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Worst Drinks for Sleep – Avoid These Before Sleep

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This is part 2 of our previous post, Best and Worst Drinks for Sleep. While the current post will tell you about the 3 worst drinks that should be avoided before bed, the previous article discussed 7 awesome drinks you can have before going to bed.

Drinks to Avoid Before Bed-Time

While the majority of the population will find the drinks below to be interfering with their sleep, these drinks may have no effect on the sleeping patterns of certain individuals. This is just like some people don’t get jet lagged, while some people get hit with jet lag like a wall.

  1. Soda

If you consume soda right before bed-time, you will experience heartburn and acid reflux from the bottom of your stomach just like bubbles in the soda that pop from the bottom. This uneasy sensation will keep you awake all night or at least during the initial phase of sleep. Plus, soda contains high amounts of caffeine and sugar, both of them lead to sleep deficiency and additional health problems. Hence, say NO to bubbles in the night.

Related: Adjustable beds for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

  1. Caffeinated drinks

Caffeine is a type of stimulant that makes you alert and awakens your senses. It increases your blood sugar level while also boosting your mental performance and respiratory rates. Caffeine is present in coffee and in small amounts in tea as well. Coffee can keep you wide awake for 4-6 hours so consider not to consume it during dinner for better sleep quality. It can also lead to Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in some people. Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological defect in which you constantly feel an urge to move your legs and never put them to rest. Caffeine acts as an aggravator in RLS leading to an uneasy pulling and throbbing feeling in your leg and you want to keep moving them. Of course, you cannot sleep with moving legs, right?

  1. Alcohol

I could hear some of you say, ‘Hey, alcohol gives me a high and helps me sleep faster’. Yes, alcohol does help you relax and go to sleep quickly but it disrupts your sleep in the second half of the night. As soon as the alcohol is digested by the body, approximately 4-5 hours, you find yourself awake like an owl and extremely frustrated if you can’t go back to sleep. Resultant tossing and turning will leave you drowsy and restless the next morning. Some people are also known to snore after alcohol consumption at night.

Go ahead, give one of these a shot or attempt one each night to see which is best for your taste buds and sleep hormones.

Best and Worst Drinks for Sleep

Best and Worst Drinks for Sleep
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A good night’s sleep is one of the most beloved rituals in a human’s life. A relaxing nap in the night helps you rejuvenate your body and mind for the following day. Given the anxieties and stress one feels in today’s competitive world, many people find it difficult to shut off their brains while hitting the hay. Many attribute this to a bad mattress or pillow; but there are many other factors that affect sleep other than your bed or pillow.

Don’t worry! It is a problem faced by many and can be solved with no trouble. There are some beverages that you can consume and avoid before you go to bed that will accentuate your sleep hormones. Give the brainwave of those easily available sleeping pills a skip and try one of these relaxing and sleep-inducing drinks that will help improve your quality of sleep.

Best Drinks to Consume Before Bed-time

  1. Milk

This a very well-known drink that people consume before sleeping. I am sure since childhood, all of us associate a glass of warm or cold milk to bed-time. Milk contains an amino acid called Tryptophan. This amino acid is an originator for the hormone called melatonin that induces sleep. Milk just powers the onset of sleep while the rest is done by the human body depending on its level if fatigue.

Recommended reading: Bedroom Solutions Blog

  1. Cherry Juice

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Cherries are known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help you fall asleep quickly. It is ideal to consume 100 percent sugar-free cherry juice in a 14-ounce or 16-ounce glass at evening to get more sleep in the night. You can even make a concoction of cherry turmeric tea by adding a cup of cherry juice in your tea along with a small amount of turmeric. Cherry juice is so powerful that even workers who work in night shift can drink it in the morning to fall asleep.

  1. Hot Chocolate

You can never say no to hot chocolate. A steamy cup of cocoa with a dash of peppermint and cashew butter guarantee a full night sleep that results in a healthy and relaxed you in the morning. Make sure you do not add sugar as it heightens endorphins that give you a ‘happy high’ feeling.

  1. Chamomile Tea

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In my article about essential oils to fight sleep deprivation, I had mentioned Chamomile oil and how it has a calming effect on you helping you to sleep better. Chamomile tea has the same effect on you. You may drink the tea with plain water or combine the water and lavender oil or passion fruit along with honey to give it that extra zing. The tea has a straight impact on your nervous system calming it from stress and tension that you feel during the day.

  1. Banana Smoothie

Banana is a direct source of natural muscle relaxants – magnesium and potassium. It also contains the amino acid L-tryptophan and has the same effect as a glass of milk does. To fight sleep deprivation and enjoy a night full of lovely dreams, combine bananas with cherry, chamomile oil and oats in a mixer and enjoy that cup of sleep wonder.

  1. Blueberry Marvel

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Blueberries are rich in sleep-promoting polyphenols that make is a great bed-time drink. You can blend it with other sleep-inducing agents such as avocado, lavender, or banana to make a delicious blueberry marvel. Besides, it is also full of fiber so you can get that dose fulfilled too.

