get better sleep http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7980/all en-US How to Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_waking_up.jpg" alt="Man waking up" title="Man waking up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every day at 6 a.m., my alarm goes off. I hit snooze several times before eventually rolling out of bed 30 to 45 minutes later. Why? Because waking up is hard to do. My still-asleep self tells me I&rsquo;m still tired, and my bed is comfortable. If you&rsquo;re anything like me, though, you <em>want</em> to wake up earlier; you just don&rsquo;t actually follow through. Until now, that is &mdash; I&rsquo;ve compiled a list of ways to get over the hurdle of waking up the first time your alarm goes off, jump out of bed, and attack the day! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet</a>)</p> <h2>1. Articulate Why You Want to Wake Up Fast</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not clear about <em>why</em> you want to wake up fast in the mornings, you won&rsquo;t do it. It sounds simple, but actually verbalizing your reason for getting up in the morning is an important first step. In my case, I want to get up early enough to do a little yoga. It helps wake me up slowly, relaxes me, and sets the tone for the day. In your case, it might be important to get some reading in before heading to work. It might simply be getting up early enough to not feel perpetually rushed when you get out the door. If you were able to wake up the first time your alarm went off instead of 30 minutes later, you&rsquo;d have 130 extra hours &mdash; or nearly 5 &frac12; days &mdash; per year to do something you enjoy!</p> <h2>2. Assault Your Ears With Loud Noises</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever heard the submarine alarm sound for the iPhone, you know what I&rsquo;m talking about. Obnoxious noises are an excellent, albeit annoying, way to shock yourself awake in the mornings. You could also try having one of these <a href="http://www.realbuzz.com/articles/top-10-wake-up-songs-for-the-morning">great tunes to wake up to</a> playing at top volume. Whatever the sound, make it loud and jarring, and you&rsquo;re more likely to speed through the fog of sleep to full consciousness before your brain has time to hit snooze.</p> <h2>3. Put Your Alarm Across the Room</h2> <p>Movement, like loud noises, helps your brain to wake up quickly. Make that movement compulsory in the morning by putting your alarm across the room. By the time you get to it, you&rsquo;ll be awake enough to remember that you want to get up to practice yoga this morning, or get to the gym, or read. This tip works even better if your alarm is playing an extremely loud noise &mdash; it gives you added incentive to get to it quickly. Instead of putting your alarm across the room, you could try the popular <a href="http://www.nandahome.com/products/clocky/index.php?color=almond">Clocky</a> alarm clock, which rolls across the room once it goes off until you chase it down. For an alarm that combines music and movement, check out Clocky&rsquo;s little brother, <a href="http://www.nandahome.com/products/tocky/index.php?color=orange">Tocky.</a></p> <h2>4. Splash Cold Water in Your Face</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s common knowledge that the shock of cold water is a great way to wake up fast. You could enlist a roommate or spouse to throw water on you in the morning, but that would be extreme. Instead, prepare the night before by putting a bowl of water and washcloth by your bed, and you&rsquo;ll be able to immediately give your face a cold soak in the morning before the snooze monster gets you.</p> <h2>5. Drink a Cold Glass of Water</h2> <p>Although it turns out that <a href="http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/water.asp">drinking copious amounts of water</a> at the start of each day cannot, in fact, cure disease, drinking one glass of cold water can help raise your alertness quickly. Again, the key is preparation &mdash; have a glass of water by the bed and try to drink it all before even thinking of hitting the snooze. By then, your rational, awake mind will have taken over, and you&rsquo;ll be ready to start the day.</p> <h2>6. Smell Something Energizing</h2> <p>According to <a href="http://sciencefocus.com/qa/can-smell-wake-you">FOCUS Magazine</a>, smelling salts, which have been used for hundreds of years to revive people from faints, work because the gas in them irritates the lungs, causes people to inhale, and elevates blood oxygen levels. Similarly, certain scents, including peppermint and lemon, have been <a href="http://www.divinecaroline.com/22189/57436-scents-smells-sleep-and-waking/2">shown to increase alertness</a>. In fact, one study by the Sense of Smell Institute (yes, it really exists) found &quot;that people exposed to lemony, woody fragrances early in the morning&quot; experienced a boost in motivation. The best way to have these scents at your fingertips early in the morning is with a small bottle of peppermint essential oil or lemon extract at your bedside.