howsleeplossaffectswomen

Common Sleep Problems Among Women

In an earlier blog post we explored common sleep problems and disorders that ail adults in the United States. Not getting the necessary sleep affects everyone. However, it doesn’t have the same affect on everyone equally. According to research cited on WebMD, women who report sleepless nights have a greater chance for health problems than men who have the same problem.

Sleep loss affects a person’s overall health. Yet the studies that looked at gender differences found that women who have a difficult time sleeping at night have an elevated risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.

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Don’t let your sleep problems take over your life!

Not only are women with poor sleep habits at an elevated risk for diseases but according to a NSF Sleep in America poll, women are also more likely to have a hard time falling and staying asleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 40 million American men and women suffer from sleep disorders. However, sleep problems such as insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, and nighttime pain are more commonly reported by women.

Four Common Sleep Problems Reported by Women

  • insomniasleepproblems
    Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems reported among women.

    Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems. For women, insomnia may be caused by menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. There are many approaches that can help with insomnia. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and caffeine are all changes that can help improve overall sleep quality.

  • Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting one in 2,000 people. People with narcolepsy have excessive daytime sleepiness and can suddenly have “sleep attacks,” an extreme urge to sleep. Thanks to scientific breakthroughs, new treatments can better manage the symptoms of this disorder.
  • Restless leg syndrome(RLS) is a movement disorder affecting up to 12 million Americans. According to a Sleep in America poll, 18 percent of the female population suffered from RLS. Restless Leg Syndrome can cause daytime sleepiness, mood swings, anxiety, and ultimately depression. Vitamin supplements and other medications can help treat RLS symptoms.
  • Nighttime pains, such as muscle cramps, are painful contractions or a tightening of a muscle that comes suddenly and can last a few seconds up to several minutes. Muscle cramps can occur due to pregnancy, exercise, dehydration or certain medications such as birth control. You can help mitigate the severity of muscle cramps through stretching, warm showers, ice or cold packs, and making sure to stay hydrated.

Although some sleep disorders can be mitigated through small lifestyle changes, others are more serious. Whether you’re a man or a woman, stay informed and go to the doctor if your sleep problems seem out of control.

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ecofriendlybedroom

Best Eco-Friendly Products for the Bedroom

If you’re looking to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle, head to your bedroom. It’s one of the most common areas overlooked in terms of “going green”. Sure, you adjust your lifestyle, food habits, shopping, and commute but it’s important to pay attention to what you use in your bedroom too.

As it’s often stated, you spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping. So, why not sleep free from chemicals and in a more sleep healthy environment?

Eco-Friendly Products for the Bedroom

Pillows: You rest your head on them, you fight over them, and you turn them over for the “cool” side. Picking a pillow can be a daunting task but it’s important to find the right one so you don’t end up tossing and turning or waking up with a stiff neck. Apartment Therapy suggests natural latex rubber, wool, natural shredded rubber, hemp, and horse hair as eco-friendly pillow alternatives for a better night’s sleep.

Bedding: For bedding, it makes sense buy something of higher quality that is durable and can handle wear and tear throughout the years. It’s best to choose bedding that is pesticide and chemical-free for an overall healthy sleep. Some materials you should look for include hemp, cotton, bamboo,, ramie, jute, nettle fiber, etc. Green guru Daniel Seo provides some solid tips on healthy, sustainable bedding options:

Mattress: Traditional mattresses contain harmful chemicals, glues and other irritating solutions that can affect your health over time. Eco-friendly mattresses, on the other hand, are created using natural and renewable resources that are both good for you and the environment. Before deciding on which toxic-free mattress to purchase, check out these tips on finding natural and/or green mattresses.

Bed frame: If you don’t have an eco-friendly bed frame, chances are that the one your mattress is placed on contains formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that off-gas. By choosing a “green” bed frame, your mattress will have better air circulation. It’s best to look for frames that are made with sustainable and/or recycled materials. Examples include recycled steel, and non-toxic, water based finishes.

Pajamas: If everything else in your bedroom is eco-friendly except what you go to sleep in, then you are exposing yourself to yet more chemicals that are not healthy. To ensure you get the best, eco-friendly sleep look for pajamas that are made of natural fabric materials that are non-toxic.

For more ideas and tips on sleeping in an eco-friendly bedroom, head over to drprem.com.

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howtoarrangesmallbedroom

Follow these 10 Tips to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

If your small bedroom is causing you to lose sleep, it might be time to rearrange it to make the best use of the space. No matter how small your room might be, there are several clever ways to make it appear bigger.

