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Sleep Deprivation: The Biggest Reason For Mental Stress



Those who said, `If you snooze, you lose’ couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure hard work and diligence are important for a successful path but is it worth your health? Sleep is an important parameter for good health and a healthy sleep cycle is necessary to maintain one’s not only physical capability but also mental stability as well as cognitive ability. The mental issues in fact go beyond the scope of insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes for mental stress. Americans are highly sleep deprived which leads to the onset of anxiety, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Though we still lack the holistic understanding of the connection between sleep and mental disorders, we can say this for sure that a good night’s sleep can alleviate co-occurring mental health problems.

Points To Keep In Mind

  • Though sleep is an important part for everyone, sleep problems are more likely to have an impact on those with psychiatric problems than others.
  • Lack of sleep can lead to mental disorders.
  • In order to help negate the effects of a sleep disorder, it might help to look into the sleep patterns of those affected.

What May Be The Connect Between Sleep And Mental Disorders?

There are 2 types of sleep that a normal sleeper switches between every 90 minutes.

During the relatively “quiet” sleep, the body goes through a series of activities which denote a natural relaxation. The body temperature drops, muscles relax, heart beat slows and the rate of breathing dips. It is during this relaxed phase when the body builds itself and strengthens its immune system.

(Img Courtesy: Nectar Sleep)

The other category is the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It is the time span when people dream. Since they are “engaged” in an activity in their dream, the pulse levels and rate of breathing increases to the level where people are usually awake. This type of sleep is highly beneficial for improving memory retention, learning power and building of emotional health.

Since, these two categories are highly important for the emotional as well as the physical build up of the person, any sort of disturbance or disruption can impact the sleeper heavily. The disruption affects the level of nuero-transmitters and stress hormones which impairs emotional health and amplify the effects of sleep disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea.

Mental Disorders Due To Sleep Deprivation

When asleep, our brains gets the time to take out the trash, literally. It goes into a cleaning mode where it rids itself of proteins that are built in between the brain cells all throughout the day. In fact, a research conducted on mice claims that this cleaning process requires the brain cells to shrink which can only be done if you are asleep. Imagine the clogged up proteins you are encouraging in between your brain cells by not sleeping. Such an accumulation is linked to reduced decision making skills, lapsed reaction times and impaired reasoning abilities. Let us take a look at the result of sleep deprivation on our minds.

(Img Courtesy: Dreamcloud Sleep)

Bipolar Disorder: Studies suggest that long periods of sleep deprivation can lead to increased attacks of bipolar disorder and can also trigger mania. Lack of sleep might also affect mood elevations, worsening the case of bipolar.

ADHD: ADHD and sleep disorders are intrinsically related and it might be difficult for researchers to study them exclusive of each other. Lack of sleep leads to hyperactivity, breathing issues, emotionally unstable and unattentive. These are the symptoms of ADHD as well.

Anxiety Disorders: Sleep disorders have an adverse impact on more than 50% of adults who are undergoing anxiety disorder and share a close resemblance to those with post traumatic disorder which may lead to phobias and anxiety attacks.These issues affect children as well. Children with an anxiety disorder are more likely to have an interrupted sleep in comparison to those with a healthy mind.

Depression: Sleep deprivation shares a deep connection with depression. Both issues are reliant on each other and can either be the cause of the other or the result. Depression might lead to sleeplessness or sleep deprivation might lead to tired minds and impaired cognitive ability that can lead to depression. Insomnia and sleep apnea also play a huge role in developing depression. Patients suffering from depression and sleep deprivation are less likely to respond to treatments in contrast to those who are plagued by depression but are able to sleep better.

Tweaking Your Lifestyle

In order to reverse the damage caused by sleep deprivation, try incorporating the following in your daily lifestyle for a blissful sleep.

(Img Courtesy: Awara Sleep)

Comfortable bed accessories: Uncomfortable bed leads to interrupted and intermittent sleep pattern. Invest in good bed accessories that can help you get a good night’s rest. You can choose a natural mattress which will allow a toxin free sleep and if possible, prop it on a twin XL platform bed for increased space. In case your mattress is prone to minor mishaps, protect it with a quality waterproof mattress protector from Nectar

Meditate: Meditation is a proven method that helps improve blood circulation and relaxes the mind. This state of zen helps calm the body down and make it ready for a deep slumber. Secure a corner for yourself in the house and sit on a rug to practice your daily meditation. You can use a purple area rug as purple stands for peace which you are keenly looking for during your meditation.

