A popular nursery rhyme says “Early to bed, early to rise. Makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” The importance of sleep and its health benefits have even been disclosed to us since as way back as our childhood. Many people feel that sleep is mostly for those who work extra hard and are badly in need of help, but in truth, sleep is necessary for everybody as even scientists have recommended an average of 8 hours sleep per day for healthy living.
However, as important as sleep is and with its many benefits, there are certain factors which pose a threat to some individuals enjoying this benefits as they prevent them from sleeping. This inability to sleep properly is usually caused by conditions that are known as Sleep Disorders. How does one know that he or she is battling sleep disorders? Are there any symptoms to show? How does one go about solving this issue of sleep disorder? These and many more of the questions in your mind will be answered in the subsequent paragraphs.
There are several ways to know if you are suffering from sleep disorders. Like so many other disorders and sicknesses, it also has symptoms. These symptoms include:
1. difficulty falling or staying asleep
2. daytime fatigue
3. strong urge to take naps during the day
4. irritability or anxiety
5. lack of concentration
6. depression.

These symptoms do not just appear without causes as there is no smoke without a fire. There a plethora of reasons why one can develop a sleep disorder. These causes include:
1. Stress and Anxiety
When one is extremely stressed or emotionally disturbed, it is usually difficult for one to sleep at night as they usually have a negative effect on sleep, preventing one from falling and staying asleep. All these could come in form of nightmares, sleepwalking or sleeptalking to disrupt your sleep.
2. Chronic Pain
Extreme pain can undoubtedly keep you awake, wake you up or prevent you from staying asleep. Chronic pain as a result of arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, persistent headache, inflammatory bowel diseases and fibromyalgia can prevent one from sleeping right. In a situation where one already suffers from a sleep disorder, chronic pain can go on to worsen the sleeping condition of the person.
3. Allergies & Respiratory Problems
Allergies, cold and other respiratory issues make pose as breathing problems and prevent one from sleeping. When one cannot breathe properly, one finds it challenging to sleep and thus, could be said to be suffering from a sleep disorder.
4. Nocturia
Hormonal imbalances and infection of the urinary tract can cause frequent urination, hence disrupting sleep by making one wake up at night. Ensure to visit a doctor if the frequent urination is accompanied by pain or bleeding.
Sleep disorders come in many types. They include:
1. Insomnia
This is the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It usually caused by jet lag, stress, hormone, anxiety or digestive problems.
2. Parasomnia
This is a class of sleep disorder that causes abnormal behaviour or movement during sleep. This behaviour includes; sleepwalking, sleeptalking, groaning, nightmares, bedwetting, etc.
3. Restless Leg Syndrome
This is usually as a result of a sensation in the legs which gives an overwhelming urge to move the legs. Although it happens during the day, RLS is prevalent at night.
4. Sleep Apnea
This is a serious medical issue that results in pauses in breathing during sleep. It makes the body takes in less oxygen and thus, causes one to wake up at night.
5. Narcolepsy
This is characterized by sudden periods of sleep during the day. One suffering from this disorder usually gets extremely tired and falls asleep without warning. It could also lead to sleep paralysis; the inability to move right after waking up. Although this disorder can happen on its own, it also sometimes associated with certain neurological disorders.
Sleep disorders are usually cured with either of two processes or a combination of both; medical treatment or lifestyle changes.
Medical treatment for sleep disturbances might include any of the following:
1. sleeping pills.
2. melatonin supplements.
3. allergy or cold medication.
4. medications for any underlying health issues.
5. breathing device or surgery (usually for sleep apnea).
6. a dental guard (usually for teeth grinding).
Lifestyle adjustments can greatly improve your quality of sleep, especially when they’re done along with medical treatments. You may want to consider:
1. incorporating more vegetables and fish into your diet, and reducing sugar intake.
2. reducing stress and anxiety by exercising.
3. creating and sticking to a regular sleeping schedule.
4. drinking less water before bedtime.
5. limiting your caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon or evening.
6. decreasing tobacco and alcohol use.
7. eating smaller low carbohydrate meals before bedtime.

If you have any other suggestions that we left out here, feel free to share with the other readers in the comment section.

Hair is a very important part of the human body. It is one of the defining characteristics of mammals and a very important part of the body as it serves several purposes. Some of which include: warmth, protection and beauty.

