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5 Things Happen in the Brain When You Lose Sleep



Things Happen in the Brain When You Lose Sleep

Getting enough proper rest each night is one of the easiest and most sure-fire ways to safeguard our health.

However, that’s often easier said than done, with as much as 1 in 3 Americans regularly losing sleep, and failing to get proper rest.

And while the occasional one-nighter won’t hurt you all that much, a bad sleeping pattern can prove detrimental and even disastrous, both for your physical performance and for your mental health.

In the body, lack of sleep has all sorts of bad connotations, such as a compromised immune system, an increased risk of heart disease, and poor athletic performance.

And in the mind, the side-effects can be just as grave, if not more so.

By examining some of the most common effects that lack of sleep can have on the brain, we’re also inviting you to take a moment and observe.

How many of these things are true for you? And how have you been sleeping lately?

Also read: 6 Signs You Are Suffering from Sleep Deprivation

1. You Have Trouble Identifying What’s Important

It’s no secret that improper rest will play tricks on your mind.

Even a handful of bad nights can make your head feel hazy, almost like you’re drunk (1), and cause difficulty in thinking straight.

And when you’re not getting enough rest and lose sleep on a regular basis, this can seriously impair your ability to make proper decisions.

What do we mean by this?

A 2016 study from Tel Aviv (2) concluded that our brain ceases functioning properly under the extreme stress caused by lack of sleep.

The research suggests that a tired mind stops seeing what’s important and has trouble making correct decisions.

This happens because when we lose sleep, we also lose our ability to remain neutral and logical. We make emotional decisions, even when it’s not a particularly emotional subject.

2. Your Mood Is All Over the Place

It’s no surprise that when you have a bad night, it’s usually followed by increased rattiness and foul mood.

However, when that lack of rest becomes a constant in your life, the signs become trickier to spot. Normally, it would make sense that sleeping poorly would lead to a constant bad mood, but that is not usually true.

Studies have shown (3) that failure to sleep properly has something of a strange effect on your mood, causing it to skitter around wildly.

In other words, it won’t just yield a constant foul mood, but rather will increase moodiness.

Just like sleep deprivation affects your judgment, it also impairs your ability to feel things normally. Often, when poor rest is a problem, we have trouble showing appropriate emotions to certain factors.

We either tend to exaggerate our reactions wildly (unintentionally, of course), or we can’t react at all.

If you find yourself unimpressed by things that should’ve had an impact on you, then it may be a sign you’re suffering from bad sleep.

3. Sleep Deprivation Increases the Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Things Happen in the Brain When You Lose Sleep

It sounds scary, we know, but there seems to be a very clear link between neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, and lack of a proper sleeping schedule (4).

How does that work?

We tend to think that sleep is only good from a physical point of view.

It allows our limbs to rest and recharge, allowing us to function properly the next day.

After all, the physical effects of sleep are easier to notice than the psychological ones (e.g. tired eyes, back pain, etc.).

But the truth is, sleep is just as important, if not more so, for properly maintaining our brain function as well.

During the night, while we sleep, our brain takes that opportunity to run some basic, administrative tasks, through the lymphatic system, which is what allows us to compartmentalize and store information.

Now, there seems to be clear evidence that this lymphatic system works best while we’re asleep (5).

So obviously, when we fail to get enough proper rest, our brain becomes cluttered with excess information, which in the long-run can increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

4. Sleep Deprivation Also Promotes the Risk of Depression

There’s a really tricky link between depression and insomnia (6), with many experts arguing over which triggers which, and whether or not they’re related at all.

We tend to think they are – often, insomnia can be a chief symptom of depression, but that’s not to say you’re not sleeping because you’re depressed.

Quite often, in fact, it’s the other way around.

You see, sleep deprivation has a lot of negative effects both on the mind and the body.

You have trouble focusing and making decisions, you’re moody for no apparent reason, and all this wrecks havoc with the way you view yourself.

In short, sleep deprivation bolsters the impression that you are not in control of your life, which is a very clear-cut way to depressive bouts.

What’s more, lack of proper rest also impacts your physical performance and overall health.

Poor health, lack of exercise, and lackluster appearance are all common supporters of depression.

5. Lastly, Sleep Deprivation Aggravates Anxiety

Much like the relationship between insomnia and depression, this one’s less than clear, as well.

Insomnia can be a symptom of anxiety, granted, but it can also be what causes you to feel anxious, in the first place.

When we fail to get proper rest, our emotional health suffers greatly. Our difficulty to think properly leads to self-doubt and bad moods.

What’s worse, the detrimental effect of sleep deprivation on your emotional reactions only serves to bolster feelings of anxiety.