  1. Bone Soup

A hot cup of bone soup is an ideal before bed-time drink especially in the cold nights of winter. Embrace a wide-mouthed cup in between your hands and enjoy the snowfall. The slow fall of flakes and the warm cup of bone soup will definitely calm your mind and slowly put you to sleep.

 

4 Easy Steps to Make Your Bed

Have you ever entered a hotel room and wondered how they made the bed so neat and tidy that you actually do not want to spoil it by sleeping on it? Well, you are not alone! We all want to get that perfectly tucked in a duvet and aesthetically placed pillows on our bed. And it is not that hard to achieve.

Here’s how to make your bed

Considering our bed is the most sought-after place after a hard day at work, here are a few tips and tricks to follow that will help you succeed in having a five-star-hotel-type of bed. In reality, designing your bedroom is not as complicated as you might think it would be. All you need is (i) Padding, (ii) Sheets, (iii) Duvet and (iv) Pillows.

Step 1 – Decoration and Padding

This is an optional one but if you want, you can add a layer of a dust ruffle or a mattress pad. A dust ruffle is placed above the box spring such that is hides anything that is beneath the bed. It is like a pleated skirt worn by your bed. If you like a contemporary style of bed, you may want to give this a skip. A mattress pad is placed over the mattress that adds extra cushioning to the bed. Besides, providing extra comfort, the mattress pad protects the mattress from spill stains and dust.

Step 2 – Sheets

Once you have the mattress and padding in place, you lay the sheets. You can either opt for fitted sheets or flat sheets. Fitted sheets have an elastic that easily slips over the corners of the mattress. When using a flat sheet, lay the sheet on the bed such that the four corners of the bed align the four corners of your sheet. You should also ensure that the sheet is evenly hanging on all four sides of the bed. Now, tuck the sheets under the mattress starting from the head board, the two sides and lastly at the foot board. Before you tuck the sheet at the foot board, slightly pull the sheet to ease out the wrinkles.

How to fold hospital corners?

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  1. Spread out the bedsheet such that all the four sides have even share of the sheet.
  2. Tuck the sheet hanging near the foot board making sure the extra sheet is hanging on either side of the bed.
  3. At the right corner, lift the extra sheet that is hanging and lay it over the mattress. While doing so, see that the sheet is smooth around the corner. Tuck all of the hanging sheet under the mattress
  4. Now, fold the sheet lying on top of the mattress at a 45-degree angle with the mattress cover and tuck it on the side.
  5. Repeat the above mentioned steps in all corners.

If you want your bed to not just look good but also feel good, invest in a good bedding set. Choose a cotton material bed sheet as it a premium product while keeping you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Thread count is another aspect that matters. Be on the look-out for anything between 300-430 thread count for a long-lasting good-quality bed sheet.

Step 3 – Duvet or Comforter

After the sheets, it is time to put the duvet. Spread the duvet or comforter evenly over the bed and fold one-third of it back from the head board to show-off the contrasting pattern on the other side. You may even tuck the duvet under the mattress for a neater look.

A duvet of a contrasting color or pattern adds a visual appeal to the bed. You can put a duvet cover on the comforter. Try getting one with natural or synthetic down that will keep the covers warm and cozy.

Step 4 – Pillows

It’s time to make the finishing touches. A bed is incomplete without the pillows. Just as it is important to choose the right mattress, it is also essential to pick out the perfect pillows.

Related articles: How to Pick the Perfect Pillow 

It is a good impression to have two shams, two sleeping pillows, and one decorative throw pillow to complete the look. The shams ought to be in the same color as the duvet cover, the sleeping pillows will be covered with the covers that come with the bedding sheet set and you can experiment with the throw pillow cover to enhance the aesthetics of your bed.

You may keep an empty basket near the bed to keep the shams and throw pillow at night.

Trust me, there is nothing more comforting than coming home to a beautifully made fluffy bed (and a welcoming family of course!). Once you have read all the steps in detail, here is a watch and learn video on how to dress a perfect bed with the soft sheets, fleecy duvet and comforting pillows, all arranged to style a king (or queen) bed. Go ahead, follow these steps and make yourself a luxury hotel bed each morning! And then at night, sleep like a baby in your perfectly made hotel bed night after night!

 

 

Why sleep is important for your children – Part 2

sleep is important for your children
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If you haven’t read part 1 of this article series, we highly recommend that you do so by visiting the above link. Let us continue with the various benefits of proper sleep for growing kids.

Benefits of sleep for growing kids

Sleep lets your child to grow taller

Another way sleep has a good influence on your kid is how it helps them to grow taller. It is believed that bones grow the most during sleep, hence why many kids wake up their parents at night complaining about leg pain. It is because while laying down, your child’s bones don’t have to support their weight, which enables them to grow and make your child taller the day after.

But naturally, don’t hesitate to take your child to the doctor if they keep complaining about pain in their legs!

Sleep improves your child’s immune system

The more your child gets the amount of sleep they need, the less you have to think about taking trips to the doctor’s. When your child is sleeping, their brain is working on its own and producing hormones responsible for your child’s immunity and good health, such as the hormones leading white blood cells towards bacteria and foreign bodies.

