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You might be a Werewolf.

13 Sep

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Do you have trouble sleeping during a full moon? You might be a werewolf! In the spirit of Friday the 13th, and with a full moon less than a week away, I thought it was appropriate to write a post on how to maintain your beauty sleep during a full moon. So for all you werewolves and beasts out there, keep reading for how to combat the effects of a full moon. Hurry! There isn’t much time before the transformation begins!

You might be a werewolf but you’re certainly not a night owl!
Go to sleep early! Dr. Christian Cajochen, a Psychiatrist, from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and his team studied 33 volunteers. He noticed that during a full moon the participants took around five minutes longer to fall asleep and woke up approximately twenty minutes earlier than normal. Because of this, it is recommended that you try to go to bed earlier to make up for minutes of lost sleep. Go to sleep 30 minutes earlier two days prior to the full moon and continue for up until two days after. This will help make up for the sleep you will be losing.

Got Melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural hormone that is part of the human sleep-wake cycle. At night, at approximately 9:00pm, your body begins to actively produce melatonin. These melatonin levels stay elevated for about 12 hours and then fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Dr. Christian Cajochen’s study showed that during a full moon your melatonin levels are reduced. So what can you do? You can buy melatonin over the counter at basically any health food store or drug store. Even though you can buy the supplement over the counter, consult with your doctor before taking it or any other hormone. In order for melatonin to work properly you need to know the correct dosage and what time of day to take it. Improper use can negatively affect your sleep and can be harmful to your health.

Control what you can.
You can’t control the moon but you can control your bedtime sleep regimen. During a full moon make sure you do all that you can to aid in falling asleep and staying a sleep. This includes stopping your intake of caffeine, sugar, alcohol, spicy foods and big meals at an early hour, keeping your room at a cool temperature, limiting the use of electronics an hour before bed and making sure to turn off all light producing electronics when it’s time for bed. These are all sleep habits that you should already be following on a daily basis.

 

Hopefully my tips help you fight your inner werewolf. However, if they don’t, don’t yell at me, howl at the moon!

 

 

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Sleep: Who Needs it More?

8 Mar

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationDo women need more sleep than men? “Yes!” says  Jim Horne, author of Sleepfaring: A Journey through the Science of Sleep. Horne explains that women need about twenty more minutes of sleep than men each night. “Women tend to multi-task  –  they do lots at once and are flexible  –  and so they use more of their actual brain than men do. Because of that, their sleep need is greater.”

While women are supposed to be getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night, many women are actually chronically sleep-deprived. Aside from the daily grind, there are many other biological factors that affect a woman’s quality of sleep such as:

  •  Pregnancy: Most women experience discomfort from weight gain and the position of the fetus.
  •  Hot flashes due to menopause
  •  Anxiety and stress – (Science Daily reports that women have higher anxiety than men due to cell signals and hormones).

If women have a more difficult time sleeping, but also need more sleep than men, what can be done? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that women combat insomnia by limiting their caffeine and alcohol intake, increasing their daily exercise, and setting a routine sleep schedule.

Also, investing in a comfortable mattress will help improve an individual’s sleep environment, allowing for both comfort and relaxation.

Women of world: take a nap. Statistics show you need it!

Sleep and be well!

We <3 Cotton!

14 Feb

Cotton HeartIt’s Valentine’s Day and while others are filling their funnels with chocolates and red wine, we’re filling our premium mattresses with up to 83 lbs of 100% all natural cotton.

A good night’s sleep is all about comfort and cotton makes all the difference. Inside every Shifman mattress is the highest grade all-natural cotton, which pads both sides of the mattress to perfection.

Shifman loves cotton because cotton is quality. It’s good for our bodies and it’s great for the environment. Cotton is a natural, renewable, biodegradable and sustainable fiber. Additionally, it’s had mankind’s back for 7,000 years! Therefore it’s pretty much the superhero of upholstery materials.

Cotton has proven to be both resilient and durable, providing long-lasting comfort for many years. Processed on premises for over 100 years, Shifman utilizes a garnetting machine to effectively produce layer upon layer of luxurious cotton.

Why compromise true comfort when you can breathe easy on a two-sided Shifman mattress, made of all-natural cotton?

