Between feedings, changing diapers and household chores, sleep is often put on the back burner for new parents at the end of a busy day.
In fact, a survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Mattress Firm, found the average parent loses one-third of his or her nightly sleep after a baby arrives, decreasing from an average of six hours per night to just four. The same study also found that nearly half (48 percent) of new parents said sleep loss is their biggest obstacle to overcome.
Getting adequate sleep may seem impossible with a new addition but it is essential for managing stress and preparing for the day ahead. While there isn’t a magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help:
Find time for rest
Establish a routine
Try soothing techniques
Choose the right mattress
Remember, the sleepless nights won’t last forever; the American Academy of Pediatrics notes almost all babies should be able to sleep through the night by 6 months of age. For more strategies for helping new parents sleep, visit DailyDoze.com and follow along on social media with #WorkHardSleepHarder.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Sources: Family Features | Mattress Firm
Consider a high-protein, low-carb and low-sugar option
This time of year, millions of Americans are making resolutions to lose weight. When it comes to adopting a healthy eating plan, it can seem like the options are endless. With new diet plans popping up seemingly every day, the process of choosing a plan that works for you and fits your lifestyle can be an intimidating one.
Many experts agree, however, that a diet high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates offers significant benefits. This was the foundation for the South Beach Diet, introduced 15 years ago by cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston. Since its introduction, it has helped millions of people successfully lose weight, while its books became best-sellers with more than 23 million copies sold in print.
Now in its second year as a structured weight-loss meal delivery program, South Beach introduced an enhanced three-phase approach designed to burn fat, transform metabolism and boost energy, including a 7-Day Body Reboot to help break the sugar habit and South Beach Complete Shakes. According to the company, users can expect to lose up to 9 pounds and 3 inches overall in their first two weeks on the program.
Over-consumption of sugar, which can lead to diabetes and heart disease, is one of the biggest problems in many Americans’ diets, according to Agatston.
“Sugar, be it simple sugar or from refined carbs, should be avoided,” Agatston said. “In fact, I would say fats aren’t making us gain weight, sugar is. It’s not about eliminating fats and carbs, it’s about the quality of the fats and carbs you’re eating.”
To help break the harmful sugar habit, foods on the South Beach Diet provide 1 percent of calories from added sugars – significantly lower than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation, which suggests that no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugars.
So what’s the easiest way to live a high-protein, low-sugar, low-carb lifestyle? The answer could be a weight loss meal delivery program, like South Beach. For many, meal prep is equally as intimidating as sticking to a New Year’s resolution. The time required for food shopping and meal preparation often prevents a person from sticking to his or her healthy lifestyle. A weight-loss meal delivery plan allows one to make smarter meal choices and eliminates nearly all prep time. According to South Beach, its program delivers fully prepared, delicious meals that make sticking to a healthy lifestyle simpler and more convenient.
For added convenience, the South Beach Diet Tracker App provides access to meal plans and recipes as well as support and counseling from trained weight-loss coaches and registered dietitians.
Find more tips and tools to begin the weight loss journey at SouthBeachDiet.com.
Sources: Family Features | South Beach Diet
Adults today are constantly searching for balance in life. While balance can be broadly defined, in simple terms it is rooted in equal proportions. The human body demands an equilibrium in order to sustain proper mental, physical and spiritual health. But, achieving balance can be difficult when everyday personal and environmental stresses (such as work, poor diet, harsh sunlight and pollution) expose the body to cell-damaging oxidative stress.
The obstacles to reaching balance are only growing due to shifting lifestyle choices. Today’s adults are active and trying to cram more into a 24-hour day than ever before. In fact, fatigue is a common issue for working adults.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of adults are not getting the nutrients they need to keep their bodies properly fueled to meet the demands faced in a single day. In fact, according to a survey from Instantly, more than 53 percent of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week, while 12 percent never have breakfast at all. The World Health Organization recommends eating at least 400 grams, or five servings, of fruits and vegetables per day, but approximately 75 percent of people worldwide fail to meet that minimum recommendation, creating significant nutrient gaps.
Let’s face it, it can be tough to eat a healthy and well-balanced meal morning, noon and night. For that reason alone, supplements, which fill in nutrient gaps, can ensure you get the right quantities and varieties of nutrients your body needs. Supplements are becoming a critical part of the everyday routine for those looking to do it all and still ensure optimal nutrition. When you incorporate the adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals into your diet, particularly plant-based supplements that add phytonutrients, you can easily fill nutrient gaps and achieve optimal nutrition. By following a few easy steps, you can be on the path to achieving balance.
