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Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home

Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home

Are you a late sleeper? Do you enjoy staying longer in bed on weekends? I most certainly do. There’s nothing better than that. By the various researchers, sleep affects the quality of our lives drastically. We spend almost one-third of our lives in the bedroom sleeping, relaxing, and enjoying. It would be smart to examine this room and spend some time improving it. Even though I enjoy sleeping, I wasn’t paying attention on my bedroom that much. Until recently, when I got a comment that it isn’t looking “as tidy as it might be.”

It made me think about it, and start researching about bedroom improvement, and the impact it has on our lives. A bedroom should be a relaxing environment, arranged in a practical manner, making it a perfect sanctuary of your own. Shouldn’t you deserve to sleep in an environment that contributes to sweet dreams and relaxation?

A bad layout and old, somewhat-comfortable furniture won’t make you feel rested and full of energy – often it might be the opposite. We all know the importance of sleep and the consequences of bad sleeping habits. Let’s have a makeover of our bedrooms, and improve our lives!

The bedroom layout

bedroom

    First things first. For achieving the optimal bedroom design, it’s important to understand the layout of the room. Before trying to redecorate your old furniture or buy a new one, you’ll need to consider the room size and setup. Take a good look at walls length and window placement and write the information on a sheet of paper – it will help you determine how to arrange the furniture.

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    It is recommended to measure the furniture and visualize the most suitable place for it, leaving enough space for drawers and cabinets to open properly. Of course, you need additional space to walk around without any obstacles. When it comes to picking a suitable spot for your bed, you should consider all the windows and walls in the room. Try to leave as enough space as possible on the wall side, especially if you share it with your partner for it will enable her or him to approach that side of the bed without having to jump over and distress you. To wrap it all up, here is the list of things you should consider regarding the layout of your bedroom:

    • Measurement of the walls
    • Placement of the windows, doors and closets
    • Measurement of the furniture and shelves
    • Positioning of the bed
    • Placement of wall outlets, switches, and telephone jacks

    Take measurements and gather all the data following this list, and try some imaginary layouts, or make a drawing of your room plan, where you’ll try the layout on paper. Remember, a particular paper layout might look perfect, but when you set the bedroom following that scheme, it might not look as good. Be creative, and try out variations until you find the perfect one.

    Replacing your old bed

    bedroom - replacing the bed

      Changing a bed can be a risky and pricey task. To figure out which bed suits your needs the best, you’ll need to analyze the one that you currently have; it’s size and style, type of mattress, its condition. Are you really satisfied with your bed or the change is necessary? Or is it just boredom and you are simply looking for something refreshing and new? Here are some tips on what you should consider while choosing a new bed for your resting sanctuary:

      Which type of mattress?

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      mattress

        When it comes to mattresses, choosing the right one can seem quite difficult at first glance. Every mattress has a different name and purpose, and every owner will praise his own mattress saying it’s different or better. To find the best mattress for yourself, you need to look for the shops where you can try the product in your home for 30 days. Things get more complicated if you suffer from back pain.

        You’ll have to consider that even a new mattress can cause this type of discomfort, and sleeping on the wrong one can make things even worse. Waking up with back pain is more common than you might think, so it is recommended to find the suitable mattress for back pain relief. A good choice will help you fight the back pain and impact the quality of your life significantly.

        Invest in quality

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          When it comes to the sleeping bed, where you’ll spend 1/3 of your every day, don’t be cheap. Familiarize with the quality and do some research because it’s important to choose a bed that’s going to last for a number of years and, at the same time, provide you the comfort that you deserve. Here’s more interesting info on getting the best bed for your bedroom.

          The atmosphere

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          bedroom - atmoshpere

            Most of the people find it hard to relax in a chaotic environment. Having too much furniture, an unmade bed or color of the walls that doesn’t suit your taste anymore can make the bedroom experience bad. All you have to do is to make the surrounding of the room more appealing. These changes can be small but very efficient.

            Improve the atmosphere

            Think about the light. If your bed is not facing the window, move it so that sunlight can wake you up in the morning. Also, add photographs of your friends or family on the night table, or piece of art on the wall. If you like a romantic atmosphere, put scented candles in the bedroom. Make sure that furniture fits the room. In a small room, the bulky bed will make space look uninviting, crowded and smaller than it is.

            What about the colors?

            Both your furniture and your walls need to be in matching colors. The combinations will impact the quality of your sleep and the time you’ll spend there. Here’s more info on choosing colors for your bedroom and their impact on your life.

            No electronics

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              Remove the TV, any tablets, laptops and other electronic equipment from the bedroom. Checking emails, texting and making phone calls can generate stress. Put television in the living room where you can watch it with your family during the day.

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              Work should stay out of the bedroom, so there is no need to take the laptop in bed. It is known that the blue light emitted from electronic devices inhibit melatonin production which results in poor sleep quality.