In other words, when you don’t get enough rest, it becomes difficult to function properly in the outside world, and that makes you feel anxious.

Similarly, lack of proper rest acerbates already-existing symptoms of anxiety, research has found (7).

So while it’s difficult to pinpoint which one’s the cause and which the effect, there’s no denying that the two are closely related.

All that being said, sleep deprivation can have a disastrous effect on your mental wellbeing, which is why you should always strive to ensure that you get between 7 and 9 hours of rest each night.

Related: 6 Signs You Are Suffering from Sleep Deprivation

How Much Sleep is Enough?

It is well known that sleep patterns become more irregular as we grow older, irrespective of gender.

The grey matter in the brain that is responsible for deep sleep, starts to thin and slowly decline with age, making this vital sleep stage more difficult to reach and maintain.

A few nights of broken sleep won’t kill anyone but lack of sleep in the long term can accelerate the aging process in the brain, leaving us slow, exhausted, and hugely compromised in both body and mind.

A study conducted by the American Sleep Disorders Association and Sleep Research Society (8) shows that women are more likely than men to suffer sleep problems such as insomnia and experience excessive sleepiness.

Getting enough sleep is critical for beating fatigue and for recovery at any age.

People who sleep less than six hours per night tend to have higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar, greater inflammation, a weak immune system, and a bigger tendency to obesity than those who sleep longer and better.

Eating and Drinking Habits to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Avoid big heavy meals at night – choose lean proteins such as white fish, shellfish, and chicken when mealtime is a delay as they are easy to digest;

Cut down on fluids – too many fluids will disrupt your sleep if you have to get up several times to go to the bathroom;

Alcohol awareness – you may fell asleep faster but chances are to experience less restful sleep and you may wake up more often;

‘Relaxing’ smoke – nicotine is a stimulant, with effects similar to caffeine.  Avoid smoking for at least two hours prior to sleep time.

‘Starving’ before bed – banana oy natural yogurt can help promote sleep. A glass of warm milk warms the body and helps the muscle to relax more so it’s not a bad option before bed.

Breathing for Better Sleep

In Indian and Tibetan yoga philosophy, our thoughts and breath are inextricably linked.

Try the following when lying on your back in bed:

  • Focus both your mind and body on taking slow, deep breaths;
  • Relax your lips and lightly touched, breathe in through your nose for a count of five;
  • Hold for three seconds;
  • Repeat this five times without letting your mind wander;
  • Work slowly up to eight repetitions. If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.
  • If the mind is not clear and keeps wander, start the exercise again.

With slow breathing, the rib cage expands, allowing the lungs to fill completely, before emptying naturally on the exhale.

By training your mind to focus on the breath, the rest comes naturally.


→ Taking sleeping pills will not resolve sleeping issues. More than that, studies have concluded that long-term use of sleeping pills, does more harm than good (whether prescriptions or over-the-counter). Also, they can become highly addictive.


→ Try natural supplements or herbal teas that help induce an inner calm: camomile, valerian root, lemon balm.

Melatonin supplements can also realign natural circadian rhythms when taken at the right time and based on each individual’s body rhythms. Please seek advice from a qualified health practitioner if you consider using it for a longer period of time.

Use reputable brands and always read the label.

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Clean Skincare

6 Tips to Take Special Care of Your Eyes to Treat Dark Circles



Treat Dark Circles

Dark circles can be one of a lady’s worst enemies. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. You’re just ready to go out, you’ve got a great outfit on, your hair looks enviable… yet no amount of make-up seems to fix those dark pits looming under your eyes.

If dark circles are a serious problem for you, then the good news is you’re not alone. Dark circles are more common than we like to think, and chances are, most of the women passing you by on the street have them. So in this article, we’ll be looking at what causes dark circles, and what you can do to fix them!

So, why do you get dark circles? And why won’t they go away?

While dark circles can look rather unnerving, keep in mind there’s really nothing to concern yourself about. Dark circles are not a serious health concern, nor are they the result of one. The most common causes for dark circles include:

  • Fatigue – easily the most common reason you’re experiencing those nasty dark pits under your eyes is that you are not getting enough sleep. While the dark circles themselves aren’t something to worry about, chronic lack of rest can cause more serious health concerns.
  • Genetics – if you keep seeing dark circles when you look in the mirror, regardless of how well you’re sleeping, then it could be due to genetics. To see if it’s so, we recommend looking at others in your family, to see if they have this problem, too.
  • Age – sometimes, the mere passage of time can play an important role in the appearance of dark circles.
  • Eye strain – lastly, a less common reason why you’re seeing dark circles might be that you’re overworking your eyes. Sometimes, spending excessive time in front of the computer or television can also lead to dark circles.

