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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 17, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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