Friday, August 4, 2017

How to Become a Morning Person



How to Become a Morning Person

Rise and shine to a new, energetic you!
In a perfect world, we’d all be morning people. Everyone would wake up refreshed, energized and ready to own the day. Obviously, this isn’t the case. Between hectic morning routines, long work hours and chores galore – many of us just want the morning to disappear.

We go to bed with the best intentions: to wake up with enough time to enjoy breakfast, catch up on a show or go for a run. But those intentions slip away when 6 am rings and we crawl under the pillow for just a few more minutes of zzzs.

We know this is going to sound shocking but mornings can be the best part of your day. Seriously. You crave coffee but your mornings can be a haven of productivity, solitude and enjoyment. How, you ask? With our 8 steps to leaving your night owl ways behind and becoming a morning person.

Step 1 – Get more snooze time
Easier said than done. Not only do we wish for more sleep – our minds and bodies need 7 to 9 hours each night. You may think you’re too busy to fit in time between the sheets but consider the health consequences of sleep deprivation. This isn’t pretty, folks.

Instead of sacrificing sleep, create a sleep routine that’s realistic and doable – every night. Your future self will thank you.

Step 2 – Set up a soothing nighttime environment
Before jumping into bed, create a relaxing bedroom environment so shutting your eyes is simpler and more enjoyable. Sip some tea or read a book (with actual pages) to declutter your mind for sleep. Whatever you do, make sure it’s calming and something that can be repeated every night.

Over time, your body will adjust to your nighttime routine and it’ll be second nature to you

Step 3 – Goodbye gadgets
This comes up time and time again when it comes to sleeping better – the bedroom is no place for electronic devices. If this sounds too drastic, eliminate the ones you can live without and set turn-off times for the rest. Don’t let the screen be the last thing you see before falling asleep. That blue light is a sleep killer.  

Although you might want to catch up on Orange is the New Black while relaxing in bed, it’ll be hard for your brain to transition to sleep afterward. Trust us on this one. Restrict your screen contact to 1 hour before bed.

Step 4 – Tired? Go to bed
Most of us are creatures of habit and wander off to bed at the same time each night. When we have an exhausting day and are physically drained, we ignore our brains signaling sleep because it’s not our scheduled bedtime. Don’t ignore your body – if you feel tired, get some shut-eye.

Step 5 – Avoid the snooze
If you wake up feeling groggy, even after plenty of sleep, it’s because a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle has been disrupted. Our deepest sleep usually lasts between 70 and 90 minutes, and this is the point in the sleep cycle where we dream. When REM sleep is disrupted, grogginess and disorientation can occur. When your alarm rings, try to allow yourself to wake slowly instead of drifting back to sleep.

Step 6 – Get moving
When it’s time to wake up, leave your tranquil bed ASAP. Even if it’s just walking around your bedroom or brushing your teeth, it’s important to get moving. When you lay in bed, even just checking emails, you’re allowing yourself to let the grogginess to take over, which can lead to a grumpy start to the day.

Step 7 – Work out
Don’t roll your eyes at this one – we’re serious! Doing a quick workout, such as yoga or a short jog will release toxins from your body and get you going for the day. Doing it first thing in the morning will energize you for a productive day and prepare you for a good night’s sleep when it’s time to go back to bed.  

Step 8 – Look forward
All work and no play, makes for a blah week. Plan for productivity but schedule fun things into your week so it’s not all work. Give yourself a reason to get out of bed each morning, focusing on what you love about the day ahead, not the must-dos.

The morning is the new YOU
If you’re a night owl, waking up early and enjoying mornings is an acquired taste. The good news is that small changes over time can create a new you that’s happy, energetic and positive, from the moment you open your eyes at first light.

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Sleep

Summer Sleep

Summer is here and while that may mean many things (vacations, cookouts and fun in the sun), it also means that many folks aren’t sleeping well due to being just too hot.
 
