Nutrition & Sleep: Tips For a Good Night’s Rest

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Sleep BetterAs a society, we are sleeping less. So, it should come as no surprise that lack of sleep is a common complaint among adults. While your sleep environment is a key component to a good night’s rest, how and what you eat also plays a big role in your quality and quantity of sleep.

Follow these tips to find out how you can eat to sleep better and be on a path to a more restful slumber:

  • Don’t skip, then splurge. Skipping meals changes your hormone levels and can throw off your body’s normal sleep pattern. Eating large, late dinners to make up for skipped meals only makes matters worse. Big meals increase blood flow to your digestive tract and stimulate your system instead of calming your body. Do your best to stick to your normal eating routine to avoid restless nights.
  • Strike the proper balance. Follow a well-rounded diet with foods high in calcium and B vitamins. These vitamins, along with magnesium, help to promote better sleep. Dairy and leafy greens are a great source of calcium, which help our bodies produce the “sleep hormone” melatonin. Vitamin B6 helps our body produce the “calming hormone” known as serotonin. This vitamin can be found in chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and wheat bread, to name a few.
  • Say no to after-dinner espressos. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 12 hours, thus keeping you tossing and turning all night. Opt for decaf the next time someone offers you a cup of coffee after dinner.
  • Don’t be a party victim. Know what foods cause you indigestion and avoid them close to bedtime. Stay away from fatty and spicy foods as they can lead to acid reflux and indigestion. Also, keep alcoholic drinks to a minimum. Too much alcohol will disrupt your body’s natural rhythms and may keep you up all night.
  • Go herbal. Have a soothing cup of tea, such as chamomile, passionflower, or verbena, before bed. These teas act as a mild sedative, which help to calm and relax your body.

10 Ways to Relax and De-Stress

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The situations and pressures of everyday life can take a toll on one’s overall health and well-being. From depression, irritability, and anxiety to physical pain such as nausea, dizziness, and chest pain, stress can present itself in many different ways. Finding time and ways to relax will help reduce the negative effects of stress on your body and mind, relieve built up tension, and calm emotions. Relaxation techniques can help one cope with stress management and improve their overall quality of life.

Next time you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, try one of our 10 ways to relax and de-stress. Even if you feel that you don’t have time to slow down, many of these techniques only take a few minutes.

Ways to relax

Napping Benefits and Tips

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Midday naps are no longer reserved for children. In fact, companies such as Nike and Google are encouraging their employees to reap the benefits of catching a few Z’s during the workday. Did you know that napping for just 20-minutes could clear your brain of built-up information therefore, improving long-term memory? Or that squeezing in 60-minutes of shuteye can improve alertness for up to 10 hours?

This helpful infographic dives into napping benefits, the different types of naps, and even famous people caught napping.

Visit us online at www.relaxtheback.com or stop by your local Relax The Back location to see our full collection of sleep products. Enjoy Labor Day savings now through September 7th and receive up to $500 in savings when you purchase any Tempur-Pedic adjustable base + mattress.

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Naps

Quality Sleep Starts With Your Sleep Environment

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Sleep tipsHectic, busy lives often cause sleep to be put on the back burner. Over time this can lead to serious health risks. In fact, chronic sleep loss can lead to problems ranging from depression to high blood pressure to weight gain. Getting the best night’s rest you can starts with creating an environment that promotes comfort and relaxation.

Maximize the comfort of your sleep environment with these tips:

  • If your partner snores or has disruptive sleep patterns, discuss an arrangement that allows you both to get the sleep you need. Consider using a pillow that helps prevent snoring such as the TEMPUR-Side Pillow.
  • Keep your room cool: 65-72°F is optimal room temperature. If you tend to get too warm at night avoid wearing heavy sleepwear. Pillows and mattresses that use cooling gels and material, such as the Technogel pillows, the TEMPUR-Breeze pillow and the TEMPUR-Breeze mattress, can help keep your body temperature down during warm nights.
  • Invest in a supportive, comfortable mattress. A good mattress is the foundation of a good night’s sleep.
  • Turn off electronics 45-60 minutes before bedtime. The lights of tablets, phones, and computer screens suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Darkness is best: try using a sleep mask to cover your eyes, use heavy curtains or shades to keep out morning light, or cover electronic displays.
  • Keep all work material out of your bedroom. Stressful activities, whether physical or psychological, can cause the body to excrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness.
  • Quiet is key: try using a “white noise” app to block out unwanted noise. You can also use a fan, which does double duty to keep your room cool and provides consistent, soft, background noise.

