sleep http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5839/all en-US 11 Smart Ways to Get Some Sleep at the Airport http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-get-some-sleep-at-the-airport <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-ways-to-get-some-sleep-at-the-airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000066482031_Large.jpg" alt="getting some sleep at the airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you have a ridiculously early flight and you have to be at the airport when it's still dark outside, the last thing you want to do is pay for an expensive airport hotel for a measly three-hour sleep. This is when your best option might just be to sleep in the airport. But you can't always do this, and some airports are less comfortable and accommodating than others.</p> <p>Here are some handy tricks to ensure you get a good night's sleep at pretty much any airport.</p> <h2>1. Check the List</h2> <p>Not all airports are created equal for sleeping comfort. SleepinginAirports.net has put together this handy list of the <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/2015/best-airports-sleeping.htm">best 50 airports for having a snooze</a> in 2016. The list includes Singapore (SIN), Vienna (VIE), Tokyo (HND), and San Francisco (SFO).</p> <p>Conversely, you may also want to check out their <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/2015/worst-airports-sleeping.htm">top 50 worst airports for sleeping</a> list to make sure that your planned departure lounge isn't one of the least comfortable on Earth.</p> <h2>2. Know the Amenities</h2> <p>If you're planning to crash at the airport, you'll want to make sure that you hit the hay with a full belly, a clean face, and a comfortable place to lay your head. Some airport seats have bars near them, which make sleeping on them nearly impossible. And some airports don't even have restaurants in the departure area. But other airports have reclining chairs, pillows, and even showers and beds, in some cases!</p> <p>Check online to make sure your airport has enough amenities for your stay. Sometimes you can do a simple Google image search of your departing airport to check what the lounge looks like.</p> <h2>3. Find a Cozy Nook</h2> <p>As more and more people have started sleeping in airports, security is cracking down. If you can find a good nook &mdash; behind a kiosk or next to a coffee shop &mdash; you may just get through the night without anyone bothering you. Just be sure to check the rules for the terminal beforehand, as some close down overnight.</p> <h2>4. Make a Hoodie Pillow</h2> <p>Hardly any of us actually travel with a goose down pillow, so knowing how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks">fold your sweater into a comfy cushion</a> could be the difference between a good sleep and a restless night.</p> <h2>5. Park 'n' Sleep</h2> <p>If you're driving to the airport, why not park your car in the airport parking lot and have a snooze until your flight takes off. If you've rented a car, consider keeping it until the morning before your flight.</p> <h2>6. Lock Your Luggage</h2> <p>It's hard to have a solid slumber when you're worried about your bags. Bring along a luggage lock and a cable or fishing line so you can tie your valuables to your chair, or your leg. Surely nobody will be trying to lift your luggage with all of the security around, but peace of mind will help you to sleep while feeling secure.</p> <h2>7. Choose Your Lounge</h2> <p>The arrivals lounge is often more comfortable than the departures lounge. If you get to the airport and you find that there's nowhere to sleep, no good restaurants, or no comfortable seats, consider checking out the arrivals lounge instead. Just make sure you set your alarm with enough time for you to make your way to the departure area before your flight!</p> <h2>8. Dress Warm</h2> <p>Most airports around the world are uncomfortably cold, even ones in the Caribbean and other hot climates. Always pack a hoodie for a pillow for comfort, plus some other warm clothing for airports and airplanes.</p> <h2>9. Get a Cot</h2> <p>While some airports frown upon people sleeping in terminals, others are capitalizing on this growing trend. There are now a few airports in the world that will actually <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/airports-with-cots.htm">supply passengers with a cot and pillow</a> for a small fee.</p> <h2>10. Pay or Hitchhike Your Way to First Class</h2> <p>All you have to do is make friends with a person who has a first class boarding pass and ask if you can accompany them to the first class lounge.</p> <p>Every passenger in the first class area is allowed one &quot;guest&quot; for free. And said guest can enjoy all of the perks of the lounge &mdash; like drinks, food, and comfort &mdash; for free.</p> <p>I wouldn't recommend blowing up your air mattress and fluffing your hoodie pillow here, but you could pass out on the more comfortable chairs after some appetizers and a glass of champagne.</p> <p>If you don't feel like making friends just to get free drinks and food, some airports allow you to pay a small fee to enter nicer lounges.</p> <h2>11. Have a Backup Plan</h2> <p>You never know when your airport sleeping plans might be interrupted. I've personally been kicked out of airports for sleeping on the floor, I've been moved multiple times throughout the night, and was even told to wait outside in the cold while the airport staff sanitized the floor for three hours.</p> <p>Always have a credit card ready, just in case you have to book a hotel for a few hours. Hopefully, you can snooze through the night without having any issues, but you never know.</p> <p><em>How do you sleep when stuck in an airport? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-smart-ways-to-get-some-sleep-at-the-airport&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Some%20Sleep%20at%20the%20Airport_0.jpg&amp;description=11%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Some%20Sleep%20at%20the%20Airport" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Some%20Sleep%20at%20the%20Airport_0.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-get-some-sleep-at-the-airport">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-your-id-at-the-airport">What to Do If You Don&#039;t Have Your ID at the Airport</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement">Best Credit Cards That Offer TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry Reimbursement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">24 Train Hacks From an Amtrak Veteran</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airport airport hacks flight delay sleep sleeping hacks sleeping in airports travel hacks Fri, 22 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1695170 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Habits Science Says Will Make You Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-science-says-will-make-you-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-habits-science-says-will-make-you-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000060996814.jpg" alt="Family creating habits science says will make them smarter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you want to be smarter? You're not alone. Most people have moments when they wish they knew more, remembered more, performed better, or could connect ideas faster than the people around them.</p> <p>We tend to believe that a person's level of intelligence is genetic, or at least that it is set early on. However, there are always things that we can do to help our brains work better. After all, that's a huge part of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">being smart</a>: having a brain that is able to function at the top of its game.</p> <h2>1. Eat Breakfast</h2> <p>Kids who eat breakfast <a href="http://www.ejbss.com/Data/Sites/1/mydata/ejbss-12-1117-breakfastandadolescentperformance.pdf">perform significantly better</a> in school. In fact, they do better than the non-breakfast eaters even when their breakfast isn't particularly healthy, although healthier breakfasts enhance performance even more.</p> <p>The brain needs nutrients to function. After a full night's sleep, even if you overate the night before, your brain needs food. When you skip your breakfast, you miss these nutrients. In addition, the study above also notes that most people don't just get these nutrients later in the day. For many of us, breakfast is our best chance at giving our brain all that it needs to work well.</p> <p>Lots and lots of people don't like breakfast or don't make the time for breakfast. If you're one of these, consider starting with something small and something you really, really enjoy eating. Work your way up to a full breakfast. And if you feel like you can't eat until a bit later in the day, try taking a smoothie with you to work.</p> <h2>2. Exercise</h2> <p>Exercise gives your brain what it needs to <a href="http://fit.webmd.com/teen/move/article/exercise-boosts-brain">grow new neurons</a> which help it store memories and make connections. Exercise helps us think more flexibly and helps office workers raise their productivity. If you can get up to 45 minutes to an hour a day, six days a week, you will put your brain in a good place for optimal functioning.</p> <p>Getting regular exercise is hard. You're tired. You don't have time. You can't afford a gym membership. Whatever your reasoning, though, it's worth overcoming it so that you can get these benefits that make you <em>smarter</em>.</p> <p>Start with something that is simple, like walking. Walk on breaks from work, even if it's just around your office. Or walk in the evenings, if the weather is nice. Take family and friends with you, or catch up on your favorite podcast while you walk. Soon, you will have a habit, and you will be able to notice your brain function improving.</p> <h2>3. Spend Time With Intelligent, Creative People</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3004829/harvard-professor-finds-innovative-ideas-spread-flu-heres-how-catch-them">Ideas travel between people,</a> so the more central your position in a group of smart, thoughtful, and creative people, the more interesting news and information you'll be exposed to. A huge part of being smart is connecting ideas in new ways, and to do this you have to hear, see, and experience new and fascinating things.</p> <p>If you feel like your current group of friends isn't quite where you'd like them to be, don't push them away entirely. It may be that they, too, are not being exposed to new things. Instead, find some interesting people and invite them into your group. Think about the guy at work who always seems to be talking about the new book he just read, or the gal at the gym who seems to know everything about exercise science. Learn all you can from them, digest it, and see how it connects to what you already know.</p> <p>Make spending time in these kinds of relationships habitual, and you'll soon see the benefits. Your brain will stretch to hold the new ideas. Then new connections will form, and who knows! Maybe you'll be the one with the next innovative, brilliant thought.