Sleep and Heart Health

We’ve all been there – we didn’t get enough sleep the night before, and then the next day are tired, unfocused, cranky, and slugging through the day. Sleep can impact a multitude of things, but it can also affect our health. Did you know that adequate sleep is an important part of heart health?  How Does Sleep Affect the Heart? Studies have found that getting enough sleep helps manage blood pressure, improves blood sugar, and even regulates part of the brain that controls hunger (CDC). This can help with the management and prevention of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and obesity. Adequate sleep can benefit heart health more indirectly by encouraging healthier behaviors. The more rested we are, the easier it is to make mindful choices about sleep, exercise, stress, and many other habits.   Serious sleep conditions like Sleep Apnea [...]

Sleep Awareness Month

  Had to finish the book, lost down the social media rabbit hole, or “I just can’t sleep”. Any of these sound familiar? People have so many things that occupy their time now, that sleep might be an afterthought for many.  But activity at the cost of sleep is a mistake.  Many people fail to realize that the 25-35% of each day we spend sleeping is productive, and crucial to living an energetic and successful life. Like our diet and exercise habits, it can be difficult to make sleep a priority. Sleep gives our body and mind the chance to repair, rebuild and recover from the events of our daily life. While you sleep, your body repairs itself from the stress of the day. A productive night’s sleep helps our body in several ways: Renews energy. Boosts the immune system [...]

Exercise before Bedtime

  A consistent exercise routine is great for getting better quality sleep. However, can the time of day you exercise negatively impact it? We’re going to take a closer look at the research around sleep and exercise, the best time for activity, and tips for creating healthy routines. How Does Exercise Affect Sleep? For years many have believed that evening and late-night exercise would disrupt sleep. Recently, more studies have explored this notion to figure out how physical activity affects sleep quality. Exercise raises heart rate, body temperature, and adrenaline levels which can impact the body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. However, the Sleep Foundation’s findings from a compilation of studies indicate that those who exercise after 8 pm fall asleep quickly and have similar amounts of deep sleep as those who exercise between the hours of 4 [...]

Social Media and Sleep

Is Social Media Keeping You Awake? Social media started to gain popularity in the early 2000s with platforms like MySpace. Over the last 20 years, it has expanded immensely to become part of everyday households. The ease and accessibility of modern social media has made it more common than ever to communicate at any time of day with the press of a button. It’s no wonder endless scrolling can keep us awake at night. Benefits & Drawbacks of Social Media Social media has opened so many doors for communication and networking. It can strengthen our connections with others beyond the confines of demographics, distance, and time. It can be a great outlet for those searching for support and interaction. Social media can even help us stay connected to loved ones through messages, pictures, and videos. While these benefits are numerous, [...]

Sleep and Tea

It is ironic that Caffeine Awareness Month is the same as Sleep Awareness Month. Before we plan to hit the pillow, eliminating caffeine within six hours of bedtime is a good idea. Thankfully caffeine-free teas come in several satisfying varieties.  Use these teas to add an herbal benefit toward healthier sleep. Tea and Caffeine Generally, tea has less caffeine than coffee does. But the amount of caffeine varies depending on the way the tea is processed. There are 2 main varieties of tea, Camellia sinensis and Herbal. Camellia sinensis tea, depending on the processing of the leaf, is used to make black, green, and white teas. Camellia sinensis teas vary in caffeine content and can be processed to produce a decaffeinated version. Herbal tea is a combination of any plant life other than the camellia sinensis. Herbal teas do not [...]

Sleep and Thyroid Health

  The thyroid is a small gland that produces hormones needed for regulating how the body uses energy. When these hormones are out of balance, they can impact multiple body functions, including sleep. The hypothalamus in the brain releases thyrotropin, which helps to control the body’s circadian rhythm. According to Sleep Foundation, “thyrotropin stimulates the thyroid to trigger the release of thyroid hormones. If the thyroid is overactive or underactive, this can interfere with thyrotropin production and your overall circadian rhythm.” When the sleep-wake cycle is affected, then numerous sleep issues can arise. Hyperthyroidism and Sleep Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland overproduces hormones. Overactive thyroid affects sleep by causing frequent wake periods that stem from feeling nervous, irritable, or an increased need to urinate. It can also cause night sweats. These nighttime disruptions make it hard to fall asleep, [...]

Sleeping Disorders

Sleeping Disorders Doctors normally classify sleep-related problems into two broad categories: Insomnia — any problem related to falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. When insomnia symptoms occur more than a few times a week, and impact a person’s daytime functions, the symptoms should be discussed with a doctor or other health care provider.  Insomnia can be a problem in itself (primary insomnia), or due to another condition (secondary insomnia).  Insomnia can be acute (lasting less than a month) or chronic (lasting more than a month).  Acute insomnia is often due to short-term stressors in our lives.  Chronic insomnia can be due to medical, physical, medications or psychological conditions and should be discussed with your doctor. Hypersomnia — a set of problems characterized by sleeping too much, especially during the day when trying to attend to work or [...]

Sleep Hygiene- Your Questions Answered

Had to finish the book, lost down the social media rabbit hole, or “I just can’t sleep”. Any of these sound familiar? People have so many things that occupy their time now, that sleep might be an afterthought for many.  But activity at the cost of sleep is a mistake.  Many people fail to realize that the 25-35% of each day we spend sleeping is productive, and crucial to living an energetic and successful life. Like our diet and exercise habits, it can be difficult to make sleep a priority. Sleep gives our body and mind the chance to repair, rebuild and recover from the events of our daily life. While you sleep, your body repairs itself from the stress of the day. A productive night’s sleep helps our body in several ways: Renews energy. Boosts the immune system and [...]

Sleep Better, May 2021

Read Time: 1 min 51 sec   Wake-up, sleepy head! You are not the only one that head nods throughout the day. About half of all Americans feel sleepy most days of the week, according to the Sleep Foundation.  When we don’t get enough sleep, it can increase our risk for developing chronic health conditions, interfere with our hormones, and decrease our immunity to illnesses. In the short term we feel sleepy, irritated, and less likely to make better decisions. Sleep plays an important role in our lives by helping us to feel good during the day. Sleep is just as important for our health as exercise and eating well. Make a wellness goal to try some tips below to get more restful sleep.   Try: Routine: Making sleep a priority by staying on a routine and aiming to get [...]

Stress, Screens, and Sleep

Stress, Screens, and Sleep Read Time: 2 minutes 06 seconds What do our stress levels and screen time have to do with sleep? Both can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of our rest. Nighttime Stress Management Stress levels can build throughout the day, and if not managed properly, they can linger on to cause sleepless nights. While we can’t get rid of stress completely, there are strategies that we can practice to help manage stress and give our minds a break. The keyword here is “practice” since relaxation techniques work if you do them regularly. Try these stress-busters for a better night’s rest: Meditation. From guided videos to progressive muscle relaxation, meditation can be a beneficial tool for managing stress. Meditation teaches focusing and being present in the moment. When our minds start to wander with [...]