Whether it’s time spent sweating in the gym, or time spent chasing the kids around the house, you probably get at least a little exercise in every day. While you’ve probably heard a plethora of reasons why you should be exercising daily, you may not know that it’s also really great for your sleep. Here are a few reasons why, and some tips on how you can make the best use of your exercise to get an awesome night’s sleep (and vice versa!).
The vigorous cycle
Research shows that when you exercise, you sleep longer and feel more rested upon waking. Even those who get a light amount of exercise report getting more high-quality sleep than those who get no exercise. Getting the right amount of sleep, in turn, gives you greater energy the next day, giving you the ability to exercise to your full po
A quick prediction: tonight, you will get into your PJs, shut off the bedroom light, snuggle beneath the blankets, and pull out your phone just one more time for the day so you can see what your friends have been up to, check up on the news, or just scroll through your feed and laugh at something funny. Eerily accurate (or at least pretty close), right?
No crystal ball needed! Chances are, if it’s not your phone, it’s a tablet, or a television, or maybe even an e-reader; an overwhelming majority of people today, of all ages, just love to see a screen before sleep. Just like electric lighting and the alarm clock, our entertainment and communication devices provide us with much-needed innovation and increased adaptability, while, at the same time, creating another barrier between us and getting our best sleep.
Yes, we’re sure you’ve heard it before: screens are no good for sleep. But, we’d like to tell you exact
Has something been keeping you from getting your best sleep? Unsure of what you can do to fix it? We’ve listed out the most common sleep interruptions here along with some possible solutions, for your reference.
So you’re a parent and your kid(s) interrupt your sleep. Now, this one falls under the slightly uncontrollables of sleep: they’re your kids, after all! If you find your child (or children) are making their way into your room at night, there are many ways of handling this, and no one right way. You might end up spending a few years with a small human kicking, punching, and cuddling you through the night. You might take up st
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night kicking off the blankets and feeling like someone turned your bedroom into a sauna? You might remember feeling all warm and cozy when you were getting into bed, but somehow during the night the heat just became too much. No, it’s not your body trying to play a trick on you—it’s actually just trying to tell you that it sleeps best in a colder room. Let’s look at the “why” behind this unique sleep factor, and some tips for getting your bedtime feeling juuust right.
Why your body likes it cold at night
In his book Why We Sleep, renowned sleep scientist Matthew Walker explains the connection between an evening drop in temperature and your body drifting easily into sleep: there are a group of thermosensitive cells that sit in the center of y
Picture this: You fly from New York to Los Angeles on Friday night and start adjusting to Pacific time. On Sunday night, you catch a red eye and abruptly fly back to the east coast: where waking up at 7 a.m. for a Monday morning meeting feels like 4 a.m. to your body. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it?
Well, if you’re like a lot of people, this is exactly what your body is being put through every time you stay up late on the weekends and then try to adjust to a 9-to-5 schedule on Monday. This concept is called “social jetlag” because it’s often a result of socializing on the weekends, and the impacts of chronic fatigue and drowsiness very closely resemble jetlag.
Our bodies crave consistency, and so they’ll try to esta
If you’ve ever broken a bone or had a serious surgery, you know that a doctor’s prescription will often include intensive bed rest. While this sounds like the easiest advice in the world to take, the reality is usually the opposite.
As it turns out, being confined to your bed (or couch) for a long period of time can start to feel like its own sort of fluffy prison, and the last thing you end up feeling is rested. Spending all day lying down can turn into too much of a good thing, leaving you itching for activity and the outdoors. Add to this the discomfort resulting from your wound, and you’ve got the perfect formula for restlessness and a bad night’s sleep.
However, it’s important not to get discouraged and just give up on getting the sleep that you need, as getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important for your recovery. When you get a full night’s sleep, one of the stages your sleep proceeds th
While traveling can be an adventure, exposing us to new places and experiences, it can also be a rough time for our sleep. Leaving the familiar rhythm of our time zone opens us up to jet lag, which can keep us up late into the night or have us sleeping long past the start of business hours (check out our post full of awesome jet lag-beating tips written by a doctor of neurobiology and behavior here). Apart from jet lag, though, there’s one other source of discomfort we run into when traveling—the unpredictability of our unfamiliar sleeping environment.
Few things make falling asleep more difficult than being in a new place, in a new bed, and trying to force yourself to be as comfortable as you usually are at home. It’s really not a problem that we think about until we find ourselves in this situation, but the comfort of our
Sleep interruptions can be a frustrating part of the transition to menopause. Not only is this time of life busy and full—you might have an active career, kids going off to college, aging parents, and endless things to juggle—sleep interruptions make everything harder.
With 75% of women experiencing night sweats and some women experiencing symptoms for up to 14 years, it’s worth taking stock of how to sleep better during this time.
Menopause isn’t actually an event you can pinpoint while it’s happening—it’s more like a continuum, with its official classification being one year without periods. Thus, women don’t know until it’s complete that they’ve hit menopause. Instead, “perimenopause” is used to refer to the transition of shorter cycles and skipped periods. Most women in the U.S. will reach menopause between ages 51 and 52 years old.
But, if you’re currently experiencing the hot flashes, the nigh
Ahh, winter. That most contentious of seasons. Seems to be, you either love it or hate it, and a lot of that just has to do with perspective. For instance, some see freshly-fallen snow and are awestruck by beauty—others think about how rough traffic will be in the morning. Some people hear Christmas music back on the radio and are immediately filled with holiday cheer—while other would prefer nails on a chalkboard.
But there are some side effects of winter time that nobody is fond of, and one of those is the sleepy, sluggish, can’t-get-out-of-bed feeling which sort of feels like an urge to hibernate. It’s a feeling most of us could do without, and it actually can be harmful to a healthy night of sleep. Here’s some of the sluggish “hibernation” habits we tend to fall into, and how you can beat them in order to get your best sleep possible.