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How one move led to bonding, energy and #goals. A Sleep Number Brand Ambassador daily experiment.

Melissa Funk looked up over her desk after reading a Prevention.com article. Feeling inspired by what she just read, she said to her surrounding teammates, “Would you guys like to try planking at work?”

Six months later, this simple question has grown from two people planking together at Sleep Number’s corporate headquarters to nearly 20 people. The Marketing team booked time on their calendars every day at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to plank together. The group started with 1-minute planks, and soon increased to 1.5-minute planks.  Whoever is around drops and does it. Someone plays music on their phone and folks chat to pass time.

Sleep Number Brand Ambassadors Jill Dahl and Sheila Anderson are two of the employees doing this at Sleep Number.

7 Reasons Jill and Sheila Think Everyone Should Plank at Work:
  1. If you’re stuck at your desk every day, planking is a quick and easy way to add exercise to your day—helping you be healthier and feel stronger.
  2. It feels good to do something for yourself during the day. And, because it’s a 1–2 minute mini-exercise, you don’t need to dedicate 30 minutes to go for a walk. It’s something almost everyone can squeeze into their day.
  3. It provides a nice mental break from your desk, which is great if you need to step away and come back with a clear mind.
  4. Planking not only tones your core and arms, but it builds team comradery. It’s fun getting to know other people as we huddle in a circle to plank side-by-side.
  5. You feel energized afterward and ready to tackle the next part of your day. Especially great for the common afternoon slump, planking provides a natural solution instead of reaching for caffeine, which can mess with your sleep if drank after noon.
  6. It’s surprisingly more fun than you think. You can listen to music and chat to ease the pain, and fun conversations always happen between people.
  7. If you’re cold, it warms you up because your blood is pumping, and it feels like a shot of energy.

Jill Dahl, Digital Asset Specialist, Sleep Number® setting 40. SleepIQ® score last night 85.

Sheila Anderson, Brand Copywriter, Sleep Number® setting 70. SIeepIQ® score last night 87.

Melissa Funk, Digital Media Specialist, Sleep Number® setting 35. SleepIQ® score last night 89.


Quality sleep will keep you performing your best. Like diet and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone's sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® beds with SleepIQ® technology inside adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. SleepIQ technology tracks how well you sleep each night, giving you personal insights into your sleep so you'll learn how life affects your sleep and how sleep affects your life. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep.

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Popular TV personality Gayle King chats with Arianna Huffington about social media, her mobile device addiction and finding time to sleep.

Work hard, sleep hard? For those with high-demand jobs, getting adequate sleep can be tough. Listen as popular television personality Gayle King chats with Arianna Huffington about her mobile device addiction and struggle to find time to sleep due to her non-stop career on Thrive Global Podcast.

This episode of The Thrive Global podcast is sponsored by Sleep Number.

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What hockey can teach you about life and sleep (and you don't even have to like hockey to benefit).

It's been 38 years since the Miracle on Ice taught us that hard work and determination can beat even the most seasoned players.

In 1980, at the height of Cold War drama between the United States and the Soviet Union, the two national teams squared off in the Olympic semi-finals. The underdog U.S. men were mostly college players, playing against the Soviet Union's dominant national team, who lived together and practiced 11 months out of the year. But the U.S. team beat the Soviets 4-3, and beat Finland for the gold medal.

Here's what else hockey and that winning 1980 team can teach us about life (and sleep):

Keep Your Head Up

Keeping your head up is essential to playing safe hockey. Players learn early that if they don't look up, they won't see what's going on around them. If they only look down at the puck, they'll miss the other team's defense closing in. They might miss a perfect opening to pass the puck and assist on scoring a goal. Worse, they might seriously injure themselves if they're headed for the boards. “Heads Up, Don't Duck" is USA Hockey's safety program to prevent concussion in youth hockey.

Life Lesson: Noticing what's around you can mean the difference between success and failure. At work, you might be so focused on your own projects that you don't notice people or situations that can derail you or help you to excel. In the electronic age, looking up can be a lifesaver. According to the most recent figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. From 2015 statistics, the most recent available, texting and other distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries.