</p> <h2>7. Drink Caffeine</h2> <p>Caffeine is likely one of the most obvious ways to wake up fast in the morning; however, the benefit you reap from it depends on the method of delivery. If you hate the taste of coffee, try having a soda, an energy-boosting shot (like <a href="http://www.5hourenergy.com/index.asp">5-Hour Energy</a>), or a chai tea. If you&rsquo;re just after the beverage that packs the most caffeine punch per milligram, check out the <a href="http://www.energyfiend.com/the-caffeine-database">Energy Fiend&rsquo;s Caffeine Database</a>. Just take care to only drink enough to get you going in the morning, so you don&rsquo;t get the jitters by the afternoon. Ever wondered how much is too much caffeine? Answer your question with the <a href="http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine">Energy Fiend&rsquo;s Death by Caffeine Calculator</a>.</p> <h2>8. Eat Something</h2> <p>Besides the other numerous <a href="http://www.wellsource.info/wn/hc-breakfast.pdf">benefits of eating breakfast</a> (PDF) in the morning (including weight loss, increased focus, and decreased stress), breakfast can also help you to wake up fast. Because we don&rsquo;t eat while we sleep, our blood sugar levels drop at night. Getting some carbohydrates first thing in the morning can give you a quick increase in alertness. Try keeping something like chocolate-covered espresso beans (for chocolate and sugar) or fruit (for sugar and carbohydrates) by your bed so you can reach for it first thing in the morning.</p> <h2>9. Workout</h2> <p>I don&rsquo;t mean a full <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">workout routine</a>, although for some (including me) that&rsquo;s the whole point of waking up fast in the first place. I do mean jumping out of bed and doing a two-minute stretching exercise to increase your blood pressure and heart rate. A quick bout of calisthenics is a good way to get your brain in wake up mode fast. Not sure what exercises to do? Try some of these <a href="http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/yogapractice/sunsalutation.asp">sun salutation yoga poses</a> or just stretch every extremity for 15 seconds.</p> <h2>10. Prepare the Night Before</h2> <p>Waking up fast has a lot to do with how you go to bed the night before. We all know the basics, but they bear repeating: avoid alcohol and caffeine within several hours of bedtime, try to resolve bothersome disputes, and get enough sleep. It also helps to prepare for the next day on the night before by laying out clothes and putting together supplies needed for work or school. This way, your mind is better able to focus on what a great day you&rsquo;re about to have, rather than dreading the odds and ends you&rsquo;ll have to wrap up as soon as waking up.</p> <p>So there you have it &mdash; the best of the best ways to wake up fast. I hope it helps you to wake up fast, fresh, and ready for the day ahead!</p> <p><em>Have you found anything particularly helpful in waking up fast? Share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520To%2520Wake%2520Up%2520Fast%2520%2526%2520Attack%2520The%2520Day.jpg&amp;description=How%20To%20Wake%20Up%20Fast%20%26%20Attack%20The%20Day"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20To%20Wake%20Up%20Fast%20%26%20Attack%20The%20Day.jpg" alt="How To Wake Up Fast &amp; Attack The Day" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-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/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</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-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</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-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity caffeine get better sleep get things done wake up fast Wed, 07 Sep 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Janey Osterlind 695857 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet http://www.wisebread.com/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleep-remedies-title.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em><a href="http://r1.fmpub.net/?r=http%3A%2F%2Fclk.atdmt.com%2FAVE%2Fgo%2F340934644%2Fdirect%2F01%2F&amp;k4=2512&amp;k5={banner_id}">This post is sponsored by Tempur-Pedic because we think you deserve to get your best night&rsquo;s sleep every night</a>.