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Rest at Night, THRIVE by Day

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Rest at Night, THRIVE by Day

Good sleep is elusive for a lot of us. Whether you’re not getting a restful night’s sleep, or not sleeping soundly throughout the night, poor sleeping habits can negatively impact your physical and mental health.

Impacts of Poor Rest

When we’re not fully rested, we’re just going through the motions, only able to squeak out the bare minimum of our energy reserves. We’re not able to concentrate, recall information or make sound decisions as easily as we would after a good night’s rest.

Sleepiness has been linked to weight gain, as well. Studies have shown that when people don’t get enough sleep, they have increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin, the hormone that triggers the feeling of fullness.

Still, many of us are squeaking by on minimal sleep. Pounding coffee throughout your day will almost assuredly affect your ability to fall asleep later. It’s a vicious circle.

Tips for Better Rest

If you’re ready to get serious about better sleep, take these tried-and-true suggestions into consideration:

Institute bedtime rules. No talking about work or other daytime stresses within an hour of bedtime.

Enjoy a relaxation routine. In keeping with your no-stress-before-bed rule, take the time to wind down before you turn off the light. Wash your face, enjoy a book or listen to relaxing music, for example. Your smartphone and/or tablet should be banned from your bedroom. No scanning the news headlines or venting about the day’s events.

Another smart choice: Try THRIVE Rest, part of Le-Vel’s THRIVE nutritional supplement line. THRIVE Rest is a Sequential Gel Technology product that provides maximum absorption and delivers benefits like stress management, relaxation support, and a calming and restful effect. This dual-action formula helps the body get a restful night’s sleep – so you can wake up refreshed and give life everything you’ve got.

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Don’t let the light in. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exposure to artificial light after dark can send wake-up messages to the brain, suppressing the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and making it harder not only to fall asleep, but to stay asleep.

Keep it cool. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a room temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consider a white noise machine. A passing car or the sound of a neighbor’s dog three doors down can rev up your brain if you’re already wired.

Establish a regular sleep routine.  Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep every night.  Make sure you get to bed and wake up on a regular schedule each day.  If energy is a problem for you, it might be due to nutritional gaps.

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Workout as early in the day as possible. Nighttime exercise is great, but you’ll want to stop at least four hours before bed. During and after your workout, your body’s temperature rises, so you want to give yourself adequate time to cool down before hitting the sheets.

Pay attention to nutrition. We know that heavy meals before bed can interrupt sleep, since the body is working hard to digest food. A light snack of crackers and cheese, or a slice of toast with almond or peanut butter, a cup of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk, cottage cheese or yogurt with chopped banana and a few walnuts are all great choices. You’re aiming for a few carbs and a bit of protein.

Sleep is an important part of healthy living, just like eating right and exercise.  So make it a priority!  You can learn more about THRIVE Rest on the Le-Vel website.  Sweet dreams, everyone!

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Tips for Healthy Skin for Summer and Beyond

by Le-Vel 1 Comment
Tips for Healthy Skin for Summer and Beyond

The hotter months are when our skin is most vulnerable to potential threats. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the most preventable cause of early skin aging.

The bigger threat, however, is skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetimes. A significant percentage of our UV exposure takes place, of course, during the summer, when we’re swimming, hiking or puttering outside. All the while, we’re wearing less clothing and often forget to apply sunscreen to important spots like the nose, back of the legs, hands or chest.

It’s important to remember that everyone – even babies, children and teens – need good skin protection. In fact, young people may need even more protection from the sun. The AAD has also estimated that children receive 80 percent of their lifetime sun exposure by the time they turn 18.

Here are a few tips for keeping your skin healthy all summer long and beyond:

Slather the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and a minimum SPF of 30 at least 15 minutes before you go outside, and reapply every 60 to 90 minutes. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause skin cancer. You may also consider spraying the part of your hair with a sunscreen product; your scalp is also prone to sunburn.

Drink lots of water. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times during the summer. Your goal should be to increase your intake during these warmer months. Water helps keep the skin well-hydrated.

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Don’t forget the lip balm. A lot of people forget about the lips, which is why they’re one of the more frequent spots for skin cancer. Find yourself a lip balm with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and reapply it every couple of hours.

Exfoliate. Exfoliating products help wipe away dirt, grime and oil from your face and prepare it to absorb your moisturizer and skin care products.

Moisturize. A good moisturizer can help protect your skin from dryness, which leaves it more susceptible to sun damage. Moisturizers with sunscreen are helpful, but shouldn’t replace your sunscreen.

Cover up. The AAD states that even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate the skin. Grab a large-brimmed hat, get yourself some big sunglasses, and find the shade.  You can also find clothing with added sun protection.

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Pay attention to your diet. “Super foods” containing antioxidants can help combat the signs of aging brought on by free radicals. Great choices include blueberries, kale, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, kidney and pinto beans, artichokes, pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts.

One final note on sunscreen: The FDA requires that sunscreens be able to retain their strength for three years. If the expiration date on the bottle has already passed, throw it out. If the bottle doesn’t have an expiration date, write the date you bought the sunscreen on the bottle. After three years, toss it. If you’re not sure how old the product is, pay attention to its color and consistency. If something looks off, the sunscreen probably has lost some of its potency, and it’s time to throw it away.

Your skin is your largest organ, so you need to take care of it!  If you follow these tips, you can end your summer with skin as healthy as it was at the start.  Best of all, you’ll be creating a foundation for healthy skin all year long.

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