Eat a Healthy Diet: Stay away from sugar and highly processed foods as they take time to digest and can also lead to upset digestive system, leading to a disturbed sleep.

Cut Down On Caffeine: We know that caffeine are natural steroids. One suffering from insomnia should stay away from it and can reach out to more calming beverages like green tea, chamomile tea and so on.

(Img Courtesy: Nectar Sleep)

Physical Activity: You need to tire your body out in order to get a better and deep sleep. Physical activities can help you fall asleep faster without any interruptions up ahead.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: It is common for those insomnia to pay attention to their lack of sleep. An ironic situation, this act of being preoccupied with not falling asleep eventually leads to adverse impact on the sleep cycle. Cognitive behavioural techniques can be deployed to train the brain into sleeping by switching off the negative thoughts and calming oneself down to a more relaxed state of rest. In a nutshell, it is the mind game deployed to trick the brain into performing its normal function of resting.


Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest threats today which is stringing up a series of lifestyle and mental diseases that can otherwise be alleviated with a restful sleep. By understanding the importance of sleep, people can nip the sleep related mental disorders in the bud and lead the path to a healthier mental state.

(Img Courtesy: iStock)

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Sun, Sea and Suffering – Why Accidents Happen on Holiday



Saving up all year for your annual holiday or for a weekend away is certainly worth it when you get to enjoy some much needed time off. Time away from responsibilities, from schedules, from your boss and colleagues and an opportunity to make as many memories as possible.

However, in our pursuit of rest and relaxation, many holidaymakers find themselves visiting the emergency room and getting caught up in all kinds of accidents – if you’ve had a car accident in Fort Lauderdale, click the link. This kind of scenario can leave us red-faced, heading home feeling stressed, tired and wishing we’d never left the safety of our comfort zone in the first place.

However, it is possible to have a perfectly safe, accident-free holiday. All you need to do is make yourself aware of the most common holiday mishaps and accidents out there. Read on to find out more.

Road traffic accidents

Driving in unfamiliar territory can be a recipe for disaster. Especially if you don’t plan ahead or don’t adapt your driving style. Conducting plenty of research about the roads at your destination will help keep you safe.

Sunburn and heatstroke

We all love getting some sun whilst we’re on holiday. It makes us feel good, tops up our tan and just makes us feel healthier. However, there’s a fine line between enjoying the sun, and getting damaged from it. Too much sun and little protection means sunburn, which is incredibly painful and could increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Heatstroke can leave you dehydrated, with a migraine and incredibly ill. In many cases it requires hospitalisation. Make sure you’re adequately protected when you’re in the sun.

Slips and trips

Slipping by the pool or in the hotel foyer, tripping over a sun-lounger or slipping off the kerb in the local market. Slips and trips are commonplace abroad. So, you need to be vigilant. The last thing you want is to return home with a broken leg!

Food poisoning

We all like to indulge when we’re on holiday. But whether you want to experience local, authentic food or stick to what you know and love, food poisoning is a risk all holidaymakers take. Ensure you’re only eating at reputable and highly recommended eateries and be wary of vendors not following food hygiene practices.

Activity related accidents

Snowboarding, skiing, water sports, even swimming and scuba-diving. All these accidents are common overseas and the injuries may be catastrophic. Ensure that any activities you sign up to are overseen by trained experts.

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Layoners Sunglasses Tips: 7 Reasons Why You Need to Protect Your Eyes With Shades



Summer is fast approaching, and the heat of the sun can hurt your eyes. sunglasses Layoners can protect your eyes from the harmful radiation that can bring different eye problems.

Here are 7 reasons why wearing shades is a must:

1. Avoid sun-related problems to your health

The eyes are very sensitive, especially to the beaming ultraviolet rays. You need to protect it from the sun by wearing high-quality shades to prevent age-related eye problems like cataracts, damage to the retina, and macular degeneration.

Make sure that you know what high-quality shades mean. These pairs have 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Wearing it under the scorching heat of the sun when fishing or doing sports can safeguard your eyes.

Check out the eye-related problems that can be attributed to not wearing shades when going outdoors:


Pterygium, known as the surfer’s eye, is the growth of the eyeball. It is painful but is not considered really serious. It can be treated with steroids, eye drops, and surgery.

The growth of the eyeballs is caused by UV exposure. Wearing shades when going out even if it’s cloudy is a must because even if you can’t see the sunlight, your eyes are still exposed to UV rays.

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is damage to the retina or specifically the macula that causes impaired vision and worse, blindness. Wearing shades all the time can protect your eyes from having this type of eye disease.

