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Olympian sleep lessons for regular people, like you and I

Usain Bolt dashed to the finish line a record of 6 times at the 2008 Olympics, earning the title of fastest man in the world. After the race, Bolt stated the most important part of his intense training regime was sleep.

Sleep? Sprints and squats aren’t at the top of the list? “Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body,” said Bolt.

Yes, sleep is high on the ladder of life. We need it, want it and love it. But sometimes we don’t make adequate time for sleep in our busy schedules. Looking at athletes – they eat, breathe and dream competition and training. How much sleep does the average athlete get? Can sleep deprivation affect their performance? The baseball cap came on and we’re ready to touchdown on this.

Pro-athlete sleep habits and how you can improve yours!

Many of us participate in non-professional athletic events weekly, whether at the gym or a pickup game of kickball with friends or chasing a toddler around the house. While you probably don’t train as hard as Lebron or Serena Williams, you might be shocked to hear they both sleep an average of 10 hours each night. This makes sense. It’s hard to perform your best when you feel exhausted and athletes especially know they must take care of their bodies to be successful.

A recent study of the Stanford men’s college basketball team showed that extra time sleeping translated into running faster sprints, improved free throws and improved memory when learning new techniques.

The pro-athlete and you are more similar that you think.

Why some athletes don’t get enough sleep

Unfortunately, the average athlete only sleeps an average of 6-7 hours per day. Sound similar to your nightly sleep time? Some reasons for poor sleep in athletes could include – early morning training, nocturnal waking (from stress or sleeping disorders), poor hygiene, caffeine usage and excessive worrying. What to do?

When it’s time for a professional sleep coach

Many pro teams hire a sleep coach to help athletes conjure an effective sleep routine and offer support for getting enough Zzzzz’s. Real Madrid soccer team, works with, Nick Littlehales. Nick takes pride in prescribing specific mattress types and creates a regime for the team. After Nick helped the Real Madrid team with their sleep habits, they clenched the championship title in 2014.

Of course, the average Joe/Josie, doesn’t have an extra $100,000 to hire a sleep coach but Nick shares some great tips for us amateurs.

  • Shower or bathe prior to sleeping to relax muscles and help your body temperature fall, which happens naturally before sleep.
  • Drink a warm glass of milk before bed. Dairy products are rich in sleep-inducing chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin.
  • Begin a pre-sleep routine 90 minutes before bed – turn off televisions, cellphones and bright light electronics.
Sleep like an all-star to be an all-star!

You know that staying in shape and eating healthy are the keys to a great lifestyle. You don’t need to be a million dollar athlete to appreciate the importance of sleep. Become a pro in sleep and you’ll be a champion at life!

Ready to go mattress shopping and start sleeping better? If you’re ready for a new mattress, we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.

The post How to Sleep like an Athlete & WIN at Life appeared first on Restonic.

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Ditch the cheap cards, cheesy slogans and share your love – straight from your heart!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and that means the pressure is on. Sure, it’s smart to make sure your lovah knows how much they mean to you every single day of the year, but V-Day is your shoot for the moon day, your chance to show what’s truly in your heart.

Face it. On February 14th, the pressure is ON. Whether you prefer small, meaningful gestures or you’re ready to go big, focus on how to make the day extra special for the one you love.

Need some ideas? We’re happy to oblige with these 6 ways to spoil your sweetie, no matter what Love Language their heart speaks.

6 super sweet ways to romance the heart

Breakfast in Bed – This one’s a classic and that’s because it’s an awesome way to start off someone’s day. What a TREAT! Turn the most important meal of the day up a notch and make sure you’ve got a proper breakfast in bed tray, a beautiful flower in a bud vase and yummy eats (that your partner adores). And for the love of all things cupid, wait till s/he wakes up! Nobody wants a tray in their face the moment they open their eyes.

It’s a Spa Life –  Life is so busy that we can easily forget to do nice things for ourselves. Has your honey dropped a hint that s/he’s yearning for some peaceful pampering? Try a warming bubble bath! Draw the tub for her and set the scene with candles, music and gorgeous scents. If s/he’s game, climb in to that tub with him/her and spend the next hour canoodling by candlelight. If not, play pool server and stand at the ready with a towel, scented body lotion and a cup of hot tea for afterwards. Who needs a spa? This is pure romance people.

Let Them Snooze – Does your partner burn the proverbial candle (the stress one, not the sexy one from above) at both ends? We think a great sleep is the best gift of all. So, if that’s what they crave, make it happen. Get the house organized early in the evening so they’ve got nothing to do but crawl into bed early. Create an adults only sleep friendly environment by making the bed and plumping the pillows. Close the drapes, diffuse relaxing essential oils, maybe give each other a foot rub or soft massage. If you set the scene, the sleepy time magic will happen.

Ask a Friend – Does your sweetheart treasure gifts as a sign of your love – but you’re never sure exactly what s/he wants? Go straight to the source and ask his/her bestie. Get her what s/he craves and bask in the glowing smiles as s/he opens her present. Is it sparkly bauble or jewel s/he covets? A new dress or suit? A trip to the mall?

Be a traditionalist –  There’s a reason flowers and chocolates have stood the test of time. Nothing says “I love you” like a huge bouquet of his/her favorite flowers accompanied by his/her fave treats. Don’t forget to include a card with a sweetly handwritten message. Want to make it really special? Take your cues from these famous lovers and pen a special poem that comes straight from your heart.

Make it All About Them – A great Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about stuff bought in a store. Memories are made from shared experiences. Does your guy love sports? Is your special girl obsessed with romance movies or musicals? Whether or not it’s your idea of a good time, plan an evening that’s just about them. Get tickets to dinner and a show or snuggle up on the couch to watch the game or a chick flick. And don’t forget the after party. Prepare some aphrodisiac snacks and the night will be one to remember. Talk about togetherness!

Follow our tips and enjoy being this year’s Valentine’s Day hero. We’d love to hear how you make your love feel special. Tell us in the comments.

The post 6 Ways to Spoil Your Love on Valentine’s Day appeared first on Restonic.

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Make Valentine’s Day memorable for your special someone with some good lovin’ and pancakes in the morning

Both Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) and Valentine’s Day fall on weekdays this year. While there might be a lot going on, from work commitments to packing lunches for kids, it’s still a perfect opportunity to make your special someone feeling extra special. We’re talking about a romantic breakfast and some feel-good, stress-busting intimacy.

“Making a big hoopla for Shrove Tuesday and Valentine’s Day are very important opportunities in your romantic relationship to mark, declare your love for each other and deepen the bond of attachment,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based family and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on Sex Box, WE tv.