</em></p> <p>I hate the person I become when I don&rsquo;t get enough sleep. The entire day is covered in a brain fog&mdash;my decisions come slower, my temper flares, and I stop checking email for fear of picking up more work.&nbsp;And while I&rsquo;m dead tired at night, I&rsquo;m so worried about the unproductive day I&rsquo;ve had that the anxiety keeps me up.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve spent many sleepless nights researching sleep remedies, and I&rsquo;ve heard of all the same ones you have: establish a bedtime routine, sleep in complete darkness, don&rsquo;t drink coffee or alcohol at night, keep your bedroom cool, reserve the bed for sleeping, etc. These are all good tips that can help. But if you&rsquo;ve tried them all and still can&rsquo;t sleep, here are five lesser-known strategies I&rsquo;ve tried that have done wonders for me.</p> <h3><b>Control Your Light Environment</b></h3> <h3><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/sleeping-at-laptop.jpg" /></h3> <p>As I mentioned above, sleeping in complete darkness can help insomnia. But the light we experience when we&rsquo;re awake plays a big part in controlling our sleep rhythms as well. The morning&rsquo;s sunlight promotes good moods and wakefulness, while the night&rsquo;s darkness tells our bodies to relax and rest. Unfortunately, in the modern world we don&rsquo;t spend enough time outside in the morning and spend too much time in front of computer monitors at night.</p> <p>The best way to fix this problem is to take long walks in the early mornings and stop surfing the web in the evening. That doesn&rsquo;t quite fit into my schedule, so I was really excited when I read about the <a href="http://gizmodo.com/5116113/philips-golite-blu-light-therapy-clock-lightning-review">Philips goLITE</a> in Tim Ferriss&rsquo; new book, <a href="http://fourhourbody.com/"><i>The 4-Hour Body</i></a>. The goLITE is a palm-sized box that generates a soft blue light that mimics the natural spectrum of sunlight that triggers wakefulness in our body.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve been using the light for over six months. At first I felt uncomfortable shining this blue light in my face for 15 minutes every morning&mdash;while the light is soft enough to be unobtrusive, it is definitely noticeable and takes a bit of getting used to. After about the third week, though, I started seeing the positive effects. Now after every session I feel energized and excited, ready to take on the world. I liked it so much I also bought an extra goLITE for my parents.</p> <p>As for controlling your light environment at night, the best solution is to turn off bright lights and avoid watching TV or using computers. But if that&rsquo;s not possible, make sure you dim down your TV and install <a href="http://stereopsis.com/flux/">f.lux</a>. It&rsquo;s free software that changes the color of your computer screen at night to a soft, orange hue. At first I thought it looked ridiculously ugly, like an orange Popsicle threw up all over my desktop. &nbsp;But the softer color is really easy on the eyes and doesn&rsquo;t affect visibility. I got used to it very quickly and now when I use other people&rsquo;s computers at night, I&rsquo;m shocked by how bright their screens appear.</p> <h3><b>Wake Up to Fun</b></h3> <h3><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/waking-up-is-fun.jpg" /></h3> <p>Most people associate mornings with hectic schedules and going into a job they hate. It is no wonder people don&rsquo;t get excited about getting out of bed. But what if your mornings are filled with exciting activities instead?</p> <p>Now I try to wake up one hour earlier than I have to and use that hour as my personal &ldquo;play time.&rdquo; Some of the things I treat myself to include:</p> <ul> <li>Finding a pickup basketball game, playing online video games, or watching a good episode of my favorite TV show like <i>Buffy</i> or <i>Community</i> (or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6y-j84d7eM">both at once</a> when I&rsquo;m in a daring mood).</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Taking a walk around the block while listening to a favorite audiobook or music.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Adding a scoop of ice cream and two strips of bacon to my otherwise healthy breakfast.</li> </ul> <p>Now I can&rsquo;t wait to get up! I jump out of bed with a smile on my face, and the physical activities raise my metabolism for the rest of the day. Before you object that you don&rsquo;t have time in the mornings for shenanigans, just remember you probably already have a &ldquo;play time&rdquo;&mdash;except you&rsquo;re doing this at night right before you go to sleep, which probably keeps you up way later than you would like.