Reducing Migraines Through Diet

Reducing Migraines Through DietAnyone who’s ever experienced a migraine knows how debilitating it can be.

In addition to consulting with your doctor, there are many simple, safe things you can try that may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Today we’d like to focus on diet — specifically how what we eat and drink can affect our migraines.

Let’s examine what types of foods and drinks can help reduce migraines, as well as some of the things a migraine sufferer should avoid.

Help Prevent Migraines by Eating the Following:

Also known as B2, riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the occurrence of migraines dramatically. A healthy daily intake is somewhere around 400mg. You’ll find vitamin B2 in crimini mushrooms, asparagus, low-fat milk, spinach, calf liver and quinoa. It can take up to 2-3 months of taking enough riboflavin daily before you notice any real difference in the frequency and severity of your migraines.

Similar to riboflavin, many people are magnesium deprived and don’t know it. Raising your daily intake to about 450mg per day can help put migraines at bay. Spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, as are bananas, sunflower seeds and sweet potatoes. Magnesium is also a key ingredient in keeping blood vessels functioning normally.

Found predominantly in cold-water fish like halibut, salmon, tuna and sardines, omega-3 fatty acids have an array of benefits for the body — including improved heart, skin and brain health. With improved brain health comes diminished migraines. Don’t worry, if you’re not a fish person you can also get your daily dose of omegas from non-fish sources like flax seeds. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a quality product like Udo’s Choice Omega 3-6-9 blend, which can be found in gel tab and liquid form.

You’ve probably heard that an adult’s body is made up of 50-65% water. Like everything else we’ve mentioned so far, many people don’t get enough of it. When our bodies are dehydrated, headaches and migraines can occur. It’s important to stay hydrated through out the day, but if you feel a migraine coming on grab a refreshing glass of water or two and see if it helps.

Help Prevent Migraines by Avoiding the Following:

High amounts of salt can induce a migraine. Once you start reading food labels, you may find high concentrations of salt in places you didn’t expect. Soups are notorious for having high amounts of salt (also called sodium), but did you know even a can of soda contains salt? Become label savvy and you just might get less migraines.

Aside from being bad for your heart and arteries, too many “bad” fats like cholesterol and triglycerides can sometimes cause an increase in migraines. Reduce intake for overall improved health.

I’m a coffee lover, but I’ve experienced first hand how too much coffee can cause a migraine. Some studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee, in small amounts, can actually stay off a headache. The key words here are “small amounts.” In larger quantities, caffeine of any kind can bring on a migraine, sometimes incredibly quickly.

Many red wines contain sulfites, which are preservatives that have been linked to migraines. If you notice that you’re frequently getting headaches after a glass of red wine, it’s quite possible the wine is the cause.

Keep a Food Diary

This is a critical component in figuring out what helps, and what triggers migraines. I had found that a glass of wine with dinner, followed by a cup of coffee was a migraine-inducing combination. I’ve also known people that got migraines whenever they ate bacon (high sodium) and chocolate at the same time. With a food diary, you’ll quickly be able to discern what foods are helping or hurting your body, making it easier to make dietary changes that can improve your life.

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What Does Formula One Racing Have in Common with Your Pillow?

Therapeutic & Supportive PillowYou may be wondering, what could Formula One Racing possibly have in common with your pillow? The answer to this question depends on what type of pillow you use. If you’re using a typical, department store pillow, probably nothing. But if you’re using a therapeutic pillow, the connection between one of the fastest moving sports in the world and the restful slumber of sleep becomes clear — it’s all about support.

Let’s examine the similarities between some of the gear used in Formula One racing, specifically the driver’s seat and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) system, and the Natural Comfort Pillow.

Formula One Gear that Supports the Head, Neck & Spine

Did you know that those little tiny cockpits in Formula One racecars contain a custom-made seat? At their core, they’re made of a single piece of plastic for the strongest possible support. The next step is adding a custom-made seat cover that’s crafted to fit the exact shape of each driver — it actually molds perfectly around their bodies! This offers stability when driving, as well as support for the entire back.

While the spine is supported by the custom seat, the neck and head are supported and protected by the HANS system. This system includes a carbon fiber shoulder collar that sits under a driver’s safety belts, and is securely connected to his or her helmet with elastic straps. If impact occurs, the straps reduce head movement preventing vertebrae from stretching, and the collar absorbs and redistributes force away from the driver’s skull and neck muscles.

How Our Pillow Supports Your Head Neck & Spine

While the products mentioned above support a person when they’re driving fast, our pillow helps get you up to speed for your day. Speaking of driving, did you know you can use our pillow in the car? Just sit it vertically on our backrest, and the pillow will mould to your back — supporting it much like a custom Formula One seat!

As far as sleeping is concerned, consistently using a supportive pillow like the Natural Comfort Pillow can help with a variety of issues including:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • TMJ
  • Migranes

Support for Back- and Side-sleepers

Here’s a quick overview on how our pillow works for both back- and side-sleepers. Feel free to visit our How this Pillow Helps page for more info.

Neck Pain Relief Back-Lying & Sleeping

Neck Pain Relief Side-Lying & Sleeping

We understand that when you’re sleeping, you’re not risking your life like a Formula One driver does during a race. The question is, by sleeping on an inferior pillow, how are you affecting your life negatively by not addressing issues lie insomnia or neck pain?

We created the Natural Comfort Pillow because we want to help people lead happier healthier lives. We also want you to be as successful as possible. Being well rested, and reducing pain can make a big difference in the amount of success each of us enjoys.