In other cases, under-eye dark circles can be caused by sun exposure, allergies, or dehydration. But most likely, if you’re constantly exhibiting dark circles, it’s one of the above culprits, or a blend of multiple causes. Still, it’s nothing to worry about.

To answer our second question, dark circles can go away if they’re caused by things like fatigue or allergies, but not if they’re caused by genetics or age. Still, a healthy lifestyle is important in all cases, and below, we’ll look at some ways to prevent and improve the appearance of dark circles.

6 Remedies to Treat Dark Circles that Work

Obviously, which remedy works varies from person to person, depending on each one’s individual circumstances.

For example, you may have dark circles due to genetics, but made worse by fatigue. In that case, getting proper rest will improve their appearance, but not make them disappear completely.

1. Sleep

Easily the most obvious and most accessible answer to your problem is get plenty of sleep. Of course, this can be easier said than done.

One night of improper rest is usually no big deal, but if you’re struggling with more serious issues like anxiety or insomnia, getting plenty of sleep can become quite the daunting task.

In order to facilitate this, you could try one (or more) of the following solutions:

  • Meditation – taking 15-20 minutes before bed to get into a relaxed frame of mind can often make all the difference in getting a proper night of rest.
  • Let go of your devices – perhaps you didn’t know this, but electronic devices emit blue light that alters your sleep cycle and prevents you from falling asleep. This is why experts recommend setting aside your electronic devices 30 minutes before you go to bed.
  • Listen to some nice, relaxing music – because research shows it can encourage rest!

2. Cool Off

While sleep can and often will improve your appearance in time, it’s not much help when you need to make those circles disappear in the next 20 minutes.

In order to understand this next trick, we first need to understand what’s causing the dark circles, from a biological perspective. The reason your skin appears darkened is that the blood vessels underneath the eye have become dilated.

By applying cool water or a cold compress, you force the vessels to constrict, and thus appear less dark.

3. Cucumbers

You’ve surely seen ladies on TV chilling with a couple of cucumber slices on their eyes.

Ever wondered why? Well, aside from being heavily made out of water (cool water, if they’ve been in the fridge), cucumbers also have potent astringent properties.

This means they can gently lighten the skin, and ameliorate the dark circles. This is why, if you wake up with raccoon eyes, reach for some yummy cucumber slices and leave them on for 10 minutes.

4. Lemon Essential Oil

Citrus has a wonderful lightening effect which, similarly to the cucumber slices, can make your dark circles appear less serious.

What’s more, the essential oil can also serve as a nice moisturizer and primer for your make-up, in the morning. Careful not to get it in your eye, though!

You can also try pomegranate essential oil and ylang-ylang!

5. Hydrate

You remember we mentioned earlier that dark under-eye circles can also be a symptom of dehydration. What’s more, when your body doesn’t have enough water (but still has a lot of salt), this can lead to puffiness in the under-eye area. Combined with dark circles, this sounds like a recipe for disaster.

This is also why you get puffy eyes after you weep – dehydration!

While water can’t immediately remedy the situation, it will improve your skin’s appearance over the course of the day.

6. Vitamin K & Caffeine

Caffeine has the wonderful benefit of rejuvenating the skin, and coupled with vitamin K, it can become the worst enemy of your dark circles, studies have shown.

Not sure where to get vitamin K? Look for skincare products loaded with the stuff!

And then of course, there’s the tried and tested solution… make-up!

While make-up is great for a short term fix, it won’t do much for you in the long run, so make sure you get enough rest, water, and care for your skin properly!

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Self Care

5 Skin Benefits of Using These Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands



Beauty Devices in Your Skincare Routine – Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands

Beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

All women are beautiful, yet it’s natural that, as we age, we begin to perceive ourselves as such less and less.

Every morning, we look in the mirror and become despondent at the sight of wrinkles, fine lines, dark circles, and saggy skin. But rather than losing hope, what we ought to do in such moments is figure out a solution.

Nowadays, there are numerous excellent skincare and beauty devices that can perk up the skin, and get you looking your best.

So why not try one?

In this article, we’ll be looking through the Julie Lindh Ageless System Beauty collection of skincare devices, and how they might be incorporated into your skincare routine.

The collection involves three different devices: the Skin Magic Pen with Sonic and LED lights and the two Beauty Wands.

Rather than addressing each product, we’ll be looking at their benefits as a whole, and hopefully helping you decide which one’s ideal for you.