“Start by surprising your honey with a sexy breakfast in bed. Present him (or her) with a tray decorated with fresh flowers, bestowing piping hot homemade buttermilk pancakes with a dollop of butter on top. Next to it place scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and fresh yummy, sexy oysters. Serve him a cup of hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and he’ll be yours forever.”

For dessert? How about some early morning sex, which also happens to be beneficial to a couples’ health. According to Dr. Walfish, research also shows that sexual activity is an anxiety reducer. This means that if one or both of the partners is under tension or strain, sex in the early mornings can act as a perfect de-stresser so you can both begin your day with a feeling of bliss. And we all know, reduced stress can help lead to better sleep.

“Early morning sex kick starts your day off with you both on the same page,” she says. “Often, one spouse wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and is grumpy while the other is cheerful.  This makes it challenging to emotionally connect.  Physically (sexually) connecting puts you immediately into a place of emotional bonding.”

While spontaneity can be nice, it’s okay to schedule some adult sexy time. Sometimes, it’s also nice to have a preplanned thrill early in the morning rather than waiting for the impulse to strike.

Before we get to the recipes, some sexy tips for parents.. you’re welcome

Morning is the perfect time for being intimate without interruptions by the kids. Children are in their deepest phase of sleep in the early morning hours and will not accidentally pop in.

But what if your kids are awake or in the next room? “Most children over the age of 7 years who have no special developmental challenges can be allowed to watch a video or play by themselves with toys while their parents are in the other room,” advises Dr. Walfish. “Parents can lock the kids ‘out’ of their bedroom, but never lock children “in” their own rooms. My vast experience with couples who are parents is that usually one is extra cautious and afraid of getting caught by the children, while the other is titillated with higher excitation adding the hiding/secrecy aspect to their sexual encounter.”

Seductive, tantalizing pancake and breakfast recipes

You’ll have your lover wrapped around your finger when you show up at the bedroom door with breakfast – before or after your bedroom adventures. These delicious day-starters can woo even the sleepiest partner and rouse them for whatever comes next.

Heart-shaped Banana Pancakes with Pecans

These heart-shaped banana pancakes from SavoryTooth.com, are made using ripe bananas and topped with chopped pecans, maple syrup, and whipped cream. You can buy a heart-shaped mold from Amazon or at a kitchen supply store.

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Combine and mix dry ingredients together in a bowl: flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt. Repeat for wet ingredients in another bowl: whole milk, egg, canola oil, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring it in. Stop stirring as soon as it is just blended; it will be a little lumpy.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low for a few minutes. Add silicon heart molds to the pan. Pour about 2 tablespoons into each mold. Cook until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, about 2 minutes, and then remove the mold and flip the pancake, cooking another minute until done. Repeat with more pancakes until the batter is depleted.

Serve the pancakes with toppings of your choice, such as sliced bananas, powdered sugar, chopped pecans, maple syrup, and whipped cream. 

Sultry Strawberries ‘n’ Cream Buttermilk Pancakes

Recipe by Chef Bradford Kent of Olio Pizzeria and Café for Romancing the Stove: the unabridged guide to aphrodisiac foods by Amy Reiley

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup nonfat milk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
  • maple syrup
  1. Chill the bowl and whisk of an electric mixer.
  2. Scrape the pulp from 1/2 the vanilla bean, reserving the rest for another time. Add it to the chilled bowl along with the whipping cream and powdered sugar. Whip until the cream forms soft peaks. Refrigerate until serving.
  3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add in milk, buttermilk, vanilla and vegetable oil, mixing until thoroughly combine. Fold in the flour mixture and allow batter to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until it is hot enough to make a few drops of water scatter before evaporating. Brush griddle with vegetable oil and ladle 1/4 c batter onto the skillet for each pancake.
  6. Cook until they bubble on top, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden.
  7. For the sultry experience, feed pancakes to each other straight off the griddle, topping each (or each other) with strawberries, freshly whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Warm Champagne-Soaked Apricot Muffins

Courtesy of Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac recipes to heat up your love life by Amy Reiley and Delahna Flagg

The best part about this recipe is that you can make as many muffins as you need and save the rest of the batter for up to a week in the refrigerator. You can woo your lover every morning with warm, butter-drenched muffins. Who is going to say “no” to you when you’re holding a plate of hot, champagne-laced muffins? Keep in mind, champagne is hands-down one of the world’s greatest aphrodisiacs.)

Serves 12, dairy-free, diabetic-friendly


  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots
  • 1/2 cup Champagne or Sparkling Wine
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup almond, soy or rice milk*
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp grape seed, avocado or canola oil
  • 1 tsp flaxseed meal or ground flax
  • 3 tbsp water
  1. Finely chop apricots and transfer to a small bowl. Add the champagne and soak the apricots in the champagne for 1-2 hours.
  2. Process 1 cup of the oats in a food processor or blender to the consistency of a coarse flour.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat flour and remaining 1/2 cup of oats, whole wheat and all-purpose flours, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg then add the non-dairy milk, honey and oil. Stir until well combined. (You can use a mixer for this step if you prefer.)
  5. Add the ground flax and water to the wet ingredients and stir until the flax is completely combined.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the oat and flour mixture and stir until just mixed.
  7. With the gentle touch usually reserved for a lover, fold in the apricots and Champagne.
  8. If you are not making the muffins right away, transfer the batter to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can use the batter to make 1 or 2 muffins at a time to eat warm, or bake the whole batch.

To bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray as many compartments of a muffin tin as you need with a non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake for 16-18 minutes, until cooked through.
  4. Serve warm. If you’re in a decadent mood, smear with butter and a little apricot jam.

*We don’t recommend dairy milk for this recipe, as the acidity of the champagne may make it curdle slightly.

The post Sex Up Your Breakfast in Time for Pancake Tuesday AND Valentine’s Day With These Easy Recipes appeared first on Restonic.

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Sleep facts 101 – and some foolish myths debunked

Sleep plays a crucial part in our lives and it’s fascinating how much we don’t know about snoozing (my goodness, we spend 8 hours per night doing it). So many questions bubble up when we think about sleep – the biggest one is why do we do it?

We set out to uncover the most jaw-dropping facts about sleep.