</p> <h3><b>Take Melatonin at the Proper Dosage</b></h3> <h3><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/right-dose-melatonin.jpg" /></h3> <p>Melatonin is a popular sleep aid, but when I first tried it, I had very mixed results. For the first two or three days it would knock me out completely, but after the third day I noticed a steep drop in the melatonin&rsquo;s effectiveness. After some extensive research I found out that I&mdash;like most Americans&mdash;was taking melatonin at too high of a dose.</p> <p>According to MIT neuroscientist <a href="http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/melatonin-1017.html">Dr. Richard Wurtman</a>, the optimal dose of melatonin is 0.3 mg, and taking higher doses will cause the hormone to stop working in a few days. Unfortunately, the most popular melatonin brands usually market tablets in 3-5 milligrams, which is 10 to 16 times stronger than the optimal dose.&nbsp;Dr. Wurtman <a href="http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20050303/melatonin-modestly-effective-for-sleep?page=2">explains</a> that manufacturers market higher-than-optimal doses of melatonin because MIT holds a patent on melatonin at doses of up to 1 mg.</p> <p>Melatonin worked wonders for me when I started using it at the correct dosage level. I take it about an hour before sleep and usually wake up feeling very refreshed. Please keep in mind, though, that melatonin is not a long-term solution to insomnia. I only use it as a last resort and never use it more than a week at a time.</p> <h3><b>Always Reset Your Internal Clock When You Travel</b></h3> <h3><img width="605" height="345" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/sleep-while-traveling-clock.jpg" /></h3> <p>When you travel, it can take you up to a week to fully adjust to a new time zone. Two years ago I learned a neat trick that allows me to adjust to the new time zone in only one day&mdash;I stop eating 16 hours before the time I want to wake up. When I wake up, I have a large breakfast, and my body recognizes that time as my new &ldquo;morning.&rdquo;</p> <p>For example, if you want to start waking up at 5:00 am in the morning, you should start fasting at 1:00 pm the day before. &nbsp;When you wake up at 5:00 am, have a huge breakfast, and your body will adjust to 5:00 am as your new morning wake time.</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2008/05/23/travel-jetlag.html">Harvard Medical School</a>, we&rsquo;ve developed this food-dependent clock because:</p> <blockquote> <p>&hellip;it is adaptive for animals to have a secondary &ldquo;master clock&rdquo; that can allow the animal to switch its behavioral patterns rapidly after a period of starvation to maximize the opportunity of finding food sources at the same time on following days&hellip;.&nbsp;The shift is a survival mechanism in small mammals that forces them to change their sleeping patterns. One starvation cycle is enough to override the traditional light-based circadian clock.</p> </blockquote> <p>This strategy has worked so well for me that not only do I use it when I travel, but I also do it every time when I need to re-sync my sleep schedule after it gets disrupted. For example, if I partied all night on Friday and slept in on Saturday, I&rsquo;ll use this trick on Sunday to reset my schedule so I can get back to my regular sleep pattern for the rest of the week.</p> <h3><b>Track Your Sleep Habits</b></h3> <p><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/keep-a-sleep-journal.jpg" /></p> <p>I get a lot of flak from my friends when I tell them I keep a sleep journal. No, it doesn&rsquo;t have pictures of rainbows or unicorns. &nbsp;It is a very <em>manly </em>notebook where I record when I go to sleep and wake up, the environment I&rsquo;m sleeping in, and the type of sleep remedies I&rsquo;m trying.</p> <p>By carefully tracking the details, I&rsquo;ve learned a great deal about myself. For example, I&rsquo;ve learned that I sleep better when I take a cold shower 30 minutes before bed, and if I talk on the phone within an hour of bedtime, I have trouble falling asleep later.</p> <p>The sleep journal is also a great place to jot down thoughts. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea, a weird dream, or a problem my brain can&rsquo;t solve, I write it down in the sleep journal. The act of writing down my thoughts purges them from my mind and allows me to go back to sleep.