Focus on Your End Goal

The "Miracle on Ice" story is only about a semi-final game. The next day, U.S. head coach Herb Brooks put his players through a grueling practice, reminding them that they hadn't won anything yet, according to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. He didn't want them to rest on their laurels. In fact, the origin of that saying, "rest on your laurels," hearkens back to ancient Greek games that were the precursor to the first Olympics, according to History Revealed magazine.

Life Lesson: It's important to put small victories in context without losing sight of the larger goal. When it comes to better sleep, don't rest on your laurels either. For example, you may follow all three steps to improve your SleepIQ® score for several weeks. You're sleeping better than ever and feel well-rested. Hooray! But then you skip one or more steps for a few nights, and you're back to where you started. To win at getting better sleep requires sticking to a sleep routine with an athlete's discipline.

Play Hard, Sleep Well

Sports performance and sleep go hand-in-hand. Today, hockey players and other athletes work with sleep experts to ensure players get the best sleep both at home and on the road, reports The New York Times. A lack of sleep negatively impacts focus, energy, strength, speed, and even testosterone levels, said several sleep experts who consult for hockey teams.

“Sleeping four hours a night for a week reduces testosterone levels by an equivalent of 11 years of aging," said Dr. Charles Czeisler, a sleep researcher at Harvard Medical School.

Life Lesson: To play at the top of your game—in sports and in life—a good night's sleep is essential. Don't short your sleep. Adults generally need a solid seven to eight hours of sleep.

 

Quality sleep will keep you performing your best. Like diet and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone's sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® beds with SleepIQ® technology inside adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. SleepIQ technology tracks how well you sleep each night, giving you personal insights into your sleep so you'll learn how life affects your sleep and how sleep affects your life. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep.

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This post was brought to you by former Bachelorette and featured guest blogger Emily Maynard.

You know what is super annoying? Everyone always talks about how little sleep you get with a newborn, but no one ever tells you about the sleepless nights you have while pregnant. During my third trimester, I would wake up around 1am, go to the kitchen and get some water, watch random videos on Facebook, walk around my house a couple times, and then finally fall back asleep around 3am. Miserable.

So, when the people from Sleep Number reached out I knew it had to be sent straight from God, right?? Well, anyone who knows me knows I'm last minute on pretty much everything, so my mattress got delivered by the two nicest guys on November 11th. Did I mention I was going to the hospital on the 12th for a scheduled C-section? Yeah, not the best timing ever, but at least I got one amazing night’s sleep before I went to the hospital. All I could think about while I was in that uncomfortable hospital bed was getting home to my new Sleep Number! And my cute new baby, of course!

We have had our mattress for a little over a month now and I can honestly say even with a newborn, I have slept better in the past month than I did my entire pregnancy. It was perfect for my C-section recovery because I could lift up the head on my side of the bed, so I didn't have to struggle getting in and out. I was also super swollen afterwards and being able to lift my feet while I slept helped a ton. I'm still trying to figure out what my Sleep Number setting is (exactly how firm or soft I like my mattress), so I keep trying a different one every week and right now I'm at a 30 which I'm loving.

Tyler is somewhere in the 40's, and based solely on the fact that he hasn't snored since, I'm guessing he's loving the mattress just as much as I am! You control everything from an app on your iPhone called SleepIQ technology, where you can also turn on a heater for your feet, track your sleep patterns, and even turn on an automatic night light if you have middle-of-the-night baby feedings like I do!

I can’t tell you what a difference great sleep on my new bed has made. Life is so much more enjoyable when you’re well-rested. I find I have so much more energy to focus on my family and be at my best for my kids.

I have the Sleep Number 360 i10 smart bed, but to find out which one fits best for you, just visit your local Sleep Number store! You will seriously thank me later.

This post was sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely my own.