1. Rebuilding collagen

Collagen is something that our body naturally produces on its own, and it is responsible (together with elastin) for keeping our skin bouncy and tight.

It is one of the main proteins inside our body, and also a large component of skin and hair.

However, its production rate naturally decreases as we age, causing our skin to sag and wrinkles to form. This is why, past a certain age, you want to boost the production of collagen by using such devices as the SkinMagic Pen.

Targeting the lip and eye areas, in particular, the Pen accelerates collagen production, thus minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (1).

As you probably know by now, it’s common to get more wrinkles around these areas, since the skin is thinner, and the muscles more heavily used than in other areas of the face.

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

2. Stimulating the blood flow

Nobody wants poor circulation, since that is associated with lots of health problems, in general. But did you know that poor blood flow also accounts for skin ailments, such as excessive dryness and dull, saggy skin?

The way that works is poor blood flow forces the production of new, “glowing”, healthy skin cells to slow down.

It also prevents a healthy skin cell turnover, which causes the skin to appear dull and lackluster (since it’s clogged by dead skin cells). This also leads to dryness of the skin, since the dead cells are not able to absorb moisture properly.

This is what Julie’s Lindh Beauty Wands aim to avoid.

The Beauty Wand 1.0 uses four little rollers that gently massage the skin of the face, thus discreetly stimulating blood flow (2).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

The Beauty Wand 2.0 goes one step further. While still incorporating four massaging rollers, these are also dotted by tiny spikes, thus also mimicking a micro-needling effect.

Microneedling is the practice of using tiny needles to puncture the skin and give your body the impression of an active wound.

In order to repair said wound, the body will flow more blood to the area, and flood it with collagen, to recreate the skin that’s been damaged.

This is a popular beauty practice, as it can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne, and scarring (3).

Julie's Lindh Beauty Wands

3. Helps product absorption

It’s all good and well to use the right skincare products, and often, these can indeed make an impressive difference in the appearance of your skin.

However, you first need to ensure that the product is being absorbed into your skin, and not just sitting on top of it.

What can cause it to not get absorbed properly? Dead skin cells, usually.

This is where the LED light from the Skin Magic Pen can really help a lot.

The red LED light targets the outermost layer of skin, also known as the epidermis, and practically forces the pores to open, in order to absorb the light itself.

This also creates a smoother channel for skincare products to penetrate the skin and work their magic as they should.

4. Stimulates lymphatic drainage

The lymphatic drainage is a big component of your immune system, and as with any other part of your body, you want it to be in proper working order, to enjoy a healthy existence.

While the evidence for its aesthetic benefits is somewhat lacking, some studies have found (4) that lymphatic drainage can lead to a smoother appearance.

How does that happen?

Whenever the lymphatic fluid begins to accumulate in one part of the body, you begin to experience swelling and puffiness, including in the facial area.

While the study targeted the thighs, it brought forth evidence that stimulating the lymphatic system can reduce swelling, which also applies to the face.

Both the SkinMagic Pen and the BeautyWand 2.0 boast an ability to stimulate the lymphatic system which may, in time, give you tighter skin and reduce puffiness in the neck and face area.

5. Tightens the muscles

Just like any other part of the body, the facial muscles begin to loosen up and sag the more they remain “dormant”.

This promotes sagginess and fat accumulation which, of course, isn’t something anyone wishes for. So you need to come at the problem as you would any other muscle – you need to start stimulating it.

And while we also recommend incorporating some facial exercises and stretches to help with that, facial massage can also be a great way to get there.

  • The SkinMagic Pen uses blue LED light to give your muscles a relaxing, yet stimulating massage. As in the earlier point, this stimulates the blood flow and helps keep the muscles (and implicitly the skin) taut.
  • The Beauty Wand 1.0 also stimulates the facial muscles through a similar technique, so really, the difference in this case between the two devices is that one targets the eye/lip areas, whereas the other is more general.
  • Lastly, the Beauty Wand 2.0 uses a micro-current that vibrates into the muscles and has a powerful toning effect, thus leading to tighter, more lifted cheeks and jawline.

Take outs

The benefits of these beauty skincare devices go on and on and on.

Which one you choose depends heavily on what precise effects you’re looking for. But if you want our advice, investing in an at-home beauty device, such as these ones from Julie Lindh, while pricy at first, will turn out to be a hugely smart investment in the long run!


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Midlife Relatives

5 Essentials Midlife Neck And Décolleté Skincare Routine



Neck And Décolleté Skincare Routine
Your Midlife Neck and Decollete Skincare Routine


Most women out there understand the importance of developing and sticking to the right skincare routine.

This is important throughout your life, but it becomes even more so as you get older, and your skin begins feeling the passage of time.