10 fascinating facts about sleep
  1. Babies steal 1,055 hours from their parents – According to data from Medical Daily, new parents lose an average of 44 days of sleep per year from their beautiful, sleepless newborn.
  2. Humans can sleep with their eyes open – Yes, you can sleep with your eyes open, which makes it truly impossible to tell whether someone is really sleeping or not.
  3. Altitude disrupts sleep – Due to lower amounts of oxygen at altitudes of 13,200 feet or higher, it’s much harder to get your snooze on. Be careful next time you’re visiting the Rocky Mountains.
  4. Some people dream in black and white – Studies show 12% of people dream in black and white. Surprisingly, this number was 75% before color televisions came into the home.
  5. Humans are the only mammal that can delay sleep – Dogs, cows and even sheep must go to sleep when their body tells them to. We have the ability to tell our body no to exhaustion (to an extent), and finish watching Stranger Things on Netflix.
  6. 11 days is the record for the longest period without sleep – In 1964, Randy Gardner fought exhaustion and suffered extreme sleep deprivation after his feat. We definitely don’t recommend trying this, like a Chinese man who dies in 2012 from staying awake 11 days to watch soccer. (No thanks!)
  7. It’s common for the deaf to sign in their sleep – Just like talking in your sleep, the hearing impaired communicate via sign language while sleeping. There are many recorded instances of people who have reported seeing their deaf partner or child signing while snoozing.
  8. You can’t sneeze while sleeping – Humans are more prone to sneezing while asleep, but since we aren’t moving to stir up dust particles, the reaction doesn’t occur.
  9. The strangers in your dreams, aren’t strangers – You might know them personally, but you’ve seen everyone in your dreams before. Crazy, right? The brain can’t create people, so it uses registered faces.
  10. You grow .3 inches while sleeping – But the growth is temporary as you shrink back down to normal after you’re awake for a few hours. When you sit or stand, your cartilage discs are squeezed by gravity, like sponges.
The more you know about sleep, the better you can sleep…

Were you surprised by any of these facts? What can you change about your sleep based on these facts? We’ll never know everything about sleep, but it helps to keep the knowledge coming so we can work on perfecting our sleep routine for a better life.

For more fun sleep facts, check out this BuzzFeed video:

Facts About Sleep You Probably Didn’t Know - YouTube

The post 10 Shocking & Crazy Sleep Facts You Never Knew appeared first on Restonic.

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Restonic by Julia Rosien - 3w ago
Getting past the gimmicks to the truth about YOUR mattress

Buying a new mattress is a lot like buying car insurance. Comparing features and price from brand to brand is challenging because there are so many variables. Inner spring or latex, organic or natural, euro-top, pillow-top or luxury-plush – the combinations are endless. And because buying a new bed isn’t a frequent purchase (thank goodness!), the learning curve will always be painful.

Sorting through the clutter of information in the mattress industry and hone in on what matters to you – a GREAT night’s sleep – will help you make an informed purchase. Before visiting a mattress retailer, arm yourself with common sense and learn the difference between myth and truth. And if you’re curious about what mattress is best for your age and stage of life, these Restonic recommendations will help.

Mattress myth 1 – Replace your mattress every 8 years

The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7-10 years, depending on comfort and support. The truth is that the life of a mattress varies wildly, which depends on how you take care of it, how you sleep on it and how often you rotate it.

Think of your mattress as performance gear for your sleep. Just like a good pair of running shoes can help you run faster and prevent injuries, a supportive mattress can deliver better, healthier sleep. You’ll know when it’s time to get a new mattress based on how you feel when you wake up.

Mattress myth 2 – A firm mattress is the best mattress for your back

To minimize pain and discomfort and help your body relax into healing, regenerative sleep, you need a mattress that conforms to your favorite sleeping positions while supporting all areas of your body – conformability and support. In general, mattresses fall into three categories.

  • Soft mattresses tend conform to your shape but fail to deliver uniform support across the entire body.
  • Medium firm mattresses tend to deliver equally on conformability and support and alleviate pressure point pain in most people.
  • Very firm mattresses offer good support but little (if any) conformability, which can lead to pressure point pain.
Mattress myth 3 – The right mattress will prevent tossing and turning

Babies start rolling over in their sleep at around 4 months of age and by adulthood we’re moving as much as 75 times a night – whether it’s a simple twitch or a full-out roll. We move during the night to alleviate pressure point pain and to reduce stress and strain on our backs and joints. A good mattress will reduce how much you move at night by providing pressure point relief, which will allow you to slip into deeper, healing REM sleep.

Mattress myth 4 – Your new mattress should be a perfect fit from the first time you sleep on it

Most people need at least a month to adjust their bodies to a new sleep surface. Considering how long we spend in bed in a 24 hour period, it’s no wonder that our muscles and joints have a memory of how to find the most comfortable spot on the mattress. Does that mean you should only buy from a mattress retailer that offers a comfort guarantee? Not necessarily. If you’ve done your research, shopped around and spent time testing out a variety of mattresses, your mattress purchase should be a natural progression of those activities.

Mattress myth 5 – A mattress should be flipped every few months to keep it in good condition

Most mattresses today are made one-sided, which means they should never be flipped. So, how can you ensure maximum enjoyment of your mattress and reduce body impressions?

  • Sleep in a variety of positions and places on the mattress so the entire surface compresses evenly.
  • Rotate your mattress monthly for the first 6 months and quarterly after that.

Please note: when you first start sleeping on your new mattress, rotate every two weeks for the first two months. And remember that body impressions are normal up to 1 ½ inches and not a structural defect. The upholstery materials are conforming to the weight and shape of your body, which is a good thing.

Mattress myth 6 – Buy a mattress with the longest warranty possible

Mattress warranties do not refer to the life expectation of your purchase. The warranty covers workmanship and materials and just like many products used with extreme regularity, you’ll notice wear and tear before you reach the end of the warranty.

When buying a new mattress, read the warranty carefully even though there’s very little difference in the terms and conditions of warranties from manufacturer to manufacturer. It’s good to note that transportation costs (to and from the factory) are usually not covered in the case of repair or replacement. As well, a new warranty is normally not issued when the mattress is replaced.

Mattress myth 7 – It’s against the law to remove the law tag on your mattress

The warning against removing the law tag of your new mattress tag can be intimidating. The truth is that once you’ve bought the mattress and it’s in your home, you can do whatever you want with it. But if you ever need to file a warranty claim, it needs to be attached to the mattress because it contains critical information that will help the manufacturer process your claim.

What’s the cost of a good night’s sleep? If you spent $2,000 on a new mattress (for example) and slept comfortably on that mattress for 7 years, the cost of healthy sleep would be $1.27 per night – less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee in the morning…

If you’re ready for a new mattress, we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Visit ourFind a Retailerpage and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional. Use these links to begin your online research:

And after you’ve bought your new mattress, don’t forget to write a mattress review to help other mattress shoppers make a smart purchase.

