Ways of Improving Sleep Quality


Are you one of the huge number of people who experience sleep difficulty? Either catching sleep, or waking up at 3am and being unable to go back to sleep.  

Day time fatigue and sleep issues are often rooted in a daily routine and social activity. We explain a few simple tips that you can practice at home to ensure you have a good night’s sleep. 

Have a sleep pattern

This does not only work on children. We all need to have a regular sleep pattern to enable our system to switch off. Dr. Stephen Amira says it is important to maintain a consistent sleep and wake time. Having a pattern will ensure you start preparing for that snooze time even subconsciously since you know what time you are required to go to bed. Other regimens include brushing your teeth, reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

Regular exercise

 Generally, those who exercise regularly will not experience daytime fatigue and will sleep better at night. Try to avoid exercise too close to bedtime though as this can actually interfere with sleep. The earlier the exercise in the day, the more long lasting the benefits are during the day.

Avoid coffee after 7pm

Your body should be relaxing in the evening and not to get a spurt of energy around the time you need to be winding down for sleep. Dr. Lawrence Epstein explains that caffeine may promote alertness and inhibit a quiet and restful night. 

Have blackout curtains

I know some people who are huge fanatics of beautiful and colourful curtains. However, perhaps you should leave the brightly coloured curtains to your lounge. The bedroom is no place for the orange and the reds. Darker shades of greys, and greens or earthy colours like brown and beige are the way to go. Having sheer curtains that let in too much light may affect your sleep so consider blackout linings. 

Curtains that let hardly let any light in are without doubt highly recommended. This would also be improved by switching off all the light, at least those that may illuminate the bedroom. In pitch dark it is amazing how the light from a clock radio or telephone handset can illuminate a room.

Avoid computer screens within an hour of your bedtime.

Mobile phones, tablets and computers all emit a blue light that stimulates the brain and can have a less than positive effect on getting to sleep. Many of us do it but perhaps that’s one reason why many of us struggle with sleep.

Many tips can be practiced before sleep that may look simple but have a significant effect on the quality of sleep one will have. They may include reading a book or watching a relaxing TV show. It is important to find out what works best for you and apply it, and you’ll be quick into counting your Zs.

Remember, Mayfair cares

Source

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips

 

 

 

Social Anxiety – what is it?


Social anxiety or social anxiety disorder is the condition where an individual has feelings of fear in response to social situations that affects their ability to enjoy a normal and healthy life. It is also referred to as social phobia and the affected persons find it difficult to cope and tend to avoid social situations.

With today’s advances in technology that foster remote communication, the disorder seems to be getting more prevalent. If you suffer from this problem, it is important to know that it is among the most common anxiety disorders out there. Herein is a comprehensive account of some aspects of this condition that you need to know.

The signs of social anxiety

There are a number of notable symptoms that are evident in people afflicted with social anxiety. The most common is extreme anxiety during certain events such as meeting new people, talking to people in authority, giving presentations in front of people, being the centre of attention, parties or social gatherings and being watched while doing something.

Socially anxious people will tend to avoid such situations as much as possible. They often depend on technology to facilitate interaction. In addition, there may be some physical signs present if you have the disorder. These include increased heartbeat, cold sweating, minor trembling, shortness of breath, numbness, blushing as well as dry mouth and throat.

The Effects of Social Anxiety

1. Harmful effects

While anxiety is a normal emotional stress reaction, it becomes significantly harmful once it is persistent, excessive, overwhelming and seemingly uncontrollable. People with social anxiety disorder have a higher risk of depression, substance abuse, and even suicidal tendencies. The risk is higher than in those with other anxiety disorders.

In children and teens, it can affect nearly all aspects of their school life causing reduced success in academics and other educational aspects. If left untreated, it spills over into adult life. It can have a negative impact on a person’s work life.

Social anxiety makes it difficult to take part in job interviews and land a job. The sufferers are also unable to develop meaningful professional relationships through networking. Effective networking involves extensive social settings all of which socially anxious individual always avoid. They may also have problems taking to authority figures in the work environment thus affecting their careers.

People with social anxiety tend to have few or no romantic or social relationships. Such relations have been shown to be essential for optimal self-esteem levels. Reduced self-esteem causes socially anxious individuals to feel alone and ashamed consequently making the situation even worse. Evidently, unchecked social anxiety can lead to a string of harmful psychological disorders.

2. Beneficial Effects

Social anxiety also has some unexpected benefits in some instances. Studies indicate that people are more trusting of socially anxious people. In addition, a fewer number of friends allow for the development of more meaningful and deeper personal relationships.

From the evolutionary standpoint, humans have always benefited from anxiety. Anxious people are less likely to engage in potentially dangerous activities thus they have significantly higher chances of survival. The aforementioned physical signs of anxiety like increased heartbeat are the same adaptive features that help our bodies prepare for danger.

There are effective treatment options for this disorder. They are mostly focused on managing the social anxiety to ensure that the affected can have normal productive life in all aspects. Since anxiety is a normal and adaptive human response, attempting to eliminate it would not be very wise.

Remember, Mayfair Cares and keeps you informed.

