothing to worry about," Dr. Minkin says. Some women who aren't on the Pill spot when they ovulate because of a
Karen McCarty, a 41-year-old clinical secretary from Northern Virginia, first struggled with incontinence after the birth of her second child. Exercise has been key in controlling her constant urge to go, according to McCarty.Read More »from My daughter destroyed my bladder!
After I had my second child in 2005 I was just a mess.
My first child was born in 2003 by a C-section without any problems. But with my second child, I had what they call a VBAC-a vaginal birth after a C-section-and my daughter was a big baby. She tore me apart. After that, I just always had to go. A year and a half after giving birth I had to have reconstructive surgery. The doctor said I had prolapse, a condition in which a pelvic organ drops from its normal spot in your belly and pushes against the vagina.
My doctor told me that it wasn't worth fixing entirely because it could just make my incontinence worse. He basically said that if I stuck to doing Kegel exercises, exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles, everything should be fine.
IstockphotoBy Tina Haupert
I spent a weekend in San Francisco at a food blogger festival, where I ate and drank my little heart out! On my trip, some of my blogger friends and I joked that, on our indulgent weekend, no carb was left behind. Of course, we thought this little saying was pretty funny, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that though the Atkins rage ended years ago, carbs still get a bad rap-even among my healthy, foodie friends.Health.com: The top diet myth that makes us fat
Before finding my Feel Great Weight, I tried all kinds of low-carb diets-most notably the Atkins Diet. I would load my grocery cart with meat, cheese, and eggs, and avoid oatmeal and brightly colored fruits like the plague. In the month that I devoted myself to Atkins, I ate eggs every day for breakfast. I even ate an entire block of cheese more than once. And the whole time I felt cranky and lethargic-I was not pleasant to be around! Of course, I questioned how healthy this diet could really be, but the pounds soon came off and motivated me to stick with it.Read More »from How I overcame my carb phobia
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Wed, Jan 12, 2011 9:59 PM EST
By Ray HainerRead More »from Cold or flu? How to know if youâ€™re too sick to work out
Are you sniffling, sneezing, and coughing? If you're like most people, you probably don't relish the thought of lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road (or the gym) when you have a cold or flu. But those who persevere when they're sick and don't break their exercise routine may be on to something. Some experts argue that moderate exercise can actually have a beneficial effect on cold symptoms, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Health.com: Is it a cold, the flu, or something else?
Exercisers in general tend to catch fewer colds than their sedentary counterparts, research suggests. If done regularly, moderate exercise can halve the number of days you spend with cold symptoms, according to a series of studies conducted in the 1990s. While working out may help fend off viruses, even the most dedicated gymgoer will come down with a cold at some point.
Not everyone who feels under the weather should exercise, however.
What's the neck rule?