Before decorating though, it’s important to know how the overall room will impact your sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests these 6 tips to optimize your bedroom for the perfect sleep environment:

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After optimizing your bedroom for the best sleep possible, follow these simple design tips to make your small bedroom look bigger.

10 Tips to Make a Small Bedroom Look Bigger

Check your Space: Before you start moving furniture around, make sure to draw a layout of how you would like to arrange your furniture. This will save time and frustration in case something doesn’t fit. Also, it’ll save your back from having to keep moving heavy furniture around.

Set a Focal Point: Usually the bed is used as the focal point of your bedroom. But you can always use an accent wall, wall of pictures, or some intricate beaded rug instead.

Choose Right Location for Bed: Since your bed will probably be taking up most of the room, it’s best to find the right location for it first. It’s best to place your bed in the center of the largest wall and away from the windows so the sunlight/noise from outdoors doesn’t disrupt your sleep. If you can’t place it there, place it close to one of the corners and leave enough space so you can easily make the bed.

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Choose smart designs for more storage space.

Utilize Storage: It’s a good idea to get a bed frame that allows you to store extra stuff under the bed. If you still need more space, put up some floating shelves on either side of the bed or along one of the larger walls.

Balance is Key: Your small bedroom can look instantly bigger by balancing out a few things! Place identical lamps and night stands on either side of your bed and/or place floating shelves on either side.

Use your Wall as a Canvas: If you don’t want to deal with painting an accent wall, opt for using a wall as a canvas. Use picture frames, wall art, or your favorite wall paper instead.

Color it White: If you really want your small bedroom to seem larger, paint it all white. You can add a pop of color by adding a colorful chair, rug, or drapes.

Declutter: Before decorating your room, go through all your stuff and make a list of what you absolutely need vs. what can go. If it takes up too much room but you just can’t let it go, check it into a storage garage. Make sure to organize all the items you have left in a practical manner such as using binders, storage containers, shelf space, etc.

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Save space by adding some wall sconces.

Use Wall Sconces: You can save even more space in your small bedroom by installing some wall sconces on either side of your bed. They could also serve as the pop of accent your room needs.

Make Good Use of Space: If you have long, wide dresser then place it against the largest wall. If you have a tall, skinny dresser place it in one of the corners of the room. You could also save more space by placing a small dresser in your closet if there’s enough room to do so.

If you’re up to a bigger challenge, check out these makeover DIY tips for your small bedroom.

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backtoschoolforkids

10 Back to School Sleep Tips for Kids

As summer comes to an end, it’s time to start getting your kids prepared to go back to school. Especially when it comes to their sleeping routine. Kids tend to go to bed a little later in the summer and as a result they wake up later than they would during the school year. However, getting them back in a sleeping schedule a few weeks before going back to school will make their transition into the school year much smoother.

According to an article by Everyday Health, getting your kids back on a sleeping schedule is one of the most important plans you can make for your kids; especially since better sleep could mean better grades. The following are 10  strategies that will help you get your kids back on a sleep schedule,

  1. sleepscheduleforkidsGet them back into a sleep schedule a few weeks before school starts. This will help them get into a routine and won’t make waking up for that first day and week of school a misery.
  2. Don’t allow your kids to use electronics an hour before bedtime. This means removing any electronic distractions from their bedroom. Kids tend to stay up longer than parents realize with electronic distractions.
  3. Ban all caffeinated drinks after lunchtime. Although it is best that kids don’t consume caffeine at all, simply don’t allow it after lunchtime. Kids can get easily distracted from their sleep and the last thing that you need is for a caffeinated drink to keep them up throughout the night.
  4. Set their sleeping schedule and stick to it. As much as kids will try to challenge the rules, don’t budge. Stick to the rules and make their sleeping hours very clear.
  5. Make sure they use their bed just for sleeping. While reading in bed may sound like a good idea, it can lead to them to staying up even later than they normally would. Instead, provide a reading chair or nice bean bag for them to read in.
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    Follow these tips to avoid this happening to your youngster at school!

    Create the perfect sleep environment for your child. To ensure your child get’s the best sleep possible before they head back to school, make sure their room is “cool, quiet, dimly lit, and comfortable.”