An interesting research regarding this matter has shown that children who slept right after getting a vaccine have been able to release almost two times more immune cells resulting in a much better immune system than those who didn’t.

Moreover, just like for teenagers and adults, children who don’t sleep enough end up releasing much more cortisol than those who do. And we know that cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress which has a destructive impact on one’s immunity, which is why you need to absolutely make sure your child is getting enough sleep every night.

Related reading: Bedroom Solutions Blog

Sleep makes his heart healthier

It seems like children who get the amount of sleep they need and don’t suffer from sleep deprivation are less likely to develop heart related illnesses. Getting enough sleep actually helps preventing them from suffering from blood pressure or insulin issues. Studies are still being done and conducted regarding this matter, but in a nutshell, the substance (it is a protein) responsible for blood pressure issues is more produced the less a child sleeps.

Sleep prevents your child from becoming hyperactive

Is your sleep-deprived child used to throwing tantrums right before they « have to » get into bed? Then you would probably agree with the fact that children who suffer from lack of sleep tend to have anger issues or tend to have difficulties socializing and spending time with children without it ending up in a catastrophic situation every time. The main problem is much deeper than that. You have to be aware that children who suffer from lack of sleep at a young age are very likely to develop mental disorders later on, especially anxiety and depression.

Recommended reading: Leggett & Platt S-Cape adjustable bed review

For instance, have you ever noticed how you child tends to be much less stimulated than usual by « happy events » such as birthdays or presents? They just seem to be less happy and excited about life. And that is because the parts of the brain that are activated under any kind of emotion felt by your child are highly sensitive to lack of sleep. That actually causes your child to have a harder time processing their emotions and simply identifying and/or understanding them. That may lead your child to interpret fear as indifference or anxiety as fun, etc. When in reality, the brain needs enough energy and sleep to be able to associate dangerous situations with anxious feelings and happy situations with joy and smiles.

It is believed that as much as 40% young boys don’t get enough sleep and this might very well explain their hyperactive behavior.

Socializing skills get improved thanks to sleep

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It may sound far-fetched, but sleep actually helps your child with socializing and bonding with their relatives as well as with their friends! What happens is that at night, when sleeping, your child is very likely dreaming about their relatives and their friends, which contributes to a more positive behavior as well as better real life bondings with their surroundings.

Why sleep is important for your children

Importance of sleep for children
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No matter how many activities you made your child sign up for, whether they’re physically draining ones such as football and swimming, or emotionally and mentally demanding ones such as music and arts, trying to make them as active and as productive as possible, you may be missing on something very important: your child’s sleep. Rather than filling their day with countless activities, you may want to focus more on their sleeping schedule and their sleeping habits as those are much more important for their health and their well being. They don’t need an expensive, high-quality adjustable bed; all they need is a decent mattress and a quiet environment to help them fall asleep.

It has been shown that sleep is essential for the growth of your child as well as their emotional and physical condition. Besides, it is a well known fact that lack of sleep leads to mood swings, anxiety, obesity, etc., which you would want to avoid at all costs for your child.

Let’s see further why sleep is so important for your child!

The link between sleep, appetite and weight gain (or weight loss)

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A study has been done to prove the relationship between sleep and appetite. The experiment consisted in not allowing a bunch of children to sleep for more than three hours for a day. Even naps were forbidden. What was noticed was that the children had almost a quarter more of calories then usually took. And the day after, despite their sleeping habits going back to normal, they still kept consuming more food than usual.

Further than that, the study has shown that the risk of obesity went up the less a child slept, where as the more a child slept and the less likely they were to be overweight. Another study has shown that children who got less sleep for a week were at least 5 times more likely to suffer from obesity than those who got the amount of sleep they needed.

Research explained this whole connection between food and sleep through two reasons:

  • When children get the amount of sleep they need, they prevent their appetite hormone also known as ghrelin from increasing in their blood, while they keep the production of the satiety hormone called leptin balanced. Both of these hormones are released during sleep. So without enough sleep, your child will naturally have the rate of ghrelin production increasing while that of leptin production decreasing.
  • The second reason is much less scientific but as much logical: the more your child will stay awake, and the more likely they are to pass by the kitchen for a quick snack on their way to their bed.

Benefits of sleep for young children

Sleep enables your child’s brain to process information

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All what you child learns throughout the day, such as basic mathematics or a new polite expression, is processed by their brain and stored into their memory during their sleep. What isn’t needed is deleted, and what is necessary is saved in their memory. This actually explain babies’ need to be asleep most of the time; after being born, they are in contact with so much knowledge and new things that they exceedingly need more sleep compared to everyone else. It is because during REM sleep, the areas of your brain responsible for learning and memory are heavily stimulated and much more alert and reactive due to the countless connections formed between neurons.

One effective way to see how much sleep can help with memory and learning is by checking your child’s grade after sleeping well on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised by how much they will improve!

This is why reading before bed is a highly recommended activity for not only adults, but also kids.

