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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.

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    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 January 11, 2021

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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    2. Stress Relief

    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Improved Sleep

    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

    4. Appetite Control

    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

    7. Mosquito Repellant

    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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    8. Pain Relief

    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

    9. The New Anti-Viral

    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

    10. Improved Cognitive Function

    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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    11. Money Saving

    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

    Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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