</p> <h2>4. Get an Extra Hour of Sleep</h2> <p>People who slept less did up to 40% worse on a cognitive test than people who slept more. Even <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24444634">an hour of sleep</a> made a significant difference in computerized mental agility tests. So if you want your brain to work well, you need to give it plenty of rest.</p> <p>Seven hours seems to be the magic number for most people. Get at least that much sleep, and you will have enough time in REM sleep for your brain to work well. Get less than that, and you may find that you don't remember things as well, haven't fully processed the previous day, and can't think straight.</p> <p>Getting more sleep is hard for most of us. Sometimes, evenings are the only time you get to relax. Or maybe you're a night owl who struggles to rest before the wee hours. Even if you can only tweak your sleep habits a little bit, it should have a positive effect on the way your brain works.</p> <h2>5. Learn How to Learn</h2> <p>If you did decently well in school, you probably assume that you know how to learn. However, there's almost always room for improvement. For instance, people who learn well tend to spend more time practicing what they are trying to learn than reading about it. They also commit to the long-term process, and find a way to track their efforts, their progress, and what they realize along the way.</p> <p>Part of being smarter involves acquiring new knowledge skills. When you can do this consistently and efficiently, you will find that your cognitive skills continually increase. Make learning well a habit, and you should feel confident that your brain can handle anything thrown its way.</p> <p><em>Do you have any practices that make you smarter? What do you do?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-science-says-will-make-you-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">Tips For Starting (Or Jumpstarting) Your Exercise Regimen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty being smarter brain power breakfast exercise learning sleep Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:00:14 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1502008 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_000040993854.jpg" alt="Woman doing easy things science says she should do every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be hard to take care of yourself. So hard that in some circles, &quot;self-care&quot; is quickly becoming a buzzword.</p> <p>Even if the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-body-every-day">concept of self-care</a> intimidates or confounds you &mdash; maybe you're wondering where you will ever find time to do one more thing &mdash; think about starting with your body. The five steps below are things that aren't hard to incorporate into a daily routine, and can have a significant impact on how you feel.</p> <h2>1. Consume Probiotics</h2> <p>Your colon has its own specific set of bacteria. These help you digest and absorb food. The thing is, it's better to have some sets of bacteria than others. &quot;Bad&quot; bacteria seem to make it easier to <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-help-make-us-fat-and-thin/">maintain a higher body weight</a> and hold onto fat, while &quot;good&quot; bacteria seem to promote leanness.</p> <p>In addition, there also seems to be a connection between the bacteria in your gut and <a href="http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/bacteria-yogurt-seems-give-people-brain-boost">how well your brain functions</a>. Gut bacteria also influence your immune system, because they have quite a bit of say regarding whether or not bad things &mdash; like viruses and other bacteria &mdash; get absorbed into the body or excreted.</p> <p>It seems that the bacteria you have in your colon are determined largely by what you eat. Probiotics are fermented foods &mdash; foods full of bacteria &mdash; that seem to help you develop a healthy set of &quot;good&quot; bacteria. These foods include everything from yogurt to kefir to kombucha and sauerkraut. And consuming them every day ensures that you continue to grow the right kinds of bacteria and not the wrong ones.</p> <h2>2. Drink Plenty of Water</h2> <p>I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but that doesn't mean you're drinking enough. Water helps so many parts of the human body &mdash; it can help you digest food, lose weight, have clearer skin, feel less tired, and have a better functioning brain. And many people don't even realize that they are chronically dehydrated, because they've been that way for so long.</p> <p>What &quot;enough&quot; is will vary from person to person based on size, activity level, age, and more, so it might take some trial and error to figure out how much you need. Let your urine be your guide &mdash; if it is a light lemonade color, you're drinking plenty of water. So find a water bottle that fits your lifestyle and start carrying it today.</p> <h2>3. Meditate</h2> <p>The form of meditation that seems to help your brain most basically involves setting aside a period of time and, in that time, doing your best to be fully present. Some people focus on their breathing to help them achieve this. Others repeat a mantra.</p> <p>Meditation is good for your body because it changes the way your brain works. Over time, you will find yourself responding in a calmer manner, even to things that are difficult. You will also find yourself <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/use-your-mind-change-your-brain/201305/is-your-brain-meditation">more present in daily matters</a>, better able to show empathy, and more compassionate. All of this happens because of physical changes in your brain!</p> <p>Daily meditation is important because most brains aren't naturally wired this way, and will revert to an old way of being quite easily. If you are intimidated by the thought of starting a meditation practice (and many people are), try beginning with sitting in the present for only five minutes at a time. Gradually, your desire to meditate and your capacity for it will increase.</p> <h2>4. Get Enough Sleep</h2> <p>We need sleep to survive, to grow, to remember well, to be able to deal emotionally throughout the day, and for our bodies to repair themselves. While experts aren't sure exactly how sleep helps us in all of these ways, it does, and we shouldn't skimp on it.</p> <p>There's not really a &quot;magic number&quot; of hours when it comes to sleep. Some people seem to reap all the benefits when they only sleep six to seven hours each night, while others need eight or nine hours to feel rested and function well. Only you can figure out how much sleep you need to be getting on a regular basis. While going to bed early can be a pain, it is worth the effort in the long run.</p> <h2>5. Consume Nutrients</h2> <p>Thinking about nutrients can be intimidating. After all, there are a lot of them. However, focusing on eating nutrient-dense foods (which foods depends on which nutrients you need) and even taking supplements can have an astounding number of benefits for your body.</p> <p>If you're not sure where to start, take the time to visit your doctor. Many nutrients can be tested via a blood sample, and then you'll have some idea of what your particular body is lacking. That will give you a good place to focus for a while, and you can decide where to go from there when your initial levels balance out.</p> <p>No matter how relaxed you are, self-care is important. Take care of your body now so that you can live your life to the fullest!</p> <p><em>What do you do for your body every day? How has this changed your life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep">10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-health-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Health Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/herbal-supplements-know-what-you-re-getting">Herbal Supplements: Know What You’re Getting!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty body drinking water meditating nutrition probiotics sleep Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1493879 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Terrible Things Science Says You Do to Your Body Every Day http://www.wisebread.com/9-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-body-every-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-body-every-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cranky_man_morning_000041470368.jpg" alt="Man doing worst things for his body according to science" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You try your best to eat healthy, exercise, and generally take good care of yourself. But what if all this time, a few bad habits are quietly working to undo all that effort, sapping your energy, and doing long-term damage to your health?</p> <p>Here are the eight worst things that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-science-says-its-ok-to-eat-more-cheese">science says</a> you do to your body. The worst part is, many of us do these things every single day.</p> <h2>1. Sitting All Day</h2> <p>Sitting has been called the younger generation's smoking. It's hard to believe that such a mundane, non-action can have such a big impact on health, but yes, it's really that bad for you. Research has shown that extended periods of sitting &mdash; classified as sitting for more than three hours at a time &mdash; significantly increases the risk of a number of health problems. Too much time on your butt can increase your <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19996993">risk of heart disease</a> by as much as 64%. It puts you at a higher risk for&nbsp;<a href="http://sjp.sagepub.com/content/35/5/510.abstract">certain types of cancer</a>. It's linked to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kidney.org/news/newsroom/nr/Sitting-for-Long-Stretches-Linked-to-KD">kidney disease</a>. And it may shave as much as seven years off your life.</p> <h2>2. Wearing Tight Pants</h2> <p>Love your &quot;skinny&quot; jeans? Just make sure they aren't too skinny; too-tight jeans have been linked to nerve damage. That's right, too-tight jeans can compress a nerve in the groin, leading to a condition called meralgia paresthetica. That can lead to tingling, burning, and pain in the outer thigh that can last for weeks or even months after those jeans go out of style.</p> <h2>3. Letting Stress Get to You</h2> <p>Stress is an important physiological response, but while it's designed to give you the energy to, say, run away from a wild animal, it does little good when you're sitting in an office chair stressing about your to-do list. A 2013 survey by the American Psychological Association found that 45% of adults felt that their stress levels had increased over the last five years. When stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life, it's considered &quot;chronic,&quot; and that's when it can have major, long-term effects on your health. Stress has been shown to create muscle tension and pain, and because it typically increases heart rate and blood pressure, can contribute to heart disease. It can increase people's risk of Type 2 diabetes and create a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx">whole host of other problems</a> in your gastrointestinal, nervous and reproductive system.