The Benefits of Weighted Blankets for a Good Night’s Sleep

These amazing blankets provide you with the sensation of being hugged or embraced through deep touch pressure, increasing serotonin (happy hormone), oxytocin (hug hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels in your body as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol.

For a lot of us in today’s society, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like a distant, dreamy reality. Whether you are affected from stress or mental health issues, or you suffer from a chronic condition with ongoing symptoms that disturb your slumber, a weighted blanket could offer some significant benefits in aiding you on your journey into tranquillity each night.

What is a weighted blanket?

Put in simple terms, a weighted blanket… is a blanket that’s weighted! Typically, they are filled with glass beads, plastic pellets, rice or millet to provide this additional weight.

These amazing blankets provide you with the sensation of being hugged or embraced through deep touch pressure, increasing serotonin (happy hormone), oxytocin (hug hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels in your body as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol. The result is a euphoric feeling of relaxation for your body and nervous system, enabling a delightfully peaceful night’s sleep or even a calming sensation when you’re sitting comfortably on the sofa.

What health conditions can weighted blankets help with?

Whilst weighted blankets can significantly help with insomnia as an isolated symptom or condition, they have also demonstrated benefits with a range of different health conditions.

Weighted blankets can be of great help to children and adults with sensory processing disorders such as autism and ADHD. The release of all these wonderful hormones can help a child to feel calmer, and individuals with autism also tend to have low melatonin levels, which weighted blankets can help to alleviate. This helps to encourage a more regular sleep schedule, and are even useful in situations such as car journeys, reading time or transitioning from one activity to another to reduce anxiety. Textured and patterned weighted blankets make for great sensory inputs too!

Individuals with debilitating chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia can also benefit from weighted blankets, as these individuals tend to have lower serotonin levels. With higher serotonin levels, fibromyalgia suffers may experience less fatigue and improved energy levels. Weighted blankets are also said to be great for those with Restless Leg Syndrome, as the deep pressure can be a wonderfully satisfying release from symptoms during bedtime.

For those with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD and OCD, weighted blankets have demonstrated a true benefit in reducing intrusive thoughts and encouraging a sense of relaxation and tranquillity – just what you want for a good night’s sleep!

What weight blanket do I need?

The classic rule of thumb is to order a size that’s approximately 10% of your bodyweight, and no more. So if you’re 80kg, try an 8kg blanket – and this rule works for children and older adults too. However, if you’re finding your blanket to be a little too intense, going lighter is better. However, based on relevant studies on weighted blankets, this may not have the same benefits as a blanket 10% of your bodyweight.

If you fall between standard blanket weights and are unsure whether to go down or up in weight, experts recommend going for the heavier option. However, make sure you base this opinion on your own personal requirements. If you, or the person you think would benefit from a weighted blanket, have a frailer frame, it’s suggested to select the lighter option.

What size blanket do I need?

This decision is based mainly on your own personal preferences. Consider both the size of your bed and the height – you want to feel covered and comfortable, but your bedfellow may not want to use the blanket too. As such, you could either get a blanket the same size or slightly larger than you, or a blanket that matches the size of your standard duvet or bed size.

Which weighted blankets do we recommend?

We’ve listed our favourites below:

Our all-time favourite, this super-cuddly weighted blanket from Auria Naturals come with a free washable plush cover to save you just that little bit extra versus most weighted blankets which don’t include a cover. Offered in two weight points of 4.5kg and 6.8kg. Even better, this lovely weighted blanket comes with a free 100 day risk-free trial, with all returned blankets donated to charity.

This premium weighted blanket from Senso-Rex comes in Grey and Dark Grey and is manufactured from 100% cotton. Measuring 150x200cm and offered in weight options of 4kg, 6kg, 8kg, 10kg, and 12kg, this blanket is filled with tiny glass micro-balls, and is totally hypoallergenic. Also available in a range of different patterns and sizes including a funky blue anchor print, gorgeous light grey star print and pink unicorn print!