Educate yourself on your body’s needs
The first step in achieving nutritional balance is understanding the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Knowing what phytonutrients are, and the health benefits associated with them, is key. Phytonutrients are nutrients found in fruits, vegetables and other sources. They are associated with a variety of health benefits, such as eye, bone, joint and heart health, as well as supporting the immune system and brain health. Many phytonutrients are also powerful antioxidants that help fight cell-damaging free radicals.
Taking a multivitamin or multi-mineral supplement each day is a great way to fill in nutrient gaps. Amway’s Nutrilite Double X, for example, is a supplement that delivers a comprehensive and balanced range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to help your body’s natural antioxidant defense mechanisms fight cell-damaging free radicals and support whole body health. Nutrilite Double X contains 12 essential vitamins, 10 essential minerals and phytonutrients from 22 fruits, vegetables and herbs sourced from plants grown on Nutrilite-certified organic farms and Nutricert-certified supplier farms.
The vitamin B family is made up of eight B vitamins, each of which helps your body form energy. Your body requires a regular supply of B vitamins in order to support energy-yielding metabolism. Most importantly, B vitamins need to be taken in the right amounts and at the right times. Amway’s Nutrilite Vitamin B Dual-Action supplement provides your body with an instant and extended release of B vitamins to create and sustain energy within the body. Knowing when to take vitamins and supplements and the right quantities you need is critical to achieving optimal health.
“Amway’s Nutrilite Double X supplement is strategically designed to provide key vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients your body needs,” said Steve Missler, Principal Research Scientist at Amway. “Together with Vitamin B Dual-Action, these two products help provide the body with the quality nutrients needed to function properly and maintain a healthy balance. However, as with all nutrition plans, it is important to consult with a medical professional or health expert to determine your specific nutritional needs.”
Achieve nutrient balance
When it comes to finding the right supplement, another tip is to look for third-party verifications of product quality. Nutrilite Double X and Vitamin B Dual-Action supplements are certified by NSF International, an independent, accredited organization that conducts rigorous tests to assure consumers that products contain what is stated on the label.
It is important to ensure that the supplement you choose is also gentle on your stomach. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast along with a supplemental source of phytonutrients and B vitamins can help ensure you get optimal nutrition throughout the day.
Achieving nutrient balance and fighting fatigue do not need to be uphill battles. Coffee and energy drinks can be effective for short-term needs, but are not the solution. There are many ways to proactively supplement your diet with the nutrients you need and to help fight fatigue before it begins. Supplements are an easy, safe and effective way to ensure you get enough vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, while also ensuring you get the right B vitamins to help fight fatigue. Jump start your day with essential phytonutrients and B vitamins and help your body endure your active life.
As the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve, millions of people vowed to eat better, work out more and lead a healthier life. But something is missing from this equation. While eating well and getting exercise are extremely important, too often people neglect the keystone of good health: sleep.
While few people like daily workout routines or kale salad, most everyone loves sleep. And a good night's sleep loves you, too: It boosts mental and physical well-being.
With today's stressful, highly caffeinated, screen-addicted lifestyles, millions of Americans do not get enough sleep--especially new parents. There are many reasons for this. A look at the 2017 Sleep in Review study by Sleep Number suggests that sleeping habits are highly individualized and need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
A look at the numbers
This year, more than 30 percent of Americans reported they slept worse than in 2016.
A big culprit here is television. Nearly half of all respondents said that television often cuts into their sleep. In fact, 24 percent of millennials and 14 percent of all Americans report that binge watching before bed prevents them from getting enough rest.
Nearly 70 percent say worry and responsibility are preventing them from getting the sleep they need. A racing mind keeps many Americans from getting rest, particularly among Gen Xers. Worries about taking care of others - aging parents or young children - can often lead to neglecting yourself.
However, putting your own self-care first is often the best way to care for others. Those who sleep well say they have a healthy balance of taking time for themselves and helping others that need them (39 percent versus 26 percent). Of course, if you're having difficulty sleeping, this might sound easier said than done.
How do you get there? How do you achieve that wonderful, restorative eight hours of sleep?
There's not one right way to do this, but according to the survey, there are several habits good sleepers have:
A good night's sleep can mean the difference between having a wonderful or a horrible day. More and more Americans are realizing this. Over half (54 percent) of those surveyed are making "improving the quality of their sleep" one of their New Year's resolutions, which is up 30 percentage points from 2014.
An individualized path to better sleep
In the past five years, millions of people have embraced software and technology that tracks their eating and exercise habits. These small devices give an individualized report that allows people to monitor their activity and adjust in a way that promotes good habits and health. Similarly, Sleep Number's SleepIQ technology(R) tracks your sleeping habits, and in the morning, it gives you a personalized report on how you slept, offering insights on how you might improve your sleeping habits.
