All Entries For sleep
It's true- I LOVE to take naps. I think it comes from my dad, who has always been a napper. My mom used to joke that he could sleep anywhere- on a bus, at a party, etc. The naps never had to be long, but they were (and still are) always a crucial part of his day. These days I'm just like him. That's why I was interested to read a new study that claims and afternoon nap might refresh the brain's capacity to learn, making you smarter. Read More ›
We put a lot of the blame for childhood obesity on fast food, school lunches, and sedentary lifestyles, and certainly all of these factors (along with many others) are at play. But can we really do much about these factors, especially in the short-term? Fast food is here to stay. While these restaurants offer more healthy options than ever before, people are still ordering the old standbys. Parents are busy—too busy to cook at home or aren't knowledgeable about how to prepare homemade meals at all. And when we're too busy to cook dinner, the same goes for lunch. School lunches are a way of life for busy and low-income households that rely on them. And kids aren't as active—we know that. But we don't live in the times we used to, when kids could go outside all day long without supervision—something we'd never allow this day and age. So are we powerless to change the fate of our children?
Research published in Pediatrics shows that reducing your child's risk of obesity is simpler we may think. In fact, three easy household strategies can decrease a child's obesity risk by 40%--and not one of them has anything to do with fast food, school lunches, exercise or overhauling your family's lifestyle. Read More ›
Do you find that it's easier to stick to your diet when you're well-rested? Is it difficult to stay on track when you're not? New research shows that not getting enough sleep can affect the food choices you make when you're awake. That's just one more reason to make sure you're getting enough shut-eye! Read More ›
We've often heard that being more physically active improves sleep patterns. For a lot of people, better sleep is one of the more immediate benefits of an active lifestyle. Have you found that it's easier to fall asleep if you've had a good workout earlier in the day? A new study of school-age children confirms that the greater the daytime activity level, the easier it is to fall asleep at night. And now they are measuring just how significant the benefit might be. Read More ›
In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, it has plenty of mental benefits as well. Certain poses can help energize you and others can help relax you.
While I wouldn't recommend a full yoga practice just before bed, doing a few of these gentle, restorative poses before going to sleep can help you rest easier.
You can do most of these poses in your bedroom while wearing your pajamas. You might want to have a mat under you for comfort.
To facilitate your voyage to dream land, turn off the TV and dim the lights. Before beginning, come to a comfortable seated position on your mat and close your eyes. Start breathing in and out through your nose, in long, even breaths. After 10 breaths, open your eyes and begin these poses. You can hold each one for as long as you'd like, at least five breaths.
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This past weekend most of us throughout the United States, with the exception of Hawaii and Arizona, had the pleasure of gaining that extra hour of sleep as we bid farewell to daylight savings time. In 2007 Congress shifted the beginning of daylight savings time from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March. They also extended the end to daylight savings time from the last Sunday in October to first Sunday in November. And while many of us have grown to appreciate the added hour for what it is worth, we do know that eventually we will be trading it in for one less hour of sleep or activity come March.
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Editor's note: After graduating from medical school in his native South Africa, Dr. Frank Lipman began treating patients about two hours from Johannesburg. Despite poverty-stricken conditions, he noticed that his patients were free from insomnia, depression and anxiety, which had plagued his urban patients. They rarely complained of back pain or fatigue despite long days of hard labor.
People lived by the rhythms of nature. During that time, he realized how important natural rhythm was to humans' lives. He immigrated to the States and, after a residency in internal medicine, started studying Chinese medicine. He has spent decades developing methods to help people overcome exhaustion and regain their lives. He recently published SPENT: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again (Fireside/Simon & Schuster; January 2009) and took some time to answer our questions via email.
dailySpark: What foods should people eliminate from their diets straightaway to boost energy?
Dr. Lipman: Refined sugars and processed foods are major "Spent"-causing substances (I call them substances because they are not real food). Once you remove them from your diet, and get past the withdrawal symptoms, you will see a major boost in energy. Read More ›
One of my few guilty pleasures on the weekends after my long run is to lie down on the couch and nap. I am not talking hours, only 20 or so--just long enough to recharge my batteries. While I haven’t always been a napper, I have learned to appreciate the energy these short breaks provide.
However, if you think napping is only for those who are lazy and unmotivated, well think again. Some of the world’s greatest and most respected leaders and celebrities have been known to nap including: Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Leonard di Vinci, Gene Autry, and Thomas Edison just to name a few. Read More ›
Think shorting yourself on sleep has no effect on your health? Think again!
Those of us in North America set our clocks back Sunday night, and more than 1.5 billion people worldwide live in countries that use daylight saving time. As a result, many of us enjoyed an extra hour of sleep. For a few of us, that might have saved our lives.
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I don't know about you guys, but over the past several weeks, I haven't had too many restful slumbers. Between concerns over the current state of affairs, the economic situation, dealing with some overtraining issues, and just trying to cram all that I can in a 24 hour time frame, sleep is the one area in my life that I have come up a little short on.
I have always been one to need good, quality sleep to function. In fact I wonder how I ever made it through college, my young adult years, and yes, even parenthood on so little shut eye. But the older I get the more I appreciate a good restful night’s sleep. Read More ›