How many times have you said “Go to bed!”? Probably too many. Back to school is an adjustment for many families, particularly when it comes to getting back into a bedtime routine. Sleep plays an important part in a child’s growth development, allowing their muscles, skin, and bones to grow and fix injuries, and in keeping them healthy. Studies show that kids and teens who don’t get enough sleep have trouble focusing in school, which can cause behavior problems, inability to focus, and poor grades.
Here are a few tips for getting back into a bedtime routine and helping your kids get the sleep they need.
1. Set a Firm Bedtime and Stick to It
Start making bedtime 10-15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the desired school night bedtime. This will help make a smooth transition from summer hours to school hours. Once you have a routine, keep it consistent so their bodies adapt and sync with that sleep schedule. If your children or teens have a packed schedule, try to limit late-night activities to only 1-2 nights during the school week.
2. Limit Television and Electronics
Those bright lights can significantly affect a child’s ability to fall asleep. Make sure computers, cellphones, video games, and television are turned off at least one hour before bed. Not only will kids go to bed later with these distractions but having them in their bedroom can be the cause of schoolwork distractions.
3. Dim the Lights
Dimming the lights in the evening can create a more relaxing environment and prepare your child for sleep. Darkness is necessary for one’s body to trigger melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.
4. Create a Wind-Down Time
Take 30 minutes before bedtime to wind down. Use this time to create a bedtime routine: brush teeth, drink that final glass of water, pick out clothes for the next day, make lunch, double check that everything is ready for tomorrow, and read a quick story.
Cooler temperatures, the crackle of leaves under your feet, pumpkin-flavored treats, football games, and thick cozy sweaters all evoke the excitement of the fall season! There are many aspects to love about fall; why not embrace it in your bedroom?
Transition your bedroom for autumn the same way you do your wardrobe, food, and attitude. This fall, stay warm in your bedroom with luxurious fabrics and cozy colors for a great night’s sleep. Here are some decorating tips for embracing those chilly autumn nights in your bedroom:
- Warm, Earth-Tone Colors – It’s time to change up those bright or non-existent colors in your bedroom for warmer autumn-inspired hues, including red, orange, brown, yellow, and gold. Warmer colors help your bedroom feel more welcoming and comfortable, especially during the fall. Add these colors to your blankets, linens, curtains, or if you’re feeling bold, your walls!
- Cozy textures – Your autumn wardrobe probably consists of knits, wool, fur, and cashmere. Take inspiration from your fall clothing and embrace those textures in your bedroom. Look for thicker fabrics for your rugs and blankets to make a statement and increase your comfort level. Add fall-inspired prints, such as leaves, for a subtle nod to the autumn season.
- Soft lighting – Setting up dimmer lights in place of harsh lighting can create a cozy environment in your bedroom. Use colored candles in fall hues to add more autumn inspiration. Don’t be afraid to decorate with candles, especially scented candles to create a warm ambience. Smells such as apple pie, pumpkin, maple, or the always classic vanilla, will create an environment that smells as good as it looks!
Sleep comes easy to some people and not so easy to others. If you find yourself in the unfortunate group that spends the nights counting sheep, there are plenty of tips and tricks to consider – some conventional and some that are downright surprising. Convinced you’ve tried them all?
Here are five unconventional sleep tips that could have you falling fast asleep:
Drink cherry juice – Cherry juice is a great drink to sip before going to sleep. It’s rich in melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle; studies show that the melatonin content in cherry juice improves and aids in sleep.
Listen to white noise – White noise is similar to the sound of rain falling against your window or the fan spinning in your room. It helps you fall asleep more easily because it drowns out the rest of the noises that can occur outside your bedroom
Take naps – Most people believe napping in the day can deter you from getting a good night’s rest, but for some people, it may just be the opposite. The ideal time for taking a nap is in the early afternoon for 20 minutes.
Learn night-time yoga stretches – Exercising in the evening may not be the best idea to get a good night’s sleep, but yoga can help sleep come faster. Yoga stretches relax and stretch out muscles and regulate your breathing pattern.
