Queen Bee QT: 5 simple ways to get more sleep

Queen Bee QT: 5 simple ways to get more sleep

 

I don’t know about you, but I  don’t always get enough sleep–which is unhealthy and can also affect my personal level of happiness in a bad way.

Of course, stress and other health-attacking concerns are exactly what put me on the road to getting a lack of sleep in the first place.

And, since I know that I’m profoundly normal in this particular aspect of my life, I have put together the following list of tips from the experts on getting more sleep.

1. Quit drinking caffeine after 7 pm in the evening (or three hours before bedtime.) It sounds obvious for most, I’m sure, but I had to include this one because I’m guilty of sipping coffee in the evening hours on a pretty regular basis.

2. Get your exercise. Getting out and moving is not only a great way to increase your happiness in general, but it can significantly improve the quality and quantity of sleep. You’ll feel more like sleeping when you exercise–and you’ll sleep better.

3. Try EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique or Emotional Freedom Therapy (depending on who you ask.) The technique involves a series of acupressure, wherein you tap certain points on your body to create specific effects–including improved sleep, among other things.

4. Try not to eat three hours before bedtime, and especially snacks that involve grains or sugars. Why? Because grains and sugars will raise your blood sugar, giving you lower quality sleep. And, doctors say, when the blood sugar drops later, you could wake up and have trouble falling back asleep.

5. Sleep in darkness. Ok, I admit it, I’m guilty of sleeping with the bathroom light on and the TV tuned to Nick at Nite. I could go into the reasons I do this and why it works for me, but that wouldn’t be helping either of us get more sleep. According to researchers, even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythms, as well as your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which help to naturally induce and enhance restorative sleep. So, they recommend, sleep without lights or television (which also stimulates the brain and can reduce your chances of a good night’s sleep.)

So how about you?

Do you find yourself giving up sleep to accommodate your busy schedule? What are your top tips for getting more or better sleep?

 

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (And Why You Should)

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (And Why You Should)

By Michael Blauner–Personal Fitness Expert in Bergen County, New Jersey

sleepy

Experts say that you spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping. Certainly, you want to make every moment count toward the physical and mental rejuvenation that a good sleep provides! So, how can you enjoy a restful night of slumber?

Put these 8 tips into action now to experience some of the best sleep of your life:

Investigate your evening routine. Think about the activities you’re involved in from the time you walk in the door to the moment your head hits the pillow. The goal is to increase your awareness about what you’re doing and see if it could be interrupting your sleep.

  • Are you playing catch-up by bringing work home from the office? If so, your mind may be on overdrive and unable to turn off.
  • Do you find yourself consumed with doing household chores like laundry and house-cleaning? In that case, you’re probably lacking time for relaxation.

Plan to be in bed with the lights out for at least eight hours. Do you stay up until after midnight? Try to schedule evening activities early, so you can still get eight hours of sleep.

  • If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to make it eight and a half hours.

Allow time to unwind. If you’re super busy, you’ll probably be rushing around until you finally collapse on the bed in hopes of getting a few winks.

  • Instead, give yourself at least an hour to shift gears and relax before bed. Everyone needs some downtime.

Clear your mind from the day’s chaos. Maybe it’s reading your kids a bedtime story or taking 20 minutes to meditate. Focus on shifting your thoughts from the intense to the trivial. A tranquil mind invites more sleep than a chaotic one.

Create an uncluttered, relaxing bedroom environment. Although you may think that a cluttered bedroom is benign, it may be preventing relaxation and interfering with your sleep. Besides, clutter draws dust, which can cause breathing difficulties during the night.

  • The first step is to put everything away. Clothes can go into drawers or the closet. Put junk mail and magazines into the recycling bin.
  • The second step is to organize what you have left. Place a lamp, reading materials, and your alarm clock on your night stand. Set the scene for a comfortable night’s slumber.
  • The third step is dusting. Use a damp cloth and clean all the surfaces in your bedroom each week to ensure an environment where you can breathe easily. If you spend just 15 minutes dusting and tidying your bedroom, you can prevent future clutter.

Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed. The light emanating from backlit screens like cell phones, tablets, and e-readers can trick your body into thinking it’s daylight and time to be awake. Plus, it’s best to rest your eyes from such gadgets before trying to sleep.

Take a warm bath rather than a shower. If you tend to struggle with sleep quality, it may be that your shower routine is invigorating you rather than relaxing you. Sitting for a few minutes in warm water can help your muscles relax and prepare for sleep.

Practice breathing in bed. Take deep breaths through your nose, hold them for five to eight seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do four of these breaths after you switch off the lights, and you’ll feel your body immediately relax.

Adopt these practices will help you create a restful bedtime routine. When you establish consistent relaxation habits, your body will become accustomed to them, and restful sleep will follow. Soon, you’ll be sawing logs with the best of them. Sweet dreams!

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (And Why You Should)

Beauty Sleep May Really Affect Aging: Mattress Inquirer Discusses Recent Study & Offers Tips

Bed and sleep blog Mattress-Inquirer.com reviews and discusses a recent study showing possible links between sleep quality and signs of skin aging.

Beauty Sleep May Really Affect Aging: Mattress Inquirer Discusses Recent Study & Offers Tips

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 02, 2014

Beauty sleep has long been touted as a common sense strategy for looking fresh and youthful. One recent study aimed to test whether rest quality truly affected skin aging, yielding some interesting results that offer a good excuse for hitting the snooze button.

Mattress Inquirer, a bed and sleep news blog, details this research and offers tips getting better sleep in their latest article, “Beauty Sleep: Getting Rest Really Can Help Your Looks”.