  7. Lead by example. Create a ‘back to school” bedtime for everyone in the household and make sure everyone sticks to it. If your kids see everyone following, including you, they will be more likely to follow through since they won’t feel like they are the only ones having to go to sleep early.
  8. Keep track of their eating habits. Many kids’ eating habits fall to the wayside during the summer but it can negatively affect their sleeping patterns. In the second part of the day, pay attention to what your kids are eating. Some of the best foods for better sleep include bananas, high-protein foods, almonds, warm milk, and cherries.
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    Make sure they get the right amount of sleep for their age!

    Don’t over-schedule them. While it’s important for your kid to be involved in different activities to further their social and emotional development, don’t overdo it. Prioritize their sleep above their activities and let them know how important sleep is for them.

  10. Make sure that your kid exercises regularly. Go on a walk with them, play basketball with them, or go to the park. It’s important that they have a healthy lifestyle as it can lead to better overall sleep.

Are there any other methods you use to get your kid back on a sleep schedule for the new school year? Comment and share with us!

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kidwithteddybear

3 Secrets Every Parent Needs to Know about Bedtime for Kids

Sleep is important for everyone, but getting a good night’s rest is even more essential for kids, as it directly impacts their mental and physical development. One of the best ways to help your child get the proper sleep he needs for optimal health and growth is to create and maintain a bedtime routine.

Create a Bedtime Routine

bedtimeroutineforkidsA bedtime routine helps your child transition from an alert state to one that is calm and drowsy. By practicing the same rituals each night, you’re showing your child that his bedroom is a safe, nurturing space so that he feels comfortable and secure, which helps trigger the brain to produce the sleep hormone known as Melatonin.

Without a bedtime routine, your child may not get the quality rest he needs, which can negatively affect health in a number of ways. Children who don’t get enough sleep have health problems like allergies and infections as well as social and emotional problems. Inadequate sleep is even linked to obesity and diabetes as well as being a significant factor in developing depression or anxiety. Irregular bedtimes negatively impact cognitive development, with subjects scoring significantly lower scores on reading, math and spatial awareness, according to a 2013 study conducted by the ESRC International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health at University College London. Consistent bedtimes can mean better grades, better health, and even greater happiness for both you and your child.

Consistency is Key

Help your child get in the good habit of following the same routine each evening before bed. Bedtime should be consistent, whether it’s a weekday, weekend, or holiday. No matter what the specific rituals, in the last 30 to 60 minutes before bed, rigorous activities should be avoided, and the same activities should be performed in the same order each night.

consistentsleepscheduleEducate your children about proper hygiene during this time. For example, they might begin winding down by taking a bath as well as brushing their teeth, flossing, washing their face, and for older kids, removing contact lenses. Sleeping in contacts can lead to infection. Those who sleep in their lenses are prone to contracting conjunctivitis, E-coli, or sties on the eyelids, notes Vision Direct. These issues can be prevented by ensuring that your child washes their hands before they handle their lenses, remove lenses before showering and ensure that he uses fresh solution in the lens case each night.

After practicing good hygiene, the final ritual of the night might be reading a bedtime story together or participating in self-soothing activities like talking or cuddling. After conducting this same routine each night, your child will know that bedtime is coming and that he needs to go to sleep. This consistent bedtime routine will benefit your child’s learning abilities and development in the future.

What to Avoid Before Bedtime

avoidtvbeforebedMany children stay glued to the television or computer right up until it’s time to go to sleep, but the bright light that electronics emit can harm their ability to fall asleep. This is because sleep patterns depend on light as well as hormones. When it begins to get dark out at the end of a day, the pineal gland produces melatonin, which begins to trigger sleepiness. Exposure to bright light emitted by a screen, no matter how big or small, including the television, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, stops the production of melatonin, preventing sleep. This means no screen time, including talking on the phone, for at least 60 minutes before going to bed.

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sleeptipsformoms

Sleeping Tips for New Mothers

One of the most exhausting jobs out there is parenting, and it can be quite draining for new mothers. While it is okay to get caught up in the life of your newborn, it is important that new mothers take the necessary rest needed in order to be the best parent they can be. Sleep deprivation is common for new mothers, and according to webmd.com, sleep loss can increase a new mom’s risk of postpartum mood problems. New mothers can avoid these risks by following these important tips.

