Weekends are made for sleeping in. You wake up when the mood strikes and you enjoy a slow-paced relaxing morning, maybe reading the paper, drinking coffee, lounging in bed. Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, which means that we will need to set our clocks back at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Many people set their clocks back Saturday night before bed so they are able to get an “extra” hour of sleep. But is this the best method to adjust to the time change?
Our bodies have a natural clock that is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain. It generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours. According to Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland, “Our body needs a signal every day to reset it. The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours,” said Lewy. With the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles not lining up due to the time change, it can cause you to feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.
Here are 4 ways to help you adjust to the time change:
- Wake Up at a Normal Time on Sunday Morning
Many people see this time change as an excuse to stay up late on Saturday or sleep in an extra hour longer on Sunday. But sleeping in beyond your normal wake-up time can cause your body confusion and lead to you feeling out of sorts.
Try to get up at your regular time and use the extra hour for some fun family time.
- Eat Well and Exercise
An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleeping. Plan to use that extra hour to the fullest by taking a walk and then cook up a hearty and nutritious breakfast.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep on Sunday Night
Make sure your room is ready for an earlier bedtime on Sunday by making it a sleep zone. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, and leave your gadgets outside the bedroom to give you minimal distractions, ensuring you have the perfect sleeping environment.
- Be Patient
Know that your body will adjust naturally with time. It may take a few days to feel back to normal, but your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.
Remember that with the time change we will get to wake an hour earlier to the sunshine, which can be much more enjoyable in the long run.
Every night our routine is the same. We put on our cozy pajamas, wash our face, brush our teeth, and then climb into bed. But rather than close our eyes and think of all the wonderful things that happened in the day and then drift off to sleep, we grab for our smartphones or tablets and begin the scrolling marathon. We check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, Reddit, Pinterest…. the list goes on and on. Before you know it, you just spent 30 minutes in Internet land when you could have been blissfully asleep.
But thanks to a study published by the journal Preventive Medicine, we now have a compelling reason to put the phone down – and not just at bedtime.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine released findings showing that young adults who spend many hours on social media during the day or who check in frequently are more likely to experience sleep problems. The study analyzed questionnaires of 1,788 U.S. adults ages 19-32 regarding the top 11 social media platforms:
“On average, study participants spent a total of 61 minutes per day on social media and accessed their various social media accounts 30 times per week.
“Nearly 30 percent of participants reported high levels of sleep disturbance. Perhaps even more telling? The young adults who reported the highest levels of social media use on a daily basis were twice as likely to experience sleep problems and those who spent the most time on social media throughout the week were three times more likely to have problems sleeping.
‘This is one of the first pieces of evidence that social media use really can impact your sleep,’ lead author Jessica C. Levenson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt’s Department of Psychiatry, said in a statement. ‘[The findings] may indicate that frequency of social media visits is a better predictor of sleep difficulty than overall time spent on social media.’”
For the full article, click HERE.
So put down those phones, log off the Internet, and enjoy the day. Keeping your phone out of your bedroom will help set up a more restful environment. For more tips on how to set up a sleep-friendly bedroom, visit our blog Tips for Creating The Perfect Sleep Environment.
Dust is everywhere in your home, from under your bed to on your walls and, of course, on the floor. Did you know that not only is it a common allergy, but researchers have found that common household dust exposes people to harmful chemicals on a daily basis?
A team of researchers at Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University have found harmful chemicals in 90% of dust samples collected throughout the USA. As you read below, you’ll notice that flame retardants play a role in this study.
- Ten harmful chemicals are found in ninety percent of the dust samples across multiple studies, including a known cancer-causing agent called TDCIPP. This flame retardant is frequently found in furniture, baby products and other household items.
- Indoor dust consistently contains four classes of harmful chemicals in high amounts. Phthalates, substances that are used to make cosmetics, toys, vinyl flooring, and other products, were found in the highest concentration with a mean of 7,682 nanograms per gram of dust-an amount that was several orders of magnitude above the others. Phenols, chemicals used in cleaning products and other household items, were the number two highest chemical class followed by flame retardants and highly fluorinated chemicals used to make non-stick cookware.