Please note, weighted blankets are not indicated for safe use with babies or toddlers, and children must be able to easily handle, carry and move out from the weighted blanket for safety purposes.

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15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Placebo Effect

Yekize

  1. 97% of GPs prescribe placebos: A survey of UK GPs found that almost all of them have prescribed placebos. The placebos they prescribed were either pure placebos – treatments containing no active ingredients, e.g. sugar pills; or impure placebos – treatments with active ingredients, but that will not have an effect upon the condition e.g. antibiotics for a viral infection. Sources: Research SummaryOriginal Paper

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9 Health Reasons to Add Brussels Sprouts to your Dinner Plate

What are Brussels Sprouts?

A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, with relatives including cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and broccoli, Brussels Sprouts are the marmite of the vegetable world. You either love or hate them – and this is often due to the fact they are often overcooked and unpleasant to eat. Cooked properly, these cute cabbage-like sprouts are truly delicious and packed full of nutrients.

As more of us move to plant-based diets, Brussels Sprouts are experiencing a true rejuvenation in the nutrition world, with chefs adding them to salads or sautéing with honey and balsamic vinegar for delicious rich nutty goodness. In this article, we’ll explore just how good Brussels Sprouts are for you, and why you should introduce them into your diet outside of Christmas!

1 – Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances which can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, which are waste substances produced by cells that attack important molecules within our body. Free radicals cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to a variety of conditions including heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and many more. Tests have shown that Brussels sprouts are absolutely jam-packed with antioxidants – most notably an antioxidant called kaempferol which has the potential to slow cancer cell growth.

2 – May Help Protect Against Cancer

Whilst any claims of cancer prevention through nutrition are widely unproven, initial research has demonstrated some possibility that the nutrient-dense powerhouses within the cruciferous vegetable family can activate a cancer-fighting enzyme system in your body and even trigger pre-cancerous cells to self-destruct. This suggests that adding more of this superfood to your diet could be a powerful anti-cancer strategy, most beneficial against cancers including melanoma, prostate, esophageal, pancreatic, liver, colon and ovarian cancers.

Whilst more research into their benefits is needed, we would always recommend eating a vegetable-rich diet, and the nutrients present in sprouts are too good to be ignored.

3 – High in Fibre

As the old Christmas jokes go, we have all heard about what will happen if you eat too many sprouts! But, in reality, brussels sprouts can be extremely beneficial to your digestive health. Like most cruciferous vegetables and types of cabbage, brussels sprouts contain a high level of dietary fibre. Fibre can help to bulk up the stool and promote healthy digestion by reducing constipation and stimulating peristaltic motion, which helps food move through the digestive tracts more smoothly and prevent intestinal discomfort.

4 – Rich in Vitamin K

Studies have also demonstrated that the wonderful Vitamin K present within Brussels Sprouts can contribute to strong bones and protect you against osteoporosis. Vitamin K helps to seal the calcium into the bones, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures. By sealing the calcium into your bones, it also prevents calcium from hardening in your arteries and causing cardiovascular disease. Most prominently, Vitamin K is known for helping to ensure your body clots properly, allowing wounds to heal quickly and with as little scarring as possible – in addition to reducing bruising after injury.

5 – May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Containing an anti-oxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, Brussels Sprouts have been researched extensively for potential effects on blood sugar and insulin – a hormone that’s responsible for transporting sugar from your blood to your cells to keep your blood sugar under control. As such, Brussels Sprouts may have a preventative anti-diabetic effect and improve symptoms for diabetics.

6 – Contain ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids

One of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids, Brussels Sprouts have an amazing 135mg of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in each 78g serving. Whilst this form of omega-3 fatty acids is less effective than fats from fish and other seafood, for vegans, veggies and seafood-haters – it’s an ideal choice. Omega-3 has been linked to a tonne of wonderful health benefits including the slowing of cognitive decline, reduction of insulin resistance and a decrease in inflammation.

