Good Night, Sleep Tight: 3 Ways to Help Your Kids Sleep Well

tipstohelpkidssleep

No matter what age you are, everybody needs similar things when trying to fall and stay asleep at night. We all need to feel safe, loved, comforted and tired at the end of the day to sleep deeply and peacefully. So how can you create these feelings for your little ones? Here are a few suggestions:

Get Enough Exercise

Being active and healthy throughout the day is important to both your waking and sleeping hours. Not only does exercise and good nutrition help you keep a healthy weight, increase your heart and lung health, reduce stress and help your self-esteem, but it also helps you sleep better at night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people sleep better and feel more alert during the day when they exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. Even this small amount of exercise resulted in a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.

If your kids are having a hard time falling and staying asleep, look at their daily routines to see if they are getting enough exercise. Consider putting them in a sport, going for a walk after dinner or even playing an active game as a family.

Establish a Routine

Routines are important for people of all ages, but kids respond especially well to structure. You should establish a routine for bedtime just as you might for school, homework and meal times.

Start by dimming the lights and turning off any electronics two hours before bed. The lights and the electrical field given off by electronics can interfere with the production of melatonin, which is an important hormone for falling asleep.

Then, create a winding-down routine to help your child feel relaxed and sleepy. This might include taking a bath, reading a book or talking quietly. Especially for younger children, make sure to be an integral part of the routine—this will help them feel loved and secure, which will help reduce anxiety or stress during the night. For example, you can have your child pick out a favorite book and cuddle up while you read together.

Create a Conducive Environment

The sleeping environment can be a very important factor for helping your kids get a good night’s sleep. Their rooms should be dark, quiet and comfortable.

Turn off any lights in your child’s room including a TV, lamp or nightlight. If there are bright street lamps outside or if the sun comes in early in the morning, consider putting up dark shades or blinds to block out excess light. If your child is afraid of the dark, consider putting a nightlight in the hall that you can turn off once he or she is asleep or get one that turns off automatically after a certain amount of time.

Make sure the room is quiet so your child is relaxed and not distracted or stimulated. But, if the room is too quiet and your child is scared of noises the house may make, try turning on a fan, humidifier or a white noise machine. This little bit of noise may help your little ones feel secure so their minds can relax.

Finally, your child’s room should be comfortable and relaxing. Invest in a soft bed, sheets, blankets and pillows. Give your child a transitional object such as a stuffed animal or blanket to cuddle with. However, don’t overload your kid’s bed with items, either. Make sure the room is slightly cooler than its normal temperature so your child does not get too warm or cold during the night.

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How Mattress Off-Gassing Affects Kids’ Health

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Off-gassing. When is the last time the topic of mattress off-gassing came up in a conversation for you? Although it’s a serious issue and affects your health, it isn’t something that is always at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

What Is Off-Gassing?

What do you think of when you hear the term off-gassing? If you think of chemicals, you are headed on the right track. Off-gassing means to “give off a chemical, especially a harmful one, in the form of a gas.” That is the simple definition.

In more elaborate terms, “Off-gassing is the evaporation of volatile chemicals in non-metallic materials at normal atmospheric pressure. This means that building materials can release chemicals into the air through evaporation. This evaporation can continue for years after the products are initially installed which means you continue to breathe these chemicals as you work, sleep and relax in your home or office.”

The main cause of mattress off-gassing are the components used. The chemicals used in synthetic foams, which are usually petroleum-based, and certain fire retardants emit fumes.

These chemicals can cause serious reactions and many of these chemical-laced mattresses haven’t ever been tested on children or for the duration of time one will sleep on the mattress in their lifetime.

How Do Eco-Friendly Mattresses Differ From Traditional Mattresses?

Unlike conventional mattresses, eco-friendly mattresses don’t contain chemicals that are toxic to your kid’s health. Eco-friendly and organic mattresses are anti-microbial, constructed with biodegradable materials and don’t have any harsh chemicals.

Eco-friendly mattresses are also made from natural and renewable resources. These materials make for a more comfortable, quality sleep and also increase the durability of the mattress.

By using eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and hypo-allergenic fibers, these mattresses offer better comfort by allowing the mattress to “breathe” better. In addition, since the materials used are natural they don’t emit fumes into the air which makes for a safer, cleaner environment.

How Does Mattress Off-Gassing Affect My Kid?

The off-gassing that occurs from mattresses that have chemicals expose kids to fumes. Although these fumes may be undetected after about a week, they can still have side affects on your children.

Several kids today suffer from allergies and traditional mattresses can make it worse. Over the years, your kid will inhale these chemicals and over time off-gassing can cause asthma and cancer among other health problems.

