Increase Your Happiness: A 3-Step Guide to Stressing Less and Smiling More

Increase Your Happiness: A 3-Step Guide to Stressing Less and Smiling MoreWould you consider yourself a happy person? Be honest now. Could you be happier? The answer, while sometimes a yes, is often tied hand-in-hand with the level of stress in your life. While daily pressure is unavoidable, there are a few simple things you can do to keep an even keel and turn that frown upside down:

 

  • Get Quality Sleep: It’s not enough to just rack up 7-8 hours of shut-eye…it has to be the right kind. Did you know that while the comfort of your mattress and pillows are important, so too is temperature. Experts agree that a cool environment is ideal for quality REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – resulting in improved recovery. For these reasons, safeguarding such an important investment to your wellbeing (your bed) is that much more crucial. Protect-A-Bed mattress protectors and pillows are completely air vapor porous, allowing your body heat to pass through the surface, and keeping you cool and comfortable all night long. So turn down those thermostats and get to bed. You’ll wake up rejuvenated and ready to tackle the day.

 

  • Get Movin’: Are you getting your 10,000 steps? The Center for Disease Control recommends adults rack up 150 minutes of moderate activity per day, such as a brisk walk or jog. On average, though, studies show we’re getting about half that. Much like sleep, regular exercise has been proven to markedly reduce your stress and, in turn, make you a much happier person in the long run. Not to mention, the more activity you have in your life, the better you will sleep at night. It’s a good cycle to be in.

 

  • Find A Balance: We aren’t robots (although sometimes it feels like we’re getting close). To stress less, add time into your day for YOU. Sure, there’s work to be done – but to do that work well, you need to have a balance between your life and the daily grind of a “9-5.” Don’t take our word for it; hear it from Dr. James Levine, a Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. He says taking small breaks throughout the day will actually increase your productivity.  As he puts it, “the work should break up the break.” Outside of the office, methodically try to mix in something that relaxes you. Whether that be golf, yoga, reading, or just binging on your latest Netflix obsession – balancing your personal and professional life will ultimately help lessen your stress and increase happiness.

 

Bottom line, everyone is different. But following the above tips could help you sleep better, eat better, and feel better.  What are some ways YOU increase your happiness and reduce stress? Share them with us!

How sleep can improve brain power for career success

Are you putting in extra hours at work to get ahead in your career? If you’re sacrificing your sleep to get there, you may be preventing yourself from being your best self at work. Improve brain power for career success with a good night’s sleep.

Sleep deprivation is not only linked to a decrease in brain size, but it’s also associated with decreased productivity, difficulty concentrating, impaired creativity and lower job satisfaction at work.

On the flip side, sleep can improve brain power and put you on the right path for career success. Here’s how:

  • Enhanced creative problem solving. According to research, sleep improves the ability to come up with creative solutions to problems. Sleep helps achieve such solutions by “stimulating associative networks, allowing the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas.”
  • Improved memory. Sleep strengthens memories that are formed throughout the day, and links new memories to older ones. It is for this reason that sleep plays important role in learning as it preps the brain for absorbing the new information for better recollection later.
  • Better mood. Insufficient sleep can cause you to be in a bad mood at work leading to decreased satisfaction and performance. According to a report, the annual cost in lost worker productivity due to sleeplessness is about $63 billion.
  • Less stress. A lack of sleep can leave you feeling cranky and more irritable, which can make you more susceptible to stress. When you’re well-rested, you’re better prepared to handle stress.

And for the nights that you just can’t get to sleep, a short nap after lunch can help improve brain power and prevent the 3 p.m. slump.  The Luxury Adjustable Pillow System can also help as it will ensure a comfortable rest, whether you sleep on your side, stomach or back.

Should you nap after lunch?

We all know that sleep is essential, and at times, so are naps. But, what about napping after lunch? While the ultimate decision is yours, here are a few pros and cons of napping after lunch.Should you nap after lunch?

Napping has been proven to have many benefits, including relaxation and improved mood, and a nap after lunch has additional advantages, according to various research studies.