The post 7 Mattress Myths Debunked appeared first on Restonic.

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9 ways to get back on track and have your BEST year ever!

If you’re like many Americans, you make New Year’s resolutions at the start of the year, a promise to yourself to be a better you. Good job! According to the Better Sleep Council’s Sleep Resolutions Survey, 88% of Americans made at least one resolution for 2018.

But…Uh oh. We’re not even through January and you’ve already broke at least one of your resolutions. Don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. Only 17% of resolution-makers reported to the Better Sleep Council that they were successful in the past at keeping New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t be discouraged. All is not lost. In fact, there’s no time like the present to set yourself small goals that will have a big impact.

Resolutions you can actually keep for the whole year
  • Move a bit more. If joining a gym and committing time and energy to a workout schedule is overwhelming, try standing at your desk, taking the stairs or parking at the far end of the lot. If the idea of getting 10,000 steps is intimidating, move a few more each week than you did the week before – and use a fitness tracker to help measure your progress.
  • Cut the sweets. Most of us consume too much sugar in our daily diets, which affects our health in a multitude of negative ways. If going completely sugar-free scares you, try bite-sized changes instead. Put a little less cream and sugar in your coffee or tea. Switch out your afternoon candy bar for hummus and veggies. Read more labels and try choosing foods with less added sugar. You’ll be surprised how sweet life is when you consume less sugar.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. You might be getting 5-6 hours shuteye each night but you really need 7-8. Try going to bed and waking up at the same times every day, increasing your sleep time by 15 min each week. Sleep training will get you back on track so you can get more out of your awake times.
  • Start on your bucket list. Life is busy, we know, and your free time is limited. So enjoy what little leisure time you do have by trying something new! Join a hiking club or yoga class, learn how to play an instrument or read a great book. Mental agility is as important as physical fitness.
  • Manage your money better. Whether you’re saving for a big purchase or balancing your budget, making small changes to expenditures will help you move towards your goals. Make coffee at home. Bring lunch to work at least 3 days a week. Skip the drive-thru! Buy in bulk. Or go big and have a ‘no buying anything new’ month. You’ll love the feeling and your bank account will love the blossoming balance!
  • Eat something green every day. Many of us don’t get enough fruits and vegetables – but small changes to your diet will help improve overall health. Throw a handful of greens into your chili. Snack on veggies instead of chips. Have a side salad instead of fries. Start your day with a delicious, healthy smoothie. If you’re concerned about cost, remember that frozen veggies have the same (or more) nutrients as fresh.
  • Make sure you’ve got the right mattress. Did you know that mattresses have a life span and that your mattress needs to evolve as you move through different life stages? If you’re not sleeping well, you may need to look at whether it’s time to shop for a new mattress.
  • Unplug. That harmless game of Candy Crush could be pushing out much-needed sleep time. Electronics hyper stimulate the eyes, making your precious sleep less effective AND shorter. Experts recommend turning off electronics at least 60 minutes for bedtime.
  • Get social. One of the greatest predictors for a happy, healthy, long life is a feeling of belonging and community. So get out there! Go for coffee or dinner with a friend, expand your social circles with a club or activity or host a get-together. Life is meant to be shared, so go share it.
  • Clear out the clutter. It might sound crazy, but your cluttered bedroom could be stealing your sleep. A cluttered bedroom can make for a mixed-up anxious mind that can’t relax naturally into sleep. If a good night’s sleep is the sacrificial lamb of a full and busy life, consider this your wake-up call to get organizing.
Are you ready to make small changes with a big impact? How are you going to make 2018 your best year ever?

The post I Broke My New Year’s Resolutions! What Do I Do Now? appeared first on Restonic.

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Tiny or tall and everything in between, your mattress should support your whole body for better, healthier sleep

One size does not fit all. That’s a myth, especially true when it comes to mattresses. They might look similar, but underneath the surface there’s dozens of components that determine the comfort level and durability of a mattress and its suitability to your weight, height and shape.

Have no fear! Here we peel back the layers of what goes into a mattress to help you find the perfect one. It’s a worthy exercise for everyone who values a night of great, restorative, health-boosting sleep.

Mattress types 101

What are your best mattress choices? They boil down to four basic types:

Innerspring mattresses. These mattresses use a network of steel spring coils to provide support. The springs might be tied together into a single unit or each one may be individually wrapped. When shopping for this type of mattress, you may hear something about coil gauge. That refers to the thickness of the wire used to make the springs. The lower the number, the thicker the spring and the firmer the support. Gauge numbers for mattresses usually go from 12 to 18. It’s an important factor, but just one of many to be considered in your purchase. Learn more about innerspring mattresses.

Memory Foam mattresses. A layer of memory foam can reduce pressure points, which softens to the contours of the body and can assist with good blood flow during sleep. It’s a remarkable material because it facilitates a healthier sleep environment, thanks to its anti-dust mite and anti-microbial properties. For anyone with allergies or breathing issues like asthma, it’s a good option.

Newer types of memory foam are gaining popularity. Foam with an open cell structure helps eliminate some of the heat retention that many sleepers don’t like. Improving airflow keeps the foam cooler. Gel memory foam has even more pressure point reducing powers that regular memory foam – something that would appeal to those with arthritis or joint issues. Learn more about memory foam mattresses.

Latex mattresses. Mattresses made from latex are gaining popularity. Sleepers adore them because of their comfort, breathability, superior bounciness and responsiveness, i.e. how quickly it springs back after pressure is applied. For those who like to keep it natural, latex is appealing since it’s created with a white liquid extracted from rubber (heavea-Brasilenis) trees. Most latex mattresses are made with a combination of natural and synthetic latex to improve comfort and longevity. Learn more about latex mattresses.

Hybrid. The good news is that you don’t have to declare allegiance to innerspring or foam mattresses. You can compromise with a hybrid that combines the best qualities of the two types. Coils are topped with a layer of foam, which helps with motion isolation – something that minimizes the motion you feel when your bedmate moves. Learn more about hybrid mattresses.

Find the right mattress based on your body type

Keep in mind that regardless of what kind of mattress you buy, your main goals should be comfort and proper spine alignment.

Best mattress for smaller or lightweight sleepers

For thinner body types, softer mattresses are the best choice. A too-firm mattress may lead to shoulder pain or a pins-and-needle sensation. A softer mattress also prevents the body from sinking into the mattress enough to ensure good spine alignment.

