If your teen is having a difficult time getting a good night’s rest, making it hard for them to get up in the morning, you may want to make sure electronic devices in their room are turned off at night. According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of parents with children ranging from 15 to 17 years of age report their child receives fewer than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. Of those surveyed, 68 percent sleep with an electronic device on throughout the night. In addition, sleep quality of 45 percent of children 6 to 17 years of age improved when sleeping with no devices turned on.
Choosing the right mattress not only contributes to your quality of sleep but how you feel during the day. However, finding the ideal mattress is easier said than done. Mattresses can be quite costly and the last thing you want to do is purchase a mattress only to find that it’s uncomfortable. Arya Shamie, MD, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, recommends choosing a mattress that supports the curvature of your spine, buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head to keep proper alignment while laying in a neutral position.
Purchasing a New Mattress
You’ll know it’s time to purchase a new mattress when you’re no longer able to relieve lower back pain within 30 minutes of waking in the morning. When testing mattresses, don’t be in too big of hurry to make a purchase by buying the cheapest or first mattress you test. When on the hunt for a new mattress, it’s best to lay on each mattress you test for at least 15 minutes to ensure it’s comfortable. Continue reading
Throughout history, as well as recently, there have been many extremely productive and successful individuals who have claimed they are able to function on much less sleep than the average person. And according to a new study some of them may actually be genetically wired to get by on fewer Z’s. If you count yourself among their ranks as a short sleeper, then maybe you’re wired the same way.
During a recent sleep study of 100 pairs of twins, researchers discovered that some of the participants still functioned well after an extended period of sleep depravation. Upon closer inspection the researchers found that those that needed much less sleep to function, all shared the same genetic mutation in p. Tyr362HIS, a variant of the BHLHE41 gene. While most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep to count themselves as healthy, productive members of society, these twins, and those that share the mutation, not only need less than that, but they also need less time to recover from sleep deprivation than other people.
Over the years many politicians, celebrities and artists have boasted and their short sleep patterns, often credited the additional waking hours to their success. Perhaps most famously, Margaret Thatcher claimed to sleep for a mere four hours, which is why the quest for this particular gene has often taken her name. Others include: Napoleon Bonaparte (three to four), Winston Churchill (five), Leonardo Da Vinci (five), Bill Clinton (five to six), Madonna (four), Martha Stewart (two to four) and Donald Trump (three to four).
Still count yourself among the chosen sleep “less” ones? Well, not so fast. As it turns out the genetic mutation in p. Tyr362HIS may actually be pretty rare. According to other sleep studies, out of 100 people who claim they can get by on less than six hours of sleep a night, only 5 of them are current.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a pretty reliable source on the subject, most of us need at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. Less than six hours and it starts to effect proper brain function, which can lead to problems in logical reasoning, concentration and even depression.
So, unless you need just one less hour of sleep tonight to solve world hunger or create your masterpiece, chances are you’re better off waiting until tomorrow and getting a good night’s sleep tonight.
You’ve probably heard plenty about how often to replace your mattress or how often to change your sheets. But have you given much thought to how often you should change your pillow? We know how important a comfortable pillow can be for a good night’s sleep, so if you’ve found one that works for you, you’re probably not in a rush to change it. Well that might change.
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to how often you should change out your pillow, and the answer is bound to shock you: every 6 months! That’s right, according to Robert Oexman, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute and at the very least within two years according to WebMD. How does yours measure up?
We’ve talked about the importance of maintaining a clean mattress before, but often times people forget about the sanitary conditions of the item just below their head. While you may not be able to see it, there is a massive amount of dirt, oil, dead skin and in some cases bugs, including mites and spiders. While this image may not be a pleasant one, it’s certainly an important one to consider, especially for those people with allergies that might have a reaction to dust and insects.
Now that you’re thoroughly grossed out, let’s talk about replacing those pillows. Let’s strike a balance between the Sleep to Live Institute and WebMD and recommend you replace your pillow every year. Make sure you find a pillow that is best suited to your sleep position, firmly and gently supporting your head and neck, and allows for proper alignment of your spine. We also recommend getting a pillow protector to help extend the life of your pillow as well as prevent stains and the accumulation of allergens, dust mites and bed bugs. In some cases you can also occasionally place your pillow in the dryer on low for 20 to 30 minutes to help clear clutter, but be sure to read the manufacturers specifications to make sure you don’t damage the pillow.
So, when was the last time you replaced your pillow?
Summer always seems to breeze by so quickly, and before we know, it’s time to gear up for another year of school. While you and your kids might be thinking about back-to-school clothes, shopping for supplies and a new classroom, chances are you’re probably not thinking much about the change in sleep patterns that is about to occur.
The combination of long summer days, no homework and fewer early rises, have likely left your kids going to bed later than usual and sleeping in as well. While some may have stuck to a strict sleep schedule, chances are the return to school is going to take some adjustment. And considering how important a good night’s sleep can be, especially for a young mind and body, getting your kids back on track for sleep sooner than later, will save both of you in many ways once school begins. Continue reading