Focusing and concentration skills improve with sleep

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Throughout the day, your child uses « functional » skills such as time management, learning and memory skills, as well as focusing and socializing.  What is important to know is that the level of those skills is tightly linked to sleep. It actually has been shown that children who suffer from lack of sleep tend to act the exact same way as children who suffer from a psychological disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which causes some children to be constantly hyperactive. Which simply means that the less your child sleep, and the more likely they are to be hyperactive and unable to focus or concentrate. And that is why it is of the utmost importance for your kid to sleep as much as they need, and why not as much as possible (without going overboard of course).

Part II of this article will be published soon.

How to Pick the Perfect Pillow

How to pick the perfect pillow
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When I wrote an article on pregnancy pillows, I received a lot of requests for a Pillow Guide to general pillows, thus here is your definitive directory of how to choose the right pillow for you that will take you to dreamland.

How to pick the right pillow

Often ignored, the two most important things for a refreshing sleep is pillow and mattress. We spend a lot of time and money in choosing that fancy iDealBed 4i custom adjustable bed or that expensive Tempur-pedic mattress, but pay very little attention to the pillow. Just like the mattress, the pillow also plays a very crucial role in the quality of our sleep and our overall wellbeing. So come, let’s do some pillow talk!

Can the pillow make a difference?

How to pick the perfect pillow
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Having a comfortable sleep is key to a happy and successful day. Nothing kick starts the day better than a peaceful slumber. Sleeping in the correct posture with the help of the right mattress and pillow is essential to wake up without body pain or discomfort. The correct posture should bring into line the body from the head, neck, shoulders through the spine maintaining the curve in your lower back to the knees.

A bad pillow can worsen headaches, give you nightmares and lead to stiffness and numbness while a good pillow, that supports your shoulders, neck and head, will give you a good night’s sleep.

How to make the right choice?

The right pillow is a personal preference but before you make that choice, you should identify your sleeping style or position.

  1. Side Sleeper

This is the most common position generally people sleep in. Interestingly, sleeping in this style produces a major distance between your shoulder and ear and hence a thick or firm pillow is recommended as it provides the much desirable care to your neck and head.

2. Back Sleeper

In this sleeping position, the pillow should be soft enough to support the natural curve of your spine and hard enough to sustain your head at four to six inches off the bed. The wrong pillow will give you a stiff neck in the morning or a backache to crib about all day.

3. Tummy Sleeper

This sleeping style requires the least amount of support but adds some additional stress to the back and neck. A thin or flat pillow would be ideal for this neutral position. Some people who sleep on their tummies do not even use pillows.

Different types of pillows based on the pillow filling

Once you have identified your sleeping style, the next step is to look out what the pillow is made up of. The wrong type of pillow filling can lead to sleep deprivation and I’m sure you don’t want that. If you are the one who does not care about the pillow filling, don’t worry you are not alone. Most people are not aware nonetheless, there is a wide variety of pillow fills available in the marketplace.

Down pillows

Down pillows are made of either goose or duck fibers. They are extremely soft and light. Given the raw material used, down pillows are expensive and come in a combination of down, feathers and other synthetic materials. However, one has to be careful regarding sensitivities and allergies to down. Allergic reactions may occur in some people when the down filling is of low quality and dirty leading to discomfort.

Cotton pillows

Cotton pillows are universal pillows easily available in all stores. They are naturally hypoallergenic and do not attract mold or dust mites easily. They can be purchased in a firm or a soft form whichever suits you right.

Memory Foam pillows

This filling material is fast gaining popularity in the last few years. Memory foam pillows adapt to your individual contour by retaining your body heat and mass. They align themselves with the shape of your head, neck and shoulders. These pillows are a good choice but since they retain heat, one has to make a smart decision.

Wool pillows

Wool pillows are made of wool and are very firm so most ideal for side sleepers. They, like are cotton pillows, are resistant to dust mites and mold while also being hypoallergenic. Wool pillows regulate the body temperature by absorbing moisture from your head and neck.

Latex pillows

Latex pillows like memory foam take the shape of your crown while being steady and comfortable. They give extra support to the head and control movement during your lovely sleep.

Different sizes of pillows

Besides the fill, you should also take into consideration the size of the pillow. Too large or too small pillows affect the relaxation they are required to provide. A standard-size pillow should be just correct such that it aligns the head and neck along with the shoulder and spine.

Specialty pillows

There are some specialty pillows that can be considered.

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Cool pillows

Cool pillows are made with tiny cool beads that whisk away the night sweat and hot flashes one feels. The part where your face touches the material is always cool.

Cervical pillows

These are recommended by doctors. They provide additional cushioning and stability to the neck area.

Water pillows

This type of pillow is preferred by physical therapists who believe that these pillows use water to make a personalized level of support and thickness.

Maternity pillows

These come in a range of shapes and sizes and are used by women during pregnancy. I have gone in to great detail on maternity pillows elsewhere. (link below)

Related article: Types and Benefits of Pregnancy Pillows

Snuggle into a soft and comfortable pillow or a firm and relaxing one, the choice is up to you! When you invest in the most accurate pillow, you will notice a drastic improvement in the quality of your sleep. Now head straight to the store and take your time selecting that masterpiece for your head.

Sweet Dreams!

