Category Archives: Sleep Tips

Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

5 Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

We all struggle with insomnia from time to time. Luckily, there are simple, time-tested tools to lean on when this sleep-stealer pays a visit. Read on for five ways to fall asleep fast when restlessness rears its ugly head.

Temperature Trick

Did you know a healthy sleeper’s body temperature naturally lowers about two hours before sleep? To simulate this dip and piggyback on its benefits, soak in a warm bath for 20 minutes in the evening. When you get out, your internal temperature will plunge, signaling to your brain that it’s time for sleep. To maintain your cool throughout the night, set the thermostat to 68, invest in breathable cotton sheets, and experiment with cooling sleep products.

Source: Health.com

Have a Sleep Snack

A few hours before bed, try a snack loaded with tryptophan, a known sleep-inducer. Bananas, dairy, honey and walnuts are all good sources. Why it works: The brain converts tryptophan into serotonin, which in turn becomes melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep.

Practice Visualization

Can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s early morning meeting, that bill you need to pay or the class project you promised to help with? If stressful thoughts make it difficult for you to wind down, visualization may help. Experts suggest imagining an environment where you feel at peace (sitting on a warm beach or wandering through a lush forest). Pay attention to each detail: the time of day, temperature, sounds and smells. This calming visual exercise can help you set aside your stress long enough to get some rest.

Source: University of Nevada, Reno

Set a Routine

It works for children, and it works for adults: a nighttime routine can get you in the right mindset to doze off fast. You routine can be as simple as reading a few pages of a book, brushing your teeth, and flipping off the light. As long as it’s consistent and doesn’t include over-stimulating activities like checking email or watching TV, a nighttime routine is a great go-to tool for transitioning into restful sleep.

Clear the Clutter

You may have heard that a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. When it comes to sleep, this is especially true. Having clutter lying around, especially work papers, mail or bills, can cause subconscious stress. Invest in some attractive bins or baskets, and tuck away the nonessentials. By creating a clean visual landscape, you help your mind let go of the details of the day. Do your best to make the bed each morning, too, so when it’s time to hit the hay, you’re greeted with a neat, welcoming sleep space.

10 ways to banish sleep deprivation

10 Ways to Banish Your Sleep Deprived State and Sleep Better Every Night

Did the Zzz Test tell you it was time to get more sleep? Here’s 10 tips to banish your sleep deprived state and sleep better tonight!

  1. Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. Put away your to-do lists and make sleep a priority.
  2. Unwind early in the evening. Try to deal with worries and distractions several hours before bedtime.
  3. Develop a sleep ritual. Doing the same thing each night just before bed signals your body to settle down for the night.
  4. Keep regular hours. Keep your biological clock in check by going to bed and waking up at the same time, even on weekends.
  5. Create a restful place to sleep. Sleep in a cool, dark room that is free from noises that disturb your sleep.
  6. Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. It’s difficult to sleep in a bed that’s too small, too soft, too hard or too old.
  7. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help relieve daily tension and stress–but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may have trouble falling asleep.
  8. Cut down on stimulants. Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  9. Don’t smoke. Smokers take longer to fall asleep and wake up more often during the night.
  10. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking shortly before bedtime interrupts and fragments your sleep.

Turn Zzz’s into A’s this School Year

Dorm Room Sleep Essentials

Back to school season has swept in, and college campuses across the country are swinging open their doors to greet incoming freshmen. Heading off to college is an exciting, sometimes stressful time for parents and students alike. There are people to meet and rules to learn. Schedules to tackle and maps to memorize. And with the freedom and excitement of school away from home come the inevitable growing pains of dorm room living. It may be the first time your child has had to share a room or make do with cramped quarters.

As you ramp up to take the college plunge, take stock of the comforts of home and determine which essentials should end up on your must-pack list. Make the most of less space and more to-dos with these product recommendations tailored to you. Rest assured, with some strategic packing and the right products, your dorm room can go from blah to ta-dah!

Back to Black

Night owl roommate? No worries. This plush cover-up is designed to offer total darkness, so even a laptop’s glare can’t reach you. It fits snugly over the contours of your eyes to comfortably block out any bright melatonin-interrupting light.

use an sleep mask instead of a book to block out bright light

Tune Out, Drift Off

Movie marathon in the dorm room next door? It’s no match for a sound machine or sound app. A crackling fire, babbling brook and breaking waves are all at your fingertips. Push play and drift off to sleep to the sound of your choice.