              Think about the air

              For the comfort and better sleep, fresh and moisture–free air is crucial. Flowers and plants like rubber tree plant or Aloe Vera are great choices for the bedroom. They purify the air and make a relaxing atmosphere. For a one step further, you can use a dehumidifier. They come in different sizes, shapes, and designs so it won’t be hard to find the one that suits your needs. For example, you can use one with smaller capacity only for a bedroom or larger one for the entire house or apartment. Here’s more on picking the best dehumidifier for your bedroom.

              A perfect bedroom will change your life

                When you take care of every detail in your bedroom, it might look like something like this. Or like something completely different. It all depends on your taste and preference. Make sure that your choice of bed and the mattress is right because the primary purpose of the bedroom isn’t to look good by all means but to provide you a good night sleep. Try to have natural source of light, fresh and low-moisture air.

                It might seem daunting now, but in the end, it will pay off.

                Trust me, I’ve been there, and done that.

                Now, it’s time to sleep in my new, improved bedroom. Good night!

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                Last Updated on June 15, 2018

                What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

                What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

                Eight out of ten adults experience lower back pain once in their lifetime. I am one of those people and I’m definitely not looking forward to my participation award. I know how it feels like to step out of bed and barely being able to put on your socks. Having lower back pain sucks. But 9 out of 10 patients that suffer from lower back pain don’t even know the primary cause of it.

                Video Summary

                Back Pain? Blame Our Evolution

                Once upon a time in our fairly recent past, our ancestors felt the urgency to stand up and leave our quadruped neighbors behind. Habitual bipedalism, fancy word for regularly walking on two legs, came with a lot of advantages. With two rear limbs instead of four, we were able to more efficiently use our hands and create tools with them.

                Sadly, life on two legs also brought along its disadvantages. Our spine had four supporting pillars previously, but now it only got two. The back is therefore naturally one of the weak links of our human anatomy. Our spine needs constant support from its supporting muscles to minimize the load on the spine. With no muscle support (tested on dead bodies) the back can only bear loads up to 5 pounds without collapsing [reference Panjabi 1989]. With well-developed torso muscles, the spine can take loads up to 2000 pounds. That’s a 400-fold increase.

                Most people that come to me with a history of a herniated disc (that’s when the discs between the vertebral bodies are fully collapsed, really severe incident), tell me the ‘story of the pencil’. The injury with the following severe pain usually gets triggered by picking up a small, everyday object. Such as a pencil. Not as you may think by trying to lift 100 pounds – no, but by a simple thing – such as a pencil.

                This tells us that damage in your back adds up over time, it’s a so called cumulative trauma disorder. Meaning back pain is a result of your daily habits.

                Sitting Is the New Smoking

                Whenever I sit for too long, my back hurts. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience lower back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. But isn’t sitting something that should reduce the stress of your back? No, just the opposite.

                The joints between the bones of the spine are not directly linked to the blood supply. These joints instead get nourished through a process called diffusion. Diffusion works because molecules (such as oxygen, important for cells) are constantly moving and try to get as much space for themselves as they can. A key element for diffusion therefore is a pressure difference. In the image below the left room contains more moving molecules than the right, that’s why the molecules from the left are moving to the right. This way nutrition gets transformed into the joints, whereas toxins are transported out of the joints.

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                Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spinal chord. The diffusion process therefore can’t function as efficiently. Nutrition and toxins can’t be properly transported, the joints get damaged.

                  Sit Properly

                  If sitting can play such a huge part in the creation of your lower back pain, how do you sit properly then?

                  Is it better to sit with a straight back or should you rather lay back in your chair? Can I cross my legs when I’m sitting or should I have a symmetrical position with my feet? These are questions that I hear on a daily basis. The answer might shock you – according to recent science – all of them are right. The best sitting position is an ever-changing one. An ever-changing position minimizes the pressure on certain points of your spine and spreads it on the whole part.

                    Credit: StayWow

                    Stand Up More

                    Even better than a sitting position is a stand up position. Standing dramatically reduces the pressure on your spine. If you’re forced to work on a desk the whole day though, you have two options.

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                    Take breaks every hour of about 2-3 minutes.

                    Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour! In that time you stand up and reach to the ceiling, on your toe tips with fully extended arms. You’re inhaling during the whole process. You do this activity for 20 seconds. Afterwards you’re walking through the office for the next 2 minutes. You might grab a healthy snack or some water in that time. The exercise relieves the pressure on your spine, while the walking makes sure that the joints on your spine are properly used.

                    Or get a standing desk.

                    One of the best companies on the market for Standing Desks, according to my research, is Autonomous. Autonomous offers a rather cheap Standing Desk, with the ability to change the height. Which means you can start the day standing and switch to sitting if you’re tired.