</p> <p>Recently I&rsquo;ve supplemented my sleep journal with a <a href="http://www.fitbit.com/">Fitbit tracker</a>&mdash;a small motion sensor that tracks when I fall asleep and how often I wake up at night. Here&rsquo;s a recent report about my sleeping habits from Fitbit:</p> <div align="center"><img width="549" height="228" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/fitbit-screencap1.png" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Fitbit then compares my data with the average user:</p> <p><img width="605" height="350" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/sample-fitbit-report.jpg" /></p> <p>I&rsquo;m pleased to learn that my sleep efficiency is 90%. (This means 90% of my bedtime is spent in restful sleep.) However, Fitbit did point out that it takes me about 14 minutes to fall asleep, which seemed longer than usual for me. I checked my sleep journal and realized that this was the week I switched from listening to classical music before bedtime to listening to NPR News (I wanted to get an update on the debt crisis). The sleep journal and Fitbit let me know that listening to the depressing news might be keeping me up later than I expected.&nbsp;</p> <p>I really enjoy the process of recording my sleep and trying to figure out which of my activities affected my sleep pattern.&nbsp;Not only does it help me identify good sleep remedies and sleep habits, but it also makes me feel like a scientist! Instead of feeling anxious about my insomnia, I now treat the rogue sleepless night as an opportunity to learn more about my body and psyche.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t feel like you need to try all these tips at once&mdash;consider starting with one suggestion and keeping a sleep journal to see how it helps. Hopefully you&rsquo;ll be back to bed in no time!</p> <p><strong><i>What keeps you up at night, and what are some of your favorite remedies to get a good night&rsquo;s sleep?</i></strong></p> <p><em>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</em></p> <div align="center"> <p><script src="http://www.stumbleupon.com/hostedbadge.php?s=5"></script></p> </div> <p><i>Editor&rsquo;s Note: Will is not a physician. Nothing in this post should be considered medical advice.</i></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">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/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation">Beat Back the Zombies: 4 Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation</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/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">12 Reasons You Can&#039;t Focus — And How to Fix It Now</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/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">How to Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day</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-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Productivity get better sleep insomnia Tue, 09 Aug 2011 15:00:16 +0000 Will Chen 651375 at http://www.wisebread.com Beat Back the Zombies: 4 Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation http://www.wisebread.com/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sleeping2.jpg" alt="Man and dog sleeping" title="Man and dog sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pulling an all-nighter remains one of the most basic forms of collegiate street cred.</p> <p>But sleep deprivation is becoming an epidemic with serious implications for all Americans, not just caffeine-fueled undergraduates.</p> <p>The reality is that 7 in 10 Americans don't get enough sleep, and an astounding 55% get six hours a night or less, according to sleep experts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-better-sleep-tonight">5 Ways to Get Better Sleep...Tonight!</a>)</p> <p>&quot;This is a very serious health problem,&quot; according to Mark Quinn, chairman of the <a href="http://www.bettersleep.org/">Better Sleep Council</a>, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association. &quot;Sleep deprivation can have a profound impact on a person's general health as well as his or her mood, energy level, job performance, and overall productivity.&quot;</p> <p>The Better Sleep Council is launching a new public awareness campaign to help curb sleep deprivation. The &quot;Stop Zombieitis&quot; campaign takes a tongue-in-cheek approach, equating sleep-deprived Americans with, well, zombies. Despite the lighthearted tone, the campaign aims to spotlight and tackle the array of debilitating effects of sleep deprivation, from diminished productivity and body pains to impaired driving and unsafe work conditions.</p> <p>The campaign kicks off this May, which is Better Sleep Month. This month is a great time to get your sleep back on track. If you aren't getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, try using the suggestions below.