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Beware of Football Season

3 Sep

Are You Ready for Some Football? Football season is here and I for one could not be more excited! (High-5 to all my fellow Jets fans out there!)

Whether you’re a football fan or not, football can affect all aspects of your life, including your sleep quality. Think about it. Even if you don’t sit down and watch the game, most likely someone (sister, brother, mother, father) in your house is. All the loud shouting and chanting can affect your stress levels and sleep, even if your not the one cheering. Not only are games an all-day Sunday event but they are also on late during the week. How are you supposed to have a relaxing weekend or night after work, with football on the brain? I know I can’t. I get way too excited knowing a game is looming around the corner. Have fun this football season…don’t let it interfere with your sleep. Here are some points to remember for the 2013 football season.

 

“Waiting all day for Sunday night!”

So Captureit’s finally time for Sunday night football and you’ve invited all of your friends over for the big game. Have fun cheering with your friends! After all that is what football season is all about. Unfortunately there are some consequences to having your friends over for the late night, three hour game and losing out on sleep is the biggest one. No matter what you do you will miss the sleep needed for work the next morning. There’s no way around it. However, here are some ways of dealing with the sleep depriving factors of watching the game.

  1. The night before the big Sunday night event make sure you get your 8 hours of sleep. You want to start the long day off right and make sure you are well rested.
  2. Take a 20-minute nap before your friends come over. “Daytime naps can be one way to treat sleep deprivation, says Sara C. Mednick, PhD, sleep expert and author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life. “You can get incredible benefits from 15 to 20 minutes of napping,” she says. “You reset the system and get a burst of alertness and increased motor performance. That’s what most people really need to stave off sleepiness and get an energy boost.” A nap will make you feel more refreshed for some of the sleep you will be missing later on.
  3. Make sure to limit your intake of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages and stop drinking them by halftime. You need to give your body enough time to process the alcohol otherwise it can interfere with your sleep. “Deep sleep is when the body restores itself, and alcohol can interfere with this,” explains Dr John Shneerson, head of the sleep centre at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. ” As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That’s why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you’ve been drinking.” It takes on average an hour for your body to process one serving of alcohol so stopping the consumption by halftime is a good rule of thumb.

 

Are you kidding me? We lost again!

It’mark-sanchez-fumbles-off-of-his-teammates-butt-in-a-play-that-pretty-much-sums-up-jets-patriotss after midnight on Monday and you are up thinking about your team’s loss against their biggest rivalry. After a major loss I’m always up rethinking the game and how my quarterback could have won the game if he didn’t make a stupid mistake (prime example: the Sanchez fumble). I’m normally still watching post game interviews, yelling at my television screen. Unfortunately the anxiety and stress does not help with the much-needed sleep for work in the morning. So how do you deal with post-game stress?

  1. First of all stop watching the post game highlights before bed! Record them and watch them the next day. You need to give yourself 35-40 minutes to wind down before going to bed.
  2. Say a prayer for next week’s game! I am not joking! Prayer can reduce stress drastically before bedtime. Not religious? Meditation works just as well. Check out some tips on meditation by visiting http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/12/better-sleep-through-medi_n_676353.html.

Hopefully these tips will help you get the sleep you need throughout this football season. Your sanity, however, will depend on your team’s performance. Good luck and may the best team win!

Children & Sleep – Two things that don’t mix well, especially during the summer months.

8 Aug

Schools out for summer but that doesn’t mean that your child should be breaking all the rules. With summer camps, day trips to the beach and vacations with family and friends, this time of year children need more sleep than ever. This can prove to be very difficult with the increased daylight hours and their constantly changing schedules. Even though there is no “magic” sleep number, toddlers should get around 12 to 14 hours of sleep, school aged children should have 9 to 11 hours and your teenager should get 7 to 9 hours a night. Not only does lack of sleep have an effect on your child’s health but it also causes them to have more fragile emotions, less resiliency, and crankiness. Check out the below tips to help your child get the sleep they need, and you the relaxation you deserve, this summer.

Time large meals and beverWeight-Gain-and-Sugary-Drinksages containing sugar.

Make sure that dinner is served a few hours before your child’s bedtime. Large meals before bed can sit in their stomachs, making them uncomfortable, and can even give them indigestion. You should also make sure they consume all of their sugary drinks earlier in the day. Sugar, like caffeine, will give your child more energy and can make it harder to get them to fall asleep.