</p> <h2>4. Indulging Your Sweet Tooth</h2> <p>Even if you conscientiously avoid the office candy jar, you're probably eating too much sugar. It is estimated that most people consume as much as 500 extra calories <em>per day</em> through sugar. It's hard not to; sugar is in just about everything. Not only does eating too much make it hard to maintain a healthy weight (which presents a number of potential health problems in and of itself), sugar can also increase your risk of<a href="http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/2/3/e004796"> heart disease</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2012/789174/">certain cancers</a>, and the same kind of liver toxicity and health effects as you can get from <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/fig_tab/482027a_T1.html">overconsumption of alcohol</a>.</p> <h2>5. Staying Indoors</h2> <p>According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. That's only one half of one day per week spent outside. Not only does that typically mean way less exercise and fresh air than mom would have liked you to have, but staying inside comes with a long list of potential health risks. Getting some sun amps up vitamin D intake, an important vitamin that's hard to get in food &mdash; and is essential to health. Spending time outside also helps&nbsp;<a href="http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/spending-time-outside-relieves-stress">reduce stress</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.medicaldaily.com/benefits-ecotherapy-being-nature-fights-depression-improves-mental-health-and-well-being-261075">improve mental health.</a></p> <h2>6. Failing to Maintain Proper &quot;Sleep Hygiene&quot;</h2> <p>Sleep hygiene isn't about changing your sheets or taking a shower before bed. It's defined as the activities that contribute to better quality sleep. A survey conducted by the National Geographic Channel in 2014 found that 73% of people aged 18 and over sleep less than eight hours per night &mdash; although 54% said they needed at least that much to feel rested. The main reason we get so little sleep comes from failing to prioritize it &mdash; and engaging in a range of behaviors that make getting your daily dose much more difficult. So what does good sleep hygiene look like? It means avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol in the evening hours, establishing a regular bedtime, keeping your bedroom dark, cool and free of distractions, and staying away from electronic devices before bed.</p> <h2>7. Eating Packaged Foods</h2> <p>Packaged foods are so convenient and so accessible that everyone tends to eat at least a few of them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of convenience food tends to be loaded with health saboteurs like trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, salt, and preservatives and additives, all of which have been shown to have negative health impacts.</p> <h2>8. Keeping the Lights On</h2> <p>When the sun sets, we turn on the lights &mdash; and our TVs, computers, and mobile devices. But not only does this tend to keep us up late, it also throws off the body's natural biological clock. Because the body's clock evolved to use light to determine when to sleep and wake, exposure to artificial light can contribute to sleep disorders. The impact the disruption of this rhythm can have on the body can also lead to immune system disorder, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.</p> <h2>9. Staying in a Boring Job</h2> <p>One more reason to quit: Being in a boring job is bad for your health. According to a paper published on the subject in 2012, <a href="http://pps.sagepub.com/content/7/5/482.abstract">boredom at work</a> is associated with increased drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of making work-related mistakes.</p> <p><em>How many of these surprisingly unhealthy behaviors do you engage in each day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-terrible-things-science-says-you-do-to-your-body-every-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diet-trends-that-can-hurt-you">7 Diet Trends That Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-less-sugar-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Eat Less Sugar With These 10 Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty everyday things science sedentary sleep stress sweets unhealthy work Wed, 10 Jun 2015 15:00:14 +0000 Tara Struyk 1447183 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy a Mattress in 10 Minutes or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sleeping_bed_000057982646.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to buy a mattress in 10 minutes or less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mattress shopping can be kind of a nightmare. There are so many choices. And since the last time you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mattresses">bought a new mattress</a> was probably several years ago, you probably can't even remember how you did it. Is this an all-day shopping event? An endless, store-hopping nightmare?</p> <p>Finding your perfect bed doesn't need to be a stressful ordeal. In fact, preparation and the right tools will help you find a mattress in less time than it takes to brush your teeth, change into your PJs, and set the sleep timer on your TV. Here's how to find the perfect mattress in less than 10 minutes.</p> <h2>1. Identify Your Current Mattress' Flaws</h2> <p>Before even going to the mattress store, figure out what you want to avoid in your next mattress. Too many coils? Too firm for you and not firm enough for your partner or spouse? Narrowing down your list of current mattress flaws will give you a better idea of what you do want.</p> <h2>2. Do Your Homework</h2> <p>Once you know what you <em>don't</em> want, and have a vague idea of what you <em>do</em> want, it's time to do a basic search online. Check for prices, sizes, and brand names you'd like to see in person. This, too, will cut your actual in-person shopping time way down.</p> <h2>3. Test With a Trust Fall</h2> <p>For every mattress I've ever purchased, this is the sure-fire method I've used to find my ideal mattress match. I stand at the foot of the bed, pretend there are eight sets of trusting arms about to catch me, and I fearlessly fall back. I wouldn't recommend this if you prefer a firm mattress, because, <em>ouch</em>, or if you have pre-existing neck problems, because <em>whiplash</em>. But if you're looking for a soft and cuddly pillow-top, this is all kinds of fun, and only takes one minute of your time.</p> <h2>4. Try Out All Options</h2> <p>If you're looking for a new kind of bed, then take the homework you did and test out firm, pillow-top, adjustable, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses by laying down for one or two minutes on each one. It's kind of like trying on wedding dresses, in that you'll know instantly once you've found &quot;the one.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Don't Go for the Cheapest Mattress</h2> <p>A mattress is probably one of the most important purchases you will ever make. Restful sleep is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">crucial to your overall health</a> and wellbeing, so going for the cheapest mattress you can find is not the best idea. You will spend six to eight hours a day laying on this thing, so acknowledge that this is an investment and is worth the hefty pricetag.</p> <h2>6. Know Your Warranty and Refund Rights</h2> <p>You might feel confident in your mattress selection at the store, but just in case you take it home and completely hate it, make sure you know what the mattress store's policies are with warranties and refunds. Most quality mattresses will come with a 10-year full warranty. As for refunds, some brands give you two weeks to decide if you want to keep it. Some offer a &quot;comfort period&quot; for your body to adjust to the mattress and then a set time frame for returns. But be wary of these &quot;comfort periods&quot; because they often come with a shipping fee and a restocking fee. So once you've found your top pick, ask about both before handing over your money.</p> <h2>7. Negotiate Away</h2> <p>If a mattress store is willing to negotiate on price, then you need to make sure they negotiate fairly. This is because most mattress manufacturers apply <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/07/17/how-to-buy-a-mattress/">set minimum prices</a> for their retailers, so many will just price them at the minimum right off the bat. If you find some wiggle room in price discussions with the salesperson, bring them down as low as possible, since you know they marked it way over the minimum manufacturer price. This might take the most time, so save five minutes for haggling, if needed.</p> <p><em>What are your mattress buying tips? Any we missed?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-companies-that-pay-you-for-referring-friends">10 Cool Companies That Pay You for Referring Friends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps">Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping beds mattresses sleep Tue, 12 May 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1414197 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Health Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/6-health-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-health-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_drinking_water_000020137742.jpg" alt="Woman breaking common health rule about water" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The real rules of healthful living aren't black and white. But oh-so-many of the tenets of good health we all grew up with &mdash; drink eight glasses of water a day, don't read in the dark &mdash; are precisely that restrictive. Now new research is finding that many of them are also false.</p> <p>&quot;Research is revealing that whoever wrote the old guidelines didn't have the whole picture, and that there are more paths to optimal health than we previously thought,&quot; said Harvard Medical School psychologist Alice Domar.</p> <p>So rule breakers, rejoice! And then read on for our roundup of all the things you thought were good for your health &mdash; but actually aren't.</p> <h2>1. Don't Swim on a Full Stomach</h2> <p>As it turns out, the 30-minute rule every child loathes &mdash; don't get in the water directly after eating &mdash; is a full-blown myth. Though enforced by well-intentioned parents (and begrudgingly followed by their water-loving children), experts have debunked the theory that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/health/28real.html?_r=0">swimming on a full stomach</a> leads to cramps, which increases the risk of drowning. In fact, less than 1% of all drownings in the U.S. occur after the victim has eaten a meal.</p> <h2>2. Avoid Reading in Dim Lighting</h2> <p>The notion that reading in a lowly lit room will damage your eyesight is false, although it will <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/safeguarding-your-sight">tire your eyes out</a> more quickly. Experts say the best lighting arrangement for a night in with a juicy book is a lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material, so as to avoid a glare. However, reading by candlelight won't do you any harm.