Four Sleeping Tips for New Mothers

  1. Avoiding technology before bedtime: New mothers get distracted easily when it comes to their newborn, and this is why it is important to avoid any added distractions. Avoid technology such as television, or your computer before bedtime and read a book or take a bath. Do something that will relax you and will help you fall asleep easily.
  2. Sleep when your baby sleeps: Taking naps during the day will make being a new mother much easier. Instead of cleaning up around the house while your newborn is sleeping, sleep when they sleep. The majority of new moms think that this is the time to be productive, but it should be the opposite. When your baby is sleeping, look at that time as your break and rest up!
  3. Don’t say no to help: Accept the help offered to you. Although this should be an obvious one, a lot of new mothers think that they can handle it all. And while that may be true, if you take on every responsibility without utilizing the help that is being offered to you, you are bound to crash.
  4. Don’t overwhelm your schedule: Another important thing to remember is to take things slow. This mean giving your schedule a break and not piling it with every social event like you use to. Being a new parent means that things will be looking a lot slower in your social event calendar, but that’s just how things should be. Enjoy the downtime and your new baby by relaxing at home and opting for a movie night in.

 

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sleepgadgetcollage

The Top 5 Gadgets for a Better Night’s Sleep

It’s unknown how many people turn to gadgets for better sleep but according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, more people are tracking their overall health. With 43% of Americans reporting they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep, it’s no surprise that more are becoming concerned with their health.

Although sleep gadgets can’t replace a good night’s sleep, they can help promote better sleeping habits. With the numerous types out there – white noise machines, tracking devices, alarm clocks, and so on – it can be difficult to find the right one to try out.

Should I Try Out a Sleep Gadget?

If you suffer from any type of sleep disorder or you have trouble sleeping overall, you might be a good candidate for trying one out. You fall into this category if:

  • You often lay awake at nights and can’t fall asleep even though you have a good sleeping environment.
  • You want to improve your overall sleep.
  • You think you might have a sleeping problem or are worried about your sleeping habits.
  • You are interested in how technology can impact your sleep.
  • You are often tired throughout the day and rely on coffee to get through the day.
  • You have problems remembering easy tasks and concentrating.
  • You have tried other sleep methods and they haven’t helped. 

Types of Sleep Gadgets

In the past few years, sleep gadgets have exploded onto the market scene with the advancement of technology. While there are several sleep gadgets on the market that are supposed to promote sleep, here are a few of the main ones:

  • Alarm Clocks
  • White Noise Machines
  • Sleep Trackers
  • Light Stimulation/Therapy
  • Wearable Sleep Devices
  • Sleep Enhancing Pillows/Bedding

Top 5 Sleep Gadgets to Try Out

  1. clocky
    Clocky – The Rolling Alarm Clock

    Wake-up Light Plus: This light stimulation product uses a replaceable halogen lamp to replicate the effect of a natural sunrise. It also uses a combination of light therapy and sound to help wake you up in a gentle and natural way. You can also customize the sounds by adding your own music via USB.

  2. Renew Sleep Clock: This is a sleep monitor and bedside speaker that is compatible with your iPhone, iPod, and/or iPad. It’s one of the first high-tech sleep trackers that doesn’t require you to wear a headband or wrist strap. Basically, it measures your sleep patterns and wakes you up at the optimal time so you wake up rejuvenated.
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    FitBit One

    FitBit One: If you want something that tracks more than just your sleep, this wireless activity and sleep tracker might be a good fit for you. During the day it tracks calories burned, stairs climbed, distance, etc. At night time, it measures your overall sleep quality, wakes you up in the morning and helps you learn how to sleep better.

  4. Clocky: Unlike ordinary alarm clocks, clocky is a wheeled alarm clock that rolls away from the bedside table and forces you to find it in order to turn it off. Each time, it chooses different routes and moves at random speed directions which makes the user have to find it and get out of bed to wake up.
  5. Withings Aura: This is an ultimate smart sleep system that monitors and records your sleeping environment. It “promotes sleep with melatonin-inducing orange light and soothing frequencies that attempt to mimic your body’s circadian rhythms.” You don’t have to wear anything, instead you place the sensor pad under your mattress to monitor your sleeping habits.

If you aren’t ready to commit to these sleep gadgets, check out these top 5 sleep apps for better sleep.

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kidsbedroomcollage

Decorating Tips for Kids’ Bedrooms

Often times, parents don’t put much effort into decorating their kids’ bedrooms because their taste changes throughout their childhood. When is the last time you bought new items for your child’s bedroom or considered redecorating it?

kidsbedroomWhat stops most parents from decorating kids’ bedrooms? Chances are it’s because it’s a daunting task to create the perfect bedroom they will enjoy throughout their childhood and into teenage years. But creating a magical place for them to retreat and grow can be a delightful, effortless task!