Upgrade From Ordinary

Standard-issue dorm beds leave something to be desired, but a padded mattress topper is a great quick-fix. Lightweight and packable, a mattress topper easily adds a touch of comfort and personalization to your home away from home. This two-inch plush memory foam design cradles pressure points, reacts to your body weight and holds its shape. Plus, the removable cover is hypoallergenic and washable.

BYOP

Your new dorm room may come with a mattress, but it’s definitely BYOP (bring your own pillow). Already have one you love? Leave it at home for weekend visits, and start fresh with a cool new design. Modern pillows come in all shapes and sizes, feature materials like refreshing gel foam and hypoallergenic latex, and are designed to suit any sleep style. A molded, firm memory foam model will pull double duty: prop you up during study sessions and cradle your spine as you sleep.

Dreamfit Sweet Dreams

8 hours of class, a 3-hour study session and Intro to Physics bright and early? You’ll be happy to come home to some dreamy sheets. Treat yourself well after a long day of learning with Dreamfit’s line of premium sheets. Choose from natural, world-class or Egyptian cotton, brushed microfiber or a bamboo-rayon blend. They come with an extra-large top sheet and self-tailoring fitted sheet. Plus they’re compatible with any mattress type, with elastic corner-bands for a no-slip, bunch-free fit.

guys hanging out in college dorm room

Off-Campus Comfort

Dodging the dorm route? An off-campus apartment gives you the luxury of more space and the freedom to choose your own mattress. Consider an affordable and transportable queen size innerspring, gel memory foam or hybrid model for your off-campus abode. These mattresses are conveniently delivered to your doorstep in a box–no need to worry about attaching it to the roof of your car! Select models come with a platform base for easy transport and set-up.

Weekend Warrior

On-campus living means weekend trips to mom and dad’s just got even better. Hello, full fridge, car access, family time and the comforts of home.

Want to really spoil your scholar during overnight visits? Consider surprise-stocking their bedroom with a comfortable new mattress. Chances are their old bed has been has been there since junior high and is ready for an upgrade. Beautyrest and Serta are name brand sure-fire pleasers, with beautiful top covers and upholstery, premium foam layers and excellent support. Nothing says welcome home like an awesome night’s sleep.

Snack Without Fear

All-night study sessions surrounded by snacks, water and energy drinks are no joke. Make sure spills aren’t an issue with water-proof mattress protection. The only thing worse than studying for finals: Studying for finals while mopping up an errant cup of coffee. Mattress protection is removable and easy to throw in the laundry…An entire mattress? Not so much.

Download our Back to School Shopping Checklist!

A well spent day brings happy sleep.

A Well Spent Day

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Sleep Quotes: A well spent day brings happy sleep. - Leonardo da Vinci

Reduce bedroom allergies

10 Ways to Reduce Allergens in Your Bedroom

It’s that time of year again. Your eyes are itchy and watery, you nose is running and you can’t stop sneezing. Nighttime has its own issues—suddenly you can’t breathe through your congested nose and you are coughing. You wake up even more tired and unprepared for the next wave of allergens to hit you.

While you might limit your time outdoors during allergy season, did you know that these allergens are often lurking in your bedroom? Dust mites, pollen, pet dander and mold are common allergens that can be found in your room and even in your bed.

Follow these 10 tips to reduce allergens in your bedroom and start breathing, and sleeping, a little easier.

Tip 1: Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and dust your room with a damp or electro-static cloth to pick up dust at least once a week.

Tip 2: Reduce Bedroom Carpet and Curtains

If possible, remove all carpeting and curtains from your room. This will help eliminate areas for dust, dust mites and pollen to accumulate.

Tip 3: Keep Windows Shut

Keep your windows closed—consider using an air conditioner in your home if it becomes too warm. If you wish to keep your windows open, close them from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. when pollen is usually emitted.

Tip 4: Shower Before Bed

Shower right before getting into bed. This will remove any pollen that may have accumulated in your hair or on your skin.

Tip 5: Use Hot Water

Use hot water when doing your laundry (at least 130°F). Washing in hot water is more effective in removing pollen and dust mites from your bedding and clothes. Wash sheets and pillowcases once a week.

Tip 6: Low Humidty

Keep humidity levels low. Allergens thrive in higher humidity, so keep levels below 50 percent to reduce your symptoms.

