Getty ImagesBy Leslie Barrie
You've done all the obvious stuff-cut out late-night caffeine, made sure your bedroom is dark and cozy, avoided scary movies or struggling with your to-do list right before bed. So why are you still tossing and turning?
"Certain habits you're unaware of could be sabotaging your sleep," says Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, assistant professor and sleep specialist at the University of Chicago's Department of Medicine.
And, as you may know, lack of shut-eye doesn't just leave you foggy the next day: Chronic, long-term insufficient sleep ups your odds of diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, even weight gain. So what to do? Try these unexpected tweaks, and wake up feeling incredibly well-rested.
Step 1: Halt your afternoon habit
It's a no-brainer that drinking coffee or tea right before you hit the sack won't do you any sleep favors. But you also need to watch your afternoon drinks, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, a clinical associate professor at Boston University.
Blog Posts by Health.com
- Health.com | Life's Little Pleasures – Fri, Sep 17, 2010 4:04 PM EDT
Getty ImagesBy Leslie BarrieRead More »from 7 tips for the best sleep ever
Experts have a term for neighborhoods with little or no access to nutritional foods: food deserts. But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of food around-it's just the wrong kind.In general, food deserts contain a glut of fast-food joints, chain restaurants, and convenience stores, and few supermarkets or grocery stores that offer fresh produce.
Living in a food desert for too long may compromise your health. Studies have shown that people who don't have easy access to a supermarket tend to have a less healthy diet and are more likely to be overweight, even if their neighborhood features a variety of restaurants, including healthy ones.
"Walking to a restaurant in your neighborhood is not the same thing as walking to the supermarket to buy groceries," says Andrew Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City, who has researched the link between supermarket proximity and body massRead More »from Is your neighborhood making you fat?
Getty ImagesLynda, a 48-year-old mother of three who lives in upstate New York, was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000. While there are prescription medications for fibromyalgia, she's found one unconventional drug-marijuana-that really does the trick.Read More »from Smoking pot for pain relief?
"I would use [marijuana] when the burning pains started down my spine or my right arm, and shortly after, I found I could continue with housework and actually get more done," says Lynda.
Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat and only 35%-40% of people with the chronic pain condition get relief from the available medications. Although there are strong opinions surrounding its use, some patients are trying marijuana-legally or illegally-and finding it can help fibromyalgia pain.
"My patients are asking me all the time about it," says Stuart Silverman, MD, a clinical professor of medicine and rheumatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles. "Historically and anecdotally, marijuana has been used as a painkiller."
- Health.com | Healthy Living – Mon, Sep 13, 2010 11:25 PM EDT
By Susannah Felts and Jeannie Kim
You can officially stop feeling guilty about those little "bad-for-you" habits you can't seem to break. Turns out, many of life's greatest indulgences bring big health benefits-helping you stay slim, fight off the blues, and kick disease to the curb. And we've got the 10 best right here, conveniently ranked by Health's expert panelists.
Start at the top of the list to get the most bang for your healthy buck, and keep moving on down to learn how to boost your well-being in the most decadent ways possible.
Related links from Health.com:
America's Healthiest Grocery Stores
Head-to-Toe Solutions for Stress
Secrets to a Stress-Free FamilyRead More »from America's Healthiest Pleasures: 10 vices that are actually good for you
IstockphotoBy Chris Woolston
Every day we put potential toxins into our mouths, breathe them into our lungs, and track them into our homes without ever really knowing where they'll end up-or how much damage they'll do when they get there. In fact, if you could peek inside your body you'd find fire-retardant chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, plastic particles, and dozens of other residues of modern life.
The time has come to fight back! Our 12 simple steps will help you detoxify everything from your food to your feet, from your bedroom to your breasts. Purifying your life won't happen overnight, despite what those detox foot-pad makers promise on late-night television. (PS: They don't work!) But if you begin today you'll definitely be a little healthier by the time you get into bed. Here's how to get started:
1. Protect against pesticidesRead More »from How to detox your body
Washing fruit and veggies is a must-do every time you bring them home. Why? An overload of pesticides in air, food, or water may set the stage for