Top 5 Reasons To Stay at Somerset Medini Iskandar Puteri Serviced Apartments

Side Story:

Our family together with my in-laws stayed at Ascott Makati's 3-bedroom serviced residence for a few days during one of our vacation in the Philippines and was greatly impressed on how luxurious and spacious their serviced apartment is. I totally forgot to blog about our experience but it was nothing short of awesome, it's worth every single penny we spent. In fact, we find their rates quite reasonable considering how atas (high class) the place is. Needless to say, Ascott set the bar high for us when it comes to booking a serviced apartment accommodation. 

Prior to our pleasant Ascott experience, we had a horrendous experience in staying at a serviced apartment in Malacca. The kids couldn't forget about the broken lift and malfunctioning door lock. The apartment is evidently poorly maintained and worst, they threw our family in one of the property's least presentable units. We ended up transferring to their hotel premises after expressing our disgust  disappointment to the management. Oh what a nightmare, I dare not talk about the rest of the horrific details here. 

Main Story:

Recently, we had the pleasure of staying at Somerset Medini Iskandar Puteri, one the many Ascott's serviced apartments across the globe. Somerset Medini wasn't as luxurious and excessively spacious as Ascott Makati but it met all our needs and exceeded our expectations. I thought a 1-bedroom apartment with extra bed is good enough for our family of four but we were graciously hosted in a 2-bedroom Premier apartment instead. Although the kids prefer to sleep with us in the same room, they were thrilled that they get their own private space. G in particular was so excited, he unpacked his own luggage and carefully arranged his travel essentials in a side table with drawer next to their bed.

Isn't it too adorable? 

Here are top five reasons why you should book your next JB staycation at Somerset Medini:

1) It's a stone throw away to Legoland Malaysia Resort.
I have to admit, Somerset Medini's best selling point next to being an Ascott property is its favoured location, a 5-minute walking distance to Legoland Malaysia Resort. See that building with red roof in the photo above? That's the Legoland Hotel right next to the Legoland Water Park and Theme Park. While it is considered the most practical place to stay when visiting Legoland, the price tag that comes with its Lego-themed rooms aren't as pocket-friendly as Somerset Medini's rate.

If you are planning to visit both Legoland Water Park and Theme Park on the same day, try to arrive at Somerset Medini by 9:30am. You may not be able to check in right away if the rooms are not ready but you can leave your things and go straight to Legoland to beat the opening hour at 10am sharp. You can either go to the theme park or water park first, depending on your preference. 

We picked water park first as it can get way too hot to frolic under the sun in the afternoon. We came back to Somerset after having lunch right in time for check in. We rested for a while after taking a shower and before hitting the theme park. The benefit of booking an accommodation when visiting Legoland, you can stay at the theme park until its closing time (7pm) and have a restful night before going back to Singapore the next day.

2) It is a HOME away from home.
During one of our staycations here in Singapore, G commented why every time we go for a staycation or short vacation overseas, we always stay in "just a room". No living room, no kitchen and no place to eat, he complained. I had to remind him of our experience staying at Ascott Makati and he blurted, "Oh yes! I really love that house! I feel so rich staying there!" I had to laugh out loud, the kids do say the darnedest things eh? I can't blame him though because the place was really huge and luxurious.

Like I mentioned earlier, Somerset Medini isn't as luxurious and spacious as Ascott Makati but it did not disappoint. Our 2-Bedroom Premier serviced apartment came with a dining area, living room with balcony, kitchenette, two bathrooms (one with standing shower and one with a bathtub), a master bedroom and a kids' room. It's so homey, we almost wanted to extend our stay if only the next day wasn't a back-to-work day.

Let me give you a virtual tour.

Living room with balcony

View from the living room balcony

Living room area + Kitchenette

Dining Area

Kitchenette (left side) - equipped with electric stove, cutleries, cookeries, and dish rack

Kitchenette (right side) - equipped with kettle, microwave oven, refrigerator, and washing machine

Common (kids) room - came with built in wardrobe

Master Bedroom - came with TV, floor to ceiling glass window, vanity, built-in wardrobe and bathroom with a tub.