 

Visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained specialist regarding your specific sleep needs and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get information and tips on sleep, office, and overall wellness, straight to your inbox! To sign up, visit www.relaxtheback.com and enter your email address at the bottom of the page.

 

Top Apps For a Pain-Free and Productive Workday

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Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of deaths worldwide. Some reports have estimated American adults spend roughly 55% of their time being inactive. This is a key risk factor for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Staying on top of your healthy habits while working at the office or at home can be hard. While we may set goals in the morning to take breaks and walk around during the day or workout during our lunch break, it isn’t uncommon to get lost in work and before we know it the day is over.

From tracking your water intake to sending reminders to take a break from the computer, these apps can help you be on your way to a pain-free and productive workday while staying on top of your health goals:

  • Healthier: Break Reminder and Time Out: By periodically reminding you to take a break from your computer, these apps will help increase productivity and reduce health risks. Using Windows? Download Rest Break to find the same benefits.
  • Move: While the above apps remind you to take short breaks from your computer screen, Move sends daily activity reminders. The app provides over 300 exercises for little workout reminders all day long. Daily Exercises provides similar features for Android users.
  • Waterlogged: Track your daily water intake with hydration reminders. Staying hydrated helps you maintain energy throughout the day while keeping muscles and joints lubricated.  Water Tracker is a similar app available for Androids.
  • Office Stretches: Find relief from muscles stiffness and tension while at the office with this collection of short near-desk stretching exercises. Android users, download Stretch Exercises to find the same relief while at work.
  • Fitbit and Jawbone: While these are not standalone apps, these wearable tech devices act as guides to a better, healthier you. Track your steps and daily activity, sleep cycles, and food and drink intake with handy phone apps that are synced to your device.

Stop by your local Relax The Back location and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on how you can have a pain-free and productive day.

10 Ways to Sleep Easier Tonight

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Sleep is as important to good health as diet and exercise. Quality sleep helps to improve cognitive function, cardiovascular health, and personal performance, to name a few. Not getting enough sleep can be a serious risk to your overall health and wellbeing. Today, forty-eight percent of Americans say they are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep loss, or poor sleep hygiene, can increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, weaken your immune system and even decrease your lifespan.

Combat the negative effects of sleep deprivation with our top 10 ways to sleep easier tonight:

Sleep Easier

See our complete selection of sleep products online, or visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with one of our trained specialists.

 

Ergonomic Workstation Essentials

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Ergonomic Workstation Essentials When it comes to workplace wellness, your workstation set up plays a big role in your physical health, productivity, stress and energy levels. Sitting in one position for long hours takes a toll on your spine, increases the risk of aches and pains and decreases productivity and alertness throughout the day. Creating a comfortable workstation can make a big difference in how you feel at work.

A healthy ergonomic workstation is the sum many parts. These parts work together to help you stay comfortable and efficient at work while preventing pain and discomfort. Here are some ergonomic workstation essentials that can help you have a productive, pain-free workday:

  • Ergonomic Office Chair: Better comfort, better posture, and better health are just a few benefits of ergonomic chairs. Choose a chair that offers proper lumbar support and adjusts to your body’s needs.
  • Laptop Raiser:  Using a raiser is an easy, quick way to find greater comfort and ergonomic positioning while relieving the eye and neck strain often associated with notebook computing.
  • Monitor Arm: Effortlessly adjust the height and position of your monitor to reduce upper back and neck pain. Monitor arms make smaller workspaces more productive and keep valuable desk space clear for other uses.
  • Footrests: Leg activity is crucial to maintaining comfort and good circulation. By using a raised footrest you can counteract the negative effects of sitting, reduce lower back pressure and increase blood flow.
  • Task Light: Proper lighting placement and the correct level of illumination reduce headaches, eye fatigue, and neck strain. A bright, adjustable light allows you to position the light over paper documents and away from your monitor to prevent glare.
  • Standing Desk: Transitioning to a standing desk gives you the ability to easily change positions from sitting to standing to relieve stress on your spine, increase circulation, and mental alertness.