Side Effects of Off-Gassing On Kids

A lot of mattress companies have realized that off-gassing attributes to some pretty serious side effects. Some of the major side effects from mattress off-gassing include:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Puffy, red, watery eyes
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Nausea
  • Headache

What Materials Should I Avoid Exposing My Kid To?

To ensure that your kid has the healthiest sleep possible, you should steer clear of the following chemicals and materials:

  1. Formaldehyde
  2. Petroleum based chemicals
  3. Toxic foams
  4. Synthetic foams
  5. Chemical Fire Retardants
  6. Polyurethane Foam
  7. Polybrominated diphenyl (PBDEs)
  8. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Mattress off-gassing can negatively affect your kid’s health and it’s best to research before buying them a new mattress. If you want to make sure that your kid has the healthiest sleep environment, check out these other ways to detoxify their bedroom.

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Top Tips for People Who Suffer from Back Pain

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Sometimes you can get up and go about your day normally. Then there are the days when you take a long time to get up in the morning at all. Your back pain has kicked in and it is excruciating.

Sciatica. A pinched nerve. You bent over wrong. There could be any number of standard reasons why your back may hurt.

Believe it not, your back pain most likely isn’t linked to anything serious, sometimes something you do during your daily routine can hurt your back and you may not even be aware of it.

What about the non-standard reasons and what can you do about your back? Here is some information you might be able to use.

Wear Supportive Shoes

Your feet might be at the bottom of all of this. All of your body weight rests on your feet. If you don’t wear the right shoes for the right activities, then you do not have the best support for your body weight. Bad soles or shoes that don’t support your arches will create lower back pain or make the pain you already have even worse.

If you exercise, it’s even more important that you wear the correct shoes. If you run and don’t wear the correct running shoes, you can end up jarring your spine easier. If you ride a motorcycle and don’t wear the correct type of motorcycle boots, your lower back will take a hit for it. Be sure to always wear the correct footwear, no matter what the activity may be.

Bicycle the Proper Way

Biking is considered a good exercise for lower back pain. Ironically, it’s the cause of a lot of it, as well. There is no support to your back when you ride. Your back posture or the way you arch your neck can take a toll on your back, as well. Depending on your particular type of back pain, you may feel more comfortable leaning forward when you ride. On the other hand, a reclining bike may help ease the pain. Try it both ways and see which way is better for you.

Your Mattress

When you lie down, is there air between you and the bed? Does your bed sink even a little bit? If it does, it’s time to get a new mattress. A mattress with a medium firmness is recommended.

You may be able to skimp on the price of some higher ticket items, but your mattress shouldn’t be one of them. Do your back a favor and invest in a good mattress.

One Easy Way to Feel Better

Back muscles can tighten quite easily. A massage is wonderful to loosen them, but it’s a short fix.

Stretching is one of the best things you can do to remedy back pain. Gerard Girasole, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon out of Trumbull, Connecticut, says that a doing seven minute stretching routine will eliminate lower back pain and strengthen your back muscles. When you are about to exercise, you need to stretch first. When you’re about to go about your day, you need to stretch then, too.

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Best Stretches for Better Sleep

Does your bedtime routine consist of doing stretches before going to sleep? If not, you may want to add it to your nightly routine!

Numerous studies and research have concluded that stretching before going to bed helps to relax you and helps keep your muscles more relaxed.

Dedicate a few minutes before bed stretching and you’ll increase your flexibility and get a better night’s quality sleep! Check out our infographic below for the Best Stretches for Better Sleep.

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*original information via Fitness Magazine*

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Gratitude is the Right Attitude For Better Sleep

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Missing out on a good night’s rest can be evident the next day. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke released information that 100,000 vehicle accidents occur each year due to fatigue caused by poor sleep. Among those people involved 1,500 lost their lives. That report probably makes you want to have another cup of coffee before you head to work. But did you know lack of sleep also affects your gratitude?

Researchers have found people who don’t get enough sleep don’t feel – or express – gratitude as freely as well-rested individuals. And there is research that suggests the two are circular. Expressing gratitude improves sleep patterns and sleeping better boosts levels of gratitude.

Putting Things in Perspective

Need help seeing anything to be grateful for today? Forty-two people died and 1,500 were seriously injured in China recently by giant wasp attacks. Twenty-six people lost their lives in the Newtown school shooting. Thousands of people were physically, psychologically and financially impacted by Hurricane Sandy as it violently pounded the East Coast.