Block out all light – This might seem like a no-brainer, but even the smallest slither of light could throw off your sleep. Try wearing an eye mask if light affects the way you sleep.
Do you have an unconventional sleep tip? Share it in the comments below!
Do you find yourself occasionally tossing and turning at night because it’s just too hot? To keep your cool even on the warmest days of the year, try these helpful pointers:
- Keep your bedroom dark: To prevent heat build-up during the day, keep your blinds closed so the sun is not beaming into your bedroom. The more sunlight you have in your room, the hotter it will become.
- Lower the temperature: Air conditioning is ideal for those hot summer nights and can quickly cool your room down. If turning up the A/C is not an option, add a small fan to your bedroom or open your windows to create a cool breeze.
- Take a shower or bath: After being in the heat all day, the last thing you want to do is jump into bed feeling hot and sweaty. Before you go to sleep, take a refreshing shower to lower your body temperature.
- Wear light, comfortable clothes: Put away the heavy, flannel pajamas. Wear light, breathable clothing to prevent your clothes from sticking to you.
- Evaluate your mattress: Make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable mattress that is designed to dissipate heat and whisk it away from the body. For instance, Serta’s new iComfort Directions™ mattresses feature four exclusive technologies designed to balance comfort, support and temperature regulation.
For more advice on how to get a better night’s sleep – even during the hottest months of the year – check out the National Sleep Foundation’s article, “Sleeping When it is Blistering Hot” and share your personal tips in the comments below.
Does your bedroom need a makeover, but you’re not sure where to begin? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to planning the room of your dreams!
Set up a budget: Before you begin creating your dream bedroom, it’s important to create a budget you can afford. Set a reasonable amount so you don’t break the bank. This will help you prioritize essential items from non-essential items and keep you from spending too much money.
Measure floor space and dimensions: In order to add furniture, carpet and accessories to your bedroom, you need to have accurate measurements of the room. Know the perimeter and area of the bedroom so you can organize your room without feeling too crowded.
Determine the theme: Do you want your room to reflect the overall theme of your house or have its own unique style? If the theme is similar to your house you will want to have complementary color schemes. If you want the room to have your own personal touch, then you can get creative and experiment to develop your own customized theme.
- Keep a log of inspirational prints and colors: Once you select the theme of your bedroom, begin looking at different color schemes to select the perfect one. Take your time and choose a color that will promote sleep and make you feel restful. Cool colors such as blue and green are popular bedroom colors and make your room feel comfortable. Create a digital scrapbook of your favorite options to help you determine the prints and colors that make you feel the most relaxed.
- Adding accents with accessories: Who said having a white bedroom was boring? To brighten a room, you can add a splash of color with accessories such as bedding, pillows, lamps and mirrors. Accents work best with white or beige walls and can conveniently customize your room.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll soon be sleeping comfortably in the bedroom of your dreams!
Do you have a loved one keeping you awake all night because of their disruptive snoring? Or are you the one keeping others awake?
Here are six tips to reduce snoring for a better night’s sleep.
- Sleep on your side- Sleeping on your side is one of the best methods to combat snoring. Rather than lying on your back, sleeping on your side significantly reduces snoring. Reposition yourself comfortably and elevate your head with an extra pillow. This will improve air passage and allow you to breathe easily for a quiet sleep.
- Change pillows- When was the last time you changed your pillows? Allergens and dust mites accumulate in pillows over time and increase your chances of snoring. By simply changing your pillows you can quickly get rid of your snoring and sleep peacefully on a fresh, clean surface.
- Exercise – Chances are if you are overweight, you are more likely to snore. Fatty tissue can build up around your neck and narrow your airway, causing you to snore loudly. By exercising daily you can reduce snoring and lose weight for a healthier lifestyle.