- Chemicals from dust are likely to get into young children’s bodies. A flame retardant added to couches, baby products, electronics and other products, TCEP, had the highest estimated intake followed by four phthalates–DEP, DEHP, BBzP and DnBP. The intake numbers in this study probably underestimate the true exposure to such chemicals, which are also found in products on the drug store shelf and even in fast food the authors say.
- Phthalates such as DEP, DEHP, DNBP, and DIBP, are not only found at the highest concentrations in dust but are associated with many serious health hazards. Phthalates are thought to interfere with hormones in the body and are linked to a wide range of health issues including declines in IQ and respiratory problems in children.
- Highly fluorinated chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS are also high on the potential harm scale. These types of chemicals, which are found in cell phones, pizza boxes, and many non-stick, waterproof and stain-resistant products have been linked to numerous health problems of the immune, digestive, developmental and endocrine systems.
- Small amounts can add up. Many of the chemicals in dust are linked to the same health hazards, such as cancer or developmental and reproductive toxicity, and may be acting together. Exposure to even small amounts of chemicals in combination can lead to an amplified health risk, especially for developing infants or young children, the authors say.
For the full article, click HERE
When it comes to buying a new mattress, there are options out there to make sure you get a mattress without flame retardants. When purchasing a 100% certified OMI mattress, you get NO synthetic materials and NO flame retardants – truly certified mattresses made with only certified organic materials in a manufacturing facility that is also free from chemicals. Employees do not smoke, wear perfumes, or wash their clothes with fabric softeners. Chemical sensitivities are becoming more common, so having an option to sleep without chemicals can be a life saver. Contact your local retailer for more information on our mattresses or click HERE.
We also offer a great Wool Underpad for platform beds. This way when you flip your mattress, it is free from dust that has gathered under it.
The days are getting shorter, leaves are beginning to fall and summer is officially over. Before settling in for the season, there are many ways we can look around our homes and ensure that everything is ready for the colder months ahead.
Here are some great eco-friendly tips for Fall:
- Have your furnace inspected and cleaned.
- Replace air filters
- Clean your fireplace, to ensure maximum efficiency
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Ensure that all vents, baseboard heaters, and registers are free of obstructions so the air moves freely.
- Open the blinds during the day to attract warmth. Close them at night to retain the warmth.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. The fan should run clockwise so that is pushes the air up against the ceiling and down the walls to gently recirculate the warm air.
- Check windows for air leaks and replace the caulking, if needed.
- Ensure weather stripping around doors is in good condition and replace, as needed.
- Don’t overfill your refrigerator as the cool air can circulate more easily with fewer obstacles.
- Clean the ducts and area behind the dryer
- Bring out your blankets, sweaters, and socks so you can snuggle up rather than raise your thermostat.
- Add a blanket to your bedding to keep you warm during the cooler nights.
- Clean your roof gutters and make sure downspouts are pointed away from the house.
- Reduce your house temperature one degree at a time to help lower the energy used in heating your home.
- Insulate your water heater and pipes. Turn the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees.
- Shorten your shower times and install a low-flow showerhead to lessen water used and the energy to heat the water.
Now that your home is ready for the fall you can cuddle up, relax and enjoy the beauty of the season!
Have you ever noticed your partner sleeping at night and all of a sudden gasp for air or stop breathing? It can be a scary thing to witness. There is a term for it; it’s called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea will cause you to stop breathing multiple times a night anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute in length. You may notice you have it if you take that first deep breath and it sounds like a gasp for air, if you snore loudly, or if you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.
In an article written by Market Wired, they discuss 7 health concerns that can result from sleep apnea:
- High Blood Pressure – Thirty to 40 percent of people with high blood pressure, and up to 85 percent of those who have treatment-resistant high blood pressure, have sleep apnea. Research shows that when sleep apnea is treated with oral appliance therapy, blood pressure can be reduced. Oral appliance therapy is offered by select dentists and uses a custom-fit, mouth guard-like device to support the jaw in a forward position and keep the airway open, without the need for a mask or constantly running CPAP machine.