Bathroom #1 (with standing shower) + Bathroom #2 (with bathtub)

The apartment came with basic necessities like toothbrush set, soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, cotton buds, shower cap, sanitary bag, bathrobes, slippers, hair dryer, ironing set, laundry basket, safety deposit box and a shoe cabinet right when you enter the main door. The kitchen came with a sponge and dish washing liquid too. It is without a doubt a home away from home, all you need is to bring the whole kampong (family + extended family if you please) and everything is provided and well taken care off. Other room options include Studio Premier, 1-Bedroom Premier, 2-Bedroom Premier (where we stayed) and 3-Bedroom Premier. 

3) The Oasis Green Garden and their evident love for nature.

One of my current obsessions in life is plants or anything related to green therapy and nature love. Imagine my delight discovering the Oasis Garden complete with man-made waterfalls, a lovely bamboo tunnel and a mist pond. There is lush greenery everywhere! In fact, their love for nature was evident not just outdoors but indoors. Apart from all the nature-inspired canvasses scattered all around the building premises (lobby, corridors, bedrooms, living room and dining room), there's a dainty terrarium you can admire at the reception while checking in, their bathrooms came with eco-friendly Bio Naturals toiletries and even the carpet is inspired by nature.

4) The kid-friendly wading pool and Instagram-worthy infinity pool. 
Next to location, we always had to check the swimming pool when booking an accommodation. I know I already sound like a broken recorder but my kids are water babies, they can stay in the water for as long as they please if you leave them be. I find it amusing when G actually asked if he could swim first before heading to Legoland Water Park. I had to convince him that there's a wave pool in the water park where he could swim as well. He actually knows that already but I think the pool just looks so inviting for him to resist a quick dip. 

Bring your own floaties for the whole family and schedule the swimming sessions for late afternoon or early morning to avoid the scorching sun.

5) The hotel-like facilities with unobstructed outdoor views. 
There is a gym and a playroom, both a bonus for health-conscious travellers and families with young children. The best thing is both facilities came with unobstructed views. You can admire the beautiful outdoors while exercising or playing.  The gym is actually quite spacious, what's shown in the photo is just the facade facing the infinity pool. The playroom on the other hand is only suitable for toddlers. It came with a shoe rack and a viewing cum sitting area for parents.

Are we going to stay at Somerset Medini again? The answer is a resounding yes! It is budget-friendly considering it offers about the same standard of hotel service and amenities. We were allowed to check out as late as 3pm too so we didn't have to rush at all and the kids get an extended time having fun in the pool. The only thing we did not appreciate much is their mediocre Continental-themed breakfast buffet spread that is temporarily served in a makeshift area which sadly is poorly maintained. The floor wasn't clean and when we arrived at around 8:30am, most of the food trays are already empty and it took a while for the staff to replenish it. Nothing to worry though as you may opt to go and eat at Medini Mall which only takes about 3-minutes walk.

Our family was hosted by Somerset Medini Iskandar Puteri for a 2D1N stay in their 2-Bedroom Premier serviced apartment. All photos and opinions are our own and no other monetary compensation was received.
Somerset Medini is one of a premier collection of The Ascott Limited's serviced residences in over 100 cities in America, Asia Pacific, Europe and The Middle East. The 33-storey building houses 310 units that are exclusive yet inviting. From the exterior facade to the interior and it's facilities, the residence marries contemporary with the comfort and familiarity of home. 
Read Full Post