The growth of the hair begins inside the hair follicle (a dynamic organ found in the mammalian skin) which follows a specific growth cycle having specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. The hair follicle is fed by nutrient-rich blood supply and as such, poor diet disrupts the nutrient supply to the follicle thereby affecting the growth of the hair. An overall balanced diet is essential for a shiny, lustrous and strong hair.

Research shows that there are about 100,000 to 350,000 hair follicles on the human scalp, with each growing an average of 1000 days and rests for a period of around 100 days before being shed and new hair begins to grow. This varies from person to person and can be influenced by age, diet, weather and state of health. If kept in a good and perfect condition, your hair would grow an average of half an inch every month.

While human beings have devised several means of staying warm during outdoor activities by making use of different head wears and jackets, the hairs found on the human body primarily serves as a source of heat insulation as it helps to keep the internal body temperature regulated while protecting the body from ultra-violet radiation exposure. In many mammals such as hedgehogs and porcupines, hair can be very dense and then is referred to as fur. These have been transformed into hard spines or quills and these are covered with thick layers of keratin which serves as a form of protection against their predator. In humans, body hair is mostly reduced as it doesn’t play a major role in temperature regulation as it does in other animals.

The hair on the human scalp provides both protective and adornment functions as it protects the head from various elements by serving as a thermal insulator. It also protects the scalp from sunburn and other effects of light radiation. Hair on other parts of the human body also provide related protective and adornment functions. The eyelash which grows at the edges of the eyelids protects the eyes from dirt. They are used to sense when sweat, dust, dirt and any other potential substance that is harmful to the eyes are very close to the eyes, that is why the eyes reflexively close as a result of the sensation and also, it helps to reduce the amount of light that enters the eyes. Eyebrows, which are the hairs found around the eye area also serves as a shield to the eyes as it prevents dirt, sweat and water from making its way into the eyes. They also play an important role in non-verbal communication as they are able to display several emotions like excitement, sadness, surprise and even anger. In animals, the hairs (fur) on their body are connected to the nerves and also serve as a transmitter for sensory input.

Apart from giving warmth to the body and serving as a protection to the body, hair also serves as a great social significance for human beings as it is mainly cosmetic and contributes greatly to the way a person looks. Hair grows all over the body. The only places it does not grow are the lips, the soles of our feet, the palms and the fingers.

There are so many reasons people visit the salon; to have their hair cut; to get a good pedicure or manicure; to condition their hair; to apply dye to their hair; to have their hair braided or made, etc. No sane person goes to the salon with the hope of contracting one disease or the other, but still, many people tend to unknowingly pick up diseases from hair salons whenever they go there for services. Most times, they have no idea that these diseases were gotten from the salon and continuously fall victims of the diseases.
You may be wondering what the possible diseases that one could contract from the salon are. Relax and continue reading, we are going to bring you up to speed.
1. Head Lice
Perhaps they are known the incessant itching they cause to the scalp and the sores that can get infected when you scratch a lot. Ironically, they are attracted to clean hair and are usually passed from one person to another by head-to-head contact. It, however, can be treated by shampoo which can be applied at home.
The key to preventing lice is by making sure the salon sterilizes combs and brushes before using them on you. It is also advisable to always carry your own comb and brushes along when going to the salon.
2. Burns and Blisters
Due to the harshness of some chemicals and the inability of some skins to tolerate them, skin treatments can cause burn and blisters or even chemical burns on the leg in a bid to treat leg veins.
Apart from staying away from such chemicals, one can also make sure that the cosmetician is an expert and has received enough training, so as to avoid getting burns and blisters after the skin treatment procedures.
3. Fungal Infections of the Nail
Some salons make use of the same tools for all their customers without properly sterilizing them and this, in turn, can cause some really nasty fungal infections. These infections are usually characterized by swelling of the skin around the toenails or fingernails, pain in the area or thickening of the nail.
To prevent this, you can ask your manicurist to avoid cutting your cuticles. Medical experts advise that the cuticles can be pushed back a bit but cutting them increases the chances of infection. Also, make sure your salon owner sterilizes all nail grooming instruments before using them on you.
4. Hepatitis
There are also chances of contracting Hepatitis through sharing of instruments like foot basins, razors, scissors and clippers used at nail salons and barber shops.
The best way to prevent this is to have your own instruments and bring them along to the salon. You can also ensure that these instruments are sterilized before being used on you.
5. Contact Dermatitis
When chemicals that are too harsh or chemicals that you are allergic to are applied to you, there are very high chances of you contracting contact dermatitis. Chemicals that pose high risks of causing this disease include fragranced products, acrylics and formaldehyde.
Always ensure to ask about the products that are being applied to your skin so as to be able to give full details of what was applied on your skin to the dermatologist in case any rash appears on your skin.
6. Staph Infections
People who treat themselves to pedicures stand the chance of contracting staph infection. The tubs in foot spas can be a source of infection when they are cleaned properly.
To avoid this, always make sure that the tubs in foot spas are washed and sanitized before use and the salon technicians wash and sanitize their hands before treating you to a pedicure.
In addition to the preventive steps that have been mentioned above, you should also always:
i. Try not to visit salons when you have open injuries or damaged skin as it leads to an increased risk of infection.
ii. Visit salons that are reputable and have up-to-date credentials for their employees.
iii. Ask the salon owners about the steps they take to make sure that their salon is infection-free.