</p> <h2>3. You Need Eight Hours of Sleep</h2> <p>The ideal amount of sleep is different for everyone, depending on factors like age, genetic makeup, and gender. Ten-year-olds need about nine hours of slumber, while adults older than 30, including senior citizens, require about seven hours. Women tend to sleep longer than men, but only by 14 minutes. &quot;It's not difficult to figure out <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-sleep/2012/11/21/4e1c9f44-3273-11e2-bb9b-288a310849ee_story.html">how much sleep we need</a>,&quot; writes sleep expert Till Roenneberg. &quot;When we wake up unprompted, feeling refreshed, we have slept enough.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Drink Eight Glasses of Water Per Day</h2> <p>There's simply no scientific evidence to back up this claim. Drinking eight glasses of water certainly won't harm you, but there's no reason to think your health will benefit from meeting this daily threshold. The purpose of drinking water, of course, is to hydrate your body, flush it of toxins, and improve various bodily functions. But most of your required <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/you-dont-need-8-glasses-of-water-a-day/">daily water intake</a> is contained in foods &mdash; no liquid required.</p> <h2>5. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables</h2> <p>Anything made of vegetables is healthy, right? Not necessarily. A veggie burger is still a burger, and can contain more than 1,000 calories when loaded with toppings and a bun. Plus, the vegetables in these patties undergo a good deal of processing, which zaps many of the nutrients. Another example: Avocados. These delicious green fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, and&hellip; lots of fats. Healthy fats, but fats nonetheless. In fact, about 85% of the total calories in an avocado come from fat. If you overindulge, you're likely to start packing on the pounds. Even healthy fats can cause weight gain when over-consumed.</p> <p>Dried fruit is another misleading health food. That's because dried fruits are packed with up to eight times more calories as fresh fruit. Fresh grapes, for example, have 60 calories per cup while raisins have 430.</p> <h2>6. Eat Something Every Three Hours</h2> <p>The theory that your <a href="http://www.theiflife.com/eating-more-meals-does-not-speed-up-your-metabolism/">metabolism will crash</a> if you don't snack throughout the day has been debunked. Research shows that it's the amount of food eaten, and not the rate at which it is consumed throughout the day, that determines the health of your metabolism. In fact, those who adhere to a diet of snacks rather than meals run the risk of over-snacking, thereby consuming too many calories for a single day.</p> <p><em>What stale health rules are you happily breaking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-health-rules-you-should-be-breaking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fitness-gadgets-actually-worth-the-money">5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-less-sugar-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Eat Less Sugar With These 10 Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty dieting drinking water health rules reading sleep swimming Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1392476 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get More Sleep Without Spending More Time in Bed http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/460148049.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This post is brought to you by <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C595%7C1530&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fad.doubleclick.net%2Fddm%2Fclk%2F281939105%3B108256880%3Bl" rel="nofollow">Humana</a>. Click <a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?k1=cmx-metric&amp;k2=289%7C595%7C1530&amp;k3=disclaimer&amp;k4=&amp;r=http%3A%2F%2Fclosethegap.humana.com%2Fnews-trends%2Fwear-out-your-wearable%2F%3Fcm_mmc%3DArticles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten1-_-TextLink" rel="nofollow">here</a> to learn more.</em></p> <p>Many people are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">more sleep deprived</a> than they realize. Are you one of them? Recently, new devices promising to help track fitness and sleep have become available. Here are some ways you can get a better, more consistent night's sleep with the help of a <a href="https://closethegap.humana.com/news-trends/wear-out-your-wearable/?cm_mmc=Articles-Brand-_-WiseBread-_-Underwritten1-_-TextLink">wearable health device</a>.</p> <h2>Tracking Your Behavior</h2> <p>Do you ever examine your routine? Many devices such as <a href="http://www.fitbit.com/">FitBit</a>, <a href="https://jawbone.com/up">Jawbone UP</a>, <a href="http://www.mybasis.com/">BASIS</a>, and <a href="http://www.beddit.com/#science-small">Beddit</a> track not only your sleep but your daily fitness habits. A pedometer within these devices and apps reveals how often you walk, how often you jog, and your average heart rate throughout the day.</p> <p>Why is this important? We tend to be more mindful of our behavior when we are keeping score. If you discover that you're only walking 2,000 steps per day when the goal is 10,000 steps, you are more likely to be motivated to walk more. The gamification of the daily habits can help you become more aware of your health and more proactive in improving it.</p> <p>Monitoring your sleep using an app or device is ideal, because all you have to do is wear it. Keeping score of your body movement and rest periods will lead to discover why you are restless at night, why you don't remember your dreams, or why you're so tired in the morning. Knowledge is power.</p> <h2>Analyzing Your Sleep Pattern</h2> <p>How does sleep even work? Everyone sleeps a little differently, but there is an ideal pattern. There are five different types of sleep. The below stages cycle through the brain in loops that last between 90 and 110 minutes:</p> <ul> <li>Stage 1, in which one is drifting in and out of sleep, and can be woken easily.</li> <li>Stage 2, during which eye movement stops, with only a few bursts of movement.</li> <li>Stage 3, when the extra slow delta waves begin and sleep becomes deeper.</li> <li>Stage 4, as the brain is in almost entirely delta waves, known as &quot;deep sleep.&quot;</li> <li>REM sleep, wherein sleep waves become more rapid, heart rate and breathing quicken, and eye movement is rapid. This is when most dreaming occurs.</li> </ul> <p>Most sleep monitoring devices such as BASIS and Beddit can pinpoint when you are wakened in the night, and can usually distinguish where deep sleep ends and REM sleep begins. These are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/sleep-tips_b_4792760.html">important patterns to study,</a> because you can use this data to hack your sleep cycle and make it more satisfying. For example, it can tell you the <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2587568/How-feel-refreshed-little-sleep-MUST-afternoon-nap-Never-wake-tired-again.html">optimal time for you to wake up</a>. You might be setting your alarm to wake you up in the middle of your sleep cycle, so you get out of bed groggy and slow. A minor adjustment to your wake up time (or bedtime) could mean getting up refreshed and alert.</p> <h2>Correcting Causes of Poor Sleep</h2> <p>Are you waking up too often in the night or suffer from insomnia? Some sleep monitoring devices can even combine your data with health information using cognitive behavioral therapy. Devices such as the <a href="http://www.sleeprate.com/">SleepRate system</a> can display your entire day of activity and suggest possible ways to fix the issues in your sleep cycle.</p> <p>Depending on your sleep pattern, a monitoring app or device can provide advice like the following:</p> <ul> <li>Wake up the same time every morning</li> <li>Increase exposure to natural light throughout daytime hours</li> <li>Avoid caffeine after 4pm</li> <li>Decrease napping</li> <li>Dim lights near bedtime</li> <li>Don't bring laptops, ipads, and other backlit devices to bed</li> <li>Avoid alcohol close to bedtime</li> <li>Relieve anxiety with stretching or deep breathing exercises</li> </ul> <p>With a little help from wearable tech, you can not only get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours">better night's sleep</a>, but also improve your overall health and quality of life by becoming more conscious of your daily habits.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-sleep-without-spending-more-time-in-bed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free">8 Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-exercise-mats">The 5 Best Exercise Mats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Lifestyle Humana sleep Wed, 24 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1245574 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy the Best Mattress for the Least Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-laying-on-mattress-Dollarphotoclub_21789058.jpg" alt="woman laying on bed" title="woman laying on bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If a house and a car are the two most important purchases in your life, a mattress makes a solid case as the third. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy?ref=seealso">How to Buy a Car Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <p>Without the right knowledge, a mattress purchase can also become like the other two &mdash; very expensive. So rest easy by checking out this buyer's guide.</p> <h2>Increase Your Knowledge</h2> <p>Before any major purchase, it is important to research your options. The first step in this process is to take a visit to mattress store or manufacturer and lie down on a few different options that are available to you. Take notes on what you like and might be interested in. Visit both regional businesses as well as larger, national stores to get an idea on how prices range.</p> <p>Greg Beuerle, of <a href="http://www.purecraftedbeds.com">Pure Crafted Beds</a> recommends small, regional mattress manufacturers for the best value. Local companies &quot;can't compete on volume with the 'big boys,' so they tend to produce higher quality beds at lower price points. That $3,500 [name brand] bed might cost $1,800 from a small manufacturer and have the exact same or even higher quality components.&quot; To know this information, the research you do is going to be essential.</p> <p><a href="http://www.themattressunderground.com/">The Mattress Underground</a> is a great place to do your research, gather credible information from knowledgeable experts and ask questions before you make your purchase. Beuerle suggests any Amazon review you look for be only from &quot;verified buyers&quot; as any others can be inflated or from someone who has never slept on the mattress.</p> <h2>Know What You Are Buying</h2> <p>Before you buy a mattress, you need to know what's inside of it. Beuerle, whose family has been in the mattress business since 1946, advises:</p> <p>&quot;You need to know the density of any foam, and the gauge and quality (tempered or non-tempered) of any innerspring. The most common foams in the mattress industry is 1.0 to 1.5 pound density. Look for foam density of at least 1.8 pound, and preferably higher (density goes up to 2.4 pound for conventional foam). Density numbers for latex and memory foam are much higher (3 to 5+ pound). This is an area of great confusion because while a density of 2.4 pound for conventional foam is great, it's not-so-great for a latex or memory foam.