Stop vigorous activities at an early hour.duck bath

While I understand it’s summer and your child will want to be outside, running around until the sun goes down, you have to make sure to cut their high-energy activities at least two to three hours before their bedtime. You would think that more activity closer to bedtime would tire your child out but it actually does the opposite. Encourage calm, stress free activities before bed such as reading a book, playing a board game, or making an art project. A hot bath can also help and I am sure they will need it after playing outside all day.

calendarStick to a Routine.

Once school is out it’s hard to keep your child on the same schedule. They want to stay up late and play outside with friends or watch television. They also try to sleep in. Forget about keeping them on schedule while on vacation. However if you try to keep their schedule close to their school year routine, it will help your child get the right amount of sleep they need and it will make your job of getting them to bed much easier, especially when the school year starts up again. Ideally you want to keep bedtime and wake times within an hour of their regular schedule,” says Malia Jacobson, author of “Sleep Tight Every Night” and “Ready, Set, Sleep.” “If kids get in the habit of sleeping until noon, it can take weeks to get back on schedule when school starts.”

While it might be difficult, do your best to enforce these rules and resist their puppy dog eyes and pleas of “Just one more hour!”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

4 Jul

happy_birthday_america

On America’s birthday why not support a company that is not only American but also environmentally conscious. All Shifman Mattresses are handmade in the USA and are also GREEN! And no, I don’t mean the color. Shifman Mattresses are made with as many natural ingredients as possible and are two sided, which means they’ll last much longer. Being “green” isn’t just a fad for the Newark based mattress company. Shifman, established in 1893, was green before being green was “in”. Take a look at all the goodies packed in a Shifman mattress and see why these American made, two-sided mattresses are not only good for you but the earth as well.

cotton plant

All-Natural Cotton:

Shifman mattresses are handcrafted with the finest apparel-grade, all-natural cotton available. Cotton is more breathable than man-made, synthetic materials and helps to wick moisture away from the body. Because of this, mattresses made with cotton will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Shifman uses up to 83 pounds of cotton in their mattresses. Cotton lasts considerably longer than alternative materials such as polyfoam and is also safer for the environment. Shifman mattresses are also built with two sides and made to last longer than their one-sided counterparts. A mattress that lasts longer means that a consumer will use less mattresses in their lifetime. Therefore, sleeping on a two-sided Shifman, filled with all-natural cotton, contributes to reduced landfill waste.

Premium Recycled Steel:

Recycled metal reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses less energy than metal made from virgin ore. Fifty-six percent of energy is saved by using recycled steel versus making it and Shifman uses this recycled steel in each of its mattress innersprings and boxsprings. Premium recycled steel innersprings and boxsprings provide shock absorption support and increased comfort and durability. Shifman mattresses use different gauges of these recycled steel coils, which enables the customer to have a wide range of firmness options.

Canadian Spruce:

Shifman’s handmade premium boxsprings are framed with only superior-grade Canadian spruce, which are sourced from sustainable managed forests that adhere to the strictest environmental guidelines. Canadian spruce is extremely durable and also has a high strength to weight ratio making it perfect for a bed frame that you sleep on night after night, year after year.

In addition to these natural materials, high thread count Belgian damask and matelasse fabrics, wool, Talalay latex, Italian twine, cashmere and pashmina are also incorporated into many Shifman designs. Combined, these elements increase the life span of a Shifman mattress and reduce the carbon footprint.

 Canadian Spruce

Give your country the perfect birthday present and sleep natural. Sleep on a Shifman.

Capture

Up, Up and AWAY!

11 Jun

il_570xN.370110578_1hp1It’s summer and the vacation season has started, which means that you are more than likely in the midst of booking your flight to some getaway location. Perhaps you are planning a wine tasting tour of Italy, a scenic safari through the dunes of Dubai, or maybe even a trip to the beach in Tahiti to soak up the sun. No matter where the destination, don’t let your lack of sleep ruin it. After all, summer vacations are supposed to be all about fun and relaxation, right? One of the most common summertime sleep disorders is jet lag. Jet lag is a sleep disorder that can cause fatigue, disorientation, impaired concentration, lack of appetite, gastrointestinal disturbances, and headaches. It is brought on after traveling huge distances, across several time zones, and can last for days. What causes jet lag? Jet lag happens because rapid travel throws off your body’s natural rhythm or biological clock. “Cues such as light exposure, mealtimes, social engagement, and activities regulate our circadian rhythm,” says Allison T. Siebern, PhD, a fellow in the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center. “When you cross time zones, it disrupts those, and your internal clock and the external times are desynchronized. Your body needs to get on the rhythm of the new time zone.” How can you get away from home and still enjoy your vacation without the dreaded effects of jet lag? Here are a few tips to get you through those summertime, traveling blues.