Sleep is so individualized, and there's no one right way to do it. The more you know about how you're sleeping, the more you can learn what adjustments you should make to sleep better. Learn more about the latest in sleep tracking and adjustable comfort at sleepnumber.com.
You hear a lot about dreams in our society these days. Companies tell you to "dream big" or "dream fearlessly." Yet no one tells you to "dream prepared." And when you get down to it, this last idea may be the most important because it's the preparation that can help you as you pursue personal goals and life adventures.
In a 2017 online survey conducted by Kelton Global and sponsored by Merck of 2,013 women ages 18 to 40, the majority listed financial stability, emotional development, relationship security and career growth as their top priorities.
Comparatively, only about 40 percent of those surveyed listed starting or growing a family as a current priority, regardless of whether or not they currently have children. When it comes to family planning, birth control can play an important role for those looking to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. However, among the 908 birth control users surveyed, more than one in four women considered their birth control options for less than 15 minutes before making a decision.
For women, adventures are different and finding balance among all their priorities can help them be more prepared to take on what's next. That's why Merck teamed with actress and singer-songwriter Mandy Moore on Her Life. Her Adventures., an educational campaign encouraging women to know their options and set priorities, including talking to their doctor about family planning and birth control, to help them feel better prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Moore has been in the spotlight since a young age and as she has built her career, balancing her priorities has become more important than ever. "My life has been full of so many adventures and through it all, setting long-term goals and having a plan in place has helped me get to where I am today," she says. "Whether it's landing your dream job, traveling to a new country, or pursuing your education, the important thing is to plan, know your priorities and stay focused on your goals, whatever they may be."
To help prioritize your goals, Moore offers the following tips:
Find Your Passion
What are you passionate about? Whatever it is, Moore recommends working it into your life as much as possible. "Growing up, music was a passion of mine which opened the door to my acting career," she says. "Now, I'm really fortunate that I get to incorporate music into my acting. Getting to this point was an adventure filled with opportunities and challenges along the way, but it was all part of my journey that helped me get to where I am today."
Bring Your Passions into Your Daily Life
If you're passionate about writing, consider taking creative writing workshops or pursuing a career in editing. If you're passionate about fitness or the outdoors and you can't work in these fields, incorporate exercise or a walk outside into your lunch breaks. And if you're itching to explore something new, consider traveling to a new location. Experience the tastes, sights and sounds of a new place - there are so many options to choose from.
Make Note of Your Current (and Long-Term) Priorities
As you embark on your next life adventure - whether it's with your finances, career or next big trip - don't forget about family planning. In 2011, nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States were unplanned, oftentimes due to inconsistent or incorrect use of birth control. And it's important to remember that any woman of reproductive age can have an unplanned pregnancy; it doesn't only occur in teenagers.
"Understanding your priorities and planning can help you pursue your goals," Mandy says. "That's why I'm excited to team up with Merck on the Her Life. Her Adventures. campaign to encourage women to think about their priorities, including family planning and birth control, and talk with their doctor to explore their options."
Visit Her Life. Her Adventures. to learn more about this campaign, find helpful information and tips on planning ahead, and join Mandy and other adventurers as they share their stories on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about all family planning and birth control options, including reversible daily, non-daily and longer-term ones, talk to your doctor.
3 Ways Women Can Boost Iron Intake
If you’re a woman who feels like you're constantly fighting fatigue, there could be a physical reason for that sluggishness.
In the US, 1 in 10 women, between 12 and 49 years old, are dealing with the results of low iron, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and that can easily lead to extra fatigue and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), particularly affecting menstruating women, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, athletes (especially women) and recent blood donors.
"Many women have low iron levels and simply don’t know it," reports Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, herbal medicine and dietary supplementation, and author of National Geographic’s "Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More." "Iron is absolutely critical to some of our most basic functions, like energy production, oxygen circulation and healthy brain function."
The good news is, low iron stores can be easy to correct. Scientists at Mayo Clinic suggest the following remedies:
In addition to fatigue, the most common symptom of low iron, symptoms can also include muscle weakness upon exertion; heart palpitations; pale skin; decreased focus; occasional sadness and/or an inability to stay warm.
Seeking more information about addressing an iron deficiency? Learn more at BloodBuilder.com.
Natural Baby Magazine
Blogging about Natural Childbirth, Natural Baby Bums, Natural Baby Feeding, Natural Baby Health, and Natural Baby Learning all in the first year of life.