Tip 7: Replace Your Mattress

Have an old mattress and pillow? If you are sleeping on a mattress that is over 10 years old, it is time to get a new one. Refresh your pillow every few years to keep your sleep space allergen-free.

Tip 8: Protect Your Bed

Invest in a quality mattress protector encasements and pillow covers to prevent allergens and dust mites from entering your mattress and pillows.

Tip 9: Ban Fido and Fluffy

Ban pets from your bedroom (and your bed!). Even if you aren’t allergic to your four-legged friend, there is a good chance Fido and Fluffy have picked up pollen in their fur that can flair up your allergies

Tip 10: Change Air Filters

Regularly change your air filters. Invest in HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that will minimize the dust and allergens in your home.

Tips for a better night's sleep

9 Tips to a Better Night’s Sleep

Well-rested folks are known to be more alert and creative, less stressed and stronger in their relationships. Want in? The savviest sleepers swear by these simple tips.

1. Snack Attack

Late-night noshing often gets blamed for widening waistlines, but a light snack before bed can actually boost your metabolism—and improve your quality of sleep. Munching on a 200-calorie high-carb, low protein snack about an hour before hitting the hay will keep hunger signals at bay and help you sleep soundly through the night. Complex carbohydrates are your best bet for a night-cap snack, experts suggest, as they’re easier to digest and may boost your level of sleep-inducing tryptophan. Try whole grain toast with a little peanut butter or a bowl of cereal with skim milk.

2. Sleep Scents

Lavender, jasmine, rose… these renowned relaxers have been shown to clear the mind, soothe the nerves and even lower blood pressure. Try spritzing a calming linen spray on your pillow, lighting a relaxing candle or positioning a diffuser on your nightstand.

3. Get Moving

Regular exercise yields a ton of health benefits, and enhanced sleep quality is among them. A good old-fashioned sweat-fest can ease the transition to sleep, increase sleep duration and even decrease daytime fatigue. In one study, participants who exercised 150 minutes a week (or about 20 minutes a day) experienced 65 percent better sleep than their less-rested cohorts.

If your energy levels tend to spike after exercise, try working out in the morning or at least two hours before your usual bedtime.

Desk-bound during the day? Find ways to sneak in a few minutes of activity at a time—park a little further away from the office, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or slip out for a brisk walk on your lunch break.

4. Deep Breathing

There’s a reason yogis practice this centuries-old relaxation method. Deep breathing lowers blood pressure, clears the mind and calms the central nervous system. As you wind down for the night, try this easy-to-follow technique: breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat the sequence four times, and soon you’ll be de-stressed and ready for rest.

5. Write it Out

Stresses from the day have a knack for following us into the night. To combat anxiety-induced insomnia, experts suggest jotting down any concerns, questions or to-dos a few hours before turning out the lights. By writing out your worries, you give your mind permission to let them go, making way for a more peaceful shut-eye session.

6. Soak in the Sun

Experts recommend soaking up 20-30 minutes of bright early-morning sunlight each day to reset the body’s internal clock and reinforce its natural sleep-wake cycle. Light sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to be awake, which eases the transition to sleep when the lights go out. For best results, aim to get a dose of daylight between the hours of 6 and 8:30 AM, when the sun is at its brightest, and go sunglasses-free to ensure your exposure is uninterrupted.

7. Be Phone Smart

Many of us are accustomed to winding down with a smart phone or tablet in hand, but the bright light emitted by these gadgets has been shown to interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Add stimulating activities like checking email or watching an action-packed TV show to the mix, and your mind can stay stuck in overdrive for hours after you’ve powered down. Do your best to banish electronics from the bedroom, and ask your sleep partner to do the same.

8. Sleep Sober

The calming power of alcohol may lull you to sleep initially, but halfway through a sleep cycle, dehydration and alcohol withdrawal hit hard, causing you to miss out on valuable minutes of REM sleep, the phase thought to be most restorative for the body and mind.

Do your best to avoid consuming alcohol within a few hours of bedtime, limit your number of drinks, and aim to match each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to offset dehydration.

9. Caffeine Conscious

There’s nothing like a hot mug of coffee or tea to perk you up first thing in the morning. But when consumed too late in the day, caffeine can wreak major havoc on your sleep schedule. Aim to enjoy your last caffeinated cup four to six hours before bedtime, and be sure to avoid caffeine-laced foods, like chocolate, by that time as well.