1. Pre-flight tips:

  • About a week before your trip, slowly start to shift your sleeping and eating schedule to match that of your vacation spot. This will help your body cope with the time change.
  • Make sure that all of your trip preparations are done well ahead of time. You do not want to be stressed right before your trip. Stress can cause your body to produce more adrenaline, which prevents you from sleeping.
  • Make sure that you get plenty of sleep the night before your journey. You want to be well rested since getting quality sleep on a plane can prove difficult for most travelers.

2. All aboard! In flight tips:

  • Change your watch to match your destination’s time zone as soon as you board your flight. “This is mostly psychological,” says Siebern, “but it helps you get into the mind-set of what you’ll be doing in the place where you’re going.” Mimic the time of day at your destination location. If it is nighttime at your destination then sleep and if it is daytime then try to stay awake. This, along with resetting your watch, will help your mind and body prepare for the new time zone.
  • Hydration is key. Make sure to drink plenty of water right before your flight and during your flight. Airplanes are often dry atmospheres, which aid in dehydration. Dehydration can actually cause the same symptoms as jet lag and can add to the fatigue, loss of energy, and headaches that you feel.
  • Minimize sleep distractions. If you are a light sleeper make sure to pack earplugs or headphones, a sleep mask, a pillow, and a blanket for your flight.

3. You’re finally there! Make sure the first day is dedicated to getting your body on track so you can enjoy the rest of your vacation.

  • Watch your food and liquid consumption. Alcohol, caffeine, and large or spicy meals can interfere with a good nights sleep so avoid these your first day in your new location.
  • Make sure that when you are ready to go to sleep that all incoming light in your new location is silenced. Close your curtains, or blinds, and turn off electronics. Light has a direct effect on the body by signaling your brain to wake up and actually stops the body’s production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which responds to darkness.

Vacation is supposed to be a break from the real world. Don’t let the jet lag interfere! Start planning now so that your vacation will be a true trip to paradise.

COTTON: The Superior Upholstery Material

27 Jun

In our modern society, we are often inundated with a series of national fads which seem to be less of a necessity and more of a trendy antic. Just recently, I stumbled upon a new product that helps keep people cool while they sleep. It’s a fan that literally clips to the foot of your bed and tucks in between your sheets to blow air onto your body.

Now aside from this techno-fad being a complete eye sore, there’s something about this product that gives me cold feet (no, not literally… wait, yes literally). This fan is merely a solution to a problem that could be entirely avoided if the mattress was made from breathable materials.

Enter Cotton: our knight in shining armor.

Cotton’s first introduction into mattress production was back in the early 18th century. Since then, cotton has been a staple of quality, resiliency and most importantly, comfort. What makes cotton a truly remarkable fill material is its breathability. The molecular structure of cotton allows air to permeate through it more efficiently than other upholstery materials. Because cotton is a natural fiber, there are small spaces between each fiber. In addition, cotton has a better absorption capacity than its synthetic counterparts which also helps with its breathability. Again, this is due to cotton’s biological makeup. According to chemists, cotton is a hydrophilic, meaning cotton naturally attracts water.

If you’re confused by all the bio-talk… think of it like this: there is a reason why your bath towels are made of cotton.

At any rate, in the same way that cotton’s molecular structure makes it breathable, other bedding materials can make you overheat at night. Memory foam, which is a type of polyurethane foam, has a closed cell structure which reduces airflow. The tighter the cell structure, the less air flows through the foam and the more you overheat.

The use of cotton has been traced as far back as 5000 BC. Natural cotton is not only versatile, it’s long lasting. Cotton is breathable and draws moisture away from you. Additionlly, it’s biodegradable and therefore good for the environment.

From gel to latex, from polyfoam to air, bedding manufacturers are always looking for the next best thing. But sacrificing old world techniques for new and seemingly improved technology does not always produce the best results. Endeavors like this lead to unhappy consumers. Unhappy consumers look for a quick fix. And that is why new fad products like mattress fans are created.

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