7 – May Reduce Inflammation

Suffering from an inflammatory condition like arthritis or gout? Our little mini-cabbage friends can help! Brussels Sprouts contain a substance called glucosinolates which regulate the body’s inflammatory response, helping you to get back on track and manage pain. Within your body, glucosinolates are broken down into metabolites, which have an antibiotic-like effect and help to ward off bacterial, viral and fungal infection in the intestines and other parts of the body.

8 – Boost Immune System

One of the singularly most impressive characteristics of brussels sprouts is their high Vitamin C content – amazingly, a single cup of brussels sprouts contains more than 120% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C! This is critical for the health of your immune system, as vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, reducing oxidative stress from free radicals and lowering your chances of chronic diseases and infections. Vitamin C has also demonstrated immunity super-strengths such as aiding your skin’s defence system, shortening wound healing time and shortening the recovery time from conditions such as pneumonia.

9 – Increase Metabolism & Boost Weight Loss

Becoming increasingly popular with dieters, Brussels Sprouts have a great effect on weight loss by helping you to feel more full, whilst delivering a whole plethora of vitamins and minerals to boost your health. Maintaining a low sodium and fat content, Brussels Sprouts work alongside low-sodium and low-fat diets very easily. Brussels Sprouts also contain a lot of B-family vitamins which help to achieve a health metabolism, enabling your body to easily digest food, use nutrients more effectively and burn calories faster.

The Bottom Line

From reading this article, it’s easy to see that there’s not much that Brussels Sprouts can’t do. Whether you’re suffering from health problems or are seeking preventative or healthier nutrition options, we urge you to reconsider your hatred! Introduce these little wonders into your diet tomorrow. Just remember – don’t overcook them.

Our Top Picks: Smart Scales for Tracking Weight Loss

Regardless of race, colour or creed, weight loss is something we all strive to do after a long break like Christmas. Or maybe you’re keeping a closer eye on it whilst you’re training for your next event.

Whether you’ve changed or diet, exercise plan or a bit of both, ultimately you need the right scales to make sure you’re going on the right path.

But how do you get past all the new fitness jargon? Are you looking for a fancier set up that can track fat percentage? Let’s go through best weight scales as of 2019.

John Lewis Anti-Slip Bathroom Analyser Scale

Typically we wouldn’t open with the “cheap and cheerful” option, however John Lewis have created by far the best value option. Yes, it might not be much to look at but if you take into account it measures weight, fat percentage and BMI, this is a great choice.

Tanita BC 1500 Ironman

For the athletes or athletes to be, here are the scales for you. A partner of Ironman, Tanita are well known the market by keen gym goers and professionals alike. Not only is it considered the most accurate scale, it gives you the full overview of your body composition, including fat, water and muscle. We’re not finished there, it’s even able to break this down to specific body segments and comes with software compatible across your phone and laptop. If you’re a bit short on cash this month or you’re just looking to check your weight however, you should be looking elsewhere.

Omron BF511

A middle option with a few of the bells and whistles is the Omron BF511. It’s appearance is a bit clinical but it’s definitely an affordable option for those looking for assistance in their fitness preparations. Whilst it checks your BMR, BMR and visceral fat levels, the process of having to bend over and take hold of the handles on the scales will make you consider shutting the door.

Tanita RD953

Taking into account value for money, performance and suitability, the Tanita RD953 is our choice. No question does it hover over affordable and luxury, it’s compatibility with Apple and Google technology makes it a fit for everyone. As a non-performance athlete, you’ll get all the readouts your after such as fat and muscle, even a cardio age estimate to give you another target to work towards.