Love your body and love your mattress. Happy Valentine’s Day!

New Year’s Resolution #1

21 Jan

Happy WomanSleep Better Every Night!

Whether your New Year’s Resolution is getting more exercise, eating right, bringing up your grades, or living a less stressful life, sleeping better can actually help you to achieve all of those goals! Sleep is good for your body and great for your mind. Whatever your resolution may be, make sure you use sleep as a tool to enhance your results.

Remember these quick points:

  • Too little sleep leads to poorer eating choices and therefore weight gain!
  • Similar to stress, sleep deprivation affects the immune system!
  • A study conducted in 2012 showed that sleep can turn off the obesity gene.
  • Inadequate sleep can lead to poorer test scores for students.
  • Fatigue translates to a higher risk of error at your job.
  • Chronic sleep deprivation contributes to increased anxiety levels.
  • A 2012 study showed that too little sleep is linked to an increased risk of stroke!
  • Sleep is vital to help your body recover—even after one particularly challenging workout. On the flip-side, adequate sleep is also beneficial to prepare your body for daily exercise.
  • Researchers say that power naps regenerate the brain’s functioning abilities, and therefore contributes to improved memory and learning as well as increased alertness and productivity!
  • Sleeping more can effectively improve your physical attractiveness.

Don’t give up on your goals! You may encounter difficulties, but keep in mind that you can always sleep on it. Or you can sleep it off. Or you can keep the dream alive and work hard to enact positive change in your life.

All in all, better sleep can help you achieve your goals (and sleeping on the best mattress will contribute to a better night’s sleep).

Sleep and be well!

Hallo-Lean

17 Oct

Ahhh… the onset of Halloween. Endless bowls of candy replace your summer decor as the inevitable commencement of the holiday season subtly inches closer and closer.

Temperatures begin to fall, the days get shorter — and people put on weight. And aside from the obvious reasons why people gain weight –less exercise & heartier meals– a study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that chronically sleep deprived individuals are more likely to store fat than their well rested counterparts. Further, the study noted that those who were sleep deprived were also at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

YIKES! Now that’s something to scream over.

According to the study, not getting enough sleep reduces your fat cells’ ability to respond properly to the hormone insulin, which is crucial for regulating energy storage. So, in the same way that your brain becomes groggy when you’re sleepy, your fat cells do, too!

Are YOU getting enough sleep?

David Neubauer, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center said: “The study reinforces the importance of good sleep generally in promoting health… [The study] is an important step in our understanding of the relationship of sleep and physiological functioning, particularly regarding the increased risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity in people who have inadequate sleep.”

So the next time you’re straining to keep your eyes open to watch a little more late-night television, surrender! Just let sleep do its thing.

Fall – Asleep

17 Sep

The pungent aromas of pumpkin spice and chimney char permeate the atmosphere. The early morning fog brushed with an autumnal glow of crimson and gold saturates the scenery. The crispness of the air… the rolling leaves… the enduring night… all subtle indications of a dawning autumn.

You snuggle up to your favorite someone -windows open wide- inhaling authentic air (an air quality unconditioned) and warmly welcome the changing season.

A good night’s sleep is an effective way to calm your spirit and improve your mood so you can appreciate the little things (like the gently evolving seasons). Controlled breathing, a good morning stretch and a comfortable mattress can help relax your muscles and ease your mind.

Sleep and be well. Happy Fall.

The Truth About Beauty Sleep

14 Jun

The movie “Sleeping Beauty” left behind a highly romanticized image of what women should look like asleep. Let’s face it… not all of us sleep in beautiful gowns, cuddling a rose with perfect hair and a full face of make-up. (And frankly, it might be a little strange if we did). The reality, however, is that men and women don’t always look so hot when they sleep: snoring, sweating, drooling and sleeping in twisted positions with our mouths open are all agreeably unattractive ways to be caught snoozing, but they’re accurate!

The point I’m trying to make here is that it doesn’t really matter what you look like WHILE you sleep. What actually matters is HOW you sleep.

Swedish researchers say that “beauty sleep” is more than just a flighty phrase, it’s science! The British Medical Journal published a study which found that sleep-deprived individuals appear less healthy, less attractive and more tired than that of their well-rested counterparts. “Sleep is the body’s natural beauty treatment” said John Axelsson, a Swedish researcher from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “It’s probably more effective than any other treatment you could buy.”

