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Follow these rules for a great night’s sleep

tatyanaBuzmakova_Krasnova (CC0), Pixabay

Sheets and pillowcases ought to be washed once a week. It’s a good idea to do it on a specific day; that way it becomes part of your routine.

A 60C cycle is best for cottons, particularly if you have an asthma-related condition (anything below this temperature probably won’t kill dust mites).

Duvets should be washed once a year. A single size can usually go in the washing machine but anything bigger will have to be taken to the launderette. Make sure it’s completely dried before using again, if particularly down- or feather-filled. And dry quickly because if not the feathers can go mouldy, which will give a nasty smell you’ll never get rid of. Avoid dry-cleaning duvets because the solvent will leave a residue on the feathers.

Pillows will be filled with either feather, down or synthetic material. See the label for wash instructions, but normally you’ll be able to wash two at a time. Once or twice a year will be enough. Again, dry thoroughly and as quickly as possible to avoid mould. You may notice a difference in the weight post-wash! Pillow protectors are well worth using between washes.

Headboards can take on marks where a greasy head has been in contact. If it’s fabric, spot clean with an upholstery cleaner, but don’t overwet or you could end up with watermarks. If veneer or vinyl, wipe with warm soapy water and dry with a clean cotton cloth.

The space under the bed will get very dusty so pull out everything about once a month, and move the bed to one side to vacuum thoroughly. This will keep moths and carpet beetles away, and the dustmites under control.

Mattresses can end up looking pretty nasty. Unless the label says ‘Do not turn’, turn it over every three months to extend its life (and your comfort). Vacuuming it will make a huge difference to reducing the dustmite population. If you don’t have one already, use a mattress protector (waterproof for young children or anyone with incontinence problems). To remove stains, use a foamy mix of hand-wash detergent. Don’t overwet. Make sure it is completely dry before making up the bed again (use a hairdryer to speed things up). If there are any nasty smells there, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, leave a few hours then vacuum off.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

SKIN AND HYDRATION – Dr Sarah Schenker

Healthy skin is often described as glowing or dewy and that is because healthy skin is always slightly moist. By contrast, dehydrated skin means that the skin is lacking water and will appear dull, overall tone and complexion may appear uneven, and fine lines are more noticeable.
Signs of dehydrated skin include:
• redness and itchiness
• dullness
• dark under-eye circles
• sunken eyes
• “shadows” around the face (especially under the eyes and around the nose)
• increased incidence or appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles
The body loses approximately 1-2 litres of water per day through normal bodily processes. When we sweat, we can lose a large amount of water from the body depending on factors such as temperature, exercise duration and intensity. The skin also loses small amounts of water continuously throughout the day even in ambient temperatures and without exercising. This loss of water makes skin look moist and dewy. However, if the body starts to get dehydrated, water is preserved in the body meaning less water is lost through the skin. Eventually, the skin will have a dry and wrinkly appearance. Therefore, maintaining a good hydration status throughout the day, allows the skin to stay moist.
Skin has its own built in hydration system which involves blood vessels supplying skin with water and electrolytes. Electrolytes are the minerals potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium and they have the ability to attract water. Once mixed with water, electrolytes help conduct electricity in the skin, enabling cells to regulate pH levels and keep the body’s hydration system working properly. They also help skin to retain water.
This means that as well as drinking a sufficient amount of water each day to maintain good hydration, a good intake of minerals in the diet is also crucial for healthy skin.
Good sources of the electrolyte minerals are as follows;
• potassium – beans and lentils, root vegetables such as parsnips and beetroot, green leafy veg such as spinach, citrus fruits and juice, bananas and avocados.
• calcium – milk and dairy products, nuts and seeds, fish with edible bones, green leafy veg and beans and lentils.
• phosphate – lean meats such as chicken, turkey and pork, seafood, dairy products, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils and wholegrains.
• magnesium – green leafy veg, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils and wholegrains.
Sodium and chloride are easily obtained through having a small amount of salt in the diet. It is recommended that adults consume no more than 6g of salt per day.
Another important aspect in preventing skin from becoming dehydrated is to protect its barrier function. The skin’s outermost layer, called the stratum corneum, prevents excessive water loss, holding in water and electrolytes and protecting skin cells from environmental pollutants and allergens.
When this barrier function is compromised, skin loses too much water and may become inflamed. This can be caused by the breakdown of collagen, a protein that makes up about three quarters of our skin. When collagen breaks down, fine lines and wrinkles appear and is further exacerbated by dehydration.
As we age, the body produces less and lower quality collagen. There is a 2% reduction in collagen every year from the age of 25 and by the age of 45, there is a 50% reduction in collagen production. The visible signs of aging are due to a deficiency of collagen and directly correlate to lack of hydration and reduced skin elasticity. However, collagen supplements can be used to improve skin elasticity and hydration.
How to tell if your skin is dehydrated
There is a simple pinch test that can be performed at home to determine your skin’s hydration level.
Take a small portion of your skin around the cheek area and squeeze lightly. If you notice any wrinkling and if the skin doesn’t bounce back after you let go, then your skin may be dehydrated.
How to treat dehydrated skin
Dehydration is treatable with lifestyle changes. Symptoms of mild dehydration include a dry mouth, poor concentration and even headaches. Thirst is not always a good indicator as we may not register sensations of thirst until the body is already around two to three per cent dehydrated. That’s why it’s important to get into the habit of drinking enough water on a daily basis – that means on average about two litres a day, taken in small regular amounts throughout the day. Requirements will go up if the weather is hot or if you are exerting yourself through hard physical work or exercise.
It’s also important not to drink too much water, as this can lead to a loss in minerals. Alongside your 2 litres, eating water-rich fruits and vegetables such as celery and watermelon can also help increase your intake.
You can also treat dehydrated skin with the following diet and lifestyle changes:
• Avoid alcohol or only drink in moderation.
• Watch your intake of caffeine, large or excessive amounts of caffeine can have a diuretic effect.
• Stop smoking.
• Drink water before, during and after an exercise session.
• Get plenty of sleep.
• Eat a balanced and varied diet that includes plenty of water rich foods.

Don’t waste a good chicken carcass!

Chinese Asian cuisine. Empty wok with wooden handles isolated on white background. 3d illustration

If you roast a chicken and don’t have enough time afterwards to boil the carcass for stock, wrap it well, stick in the freezer and boil it another day

Straight from the freezer – when you have more time!

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

White marks on just-washed trousers?

You could be overloading the machine.

The more you put in, the less room the clothes have; they stay in one position and dye gets drawn out of the creases.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

Lemon slices always at the ready!

Cross section view on slices of lemon and lime in sparkling water. Homemade lemonade, source of vitamins, healthy lifestyle concept.

If you enjoy a G&T, keep lemon slices in the freezer.

Wash and slice a couple of fruits, spread on a tray, freeze and bag up.

And your cocktail will also be cooled!

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com

Make double quantities and half your work

If you’re preparing a casserole or lasagne, make double (much less than double the work) and freeze the other half for later.

The freezer’s also a great place to store food about to go past its use-by date and you know won’t be eaten before it does – that way you can cut down on waste.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!” And would you like a personalised video message for you or a loved one? Just go to https://www.thrillz.co.uk/talent/aggie.mackenzie and Aggie will record one for you.

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com