&quot;</p> <h2>Test Out Multiple Models</h2> <p>Start with the least expensive and then work your way to the more costly models. This way you don't become attached with an expensive mattress when a cheaper one would have made you just as happy.</p> <p>Also remember, &quot;every bed feels great when they're brand new,&quot; says Beuerle. This might be especially true if you've been on your feet all day or are especially exhausted because your current mattress just isn't cutting it anymore. Therefore, look for a 30 to 90 day window for full returns, which will allow you to try out the mattress. (As a side note, you may want to buy a mattress protector if you are going to take advantage of this return policy as stains, rips, and tears are going to make your return impossible.)</p> <h2>Look for Places to Save Money</h2> <p>If you have settled on a mattress and are looking for a time or place to buy it, then now is the time to look for all the ways you can save money. Typically, mattresses go on sale during federal holidays like Memorial Day, Presidents Day, and Labor Day.</p> <p>At larger stores, the price on the mattress is not the price you should pay. Negotiate that price down as much as you can. The smaller, regional stores will more than likely not be able to negotiate the price or only by a small amount. You may also be able to negotiate a box spring, free delivery, or a mattress pad into the deal that will save you even more money.</p> <p>Buying a mattress should never be an impulse purchase. If you buy at the spur of the moment or when your back is feeling its worst, you'll find yourself spending far more money than necessary. The best way to spend the least amount of money is by doing your due diligence with research. Learn everything you can about the mattresses you are interested in, test out your favorites a couple of times, and stick to your budget.</p> <p><em>What steps did you follow to buy your mattress? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-the-best-mattress-for-the-least-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-april">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-november">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in November</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mountain-bikes">The 5 Best Mountain Bikes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-scales">The 5 Best Smart Scales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back pain buying guide mattress shopping sleep Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:00:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1270231 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs That You're Sleep Deprived http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired-businesswoman-178042724-small.jpg" alt="tired businesswoman" title="tired businesswoman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yawns, irritability, lack of oomph. These are the tell-tale signs of sleep deprivation we're all familiar with. But studies show a shortage of slumber can have far greater &mdash; and stranger &mdash; consequences on our bodies and minds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need?ref=seealso">8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of some of the less-than-obvious repercussions of sleep loss.</p> <h2>1. You've Got a Shortened Attention Span</h2> <p>A shortened attention span can result directly from sleep deprivation. Now for the scary part: It can also be irreversible. Leading researchers this year found <a href="http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/veasey/">evidence of brain damage in people suffering from chronic sleep loss</a>.</p> <p>&quot;In general, we've always assumed full recovery of cognition following short- and long-term sleep loss,&quot; said Sigrid Veasey, the lead researcher behind the study. &quot;But some of the research in humans has shown that attention span and several other aspects of cognition may not normalize even with three days of recovery sleep, raising the question of lasting injury in the brain.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You've Got High Blood Pressure</h2> <p>A single night of inadequate sleep in people suffering from existing hypertension can trigger elevated blood pressure. Researchers believe this may explain <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk">the correlation between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular disease and stroke</a>.</p> <h2>3. You're Gaining Weight</h2> <p>Poor sleep is now considered a risk factor for obesity, right up there with overeating and lack of exercise. Studies show that people who sleep less than six hours per night are much more likely to have a higher than average body mass index. People who habitually sleep eight hours or more have the lowest BMI.</p> <p>The bodies of people who are sleep deprived also tend to secrete greater amounts of insulin following a meal. Insulin promotes fat storage, and higher levels of insulin are associated with weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes.</p> <h2>4. You're Making Mistakes Left and Right</h2> <p>Sleep deprivation can impair job performance &mdash; and the consequences can be mammoth. Investigators have determined that <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-performance-and-public-safety">sleep deprivation played a role in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger</a>, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.</p> <p>Sleep loss is also the culprit behind an untold number of medical errors in hospitals. More than a million injuries and up to 100,000 deaths each year result from preventable medical errors, and many of these may be caused by insufficient sleep, according to Institutes of Medicine.</p> <h2>5. You've Been In a Car Crash &mdash; And It Was Your Fault</h2> <p>A National Sleep Foundation survey found that 60% of adult drivers &mdash; about 168 million people &mdash; have been drowsy at the wheel in the past year, and that more than 100 million people have actually dozed off while strapped in the driver's seat. Another estimate by the Institute of Medicine points to drowsy driving as the cause of 20% of all motor vehicle crashes. That would mean that poor sleep causes approximately 1 million crashes, 500,000 injuries, and 8,000 deaths each year in the U.S.</p> <h2>6. You're Feeling Depressed</h2> <p>Lack of sleep may trigger depression &mdash; especially in teens. <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/02/06/272441146/less-sleep-more-time-online-amp-up-teen-depression-risk">Teenagers who don't get enough sleep</a> are four times as likely to develop major depressive disorder as their peers who sleep more, according to research from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.</p> <p>Ironically, sleep deprivation is also being studied as a <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-sleep-deprivation-eases-depression/">treatment for depression</a>, the very mental ailment it's known to cause. Research shows that sleep deprivation is successful up to 70% of the time when used as a method to boost the mood of a person who's feeling depressed. But here's the kicker: It only lasts until the person falls asleep.</p> <p><em>Can't get a good night's sleep? What are you doing to sleep more? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-that-youre-sleep-deprived">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-enough-sleep">Get enough sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips fitness insomnia lack of sleep sleep sleepiness Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1235109 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-sleeping-460137233-small.jpg" alt="woman sleeping" title="woman sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a whole lot you can accomplish in your sleep &mdash; a battery recharge, brain power refresher, and a more youthful glow among them. Read on for our round-up of the top six ways you can maximize your slumber. Because if you're going to multi-task during the day, you might as well do so at night, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep?ref=seealso">10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>1. Lower the Thermostat</h2> <p>We can boost metabolic health and even burn a few more calories each day by sleeping in chillier bedrooms. Researchers say <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24954193">66 degrees is ideal sleeping weather</a> &mdash; it helps our bodies build up the good fats that burn off calories and fends off insulin sensitivity that can lead to diabetes. It's also good for our bank accounts during long, cold winters.</p> <h2>2. Opt for Satin or Silk</h2> <p>A pillowcase made of satin or silk is good for the hair and skin. Unlike cotton, linen, and polyester, dermatologists have found that these fibers actually soften wrinkles because they create only minimal friction between your head and the pillowcase. They're also packed with proteins that <a href="http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00767104">prevent hair from splitting and frizzing</a>.</p> <h2>3. Go to Bed With a Clean, Moisturized Face</h2> <p>It's important to wash your face thoroughly to remove all the dirt and makeup that can clog your pores and lead to unpleasant morning breakouts. It's equally important to moisturize to help improve your skin tone and texture while repairing any sun damage. The good news is there's no need to break the bank on designer night creams.</p> <p>Experts say even the most basic moisturizers are packed with peptides and vitamin C, and those are precisely the ingredients you need to make your skin firmer and prevent new wrinkles from forming. Creams containing retinol can be a bit more costly, but the bang for your buck is big: Retinol is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/21/fashion/21skin.html?pagewanted=all">one of few ingredients available without a prescription that treats the wrinkles you already have</a>.</p> <h2>4. Sleep on Your Back</h2> <p>Over time, those crease lines you wake up with after a night spent on your stomach or your side will become full-blown wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. But you can avoid smooshing your skin against the sheets by slumbering on your back. Experts say <a href="http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/health-and-beauty/every-stage-of-life/adult-skin/what-causes-aging-skin">it's the best sleeping position</a>, and not just because it minimizes wrinkling. Sleeping on your back also prevents neck and back pain, reduces acid reflux and helps women retain perky breasts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-sleeping-position-may-be-hurting-you">Your Sleeping Position May Be Hurting You</a>)</p> <h2>5. Listen to Classical Music</h2> <p>Playing soft classical music 45 minutes before bed or while you slumber has been linked to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18426457">decreased anxiety, lower blood pressure, and curing insomnia</a>. It also makes you smarter. Studies show that children who listen to Mozart become more intelligent. It's called &quot;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpower">The Mozart Effect</a>,&quot; and if it works for kids, it's apt to work for adults, right?