Since our pillow has an unconditional money-back guarantee, there’s no risk involved in giving it a try. All we ask is that you use the Natural Comfort Pillow for at least 30 days to see how it can improve your quality of life.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Regulating Your Sleep-wake Cycle for a Better Night’s Rest

Regulating Your Sleep-Wake Cycle for a Better Night's SleepDo you know if you have a healthy sleep-wake cycle? In our tech-centric world, many people don’t. The good news is there are easy ways to make a positive impact on your sleep-wake cycle, which can help you produce melatonin when it’s time for bed, as opposed to during the middle of your day.

Let’s define what melatonin is, and examine some of the ways you can better control when it’s released in you body.

What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s controlled within the body by light exposure, and it’s a key element in the regulation of a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Our brains typically secrete more melatonin in the evening when it becomes dark outside, making us sleepy. During the day, less melatonin is released because of daylight, causing us to be more awake and alert.

Modern-day Disruptions
These days, many people work in an office where there is no direct exposure to daylight. No windows means no sunlight, which can lead to more production of melatonin during the day. This is why so many people experience mid-day drowsiness. Then, when it’s dark outside, our eyes and brains get bombarded by the artificial light of televisions, computers and mobile devices — which can suppress our body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.

So as you can see, with the advent of modern culture and technology, we’ve got our sleep cycles pretty confused.

How to Reset Your Sleep-wake Cycle
Simple, effective strategies to get your sleep-wake cycle back on track include increasing your exposure to natural light during the day, and decreasing your exposure to light before you go to bed.

Ways to increase your exposure to light during the day:

  • Remove sunglasses, especially in the morning
  • Spend more time outside during the day. Take a walk during one of your breaks, or simply go outside and get some sunshine.
  • Exercise outdoors, or try walking your dog during the day instead of the night.
  • Fill your home or workspace with as much light as possible. Open those curtains and blinds! Moving your desk closer to a window is also an effective way to increase alertness.
  • If you don’t have access to natural light, try a light therapy box. It can simulate sunshine and is especially helpful during the winter when daylight is in short supply.

Ways to boost melatonin production at night:

  • Decide what time you want to go to sleep. If bedtime is 11pm, be sure to turn off all electronic devices by 10pm. At first, this may be difficult. Many of us have formed strong habits around these devices, so be kind to yourself as you develop new, healthier habits. In addition to lowering melatonin production, these devices can actually stimulate the mind, making you feel “wired,” even after a long day.
  • Wind down you day with an audio book, an actual book, meditation, or by listening to music.
  • If all of your books are electronic, and you must read on your mobile device, set the background to “night mode,” which essentially makes the background black and the text white.
  • Change out bright light bulbs with softer ones with lower wattage — especially in your bedroom.
  • When you go to bed, make sure your room is dark. The darker your bedroom, the better chance you have of sleeping well. To darken the room, cover electronic displays, use heavy curtains, or try a sleep mask.

We hope these tips help you have more productive days, and more restful nights.

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Managing Stress for Better Sleep

Managing Stress for Better SleepIt’s no surprise to anybody that stress is part of life. And although we can’t always control the events that cause stress or anxiety to manifest in our lives, we can control how we respond. Finding ways to manage stress is a critical factor to leading a happier, healthier life. It can also be the deciding factor as to whether or not we sleep well on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at a handful of ways to manage stress — including meditation, exercise and mindfulness.

Meditation comes in many forms. Let’s examine two simple, effective ways to mediate that can be accomplished in as little as three minutes.

First, let’s turn to your smart phone. recently posted an article that details the top 17 meditation apps of 2014 for your Android or iPhone. Two of our favorites are Mindfulness and Mindful, which are very effective and only ask for 3-5 minutes of your time to complete a meditation.

Our second suggestion is much more low tech. Simply find a place in your home where it’s quiet and you can have some privacy. Sit comfortably, with your legs crossed (if possible) and your back straight. You can also sit in a chair if you find it more comfortable. Light a candle, and simply stare at it while you take slow, deliberate breaths. Breathe deeply through your nose into your stomach, and exhale completely through your mouth. At first, you may find that it feels impossible to sit still for even five minutes. But with a little practice, meditating in this way can be quite rewarding. An important tip is to try and clear your mind while you’re performing your meditation. That being said, if a thought enters your mind that’s totally OK, just let it pass as best you can and refocus on your breathing.

There’s often a preconceived notion that exercise needs to involve immense amounts of effort. Not true. Even a 10-minute walk around the block at lunchtime is good exercise for your body, and can lower your stress. Bring that deep breathing into your walk for increased meditative benefits. Of course, if you prefer running, yoga, biking, weightlifting or some other form of physical activity, go for it! Doing something you enjoy is far better than doing something you feel you “should” do. The point of exercise is to de-stress, not add stress to your day.

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, etc. In our tech-centric, fast paced world, it’s sometimes difficult to me mindful. Instead, our thoughts often focus on what’s next on our to-do list — even while we’re still currently working on a task. The best way to stop this cycle is to take a minute or two every few hours to focus on your breath. The simple act of focusing on taking slow, deep breaths is a form of mindfulness, and can help lower stress. While you’re taking these breaths, note how your body feels in the moment, and what your surroundings look like. Can you feel your muscles, and your brain, relaxing a bit?

Thank you for visiting My Better Spine. We hope these tips help reduce your stress.

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