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Are You Sure Your Bedroom is The Best Setting for Your Sleep?

Are You Sure Your Bedroom is The Best Setting for Your Sleep?

The bedroom used to be a place where you would simply turn in at the end of the day and not visit again till the next night. These days we’ve turned them into full entertainment centers with T.V’s, phones and tablets all thrown into the mix.

If you’re not making your bedroom the best setting for your sleep you may be neglecting yourself the true restorative rest that you need and deserve.

How Sleep Enhances Your Health & Productivity

There’s no other way around it, sleep is the true way to repair and rejuvenate your body. When you deprive your body sleep you’re basically telling it that some sort of external trauma must be happening or other wise you would be asleep. This brings stress hormones into play specifically cortisol.

When stress hormones are elevated over the long term they can cause a lot of pretty nasty effects in the body including:

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  • Anxiety
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Digestive disorders
  • Depression
  • Immune system dysfunction

This is only scratching the surface as stress really hammers your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re not sleeping because of some disaster or enviornmental trauma or you’ve just been up all night watching a House Hunters marathon your body will respond with this increase in stress hormones.

When you do start to sleep better you can see all areas of your health improve. You begin to have stronger immunity, less pain, better memory and improved cognitive function that can lead to better productivity.

How Your Environment Affects Your Sleep

Our environments affect so much of our lives and you might not always be aware of that. There are many factors that impact our ability to get decent sleep including:

  • Temperature
  • Noise
  • Light
  • Bed comfort
  • Electronic distractions

Even just the occasional car honk can cause more sleep disruption than continuous noise. Studies have found that people who live in an urban areas may actually be chronically sleep deprived.

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Key Elements That Create An Ideal Bedroom For Sleep

As I mentioned earlier the mistake most people make is turning their bedroom into an entertainment center that lights up more than Times Square. It may seem boring but a bedroom should not be a pretty simple set up to optimize sleep. Here are 5 key elements you’ll want to focus on.

    1. Lighting

    If you can get dimming lights that makes it easier to decrease the brightness later into the day. If you don’t have this you’ll want to turn off overhead lights and just use a small bedside lamp with a soft glowing bulb. You don’t need to turn your room into the red light district but the warmer the bulb glow the more conducive to sleep it will be.

    2. Curtains

    You want to get your room as dark as possible. Darkness stimulates melatonin production in the brain and the more it’s exposed to light the more melatonin is suppressed. This is why avoiding electronics late in the day is important as they emit blue light which prevents this melatonin release.

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    Your best bet is to get blackout curtains which a lot of hotels use to eliminate outside light. You can usually find these at places like Walmart or on Amazon. They also can help block out sound which is important for better sleep.

    3. Room Color

    You want to create a sense of calmness and color can help with that. Before we talk about colors this is why you may be better off removing things like computers or exercise equipment from your room if you have them. These things tend to not be related with being calm and you want to avoid reminders of stress. Color wise the most soothing type colors to create a good environment include:

    • Lavender
    • Pale grey
    • Cool blue
    • Aqua
    • Pale pink
    • Beige

    4. Temperature

    It may seem appealing to have a warm room as that may make your drowsy to sleep better but that’s actually not an ideal temperature. Your room should be on the cool side. Your body temperature naturally drops as your drift off to sleep so keeping a cooler room can help jump start the process, make it easier to fall asleep, and help you get a deeper sleep.

    Sleep experts say your room should be 5-10 degrees cooler than you average daytime temperature. If you need a simpler rule to follow your sheets should feel cool to the touch when you first lie down on them.

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    5. Mattress

    There are so many options out there for mattresses and while you may want to go for the most super soft one you can find your best bet for ideal sleep is still a medium-firm mattress or a firm one with a softer “pillow top”. This will help give your spine the ideal balance of support and cushioning.

    You spend a third of your life asleep so it’s in your best interest to create the best sleep environment possible to help achieve this. Hopefully here you’ve learned why you don’t want to neglect your sleep and also ways that you can create that ideal bedroom to make it happen.

    More by this author

    Jamie Logie

    Jamie is a personal trainer and health coach with a degree in Kinesiology and Food and Nutrition.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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