How Successful People Think

Being an expert in a certain subject matter doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistency and a knack for knowing when to step up and when to take a step back. You likely know you’re good at what you do, but also realize there’s room for growth.
That’s why it’s so interesting to learn about how other people function. Be open to challenging yourself and listening to what others have to say, so you can take tidbits of information for your own benefit. There are important pieces of knowledge to be gained when you take the time to educate yourself on how effective people thrive. See how successful people think.
They Value their Time
Successful people know that their time is important. They quickly calculate each moment and project to determine if it’s worth their energy. A successful person knows they don’t have all the answers and seek help when necessary. For example, they aren’t afraid to reach out to a professional who can remove tax levy on bank account when they’re in over their head. This is because, if you’re in danger of a bank levy, it’s important to act as quickly as possible to stop your accounts from being seized. An experienced tax lawyer can assess the tax situation, find the best resolution for the debtor that will alleviate future bank levies and negotiate with the IRS and state taxing authorities on your behalf.
They Problem Solve
No matter who you are, problems arise and need to be dealt with. Successful people problem solve a situation, instead of run and hide from them. They’re confident in their abilities to work through an issue before jumping to conclusions or giving up. They don’t look for the quick fix, and believe they can find the right answer if they spend time analyzing and diving deep into the problem. It’s typical that they stop at nothing before finding a resolution.
They’re Patient
People who do well in life are patient. They don’t rush through life and work looking for the easy way out. Successful people understand that good outcomes show up for those who wait. They prefer to tackle tasks the right way, even if it takes longer. Successful people reach out and discuss their options and ideas with different types of people before making a final decision. They don’t panic when the answers don’t come to them immediately.
They’re Disciplined
Successful people know who they are and how they function. They have rituals and routines that help them attain better self-discipline. They’re not easily shaken or frazzled when faced with chaos or stressful situations. People who prosper know that to reach their goals they have to work hard. They spend a lot of time in the planning and thinking stages. Their self-talk is positive and optimistic, even in the face of adversity.
You too can be successful, if you’re willing to put in the extra effort and are open to hearing new ideas about how to come out on top. Start by believing in yourself and your abilities. This is how successful people think.
Read Full Post

Should You Buy or Lease Your Next Family Car?

If you’re thinking of getting rid of your old family car, then you’ll be puzzling over which new one you’ll choose to buy to replace it. Of course, you’ll be focusing on what optional extras it comes with, and how much space it will give you, but there are other considerations you need to think about as well. How will you finance your new car? Will you save up and buy it outright, take out a car loan or trade in your old one for a discount? There is also another option – leasing – so you need to decide if it will be cheaper to buy or lease your next car.
Car Loans or Leasing Agreements
If you’re looking for a new car, you’ll almost certainly be looking to have a car loan to pay for it. It could be with the bank, with the garage where you bought it or on finance. There are some advantages to taking out a loan compared to leasing. With a car loan, if you needed to you can save money down the road by using the option of refinancing your car loan, and this will also increase your options when it comes to choosing the car. It could make your payments smaller and save in the interest.
How Long Will You Keep Your Car?
When you enter into a leasing contract for your car, you know that every three years or so you can hand it back and least a new one. It can be a big selling point and one that many people like. However, if you buy your new car, and it’s a reliable make, there is no reason why it cannot run for many years with no problems at all. You also know that if it were to be scratched, that this wouldn’t be penalized in your lease agreement.
Do You Make a Lot of Trips in Your Car?
One reason that some people prefer to buy rather than lease is the mileage restrictions. To cover the cost of a car's depreciation, lease companies will charge you more if you travel over 10,000 miles or so a year. That means that you could find yourself paying more if you do a lot of traveling. If you buy your new car, there is no restriction on your mileage, so you can make all the trips you need to make without having to worry.
With a leased car, you wouldn’t need to worry about depreciation as you would never need to sell the car. However, you won’t be able to sell it when you’re done with it. Depending on the type of car you buy, it’s a common fact that you lose a lot of value of the car as soon as you drive it out of the showroom. It means that you’d lose money even if you sold it the next day, but the little you do make could be hand for buying your next car after that.

When you consider the pros and cons of buying a car against leasing, they are fairly matched. It all depends on your circumstances and the way you use your vehicles.