Visit your local Relax The Back location to receive a custom adjustment of the proper ergonomic workstation and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on ergonomic workstations and solutions.

Transition from Sitting to Standing at Work

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Stand Up Desk TipsMany offices have begun moving away from traditional desks to transition to standing desks. Standing up to work can decrease health issues such as obesity and heart disease. Standing also helps prevent leg disorders due to poor circulation and keeps good cholesterol from dropping.

Using a height-adjustable desk helps you stay focused, productive, and energetic throughout the day while maintaining the ability to easily move from sitting to standing. Get the best of both worlds with these tips to transition from sitting to standing at work:

  • Flexibility is key: We are not designed to stay in one position for prolonged hours. Standing for long periods of time can also be harmful to your health. Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day; making sure to stand for a minimum of 5 minutes every hour. Find a routine that works best for you, as every person is different.
  • Think about ergonomics: Optimize your workspace by placing monitors and keyboards at the correct height. Your elbows should rest at a 90-degree angle. The center of your monitor should be 10-25 degrees below horizontal eye level. A laptop raiser or monitor arm can help you find the proper adjustment.
  • Find comfort: Be sure to have proper footwear that has the right amount of support for your feet. If you work in a more formal setting, keep a pair of shoes at your desk that you can switch into when your feet start to bother you. Use a footrest to help increase circulation, relieve pressure on your lower back and provide raised foot support.
  • Focus on posture: Whether you are sitting or standing, it may be easy to slip into old habits of “easy” or “comfortable” slouching positions. Beware of your posture throughout the day. When standing, keep a relaxed stance, instead of a tense and rigid gait. When seated, keep your knees slightly lower than your hips with your feet planted firmly on the floor.

For a personal assessment, make a trip to your closest Relax The Back store and start experiencing a more productive and pain-free workday. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and information on ergonomics and workplace wellness.

Foods That Fight Fatigue

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fight fatigueFeelings of tiredness, weariness, and lack of energy can creep up towards the end of our workday.  Studies show poor nutrition is one of the key reasons. Food fuels our bodies consequently, what we choose to eat will have an impact on the performance of our bodies.

Instead of reaching for energy drinks loaded with sugar, fight fatigue with these foods:

  • Oatmeal: Fuel up on quality carbohydrates in the morning with a bowl of oatmeal. Glucose is slowly absorbed through soluble fibers, which provides fuel for our brain and muscles as well as keeping blood sugar levels stable.
  • Melons: Up your H2O intake with food such as watermelon. They are a good source of energy and since they have 90% water they help to prevent dehydration.
  • Nuts: A healthy dose of magnesium, protein and fiber, nuts will provide energy and keep it stable throughout the workday.
  • Sweet Potatoes: With a quarter of a day’s worth of potassium and energy-stabilizing high-fiber carbs, sweet potatoes balance electrolytes and keep us hydrated. Potassium also helps fight fatigue by relaxing the body and lowering blood pressure.
  • Bananas: Low in calories, high in antioxidants and healthy carbohydrates, bananas break down blood sugar for fuel. Combine them with a healthy fat, such as peanut butter, for a well-rounded energy boost.
  • Leafy greens: Fight fatigue with iron-rich foods such as spinach. Lack of iron can cause feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Iron helps maintain energy levels, keeps blood oxygenated and maintains healthy blood pressure.
  • Chia seeds: Known as a “running food”, chia seeds are packed with protein and fiber (5 grams per tablespoon) to keep blood sugar levels stable. Try them in yogurt, water, or a morning smoothie.
  • Whole wheat: Fiber rich foods like whole wheat English muffins or bagels keep energy levels stable while helping to fill you up. These foods also keep up stamina levels.
  • Protein: Fish, beans, eggs, poultry, soy, meat, and low-fat dairy products are good sources of protein. Protein controls the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats, preserves lean muscle mass, maintains cells and assists in growth.

10 Ways to Stay Active Throughout the Day

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Did you know that 1 in 10 premature deaths are caused by inactivity and lack of exercise? The World Health Organization (WHO) lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer in adults. Research has shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time is degrading to our health, and that our bodies actually thrive on motion. While sitting through long commutes and working even longer hours can make staying active difficult, there are steps you can take to reverse the negative effects of inactivity.

Below, we have listed our top 10 ways to stay active throughout the day:

Ways To Stay Active