How reading before bed improves quality of your sleep

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As a child, you probably had your parents reading you stories before you went to bed. And after growing up a little more, you more than likely had them telling you to go to bed early in order to read a book on your own before sleeping. That is because reading before bed has lots of benefits and can play a huge role in shifting your sleeping patterns in a good way. Reading before bed can help improve the quality of your sleep for different reasons. Here are some of the main benefits of reading before bed:

Training your brain to read before bed

Your brain is a muscle. Just like any other muscle, your brain needs to be trained in order to improve its performances. Reading is one of the best work outs for your brain. It isn’t as simple or as natural as it seems to be. Reading solicits many of your abilities, such as your ability to:

  • Connect words to form meanings,
  • Picture scenes in your head, and
  • Imagine scents and sounds,

These naturally represent a lot of work for your brain. Challenging your brain in such a way every night can only have positive consequences on its condition. Besides, unlike other work outs, reading isn’t extenuating nor repetitive. It is quite enjoyable in the sense that it helps you relax and at the same time exercise enjoyably.

On top of this, it has lately been discovered that reading (before bed or not) can be a tremendous way to prevent Alzheimer, since training your brain on a daily basis can help facing the threat of memory loss. What’s more, reading before bed can also potentially help you reduce or even completely stop snoring.

Benefits of reading before bed

1. Stress buster

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According to many studies, reading before bed can reduce stress by 68%, thus helping you sleep much more peacefully. That sounds quite logical in the way that reading takes your mind off your worries and whatever may stress you out when you are about to sleep. When you focus on the story you are reading, your mind clears up and you naturally relax and let loose.

As we have said before, reading engages your imagination, which makes tension fade away to make room for a much more tranquil state of mind.

Moreover, it has been discovered that reading before bed is one of the best ways to cope with insomnia. It can also be a way to deal with jet lag if you’re a frequent traveler! It is definitely a tip you can add to the list of tips we talked about in the article about the different ways to handle sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds.

2. Makes you replace electronic devices with books

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Earlier when we talked about sleep deprivation and adjustable beds, we mentioned how blue lights can disturb your sleeping patterns. When you get into the habit of reading before bed, you naturally get into the habit of no longer using your electronic devices before bed, which has one of the best effects on the quality of your sleep, as this helps you rest better when sleeping.

Melatonin and bright LCD displays hamper sleep quality

When using your phone or any other electronic device emitting blue light, your production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleeping patterns and makes you sleepy, decreases and gets limited. That way, your brain stays alert and awake, instead of getting fuzzy and wanting you to sleep.

Turn-off phone notifications

Besides, having your phone around will be nothing more than disturbing as notifications will always keep you awake. It is much better to turn it off and grab a book instead that will make you cut ties with reality.

Of course, using your devices to read is no excuse. Remember, it is not about what you do with your phone, but rather about how the light of your phone or your laptop keeps you awake.

3. Improves your creativity

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Last but not least, reading before bed is one of the best ways to boost your creativity. Being exposed to so many words and phrase structures every night will do wonder to your brain and its ability to come up with new ideas and new concepts.

The more you read, and the more universes you discover, the more personalities you get to become familiar with, the more stories you try to imagine the end of. You get to learn about various perspectives and points of views which opens your mind, and you get to reach worlds that you may have never ever pictured before. When reading, your mind creates images you never thought of before, and the stimulation of so many of your senses improves your creativity skills.

On top of that, reading before bed can also have an influence on what comes after falling asleep: your dreams. Sleeping with a book in your hand or on your face will likely make you dream about the recent castle the main character was locked in, or about the latest tempest the crew of your novel was facing. No matter what, you will definitely not be dreaming about reality!

Correct posture for reading in bed

Adopting the right posture while reading in bed is extremely important. Sitting in an incorrect posture can sprain your neck, back, arms or any combination of them. This is why it’s very important that you adopt the right posture when reading in bed. You need to keep your back and head straight while reading; this will help you preserve your neck and back for decades of reading down the lane.

If finances are not a ‘deal breaker’, I highly recommend that you opt for an adjustable bed with pillow tilting. Pillow tilting is only seen on high-end adjustable beds even as of 2018; however, our best rated adjustable beds like the Glideaway adjustable beds and Leggett and Platt Prodigy 2.0 come with built-in pillow tilting feature.

How to Stop Snoring – 9 Tips and Tricks

How to stop snoring
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Snoring is a very ordinary problem. Believe it or not, everyone does it occasionally. Even you might have done it sometime but perhaps no one has confronted you. Sleeping with a snoring partner can be frustrating.

What causes snoring?

How to stop snoring
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Snoring is caused by vibrations. When we are asleep, the posterior area of the throat narrows due to muscle relaxation. Because of the now smaller opening, the air gets less space to pass and therefore causes the surrounding tissues to vibrate. These vibrations result in the sound of snoring. Some people also snore because of nasal congestion. So basically, snoring is a sound formed by the airflow that causes tissues to vibrate during sleep.

Related: 11 Best Sleep Hacks

How to get rid of snoring?

