How Sound Impacts Your Sleep Cycle

Eclipse HomeWhether you are sensitive to bumps in the night or sleep like a rock, sound has the potential to affect your rest and your health.

It’s easy to overlook the significance of sensory cues during rest, as it can seem as though sleep makes us oblivious to the outside world.

However, think back and you can likely recall a time where a sudden sound woke you up or a noisy locale made it hard to doze off. In fact, temperature, smell, light, physical comfort and sound all have the potential to influence sleep according to recent research.

Sound appears to have both positive and negative influences, depending on types, noise level, personal preference and other factors. For example, gentle background noise can diffuse a noisy street, while a partner’s snoring or creaky pipes can result in restless nights.

Read on to see how sound influences sleep in both the short-term and long-term, and how to optimize your environment for better nights.

The Effects of Sound During Sleep

Sounds that are trivial during the day can become bothersome at night, especially when they are abrupt. Even if you don’t fully

The 2 Minutes A Day That Save Me

It’s a bright, unseasonably springlike January afternoon. The house is freshly cleaned, and I’ve thrown the curtains open in the bedroom. The sunlight’s streaming in, and I’m feeling gung-ho for the task at hand. I’m going to meditate and observe the session carefully so I can then sit down and document it for the purpose of this very essay.

So this is it. I arrange myself on the cushion, put on my headphones—I always meditate to soft music, having finally decided after years of meditating that it’s not cheating to do that—and press “play” on my current favorite meditation track.

Hmm.

Too soon, maybe. I might need to use the bathroom. I seem to be also slightly parched and possibly too cold. But maybe I can forge on and make this work for half an hour.

No. Abort. I hop up, use the bathroom and grab a fluffy cardigan and a glass of water. Okay, now I’m ready. I sit back down and press “play” again. Soft bells begin to chime once more in slow, peaceful intervals. Yes. Good. This is going to take. We’re off.

I think it’s

Making Sense of Sugar Free Claims

12221982-Grunge-Sugar-Free-stamp-Stock-VectorLabeling has become so confusing. I found a “no sugar added” cookie at my local health food store that I thought sounded healthy. It turns out they were sweetened with juice and had just as much sugar. How can I avoid this confusion when I purchase processed foods?

Recent findings suggest we’ve rightfully become more focused about sugar’s numerous problems. The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons for women and nine teaspoons for men.

Not surprisingly, we’re eating much more. A Circulation study found we’re averaging 22.2 teaspoons a day. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, we’re eating on average 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour (that convert to sugar) every year!

Fully aware you want your cake without that sugar impact, manufacturers have devised crafty ways to masquerade sugary processed foods as sugar-free or otherwise “healthy” to eat.

Let’s be honest. You get excited when you see that sparkly starburst on the box telling you there’s no sugar added in those fruit roll-ups or chocolate chip cookies, right?

I’ll be frank here. These manufacturers are taking some poetic license

Grocery Shop Your Way to Good Health

Often I hear people lament that they throw out the fresh produce they purchased but never ate.

Two things could be happening:

  1. They buy more produce than needed.
  2. They ate too many cookies, chips, etc. and never ate the produce.

Buy only the produce you need until your next trip to the market. Fresh produce is not something that you will overeat, but the other items are. Be mindful of how many items you purchase that have no nutritional value and that you mindlessly eat. Don’t convince yourself that you are buying these packaged items for a family member, when in reality they are for you.

The grocery store can be the key to your health or the downward spiral to poor eating. Before you purchase food items, consider not only what you want to eat but also how you want to feel after you’ve eaten. You always want to think before you eat to insure your after-eating feelings will be of well-being, satisfaction, and good health. This process will help you choose food on the supermarket shelves wisely.

Use these 10 easy-to-follow tips for grocery shopping:

  1. There are thousands of items in a grocery store: 80 percent of them are not conducive to a healthy

Details From the New Frontier of Sleep

We talk a lot about the threats that technology poses to healthy sleep — the hazards of nighttime exposure to artificial light, the sleep-stealing impact of constant stimulation and engagement. But technology also has the capacity to change sleep for the better. New sleep technologies have flooded the marketplace in recent years. How are they working?

Learning about sleep tech

The National Sleep Foundation and the Consumer Electronics Association recently teamed up to learn more about sleep technology: who is using sleep tech devices, what’s motivating them, how sleep technology is changing sleep and other health metrics. Their survey included 1,029 U.S. adults. Their inquiry posed a range of questions about how often sleep technology is being used, what users believe it is — or isn’t — doing to help their sleep and their overall health.

The sleep technology currently available to consumers fall into some broad basic categories:

  • Multipurpose or sleep-only: A number of sleep technology options are in fact multipurpose, measuring activity levels, food intake and fitness in addition to sleep, while others are devoted exclusively to sleep.
  • Wearable or non-wearable: Some sleep technology involves wearable devices (think FitBit and Apple Watch, among others), while others require no equipment on the

Why You Should Check Your Blood Pressure In The Morning

ORLANDO, Fla. — People who have high blood pressure are often advised to monitor their blood pressure at home, and now, a new study suggests that blood pressure measured in the morning may be a better predictor of stroke risk than blood pressure measured in the evening.

In the study, researchers looked at data from people in Japan and found that, when measured in the morning, higher blood pressure was related to an increased risk of stroke. When measured in the evening, however, higher blood pressure was not as closely related to people’s stroke risk.

Blood pressure has a tendency to surge in the morning, and this surge is greater in Asian populations than in people in Western countries, said Dr. Satoshi Hoshide, an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Jichi Medical University in Japan and the lead author of the study.

Because of this, the morning blood pressure measurement is important, especially in Asian populations, Hoshide told Live Science today (Nov. 8), here at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions meeting.

The study included more than 4,300 Japanese people who

Science Says Its Great To Be Young

For all the handwringing about millennial unhappiness, new research suggests a very different narrative: Today’s under-30 set is slightly happier than any previous generation of young adults — and happier than mature adults overall, according to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Research from San Diego State University analyzed more than 30 years of data and found the conventional idea that happiness grows as we age may no longer necessarily be true. The study, which examined happiness trends of nearly 1.3 million Americans, found that older adults are in fact less satisfied than they used to be.

The study looked at people from ages 13 to 96 who all ranked if they were “very happy,” “pretty happy” or “not too happy.” The results showed that adults over 30 are no longer happier than the younger demographic, as previous research has shown.

The reason for the happiness decline may lie in expectations, the researchers explained in The Atlantic. When we’re younger, we have high hopes for our future realities. However, as we mature, we may slowly realize that we didn’t necessarily achieve what we set out to do, whether that means landing a dream job, having a happy marriage

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