Best Electric Toothbrushes for a Healthy Smile

For years, you will have seen or heard countless adverts promoting the use of electric toothbrushes. The science behind this is relatively simple, in that a significant amount of people don’t brush properly and/or for long enough with a manual toothbrush. In comparison, an electric toothbrush does most of the hard work in a fraction of the time. On this basis, an electric toothbrush promotes better oral health.

Interestingly, good oral health directly impacts other areas of the body, most importantly it reduces our chances of heart disease. However, the price leap between a manual and an electric toothbrush is considerable. As such, we’ve prepared a list of the top toothbrushes available, so you’re not making this investment more than once.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean

One of the pricier additions to our list, but well worth the money. With smart sensors and its own customer app to show your progress, accompanied by 5 cleaning modes and a notably stylish look, you can’t go far wrong with this electric toothbrush.

Oral-B Pro 2 2000

No doubt if you’ve done your research you will have encountered many value offerings that make you question not only why some are so expensive, but indeed which is the best value. If you’re looking to avoid a hefty outlay, the Oral-B Pro 2 2000 does the job handsomely, a simple but effective electric toothbrush without the bells and whistles.

Foreo Issa 2

This funky design will certainly catch your eye. On closer inspection of the reviews it will do much more than that. With an all-silicone build, it’s more soft in your mouth, and has an interesting perk of drying significantly faster than its counterparts leading to much less bacteria. If you aren’t looking for fancy apps or modes, but are prepared to pay for a bit more than for a value electric toothbrush, then this is for you.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100

Whats the difference between DiamondClean and ProtectiveClean? I’m about to tell you! The market leader for quality, this electric toothbrush not only has different modes, but different intensities for those more sensitive or tougher gums. Philips also boast not just cleaner, but whiter teeth within one week. As before with the previous Philips electric toothbrush, your budget will need to be a tad higher than for its competitors.

Oral-B Genius 9000

An impressive electric toothbrush. Long battery life, several modes, comfortable, options on brush heads and much more. Whilst the app leaves much to be desired, the quality of the toothbrush stands on its own.

It can be frustrating seeing reviews for 5 star related products and then seeing the price is well outside your budget. However it’s easier than ever to compare pricing, and more often than not sites such as Amazon will discount them by more than half, so it’s certainly worth checking them out.

Top 10 Running Tracks: Hip Hop and R&B Edition

When it comes to running, we all know that a banging playlist can make or break a work out – whether you are a genuine running addict or would much rather be sitting on the sofa. We’ve compiled a Top Ten list of our favourite hip hop running songs to keep you going mile after mile both on the treadmill and on the pavement. Here are your new favourite running mixes!

1 – 99 Problems by Jay Z

I got ninety nine problems but running ain’t one! This amazing 2003 track from Jay Z’s eighth studio album The Black Album carries rough and urban riffs guaranteed to get your trainers pounding the floor faster, and with more sass. Running is always a great time for thinking through life’s problems, so run with Jay Z for the answers.

2 – Lose Yourself by Eminem

Reaching your limit on your run? Program this song into your playlist for the ideal fuel to propel you beyond the dreaded “wall”. Eminem’s Oscar-winning Lose Yourself is considered to be one of his best songs, and we simply couldn’t agree more. The King of self-motivation, this mid-tempo song delivers punchy beats and an angsty narrative for the perfect push-yourself kick in the middle of a run. You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it!

3 – Stronger by Kanye West

Incorporating elements from house, electro, techno and electronica, this futuristic tune with catchy synths is perfect for picking yourself up when you feel like you can’t run anymore. We all know that feeling, so thanks Kanye for putting it down into words (albeit in a robot voice). After all, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

4 – 212 by Azealia Banks ft. Lazy Jay

The perfect positive song for the start of your run – we know it’s a little bit potty-mouthed, but welcome to the world of Hip Hop and R&B! This infectious dance floor filler is the perfect running companion with a little bit of edge. If you don’t end up singing along, we’ll be surprised. Sayin’ your runnin’, but you ain’t goin’ no where!