According to Keith Cushner, general manager, Tuck.com, “Less dense foams can work well for lighter sleepers since the mattresses won’t actually wear out as fast.”

Restonic recommendation: ComfortCare Pillow Top Mattress

Best mattress for heavyset sleepers

Anyone who weighs more than 230 pounds needs to strike a balance between softness and firmness. Thicker mattresses offer extra cushioning between sleeper and coils, but if they are too soft and there may be too much sinkage, putting stress on shoulders and hips. That can lead to back problems because of an increase in spine curvature and excessive pressure on muscles and joints.

Thicker mattresses (12 to 13 inches in height) are considered appropriate for heavier individuals. Chose a mattress with high density foam, especially good for stomach or side sleepers (not recommended because of its propensity to curve the spine and require sleepers to turn their heads to breathe). For those who tend to sleep hot, cooler hybrid mattresses are a good bet.

Restonic recommendation: Hybrid Firm Quilted Mattress

Best mattress for tall sleepers

Standard mattresses just don’t cut it for some tall people. Since even King size mattresses max out at 80 inches long, six-foot-plus sleepers may be forced to spend the night with their feet dangling off the side of the bed or to curl up and sleep on their sides.

The good news is that some mattresses come in super-sized XL versions, from twin to king. A California king is the longest (and widest) mattress you can buy without opting going the custom-made route. It’s 7 feet in length, which works well for super-tall types – and those who like to roam around their mattress during the night. A California queen takes up less space, spanning 60 inches by 84 inches. Those two sizes are suitable for those around 6’5” to 6’11”. A full XL or a twin XL is a more modest 80 inches in length.

Two key pieces of advice: Skip bed frames with side rails and take the time to bed test various-sized mattresses to get the best fit.

Restonic recommendation: Use our Find a Retailer tool to visit a mattress store and test different types of mattresses available in California XL

Best mattress for pregnant women

Mom and baby-in-the-making have some specific needs when it comes to sleep. “Look for a slightly softer memory foam or foam combo bed that will conform to you,” suggests Cushner. “Hybrids can also work well depending on the types of foams used.”

Pregnant women tend to feel warm, making choosing a foam an important consideration. A gel-based one is a smart pick since it has less heat retention, allowing mom to get more uninterrupted sleep at a crucial time in her life. Expectant moms should sleep on their sides with knees and hips bent to alleviate lower back pain. A pillow between the knees can also help reduce back aches.

A mattress with medium firmness is preferred over ultra-soft memory foam beds. Sinking deeply into that type makes getting out of bed – sometimes pregnant women do often in order to use the bathroom – more difficult. Find a happy medium between firm and soft to make both mom and baby content.

Restonic recommendation: HealthRest TempaGel

What’s the cost of a good night’s sleep?

If you spent $2,000 on a new mattress (for example) and slept comfortably on that mattress for 7 years, the cost of healthy sleep would be $1.27 per night – less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee in the morning…

If you’re ready for a new mattress, we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.

The post What Type Of Mattress Is The Best For Your Body Type? appeared first on Restonic.

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Choose wisely when shopping for mattress and make your sleep environment your ally in getting more restful, pain-free sleep

The relationship between sleep, the right mattress and your health is a symbiotic one. You need a good mattress to help you get the rest you need to ensure your wellness. That comes as a result of a large amount of evidence between lack of sleep and chronic illnesses, from obesity and cardiovascular disease to diabetes.

But health issues may also play a role in what type of mattress you should be sleeping on.

One size doesn’t fit all and not every mattress is appropriate for every medical condition, whether it’s arthritis, back pain, chronic neck discomfort or even snoring. With some expert advice in hand, you’ll be ready to shop and find the perfect one for you.

Caitlin Hoff, a health & safety investigator with ConsumerSafety.org  offers these five pointers:

  1. Everyone – those with chronic pain and without – needs a supportive mattress. Proper spinal support is essential to keep your body feeling good the next morning.
  2. Many people have a skewed perception of their needs. For example, we may associate support with firmness but for an arthritis patient, a firm mattress may only succeed in aggravating their painful joints.
  3. Be wary of a mattress that’s too soft. A good mattress provides overall support and offers a balance between firmness and softness. If a mattress is too soft and you sink into it, ease of movement may be hindered while you sleep. This inability to move easily in your sleep could stiffen your muscles and cause more pain.
  4. Seek professional advice for mattress buying, especially if you are someone with chronic pain. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional for recommendations and research online within specific medical community focused on your medical condition.
  5. Also ask the salesperson for their expert advice on what choices are available and are the most suitable for your health.
Best mattress for back pain

Back pain is on the rise across the United States – especially lower back pain. It’s the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to data from the Global Burden of Disease, 2010.  About 80% of Americans will experience a back problem at least once in their lives. Despite its prevalence, some mattress buyers with back issues are unsure about what’s the best mattress for their bad back.

Keith Cushner, general manager, Tuck.com (a site that evaluates sleep products), offers his thoughts. “Medium firm to firm mattresses are usually the best for sleepers dealing with back issues,” he says. “It all comes down to support (spinal alignment) which, when achieved should help alleviate said back pain.”

Mattress types that work well for sleepers with back issues vary widely based on other factors (pressure points, weight, etc.) but experts recommend a medium firm mattress (5-7 on the firmness scale). Old-school thinking said that a very firm mattress was the way to go, but newer research says that’s not the case.

Don’t wait to change your mattress if you’re suffering from back pain. According to Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D., professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, changing your mattress can make a substantial difference in lessening back pain.

Best mattress for arthritis

Current estimates state that there will be 78 million Americans (about 26% of the population) living with arthritis by 2040. It’s a widespread condition, characterized by internal and external joint swelling, pain and stiffness, that affects men, women and children. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which sees pain caused by bone on bone friction after the cartilage between them breaks down. Other types of arthritis include: gout, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

According to Cushner, the right mattress really depends on the type of arthritis. If ease of movement is your key struggle, you’ll want to go with a mattress that doesn’t sink as much – such as an innerspring or a firmer latex mattress. Also be aware of how your sleep position affects your discomfort by putting more pressure on specific joints. Side sleepers, for example, may need a slighter softer mattress, to alleviate stress on common pressure points, like shoulders, knees and hips.

For fibromyalgia specifically, Cushner says that due to pressure point sensitivity – slightly softer mattresses may be better for sleepers as long as they still get the support they need. Memory foam and latex mattresses tend to be the best bet here.

Best mattress for obesity

Sleepers with a high body mass index should chose a mattress of high quality, made with superior quality materials. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, consider a 12-inch or thicker mattress to provide deep compression support. Larger sleepers will experience an additional 1 to 2 inches of sinkage, underscoring the importance of having medium to firm support.

