Allergies During the Holiday Season

Allergies During the Holiday Season

Mould & Mildew

Mould spores float in the air like pollen and your exposure to it may increase during the holidays because they love damp evergreens like the wreaths, boughs and trees we bring inside this time of year.

How to control Mould Allergies:

A 2011 study performed by staff at the SUNY Upstate Medical University and published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that a Christmas tree could increase the number of mould spores in an apartment by about 6 and a half times1!

Christmas trees and wreaths carry mould spores. If mould affects you, you may consider making the switch to artificial decorations. If you simply can’t do without your Christmas tree then there are other ways to keep mould to a minimum. Hose plants down before bringing them inside to get rid of existing spores.

Artificial decorations can indeed reduce allergy but they too can become damp or grow mould. Ensure your artificial decorations are stored in dry containers and have been packaged correctly. 

Air purifiers, dehumidifiers and sprays that target mould can make a difference in tackling the spores that cause your allergic reaction.

Dust mites

These tiny allergens can be even more aggravating around the holidays when the air gets damp and we spend time in hotel rooms or staying with friends and relatives.

How to control Dustmite Allergies:

Dust mites are a well-known allergy and asthma trigger. Keep symptoms in check at home by changing air filters frequently, washing your bedding in hot water at 60 degrees weekly and by buying allergy-resistant encasement covers for pillows and mattress. Dust mites thrive in humidity, so a good way to keep indoor humidity between 30% and 50% is to invest in a dehumidifier.

During the holiday season you often find yourself staying with friends, relatives and in hotels. When travelling it’s a good idea to bring your own pillow with an anti-allergy protective cover. When staying in a hotel you can request a down-free pillow or even bring your own pillow encasements to keep allergic reactions to a minimum.

Food

The Holiday Season means lots of dining away from home, plenty of seasonal foods and lots of parties! All of which make it likely you’ll accidentally eat foods you’re allergic to.

Ways to control Food Allergies:

The first and best treatment for food allergies is to avoid what you’re allergic to. At seasonal gatherings with friends and family communication is key. Tell them about your food allergies, ask about ingredients in meals and desserts, discuss alternatives with them and ask for their help so you can avoid the foods you’re allergic to, the last thing your family or friends want is to make you unwell around the holiday season.

Pets

Symptoms of pet allergies can worsen around the holidays. Pets are indoors more, both at your house and in the homes of friends and family2.

Ways to control Pet Allergies:

To reduce the likelihood of a reaction for yourself or your visitors this holiday season there are a few things you can do. Firstly minimize your contact with pets and keep them strictly out of the bedrooms to reduce the amount of allergen in the room. Make sure to bathe your pets weekly, if possible, to wash away dander and other allergens from their fur. Change your clothes, bathe and wash your hair after playing with your pet and before going to bed[3]. Wash your hands and face frequently and keep your floors swept, and carpets vacuumed.

Air purifiers and sprays that target allergies to pets can make a difference in tackling the protein in the dander that causes your allergic reaction.

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?

This is caused by your Circadian Rhythm, but just what is it?

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

For many, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night. Somewhere between 2:00am and 4:00am, when you’re usually fast asleep. And just after lunchtime (around 1:00pm to 3:00pm, when you tend to crave an afternoon siesta). Those times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness 1.

What affects my Circadian Rhythm?

A part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls your circadian rhythm. But other factors like lightness and darkness can also impact it.

When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm coincides with the cycle of day and night and why it’s so hard for night shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

What could help keep my Circadian Rhythm regular?

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a get together that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This is why you can feel out of sorts and can make it harder to pay attention.

If you find it particularly difficult to rise in the morning there are helpful products such as the Lumie Bodyclock that simulate a sunrise to gently wake you from your sleep.

Maybe you are having trouble getting to sleep or want to keep an eye on your nightly sleep pattern, the Beurer SleepExpert Sleep Sensor monitors your sleeping habits  which allows you to identify sleep patterns & take informed measures to tackle them.

Your circadian rhythm will likely change as you get older. And you may not have the same sleep/wake cycle as your partner, child or parents. But the more you pay attention to your body and notice feelings of alertness and drowsiness, and the more time you spend developing good sleeping habits, the better your sleep will be and the more rested you’ll feel.

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

What are our most common dreams & what do they mean?

Every night each person on earth dreams for 90 minutes to two hours or more each night. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep but your most vivid dreams will happen when you are in a deep sleep called REM (rapid eye movement), when the brain is most active1.

What do our common dreams mean?

  1. Being Chased

    This dream is most commonly reported. The anxiety we feel in the dream is so vivid, that it makes it easier for us to remember them. Often, the reason for dreaming you are being chased comes not from the fear of actually being chased but rather what you’re running from. Chase dreams help us to understand that maybe we’re not addressing something in our waking lives that requires our attention.
  2. Falling

    Not all falling dreams are scary. Some dreamers report a type of slow falling that indicates serenity and the act of letting go. When we dream of falling uncontrollably from a great height indicates that something in our life feels very much out of control.
  3. Water

    Water represents our emotions or our unconscious minds. The type of the water (clear, cloudy, calm or turbulent) often shows us how effectively we are managing our emotions.
  4. Flying

    Flying in a dream relates to how much control we feel we have in our lives. Depending on how high or low we fly can represent how much control we feel we have.
  5. Vehicles

    Whether a car, aeroplane, train or ship, the vehicles in our dream can reflect what direction we feel our life is taking, and how much control we think we have over the path ahead of us. Vehicles can give us the power to make a transition and envision ourselves getting to our destination or highlight the obstacles we think we are facing and need to work through.
  6. People