</p> <h2>Sack the Old Mattress</h2> <p>The older the mattress, the less likely you are to get a good night's sleep. Only 9% of Americans who own 8- to 10-year-old mattresses get seven to eight hours of sleep, according to the ISPA. Of the 53% who get those coveted seven to eight hours, a big chunk &mdash; 36 percent &mdash; have a mattress that's one to four years old. An Oklahoma State University study showed similar results &mdash; study participants reported significant improvements in sleep quality, lower back pain, and comfort when sleeping on a new mattress. A good mattress isn't cheap, but it's one of those key investments that pays for itself in peace of mind.</p> <h2>Build a Routine</h2> <p>The Mayo Clinic recommends that people establish and stick with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">sleep pattern</a>. Wake up and go to bed right around the same time every day of the week (yes, that includes weekends). Getting into a solid regimen can help your body's sleep-wake cycle and, over time, tends to make both waking and falling asleep easier.</p> <h2>Cut the Cord</h2> <p>This one is increasingly difficult in the age of Kindles, iPads, and ubiquitous electronic devices. But recent studies suggest that prolonged use of electronic media before bed leads to insufficient or poor-quality sleep. Walk away from the light, not toward it, in the hour or so before it's time for bed.</p> <h2>Get Off the Couch</h2> <p>There's an increasingly clear correlation between exercise and better sleep. But it also depends on when you exercise. An afternoon workout can help you fall asleep faster and sleep sounder, but <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/diet.fitness/06/20/hb.exercise.benefits/index.html">exercising right before bed</a> can actually do the opposite, according to The National Sleep Foundation. A 2003 study of morning exercise among postmenopausal women showed similar results.</p> <p>Other than the mattress solution, these steps require little to no financial outlay. Consider creating a &quot;new bed fund&quot; as soon as possible, then keep it rolling once you purchase that sleek new model.</p> <p>Don't be a zombie. Your body will thank you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation">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/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven&#039;t Tried Yet</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/9-quick-workouts-you-can-do-during-commercial-breaks">9 Quick Workouts You Can Do During Commercial Breaks</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/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</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/12-reasons-you-cant-focus-and-how-to-fix-it-now">12 Reasons You Can&#039;t Focus — And How to Fix It Now</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-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Productivity exercise get better sleep sleep hack Tue, 26 Apr 2011 10:24:13 +0000 Chris Birk 530147 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Ways to Beat Insomnia and Get Better Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-beat-insomnia-and-get-better-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-ways-to-beat-insomnia-and-get-better-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/istock2284721.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the busy and driven world that we live in, one of the things that really seems to suffer is a good night&rsquo;s sleep, regardless of our age. Unfortunately, these sleep deficits are not without their own share of adverse health consequences. Lack of sleep causes our bodies to react negatively, elevating our stress hormone levels and predisposing us to a wide range of disorders which include depression, heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.</p> <p>In fact, there are some prominent schools of thought that believe sleep to be the single biggest factor that influences our longevity. It therefore goes without saying that we should all be taking the proper steps to ensure we are getting enough rest. After all, our lives could depend on it. So with this in mind, here are some simple and straightforward suggestions to assist you in getting a good night&rsquo;s sleep.</p> <p><strong>1. Use your bed for what it was intended for.</strong></p> <p>In other words, only use your bed for sex and sleep, and partake in other activities, like reading or paying bills, in other places.</p> <p><strong>2. Avoid caffeine in the evening.</strong></p> <p>Indulging in caffeine in the morning is fine, but remember that it can stay in your system for up to 20 hours.</p> <p><strong>3. Do not drink excessive fluids before bedtime.</strong></p> <p>It may force you to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.