Monthly Archives: June 2019
Your Sleep Tracker Might Be Ruining Your Sleep
Let’s face it-good sleep is now a fad. We’ve listened to the wise wisdom telling us to incorporate sleep into our lives as one of the most imperative forms of self-care. Merchandisers have listened too, and given us everything from an ever-growing mattress market, to wearable sleep tracking devices. Fitness trackers have become ubiquitous forms of wearable tech, and most have the ability to track sleep stages, length, and deepness to help you on your infinite quest for good rest. But are these helpful tools actually…helpful?
Most sleep trackers measure sleep by monitoring your movement. The problem is, this data isn’t always accurate. And while some more advanced trackers even take heartbeat into account, the two most definitive measures of you sleep are a sleep study, and yourself. That’s right-self reporting tends to give you a more accurate picture of your sleep than sleep trackers.
What does this mean for your sleep? First off, if you’re obsessively relying on your sleep tracker data stream with an exclusive goal of sleeping sounder, you may be exacerbating your anxiety needlessly. A recent study coined the term “Orthosomnia” for this phenomenon of being so preoccupied with improving your sleep data, you’re ruining your sleep in the process. This particular study analyzed people who sought treatment based on problems they thought they had, according to their sleep trackers.
The key to wearable sleep trackers is finding a healthy balance. Use them to track quantity, rather than quality. See for yourself if you feel better with 7 hours, or 8 hours of sleep. If you think you may have a problem with your sleep, see your doctor for an official diagnosis. Of course, we still think the best way to join the sleep fad is with a supportive new mattress, but we might be biased.
10 Tips for Better Summer Sleep
We might be one day past the summer solstice, but we still have plenty long and sunny summer days ahead of us. While summer is the time many of us feel most relaxed, this season can still wreak havoc on your sleep. Between early sunrise, hot nights, and activities that might get you off your schedule, it might just be one of the most difficult seasons for sleep. Here we have ten tips to get the most out of your summer nights.
Try to keep bedtime consistent.
Summer is often the time for vacations and staying out later. But this doesn’t mean you can’t keep a consistent schedule. Think about shifting your bedtime later to accommodate, while still keeping it relatively the same every night.
2. Give yourself time to wind down.
The late sunsets can interfere with your natural body rhythms, meaning you won’t be as tired at night. Consider closing your curtains and dimming the light in your home at least 2 hours before bed.
3. Eat a light dinner.
This goes for any time of the year, but is especially important in the summer. Many of us are guilty of just wanting to spend one more hour in the evening daylight, and might put off dinner until later than we would in the winter. After all, dinner is the sign of the end of the night for many. If you eat later, be sure to make it a light meal to avoid stomach discomfort.
4. Pay attention to bed linen.
It’s time to put the flannel away, and opt for more cooling fabrics like cotton and linen. Not only will it get you in the summer mood, but it will keep you as cool as possible.
5. Dress right
The same goes for pajamas as it does bed linens. Opt for t-shirts and shorts, rather than heavier loungewear. Make sure you can move freely at night. Consider being adventurous, and sleeping in your underwear-or even the nude!
6. Sleep with wet hair
If you’re a hot sleeper, summer can be a nightmare for you. One of the quickest ways to cool down is to dampen your hair. Having a cool head can make your entire body feel cooler.
7. Use a makeshift air conditioner
Put ice in a larger, shallow dish, and place it in front of a fan. The cool air will rise and be circulated by the fan, giving you a cheap and easy way of cooling your room.
8. Invest in a dehumidifier
The old saying goes, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. It might get annoying hearing literally everyone say this, but it is true. Take some moisture out of the air in your bedroom for deeper, cooler sleep.
9. Put up room darkening curtains
Not only does it get dark later at night during the summer, but sunrise starts as early as 5:30 in the morning. If you, like many of us would rather sleep later than that shut the sun out with room darkening curtains.
10. Listen to the sound of rain
If all else fails, and the summer heat has got you anxious, try calming methods like listening to the sound of rain. If you can use that to get to sleep, chances are you’ll stay asleep.
5 Best Plants for the Bedroom
The best way to elevate the decor of any space is to add some greenery, and the bedroom is no exception. Since you statistically spend a third of your life sleeping, you also spend almost that amount of time in your bedroom. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary, so treat yourself to some air purifying house plants that will keep you calm and centered. Here are the best plants to build your bedroom oasis:
Lavender is often used in aromatherapy to relax and help with sleep, so having a fragrant lavender plant in your bedroom is a certain way to get some better rest. While it’s grown outdoors in most situations, it’s entirely possible to keep it as a houseplant. Make sure they have enough light-place them in a bright south-facing window. Add some gravel to the bottom of your pot, terra cotta pots are best.
For something with less maintenance, try a peace lily. It’s on NASA’s “Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants”, helping to keep a healthy environment, which is important when you spend entire nighttime sessions breathing in your bedroom air. They prefer light shade, and can even thrive in rooms with no windows. Best of all, it lets you know when it needs water- the leaves droop, and will perk back up once you water it.
The snake plant is one of the most tolerant plants out there, perfect for bedrooms that may have less than ideal growing conditions. They’re great at cleaning toxins from the air, and can be left for weeks at a time and still survive. Make sure they’re in well draining soil, as they don’t need much water to survive. They can tolerate most lighting conditions.
The golden pothos is yet another workhorse of an air purifier, and looks beautiful in any bedroom. They like bright, indirect light when indoors, and need well draining soil. Let the soil dry out completely in between waterings. This is another one where the plant will tell you when it needs water, you’ll see the leaves drooping.
If you’re a more advanced plant parent, and have a bright sunny bedroom, the ever popular fiddle-leaf fig is for you. It’s sure to be the focal point of any bedroom. Fiddles need bright, consistent light to thrive, and they need to be away from cold drafts. They need rich, well drained soil, and water only when soil is dry to the touch.