Studies show there is an ideal temperature for sleep and when the temp rises above that point, sleeping can get fragmented. When you’re too hot in bed, you won’t stay in the deep restorative stages of sleep and will dream less. This is not good for the body or your brain!
 
Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to help stay cool at night. For starters, avoid excessive heat building up in the bedroom during the day – keep windows and blinds closed. An air-conditioned bedroom is best but remember heat rises so a bedroom on a lower floor will tend to be cooler if you don’t have AC. A few other easy tips:
  • Drink water before bed
  • Wear moisture wicking or light pajamas and bedclothes
  • Run a fan
  • Try showering before bedtime
  • Postpone late-night physical outdoor activities
And of course, one of the easiest things you can do is change your sheets. Sometimes high thread count sheets don’t allow for maximum breathability and may reflect heat back to your body. Bamboo or Tencel sheets are wonderful to help regulate the surface temperature of the bed.
 
At Cranes we carry a selection of both the Tencel and the Bamboo sheets for order at $20 off the regular pricing.  Stop in today for our 4th of July Sale!  With Storewide Savings, it's a Great time to buy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Art of the Power Nap



The Art of the Power Nap

May the force (of a nap) be with you
 A short 20-minute nap has more power than all the caffeine you can drink in 20 minutes. Believe it or not? The truth is that the power nap can reset your system, provide a burst of alertness, increase your motor performance and give you that spurt of energy you’ve been searching for. Bet your favorite energy drink can’t do all that – without interfering with your sleep later at night!

But when’s the best time for us to grab all this napping goodness? Experts say the most optimal time for a nap is mid-day between 1pm and 3pm. Try to squeeze in a nap after 4pm and you’ll throw off your night time sleep schedule and reduce your sleep quality.

Ready to ask your boss for a scheduled naptime during work hours?  If only we could be so lucky.

Nap times
There are a variety of nap times to choose from that can help your energy and brain functions in different ways. According to WebMD, these are the naptime breakdowns:

·         20-minute nap – Good for alertness and motor skills such as typing or playing the piano.
·         30 to 60-minute nap – Good for decision making skills, like memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions.
·         60 to 90-minute nap – Helps in making new connections in the brain and with solving creative problems.
·         Sleep inertia – If you need a quick burst of energy, don’t nap longer than 40 minutes. You may enter a deep sleep, which can leave you feeling drowsy, groggy and generally worse off than before you took a nap. Determine what you need from your nap and plan how long you want to snooze.
Nap tricks
Some people have a hard time taking naps, but following these nap tips can make it easier to catch a quick snooze when you need it.

·         Be consistent – Keep a regular nap schedule to train your body to be ready to nap around the same times every day.
·         Make it quick – Set the alarm on your phone for 30 minutes or less so you don’t risk over sleeping and waking up groggy instead of rejuvenated.
·         Use music – Create a relaxation playlist to help your mind know it’s time to rest.
·         Go dark – Blocking out the light helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Nap in a dark room or wear an eye mask.
·         Stay warm – Your body temperature drops while you snooze so be sure to keep blankets nearby to stay cozy.
To drink coffee or to take a nap?
A very difficult question to ponder when you have the whole day in front of you and you really need energy – should you trust coffee to do the job? The experts say taking a short nap is more beneficial than coffee. Caffeine can decrease your brains memory performance, gets you more wired than energized and you risk making more mistakes.

If you do feel the need for that extra caffeine boost, take a shot of espresso (or drink a cool cup of coffee) before you lay down for your 20 minute power nap. Coffee takes approx. 20 minutes to travel through your system and can provide a little kick when you’re waking from your nap. Coffee can affect your quality of sleep at night so consider shutting off the coffee stream before 2 pm. Lasting energy comes from the combination of quality sleep and regular napping.

The art of napping gives a whole new meaning to daydreams. Tell us your favorite place to nap – we would love to hear from you!



Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.