FIGHTING FATIGUE NATURALLY AND SLEEPING BETTER AT NIGHT
Here’s an easy picture to paint. You’re hard at work, it’s about two hours after your lunch break, and you’re in the middle of a big project you’ve been working on all day, when suddenly a slow, laboring yawn slips out. Uh oh. You know it’s the first of many during what some call the '2:30 slump'. We have all experienced midday fatigue. What’s your solution? Do you reach for the sugary snacks and energy drinks? Luckily, there are healthier ways to feel rejuvenated during the day, including methods to help you sleep better at night.
One significant factor is caffeine intake. Consider when you drink caffeine and how you drink it. There’s a major difference between drinking a cup of black tea or coffee in the morning and slamming an energy drink at 4 pm to help you finish out your day. Caffeine tells your body to release adrenaline, the source of the 'fight or flight' response, and as a result your body goes into hyper-drive and your nerves become overactive, making it difficult to fall asleep. The worst part is that caffeine is extremely addictive and the adrenaline 'high' eventually begins to feel like normal, meaning without caffeine you feel fatigued and tired and want to refuel with, you guessed it, caffeine. The only way to fix this issue is to limit caffeine intake to morning coffee or tea, and as rough as the headaches are, it’s worth it.
Of course, there are still plenty of other ways to fight fatigue and sleep better at night. For fighting mid-day fatigue, yoga poses such as Warrior II and Triangle Pose can be invigorating. Consider taking a ten-minute break in your day to add in these rejuvenating routines. For better sleep at night, many enjoy herbal teas with calming herbs like chamomile and lavender. There are also more potent herbs like valerian root that can aid in sleep and can be found in supplement form. Moreover, yoga and meditation can also be very helpful in getting better sleep.
Whether you’re fighting fatigue, trying to sleep better, or just trying to feel better in general, a good yoga and/or exercise regimen and even the inclusion of herbal teas or supplements can help with several ailments and help you sleep better and have more energy throughout the day.
BIKRAM YOGA OR HOT YOGA: WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
There are eight primary types of yoga; those being, anusara, ashtanga, bikram, hatha, hot yoga, iyengar, restorative, and vinyasa. For those who are just starting out, it can be difficult to know which form of yoga is the best for your needs. Here, we will primarily be dealing with the differences between hot yoga and bikram yoga, and why you should choose either.
Bikram yoga is the yoga practice which is centered around the same 26 poses. Usually, the classrooms or studios are set to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 40 degrees Celsius, with a humidity of 40 percent.
The goal of bikram yoga is to flush toxins from the body by using the same 26 poses and two breathing techniques every class. Each class lasts for about ninety minutes. To practice legitimate bikram yoga, it’s mandatory that your instructor was taught by Bikram Choudhury and that his or her studio is affiliated.
Hot yoga provides much more variety to its students than bikram yoga does. Unlike bikram yoga, hot yoga is not constricted to the same 26 poses. Depending on the class and studio, routines and poses will vary. The studios can be heated to anywhere between 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Also unlike bikram yoga, students of hot yoga are able to communicate with each other. During the practice, there is often music playing and afterward, there is a round of applause to congratulate everyone.
Both forms of yoga share much of the same benefits:
- Weight loss
- Flushes toxins
- Builds and tones muscle
- Relieves stress
- Rush of endorphins to brighten mood
A common misinterpretation is that hot yoga and bikram yoga are the same. Despite both forms of yoga being practiced in a hot room, they are very different. For those of you who prefer to be in a structured, independent classroom, then bikram yoga is the best for you. If you prefer more variety and flow, then hot yoga is the way to go!