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The Perfect Valentine's Gift? Sleep.

February 08 2017

While flowers and forget-me-nots are certainly sweet, this Valentine’s Day why not get smitten with something that will last all year? While maintaining a healthy sleep schedule can seem daunting in the midst of our busy lives, our tips to rekindle your relationship with rest will have your heart and health rejoicing.

1. Master Your Wind-Down Routine:
Establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual is the first step in helping your body and mind prepare itself for sleep. According to sleep researchers, your wind-down routine should start about an hour before bedtime.

  • Dim the lights. Creating a visual mood of relaxation helps trigger your mind’s sleep signals.
  • Ditch the tech. It’s time to face the music - cell phones and late night TV are single-handedly distracting you from better sleep. While many consider their devices essential to “relaxation,” sleep experts strongly disagree. If emails and to-dos keep you from closing your eyes, it’s often a sign of anxiety that you are going to forget something important. For one week, try writing (that means by hand) a to-do list for the next day, and replace your bing watching with a book on tape. Sound silly? It won’t when your sleeping.

2. Adore Your Abode:
If your bedroom is just another room in your house, you’re doing it wrong. Your sleep environment should be your sanctuary – somewhere you look forward to retreating to every night.

  • Clean your cave. Piles of dirty, clean, and somewhere in between clothes aren’t helping you relax. This Valentine’s Day, put your cupid to work on creating a calmer, cleaner sleep environment starting with your sleep surroundings.
  • Invest in comfort and health. There is nothing better than crawling into bed on a set of clean, comfortable sheets. If you can’t remember the last time you invested in a quality set of linens, you’re over due. Checkout our PureCare Elements Halio® sheets infused with SeaCell™ fibers. This technical textile is derived from high quality seaweed that contains natural cellulose and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and introduce nutrients that revitalize and protect skin. 

3. Make Bedtime Your Beau:
Sleep experts like our partners at The National Sleep Foundation recommend 7-9 hours of zz’s a night. Sound impossible? Keep this in mind: healthy sleep patterns don’t form over night.

  • Make gradual adjustments to your rest routine this week by hitting the hay 15 minutes earlier than you did last week. Over the course of a month, you’ll add an additional hour to your existing sleep schedule.

4. Skip sleeping in. Yes, really.
Sticking to a set sleep schedule and powering down at a consistent time (even on weekends) helps to regulate your body’s clock. The same goes for what time you wake up.

  • Your sleep pattern doesn’t understand “sometimes”. Eliminate the extra Sunday morning zz’s that throw off the established sleep pattern you’ve worked so hard to maintain during your work week.
  • Snoozing isn’t sleeping. Bottom line, those extra half-awake snooze minutes aren’t quality sleep, and can leave you feeling out of whack for the day to come.

Making a sweetheart out of sleep creates a relationship that nourishes, refreshes and rejuvenates your routine. It’s time to say “be mine” to bedtime and embrace a devotion to dreamland this Valentine’s Day. 

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Blog Image - 1_25_2017_Exercise VSSleep

Exercise vs. Sleep: How to Maintain Your Balance

January 25 2017

Whether you resolved to be a fitness maven in 2017 or are just looking to trim off those extra winter waistline woes, we can all agree that motivation + matt time are a powerful combo. However, all the calorie burning workouts you can handle won’t add up without getting the sleep your body needs. The bottom line is that if your rest routine doesn’t match your gym routine, both are bound to suffer.

Lack of sleep = lackluster weight loss:
You’re cutting calories and eating lean, which feels amazing. However, the mid-day fatigue and lack of movement on the scale is making you crazy, right? According to studies by the Annals of Internal Medicine, the less sleep you get, results in the less fat your body works off. Not getting the recommended 7-8 hours can drastically decline and potentially undo your dieting efforts.

Lack of sleep = lackluster eating habits:
We’ve all found ourselves in a situation where a bit of caffeine or a carb-laden pick-me-up seems the only survival method mid-day. You’ve been hitting the gym and making masterfully low-cal meals, but you still have the HUNGREYS. Surprise, surprise - a slight on sleep is probably to blame. Even one lost hour of sleep can have you craving sugar and carbs. Take a look at some tips from our partners at The National Sleep Foundation for help defying the drama of dieting and bring on the oh-so-sweet zz’s your body really craves.

Lack of sleep = lackluster motivation:
Committing yourself to a regular gym routine can be a difficult adjustment. So much to do, so little time! If you aren’t scheduling in an extra hour of sleep with every extra hour of workout time, you’re creating hurdles that your mind and body can’t leap. The two are so connected that some experts recommend “sleeping on it” if you can’t decide between the gym or relaxation. Bottom line is that if you are well rested, your body is better prepared physically and mentally to tackle the treadmill.

The connection between success and sleep are hard to ignore. So why are you still so tired? Get some rest, and make tomorrow the first day of your sleep success story.

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