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Evening Habits That Are Messing With Your Sleep

Stuck tossing and turning when it’s time to sleep? Discover some surprising ways that you might be shortchanging your shuteye in the hours leading up to bedtime—and how to reverse course. You eat dinner too late. Late work hours can lead to late-night dining. But eating like you’re in Europe doesn’t make for quality sleep. That’s because your body does its best digestion when you’re upright—not curled up in bed. Going to bed with a full stomach makes you seven times more likely to suffer from uncomfortable issues like acid reflux or heartburn that can keep you awake. You watch TV in bed. Exercise is great for your sleep. TV marathons, on the other hand? Not so…

Transitioning from Wake to Sleep

Having a good night’s sleep is not always easy especially after having a busy day. The constant need to feel connected to the world 24/7 gives people increasing levels of stress and “busyness” which makes getting a good night’s sleep difficult. Thankfully, nature has many cues for us to follow to help us settle down from our busy, stressful lives to a peaceful sleep. At night there is an increase of darkness, decreased activity, and cooler temperatures that all contribute to our bodies feeling sleepy. By increasing these factors in our night routines we can get that good night’s sleep we need.Darkness releases melatonin, the natural chemical that helps put us to sleep. Dimming…

Is it Bad to Watch TV Right Before Bed?

It may seem harmless to veg in front of the TV before bed. You tune in, relax, zone out, and, eventually, you nod off. Plenty of people do it—as many as two-thirds of adults worldwide. But if your goal is to get a good night’s sleep, your best bet is to turn off the tube. One problem with bedtime TV watching is simply the temptation to stay up late to find out what happens next. Plus, violence, gore, or suspense may leave you feeling anxious and could contribute to tossing and turning. But neither of these is actually the main concern. The biggest problem is that the bright light that your TV screen emits may actually keep you…

Is Your Smartphone Ruining Your Sleep?

Smartphones make it easier than ever to be connected to the Internet at every waking moment. While that might make you feel like you’re always on top of things, that 24/7 connection to technology is actually unhealthy when you’re trying to fall asleep. The problem starts with the fact that 71 percent of people sleep either holding their smartphone, having it in bed with them, or having it on their nightstand. So many people use their smartphones as their alarm clocks, it makes sense that many would want their phones within an arm’s reach. But when your cell is that close to you, the temptation to check social media sites, work email, and/or the…

Screenless Nights

There’s nothing like the threat of being publically shamed to motivate changing one’s behaviors A few months ago, Stephen Dubner from Freakonomics Radio interviewed me for one of his popular podcasts exploring behavioral economics.   Expecting to discuss my research, I found myself engaged in in a conversation about my own personal bedtime routines.  I reluctantly shared that, for me, a typical night included looking at my iPhone at bedtime, in the middle of the night while nursing my infant, and usually first thing in the morning.   He was surprised and intrigued that I, despite the abundant research indicating that screen time at night is associated with delayed sleep onset and shorter total sleep time, did…

The Latest Sleep Trackers That Attach To Your Wrist

You may initially buy these new activity trackers to learn about how many calories you burn in a day, but keep them on at night and you’ll learn lots of information about how you’re sleeping. Wearable activity trackers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And for people who want to learn more about their sleep habits, this is a good thing. That’s because many of the newest activity trackers, like the four below, double as sleep monitors—just wear them on your wrist through the night to get details about the quality and duration of your sleep. Fitbit Charge HR: The latest offering from Fitbit features a heart rate monitor that tracks your pulse through…

How the NSF and the CEA Are Improving Sleep Trackers

Learn why wearable devices are going to be much more accurate in the future. If you’ve ever sported a wearable activity tracker, you may have received some questionable feedback on how much sleep you’re getting. The fact is, while you’ve been able to track how far you run via GPS and look up a wealth of nutritional knowledge on your smart phone for years now, it’s taken some time for technology to catch up when it comes to tracking sleep. But unreliable sleep tracking is no longer going to cut it in this day and age, when one in five Americans owns a wearable device and customers demand accurate and up-to-date information. You wouldn’t want…

The Latest Sleep Trackers That Attach To Your Mattress

These three monitors slide under your sheets to keep an eye on your sleep habits without disrupting your slumber. Up until recently, you had to go to a sleep clinic to find out details about your overnight habits. Then came high-tech sleep trackers, and all that changed. While most styles involve a wristband, some people prefer to sleep without anything on their arms. That’s where these three new products come in. Each attaches to your bed in some way, helping you track your sleep without even being aware of it. Withings Aura Smart Sleep System: This system is made up of a mattress pad that goes under your mattress (above your box spring), a…

Alternatives to Traditional Alarm Clocks

These five styles make waking up a little more fun. When you think about alarm clocks, there may seem to be just two main options: the classic style that starts ringing and stops only when the snooze button gets hit, and the more modern smart phone variety. But there are actually a lot of different kinds of alarm clocks. Find the one that’s best for you and it will make getting up on the right side of the bed a lot easier.  Philips Vibrating Alarm Clock ($19.99; Philips.com): Attach this device to your pillow and wake up to vibrations instead of a startling, loud buzzing. Since the movement is silent, nobody else in the…

What Is A Cpap Machine?

Everything you need to know about this sleep apnea treatment.   After being diagnosed with sleep apnea, there’s a chance that your doctor may give you a CPAP machine as a form of treatment. It’s a little more unusual than, say, popping a pill, so understanding how it works may answer any questions that you might have and/or ease any concerns. Q: What is a CPAP Machine? A: CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The machines help people with sleep apnea breathe more easily and regularly every night while they are sleeping. A CPAP machine increases the air pressure in your throat to prevent your airway from collapsing when you inhale. It also decreases snoring (which…