Overweight people may also tend to sleep hotter so a premium mattress constructed with a gel layer will help provide some cooling comfort. Memory foam mattresses may cause overheating. Consider hybrid versions that combine the best of foam (good for pain relief) and latex, which will help keep you cooler at night.

Best mattress for neck pain

According to a 2015 survey by Chronic Back and Neck Pain in America, half of the respondents suffered from chronic neck pain. Of this group, 80% said their condition caused disrupted or poor sleep, along with less sexual enjoyments (35%). Since the neck provides support for the head and is the link to your spinal column, paying attention to neck comfort at rest is a vital step to better sleep.

“This is usually a combination of a pillow issue in combination with a mattress,” explains Cushner. “You’ll want to ensure your neck loft keeps the spine in alignment. With memory foam mattresses, you’ll want to pay attention to sinkage and get a taller pillow (or set of pillows). With coil mattresses, most sleepers will end up needing shorter pillows.”

Why it’s important to choose the right mattress

Choosing the right mattress can make or break your ability to get a great night of restorative sleep, which is really the focal point of your health and wellness.

“Finding the right mattress starts with understanding what you like and don’t like,” says Cushner. “My suggestions would be to look at your height and weight to see what kind of mattress components will work well for you and what you need from a firmness perspective. For example, do you like to sink and be “hugged” by a mattress or do you like to float on top of one? From there, decide on your budget and start looking at options.”

Look to truly unbiased sources to figure out what might work for you and don’t expect a salesperson or five minutes on a mattress in a store to give you a good idea of what will work. Lastly, know that about 80-85% of sleepers like a medium firm mattress (6-7 on the firmness scale) so start there and adjust accordingly.

What’s the cost of a good night’s sleep? If you spent $2,000 on a new mattress (for example) and slept comfortably on that mattress for 7 years, the cost of healthy sleep would be $1.27 per night – less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee in the morning…

If you’re ready for a new mattress, we’d love to help you find the right one for you. Visit our Find a Retailer page and we’ll locate a store close by where you can lie on our mattresses and talk to a trained sales professional.

The post From Arthritis to Chronic Back Pain, Finding the Right Mattress for Your Medical Condition is Important appeared first on Restonic.

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Is your current mattress supporting your dreams or letting you fall flat?

Teens have different needs than seniors when it comes to mattress size and type. Pregnant women have their own unique mattress requirements, as do kids. The key to better sleep throughout your whole life is to understand that your mattress needs to change with your age and life situation. Just as there isn’t one-kind-fits-all mattress, there isn’t a mattress type that’s evergreen and will work at every stage of life.

The Better Sleep Council suggests evaluating your mattress around the 5- to 7-year mark. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting a new mattress, but simply thinking about whether your current sleep environment is meeting your needs, is comfortable and in good condition. If it’s not up to snuff, fight the urge to squeeze every bit of life out of the mattress you’ve had for a decade.

Remember, your sleep is at stake.

Studies show that most Americans are more than a bit lax when it comes to updating their mattresses, which can impair their ability to enjoy the benefits of a great night of sleep. While your mom might feel nostalgic about keeping the bed you had since you were a kid, you’re old enough to know when it’s time to let it go. For starters, old mattresses have a serious ick factor – a buildup of sweat, dead skin cells and allergens.

If your sleep is suffering, start with assessing your mattress.

Where to start? Our experts have chimed in with their recommendations for mattresses throughout the ages of your life – with some good tips to consider before you start to shop for a new mattress.

Best mattress for kids

Since crib mattresses are typically a standard size and firmness rating, when it’s a time for a “grown-up” mattress, parents will need to make their first decision on what kind of bed their child will sleep on, according to Jackson Lindeke, general manager, Bestmattressreviews.com.

Most families opt for a twin, twin XL or a full-size mattress for their child when it’s time to transition from the crib. Experts suggest saving the bigger, more expensive mattress for when the child enters the teenage years and more space may be needed. Because crib mattresses are quite firm, a mattress that’s medium-firm to firm will likely be a good, comfortable choice.

“As far as mattress type, I would recommend innerspring – with pocketed coil – or latex, if you’re looking for a mattress that will last until your child is a teenager and ready for a larger bed,” he says.

Restonic recommendation: ComfortCare Cushion Firm

With body conforming support at the core, your child’s spine will be aligned for restorative sleep that supports him/her where s/he needs it most.

Best mattress for teens

Lindeke says that there are 3 key considerations when it comes to buying a mattress for a teen.

First, what size? To answer this, consider the age of the teen and how much s/he has grown. You don’t want to invest in a new twin mattress for your 13-year old, only to find they’ve outgrown it in a year or two. Bumping up for the larger mattress is likely the most economical option, so he suggests a full XL or queen mattress.

Second, how long will they sleep on it? Again, size matters, but it’s also necessary to think about durability as well. If your teenager will be heading to college in a few years and leaving the mattress at home, you can shop knowing that higher-end mattress may be an unnecessary expense. Because your teen is still growing, their sleep preferences can change over time. Depending on sleep style, a less expensive foam mattress may be a good shorter-term option.

Third, in what position does your teen sleep? This is a key consideration for everyone, but always worth mentioning. Stomach sleepers need firmness, back sleepers can usually choose based on preference as long as the mattress has all the necessary supports, while side sleepers gravitate towards softer, memory foam mattresses.

Restonic recommendation: ComfortCare Hybrid Plush Quilted

No need to choose between inner spring or specialty foams – your teen can have it all in this sweet system.

Best mattress for couples

Being blissful together is much easier out of bed than in bed, at least according to the Better Sleep Council. It found that one in three Americans say that their partner’s sleep problems have a negative impact of their own quality of sleep. Before you head for separate bedrooms, consider a change in your mattress choice. Twosomes shouldn’t sleep in a bed smaller than queen size in order to give each partner a bit of elbowroom. If you can accommodate a king-sized bed, that’s even better. Make sure you have room around it to making getting in and out of bed easy and unencumbered. (You’ll also have to make sure you can get a king or queen mattress into the room, taking in considered door frame heights and any stairs.)

For the mattress itself, there are a number of important things to consider. Anyone who has been at a hotel with thin walls will understand that the ideal bed for sex needs to be squeak free. There’s no need to broadcast to the household the fact that you’re having intimate time with your partner. That makes bed testing a mattress in the showroom crucial. Both sleepers should be on hand.