Snoring is not something to ignore. It surely affects not only your sleep but also your partners. Snoring can be an underlying symptom of health problems such as (i) obstructive sleep apnea (a potentially serious sleep disorder), (ii) stress, (iii) obesity or (iv) some mouth, nose or throat abnormality. Below are a few tips that will help you or someone you know stop snoring.

  1. Nasal strip

Nasal strips are very common and easily available in stores. These are strips that can be stuck on the nose. They help to open up the nasal passage and lessen the airflow battle. This makes breathing easy and keeps snoring at bay, or at least reduces the decibels.

  1. Sleep position

For people who snore, sleeping on their side is an ideal option. When you sleep on your back, the tongue falls on the back of the throat blocking the normal air passage from the throat. This can be avoided by sleeping on your side. You can keep a keep a full-length body pillow behind you or simply try the tennis ball trick. In this trick, you can stitch a tennis ball on your t-shirt back or on your pajamas. This will assist you not to roll on your back in your sleep and can make an effective change in snoring.

  1. Head elevation

If you have a mild snoring problem, then you can raise up your head using a thick pillow to keep the nasal airway clear of obstruction. Generally, raising the head up by four inches is good enough to tackle the problem. You can also try using adjustable beds that recline your head up without causing neck problems. Learn about the Glideaway adjustable bed for all types of head elevating possibilities.

  1. Install a humidifier

Closed doors and windows, especially during winter results in dry air. Dry air sucks up the moisture from the throat and nose creating dryness and congestion. A humidifier removes the dry air and comforts the tissues of nose and throat for normal breathing. Experiment by adding a few drops of essential oils and feel the magic!

  1. Herbs and essential oils

Essential oils such as peppermint oil unblock the nasal or chest congestion helping you to keep away from snoring. This oil has been proven to be an effective aching throat reliever and liberates nasal passage from jamming. Goldenseal is an herb used for common cold and stuffy nose. It can be consumed in capsule, powder or liquid form.

  1. Avoid alcohol and smoking

Alcohol eases out the muscles at the rear of the throat that might cause snoring. If you want to consume alcohol before bedtime, ensure that there is a gap of minimum two hours between the two activities. Besides alcohol, smoking is another culprit of bedtime snores. Smoking annoys the inner lining of your airway and causes mucus pile up. This aggravates the problem of the blocked air passage and snoring.

  1. Allergies

Allergies give rise to blocked airflow through the nose causing you to breathe through your mouth. A bedroom has many allergy triggers specifically pet hair, dust mites or bedding material that irritates your beak. These increase the chances that you might snore. It is important to maintain cleanliness and good hygiene. Treating allergies using medications can give you a quiet night sleep.

  1. Correct abnormalities

Some people might have a nose, mouth or throat abnormality since birth while some might have experienced an accident leading to one. In any case, it is recommended to correct these abnormalities by surgical treatments which will help to stop snoring.

  1. Lose weight

It is not that only people with more weight snore, thin people snore too! When lying down excess weight around the neck narrows the throat and disrupts the regular airflow even further. This increases the likelihood of snoring. Maintaining a good body weight aids in less or no snoring and improved sleep in addition to other health paybacks.

10. Buy an adjustable bed

Modern adjustable beds such as the Leggett and Platt Prodigy 2.0 have an in-built anti-snore feature. Basically this posture raises the head resulting in cessation of snoring. Spending $2 – 3K on an adjustable bed may not be the most cost-effective way of tackling snoring for most people. However, if you’re up for it, adjustable beds are a great solution for snoring.

Try these tips that will do the trick and help you tackle your problem of snoring. If the problem still persists then you may require medical attention. Some machines and surgical procedures including but not limited to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), Palatal implants, Somnoplasty, Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) etc. widen the airway channel permanently.

Getting rid of snoring is a good idea in the long run for yourself and your beloved giving you both a healthy sleep and a far healthier relationship.

16 PROS and CONS of Adjustable Beds

Split-king adjustable bed

Everything under the sun has a bright side AND a dark side. Adjustable beds are no exception to this rule. While there’s plenty of good about them, there are also a couple of noteworthy drawbacks about them. Let’s discuss all of them below.

After you finish here, don’t forget to check out our 10 BEST Adjustable Beds – Reviews, PROS, CONS