- Heart Disease – A study from the University of Wisconsin found that sleep apnea is common in people who have heart disease. The study also shows that those who suffer from untreated, severe sleep apnea may be five times more likely to die from heart disease.
- Depression – Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that men who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to exhibit signs of clinical depression, such as feeling hopeless and uninterested in everyday activities. The study also found that women who were diagnosed with sleep apnea were five times more likely to report symptoms of major depression.
- Erectile Dysfunction – Men with sleep apnea commonly suffer from erectile dysfunction and overall sexual dysfunction. In a study conducted in Germany, researchers found that this relationship may be due to the repetitive drop in blood oxygen levels that occurs during sleep as a result of sleep apnea.
- Acid Reflux – It has been shown that people who have sleep apnea often suffer from acid reflux, which can increase sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness. However, treating sleep apnea can help improve the symptoms of acid reflux.
- Diabetes – Research shows that up to 83 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes suffer from sleep apnea but are not aware of their sleep disorder. As the severity of sleep apnea increases, glucose control within the body weakens.
- Stroke – Research shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk for stroke, even without the presence of other risk factors. Obstructive sleep apnea is also frequently found in people who have already suffered a stroke, which contributes to impairment of the brain’s recovery.
If you or a loved one suffers from sleep-related issues like sleep apnea, there is good news! There is a solution to help it or prevent it from happening altogether. Please reach out to your family doctor and express your concerns about your sleeping habits. You will be put in touch with a sleep expert, who can run simple tests to determine what is needed to get you sleeping again.
For the full article, click HERE.
According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, bed bugs have a favorite color. These creepy little bugs are attracted to darker colors, with over 28% being attracted to red and 24% preferring black. The preference for darker colors is due to the fact that the bugs can burrow and hide more easily in them as opposed to sunny locations. To help minimize the chance of bed bugs being attracted to your sheets, you should switch to ivory or white, as they are much brighter and therefore offer less appealing hiding places.
Another great way to prevent those bugs from getting into your mattress is to encase your mattress in an OMI organic cotton Mattress Barrier Cover. Our barrier covers are made from tightly-woven 100% certified organic cotton and close with a heavy-duty brass zipper. Unlike other synthetic versions, our soft, breathable organic cotton barrier offers a more healthful sleep. The barrier is available in different depths and sizes to meet your specific needs.
For the full study from the Journal of Medical Entomology click HERE.
We have all done it; forgot to put sunscreen on, or thought that maybe we won’t be long. We have all burnt ourselves by being in the sun without protection. Here are a few relief suggestions that are natural and will have you on the road to recovery in no time.
If you don’t have an aloe plant already it’s definitely worth investing into one, as nothing soothes better than natural aloe straight from the plant. If you are like me and have cats that think that all plants are a form of food for them, then having a bottle of pure aloe on hand is definitely the way to go. Aloe is great for cooling any hotspots and soothing the skin. It also helps to moisturize the skin and to keep it from drying out. If you apply it often enough you might be lucky and not peel.
Another common side effect when you get burned is inflamed skin. Witch hazel is one of the best natural remedies for any kind of swelling. Dampen a cloth with witch hazel and put it directly on the affected area. If you do not have any witch hazel lying around, cold water will also do the trick while having a fan blowing directly on you.
If you don’t have the two above solutions in your house you could always turn to your fridge. Here are a few things that are a staple in most kitchens that will help with your burn.
- Cornstarch – Add enough water to make a paste and apply to affected areas
- Yogurt – Apply yogurt to affected areas and then rinse off in a cool shower
- Teabags – Place teabags soaked in cold water on your eyelids. This will also help to bring the swelling down
- Fat-Free Milk – Mix 1 cup of milk with 4 cups of water and add ice cubes. Use a cloth or cotton balls to apply to your skin
- Freezer Packs – You can always use a freezer pack or bag of frozen peas. Just make sure to wrap the freezer pack in a cloth before applying to your burn
The key here is to keep your skin moisturized by applying non-perfumed moisturizer like Aveeno or something similar. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and veggies to stay hydrated. Often a bad sunburn is followed by heat stroke, so keeping yourself hydrated is very important.
Last but not least, get plenty of rest. Your body needs to recover from the trauma, and being active will not help.