Read Full Post

Why a Diamond Ring is Considered the Right Engagement Gift

An engagement is a commitment. And the best way to symbolise it is a ring. While people are looking at other stones to create a perfect engagement ring, nothing comes close to the classic diamond engagement ring. The earliest known example of a diamond as an engagement symbol dates back to the 15th century and the engagement of Mary of Burgundy and Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Since then, the love for a diamond engagement ring has only risen, not lessened. What is it about a diamond ring that makes it such a fabulous engagement ring? Here are some reasons:

  • It is timeless
A diamond engagement ring is timeless. No wonder that it continues to enjoy the popularity it does. In fact, it’s become so synonymous with a love match that we scarcely think of any other stone when it comes to sealing or celebrating an engagement. And this has been the truth for the last seven centuries. The diamond engagement ring isn’t going out of style any time soon.
  • It is versatile
The best kind of diamond is colourless. While colour diamonds have their own takers, the traditional beloved diamond is white. The colourless diamond has the added advantage of being truly versatile, lending itself to any colour of outfit, any shade of skin and any gender. Which stone can boast of the versatility that the diamond does?
  • It is a safe bet
What’s not to like about a diamond? It becomes a safe choice when you’re trying to spring a surprise and don’t know what your bride or groom to be may like. The diamond is an object of delight and admiration, both qualities you want from your partner and others in your life. With the right setting, there’s no doubt that it will attract envious looks. In the off chance that your choice is not a welcome one, you can always resell the diamond. Diamonds that carry certification fetch great resale prices.
  • It goes with other important jewellery
A diamond engagement ring is normally worn with a wedding band. Nothing quite complements a wedding band like a plain diamond or a series of diamonds in a ring. Depending on how you set the diamond, it can fit in with the wedding band in a snug jigsaw fashion. Or, if the wearer is wearing other pieces of bling, the diamond ring will fit right in.
  • It’s tough
Despite how elegant and classy it looks, a diamond’s fragility hides its actual strength. It is one of the toughest known materials known to man and it lasts generations. Some families pass diamond engagement rings from one generation to another. It also needs to last through the day to day life the wearer will subject it to. It is hardy and strong and capable. What’s more, it can be reset depending on the generation and the person wearing it.
  • Vintage is vogue
A vintage diamond engagement ring is always in vogue. If you can find a beautiful antique ring, one that is handmade, you should consider that too. It brings in a touch of whimsy and charm, something we can all do with in our lives.
  • It can be edgy
You might not consider it, but black diamonds are all the rage now. It’s believed that the black stone stands for passion and conviction- now who wouldn’t want either? This makes the black diamond not just about a swank colour but also about the message the wearer is sending out to the world. Mix in the black diamond with a few more stones, set them in a contemporary style, and you’re all set to face the world. Or go in for the simple princess cut, all the better to show off the fabulous colour stone you have.
  • It makes a statement
There are people who load themselves down with all sorts of jewellery. And then there are those who wave an arm in hello and the entire room quietens down. The latter wears a statement piece and in many, many cases it’s a diamond engagement ring. One perfect piece of jewellery is all you need and the diamond engagement ring is pretty perfect.
If you’re considering gifting a diamond engagement ring, here are some trends we’ve picked out for you to keep in mind:
  • Stacked rings are very boho-chic. Get different colour metals- rose, yellow, white gold and scatter your diamonds through them. These rings can be worn separately or together, or with other rings. Worn with jeans or with dresses, the stacked ring is at home pretty much everywhere.
  • Different shapes for diamond rings are also big this year- a heart if you’re into that sort of romantic gesture, maybe even a quadrilateral for that wow factor. Or go asymmetrical, for even more impact.
  • Twisted bands, bands with inscriptions, platinum- there’s a lot you can choose from with the metal your ring needs to be of.
Choose a diamond ring for an engagement with care and after homework. Your partner will thank you for it.

Read Full Post

SkinLab's Salicylic Acid Peel & Gentle Milk Facial + Dark Eye Circle Treatment Review

SIDE STORY: (If you are my regular reader, you know I love to blabber before talking about my main subject. You'd know the drill by now, skip my side story if you are pressed with time.)

My most favourite thing to do after a holiday, specifically beach holiday or any island getaway is going for my much-needed pampering me-time be it a hair pampering session, full body massage or facial spa. If you are following me on Instagram (the main culprit why I seldom blog about our family's travel adventures these days), you should know that we went glamping (coined word for glamorous camping - I just have to add that because so many people asked me what is the glamping I keep talking about) at The Canopi.