Considering those situations, it’s easier to see the positive in your life — and that alone should trigger feelings of thankfulness and gratitude. Psychological studies reveal surprising benefits when people not only feel thankful, but when they express gratitude, even in small ways.

  • Restful sleep
  • Higher levels of happiness
  • Better overall physical health
  • Stronger personal relationships
  • Improved mental health
  • Longer life expectancy

Start Expressing Yourself

Don’t let finances hold you back. Open the door for someone at the local deli, let another driver change lanes in front of you on the expressway, smile at everyone you pass on the street today. In short, put the other person first.

An interesting tidbit in a recent ScienceDaily.com article says that people earning less than $20,000 a year give more (based on their income) than people who earn $300,000 or more. In a study conducted by social psychologists out of the University of California, Berkeley, people reported feeling richer when they gave to others and felt like they had more time when they volunteered at schools, shelters, soup-kitchens and other charitable events.

Turn Inspiration Into Action

Giving of yourself brightens the other person’s day and allows you to reap the benefits in your own life. Find an hour to volunteer at the local daycare. Order get well baskets for friends recovering from surgery. Offer to take the neighborhood kids to the park.

Embrace the future by acknowledging the good from your past. Stop dwelling on the negative and revel in future possibilities. Then get out there and share a spirit of gratitude.

  • Send a handwritten note telling someone why you are glad they are part of your life.
  • Bake a lasagna or batch of cookies for your local firefighters or EMS crew.
  • Share the next two-fer deal with a friend, shelter, or food bank. If you find a two-for-one-deal on shampoo, canned goods, even shoes, you can donate the “free” item.
  • Give your air miles to military families through the Hero Miles program.

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Track Your Z’s with These Apps

sleepbetterwithappsRemember the days when our only type of sleep-related technology was a fancy digital alarm clock? Now, new technology means we can learn more about our sleep habits — how much we’re getting, what type of sleep and how many times we’re tossing and turning. Here are a few tech-savvy apps to track your sleep. These apps are available for both Apple and Android devices, and are optimized on a larger screen, like on the iPad Air.

Lark

The Lark app keeps tabs on even the tiniest of movements that you are making during sleep, and provides you with a full report in the morning that you can read on your phone or tablet. Not only will the app let you know how many minutes it took you to nod off, it also provides data about the quality of your slumber and how often you woke up during the night. For people who are tired (no pun intended) of being rattled awake in the morning with a loud buzzing alarm clock, Lark features a gentle vibrating alarm that will wake you up from even the deepest sleep.

Sleep Genius

The Sleep Genius app allows you to use the technology that neuroscientists developed for astronauts. First, the app helps you to actually fall asleep by emitting what is known as “pink noise,” as well as neurosensory algorithms that cause your brain to think it’s being rocked to sleep. The app features rhythms that match sleep patterns and soft music that will lull even the most caffeine-crazed, wide-awake person into soothing slumber. Sleep Genius will also wake you up with soothing sounds, and it provides personalized sleep reporting data including quality and quantity of sleep.

Fitbit

You can use the popular Fitbit tracker to keep tabs on how many hours of sleep you are getting at night, as well to provide insight as to how well you are sleeping. If you feel like you aren’t waking up fresh or are extremely groggy in the morning, you might use Fitbit’s “sensitive” mode in order to get an in-depth report about how well you are sleeping. This will enable the tracker to record just about every movement you make while you are asleep and let you know when these movements affect your sleep.

Jawbone UP

The Jawbone UP wristband not only monitors your various sleep cycles, it also can provide you with data that shows how what you eat or drink impacts your sleep, or how much exercise you got or didn’t get affected your snooze patterns. For example, the new UP Coffee app which works on the Jawbone app will track how much caffeine you are drinking and how that impacts the quality of Z’s.

SleepRate

The SleepRate iOS app is also a heart rate monitor that lets you know exactly how much time you spent in REM sleep. Since you should spend around half your sleep time in this sleep cycle for optimum health, this data is very helpful to have. It will also record any sounds that go on during the night, which can let you know if a barking dog at 2 a.m. disturbed your sleep, or if you are having issues with sleep apnea.

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How to Design an Eco-Friendly Kids’ Bedroom

Thinking about creating an eco-friendly paradise for your kids in your home? There are few things to keep in mind when “going green” to make sure that you use the right sustainable materials in their bedroom.

Adorable-And-Awesome-Library-Room-For-Kids-Bedroom-Design-Ideas-With-Unique-Bookcases-And-Simple-Study-Desk-Also-Modern-Swivel-Chair-Furniture-And-Green-Curtain-In-Glass-Window-Design
Make sure your kid sleeps safely, away from chemicals in an eco-friendly bedroom.