Quality sleep will keep you performing your best. Like diet and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number beds adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. Find your Sleep Number setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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Minnesota-based professional runner and rare cancer survivor, Gabriele Grunewald, shows us what “Sleep Smart. Play Better” means to her. This is the second of a three-part series, written in Gabriele’s own words. Here she highlights how quality sleep powers her love of running in the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge area. (Part 1 can be viewed here)

To me, ‘Sleep Smart, Play Better’ means that I am just as invested in my rest and recovery as I am with my actual training. Almost every great athlete knows how to get the work done and push themselves, but the best-of-the-best separate themselves by prioritizing their rest (sleep) in-between training sessions. There are so many ‘process' goals that need to build into the bigger ‘outcome’ goals for me. The process of being a great athlete, for me personally, requires getting at least 9 hours of sleep a night, doing my pre-hab exercises, and eating well. I can't be a great athlete without great sleep -- it really is that simple!

One of the many reasons I love running is there are so many different places to run and explore. I especially love the ability to get out to a great running route right outside my own front door. I'm lucky to live less than a half-mile away from the iconic and beautiful Stone Arch Bridge here in Minneapolis.

There are so many cool bridges to run along here with the mighty Mississippi river nearby, but Stone Arch is probably my favorite. There are amazing views of downtown and so much history to take in near the Mill District. On a nice, sunny winter day today I'm thankful for a fairly clear path -- free of car traffic -- on the Stone Arch Bridge!

Minnesota running is not for the faint of heart with its cold and icy conditions.  But, doing some training outside certainly helps me get through what can sometimes feel like a long winter. Mentally, I can absolutely attest that my mood improves if I can get in an outdoor workout! I feel centered and calm post-run.

When I sleep well, I am better prepared to tackle the day’s training ahead of me and feel more confident in my abilities. Getting a good night’s rest sets me up to not only successfully complete the day’s training, but is especially important so I also feel energized to do the “little things” that are so important for an athlete — including getting in a grocery store run, preparing healthy meals at home, and staying in touch with my fans and supporters online and in person! All of these activities go smoother and are more personally fulfilling when I’m well rested.

On almost every run there is a time for reflection and gratitude. It doesn't always involve stopping -- though sometimes a quick stretch is totally acceptable -- but mainly consists of appreciating the moment and the view. Even though this is only a few minutes outside my door, I feel pretty lucky to have the majestic Saint Anthony Falls to admire on all of my runs.

Photo credit: Abigail Anderson

Other posts like this:

 

Quality sleep will keep you performing your best. Like diet and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number beds adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. Find your Sleep Number setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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Fun, simple game you and your partner should try tonight. Influencers, Sean & Catherine Lowe share their answers and surprise each other on some topics in below videos. “ME????!!?!”

  • Who wakes up first in the morning?
  • Who’s the most likely to wake up grumpy in the morning?
  • Who will be the first to fall asleep tonight?
  • Who steals the cover’s more?
  • Who gets better SleepIQ® technology scores in the Sleep Number bed?
  • Who snores louder?
  • Who’s the bigger risk taker?
  • Who takes the longer shower?
  • Who spends the most time getting ready to go out?
  • Who is more creative?
  • Who is the jokester?
  • Who is more outgoing?
  • Who is more likely to get injured?
  • Who made the first move?
  • Who said “I love you” first?
  • Who’s the better cook?
  • Who’s the better driver?
  • Who’s the faster driver?
  • Who is in charge of the remote?
  • Who is more organized?
  • Who is more likely to take care of a spider in the house?
  • Who’s the better kisser?
  • Who’s most likely to get lost?
  • Who’s most likely to ask for directions?
  • Who’s most likely to be running late?

If you liked this article, see if your sleep style matches one of these common sleeping positions.  And, check out the 8 things the happiest couples do every morning – especially if the above game ruffled some feathers in your relationship.

Sleep Number® beds are designed with your individual comfort in mind. Adjust each side to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support ― your Sleep Number® setting. Plus, when you add SleepIQ® technology, you’ll know what changes to make for your best possible sleep.