It was a glorious 3 days of fun under the sun. Aside from endless swimming in the salt-water lagoon, we tried some of the water activities The Canopi has to offer from water bumper boats, to kiddie-sized rowing boats and canoeing.  Apart from that, we also made a quick trip to Lagoi Plaza and ride an ATV in the sandy shores of Lagoi Bay.

Although I brought both adult and kids' sunscreen, we still ended up getting sun burnt. Like I always say, my kids could have been mermaids in their past lives. If you let them stay in the water as long as they want, they will probably swim from sunrise to sunset or perhaps, even after the moon and the stars start appearing in the sky! That may be a little exaggerated but you get the picture. In fact, when we went for our night strolls post-dinner during the 2 nights we were there, we always end up in the shores of the lagoon with the kids dipping their feet in the water whilst the hubby and I revel in the beauty of the starry and moonlit night sky.


I went for a facial treatment at SkinLab The Medical Spa on Friday evening to treat my badly damaged facial skin. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn't forget to bring sunscreen protection. I even brought my sun hat and huge sunglasses to protect my face from the harsh sun rays but I concluded, no sun protection is ever enough when you are with kids with no fear in the Master Sun. I skipped swimming on our last day but I still ended up so badly tanned, my uneven skin tone was so evident even on my facial skin.

I was scheduled for a Gentle Milk Facial but after a consultation with Maggie, my designated consultant, she deemed Salicylic Acid Peel Peel Facial is more suitable for my current facial skin condition.

According to Maggie, Salicylic Acid Peel Facial is the new generation facial treatment and a superior exfoliate that improves the appearance of ageing and sun-damaged skin. It is effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving overall facial texture because it exfoliates both the skin surface and within pores.

Salicylic Acid Peel Facial can treat the following for all skin tones and textures:
  • oily skin
  • acne
  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • fine lines
  • premature ageing
  • uneven skin tone
Among all those mentioned above, the only thing my skin was lucky not to have as of this writing is acne. While one or two pimples do sprout on my face once in a blue moon, I don't remember suffering from acne even when I was at the peak of my teenage life. 

This photo was taken after I knocked off from work, on my way to SkinLab The Medical Spa at Orchard. I wasn't actually wearing make up prior to this (I will show my before and after face without make up at the end of this post). Can you spot all my facial skin problems? Uneven skin tone and fine lines are so evident even after I tried to mask it with a quick make up. 

I arrived at SkinLab The Medical Spa punctually and was offered a tea. In every facial treatment appointment, I pay attention to every single detail that makes my experience pleasant and a warm tea never fails to help me relax.

The treatment room was pretty and cozy, it made me look forward to my pampering session a.k.a. me-time.

The therapist assigned to me was Ice. She let me smell an aromatic oil and started giving me a head massage. I don't use the word "shiok" loosely so when I say it's shiok, it really is! Look at how my eyes are beginning to feel so sleepy right away! The entire experience was pleasant except for my most hated part - extraction of black and white heads.

As promised, here's the before and after photo sans make up. I am so glad my consultant decided to changed my facial treatment into Salicylic Acid Peel instead of the Gentle Milk Facial. Look at how my skin looks instantly clearer and brighter after the treatment!

I took home SkinLab's Apple Stem Cell Ageless Serum and Blemish Control Essence as a maintenance kit. I have been using the anti-aging serum religiously every night before sleeping and I have to say it is working its magic on my facial skin.


A month later, I went back to SkinLab and I was only advised to do the Gentle Milk Facial since my skin condition has greatly improved from my last visit. What does Gentle Milk Facial do? Despite being the gentlest of all facials, it also boasts anti-aging and skin lightening effect on the skin.

Here are some of its benefits:

  • exfoliating the surface of the skin
  • deep cleansing of pores
  • lightening dark marks
  • improving hyperpigmentation
  • evens out skin tone
  • improves the appearance of light wrinkles
  • stimulates natural collagen production
  • hydration

It is considered so much gentler from the Salicylic Acid Peel Facial Treatment but the benefits are as vital and nourishing to the skin.