First off, do you know eco-friendly means? We looked up the meaning and this the true definition:

ecofriendlydefinition

 

 

 

 

Eco-Friendly Materials for the Bedroom

  • Bamboo Fiber
  • Cork
  • Corn Starch Biocompostables
  • Hemp
  • Soybean Fabric
  • Recycled Glass
  • Organic Cotton
  • Low VOC Paint and Finishes
  • Recycled Polyester

Eco-Friendly Items for Kids’ Bedroom

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Eco-Friendly Layout for Kids’ Bedroom
  1. Shades: Opt for wooden shades in the bedroom. It lets the natural light in while collecting less dust than traditional drapes.
  2. Collapsable Storage Bin: Decorate your kids bedroom in style with this cute storage bin! Feel better knowing that it has a 100 percent eco-spun and made from recycled water bottles.
  3. Eco-friendly Bookcase and Storage: Store your kid’s books, artwork, collectives on this eco-friendly bookcase that is 100 percent non-toxic and made from sustainable materials.
  4. Organic Duvet Cover: Make sure your kids’ skin doesn’t come into contact with toxic materials by opting for an organic cover. This duvet cover is pure, organic and has a 200 thread count.
  5. Natural Fiber Baskets: Instead of using plastic containers to hold your kids toys, crafts, etc. use cork and natural fiber baskets. These emit less off-gasses than plastics.

For more tips on how to create an eco-friendly kids’ bedroom, watch this helpful YouTube video by Pottery Barn Kids:

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Saatva Featured in Fortune Magazine Article

E-commerce mattress company, Saatva Luxury Mattress, has been spotlighted in a Fortune Magazine article for it’s successful online business efforts.

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In the Fortune Magazine article, Brittany Shoot overviews how Saatva is disrupting the mattress industry and beating some major mattress giants(such as Sealy and Serta).

Some of the key ways that Saatva remains ahead of brick-and-mortar companies is by:

  • minimal overhead of e-commerce
  • no markups
  • no questionable labeling of mattresses
  • nationwide distribution chain
  • white glove delivery
  • easy mattress removal
  • not collecting commissions
  • eliminating all costs and wastes associated with brick-and-mortar companies
  • providing a premium product at a fraction of the cost

Saatva plans to continue on the road to success by providing a quality product and exceptional customer service. As mentioned in the article, Saatva plans to keep prices lower than competitors by using a reasonable budget for advertising.

Unlike competitors, Saatva plans to put more money in producing a quality product than to pay more in marketing. This is one of the key differences in Saatva’s business model compared to other mattress companies.

For more information about how Saatva is disrupting the mattress industry, watch the video below(CEO of Saatva talks about Saatva’s business model)

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The Best Sleep Humor Quotes

Sleep can be a funny thing! Get too much of it and you will find yourself yawning all day. Don’t get enough of it and you are set to endure a lackluster day walking around like a zombie.

Here are a few sleep quotes we thought were worth sharing(after all we are losing sleep but that doesn’t mean we can’t joke about it!)

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Foreman

Carlin

Burgess

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When sleep eludes you though, you can find yourself experiencing the following symptoms(which aren’t so funny):

  • Impaired alertness, concentration, reasoning, problem solving, etc.
  • Higher risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other health problems.
  • Lower libidos and sex drive.
  • Higher risk of being depressed.
  • Overall worst appearance – fine lines, puffy eyes, dark circles under eyes.
  • Increase in weight.

Which of the sleep humor quotes could you relate to? Comment and let us know!

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Bedroom Inspiration: Luxury At Its Finest

You might own the most luxurious mattress on the market but is your bedroom up to par in the luxury category? The rest of your entire house might be the essence of luxury but if your bedroom isn’t, then your overall home decor is lacking.

If you don’t know where to start when decorating your bedroom, follow these tips on how to create a luxury bedroom retreat from decorator and stylist Tracy Bross:

Tips on Creating Luxury Bedroom:

  • Make your bed take center stage.
  • Decorate your bedroom with matching pillows, bedding, curtains, and rugs.
  • Pile your bed with down pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets and a down comforter.
  • Outfit your bed with plush headboard.
  • Make your bedroom asymmetrical: two nightstands, side lamps, etc.
  • Add some cozy chairs and a table.
  • Hide your television set in a beautiful cabinet.

If you want more luxury ideas, Freshome.com offers more affordable tips on how to make your home look like a luxury hotel.

Here are a few luxury bedrooms that we have selected to feature to spark your interest:

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Comment and let us know if you have any other great tips on creating a luxury bedroom!

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