- Clear your nasal passages- Falling asleep with blocked sinuses and a stuffy nose will not only be uncomfortable, but will force you to breathe through your mouth and increase your snoring. By taking a decongestant you can alleviate cold symptoms and breathe easily throughout the night.
- Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills- Drinking alcohol and taking sedatives relax the muscles of your throat and jaw, resulting in an increase in snoring. Eliminate these from your diet and you will be able to effectively reduce your snoring.
- Quit smoking- Individuals who smoke have a greater chance of snoring. Smoking irritates your nose and throat and blocks your airways, significantly affecting your sleep. By quitting you will not only reduce your snoring, but improve your overall lifestyle as well.
Keep in mind, these tips may not be effective for everyone. If your snoring has become severe and these natural methods do not effectively reduce your snoring, then you may wish to consult a healthcare professional as it could be the sign of a more significant health issue.
Do you have any tips to reduce or “cure” snoring? Share in the comments below.
Your bedroom is designed to be the most comfortable place in your home — somewhere for you to relax and settle down after a long, tiring day. In order for your bedroom to be a haven for rejuvenation, you should have an appropriate color scheme to set the mood.
The color scheme in your bedroom can transform the look and feel of your room and have a tremendous effect on improving your sleep.
It’s important to consider the various tone and shade of colors, because different colors produce different effects. You want to be sure the color you choose can improve your sleep and relaxation and avoid sleep anxiety and restlessness.
When choosing a color scheme consider the following:
Cool Colors: Cool colors are the best colors to create a relaxing, calm bedroom. The colors blue, violet and green make the atmosphere in your bedroom soothing. With blue resembling the sky and ocean and green resembling nature, these colors provide balance and serenity for a restful sleep. Cool colors promote a tranquil mood and are common bedroom colors.
Neutral Colors: Neutral colors are a safe choice for your bedroom. Beige, ivory, white and taupe provide less stimulation, giving your room a sense of peace. These neutral colors are simple and work well with bedroom furniture and decorations to create a comfortable living space.
Pastels: Pastel colors provide your bedroom with a calm, delicate feeling. With colors like lavender, powder blue, light pink and pale yellow, these soft shades provide a relaxing, serene atmosphere for your bedroom.
Bright Colors: Though fun and positive, bright colors are generally not recommended for your bedroom. Colors like red, orange and yellow are natural energy boosters. The boldness stimulates senses and becomes too overwhelming when trying to relax and go to sleep. Unless used in a light shade, it’s best to avoid these vibrant colors.
Remember, your bedroom should be a comfortable place to unwind and sleep, so choose a color scheme that helps you do so.
We all know that sleep and exercise are needed for a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that the more exercise you get, the better you sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation 2013 Poll found a significant correlation between exercise and sleep, highlighting that those who exercise more often have a better sleep than those who don’t work out. Other findings included:
Vigorous exercisers have the best sleep at night and are least likely to report sleep problems.
Less time sitting is associated with better sleep and health.
Exercise at any time of day appears to be good for sleep.
Non-exercisers are the sleepiest and have the highest risk for sleep apnea.
In order to get the best night’s sleep and improve your overall health, Serta challenges you to join the movement and have a fit 2013.
Take the Serta Fitness Challenge Pledge and make a commitment to improve your health.
I pledge to lead a healthier lifestyle by increasing my daily physical activity and getting a good night’s sleep.
I will challenge myself with vigorous to moderate exercise and experiment with new activities.
I will spend less time sitting and take short walks when I am not exercising.
No matter how many obstacles I face, I will continue to work diligently on my journey to improve my health and fitness.
Sign up for the pledge and one lucky winner will receive a Serta Perfect Sleeper Whitley’s Bluff mattress set (size and comfort of winners choice) and a $500 Serta Fitness Gift Pack!
Are you having trouble sleeping and you’re not sure why? Take a good look around your bedroom. Are there clothes spread out on the floor? Are books and magazines piled up? Do you have electronics and wires scattered all over the ground?
If so, you may have found the reason. A messy bedroom can have a negative impact on your sleep.