  • Reduced fatigue. A short 20-minute nap after lunch can help prevent daytime drowsiness and can improve productivity.
  • Brain power. Research shows that napping is good for your brain. According to studies, people who nodded off for an hour after lunch increased their learning power and ability to absorb new information.

However, according to Livestrong.com, there are certain disadvantages associated with sleeping immediately after eating.

  • Heartburn. Taking a nap right after eating can increase stomach acid levels and trigger heartburn.
  • Weight gain. While sleeping after eating does not always cause weight gain, it may reduce the body’s ability to burn calories.
  • Acid reflux. Lying down right after eating can aggravate acid reflux, a condition that allows stomach acid to back up into your throat causing a burning sensation.
  • Stroke. According to a study done at the University of Ioannina Medical School in Greece, sleeping right after a meal can increase the risk of having a stroke.

Bottom line: whatever you decide, the most important thing is to make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night. The Luxury Adjustable Pillow System can ensure a comfortable night’s rest, whether you sleep on your side, stomach or back.

Six healthy snacks to eat before bed

We’ve all had those nights when we’ve already eaten dinner, but still feel hungry. Luckily, there are many healthy bedtime snacks that will not only help satisfy your hunger, but will also promote better sleep. In fact, many foods naturally contain sleep-inducing vitamins and minerals.

Here’s a list of six healthy bedtime snacks that will leave your stomach feeling content and your body ready for sleep.Six healthy bedtime snacks

  1. Bananas. Bananas are packed with the minerals magnesium and potassium, which help to relax your muscles for a better night’s sleep. Bananas also contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
  2. Nuts. Grab a handful of your favorite nuts – almonds and walnuts in particular –for a healthy bedtime snack. Almonds are rich in magnesium, which plays a role in regulating sleep. Walnuts contain melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, and have also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant. 
  3. Cereal and milk. You may find this to be odd to eat before bed, but cereal and milk is actually the perfect bedtime snack because of the combination of carbohydrates and protein, which can increase the level of tryptophan in the blood when eaten together. Other carb/protein combos include cheese and crackers or peanut butter and toast.
  4. Cherry juice. This tart juice is a natural source of melatonin and tryptophan. According to research, drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you sleep nearly 90 more minutes a night.
  5. Fish. Most fish – especially halibut, salmon and tuna – are high in vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin, which controls our sleep and wake cycles.
  6. Leafy greens. Green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach are loaded with calcium, which helps produce melatonin.

It’s also important to avoid eating certain foods right before bedtime as they may lead to a less than stellar night’s sleep.

And if you need a little extra help getting to sleep at night, the Luxury Adjustable Pillow System can ensure a comfortable night’s rest, whether you sleep on your side, stomach or back.

How to spring clean your bedroom: a five-step checklist

Spring has officially sprung and for many of us that means spring cleaning time. But, if there’s one room in your home that you should pay particular attention to, it’s your bedroom. How to spring clean your bedroom: a five-step checklist

For a fresh and healthy sleep, here’s a five-step checklist for spring cleaning your bedroom.

  1. Flooring. If you have hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to give them a quick vacuum or sweep before mopping. If you have carpeting in your bedroom, consider getting it steam cleaned.
  2. Bedding. Wash all of your bedding, including sheets, pillow shams, bed skirts, mattress pads and comforters. It’s recommended to wash your sheets at a temperature of at least 130 F (54 C) – so that it’ll kill any dust mites and other allergens that may be harboring in your sheets, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. And don’t forget about your washing your pillows; they can carry dust, mold and bacteria.
  3. Draperies and Curtains. Take down any draperies and curtains to have them washed or dry cleaned.
  4. Hard Surfaces. Use a microfiber cloth to dust any hard surfaces in your bedroom, including ceiling corners, vents, fans, shelves, dressers and lamps. It’s also a good idea to wipe down baseboards and windowsills.
  5. Mattresses. Flip your mattress horizontally and vertically to keep the wear even. If your mattress is more than seven years old, it may be time to invest in a new one.

And if that’s not enough, you can always tackle the closet next.