In case you have suggestions and contributions that would be useful to other readers, do not hesitate to share them in the comment section.

Grey hair is one of the many physical changes that come with old age and so, it is usually worrisome when a young person starts growing grey hair on the head. There are many speculations as to why a young person may have grey hair, but here are some scientifically proven reasons:

1. Genetics
Genes are a major determinant of what age one’s hair would begin to lose its pigment. For some, it usually occurs before they get to twenty and a few lucky others start experiencing theirs in their early 20s. There is usually very little to be done about the grey hair if it is gene stimulated.

2. Smoking
Smoking usually allows some atoms to be formed in the body. These atoms go on to cause oxidative stress that leads to a decrease in melanin, thereby stimulating the greying of the hair.

3. Chemicals
The application of chemicals like relaxers, dyes, shampoos and soaps and can also cause hair to turn grey. The allergic infections from using these chemicals can also be a cause of the change in hair colour.

4. Stress
Unknown to many, hypertension, anxiety and stress also cause hair to grey prematurely. Hairs that fall off as a result of stressful events like chemotherapy usually grow back as grey hairs.

5. Deficiency
When one lacks Vitamin B, zinc and copper, he stands the chances of having premature grey hair. These nutrients help the metabolic process that gives the hair its natural colour.

6. Environmental Factors
Exposure to external factors like climate and pollution influences the greying of the hair. Pollution makes the hair strand weak and leads to grey hair.

 

How to Deal With Grey Hair
There are several ways people that have prematurely grey hair can take care of it to return their hair to its natural colour. These ways include:

1. Curry & Henna Leaves
These leaves can be a very potent remedy to grey hair. All you have to do is make a paste out of them with your favourite hair oil and start applying to your hair. This paste can also be used as an anti-aging mask for your hair.

2. Avoid Harsh Shampoos
It is advisable to use mild shampoo on your hair or better still, organic shampoo. Shampoos and conditioners that have harsh chemicals in them usually affect hair follicles and make them fall off and get grey.

3. Up Your Diet
Always make sure that your diet has enough green vegetables. Consuming more spinach, celery, capsicum, cabbage, cucumber and other healthy green vegetables also help to restore natural hair colour and maintain them.
Massaging the hair with almond oil also comes in handy as it is rich in proteins and vitamin E which are very essential nutrients for hair health.

We can’t wait to hear your different stories on how this worked for. Do you have any more suggestions on battling premature grey hair that we did not mention here? Feel free to drop them in the comment section.

Hello Readers, where did 2018 go? Oh my! It went faster than I thought it would. So many of us had set 2018 goals at the beginning of that year. When the year got to an end, we took stock of those goals. I am very sure that true happiness was derived when our goals were achieved.
Great Kudos to those that achieved their goals, to others who achieved some, well done. I fall in this set too… Lol. There are some that didn’t achieve their goals. Well, the truth is 2019 is a new year and you can work towards those goals. Now, to those who didn’t even set a goal, urrghhh! The fact that you… yes YOU… are reading this article is a BIG SIGN that you want to evaluate yourself and set those goals. So, thumbs up to you.
Come with me, as I discuss several important factors to consider in effective goal setting. Honestly, these factors are pertinent to me but I think we could benefit from them. Read them, study them and let me know in the comment section if you feel it is helpful.
1. Set Realistic Goals: Ensure that unrealistic goals are weeded out. The adage “cut your coat according to your size” is the summary of this point. This is not procrastination or lack of a “can do” attitude. Your goals should be within the availability of what is attainable for you. Goals are easily achieved when they are realistic. This will make you not see yourself as a failure. When you set unrealistic goals, you struggle to achieve them because they are way beyond you or your resources. I have learned through experience to set goals that are realistic. Has it helped me? Of course!