</p> <h2>6. Get a Solid 7 Hours of Shut-Eye &mdash; At Least</h2> <p>Sleep experts recommend we all get seven to eight hours of sleep a night if you want to be fresh, sharp, and good-natured in the morning. Those who skimp on their slumber risk more than sluggishness and a grumpy demeanor. Studies show that people who average less than seven hours of sleep at night are nearly three times <a href="http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/1/62">more likely to catch the common cold</a> than those who sleep for eight hours or more. Those who sleep less than six hours a night are <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410832">more likely to have excess body fat</a>. And people who report sleeping less than five hours a night are more <a href="http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410883">at risk for having or developing Type 2 Diabetes</a>.</p> <p><em>Are you getting enough sleep?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture">7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-well-being-and-delight-the-soul">5 Ways to Improve Your Well Being and Delight the Soul</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development beauty secrets posture self improvement sleep Mon, 08 Sep 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1205244 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleeping-girl-clock-178708632-small.jpg" alt="sleeping girl clock" title="sleeping girl clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ask anyone how much sleep they should be getting and most people will tell you 8 to 9 hours. But new research suggests that you might actually need less sleep than that &mdash; possibly as little as 7 hours for full rest and maximum health benefits.</p> <p>A recent Wall Street Journal article examined several sleep studies and concluded that most <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/sleep-experts-close-in-on-the-optimal-nights-sleep-1405984970">people would be better off with 7 hours of sleep</a> than with 8 or 9 hours. Getting too much sleep may be just as harmful or even <em>more</em> harmful to your health than getting too little sleep. So, why is 7 hours better? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <p>One study examined by the article tracked the self-reporting habits of 1.1 million people and found that those reporting 6.5 to 7.4 hours of sleep had lower mortality rates than those getting more or less sleep. Another study used a device to track how much sleep 450 elderly women got and concluded that those women getting more than 6.5 hours or fewer than 5 hours of sleep had higher mortality rates.</p> <p>Perhaps my favorite study involved placing five adults in &quot;Stone Age like conditions&quot; in Germany for over two months. They didn't have electricity, clocks, or running water. The study found that &quot;participants fell asleep about two hours earlier and got on average 1.5 hours more sleep than was estimated in their normal lives.&quot; Their average amount of sleep per night: 7.2 hours.</p> <p>As a sleep deprived mother of a 4-week-old I have a hard time believing that getting too much sleep can be just as harmful as getting too little sleep. (Especially after reading this study that shows that <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/sleep-study-shows-new-moms-dangerously-exhausted-months/">new moms are dangerously exhausted</a> for months after their little ones are born.) But being so sleep deprived, 7 hours of sleep currently does sound like a lot.</p> <p>So, if, on average, people only need 7 or 7.5 hours of sleep, how do you know how much sleep <em>you</em> need?</p> <h2>Factors to Determine How Much Sleep You Need</h2> <p>The following factors influence how much sleep you need.</p> <h3>1. Your Gender</h3> <p><a href="http://blog.bufferapp.com/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-to-work-productively">Women need more sleep than men</a>, by an average of about 20 minutes a night. And pregnant women in their first trimester need even more sleep than that.</p> <h3>2. The Quality of Sleep You're Getting</h3> <p>Anyone who is frequently awakened by the blaring siren from the fire station down the street or the cries of a hungry newborn knows that 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep is extremely different from 7 hours of pieced together, interrupted sleep. Similarly, sleeping on rocky ground while camping or on your in-laws pull-out couch is much different that your own mattress. The better the quality of your sleep, the less you'll need.</p> <h3>3. How Much &quot;Sleep Debt&quot; You're In</h3> <p>If you've been skimping on sleep for awhile you likely will <a href="http://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need">need more sleep to catch up</a> than if you are continually well-rested.</p> <h3>4. Your Age</h3> <p>Newborns sleep up to 20 hours a day, toddlers 11-14 hours, twenty-somethings 7.5 hours, and the downward trend continues up to 80 year olds who sleep less than 6 hrs a day. So, depending on your age, <a href="http://jamesclear.com/better-sleep?hvid=5x3MK2">you may need more or less sleep</a> than others.</p> <h3>5. Your Genes</h3> <p>As with most differences between individuals, genes play a role in how much sleep you need. If you're someone who has almost always needed a lot of or very little sleep, chances are your genes are playing a role, too.</p> <p><em>How much sleep do you get a night? Do you feel like it's too little, enough, or too much?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-prettier-smarter-and-healthier-while-you-sleep">6 Ways to Get Prettier, Smarter, and Healthier While You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-ways-to-become-more-hygienic">10 Quick Ways to Become More Hygienic</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development enough sleep Health sleep sleep research Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:00:08 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1195554 at http://www.wisebread.com The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything http://www.wisebread.com/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-yelling-465641459-small.jpg" alt="man yelling" title="man yelling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that there tend to be optimal times during the day for everything from scheduling a doctor's appointment to taking a nap to making the most of a workout to having a productive meeting at work. There are plenty of guides out there telling you when you should do these things to get the ideal result. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-time-of-the-day-to-do-everything?ref=seealso">The Best Time of Day to Do Everything</a>)</p> <p>However, these guides ignore the other side of the time puzzle: when is the <em>worst</em> time of day to do various activities? Because missing out on an optimal time for an activity is certainly less than ideal, but actually choosing the worst possible time could be frustrating, inefficient, and counterproductive.</p> <p>So here is a primer on how <em>not</em> to schedule your day if you want to avoid aggravation, wasted time, and even death:</p> <h2>7:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Have an Argument</h2> <p>Early in the morning is a time of hope and promise for a great new day. It might seem like a good time to bring up your engagement to Spike to your disapproving dad.</p> <p>Unfortunately, early morning is the worst time of day to have a stressful conversation or argument. That's because a <a href="http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/98/1/31.full">cardiac arrest is more likely to occur early in the day</a> (between 6 a.m. and noon) according to researchers. So if you have some shocking news to share with an elderly relative, wait until the afternoon to reveal it. Grandpa will thank you.</p> <h2>9:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Schedule a Meeting</h2> <p>You might think first thing in the morning is the best time to get all of your co-workers together to go over your TPS reports. But as it turns out, 9:00 a.m. is just about the worst time of day to schedule a meeting &mdash; despite often being touted as the best block of time for <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/best-time-day-just-about-anything-10000001053802/page2.html">memory retention</a> and <a href="http://lifehacker.com/the-best-time-of-day-to-get-ideas-according-to-science-1541494290">creative thinking</a>. Keith Harris, chief technology officer of the scheduling app <a href="http://whenisgood.net/">WhenIsGood.net</a>, examined 2 million responses to 530,000 scheduled events and found that the first part of the workday is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2014/02/19/the-best-and-worst-times-to-do-things-at-work/">when you'll have the most no-shows at your meeting</a>.</p> <p>Instead, if you need all hands on deck for your meeting, plan it for around 2:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m., when your workforce is most flexible.</p> <h2>11:00 a.m. &mdash; Don't Go to the Doctor</h2> <p>You schedule your appointment at 11:00 a.m., thinking that you'll be able to see your doc and maybe have a little time left over for lunch before you have to get back to the office. Instead, you cool your heels in reception for 40 minutes just waiting to be taken back to the exam room &mdash; where you wait another 10 minutes for your doctor to see you.</p> <p>Just like the rest of us, doctors tend to get behind in their work, and the <a href="http://seattletimes.com/html/health/2002687669_healthdoctorvisit18.html">appointments just before their lunch</a> (and before the end of the work day) are going to be when they are the most behind. Doctors often get caught up over the lunch hour (no new patients to see during that time), but those poor individuals watching their 11:00 a.m. appointment time come and go are going to be the ones bearing the brunt of the doctor's lateness.</p> <p>Instead, either take the earliest appointment in the day, or the first appointment after the lunch hour.</p> <h2>12:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Work Out During Your Lunch Hour</h2> <p>Trying to find the time to fit exercise into your life can be difficult. You might be tempted to skip your lunch and go for a short but intense workout in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, you won't necessarily be doing yourself any big favors by working out then.</p> <p>According to researchers at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, our <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041027143621.htm">lungs lose power in the middle of the day</a>. Just like the rest of our bodies, our lungs follow a circadian rhythm. Lung performance is at its lowest early in the morning and in the middle of the day. It's at its highest between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. And noon exercisers experience as much as 15% to 20% of performance lost &mdash; although anyone with healthy, strong lungs will not necessarily find such a difference noticeable.