After the Gentle Milk Facial, I also underwent Dark Circles Treatment since my dark eye circles a.k.a. mummy-panda eyes are getting worst and I find it so difficult to hide with concealer.

This treatment uses Capacitive Super Pulsed Radio Frequency (CSP RF) Machine that is safe and clinically proven treatment to tighten and brighten skin, with improvements in tone, shape and texture occurring naturally through the stimulation of your own collagen. Pulsed light therapy specifically targets the eye areas hence it helps lighten and brighten the dark eye circles.

My facial skin looks so much clearer and my dark eye circles has turned a few shades lighter in just one trial. Watch this video and have a look for yourself how the exact treatment works.

All the three treatments I mentioned above which I did at SkinLab The Medical Spa at Wheelock Place in two visits (one month apart) are non-invasive, no downtime, very relaxing and truly effective. The consultants and the therapists who attended to me in the two separate occasions are very professional and knowledgeable. They all ensured that I am well-looked after and comfortable throughout the treatment too.
SkinLab The Medical Spa has built a reputation of excellence with non-invasive, non-surgical, safe and effective beauty solutions of high standard. With well-researched latest methodologies, SkinLab's treatments are tried, tested and proven to treat common skin problems like acne, acne scars, pigmentation, fine lines and more. Along with the experienced team of professionally traines therapists, specially tailored treatments are also available for customers to meet their needs. It is a world-class spa which provides effective yet relaxing treatments. 
SkinLab The Medical Spa
#04-04 Wheelock Place Tel: 6235 3246
#03-33 Plaza Singapura Tel: 6336 1106
#B1-62 Jurong Point Tel: 6316 2556/ 6316 2246
#04-02C Junction 8 Tel: 6262 5898/ 6262 5698
#04-11 Causeway Point Tel: 6877 0162

Facebook/SkinLab The Medical Spa
Instagram: @SkinLabSG

Disclaimer: I was invited to try the above-mentioned treatments for the purpose of this review. All opinions are based on my personal experience and no other monetary compensation was received.

Read Full Post

The Best Cities to Explore in the Asia Pacific

When we set out to explore, we’re usually seeking something new, something inspiring or enriching, and the ability to stimulate senses would have to be among the criteria for determining the ‘best’.

Mr Hudson Explores sheds light on some fabulous Asia Pacific destinations, and here are three more that tick the box for stimulating senses:

Gold Coast, Australia

Not one of the capital cities, the Gold Coast is an hour south of Queensland’s capital, Brisbane. It isn’t hard to find a beautiful postcard of this place. Better still, create your own! Everywhere you look is a perfect photo opportunity, with miles of white, sandy beaches and skin-warming weather as key selling points.

There is much more to this city, though. Head west towards the mountains to the Scenic Rim for views beyond the state’s southern border. Lush green spaces, national parks, walking trails and natural swimming holes make this a must-see while on the Gold Coast.

If dining out and nightlife are your pulse pumpers, enjoy endless options for all tastes and budgets. Fresh seafood straight off the local trawlers or international cuisines; locally brewed beers and wines or the world’s finest champagnes are chilled and waiting for you…usually with a view to match. Fill your days with water sports, boating, whale watching and fishing, adrenalin-jolting theme parks or day spas and health retreats. Upbeat and action-packed or relaxed and pampering – the choice is yours.

A real mover and shaker on the fashion scene, world class centre, Pacific Fair, has an impressive line-up of luxury fashion brands (think Givenchy, Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Tiffany & Co and more) and it will take a day to explore this alone.

Never would a visitor find themselves bored senseless on the Gold Coast.


Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok could be described as a hectic, hot mess and it can be, but there’s more than meets the eye at first glance. A stark contrast, yet at the same time, stunning melding of traditional and modern is admirable, especially where food and entertainment are concerned. Street food through to world-class cuisine at the city’s finest venues – you’ll always find your fill.