You’ll also want a bed that works with the movements of sex and not against them. A responsive mattress with plenty of spring back is a good choice. A bit of bounce is also key. You don’t want to be sinking into the mattress or you risk having an experience akin to rolling around on Jell-O. Opt for a good quality mattress that leans more to the firm then soft. (Insert your own racy joke about that comment here.)

Restonic recommendation: ComfortCare Limited Micro-Coil Boxtop 

Two self-encased coil systems (one is a micro-coil unit) deliver luxury on luxury for an indulgent (and quiet) night’s sleep.

Best mattress for pregnant women

Women who may be planning to become pregnant need to take a long-term approach to their sleep challenges. When expecting, women are encouraged to change their sleep style to side sleeping during the second and third trimester especially. If you’re not typically a side-sleeper, you might be tempted to find a mattress that is more optimal for laying on your side. Usually that implies a softer mattress, but again, personal preference is the guiding light here. If you do opt for a softer mattress, it’s crucial to find a mattress that maintains proper spinal alignment.

“Pregnant women often have back pain anyway, so a mattress without quality support layers can compound those body pains,” says Lindeke. “Many women find pregnancy wedge pillows or body pillows to be particularly effective tools to sleeping on their side comfortably. They’re a cheaper alternative than replacing the mattress out-right, and because you won’t be pregnant forever, replacing your mattress is not exactly cost-effective unless you’re planning to do so anyway.”

Stats show an estimated 50% of pregnant women will experience significant back pain. Complaints become more frequent as the pregnancy progresses.

Restonic recommendation: ComfortCare Ultra-Plush Boxtop

A self-encased coil system below hand-tufted silk and wool deliver luxury on luxury for an indulgent night’s sleep – and superior pressure-point relief in a temperature-controlled micro-climate.

Best mattress for middle agers/boomers

Sleep quality decreases with age, making middle-aged folks far more susceptible to tossing and turning all night. Mitigating that sleep quality decline with the right mattress can help preserve the quality of your sleep – and life in general. Good sleep in your prime adulthood years can help to prevent serious health issues later in life like Alzheimer’s or heart disease.

“What you sleep on has a real effect on your sleep duration, so my recommendation to any middle aged adult shopping for a new mattress is to pay more for quality,” Lindeke explains. “If on a budget or not, middle age mattress buyers should always prioritize their mattress as the most important piece of furniture in the house.”

For anyone feeling the effects of getting older, put spinal alignment and support at the top of your mattress must-have criteria. Around middle age, wear and tear on the body can show up, underscoring the importance of having a mattress with quality support layers.

A supportive mattress ensures the natural curvature of your spine is well positioned and it will respond to the weight of the body to ensure the spine is properly aligned as well. Paying attention to this detail helps prevent short- and long-term back problems – something many mature adults experience. Current data says that 80% of Americans will experience back pain during their lifetimes.

When evaluating a mattress for support, take a closer look at the actual components used. This means examining the composition of each layer, as well as its density and thickness. Then it’s all about personal preference. As a general rule of thumb, Lindeke says that you should expect to spend north of $1,000 for a mattress that will offer support for many years.

Restonic recommendation: HealthRest Latex

Constructed of high-quality latex, you’ll enjoy a supportive, hygienic sleep experience, night after night after night.

Best mattress for seniors

“When it comes to mattresses, generally one that’s more firm and has memory foam or a latex mattress to help with arthritic joints and back pain,” says Dr. Jen Wolfe, a senior care pharmacist, based in Clarksburg, Maryland. “If a senior can’t lie flat, an adjustable mattress is a great option. Sleep is so important and a mattress is not something you want to go the inexpensive route on. Seniors should take the time to try out different options and not rush into making a decision or feel pressured to buy.”

The buying tips for middle-aged adults apply to older shoppers, too. Finding a mattress that provides great support remains a top priority. This means looking at those all-important support layers very closely, as well as physically lying on the mattress to test whether the spine maintains its natural curvature and alignment.

“Aging joints and bodies require quality comfort layers. Memory foam mattresses can provide a comfortable sleep experience, but low-density foams in support layers can wreak havoc on your back by messing with your alignment,” Lindeke explains.

If you’re shopping for a memory foam mattress, look for high-density foam material in the support cores. The best mattress for an older person is one with a good support system and a surface layer that’s soft and cushioning.

Restonic recommendation: TempaGel by Restonic

Made with gel-infused memory foam and Outlast® Technology, a cool and refreshing night’s sleep is yours for the taking.

The post What’s the Right Mattress for Your Age & Stage of Life? appeared first on Restonic.

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It’s time to rethink your sleep habits and put bad habits to rest with these savvy tips from our experts

This is your year – the one where your healthy habits take root and you reap the benefits of adequate sleep. Sure, you might have picked up some bad sleep habits in the last couple of years: instead of turning out the light, you read news on your phone, watched just one more Netflix show or fell down the rabbit hole of social media.

Don’t fret. You can turn the tide by creating healthy sleep goals before 2018 even gets underway. To help get you started on the road to wellness, we asked some leading experts for their suggestions on resolutions that can make 2018 a banner year for great sleep.

1. Redesign your bedroom to create an optimal sleep environment

The right environment can help you fall asleep faster and cause you to wake less often during the night,” says Rebecca Lee, a New York-based registered nurse and the founder of RemediesForMe.com, a site that provides information on benefits of natural remedies for different ailments, such as sleep deprivation. “If you have trouble sleeping, take steps to remedy anything that stimulates you, makes you uncomfortable or interferes with sleep.”

2. Banish the noise and keep the peace

Even though you’re sleeping, your brain continues to register and process sound. Noise can disturb your sleep, wake you or bump you from deep to light sleep. According to Lee, nocturnal noise can also cause adverse physical reactions during sleep, such as raise your blood pressure and increase levels of stress hormones.

If you live on a busy city street, invest in a white noise machine. The constant ambient sound helps to mask disturbing noises. Earplugs and an eye mask can also help you fall into a deeper sleep.

3. Embrace the dark

Exposure to light at night can reset the body’s clock and delay sleep.

  • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible.
  • If streetlight shines through your curtains, put up blackout shades or blinds.
  • Block any bright LED displays in your room before you go to bed.
  • Use dim nightlights in the hallway and bathroom so you don’t have to switch on ceiling lights if nature calls during the night
4. Maintain your cool

Your body temperature naturally decreases during sleep. If your bedroom is too hot, it can affect the quantity and quality of your sleep. Research suggests that a cool room between 60-65 degrees F (16 -19 C) helps keep your body at the right sleeping temperature. Be sure the covers you sleep under are the right thickness to keep you comfortable and not too warm. On hot summer nights, cool the room with a ceiling fan or a fan placed in front of an open window.