</p> <p><strong>4. Avoid long naps during the day.</strong></p> <p>They can throw off your bedtime rhythm. If you have to squeeze in a short snooze, take a power nap of 10-15 minutes.</p> <p><strong>5. Get plenty of exercise, making sure to avoid strenuous exertion near bedtime.</strong></p> <p>Morning and afternoon workouts have the most benefit for sleep.</p> <p><strong>6. Be wary of OTC medication.</strong></p> <p>Certain drugs, like antihistamines and cold medicines, can make you feel groggy and tired. Check the labels and speak with your pharmacist or doctor.</p> <p><strong>7. Make your bedroom environment as comfortable as possible.</strong></p> <p>This means choosing a good pillow and mattress, as well as being selective as to who gets to share your bed with you, i.e., pets and kids.</p> <p><strong>8. Certain foods are believed to help sleep.</strong></p> <p>These include warm milk and chamomile tea. However, avoid excessive consumption.</p> <p><strong>9. Be regular.</strong></p> <p>Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day to condition your body to the routine.</p> <p><strong>10. Avoid alcohol.</strong></p> <p>Alcohol consumed within an hour of bedtime disrupts the second half of the sleep period, and continued nighttime consumption increasingly disrupts sleep.</p> <p><strong>11. Go to bed when you&rsquo;re tired, and turn out the lights.</strong></p> <p>If you can&rsquo;t fall asleep, don&rsquo;t force the issue. Get out of bed and do something to make you drowsy, then get back in bed and go to sleep.</p> <p><strong>12. Reduce your screen time before bed.</strong></p> <p>This includes computers and TV. Try to avoid having a TV in your bedroom and falling asleep with it on.</p> <p><strong>13. Select a ritual.</strong></p> <p>Relaxing bedtime activities like taking a bath or listening to music can help you drift off to dream land.</p> <p><strong>14. Set your body clock.</strong></p> <p>Exposure to proper amounts of bright light (like the sun) during the day may help suppress our body&rsquo;s production of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone), thus making sleep easier in the evening.</p> <p><strong>15. Leave your worries for waking hours.</strong></p> <p>Perhaps easier said than done, but try not to stress about your daily worries once your head hits the pillow.</p> <p><strong>16. Avoid harsh alarm clocks.</strong></p> <p>When they jar you awake, they can leave you feeling drowsy and irritable. Instead, try a gentler alarm or soft music.</p> <p><strong>17. Do not sleep in.</strong></p> <p>As tempting as it may be, sleeping late is like a nap and can throw off your body&rsquo;s rhythms, making sleep the next night even harder.</p> <p><strong>18. Pay attention to your snoring.</strong></p> <p>It could be a sign of another problem, including sleep apnea, which can lead to health problems, not to mention compromise your sleep.</p> <p><strong>19. Meditate.</strong></p> <p>Certain meditative techniques can quiet your mind enough to allow you to fall asleep.</p> <p><strong>20. Use sleeping pills as a last resort.</strong></p> <p>Consult with your doctor before taking any sleeping medication, which can have adverse interactions with other medication.</p> <p><em>Editor's note: Alcohol tip has been revised based on reader feedback.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post from our sister blog, <a href="http://healthytheory.com/">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/10-minute-vegetarian-what-are-the-different-types-of-vegetarianism">10 Minute Vegetarian: What Are The Different Types of Vegetarianism?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/get-more-from-your-food-bioavailability">Bioavailability: Get More Nutrients From Your Food</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/try-nasal-washing-to-ease-cold-and-allergy-symptoms">Try Nasal Washing To Ease Cold And Allergy Symptoms</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/dr-ozs-top-5-superfoods-for-2010">Dr. Oz's Top 5 Superfoods for 2010</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-theory">Healthy Theory</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-beat-insomnia-and-get-better-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-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/5-effective-sleep-tips-you-havent-tried-yet">5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven&#039;t Tried Yet</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/beat-back-the-zombies-4-ways-to-avoid-sleep-deprivation">Beat Back the Zombies: 4 Ways to Avoid Sleep Deprivation</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-things-you-need-to-know-about-pet-insurance">7 Things You Need to Know About Pet