Shopping in Chinatown in Bangkok can only be described as an assault on all senses but it’s something you must experience in this city and getting there is easy. Transport is just so convenient but some might struggle with the pace, especially if you’re on the back of a tuk-tuk, ducking and weaving in the bustling city! While exploring, you find yourself wondering how this can have primitive, tangled-beyond-belief yards of electrical cable, pole after pole, yet provide exceptional standards of hospitality in establishments that wouldn’t be out of place on the Champs Elysees.

It’s a fascinating city, not to be treated as just a stopover. Allow a week to fully engage and reap its rewards.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington might be the first to pop in a web search of New Zealand. It’s a tough gig for Queenstown to compete but when it comes to exhilarating experiences, you’ll wonder why you didn’t discover it sooner.

Golf, jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, snow-skiing/boarding, helicopter tours and scenic flights, cruising, white water rafting, fine dining, winery tours, day spa-hopping and relaxation retreats are all on offer in this town that sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and against the Southern Alps.

It does get cold here, though warmer weather September to February is when most activities are in full swing. A pile of adjectives could be thrown alongside “Queenstown” to describe its pristine, natural beauty, but nothing compares to seeing it in the flesh.

Read Full Post

How To Sleep Better: Putting An End To Insomnia And Snoring

There exist many sleep disorders, out of which the most common are snoring and insomnia. Almost every individual has experienced these disorders at least once in their lifetime. However, the actual cause of problematic insomnia is not clear. Same is the case with snoring, as minimal data on snoring is available. According to a local research which took place in 1999, 24% of local adults are known to snore, and 15% suffer through obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea refers to a condition in which snoring is not the only problem, but there also is a blockage in the air passage while a person is asleep, which leads to poor sleep quality and low oxygen levels.
The leading cause of insomnia is related to psychological and mental well being, with depression, stress, and anxiety. However, sometimes the cause can be due to physical pain. Physical discomfort is a result of some medical conditions, diseases like an overactive thyroid gland or medications like decongestants that excite the body. Other than that, bad sleeping habits like variation in sleep timings or indulging in stimulating activities like playing computer games may also lead to insomnia.The first step towards improving insomnia is to figure out the cause. The doctor analyzes a detailed history of the daily activities and sleep habits. While consultation, you are required to share all these details with your doctor. The easiest way to make this happen is by keeping a diary which includes the list of the daily activities you’re a part of as well as your sleep pattern over a few weeks. Tests aren’t so necessary in this situation, however, if there are any symptoms of a disease like a thyroid, then a blood test might be ordered by the doctor. Other reasons that can keep a person awake or wake them up from sleep like frequent urination, blocked nose, chronic pain, etc. can require a medical opinion from other specialists. Furthermore, if sleep disorders are suspected, then a sleep study becomes necessary.
Tackling insomnia
  • Adapting good and healthy sleep habits is the most crucial step in treating insomnia. These are:
  • Preserving a sleep pattern which is regular.
  • Not indulging in stimulating activities right before you sleep.
  • Using the bed only for sleeping and not for activities such a reading or watching  TV etc.
  • Stay away from stimulants like decongestant medications or caffeine.
  • Exercising should preferably be done during the morning hours.
  • If unable to fall asleep, one should not lie in bed for a long time.
  • Minimizing stressors and relaxation techniques are some behavioral methods which are usually helpful.
Sleeping pills are the medicines used to cure insomnia. Other medications like anti-histamines are known to induce sleepiness. These should not be utilized in a long term as there exists a potential for addiction. Therefore, these are helpful in the beginning to break the cycle of insomnia and establish a good sleep pattern.
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA)
Snoring becomes a far more severe problem when airway blocks up while sleeping. It’s known as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). The airway blockage leads to a drop in the oxygen level and bad sleep quality. As per research, there has been a link found between OSA and cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. People suffering from severe OSA, have a risk of heart attack and stroke which is three times greater than the standard risk. As per a study in Singapore, over 65% of heart attack patients were found to be suffering from undiagnosed moderate to severe OSA. In the case of children, OSA may lead to weak school performance and complication in learning and concentrate. It is also known to increase the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the long run.
Alerting signs of obstructive sleep apnoea
  • One needs to consult a sleep physician or an ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeon or sleep physician if they have the following symptoms accompanied with snoring:
  • You stop breathing during sleep, as discovered by your sleeping partner.
  • You feel excessively sleepy during the daytime.
  • You’re out of breath when you wake up in the middle of the night, and you also experience a choking feeling.
  • You often suffer headaches in the morning hour.
  • You become irritable or have difficulty in concentrating along with poor memory.
  • There’s an urge to urinate frequently or if children are experiencing bedwetting.
Doctor’s conduct a sleep study to determine the presence of OSA. This study is either performed at your home or in the hospital. Another procedure which required is known as outpatient endoscopy, in which the doctor uses a thin and long tube to analyze an internal organ of your body. The tube enables the doctor to look at the points of obstruction. Obstruction usually occurs in the back of the tongue, nose or at the soft palate of the tongue
Nose blockage is caused by a crooked nasal septum or soft tissue swelling. At the second level, the soft palate and tonsils are known to cause obstruction. Whereas, the back of the tongue is known to obstruct at the lowest level. The purpose of a sleep study is to assess the extremity of your OSA. According to the findings on outpatient endoscopy, the treatment is crucial. In the case of children, the treatment for OSA takes place with the removal of the adenoids and tonsils.
Treatment of OSA
For mild OSA, simple procedures like radio-frequency are used to open up the airway, and to stiffen up the soft palate or reduce soft tissue in the nose. On the other hand, oral appliances are used to retain the tongue or bring forward the jaw.
In moderate to severe OSA, a continuous positive airway pressure device is known to give the best results. The device consists of a pump that pressurizes air via a mask strapped to your face when sleeping. However, most patients are not willing to use it. In that case, the next best option is surgery.

