Health Redesigned Blog

I Gave up Late Nights and Regained My Health

I thought I could do it all. I was the kind of woman that only needed a few hours of sleep each night to function. I could stay up late and get up early. I was able to thrive on minimal sleep. Or so I thought.
 
That’s when it happened. My health collapsed. It started out simple enough. A bit of test anxiety while I was still in University. Then chronic aches and pains rotating through my joints. I got shingles every summer for a few years in a row- on my face. I had gout, fungal infections, staph infections, mono, and chronic fatigue. I developed insomnia and could only get 2-3 hours of interrupted sleep each night. I was only in my early 20’s. I felt like I was going crazy.
 

I thought I was superwoman.

Here’s what lead to my health collapse. I thought I was superwoman. I could do it all. I was a full-time student. I stayed up late studying. I worked part-time. I trained 30 hours a week for cross country and soccer. I had a vibrant...
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10 Tips To Manage Sleep

Managing your sleep can be easier than you think. It comes down to sorting out the factors that affect your sleep. Most people are on the go all day and want to come home to get a good night’s sleep. We assume that all we need to do is go to bed and sleep will happen. There’s more to the picture than that. Here are 10 things you should consider to improve your sleep:
 

Time of Day/Circadian Rhythm

These are the internal and external cues for sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time helps to train your body that sleep happens between those times. It’s also important to follow the natural rhythm of light outside. Go to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light. That isn’t always possible for people further from the equator. In those cases, stick to a set sleep/wake schedule to keep your body on track.
 

Light Exposure

Sleep is impacted by the amount of light you are exposed to...
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What’s the Point in Sleep Anyway?

Why You Sleep

Sleep fulfills three key functions that help keep our bodies in check. The first is energy conservation (savings), where our metabolism is regulated and energy homeostasis (balance) occurs.

The second function is to consolidate (pull together) our memories, where they are encoded in a part of the brain called the hippocampus—not to be confused with hippopotamus! They are very different. Despite being a small part of the brain, the hippocampus has a big role in turning short-term memories into long-term memories.

The final function of sleep is to suppress primitive behaviors like eating, sex, aggression, and movement. If you started reacting to your dreams and swinging your arms or legs around, your partner sleeping next to you would likely get hurt. Likewise, you don’t want to be eating in the middle of the night while you’re asleep, or you might end up gaining a lot of weight. In some people, the part of the brain that suppresses these types of...

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Wake up Refreshed with a Better Alarm Clock

Imagine being able to wake up slowly and ease into your morning before that annoying alarm clock starts to squawk at the top of its lungs. There are some newer alarm clocks that can help you do just that.

Let’s go back a bit. Making your room a dark cave to improve sleep quality is fantastic for improving sleep quality. I highly recommend it! However, it doesn’t help with the wake-up side of things. It can be hard to wake up gradually if there’s no option for light to seep into your room.

I’ve struggled with this part of sleep for a few years and knew that there must be a solution. Some way to find the best of both worlds- a dark bedroom for sleeping in, but a light source to help me wake up in the morning. An automatic machine to open the rollshutter over my window was too expensive and seemed like it would be too noisy. So I searched for other options.

I came across alarm clocks that can increase the light in a pitch-black bedroom. Seemed like a pretty cool...

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Sleep in on Sunday and You’ll be More Tired on Monday

Imagine lying in your cozy warm bed all wrapped up in a nice warm blanket. Perhaps you’re snuggled up to your partner or maybe it’s your dog. You never get to enjoy this pleasure during the week so you are milking this moment for all it’s worth. You may even sleep in for an extra few hours simply because it’s sooooo comfortable.

You’ve just sealed your fate and have almost GUARANTEED that you will be tired on Monday morning. But why? It makes way more sense to sleep in and catch up on that lack of sleep you’ve gotten during the week.

The problem with sleeping in late on weekends is that is decreases something called sleep drive or sleep pressure. That’s the cueing that your body gives you to tell you it’s time to close your eyes and go to sleep. The longer you are awake, the higher your sleep drive. Conversely, the shorter the period between sleep intervals, the lower your sleep drive will be.

By sleeping in on weekends...

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3 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Sleep

You’ve heard about how important sleep is and yet there’s a good chance you are constantly short-changing yourself.  It seems like everything is more important than a good night of sleep. Having a good night of sleep starts long before you even turn out the light.  Here are three of the most common blunders that you might be making, along with tips on how to change your habits. It just might change your life!

Phones or Computers in Bed

There’s a few things wrong with this picture. First off, if you have a partner, your electronic device is putting an invisible wall between the two of you, shutting you off to easy communication and decreasing the opportunity for intimacy.  Second, the blue light exposure can disrupt sleep cycles (even if you don’t notice it), which decreases the depth of sleep and ability to get optimal sleep.

Easy Fixes:

  • Put the phone or computer away and actually be intimate with your partner (Gasp!). Or if you...
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