Here are a few tips we recommend to keep in mind if you’re considering decorating your kid’s bedroom:

  1. Pick the Perfect Colors: The color choice is going to depend on your child’s age and their own personal preference. When deciding the best color, help your child in the decision process(within reason) so that way you know they will enjoy it. A great idea is to choose a few different colors that compliment each other and designate different pieces of furniture accentuating the different colors. Another good option is to use the color yellow since it comes in many different hues and can make the room look softer or bolder depending on your child’s preference.
  2. showcasekidsartShowcase their Art: Instead of just putting pictures they painted on a bulletin board, hang them from their ceiling or put them in a nice picture frame. Find more creative ways to showcase your kid’s art here.
  3. Use Old Furniture: If you know you are going to be using furniture that your child will soon grow out of, get older furniture. Include your child in the design process – adding polka dots, their hand prints, and/or their very own signature!
  4. Create a Reading Area: If you regularly read to your child, make a nice little area where you both can sit comfortably and read together. All you need is a good bookcase, some quality lighting and some comfy seating.
  5.  Decorate at their Eye Level: Make sure they can easily reach their toys, clothes, benches and other items easily. By keeping items within their reach, they will have an easier time organizing their stuff and keeping it off the ground. Also, they will be able to use them more!
  6. Install a Storage Closet: This is something that they would use well into their teenage years! Put a magnetic board on it to inspire them to be creative with wordplay or showcasing their art. Also, you could include a mirror on it!
  7. Use Cubbies: Organize their school work and/or crafts better by investing in a few cubbies. This will help to declutter their room and it’s something they could use as they progress through their school years to better help them stack on track.
  8. Use a Bookcase for Storage: Store both books and some of their toys on their book shelves! Use clear containers so your kid can easily see what they are picking or use a label maker to clearly mark what goes where.
  9. kidscoathangerThink Outside the Box: Do you have old bins that are taking up space in your garage? Use them to store some of your child’s toys! Have a spare shoe holder laying around? Hang it on their closet door and use it to hold their hair ties, socks, toys, headphones, etc.
  10. Stick to a Theme: Organize your thoughts and stick to one clear theme when it comes to decorating kids’ bedrooms. Sticking to a theme makes it easier to pick out items that will go well with each other and helps to make the bedroom look less cluttered. Feel free to change the theme as your child gets older and changes their style preferences.

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10 Cool Beds to Try Out

Although the bed is the essential foundation of your bedroom, many people actually skimp out on selecting the great focus piece. Even though guests may not see your master bedroom as much as your other rooms, you should take time and visualize how different beds would look like in your room. After all, you spend at least 1/3 of your life sleeping in bed so it’s important that you love it!

There are several different variations of beds but the 5 most popular beds include:

  1. Platform Beds – Mattress rests directly on the platform and eliminates the need for a box spring.
  2. Canopy Beds – Designed with four tall posts to hang cloth and other materials from.
  3. Four Poster Beds – Similar in design to canopy beds but don’t have connecting crossbeams.
  4. Panel Beds – Feature side rails, tall headboard and lower footboard.
  5. Sleigh Beds – Feature tall, large scrolled head and footboards.

If you are considering changing the look of your bedroom, here are 10 cool beds you should try out:

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Find more cool beds over on our Pinterest! Comment and let us know which of these beds was your favorite!

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howmuchsleepshouldyourchildbegetting

How Much Sleep Should Your Child Be Getting?

Most parents question the amount of sleep their child needs in order for them to have the right energy and be the best they can be. So how many hours  should your child be logging in? Parents tend to overestimate how much sleep their children need, however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

howmuchsleepshouldyourchildbegetting

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a child will have spend 40 percent of his or her childhood asleep. Sleep is more essential during childhood than any other stage in a human’s life. Sleep directly impacts the mental and physical development of children.

Amount of Sleep your Child Needs

  • Newborns: 15-18 hours
  • Infants(3-11 months): 9-11 hours and nap twice a day for about 30 minutes.
  • Toddlers(1-3 years): 12-14 hours and one short nap throughout the day.
  • Preschoolers(3-6 years): 10-12 hours
  • School-aged children(6-12 years): 10-11 hours
  • Teenagers: 8-9 hours

A staggering 90 percent of teenagers report not getting the necessary hours of sleep. Start promoting a good sleeping schedule for school-aged children to ensure that they continue to have those good sleeping habits as teenagers and into adulthood. Making sure your children have good sleeping habits now can help them avoid sleep deprivation in the future!

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