And while most women in their 40s and 50s probably already have favored face and body creams, few bother with their neck and decollete.

Why do the neck and decollete skincare areas matter?

It’s quite common to assume you can just smear any old lotion on your chest and neck – it’s just skin, right?

Well, that’s where most of us make mistakes.

While the neck and the decollete area are, indeed, made up of skin, like the rest of the body, it’s much more sensitive than the rest.

Often, your regular body moisturizer is simply too heavy and clogging for your decollete, and fails to achieve the desired effect.

Understanding this, some women ditch that and begin using their face cream on the chest area, as well.

What you do, really, is up to you.

But for now, let us run you through the perfect care routine for your chest and neck.

What type of products should you use on this skin area?

As we just mentioned, you might be tempted to use your everyday body products on the neck, chest, and shoulders, but honestly, you shouldn’t.

Your skin in this area is a lot thinner than in other parts of the body, so it risks getting clogged by improper, heavy creams and products.

So really, you have two options here: you either use the products you’re already using on your face, or you invest in dedicated products.

The reason why facial products work better in this area is that they’re designed for thinner, more sensitive skin.

They can be more easily absorbed, and are more gentle on the skin while cleansing and hydrating.

Similarly, you can choose between using commercial products, or if you’d rather opt for a more natural alternative.

For example, a lot of women going through this stage in their life turn to essential oils, such as jojoba oil, known for its moisturizing properties (1).

Lemon oil, on the other hand, may help lighten (2) hyperpigmentation and reduce wrinkles in your decollete area.

Whichever way you go, here are the steps we urge you to follow in caring for your neck, decollete, and shoulder area.

What should your neck and decollete skin care routine look like?

So, caring for your skin is all good and fun, but it’s also important to do things in the proper order, to maximize their effects.

For example, you wouldn’t put on moisturizer before cleansing your skin, would you?

Step 1. Cleanse

How thoroughly you cleanse will depend on what you’ve applied to that portion of skin.

Are you wearing any type of make-up?

Then you’ll probably want to use your make-up remover on the neck/decollete area, as well, to remove any traces of the stuff.

Left on the skin too long, make-up can seriously clog the pores, lead to breakouts and other unfortunate skin issues.

If you don’t need to remove any make-up, we still recommend using a gentle cleanser.

Also, try to avoid harsh scrubbing motions, as the skin in this area is delicate, and tears easily.

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Step 2. Exfoliate

While hard scrubbing isn’t usually indicated, that doesn’t mean you just want to leave dead skin cells to sit atop your decolletage.

Exfoliation has a myriad of benefits, at any age, and is an important part of your weekly skincare regimen.

Careful, the reason we say weakly instead of daily is that too much exfoliation has never helped anyone.

So try to exfoliate the skin of the decolletage once or twice a week, to get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate the blood flow and collagen production (3).

By getting your skin to produce more collagen, and the blood to flow, you’re inviting the production of new, healthy, and more elastic skin cells.

More collagen implies a better-looking decollete, so don’t forget to exfoliate!

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Step 3. Consider retinoids

Retinoids are a big favorite in the anti-aging skincare game.

Why? Retinoids are derived from the naturally-occurring Vitamin A, which also has the excellent benefits(4) of boosting collagen production.

What this means for your decolletage is that in time, retinoids may improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The neck and chest area is among the most prone to wrinkles, age, and sun damage, which is why topical retinoids may prove particularly beneficial for it.

However, retinoids can be quite aggressive, which is why we think it’s a smart idea to always consult a dermatologist before adding them to your skincare routine!

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Step 4. Moisturize

You should never skip out on this step, and particularly not during this stage of your life.

Why? Well, as time progresses, your body’s production of collagen (again) and elastin decreases.

This, in turn, makes skin looser and dryer, which in turn leads to more wrinkles and that unsightly, crepey look.

This is why you need to look for a good, potent moisturizer and use it religiously in your routine.

Our suggestion would be to look for the right products, such as hyaluronic acid, which binds moisture to the skin (5) and helps with the natural skin barrier in the long term.

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Step 5. Protect

Lastly, one major element that contributes to skin aging is, of course, sun exposure.

It can cause spots, wrinkles, and infinitely more serious skin melanomas, so you want to lather on some sun protection before you go out.

What sort of SPF you opt for is, again, up to you, but remember that a lot of the sun’s rays hit you right on the chest, so protecting this part of the body is just as important as protecting your face.

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All these care steps for your decolletage may seem complicated and time-consuming at first, but fear not – before you know it, you’ll just be doing them as part of your regular skincare routine!

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