5 – Pump It by The Black Eyed Peas

Can you see your front door in the horizon like a distant mirage? We’ve got your back. This all-time favourite banger from Black Eyed Peas is an ideal selection when you’re dripping with sweat and only five minutes away from the nirvana of a hot shower and a cup of tea. Put on this song and pump it, louder!

6 – Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa

We know Black and Yellow is a little bit repetitive, but we couldn’t care less. It’s so catchy it hurts, and the repetitiveness helps with the repetitiveness of running and zoning out into that trance that aids us in even the most mind-numbing “I-want-to-be-at-home” workouts. Yes, we’ve said repetitive three times. Hit the pedal with Wiz and make the floor shake!

7 – Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz

For the ultimate “feel good” factor (see what we did there), this wonderful Gorillaz track places seventh in our Top Ten. With an incredibly catchy melody and awesome bassline, this dark but beautiful song needs to make it onto your playlist. A good pick for the first section of your run. Take it all there on your stride with Gorillaz!

8 – Push it by Salt-N-Pepa

We simply couldn’t select our Top Ten favourites without this ultimate throwback from Salt-N-Pepa. A dependable parter starter, Push It is also a great running track packed with electro-grooves. This is another tune for the end of your run when you need a last motivational hit – Push it real good!

9 – The Way You Move by Outkast

Mixing bass, Atlanta-style Southern hip hop and 70s soul music, this tune from the beloved Outkast is bound to get your feet moving to the beat. It’s impossible not to love, and the quick tempo assists with pace and motivation. I like the way you move!

10 – Sorry by Beyonce

This is a great song for nicking lyrics posting indirect tweets about your ex, but also an absolute banger for your run. A mid-tempo R&B track with a thumping beat, Sorry gives us an evolution of early 2000s R&B with a truckload of 2019 sass. Find personal empowerment during your running thinking session, and speed your running up every time you think about your haters. I ain’t sorry!

Find all these great tracks on Amazon Music Unlimited to create awesome running playlists packed full of your favourite motivating tunes – with unlimited access to over 50 million songs and ad-free listening.

How Do You Know Which Type of Magnesium is Best for You?

In recent years, food supplements have become more and more popular as studies enforce their significance. A micronutrient with ever-increasing importance is Magnesium. Not only are UK citizens on the whole deficient in Magnesium, its versatility in supporting a healthy lifestyle cannot be ignored.

If you’re a regular blog or review site reader, you’ll notice the common theme is to compare price, quality, and the vendor’s credibility. However the value of this supplement is so pronounced, we’re going to discuss the best five Magnesium supplements and their individual purposes and help you choose what’s best for your body.

Magnesium Threonate

It may be your visit to this site has some relation to memory or brain ability in general. This could be down to an unfortunate diagnosis such as Alzheimers or Multiple Sclerosis, or maybe you need an added 1 or 2% for when you’re studying. Science has become significantly more prominent in this area, and Magnesium Threonate is and has shown to help in these areas.

Magnesium Malate

For those of you with regular muscle soreness and fatigue, Magnesium Malate should be on your list. This supplements helps create energy and use energy, whilst also relaxing soothing muscle pain and helping maintain the strength of teeth and bones.

Magnesium Glycinate

Probably the most absorbable forms of magnesium, this will be good hearing to those with sleep apnea or insomnia. Magnesium Glycinate is typically taken before bedtime as this formula with Glycine provides a calming effect and helps you catch 40 winks.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium Chloride comes in many different forms but is more commonly found as a body spray or liquid to accompany your water. Studies have identified a relationship between better digestion and consumption of food and liquid for those including this supplement in their diet.

Magnesium Sulfate

Commonly known as Epsom Salts, these are regularly absorbed through the skin whilst having a bath, however can also be taken through capsules though it is regularly associated with digestive discomfort or issues. Magnesium Sulfate is documented relieving stress and also removing harmful toxins from the pores in your skin.