Adjustable Beds – PROS

  1. Relief from pain – users of adjustable beds consistently report relief from pain resulting from back problems, arthritis, neck problems, frozen shoulder, and cramping. People with spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative spondylolisthesis have found adjustable beds particularly beneficial. In addition, adjustable beds are also known to relieve people from insomnia, breathing/sinus/allergy problems , snoring, swollen legs, asthma, heartburn/acid reflux, heart/circulation problems, and restless leg syndrome (RLS).
  2. More comfortable than conventional beds – inclines of no more than 30 – 45 degrees (semi-Fowler’s position) are most popular. Best rated models nowadays have programmable memory positions as well. That way you can reach that favorite sweet spot with the touch of a single-button instead of having to long-press up and down buttons.
  3. Convenience factor – lets you sit-up in bed at any incline/angle you want (infinite number of ergonomic rest positions). This makes watching TV, playing video games, reading a newspaper/book, typing on a laptop, having breakfast in bed, nursing/breast feeding, and even jumping in and out of bed a whole lot more convenient compared to a conventional bed
  4. High ‘intimacy factor’ – we’ll not go into details here and let your imagination run riot
  5. Independence – move without disturbing your sleep partner. Especially with split-queen and split-king types of adjustable beds, one partner can raise/lower his/her bed independently of the other. Your favorite position may be 20 degrees elevated and his/her may be 12 degrees; no problem! You can have your own elevation without annoying your partner
  6. Built-in massage – many adjustable beds come with a built-in massage feature nowadays. Higher-end ones come with advanced features like different modes of massaging, timers etc.
  7. Low maintenance
  8. Up to 25 years of limited warranty (full warranty generally <5 years) – the steel frame, upholstered parts, motor, mechanical components etc. etc. have different warranty periods
  9. USB chargers for phones, tablets – don’t make your purchasing decision based on the number of USB chargers, however, if you can get one without having to spend extra, it’s certainly worth it because you’re likely to use them on a daily basis
  10. Lumbar Support: Some models of adjustable beds like this one has something known as Lumbar support. As the name suggests, these beds have a separate bar jotting out to support your lumbar area; can be very helpful to those of you with lower back pain

Adjustable Beds – CONS

  1. Your current mattresses may not work – this type of adjustable mattress works best with adjustable beds while spring mattresses don’t
  2. More expensive than conventional beds
  3. Time consuming – there isn’t a pre-set miracle position that is the perfect sweet spot for every person on planet earth. You’ll need to play with it a few days (or nights) to find those custom angles that soothe you (and your partner) the best. With these adjustable beds, the angles matter more than the size! In contrast, conventional beds are ‘plug and play’
  4. Mechanical failures – whenever there are motors/electronics involved, there’s always the possibility of them failing. TVs, radios, cars, KitchenAid mixers, air conditioners, you name it… all of above can have mechanical failures at some point. Adjustable beds are no exception. However, the popular consensus is that, if they fail, they fail within a short period of you starting to use it. Because most adjustable bed manufacturers provide at least 1 year of comprehensive warranty, those defective units that are bound to fail, will likely fail within the warranty period. So, even though adjustable beds are not fail-proof like conventional beds, you have little to worry about because of the warranties offered by their manufacturers.
  5. A touch of danger – if you poke your hand between the bed foundation and the frame while it’s being lowered, potentially, your hand can get injured. This won’t happen with a conventional platform bed. However, many modern adjustable beds have built-in safety features to prevent your hands getting caught.
  6. Heavy weight – especially the high-end adjustable beds can be pretty heavy (over 100 pounds). This can be a problem during setup. Imagine your bedroom is upstairs and your delivery man leaves the bed on the curbside. You may need help to carry it upstairs and to twist and turn it until you get everything set up the way you want.

Attractive features you shouldn’t be fooled by

  1. Fancy fabric covers – be it fabric, leather, rexin, or wooden, DO NOT make your purchasing decision based on ‘outer looks’
  2. Sleek legs – legs can be seductive whether they’re of women or otherwise
  3. Elegant remote controllers
  4. Better mattresses – you don’t have to buy a bed + mattress combo. You can buy just an adjustable bed base and shop for that perfect adjustable mattress elsewhere

The most important features to look for

  1. Wall hugging feature – so that you’re always lined up with the night-stand
  2. Programmable memory positions – factory preset memory positions may not suit you well
  3. Pillow tilting – most adjustable beds have only head tilting and foot tilting; only a handful of them have pillow tilting
  4. Anti-Trendelenburg position – especially if you suffer from acid reflux, back problems or you’re a senior citizen that deserves the best. Read our Glideaway adjustable bed review to find out more about this position
  5. Quiet motors – some motors are loud and must be avoided by all means
  6. Backlit remote controllers – Because you won’t have to turn on your night lamp every time you want to play with your remote. It’s also a good idea to go with a fairly large-sized remote controller. Smaller remotes can get easily lost among those pillows, bed sheets, and comforters. Yes, they do get lost quite a bit, that’s why most remotes come with the ‘locate remote’ feature these days.
  7. Lifting capacity – while some beds can lift up to 800 pounds (in addition to the mattress), others cannot ‘lift’ over 400 pounds. For a queen bed holding two persons, this can be a problem. Pay close attention to this feature
  8. Steel legs – steel legs are always recommended over aluminum legs when it comes to adjustable beds
  9. Battery backup in case of power failure – can come in handy especially if you live in an area with frequent power failures
  10. Compatibility with your existing bed frame – why spend for another frame if the base is compatible with your current frame?
  11. Customer support – not every adjustable bed manufacturer stands by their word. Given that this is a relatively delicate piece of equipment, it’s wise to go with a company that is tested and proven
  12. Reputed manufacturers – the market is full of cheaply manufactured adjustable beds imported from _________ (fill in the blanks). Their price tags are very attractive and they work just fine while their young! But these age very quickly and doesn’t take too long to have mechanical failures. This is why we highly recommend that you opt for an adjustable bed from a reputed manufacturer.