Here are a few tips to clean the clutter and create a relaxing environment in the bedroom for a more restful night:
- Clear the floor: The first thing you want to do is to make sure you can see your bedroom floor. Pick up any clothes or unnecessary items that are on the ground and put them where they belong. You will be amazed by how much floor space you have once you put items in their proper location.
- Store items: If you have multiple items and not a lot of space, think outside the box to create storage space. One of the most convenient places to store items is under your bed. But don’t just haphazardly shove things underneath when you can pack them neatly in under-the-bed storage containers. These containers come in a range of sizes and can be used for multiple purposes, including storing seasonal clothes. Rather than hiding items in the back of your closet, you can store them under your bed and free up closet space.
- Organize your closet: If your closet looks like a nightmare, this can affect your entire room. Go through your closet and pull out everything you haven’t worn in the last year. If you haven’t worn it, you most likely won’t wear it again. Hang “like” items together in your closet- have a section for shirts, pants, dresses, etc. This will be easier for when you are hanging up clothes and putting material away. If you know where things go, you won’t have to leave it lying around your room.
- Keep essentials nearby: Decide what you need nearby and what can be hidden away in containers. If you don’t need something at your fingertips, then it can be stored away. Otherwise, invest in a nightstand with drawers and shelves. This will allow you to access important items conveniently, without creating a messy pile next to your bed.
- Remove electronics: Computers and tablets are known to be a major distraction when trying to get to sleep, but they also take up a significant amount of space. The tangled wires and extra outlets can be spread out across the room, adding to your unwanted mess. Remove these electronics from your bedroom entirely and place them in another room where you can conveniently access them.
- Keep your mattress neat and clean: No one wants to sleep in a messy bed. Clean your sheets and bedspread regularly, or if you have been sleeping in old material, invest in brand new sheets. With these fresh sheets, get in the habit of making your bed every morning, and your room will instantly look and feel more relaxing. Using a mattress pad or protective cover can also help prolong the life of your mattress.
Follow these tips and your bedroom will feel open and peaceful – a perfect environment for a better night’s sleep.
Getting a great night’s sleep can help improve your health, happiness and productivity. If you’re tired of being tired, it’s time to put down the energy drinks and take charge of your sleep routine.
Did you know? According to reports from the National Sleep Foundation:
•Everyone should be concerned about the quantity and quality of their sleep. Studies indicate that a lack of sleep may be linked to obesity, diabetes and hypertension.
•People who are sleep deprived report being more irritable, short-tempered, and less able to manage stress.
•Insufficient sleep can lead to daytime fatigue, poor concentration, and an increased risk of mistakes and accidents. Research from the National Sleep Foundation reveals that one in ten Americans are likely to fall asleep at an inappropriate time and place, such as during a meeting or while driving.
To help one of our readers stop counting sheep and start getting a better night’s sleep this year, we are giving away a deluxe sleep package (open to residents 18 of age and older and living in the contiguous United States, see contest rules) which includes a choice between three Serta® mattress sets (Serta Perfect Sleeper®, iComfort® or iSeries™) and a Serta Gel-Memory Foam 2-in-1 Scrunch Pillow (combined MSRP up to $5,000).
Read on to learn how you can enter for a chance to win.
To enter this giveaway you must be 18 years of age and live in the contiguous United States (excludes Alaska and Hawaii). No purchase necessary. Maximum of 4 entries per person. The giveaway will run from January 23, 2013 until midnight February 6, 2013. The winner will be chosen from Random.org and will be notified the week of February 10, 2013.
Enter to Win:
1. Leave a comment below that tells us why you need a great night’s sleep in 2013.
For Extra Entries:
2. “Like” us on Facebook, then come back here and post a comment below stating that you have done so.
3. Follow us on Twitter, then come back here and post a comment below stating that you have done so.
4. Follow us on Pinterest, then come back here and post a comment below stating that you have done so.
Good luck (and best wishes for a great night’s sleep)!