Cataracts & Glaucoma

Cataracts are a cloudy part of the eye lens caused by prolonged and long-term UV exposure. Another eye disease due to UV exposure is glaucoma. In some cases, it can cause blindness.

2. Promote healing and recovery

After surgeries including LASIK and PRK that correct vision, wearing shades is a must. Wearing shades can help during recovery and help adjust your vision.

If you had an operation, such as eyelid repair, cataract surgery, or any procedure that corrects your vision, shades are advisable to protect your eyes and improve your vision.

3. Protection for your eyes

When you go outdoors, you should not only avoid the harmful UV rays. Other elements like snow, dust, wind, and sand can also put your eyes at risk.

Dust and Wind: If your eyes are exposed to a windy and dusty environment for a long time, your eyes can be at risk of getting damaged. Wearing shades can safeguard your eyes from these elements.

Sand: Sand can irritate and cause painful eyes. It can also be serious because it can scratch your eyes and permanently damage them. Wear wrap-around shades to protect your eyes from sand.

Snow: If you are often exposed to snow, it can be damaging to your eyes too. It’s because it reflects about 80 percent of UV rays that can lead to snow blindness.

Snow blindness is the result of the burned cornea. There are shades that are specially made when you’re doing activities like snowboarding, skiing, hiking snowy mountains, or spending time in the snow.

4. Avoid migraines and headaches

The beaming sunlight can hurt people with migraines. A pair of shades can prevent them from having terrible headaches and migraines as bright light can easily be the main trigger for them.

5. For safe driving

Shades are recommended when you’re driving under the bright sunlight. It helps you have a relaxed and better vision and makes your driving safer. When it’s raining lightly, wearing shades is also good to have a better vision.

Another important reason is that it helps you adjust to the darkness. Wearing shades make it easier for you to drive at night because your eyes are already adjusted.

6. Enjoy the outdoors

Wearing shades can improve your mood when doing some activities under the bright sunlight. You don’t strain your eyes and you can focus on what you’re doing.

When you’re involved in sports, shades can improve your performance due to better vision. It can protect your eyes from harmful elements that can hinder your performance.

7. For style and fashion

Wearing shades is a great accessory that defines your personality. Shades are available in various brands, styles, colors, and designs.

Picking the right frame for your face can make you look better. Just make sure to choose frames that match your face shape. Layoners offer different shades for men and women that help protect your eyes and make you even more fashionable.


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THE Weirdest Present Ever Given – Cow Dung



Yep, you read that right.  Cow Dung, the smelliest, shittiest, dirtiest … in all its natural glory.  50 years old he is so ever grateful to his aunt that he has even written a book called “Strange Cures” that describes the event.

For many, when they think about vacation, they envision going to the fair, going to the casino or maybe even relaxing on the beach and going online to Fair Go Casino.

And visiting a cow pasture filled with warm fresh cow dung does not usually make it to the top of the list of “Favorite things to do while on vacation” … actually, I doubt it would even make it to the bottom of the list.

But alas, that was 12-year old Rob Zabrecky’s daily vacation excursion in that memorable summer vacation.

Rob Zabrecky’s Story

The following was Rob’s experience.

When Rob went on vacation to visit his aunt in Scotland, he had 47 warts on his hands.  His parents had already spent over $800 visiting various doctors trying to get rid of them.

“You just dip your hands deep into the cow dung and let them soak there for a few moments. Let that dung set for 20 or so minutes and rinse it away. You’ll need to do this each day for a fortnight and those warts will vanish. I promise you, laddie”, Rob recalls his aunt telling him.

Rob did as his aunt instructed, and by the time he went home his warts were already disappearing and by the time school began, they were completely gone.

Warts are frustrating to deal with.  You read the stories online and people have had warts for years.  If nothing is done, it can take 1 – 2 years for warts to go away naturally.  Even with treatment, on average it can take around 2- 3 months for warts to clear up.

About a week ago, we discovered a plantar’s wart on the bottom of my 6 years old’s foot.  These are bad, because not only are you dealing with the wart, you also have to deal with the callus that formed on top of the wart to “protect” the wart.  In the case of plantar’s warts, instead of the growing outward (as it usually does on the hands), the wart grows inwards. This makes walking painful.

I went to the doctor, who prescribed salicylic acid.  It was in what looked like a nail polish bottle, including what looked like a nail polish brush.  3 times a day, we put the salicylic acid on my son’s foot and then put on a regular bandage on the area to prevent the wart from spreading.  Warts can be contagious if you touch a wart and then touch another part of your body. So keeping the wart covered is very important.

After three days of using this stuff, I was not noticing any changes.

