Viewing entries tagged sleep
When you desperately need to recharge, which is better? A cup of coffee or a nap? How about both? Sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, suggests drinking a small cup of coffee and then taking a 25-minute nap. Toward the end of the nap, the caffeine will start to kick in so you'll wake extra-refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
For more on why everyone should nap and what might really be making you tired...
To improve the quality of your sleep, integrative physician Frank Lipman, MD, recommends a simple yoga pose. Do this pose right before going to bed or if you wake in the night. Lie on your back, arms at your sides, palms up. Close your eyes, relax and lie still, breathing slowly and deeply for five minutes. "This soothes the nervous system and eases mental and physical fatigue," explains Dr. Lipman, author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent And Start Living Again. "You'll sleep soundly…and wake up rejuvenated."
For other doctor-tested ways to get your Zzzzs (they work!):
Being in darkness improves our ability to sleep—because it raises levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps us sleep. A study published in Applied Ergonomics has found that people who use a tablet computer for two hours in the evening had 22% less melatonin than those who did not. These devices are highly likely to affect sleep, say the researchers, since we hold them closer to our faces than, for example, the television set, which also emits light. Limiting your computer use before bed—or dimming the lights of your computer—may improve your sleep.
There’s nothing more peaceful on a summer afternoon than to get a little shut-eye under the sky. And August, the slowest-moving summer month of them all, is a great time to do it. You can lie in a hammock…on the sand at a beach…or in a field or on freshly mowed grass. You can listen to the breeze whispering around you. If you can’t get outside, you can try sleeping on a porch or even in a room with the window thrown wide open. Awaken refreshed!
The fabric touching your head while you sleep can make or break a good night’s slumber. Some people prefer the smooth, cool lightweight feel of a tightly woven broadcloth pillowcase. Others like the way their heads feel against a warm, fuzzy flannel material. You can experiment to see what type of fabric you prefer. When you find the one that feels best on your face and next to your head, you’ll sleep better. And a good night’s sleep will lead to more energy in the morning!
Research proves that people learn better after napping. Strategic napping—taking a nap for no longer than 40 minutes and before 5 pm (so it doesn’t interfere with nighttime sleep) is the key, write Michael J. Gelb and Kelly Howell in Brain Power (New World Library). When you can, find your spot and take a nap!