ONLINE REFERENCES

https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/what-is-social-anxiety

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-anxiety/Pages/Social-anxiety.aspx

http://www.villagebh.com/disorders/anxiety/symptoms-signs-effects

http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/social-anxiety-disorder-substance-abuse/

http://patient.info/forums/discuss/heavy-anxiety-social-phobia-depression-suicide-thoughts-479559

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181631/

http://www.spring.org.uk/2014/12/the-8-most-unexpected-advantages-of-anxiety.php

http://www.businessinsider.com/surprising-benefits-to-social-anxiety-2014-12

 

Drink driving and the morning after - do you put your career at risk?


Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest mistakes you can ever make. It puts your life, and the lives of others, at risk.

However, there are people who risk making this mistake because of a reckless attitude, their own perceptions or lack of knowledge concerning the implications of driving while intoxicated.

For example, it is common to hear a driver say, “I just had a couple of drinks.” Sadly it is those “couple of drinks” that resulted in over 9,967 deaths in 2014.

Alcohol is a drug that disrupts the functioning of the brain.

When consumed, alcohol is quickly absorbed into the body and enters the bloodstream. Initially, when a person starts drinking, they feel self-confident, relaxed and even sociable. However, the drink causes slowed reflexes, impairs thinking and decreases ability to control motor response.

Considering that you need your motor skills and brain to drive safely, driving while drunk inhibits your alertness and increases your risk of getting into an accident. 

Drinking will reduce your reaction time as alcohol decreases your ability to promptly respond to a situation. Alcohol disrupts your vision as it slows eye muscle movement as well as visual perception leading to blurred vision. When you drive at night while drunk, there is a high risk that your night vision and colour perception has been impaired. 

The Morning After

The length of time that alcohol stays in the body is much misunderstood and will obviously depend on how much a person drinks. If you have ever experienced a time when you had more than your “fair share” of alcohol, then you may recall a “buzz” feeling in the brain that became worse.

This is because at a certain point, the blood and tissues begin storing the excessive alcohol that has not been metabolized. If this occurs frequently, then brain and tissue damage are likely to occur. 

Alcohol requires little digestion and is easily absorbed in the body. Once in the stomach, 20% of the drink goes to the blood vessels whereas the remaining 80% goes to the small intestines and later ends up in other blood vessels.

Once it enters the blood stream, the alcohol travels to the liver where it is metabolised.

Experts state that alcohol metabolises at the same rate for everybody, regardless of age, sex or gender. On average, this metabolism takes one hour for every ounce of alcohol. For most people, one ounce of alcohol results in .015 blood-alcohol concentration.

In real terms – someone who has had a bottle of wine over the course of an evening will retain alcohol in their bloodstream for a good 12 hours.

This means that there is a high likelihood that you are over the limit and at risk by driving at any stage during the morning after even if your drinking finished at midnight.

Is it worth putting your career, life and the lives of others at risk? Call a cab.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

An update on the Zika virus - where has the danger spread to?


According to World Health Organization (WHO), Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that was first discovered in Uganda, 1947 in monkeys. It comes from the Zika forest of Uganda Later in 1952; it was discovered in humans in now both Uganda and Tanzania.

Zika virus can be transmitted through a mosquito, Aedes aegypti which bites in the evenings, sexual transmission in partners, and mother to child during pregnancy and blood transfusions.

Brief History

1947- It was first discovered in Uganda, where monkeys tested positive for the Zika virus.

1952- It was discovered in human beings where at first the symptoms resembled those of yellow fever.

1954-1983- The virus spread across African and Asian countries during this period

2007- The first outbreak of Zika virus beyond Africa and Asia was discovered on the Island of Yap in the Federal States of Micronesia. 

2013-2014- Zika virus spread to French Polynesia, Easter Island, Cook Islands and New Caledonia.

2015- Zika virus crossed borders from Brazil to countries in South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that 1.5 million people have been infected by Zika virus in Brazil.

2016- World Health Organization declared Zika virus as a long term disaster rather than an emergency.

2017- Angola reported two cases of the Zika virus.

Zika virus at the moment

According to newsroom reports, below is the statistics as per today.

Caribbean

There are 598 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

South America 

There are 5439 confirmed cases of Zika virus.

Mexico, Florida and Texas 

There is evidence of Zika virus in the US & Mexico. Expectant mothers and those intending to conceive together with their partners have been warned not to travel to Zika transmission areas.

Zika forecast

With a view of the Aedes aegypti map, Africa, South America and Asian countries will have highest infections of Zika virus infection in the next five years. The infections will primarily be transmitted through mosquito bite.

What can we do?

It is said prevention is better than cure and as we can see in the current situation cure is becoming hard to find and if it is there, not everyone can afford the cost that comes with it. Health providers have therefore come up with preventive measures for people to follow.

• Sleep under treated mosquito net. It is recommended everyone should try and sleep under a net more especially those in affected regions.

• Shut windows and doors to avoid entry of the mosquitoes. Apply insect repellent. This can apply to people who do not want to use a net. The repellent has an annoying scent to keep off these tiny monsters.

• Wear clothes that cover 99% of your skin to minimize mosquito biting.

• Abstaining from sexual acts with infected people.

• Using protection when engaging in sexual act with an infected person.

For Expectant mothers

Avoid unnecessary travel to regions that are prone to the Zika virus until after delivery.

Zika Vaccine

Scientists are working round the clock to come up with the vaccine. It is expected that by 2018, health facilities across the Globe will be fully equipped with the vaccine.

And remember, Mayfair Cares and will keep you informed.

References

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/yes-zika-will-soon-spread-united-states-it-won-t-be-disaster

https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?_r=0