I was not too fond of the prospect of dealing with this 3 times a day for 12 weeks.

I kept thinking about  Rob Zabrecky’s story about his warts and his aunt’s cow dung cure.  I live in a city, so finding fresh warm cow dung was not an option. But how did the cow dung work?

Why did the cow dung work to get rid of warts?

Hypothesis 1: Lack of oxygen

Did soaking warts in cow dung for 10 minutes create an environment that lacked oxygen?

Duct tape theory seems to follow this reasoning.  Dr. Focht studied 51 pediatric patients. Half had their warts removed with cryotherapy (freezing the wart off), and the other half had duct tape put on their warts.  The parents were told to leave the duct tape on for 6 days and to replace it if it falls off. Between duct tape treatments, the area was left uncovered for 12 hours. The parents repeated this method for two to three months.   85% of the duct tape patients were wart free compared to only 60% of the cryotherapy patients.

Dr. Frank Bures claims that you cannot suffocate a wart, because it is gettings its oxygen from the inside of the body.

I am not sure that I would agree with that view.  I am not a doctor, but if the virus could survive completely from inside the body (without outside air), why doesn’t the wart just take up residence inside the body?   Wouldn’t the wart be more protected inside the body rather than on the surface of the body?

Plus, if the red blood cells were reaching inside the wart, why wouldn’t our white blood cells, which travel in the same path as red blood cells, attack the wart?  Why does a “normal” virus (like a cold) take 10 days to “go away”, but a wart takes 1 – 2 years to go away.

Hypothesis 2: Hostile environment

Cow dung is a hostile environment.  Just like we don’t have any desire to take up residence next to cow dung, maybe wart viruses feel the same way.

Several companies sell bandages that are specifically designed for wart removal.  First, they have extra cushion around the wart medicine (the pad area of the bandage).  A circular disk is in the center of the bandage. This disc contains the medicine, salicylic acid.

The advantage of the disc bandage method over the brush method is that the pad is soaked with salicylic acid.  The whole time that the bandage is on top of the wart, the wart is being constantly exposed to the salicylic acid.  In other words, it is creating a continuous hostile environment for the wart virus.

Hypothesis 3: Warmth

Rob’s aunt specifically said to use warm fresh cow dung.  Read any wart removal package and the instructions will tell you to soak the area with warm water for 5 – 10 minutes before applying the bandage.

No matter what treatment you choose, don’t leave out this important step.

Hypothesis 4: Anti-bacterial / anti-viral properties

All poop has some level of white blood cells in it even if you are not displaying “sick symptoms”.

Do you remember the story of how the smallpox vaccine was invented?  A doctor noticed that girls who milked cows that had cowpox were naturally immune to the smallpox virus.  So the first smallpox vaccines were injecting the patient with cowpox to help the body learn how to fight smallpox.

Did the poop contain white blood cells that could help the body to fight a wart virus?  I am just speculating at this point, and I am definitely NOT a doctor. Although in 1969, a physician named Jerome Litt found that meat handlers had a greater incidence of hand warts than the general population.  Could there be white blood cells in the cow dung that already knows how to fight off warts?

This got me thinking to when my son was a small child (1 – 2 years old) and he had very bad eczema due to food allergies.  His pediatrician recommended, in addition to the medicine she prescribed, I was supposed to take a half a bag of dried honeysuckle flowers and boil them into a pot to create a tea.  Then she told me to put this tea water into his bathwater, and place my son into the warm honeysuckle tea filled bathwater.

Honeysuckle flowers have natural anti-bacterial / anti-viral properties in them.   For my son’s eczema, the combination of the honeysuckle baths and the medicine worked, as nothing else worked.

So if it worked so well for my son’s treatment of his eczema, I decided to add honeysuckle soaks to my son’s treatment of his plantar’s wart.  Since the honeysuckle warm water soaks seem to work best in combination with other treatments, it is hard to say how much the honeysuckle warm water baths themselves are adding to the treatment.

Where we are today

I wish I could write that my son’s wart problems are in the past, but they are not.  We already did 8 days of the wart bandages. The callous that was protecting the wart is gone.  A good first step, but the actual wart is still there.

We are starting the next round of wart bandage treatments.  Now that the callous is gone, I am really hoping that during this round, the actual wart will be taken care of.

I will try to remember to write an update to this article in a week to give another update.

Hoping for a successful week.

Moral of the story

Next time you go on vacation to visit your aunt, don’t discount your aunt’s whacked-out wart cure of sticking your hands into cow dung for 4 nights in a row.  She just might know what she is talking about.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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