2. Set Specific Goals: Most people set goals that are imprecise, which is not right. Being specific with goals enables you to easily determine when they have been achieved. Ambiguous goals lead to confusion because you won’t be able to determine the right steps to take in other to achieve them. For example; I plan to save more this year. This is not specific. The question here is; How much do you plan to save each month? The right way of setting this goal is; I plan to put in #5000 of my savings in my savings account each month. This will give you a measurable target of what you should be saving, and any month you fail to stick with this, you already know there is a drift in your goal. Specific goals are means of checks and balances in goal setting and should be adhered to.

3. Prioritize Your Goals: After properly identifying your goals, ensuring they are realistic and specific, it is important to “build up a scale of preference” in other to know which one comes first and next. This is called PRIORITIZING. The truth is, you cannot achieve all the goals at once. A Chinese adage says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Break your goals into smaller steps and go for the one that comes first. This makes the goal setting task not to be difficult. When you take the first goal in accordance with the priority, it helps reduce anxiety. Also, you are able to evaluate how far you have gone, which will guide you on the next step(s) to take. This does not mean being slow, but there is wisdom in focus and avoiding divided attention.

4. Identify Obstacles: This entails thinking out of the box. You have to properly scrutinize your goals and consider other factors that are capable of hindering the achievement. So many years ago, my mum had a goal of getting a diploma in Catering and Hotel Management. She knew that school run and babysitting would affect this goal, so she got a baby sitter who would stay with us while she goes to school. Towards the end, her goal was achieved and she made good grades.

5. Take Action: After setting your goals properly, it is important to “DO IT”. Now let’s do a little reverse. Remember those words that say you have to be motivated before you start something. This is my take on those words. I feel in Goal Setting; you need to Take Action first. When you do this, you will start feeling motivated to do more. It is similar to building a house; when you start laying the foundation and putting the first brick, you will have the motivation to complete it. So, no matter what your goal is, just do it! Start from somewhere, don’t hesitate.

6. Flexibility: When you are too rigid, you might not be able to achieve some goals. It is important to be flexible. Flexibility does not mean not sticking to your goals, it means being open-minded to come up with an alternative plan when the already set plans have been distorted. For Example; Monday evenings have already been set aside for running, unfortunately, it rained, obviously, you cannot go for a run under the rain, but an indoor exercise can be used as an alternative. Sometimes things can get in a way of accomplishing your goals, so always be open-minded to an alternative plan for the expected result.
By setting goals, developing plans, working to fulfil them and evaluating the process, you will be more likely to succeed in achieving those goals. Goal setting aids in creating the life you want. I hope that this article will bring us to a good start this year, enable us to set and achieve our goals.
Feel free to leave your comments below.

Healthy living refers to the steps and actions put into place to ensure and achieve optimum health. It involves taking responsibility for your health in order to ensure that you stay healthy for the future.

Healthy they say, is wealth. In this article, we would give you some tips on how to diet in order to ensure that you stay healthy.

Food is a basic necessity for living things. We need food to grow and maintain a healthy body. Healthy living through dieting can be achieved by eating the proper food and ensuring a healthy body regimen.

Here are some tips on dieting that can promote healthy living.

  1. Always ensure that 3 meals are taken every day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). It is important to note to note that the last food for the day doesn’t necessarily have to be that with the largest quantity. Rather than eating more at night, eat more in the morning as breakfast Ensure that breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day is taken when due. If you must skip any meal, ensure that you do not skip your breakfast.
  2. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  3. Take less red meat. Eat more of eggs, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts.
  4. Avoid eating too much. Eat only the amount of food that can satisfy your hunger.
  5. Be moderate when consuming snacks and junks. Instead, take more of fruits and nuts to satisfy your hunger and prevent you from gaining excessive weight.
  6. Do not each too much before bedtime. Ensure that heavy foods are not taken after 6pm. This will help reduce weight gain and gastroesophageal reflux.
  7. Desist from the constant consumption of sugary snacks because calories in such snacks could make you hungrier and increase your food consumption which is not ideal for healthy living.
  8. Avoid taking fried or oily foods often.
  9. Ensure that foods are properly cooked. Do not consume undercooked meat or any kind of food. Proper cooking of food destroys harmful bacteria that may be contained therein.
  10. If you must eat fruits and vegetables, ensure that they are washed properly with clean water.

Finally, always consult a doctor/ medical practitioner if you are finding it difficult to control your food intake.