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Sleep & Your Body

Sleep Trackers: Which Information Matters Most?

If you’re trying to improve your sleep, these are the numbers you should focus on. If you didn’t know already, sleep trackers are trending in the world of tech. These trackers reveal a myriad of information about your sleep, but some of this information is more useful than others. For instance, data on when you hit each REM stage of sleep, your respiration rate, and body temperature may be interesting, but less useful when it comes to improving your shut-eye quality. On the other hand, certain behaviors have been shown to aid in better sleep quality: Nixing the TV and computer before bed, sticking to a regular tuck-in schedule, and sleeping in a cool, dark…

Is Sleep Apnea Affecting Your Daily Life?

Even though sleep apnea is a nighttime condition, it’s not uncommon to experience symptoms during waking hours, too. Check out these signs that you could be overlooking. The loud gasp-like breathing that accompanies obstructive sleep apnea may seem impossible to miss, but ironically people often aren’t aware they have the condition. In fact, a partner who shares the bed is likely to pick up on the problem first, since detecting your own noisy snoring is virtually impossible. But disruptive snoring is only one sign of sleep apnea, albeit the most recognizable. Many symptoms actually occur during the day. If you notice any of the following red flags, talk to your doctor, since—if left…

Is a Nap Studio Right for You?

Finding somewhere to sneak in a mid-day nap isn’t always feasible. What are you supposed to do—crawl under your desk to catch some zzz’s or snooze on the sidelines of your daughter’s soccer practice? The solution: nap studios. The frequency of naps tends to drop off after the preschool years, but the short bouts of sleep are beneficial at any age. Dozing off for just 20 to 30 minutes…

Use Your 5 Senses to Set Yourself Up For Better Sleep

If you often have trouble falling asleep at night, it’s a good idea to assess whether your bedroom is the relaxing sleep sanctuary that you want it to be. Is it dark enough? Quiet enough? Are your sheets and pillows soft and comfortable enough? If you’re confident that your sleep environment is set up to help you get a good night’s sleep, it’s time to prep your body and mind to do their part. One of the best ways to do this is to recruit your senses in relaxing ways that…

Ease Heartburn at Bedtime

The fiery feeling of heartburn isn’t just uncomfortable. If you experience it regularly at night—as up to 75% of people who have frequent heartburn do—it could mess with your sleep and leave you exhausted. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that adults who have bedtime heartburn are more likely to have sleep issues such as insomnia, daytime sleepiness, and restless leg syndrome. That burning sensation that you experience with heartburn is due to stomach acid flowing back up the esophagus—the tube that brings food to the stomach from the mouth. But here’s some good news: It’s possible to manage the discomfort. Beat the burn and score better shuteye with these tips. Watch What You Eat One…

Sleep Awareness Week 2017: Sleep Better. Feel Better.

Sleep Awareness Week is here! Throughout this week, we encourage you to prioritize your sleep in order to improve your overall health and well-being. This year’s theme is “Sleep Better. Feel Better.” and our goal is for you to get enough sleep and feel well rested. Don’t know where to begin when it comes to good sleep? NSF has got your back. Here are some tips that may help you #SleepBetterFeelBetter. When you’re done, watch our Sleep Awareness Week video to learn more. Turn off all electronics an hour before bed. That includes laptops, tablets, or smartphones. If you’re reading before bed, consider paper format. Try not to eat a huge meal before bedtime. If…

How to Overcome 3 Common Sleep-Related Mistakes

Getting enough sleep at night certainly isn’t easy—but it’s not impossible, either. Fixing the following five common mistakes will help you get on the track to better zzz’s. Mistake #1 That afternoon coffee break Some 78 percent of Americans consume caffeine on the regular. And sipping coffee or tea with your breakfast can be a great way to feel more alert as you begin to tackle your to-do list. But another cup later in the afternoon—or worse yet, after dinner—can have serious, negative effects on your sleep, making it harder to drift off. In fact, having caffeine six hours before turning in could cost you an hour of sleep. In other words, having an afternoon coffee might…

What Are the Best Hours to Sleep?

Most people sleep during the hours that make the most sense for their professional, family, and social lives. Their awakening times are largely determined by these responsibilities and commitments, whereas when they go to sleep often depends on their personal preferences and evening activities. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per day—that’s a given. Figuring out how to get that amount is another story. If you need to wake up at 7:00am, you can count backwards eight hours and set a bedtime of 11:00pm. This is a good starting point, but there are individual variations when it comes to the best hours for sleep. For example, some people are larks (morning…

5 Fast Ways to Overcome an Afternoon Slump

Here’s the thing about wanting to take a nap in the early afternoon: It’s completely natural. Your energy level dips right around seven hours after you wake up, causing you to crave some shuteye. On top of that, there are things that make an afternoon slump worse, like eating a carb-heavy lunch or sitting still for too long at your desk. That said, most people can’t settle in for an afternoon nap every day. That’s when you need a quick way to boost your energy. Here are some simple strategies that do just that. Have an energizing snack. Food, after all, is energy, so it makes sense that eating something will help you feel…

Say Goodbye to Sleep Debt

Getting enough sleep is central to living your best life—from staying safe on the road to being productive on the job. Adults typically need seven to nine hours a night, but for about 40 percent of Americans, that much shuteye is an elusive goal. The average is more like 6.8 hours—12 minutes shy of the minimum recommendation. A difference of just 12 minutes a night may not seem like a lot, but over time those minutes can add up to a huge sleep debt (especially if you really need eight or nine hours). Over time those deficits can take a toll on your health, too, raising your risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and memory loss….