    Dreaming of people often is a reflection of the different aspects you see in yourself. The people in your dreams can relate to characteristics that need to be developed. Specific people directly relate to existing relationships or interpersonal issues we need to work through. Dreaming of your partner, in particular, is frequently symbolic of an aspect of ourselves from which we feel detached.
  7. School

    These dreams are often reported by people who have left school years previously. It’s a very common situation for people in dreams to find themselves in a school or classroom sometimes confronted with a test that they aren’t prepared to take. The “test” or “lesson” we face inside the school or classroom is frequently one we need to learn from our past.
  8. Death

    Although dreaming of death is often perceived as negative, it often refers to dramatic change happening for the dreamer. The end of one thing, in order to make room for something new.
  9. Nudity

    Vulnerability is very often expressed in dreams through nudity. The part of the body that’s exposed can give more insight into the emotion that our dreams are helping us to understand.
  10. Baby

    Dreaming of a baby often represents something new. It might be a new idea, a new development or the potential for growth in an area of our waking life.
  11. Teeth Falling Out

    If you dream of your teeth falling out it may suggest you are insecure about how you are perceived by others and your appearance.
  12. Paralysis

    The body is actually encountering a form of paralysis during dreaming, which prevents it from physically performing the actions occurring in their dreams, therefore dreaming about paralysis frequently represents the overlap between the REM stage and waking stage of sleep. Dreaming about paralysis can also indicate that the dreamer feels he or she lacks control in their waking life.

But why do we dream?

There is still no given answer on why we dream but there are many theories. Some researchers say dreams have no purpose or meaning and are nonsensical activities of the sleeping brain. Whereas others say dreams are necessary for mental, emotional, and physical health. They believe that dreams help us work through the problems in our lives, incorporate our memories and process our emotions2.

Jet Lag and sleep

Jet Lag and sleep

The ability to travel is one of life’s greatest and sweetest gifts. Whatever reason you find yourself travelling, often we can find ourselves on the slightly less favourable side of travel, jet lag, usually visiting us during the night. Below we address the impact of jet lag and sleep.

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is an imbalance in our body’s natural “biological clock” caused by travelling to different time zones. Our bodies work on a 24-hour cycle called “circadian rhythms.” These rhythms are measured by the distinct rise and fall of body temperature, plasma levels of certain hormones and other biological conditions. All of these are influenced by our exposure to sunlight and help determine when we sleep and when we wake1.

When travelling to a new time zone, our circadian rhythms are slow to adjust and remain on their original biological schedule for several days. This results in our bodies telling us it is time to sleep, when it’s actually the middle of the afternoon. Or it makes us want to stay awake when it is late at night. This experience is known as jet lag.

Solutions to Ease Jet Lag

Change your watch to the destination’s time zone when you board the flight. The more you look at this, the more your brain is convinced of its new time zone. Once you arrive at your destination, always keep to your destinations clock and not the time that it would be at home.

By fitting in some last minute exercise, this will help to work out any stresses before your flight. If you can manage it, try to fit in exercise when you have arrived at your destination.

Say No to Caffeine

A massive trigger of jet lag is excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption when travelling. While sugary drinks may quench your thirst initially, the sugars and artificial sugars siphon out your body’s water storage by making your organs work harder to process them. It is important to stay hydrated when you are travelling, though on a long flight, in that case, you may want to opt for an aisle seat. Dehydration at an altitude causes toxins to build up quicker because oxygen is scarce and your body functions less efficiently, making you feel groggy after a long flight2.

Though it can be difficult while stuck in the plane or even in an airport terminal, try to get as much natural daylight as possible. Once you arrive at your destination it is as important to get it there too if it is daytime. Daylight is a good stimulant to regulate your biological clock.

Sleeping in transit

When trying to sleep on the plane, make sure you are doing so at the correct time of day at your destination. So if it is night time at your destination, try to sleep according to their times. Using a sleeping aid like Melatonin as this is a brain hormone that helps control the body’s circadian rhythm, a natural way to control your sleep. Also try this with some simple items like ear plugs, a sleeping mask and a neck pillow.

Remember to Switch Off

A massively important piece of advice is to turn off all devices a couple of hours before sleep as the lights and activities can prevent you from falling asleep by distracting your mind and creates a wake-up effects on the brain.

Be prepared for your next big trip with these simple facts. Travel happy, arrive refreshed.

 

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault.

There are many factors that can contribute to an adult experiencing nocturnal enuresis but the most important thing is knowing how to conquer it. Here are our top tips…

 

  1. Monitor your fluid intake

Limit your fluid intake a few hours before you plan to go to sleep. However, it’s important that you don’t completely cut back on your intake, as dehydration can irritate your bladder. Avoid drinking caffeinated and carbonated fluids at night.

 

  1. Regain bladder control

It’s important that you increase your bladder capacity. Try going to the toilet every hour during the day and then resist the need to go when it’s not scheduled. In order to help regain bladder control, gradually increase the time interval between toilet breaks.

 

  1. Visit the toilet before bedtime

If you frequently go to the toilet throughout the day, especially if this is due to an overactive bladder, this can carry on into the night causing you to wet the bed. Always remember to empty your bladder before you go to sleep.

 

  1. Keep dry during the night

Opt for waterproof bedding to give you peace of mind that you’ll have a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Reusable waterproof bed pads are perfect for multiple uses from childhood bed wetting and pregnancy to old age and everything in between.

For more information and to learn about different waterproof bedding options, visit our product page.

 

  1. See your doctor

Many people are extremely embarrassed that they suffer from bed wetting and are therefore, often reluctant to speak to their Doctor. However, it’s crucial that you provide your GP with specific details so that the underlying problem can be identified and treated effectively.

It’s recommended that you keep a diary detailing your bed wetting patterns 2-3 weeks prior to visiting your doctor.

For more information about bed wetting and how to treat it visit our Sleep Clinic.

Pin It on Pinterest