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What better way to celebrate the spirit of the upcoming games than with a family movie night in bed? Three movies to (re)watch now.

  1. “Miracle:” In the 1980 Winter World Stage in Lake Placid, New York, many people didn’t think the young U.S. men’s hockey team could defeat the dominant Soviets—except for Herb Brooks, the team’s head coach, played by Kurt Russell in this 2004 docudrama. The movie depicts the formation, struggles and shocking victory of the U.S. men’s hockey semifinal win. It’s considered one of the greatest wins in sports history. The team went on to win the gold medal. But it was the victory over the Soviet Union that led the sports announcer Al Michaels to famously shout, “Do you believe in miracles?” “Miracle” will have you shouting back, YES! Rated PG.
  2. “Cool Runnings:” Who says your nation needs snow-capped mountains to field a bobsled team? In 1988, a four-man crew from the tropical, sandy beaches of Jamaica decided to challenge what’s possible in the Winter World Stage. “Cool Runnings” is a comedy loosely based on an improbable, but determined, Jamaican bobsled team during the Calgary, Canada, World Stage. John Candy plays Irv Blitzer, a disgraced U.S. gold medal bobsledder and ex-pat living in Jamaica, talked into coaching the team by a Jamaican track runner who, due to injury, fails to qualify for the Jamaican World Stage track team but still wants to race. Rated PG.
  3. “Eddie the Eagle:” Another 1988 competitor proved that World Stage dreams aren’t always rational. Michael “Eddie” Edwards had practically no ski jumping experience, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of being the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in that sport. “Eddie the Eagle” tells of Edwards, played by Taron Egerton, and his dogged determination to be an World Stage competitor. It’s also the redemption story of a former Olympian ski jumper, played by Hugh Jackman, who coaches Eddie to achieve that goal. Although Edwards fails at glory, his story is a reminder that for most athletes, the World Stage spirit of friendship and competition matters most. Rated PG-13.

How much sleep do athletes need? Read this post to hear what a World Stage Sleep Coach has to say about the importance of rest and recovery.

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® beds with SleepIQ® technology inside adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. SleepIQ technology tracks how well you sleep each night, giving you personal insights into your sleep so you’ll learn how life affects your sleep and how sleep affects your life. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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Does sleep fasting really help with weight loss? We tried this and explored the science behind it.

Losing weight while you sleep may sound too good to be true, but a number of recent studies have shown that you can lose weight while you sleep — or "sleep diet."

The key to weight loss while sleeping is what's known as time-restricted feeding (TRF). With TRF, you limit eating to an 8- to 12-hour window during the day. For example, you can only eat from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (12 hours) or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m (8 hours). This means you'll be fasting for 12-16 hours a day — most of that time while asleep.

On a sleep diet, you are still expected to maintain healthy eating habits. Some people who do the longer hours simply delay breakfast. But because you stop eating after dinner — no more mindless nighttime snacking or midnight raids to the fridge — you also consume fewer calories.

A 12-week diet, restricting eating from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to a recent study in The FaseB Journal (The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biologies), resulted in lower body weight, heart rate, and fat mass.

As someone who has tried various diets in her lifetime, I was curious to see what a TRF would do to my waistline and my sleep. In the past, a restricted calorie diet that had resulted in weight loss also caused me insomnia. Would sleep dieting work?

“In my expertise, whenever you change your biorhythms it will change all the systems connected to it," said Pete Bils, Sleep Number's vice president of sleep innovation and clinical research, and the chairman of the Better Sleep Council.

There are two main rhythms that affect your sleep, he said — exposure to light, and eating schedules. “The body likes regularity," Bils said, "so if you change your eating habits, that could throw off your sleep. Instead of jet lag, it's food lag."

You might be successful in one area — weight loss — but throw yourself off in another area, like sleep, he said.

I guess that's what happened to me on a restricted calorie diet. I lost the weight, but lost my sleep, too.

But the good news is that just like jet lag, your body adjusts to food lag. Also, it's actually good for your body — and your sleep — to stop eating a few hours before bedtime.