11 Best Sleep Hacks to catch some Zs

11 Sleep Hacks for Better Sleep
Image courtesy: www.pinterest.com

Have you ever felt that your eyes have some weight pinned to them that is forcing them shut or the words on the computer screen have started to become a blur? You are not alone. Majority of people in today’s world feel the rush. Even if we get a full 8-hour sleep, we always wake up asking for 5 more minutes! To not get punked by the brain fog and get on an express train to Zzzzville, follow these super simple sleep hacks to hit the hay in peace and wake up fresh as a daisy.

11 super simple sleep hacks for a great night’s sleep

  1. Take a hot bath

A hot bath before bedtime has shown a positive impact on sleep quality. A cozy warm bath increases your body temperature. Then, when you hop out, the body cools down quickly which mimics your brain function to drop the body temperature just before you fall asleep.

  1. Lower the room temperature

It is better to keep our sleeping environment cool as we would sleep in nature. The temperature of the bedroom should be between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. If the temperature is above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees, it can disrupt bedtime. However, different individuals react differently to the same temperature. To regulate your body temperature, use your feet. You can put on a pair of socks that keep you warm if you feel too cold or just put your feet out of the comforter in case you feel too hot.

  1. Darken the environment

Light is one thing to keep out of your bedroom when you would like to indulge in a restful slumber. Our circadian rhythms are so strong that any light from outside (or inside) can disturb our sleep. Invest in good blackout curtains or try using a sleeping mask to evade all lights. Blue-light emitting devices such as electronics should also be left out in the living room.

  1. Aromatherapy

To beat insomnia and ensure a good night’s sleep, try essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile, Lemon etc. that have noted benefits for sleep. These and other essential oils have been used for many years to cure digestive problems, bacterial infection, pain…and off course sleep!

  1. Pen down what’s bothering you

Image courtesy: www.applespanyc.com

Stress and anxiety are the biggest enemies of a peaceful sleep. If you have any problems in personal or professional life, get it out of your head and write it down on a piece of paper. This will help you drift off in dreamland pretty smoothly.

  1. Breathe / Meditate

Follow a simple breathing technique suggested by Alina Gonzalez, the writer for Byrdie – the 4-7-8 method. Start by simply breathing through your nose for 4 seconds, holding your breath for the next 7 seconds and exhaling through your mouth for the remaining 8 seconds. Repeat as necessary to find yourself asleep in no more than a few minutes.

  1. Eat and drink right

Dinner should ideally be no later than 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Your body is not supposed to be digesting while you are asleep. If you are up late and it has been 4-5 hours since your last big meal, eat a small snack before bedtime. Protein is not easy to digest, perhaps a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast should be good. Carbohydrates have been proven to digest fast and can increase your chances of getting restful sleep.

Many people find a sleep killer in coffee; however, it makes no difference to others. Therefore, it’s best that you first determine if you are a friend or foe of coffee and then act accordingly!

  1. Avoid movies and intense shows

With the availability of streaming television and on-demand movies, it is easy to get drawn towards late-night binge-watching sessions. This delays your sleep by approximately two hours and then you have to wake up for work next morning resulting in a drowsy day. Yet, if you do enjoy watching movies at night, plan it in such a way that it is not right before bedtime. Also, it is advisable to avoid intense TV shows, horror movies, action-packed sitcoms that induce stress and negative emotions. Both of these have a bad effect on your sleep.

Related: The Power of a Good Night’s Sleep

  1. Keep your bedroom quiet

When you intend to relax on your bed, I am sure none of you would want to hear whirring electronics or ticking watches. Try to keep your bedroom as quiet as possible. You might want to consider some sort of white noise to avoid every occasional noise-making move that becomes more evident and disruptive. For snoring bed partners, keep a pair of earplugs handy.

  1. Choose the right mattress and pillow

It is essential to sleep on an appropriate mattress to ensure complete relaxation at night. Sometimes, tossing and turning may be less about you and more about what you are lying on. Choose the right mattress for you according to the size, firmness, and material.

Further, just like the mattress, choosing the right pillow is also vital. Now, this is a personal preference but there are some universal rules to follow. (i) A soft pillow is advisable for people who sleep on their back as it will help support your spine’s natural curve. (ii) A thick pillow is recommended for people who sleep on their side as it will provide the much needed care to the head and neck (iii) A flat pillow would be great for people who sleep on their stomach as it will take away the extra stress that position puts on the neck and back.

  1. Regularize sleep

Try to maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule even over the weekend. I know waking up early in the morning on a Saturday or Sunday sounds like cruelty to most of us but it helps as far as sleep is concerned. This preserves your body’s natural clock and avoids the so-called social jet lag that makes it difficult to sleep on Sunday nights and suffer Monday morning blues.

Follow either one of these sleep hacks or feel free to combine and you will notice an improvement in your sleep. Part of these hacks is instant fixes, while the others require you to train your body and cultivate healthier habits. Maximum rest during sleep is crucial for your overall well-being. So, get in your pajamas and tuck yourself away in sweet dreams!

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