Insurance</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-ways-to-relieve-your-money-stress">10 Ways to Relieve Your Money Stress</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-hiking-backpacks">The 5 Best Hiking Backpacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty get better sleep Mon, 01 Mar 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Healthy Theory 5535 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 ways to get better sleep...TONIGHT!!! http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-better-sleep-tonight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-get-better-sleep-tonight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/303386242_d87eb76ee7_m.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&#39;m not what you would call &quot;A Good Sleeper.&quot; Never have been, at least not as long as I can remember. Since going through a day zombie-like is not fun (and not very productive, either), I&#39;ve come up with some things that work to help me get to sleep and stay asleep. I hope they help you, too! </p> <p><strong>1. Wind down for 30 minutes before you try to sleep.</strong></p> <p>What relaxes you? Books? Movies? Music? Whatever it is, get yourself some and spend some time with it. Not too much, mind you, or it&#39;s not about sleeping anymore. A half hour spent doing something you enjoy is just about the perfect amount of time to relax before you fall asleep.</p> <p><strong>2. Check the temperature.</strong></p> <p>If you&#39;re uncomfortable, you will tend to sleep poorly even if you don&#39;t wake up because of it. You should feel slightly cool but not cold and definitely not hot. That will be different for everyone, so you may have to negotiate if your partner feels &quot;slightly cool&quot; at a different temp than you do. Put some blankets within easy reach, if getting cold in the night is something that happens to you. For some reason, we don&#39;t always notice the temperature when we&#39;re fighting to sleep well, but changing it can work wonders. </p> <p><strong>3. Go to the bathroom, and don&#39;t drink anything in the hour before you try to sleep.</strong></p> <p>Ok, so it sounds a little silly, but if you don&#39;t have to get up to use the toilet in the middle of the night, you&#39;re more likely to sleep all the way through until morning, and that sleep is more likely to be good. Interrupted sleep is always less restful and less deep than uninterrupted sleep.</p> <p><strong>4. Make a list of the things you want to do tomorrow.</strong></p> <p>Often, we lie awake at night because we&#39;re thinking or worrying about what the morning will bring. Writing these things down helps us feel like we don&#39;t have to carry them around in our heads anymore, which can allow our minds to relax so we can sleep, and sleep well. if you have things come to you when you&#39;re lying in bed, or if you aren&#39;t plagued so much with things to do but with thoughts or &quot;what if&#39;s...,&quot; writing can help you too. Keep a pen and paper by your bed and list the things that come to mind or the things you want to think about. Block out some time to spend with them in the morning so you can sleep peacefully all night.</p> <p><strong>5. Spray your sheets with a relaxing scent.</strong></p> <p>Not everything aroma therapists claim scents can do is true, but they can help us relax. Lavender is known to be relaxing, but really, it&#39;s whatever works for you. Find a body spray in the bed and bath section of your local drug store or supermarket, spray your sheets, and sleep the night away. Don&#39;t spray it on too thick, or you&#39;ll have to change your sheets to be able to breathe. A light spray from 3 or 4 feet away is usually good to go.</p> <p>Sleep well, everyone!† I know I hope I do.</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-ways-to-get-better-sleep-tonight">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/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays">12 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Mondays</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-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less">How to Buy a Mattress in 10 Minutes or Less</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/5-habits-science-says-will-make-you-smarter">5 Habits Science Says Will Make You Smarter</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/sleep-better-with-calming-words">Sleep Better With Calming Words</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/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks get better sleep sleep sleep well Fri, 12 Oct 2007 23:14:45 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1280 at http://www.wisebread.com