</p> <p>If the only way you can fit exercise in your life is to work out during your lunch hour, then you're definitely better off for it. However, if you are working toward a race or otherwise attempting to improve your performance, wait to work out until late afternoon, when your lung function will work for you instead of against you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=seealso">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don't Make You Look Silly</a>)</p> <h2>1:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Try to Learn Something New</h2> <p>You probably remember the difficulty you had staying awake in Mr. Medvetz's 1:00 Trigonometry class in high school? How about finding him as interesting as Ben Stein (&quot;Anyone? Anyone?&quot;) in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BNX4MC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000BNX4MC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6KVJLPZQI7CN7NTP">Ferris Bueller's Day Off</a>.</p> <p>As it turns out, you may have misjudged your old teacher, since taking that class after lunch meant you were fighting your body's natural circadian rhythm.</p> <p>In the early afternoon, our bodies experience a dip in body temperature, similar to the temperature decrease we feel just before going to bed at night. That lowered temperature in the early afternoon can make you want to pull a George Costanza and take a nap under your desk.</p> <p>But even if you fight through the sleepiness, you will find that trying to learn something new while you are drowsy will <a href="http://educationnext.org/do-schools-begin-too-early/">impair your ability to recall the information</a> that you learn. Rather than force yourself to take in new information while fighting your urge for a siesta, go ahead and close your eyes for about 15 to 20 minutes &mdash; and no more than 30 total, or you'll feel groggier than you did when you started. The quick nap can help improve your cognitive performance.</p> <h2>4:00 p.m. &mdash; Don't Hit Your Local Starbucks</h2> <p>By 4:00 in the afternoon, your morning coffee and lunchtime Diet Coke have both worn off, and you might feel the need to run to your favorite coffee shop for some hot, sweet caffeine. While you'd never drink coffee with dinner &mdash; or even after 5:00 &mdash; you know that you've got more than enough time before bed to let this late afternoon pick-me-up get out of your system.</p> <p>As a matter of fact, you don't. According to new research, caffeine taken as many six hours before bed can not only make it difficult for you to fall asleep at bedtime, but it can also <a href="http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=29198">reduce the duration of your night's sleep</a> by more than one hour.</p> <p>If you must re-caffeinate in the afternoon, try to cut yourself off from the coffee by 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. at the latest. Alternatively, taking a brisk walk outside for about 10 minutes can give a more natural jolt of energy (and endorphins) that will help you focus for the end of your workday.</p> <h2>Don't Fight Nature</h2> <p>Circadian rhythms and the human tendency to misuse time are both things that you can plan around to avoid wasting time each day. As you get the most out of each conversation, meeting, appointment, workout, and cup of coffee, you'll be glad you paid attention to human nature.</p> <p><em>When is the worst time for you to do&hellip; anything? Now's a good time to share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-and-fun-ways-to-reward-yourself">20 Free and Fun Ways to Reward Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-habits-you-must-kick-right-now-and-be-a-better-person">20 Habits You Must Kick Right Now and Be a Better Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development circadian rhythm productivity sleep time Fri, 27 Jun 2014 09:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1149833 at http://www.wisebread.com Science Proves It: You NEED to Take a Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-477210609.jpg" alt="suitcase" title="suitcase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;All who wander are not lost.&quot; &mdash; J. R. R. Tolkien</p> <p>Fifty-seven percent of American workers <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/244771/americas-war-on-vacation-by-the-numbers">don't take all of the vacation days</a> they're given by their employers. As many as <a href="http://donjosephgoewey.com/vacations-rebuild-the-brain/">half a billion vacation days</a> go unused, and 92% of people who do take vacation check in at the office at least once during that time. Most developed nations &mdash; 20 out of 21 &mdash; have mandated vacation benefits. The U.S. is the lone exception, and that could be harming the productivity and health of the American workforce. Here are five scientific studies that highlight the holistic benefits of vacation.</p> <h2>1. Vacation Fires Up the Brain</h2> <p>Time away from work, all work, actually ignites the brain. In the mid-1990s, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/">show that while people concentrate</a> on a task, parts of their brain experience a drastic reduction in activity. When those same people let their minds wander, those same parts of the brain light up like a Christmas tree. Downtime is actually a <em>stimulant</em> for the brain.</p> <h2>2. Vacation Sparks Creativity</h2> <p>If you like to spend your vacation time exploring other cultures, chances are <a href="http://www.cob.niu.edu/ibs/students/Be%20a%20Better%20Manager,%20Live%20Abroad.pdf">your downtime will supercharge your creativity</a>. Scientists found that people who spend time abroad are forced to learn to navigate the world on very different terms than they usually experience in their everyday lives. Being a stranger in a strange land strengthens our creative muscles, literally and figuratively, and those benefits linger long after the vacation ends. These experiences also make us better managers, negotiators, and collaborators.</p> <h2>3. A Rested Brain Is a Connected Brain</h2> <p>For too long, sleep was seen as a waste of time. Now there are <a href="http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep">a plethora of sleep studies</a> that show sleep and rest are the very best methods to assimilate new information into knowledge we can use in future circumstances. We are bombarded by information, data, and many other forms of stimuli during every waking moment. When we rest, our brains have the opportunity to connect all of these disparate dots, and those connections lead to insights great and small. Sleep and rest also improve memory. So, be sure to get plenty of rest on your next vacation!</p> <h2>4. The Shortest Bridge Between Despair and Hope Is a Good Vacation</h2> <p>This is more than a clever turn of phrase. It's actually grounded in science. Studies show that <a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/11/19/dr-max-gomez-helping-depressed-patients-get-some-sleep/">people who sleep 7-8 hours per night are happier and healthier</a>. If you're feeling low, rest and relaxation via a vacation may be exactly what the doctor will order. <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/24/vacation.mental.benefits/">Vacation gives us a chance to truly let go</a>, and that's food for the emotional centers of the brain that will bring it back into balance.</p> <h2>5. Vacation Reduces Stress</h2> <p>Stress is one of the root causes of disease. It's been shown to cause cellular degeneration and increase blood pressure, sugar levels, and blood lipid levels that increase the risks for heart disease and stroke. It also negatively impacts the respiratory and digestive systems. In short, stress kills. <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/30/health/la-he-brain-on-vacation-20110530">A true vacation gives us a chance to detox</a> the body of stress, and that detox is crucial for our long-term health. It recharges us mentally and physically, with a particularly positive impact on brain health and cognitive function.</p> <p>With all these benefits of vacation, it's time to get out those travel books, fire up your search engine, and start planning your next great getaway. Don't think of it as time off; think of it as an investment in your most valuable asset &mdash; you and your health!</p> <p><em>Have you noticed how vacation improves your productivity? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-proves-it-you-need-to-take-a-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-routinely-creative">Being routinely creative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-doing-less-helps-you-get-more-done">How Doing Less Helps You Get More Done</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier">9 Ways to Protect Your Personal Time From Work and Be Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-your-best-work-hours">Finding Your Best Work Hours</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity creativity productivity sleep stress vacation Fri, 09 May 2014 09:00:18 +0000 Christa Avampato 1138609 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Speed Up Your Morning Routine (and Get More Sleep) http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-speed-up-your-morning-routine-and-get-more-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-speed-up-your-morning-routine-and-get-more-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning-5281353-small.jpg" alt="morning" title="morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How you handle your morning impacts the productivity of your entire day.</p> <p>When you get a good night's rest, your mind is clearer, more focused, and more energetic than it would be if you didn't get enough sleep. It doesn't matter how many energy drinks or cups of coffee you guzzle down; nothing can replace sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-successful-people-do-every-morning?ref=seealso">13 Things Successful People Do Each Morning</a>)</p> <p>The routine that you put in place whenever you wake up is critical when it comes to getting work done and moving through your to-do list. For those looking to take advantage of that clear mind and fresh morning air, the goal should be to streamline the morning routine and maximize productivity, all without sacrificing your Zs.</p> <p>It sounds like a tall order, but we can get it done in a number of practical ways.</p> <h2>1. Figure Out When to Go to Bed Based on When You Have to Get Up</h2> <p>Our bodies are programmed to <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/sleep-101">sleep for certain amounts of time</a>, based on five to six sleep cycles. Each cycle is about 90 minutes long. A website called <a href="http://sleepyti.me/">sleepyti.me</a> actually lets you calculate what time you should go to sleep based on when you want to get up.</p> <p>It'll give you a few different bedtime options. Getting up early doesn't necessarily mean going to bed earlier. What's more important is timing it so that you wake between cycles, rather than in the middle of one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-better-sleep-with-these-5-great-sleep-tracking-apps?ref=seealso">Great Sleep-Tracking Apps</a>)</p> <h2>2. Set Your Clothes Out</h2> <p>Somehow, getting dressed seems to take longer in the morning than it does in the evening.