5. Unplug

“One of the biggest things we do now that negatively affects our sleep is stare at our phones before bed,” says Chris Brantner, founder of sleepzoo.com, a reviewer of sleep-related goods. “In fact, surveys indicate that the majority of people are staring at their phones very close to going to sleep (within 30 minutes). The blue light from the screens is detrimental to our sleep because it negatively impacts melatonin production, making it more difficult to dive into the sleep cycle. A resolution to embrace: Turn off devices at least an hour before bed.

6. Exercise during the day

Exercise can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep. It helps to reset the body’s clock, increasing daytime alertness and sleepiness at night. It also promotes sleep by naturally reducing stress and anxiety. Research has shown that exercise increases both total sleep time and the amount of deep, slow wave sleep.

7. Set a caffeine and alcohol curfew for yourself

Caffeine and alcohol can adversely affect your sleep, even if consumed 6 hours before bedtime. If you want to sleep soundly through the night, don’t drink caffeine after 5 p.m. and limit yourself to one small alcoholic beverage.

8. R-E-L-A-X

Can’t sleep? Likely stress and anxiety are common causes of insomnia. Anxious thoughts and worries can trigger the release of stress-hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare the mind and body for ‘fight or flight’ by increasing arousal and alertness.

Some things to try: Use relaxing music can decrease anxiety, heart and respiratory rate and blood pressure. A meta-analysis of five clinical trials with a total of 170 participants found that music had a significant effect on the sleep quality of patients with sleep complaints.

9. Become a superstar napper

Naps can help you become more energetic, productive and creative. It can also decrease work-related stress and prevent burnout. The most beneficial type of nap is one in which you fall asleep quickly, sleep well for a brief time and wake up feeling alert and reinvigorated. Timing is key. Most people are naturally a bit drowsy in the afternoon between 1-3 p.m.  But don’t sleep for too long. There’s research to support 10-minute naps. Some studies have indicated they are better than 30-minute naps.

10. Invest in a good humidifier

Exercise physiologist and author Sue Hitzmann recommends keeping the air a little moist during the cold winter months to support your breathing during sleep. Remember to clean it every couple of days so you don’t create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.

11. Establish a sleep ritual that includes a regular bedtime

“My best advice for sleep health is to ‘baby yourself,’” says Dr. Tara Nayak, a naturopathic physician practicing in Philadelphia, PA. “For those of us that have raised children, we know that a sleep ritual is important to establish a consistent sleep pattern as a baby grows up and starts to sleep through the night. I encourage my adult patients to do the same thing.”

She suggests creating a bedtime ritual focused on the senses that should be repeated every night at the same time. “It’s important for our bodies to have routine because it helps to regulate our internal clocks that are important for signaling hormone and neurotransmitter release,” she adds.

Those rituals should include making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible, using aromatherapy, like an essential oil diffuser, a pillow mist, or scented bath (lavender and wintergreen recommended), linens that feel indulgent, sipping herbal tea, such as chamomile, valerian, or passionflower, and finally, embracing silence for at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

12. Boost your intake of magnesium

Magnesium facilitates sleep regulating melatonin (sleep hormone) production, relieves muscle tension that can disrupt sleep and prevent restful sleep and activates GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the cen­tral nervous system, and its activation favors sleep.

“Most Americans (about 75%) do not get their RDA of this mineral,” says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, medical advisory board member, Nutritional Magnesium Association and author of The Magnesium Miracle. “This is the sleep mineral and anti-stress mineral that all of us need.”

Prepare a water bottle with a teaspoon or two of magnesium citrate powder and sip this throughout the day and have it available at your bedside. Take a big swig when you wake up in the middle of the night. In this form, it is fast acting and highly absorbable. It will help you get restful, rejuvenating sleep.

13. Splurge on good sleepwear

High-quality fabrics next to your skin just make you feel good, so choose jammies accordingly. Nina Clark, founder of Nightire.com, an online nightwear retailer, says that being strategic about what your sleep attire is made of can help to regulate your body temperature during the night. In turn, it can promote better slumber.

Consider sleepwear made from bamboo. It’s silky on the skin and is a natural moisture-wicker, which helps regulate body temperature. Whatever you buy, make sure it fits well. Looser pajamas move more easily over your body when you sleep. Skip designs with buttons, snaps, and tags, which can be irritating. Of course, you can always opt to sleep nude

14. Ease your stress

“My favorite habit for a New Year’s resolution is what I call the 10-minute worry, aka 10MW,” says Michael Duncan, editor of BeRightLight.com, a site that reviews wake-up lights and sunrise alarms. “Give yourself 10 minutes to worry before bed and write them down. All the to-dos, problems and ideas go down on paper to help empty your mind so you can relax.”  He says that doing the 10MW regularly will help you fall asleep faster and boost your productivity in the morning because you already have your list of to-dos on hand.

15. Buy a bright light alarm clock

These alarm clocks are specially designed to glow increasingly brighter as when it’s time to wake up. “It is a great tool to restart your natural wake-up response,” Duncan. “Especially in dark wintery January, waking up on time requires some serious effort to overcome our hardwired wake-up-at-sunrise brains. If you’re suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) a suitably powerful therapy light can get your brain back on track.

16. Change your sleep position

Is your preferred sleep position the best one for your health? Kansas City-based wellness practitioner and founder of Your Wellness Connection Dr. Michelle Robin recommends protecting your neck and back sleeping on your side or back. Sleeping on your back is the best sleep position for the health and alignment of your spine. If you’re a devoted back sleeper, put a pillow under your knees. Lying completely flat can put stress on your lower back and cause you to wake up in pain.

17. Upgrade your pillows

To keep your neck and head supported throughout the night, even as your muscles relax and you are no longer holding your head up, you need a supportive pillow that your neck can rest on, according to Dr. Robin.

18. Get tested for sleep apnea

Chronic snoring could be sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition with critical side effects. It puts you at very high risk of developing chronic diseases and complications, from heart failure and stroke, to diabetes, insomnia and even death. “When a person suffers from sleep apnea and is not being treated or being compliant with their treatment, their body is being deprived of the oxygen it needs to function normally,” says Al Greene, vice president of marketing with Bleep (a company that manufacturers and sells an alternative to traditional CPAP machines). Talk to your physician about getting tested.

The post 18 Health-Boosting New Year’s Resolutions to Make for 2018 appeared first on Restonic.

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