The inspiration for this article has been taken from Health Plus Section, a source of credible health information by Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Singapore.

Read Full Post

Creating A Room For Relaxing

After a long day at work, it’s wonderful to come home, kick off your shoes and relax for the rest of the evening. Of course, that’s not always easy when you have a family to look after and a house to tidy up! What you need is a room that doubles as a sanctuary. It should be a space that promotes relaxation and well-being. Here’s how to create it:

Clear It Out
Any room that offers the highest level of relaxation is going to be tidy and clutter free. You might have chosen your bedroom, the living room, or even the garden room for your sanctuary. Clear it out and make sure that there is nothing untidy in that space. It helps to declutter your mind if there is no clutter in the room. Consider storage solutions that offer every item a home out of sight (and out of mind.)

Create The Mood
Color is very important when you’re hoping to create that mood of serenity. Pastels and whites are ideal. Avoid heavy or busy patterns. Paint the walls and ceiling simply. A bold focus wall is fine, but try not to use overly energetic patterns on the wallpaper, rugs, or carpets. Using carpet might be better than other flooring types. Have a look at options like Carpet One floor coverings to give you an idea of the choices available. If you like to meditate, then carpet might be more comfortable too.

Relaxing Reclining
The seating in your relaxing room should offer all the support you need, but also be incredibly comfortable. Think about using a recliner chair. Some are rockers as well, so you can rhythmically ease your day away. If you like to relax in front of the TV, recliners can be ideal as they adjust the upright position to suit your viewing angle. Now all you need is a coffee table to the side for that big mug of herbal tea.

Color therapy is wonderful for creating the right mood in the room. Lighting is equally as important. It’s best to position yourself next to a window as natural light is very important to our moods and hormone balance. After dark, consider soft lights with a warm glow. These might be colored lights like fairy lights. Candle light from scented candles is wonderfully relaxing too. Get cozy and comfortable in your relaxation room.

The sounds you hear in the evening when you’re trying to relax are also important. If you work in a busy office in the city, chances are you’re fed up with hustle, bustle, ringing phones, and traffic noise. Silence, however, is best enjoyed in short bursts. Instead, use calming sounds from nature like birds tweeting, gentle lapping waves, or a breeze through the trees. Listening to classical music like Nocturnes can be helpful to ease the day away too.

The room you create can be any shape or size. It can be used for any other purpose too. But when you’re ready to wind down after a long day, it should become your sanctuary for relaxation. How do you ease a tough day away?

Read Full Post