                    Exercise for Lower Back Pain

                    Sitting is an immobile position. Your joints are made for movement and therefore need movement to function properly. If humans are moving, all moving parts: e.g. the joints, bones and muscles get strengthened. If you’re in a rested position for too long, your tissues start to deteriorate. You have to get the right amount of activity in.

                    But not too much activity. There’s a chance that going to the gym may even increase your risk of lower back pain. I know plenty of friends with chiseled bodies that suffer from pain in the spine regularly. Huge muscles do not prevent you from back pain. In your training you should focus on building up the muscles that are stabilizing your back and relieve pressure. Squats with 400 pounds don’t do the trick.

                    The more weight you carry around, the more weight your spinal chord has to bear on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why huge, muscular guys can suffer from back pain too. One of the most important goals of your exercise regimen should therefore be weight loss.

                    Here are some important tips for you to consider when starting an exercise regimen:

                    Make sure you implement cardiovascular training in your workout routine.

                    This will not only help you lose weight, it will also make sure that your arteries, which flow to the tissue next to your spinal discs, are free of placque and can therefore transport nutrients properly.

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                    Important: If you have rather strong back pain, maybe even an herniated disc, don’t start running on a threadmill. Running is an high-impact exercise. Which means there are continuous, reocurring high pressure points on your spine. Your endurance training should therefore either be fast-paced walking or a training on the elliptical trainer for the beginning, because both have little to no stressful impact on your backbone.

                    Focus on developing your whole core if you want to minimize your pain.

                    There are some people that do hundreds of sit ups a day. While sit ups are a good exercise for your abdomen, it also puts pressure on your spine due to the bending movement. A sixpack workout routine is one-sided. Your abs may become overdeveloped in comparison to your back muscles. You’ve created an imbalance. A great way to train your abdominal muscles and back muscles simultaneously, is holding the plank position.

                    Stretch only if you have tight muscles.

                    I remember stretching every morning after I woke up. I took 10 minutes out of my day to just work on my flexibility and prevent injuries. Little did I know that I was actually promoting an injury, by doing so.

                    Contrary to common belief, stretching is only partially beneficial to treating lower back pain. Stretching makes sense if tight muscles (such as the hamstrings) are forcing you to constantly bend your back. Stretching to treat pain doesn’t make sense if you’re already on a good level of flexibility. Hyper-mobility may even enforce back pain.

                    If you found out that you had tight muscles that you need to stretch, try to stretch them at least three times a week. Don’t stretch your muscles right after you wake up in the morning. This is because your spinal discs soak themselves up in fluid over the nighttime. Every bending and excessive loads on your spine is much worse in that soaked-up state. Postpone your stretching regime to two-to three hours after you’ve woken up.

                    Where to Start

                    The key to improving your habits is awareness. Try to get aware of your back while you’re sitting down, laying down or lifting an object next time. This awareness of your body is called proprioception. For example, you have to be aware whether your back is bended or straight in this very second. Trust me, it is harder than you might think. You may need to ask a friend for the first few tries. But the change that this awareness can make in your back pain is absolutely fascinating. This consciousness of your body is one of the most important things in your recovery or prevention.

                    Here are a few behavioural tactics that you need to be considering:

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                    If you’re leaning forward more than 30 degrees with your upper body, support your spine with your arms.

                    Ever tried to show a colleague of yours a complex issue and found yourself awkwardly leaning forward on their desk, pointing with your fingers to his paper? If that ever happens again, make sure you’re using the not-pointing arm to support yourself on the desk.

                    Keep a straight back.

                    Be it while exercising, stretching or standing. If you’re bending your back you’re putting stress on small areas of your spinal chord. A straight back redistributes the force to a bigger area. You’re minimizing the pressure. Remember this whenever you’re at the gym and reracking your weights, focus on having a neutral spine.

                    Put symmetrical loads on your spine.

                    I used to play the trumpet when I was a child. The instrument is pretty heavy. The trumpet gets transported in a big, metallic suitcase – with no wheels. Being the nature of suitcases, you only carry it with one arm, on one side of your body. This forced me to constantly lean on the other side with my upper body, while transporting the instrument from A to B. Not really the healthiest activity for your spine as you can imagine.

                    If you have to carry heavy objects, carry them with both arms. Put the object in the middle of your body and keep it as close to your mass of gravity as you can. If this is not possible, try to carry the same amount on the left side than you do on the right side. This puts the stress vertically on a fully extended spine. The load is much better bearable for your spine.

                    Stay Away From the Back Pain League

                    Our world is getting more sedentary. We will continue to develop faster transportation, more comfortable houses and easier lives. While our technological progress definitely has its amazing benefits, it sadly has its downsides too. The danger for back pain will continue to rise on our ever-increasing motionless planet. It’s time to raise awareness.

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