Twenty-three healthy adults ages 18 to 31 were photographed once after eight hours of sleep and photographed again after staying awake for 31 straight hours and sleeping for only five hours.

The photos were judged by 65 individuals in three categories including how healthy, attractive and tired the individuals appeared. The study found that the sleep-deprived participants were less attractive and appeared to have less color, smaller eyes and puffy skin.

Now it’s no surprise that after 31 hours of sleep deprivation and only 5 hours of sleep, study subjects won’t look their best. But according to Axelsson: “It’s possible you get these effects through chronic sleep deprivation.” Meaning, if you happen to be a chronically sleep deprived person (always receiving less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night) then it’s likely that your physical appearance consistently suffers from an inadequate amount of sleep.

Therefore, although we might not always look like beauties while we sleep, sleeping more can effectively improve our physical attractiveness. Additionally, getting a great night’s sleep also puts us in a better mood, so you’ll not only look better, but you’ll feel better, too!

Sleep It Off! The Weight, that is.

16 May

It’s getting warmer outside and that means people are starting to feel the looming pressures of summer. If you’re worried about showing your skin, don’t run for cover… run for the covers.

Research shows that people who sleep an average of 7-9 hours a night actually weigh less than people who are sleep deprived. Receiving less than 6 hours of sleep a night can lead to increased hunger and appetite which can affect weight.

According to Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD and clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Weight Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, “When you have sleep deprivation and are running low on energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.”

There are many reasons why we may eat more when we’re tired. One reason is because of our reduced energy. The more tired we are, the less likely we are to work-out. And if we aren’t working-out or sleeping, well then, we might just be eating.

Another shining reason is great marketing. Think about it: there are hundreds of companies in the food industry built on servicing the chronically sleep deprived! A tiring list of energy drinks, protein bars, chocolate and even chewing gum comes to mind. If we just simply allotted enough time for sleep in our schedules, we wouldn’t have to consume these unnecessary calories in the first place.

However, studies indicate that the main reason we eat more when we’re tired is deeper than just good advertising… the biggest culprit is our hormones.

Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones that are major influences on energy balance. They work together to tell us when we’re hungry and when we are satisified. Ghrelin is a fast acting hormone that tells you when to eat, while Leptin mediates your energy balance and tells you when to stop. Unfortunately, when you’re sleep deprived, not only is your metabolism slower, but you produce more Ghrelin and less Leptin which makes you feel hungrier and can lead to weight gain.

Now don’t get too excited. If you are already sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours a night, sleeping an extra hour won’t help you lose ten pounds. But if you are chronically sleep deprived and add more sleep-time to your schedule, there is a good chance you may lose some weight.

It’s important to continue to eat right and get your heart-rate up, but never overlook your sleep pattern! It could be the extra umph needed to being more healthy and feeling better about yourself.

Go to Sleep! You need it.

10 May

Are you really getting enough sleep? Some people say they only need a few hours of sleep while others exclaim “they’ll sleep when they’re dead!” (Yikes!) As a society that focuses on working hard all day and night, we often pride ourselves on not getting enough sleep. We’ve even conditioned ourselves into thinking that we deserve bragging rights for pulling all-nighters!

So where does this basis of thinking stem from? Some researchers say childhoodand more specifically, those times we were reprimanded for acting out and sent to bed early. Think about it: our parents punished us by sending us to sleep! As a result, when we are conditioned into thinking that something is a punishment, we simply refuse to obey those constraints and immediately rebel. And the rebellion, in this case, is staying awake. The problem with this sorry scheme, however, is that we only hurt ourselves.

Daniel J. Buysse, a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, believes that out of every 100 people who believe they only need five or six hours of sleep a night, only about five people really do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one-third of Americans are chronically sleep deprived, receiving less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Sleep deprivation puts these people at a higher risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other health problems.

It’s important to remember that sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health and emotional wellness. Staying awake to complete tasks can be quite a disservice to your health. So next time you feel yourself fighting the urge to sleep, stop rebelling and surrender yourself to the bliss and benefits of serene slumber.

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