The study, “Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function”, was conducted by researchers at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, and was funded by Estee Lauder Companies. In a PDF report summarizing the results, the researchers detail the findings discussed by Mattress Inquirer.

The article begins by summarizing the study and findings. In the participant group of sixty women, about half were classified as poor sleepers and half as good sleepers based on questionnaires of sleep duration and habits. The participants then underwent several tests designed to measure skin aging, recovery function, and the women’s self-perceptions.

Mattress Inquirer highlights some of the more interesting results reported by the study, which include highlight tangible differences between good and poor sleepers’ skin. Good sleepers scored better on measures of internal or intrinsic aging, which includes traits like fine lines, skin elasticity and evenness of pigmentation. The well-rested group also proved better at retaining moisture and recovering from disruption and ultraviolet light exposure.

The poor sleepers also had higher average body mass indexes, and included a greater proportion of obese women. Self-perception was the other major result, with the well-rested women reporting higher satisfaction with their looks, appearance and complexion.

Given the results of the research and the numerous ways that sleep impacts long-term health as well as physical and mental well-being, Mattress Inquirer stresses the importance of healthy sleep habits. The article concludes with a few suggestions for improving rest quality based on sleep hygiene guidelines. Tips include sticking to a regular sleep-wake schedule, partaking in regular exercise and a healthy diet, developing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and establishing a relaxing atmosphere by limiting noise/light and selecting a comfortable, good quality mattress. The website also offers several other articles on current sleep news as well as mattress buying guides and comparisons for interested readers.

Mattress-Inquirer.com is an informational blog that provides relevant and recent news related to the health, sleep, and mattress industries. In addition to covering new technologies, mattress reviews and opinion pieces, readers enjoy a variety of helpful educational resources designed to aid shopping and sleep quality.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (And Why You Should)

Sleep and Happiness: The Connection

I don’t know about you, but my life gets pretty busy sometimes. I’m not complaining, mind you, but I’ve got three beautiful kids, a wonderful husband, a career, pets…a home…jobs…friends…well, we all play plenty of roles in life.

Since I find myself so busy sometimes, I don’t get a lot of “quiet time,” as I’m sure you might imagine. And since I’m the sort of person who kind of needs a little quiet time each day, I often find that time by staying up late into the night, well after the family has gone to bed.

Some nights, I’m working. Other nights, I’m watching a favorite show on DVR–just so I can watch from beginning to end without interruption. Sometimes, I just don’t do anything at all. It’s all about having time to just breathe and be quiet.

So, that’s great, right?

Yeah, except that, in the process of trying to fulfill my need for quiet time, I’m cheating myself of something else that could potentially have a very serious impact on my happiness.

Because, of course, even though I stay up till the wee hours of the morning–I’m also a mom. And moms? They don’t get to sleep in.

So, what’s the big deal about sleep?

Well, besides the fact that lack of sleep can have serious consequences on your health–like increasing your risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer–lack of sleep has been proven to have a profoundly negative effect on your mood and overall level of happiness.

Studies suggest that even adding one hour of sleep to your nightly schedule could improve your happiness quotient more significantly than a $60,000 annual raise–and that one of the top two reasons people find themselves in a bad mood at work was a poor night’s sleep.

And, according to the National Sleep Foundation, companies lose around $35 billion every year in loss of productivity, sick leave, medical expenses, and property and environmental damage–all thanks to their employees’ sleep deprivation. And the consequences some people face are even worse.

So what does all this mean?

Well, for me, it means I’ve got a conundrum here. I need quiet time, and I need to sleep. Yet, I have kids and a happily busy schedule during my waking hours. So this means that I need to figure out a way to get more sleep and still find time for myself.

(Insider Tip: You can learn to use feng shui principles to increase your productivity when you sign up for Feng Shui Fest–it’s FREE!)

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (And Why You Should)

5 Ways to Get More Sleep

We’ve all got our challenges, and I guess one of mine is that I don’t always get enough sleep–which is unhealthy and can also affect my personal level of happiness in a big way.

And, since I know that I’m profoundly normal in this particular aspect of my life, I have put together the following list of tips from the experts on getting more sleep.

1. Quit drinking caffeine after 7 pm in the evening (or three hours before bedtime.) It sounds obvious for most, I’m sure, but I had to include this one because I’m guilty of sipping coffee in the evening hours on a pretty regular basis.

2. Get your exercise. Getting out and moving is not only a great way to increase your happiness in general, but it can significantly improve the quality and quantity of sleep. You’ll feel more like sleeping when you exercise–and you’ll sleep better.

3. Try EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique or Emotional Freedom Therapy (depending on who you ask.) The technique involves a series of acupressure, wherein you tap certain points on your body to create specific effects–including improved sleep, among other things.

4. Try not to eat three hours before bedtime, and especially snacks that involve grains or sugars. Why? Because grains and sugars will raise your blood sugar, giving you lower quality sleep. And, doctors say, when the blood sugar drops later, you could wake up and have trouble falling back asleep.

5. Sleep in darkness. Ok, I admit it, I’m guilty of sleeping with the bathroom light on and the TV tuned to a random sit-com. I could go into the reasons I do this and why it works for me, but that wouldn’t be helping either of us get more sleep. According to researchers, even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythms, as well as your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which help to naturally induce and enhance restorative sleep. So, they recommend, sleep without lights or television (which also stimulates the brain and can reduce your chances of a good night’s sleep.)

So how about you? Do you find yourself giving up sleep to accommodate your busy schedule? What are your top tips for getting more or better sleep? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!

 

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