A study in the the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology showed that reducing heartburn can improve sleep — and eating close to bedtime can increase heartburn. Eating a big meal and exercising before bedtime raise your heart rate and body temperature, also the opposite of what you need for sleep. “It's against physiology," Bils said, noting that ideally the body has four hours to digest before bed. So stopping eating at 6 p.m. or even 8 p.m. will help your sleep.

At first, it was hard for me to remember to stop eating after 8 p.m. When the baby was finally asleep and the house was quiet, I was ready to tuck in to a nice meal — or at least snack in front of the TV.

It took a few days to sync my mealtime to the family — really eating with them, instead of grazing and saving the meal for later. While it was too early to tell if I was losing weight, I could feel the "fasting window" working on my body, everything slowing down and getting ready to end the day. No more nighttime fridge raids. Instead, I started a healthier bedtime routine of brushing my teeth, slipping on my pajamas and climbing into bed. It was indeed easier to fall, and stay, asleep.

If you're really feeling ambitious, couple this with these 20-minutes of equipment-free exercises.

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and professional performance. Because everyone's sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® beds adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep.

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What a fun 10 days and two years of planning, the Super Bowl was for the Sleep Number team. Sleep Number proudly was a Founding Partner of the Super Bowl Minnesota Host Committee. Recap video below.

According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Sleep Number won the Super Bowl, saying “[Sleep Number] used a Super Bowl sponsorship — complete with a Nicollet Mall activation — and a new NFL sponsorship announced with Roger Goodell to get out the word that Sleep Number is a sleep-technology company that has products aimed at helping people get more shut-eye.”

Brad Paisley even did a surprise pop-up concert at the Mall of America store.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap:

If you like this article, see more behind the scenes articles, including what it takes to throw a 5,000 person party for the Media here:

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What better way to celebrate the spirit of the upcoming games than with a family movie night in bed? Three movies to (re)watch now.

  1. “Miracle:” In the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, many people didn’t think the young U.S. men’s hockey team could defeat the dominant Soviets—except for Herb Brooks, the team’s head coach, played by Kurt Russell in this 2004 docudrama. The movie depicts the formation, struggles and shocking victory of the U.S. men’s hockey semifinal win. It’s considered one of the greatest wins in sports history. The team went on to win the gold medal. But it was the victory over the Soviet Union that led the sports announcer Al Michaels to famously shout, “Do you believe in miracles?” “Miracle” will have you shouting back, YES! Rated PG.
  2. “Cool Runnings:” Who says your nation needs snow-capped mountains to field a bobsled team? In 1988, a four-man crew from the tropical, sandy beaches of Jamaica decided to challenge what’s possible in the Winter Olympics. “Cool Runnings” is a comedy loosely based on an improbable, but determined, Jamaican bobsled team during the Calgary, Canada, Olympics. John Candy plays Irv Blitzer, a disgraced U.S. gold medal bobsledder and ex-pat living in Jamaica, talked into coaching the team by a Jamaican track runner who, due to injury, fails to qualify for the Jamaican Olympic track team but still wants to race. Rated PG.
  3. “Eddie the Eagle:” Another 1988 competitor proved that Olympic dreams aren’t always rational. Michael “Eddie” Edwards had practically no ski jumping experience, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream of being the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in that sport. “Eddie the Eagle” tells of Edwards, played by Taron Egerton, and his dogged determination to be an Olympic competitor. It’s also the redemption story of a former Olympian ski jumper, played by Hugh Jackman, who coaches Eddie to achieve that goal. Although Edwards fails at glory, his story is a reminder that for most athletes, the Olympic spirit of friendship and competition matters most. Rated PG-13.

How much sleep do athletes need? Read this post to hear what an Olympic Sleep Coach has to say about the importance of rest and recovery.

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number® beds with SleepIQ® technology inside adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. SleepIQ technology tracks how well you sleep each night, giving you personal insights into your sleep so you’ll learn how life affects your sleep and how sleep affects your life. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night’s sleep.

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