Sleep Essentials From A-Zzz (Part II)

Creating sleep habits and routines to help achieve a quality night’s sleep is vital to your well-being. With these simple tips and facts, you can be on your way to feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world!

K- Keep a bedtime routine; that way, your body can naturally adjust and create a stable internal routine.

L- Lighting can prevent the release of natural melatonin levels, which in turn can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep.

M- Melatonin is a hormone that is part of the human wake-sleep cycles. The body produces it in the Pineal Gland located in the brain. If sleep-depreviation sets in, melatonin can be purchased as a dietary supplement to increase levels to invite sleep.

N- Napping can improve productivity and recharge your brain. Just a few minutes of rest can significantly provide your body with the energy and brain-power so many of us turn to energy drinks for.

O- Over-sleeping can do more harm than good to the body. Studies have found that getting too much shut-eye can leave your body in a groggy state, and can have similar effects to not getting enough rest.

P- Pillows were designed to keep your spine straight and your head in an elevated, neutral position.

Q- Quality sleep can be achieved through changing behavioral habits and creating a healthier lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.

R- Replacing your mattress is crucial to your immune system. As years pass, your mattress doubles in weight from dead skin cells, dust mites and much more.

S- Sleep walking can pose great risks to you and others in your household, and can be linked to REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.

T- The temperature of your room can have a lot more to do with your quality of sleep than you think. During sleep, your brain sets a target-temperature, and if conditions fall too far below it can lead to restlessness.

U- Unforgiving nightmares are caused by an over-arrousal of the central nervous system. In adults, night terrors have been linked to increased stress levels.

V- Valerian is a natural, herbal sleep aide that has been used for centuries.

W- Wake up feeling rested and ready to face another productive day by making time for a quick AM workout. Your body will adjust to the early-morning routine and will naturally begin to prepare for activity before you even awake.

X- Cut out Xylitols and any other type of sugary, caffeinated substance before bed, as it stimulates and interrupts natural sleep patterns.

Y- Yawning stretches the jaw and increases blood flow in the neck, face and head. Cool air is breathed into the mouth and cools fluids, acting like a radiator, removing hot blood from the brain and introduces cool air.

Z- Zits and stubborn acne can take over your face due to lack of sleep. It causes your body to releases hormones that create proteins that cause inflammation of the skin. Sleep is the body’s repair time or lack-there-of.

So now that we have reached the end of our “A-Zzz”, hopefully these tips and facts have given you enough guidance to create better sleep habits, and you are able put your best foot forward daily.

 

Sleep Essentials From A-Zzz (Part 1)

These tips and facts can help you create better sleep habits to increase productivity, energy, and increase the quality of your daily routines. With a few adjustments here and there, you will be on your way to a wonderful nights slumber in no time!

 

A– Avoid caffeine and sugar before bed. They act as a stimulant and can prevent or disrupt sleep. Caffeine cannot replace sleep, but it can temporarily make you feel alert.

B– Ban yourself from anything that will stimulate your brain including computers, work, texting, email, and TV to avoid inviting sleep deprivation.

 
C– Curfew setting should be a priority to help you regulate a natural sleep cycle, and achieve quality sleep.

D– Sleep Deprivation is extremely harmful to your well-being and can take a toll on your immune system. It is important to maintain a routine sleep schedule to avoid this.

E– Energy throughout the day is vital when it comes to productivity. Creating healthy sleep habits that reassure a quality night’s sleep, will provide you with more than enough energy… you may be able to say goodbye to the coffee pot.

F– Falling asleep can be a task when life’s stresses and anxieties kick in. Create a soothing routine, take a bath, read a book, pray or meditate to help encourage rest.

G– Get the most out of your bedroom space by de-cluttering and organizing your slumber-space. Make sure your furniture is the appropriate size for your space. The last thing you want is a crowded cave.

H– Healthy living starts by keeping up with sleep. Sleep deprivation affects your immune system and overall well-being.

I- Invest in a comfortable mattress that will protect your well-being and contribute to a wonderful nights sleep.

J– Jeopardizing a good nights sleep can be detrimental to your health. Creating inconsistent sleeping patterns will adjust your internal clock, making sleep less inviting which will spiral into a whirlwind of negative effects on your body.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Wake Up Feeling Energized

When Coffee Becomes a Necessity

The pleasant morning ritual that most find too painful to part with has become a temporary chemical solution to treating drowsiness. That’s right, let’s talk about the black pot of goodness, and an alternative to keep that energy lasting throughout the day.

Generally speaking, a restless night’s sleep will have us running towards the coffee pot or shop, with the intention of waking up and staying alert. However, coffee only provides a short-term solution that can possibly lead to long-term side effects.

When consumed, coffee acts as a chemical stimulation that leaves your body struggling to adapt to the increased blood levels… which we sadly mistake for “energy”. The caffeine from your cup of joe sends a signal and adrenaline is released to provide you with the extra spark you had been feigning for. Your body then goes into fight or flight mode stirring up stress hormones and complete relaxation may become impossible. Building a tolerance to caffeine can become detrimental when the thing you were using to wake up disguises itself, and becomes the thing that is disrupting your sleep.

 

Put Down The Coffee and Pick Up a Dumbbell

How about changing that morning ritual to something that will not only increase productivity and energy levels, but will also increase your lifespan and quality of life? Making time for a quick workout, run, or activity is the best way to create a beneficial lifestyle. Fitness releases those feel-good hormones also known as endorphins, and also increases mental acitivity that lasts anywhere from four to ten hours afterwords.

By creating a morning workout schedule and sticking to it even on the groggiest of mornings will take a turn for the better. Just like anything in life, it takes time to adjust. Your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms will grow accustomed to your new routine and physiologically, some wonderful things will begin to happen: A few hours prior to awakening, your body will begin to prepare for waking and exercise. Your metabolism and all the hormones involved in activity will begin to elevate, which will contribute to you feeling alert and energized when you do wake up. It’s time you learn how to enjoy your cup of coffee and not depend on it. One thing you can rely on is your morning workout to get you out of bed and into a productive lifestyle.

 

 

Recharging Your Brain

You glance at the time just to find you are only half-way through your day and there are still workloads to be managed. As you take a deep breath and strategize your next move, whether it be to the coffee pot or the nearest vending machine, your eyes begin to feel heavy and your train of thought comes to a screeching halt. When these symptoms occur, the only thing you can think about is crawling under your desk and taking a snoozer. Well, it’s time to act on those thoughts, and take the steps necessary for your well-being and recharge those batteries.

Napping leaves you feeling mentally refreshed. It increases serotonin levels which puts you in a better mood and increases performance. For a boost of alertness, experts advise a 10-20 minute nap is suitable to restore brain activity and heighten procedural memory. For intellectual memory processing, a 60 minute nap may add even more value to your day. Of course this depends upon whether your employer allows you an extensive break, or if you have time in-between classes.

In this unyielding, fast-paced world, prioritizing your workload and personal life may seem asymmetrical at times. So, instead of brewing up another pot of joe, close your office door, dim the lights, and shut off the nagging voices in your head. Try holding a set of keys or a pen in your hand as you doze off, the prop will usually fall 15-20 minutes into your nap (before you enter a different phase of sleep) and wake you up. If you aren’t particularly fond of naps because you find that you wake up groggy, the next time you take a siesta, try sipping on a cup of coffee before hand. Caffeine usually takes 20 minutes to kick in, and won’t hurt such a short break and should lessen the effect of sleep inertia upon awakening.

Don’t feel guilty for taking a few minutes to recharge. Enjoy a “cat-nap” and reap the benefits of improved productivity, energy, creativity, and extended mental capacity that it provides.