</p> <p>Choose and set out your outfit the night before so that you don't need to spend time deliberating about what to wear or where to find it. Figuring that stuff out at night is much easier, and you'll save yourself anywhere from five to ten minutes in the morning.</p> <p>Or you can do what I do: I pick out a whole week's worth of outfits from my button-down and pants to my undershirt and undies, iron them (not the undies), and put them together on one hanger per outfit in the closet in order of when I want to wear them. It makes my mornings less of a chore &mdash; and allows me more time to snooze. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine?ref=seealso">Change Your Bedtime Routine, Change Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>3. Don't Check Facebook</h2> <p>You know you do it. The next thought you have after, &quot;Crap, I've got to get up&quot; is to check your Facebook account. Maybe it's not Facebook. Maybe it's email or your RSS feeds, Twitter, or something sports related. Whatever it is, it's taking time away from both starting your day and time that you could've been sleeping.</p> <p>If you decide to get up, leave your phone be until you get to a point in the day where you've gotten some work under your belt and you need to take a break. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-break-your-social-media-habit?ref=seealso">Breaking Your Social Media Habit</a>)</p> <h2>4. Get a Quick Breakfast</h2> <p>Don't skip breakfast in the morning if you can help it.</p> <p>It's really the one meal that can work with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-easy-breakfasts-for-people-on-the-go">quick solutions</a>, so don't pass it up just to save time. Eating breakfast helps you focus, gets your metabolism going, and gives you energy to get you through to the lunch hour.</p> <p>You might feel like you're saving time by skipping it, but it's counterproductive, even on a good day. Cooking a big breakfast isn't necessary, but use some of the quick ideas to nourish your body before you head out the door.</p> <h2>5. Eat Lunch at Work</h2> <p>If lunch cuts into your morning routine, free up that last half-hour by packing a lunch the night before and eating at your desk.</p> <p>It's cheaper, it's better for your health than restaurant food, and it frees you from having to drive somewhere at 11:30 a.m. for a noon lunch.</p> <h2>6. Shower the Night Before</h2> <p>Some people need a shower in the morning to wake up, but if you prefer to just get up and head out the door, take your shower right before you go to bed, and you'll be fine to go without one in the morning.</p> <h2>7. Brew Your Own Coffee</h2> <p>It's a much quicker process to brew your own coffee than it is to go through the trouble of getting to Starbucks and waiting in line for somebody else to prepare your morning pick-me-up. It's also a lot cheaper. If you have a coffee maker that you can set and forget, your hot cup of joe will be ready for you to take on the go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers?ref=seealso">5 Great Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <h2>Take Advantage of the Morning Hours</h2> <p>While you don't want to short change your sleep, the morning hours and the routine that fills them will set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to get around seven or eight hours of sleep, and then streamline your morning activities as much as possible.</p> <p>The sooner you get to the point where you can start being productive, without having sacrificed much-needed sleep, the better off the rest of your day will be.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas on how to speed up your morning routine and get more sleep? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-speed-up-your-morning-routine-and-get-more-sleep">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/27-things-you-should-have-in-your-utility-drawer">27 Things You Should Have in Your Utility Drawer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane">6 Things to Keep You Sane on a Plane</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Organization mornings routine sleep Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:48:23 +0000 Mikey Rox 1135031 at http://www.wisebread.com Change Your Life by Changing Your Bedtime Routine http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/morning-86504292.jpg" alt="breakfast" title="breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going to bed is one of those things I tend to take for granted. After all, I've done it every, single night for over 35 years (well, except for a few in college!). At this point in life, I don't think much about it &mdash; I go through my sparse routine and then curl up under the blankets.</p> <p>However, it turns out that getting things done before bedtime &mdash; and in fact incorporating them into your nightly routine&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">&mdash;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">&nbsp;can help you make major changes to your life. Think about it &mdash; if you complete tasks before bed, then you don't have to do them after you get up in the morning. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-essential-life-hacks-that-will-save-you-time-in-the-morning?ref=seealso">Life Hacks That'll Save You Time in the Morning</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <h2>1. Ask Your Questions</h2> <p>This comes straight from Benjamin Franklin himself. Choose a question or two that will help you <a href="http://parade.condenast.com/35748/parade/what-was-benjamin-franklins-daily-routine/">focus on your values or achieve your goals</a>, and contemplate it before you go to sleep. Franklin's question, for example, was &quot;What good have I done today?&quot; He valued contributing positively to the world, and answering this question helped him focus on that.</p> <p>It may help you to journal your answers. This can mean anything from simply jotting a few words in a notebook to writing several pages or paragraphs. You can also dictate your answers into a voice recorder, so that you can access them later.</p> <h2>2. Disengage</h2> <p>If you want to sleep well and wake refreshed for the day ahead, take some time to disengage from work, family, and life in general before you try to sleep. This doesn't just mean clearing your mind of the day, but gives you time to think through what happened, evaluate your day and/or yourself in it, and make some choices about how to proceed in the morning.</p> <p>Disengaging can take many forms. Some people take a short walk. Others read a book. Still others spend some time talking to a trusted friend or family member. You may want to try several options before you choose what seems to work best. And remember: once you have disengaged, go to bed. Don't give yourself a chance to re-engage before you try to sleep.</p> <h2>3. Prioritize Tomorrow</h2> <p>Many people find that they think best at night. Even if this isn't you, though, nighttime is when you have the entire past day still fresh in your head. Use this to your advantage by jotting down three things that absolutely have to get done the next day or that need your focus before anything else. This will help you in the morning, and you won't have to perform higher-level thought processes when you might be sleepy or disoriented.</p> <p>Writing these things down also gets them out of your head. Once they're out, you won't have to try to remember them, so they won't distract you as you are trying to sleep. And you will know when you wake that you have a plan of attack all ready to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day?ref=seealso">Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day</a>)</p> <h2>4. Wash Your Dishes</h2> <p>Cleaning your dishes, or loading them into your dishwasher if you're lucky enough to have one, doesn't take too long. However, waking up to <a href="http://frugalbits.com/fitness-health/how-housework-can-make-you-happy/">a clean house will make you feel happier</a> and, therefore, more ready to take on your day. It even makes getting breakfast easier, because you don't have to dig through the dirty dishes or even wash anything before you do it.</p> <p>Many people find that putting their homes in order also seems to put their minds in order. If this is you, then doing the dishes before you go to sleep can help you relax. If nothing else, getting the plates clean before the food has a chance to crust onto them makes getting them clean a whole lot easier! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-keeping-your-kitchen-clean-while-you-cook?ref=seealso">How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean While You Cook</a>)</p> <h2>5. Prepare Your Clothes</h2> <p>Even if you're not doing anything huge in the morning, getting the next day's clothing ready can help you make sure that you have everything you need, including accessories, belts, shoes, socks, jewelry, and everything else. And, if you somehow end up running late in the morning, you won't have to worry about choosing an outfit or making sure you've pulled it all together because you took care of that the night before.</p> <p>If you go to the gym or do any other activity that requires a special wardrobe, you can also get that ready before you go to bed. If you don't have to pack a bag or make sure you have everything you need to shower at the gym, you will be able to sleep longer in the morning.</p> <h2>6. Set a Timer</h2> <p>This is especially useful for people who struggle to get to bed on time, but it can help anyone focus their bedtime routine so that they get done what needs to be done before they sleep. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and put your entire bedtime routine into that time. This gives you plenty of time to do everything on this list, and makes sure that it doesn't eat up your whole evening and that you will be able to sleep when you want to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-sleep-better-in-fewer-hours?ref=seealso">Ways to Sleep Better in Fewer Hours</a>)</p> <p>If 30 minutes doesn't work for you, tweak the time frame. Maybe you only need 20 minutes, or maybe it takes you 45 to get everything done. The important thing is that you have a set time in which to get to bed, and you stick with it. This also helps you get the sleep that you need to be successful the next day.</p> <p><em>What is your bedtime routine? Do you do anything before bed that improves the overall quality of your life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-changing-your-bedtime-routine">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-complete-idiots-guide-to-speed-reading-a-book-review">The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading: A Book Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worst-time-of-day-to-do-everything">The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multitasking-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought">Multitasking Sucks Even More Than You Thought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Productivity bedtime nighttime outine productivity sleep Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:24:26 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1129621 at http://www.wisebread.com