The Very Convincing Argument for Changing Your Sleep Position, Stat

If you, like me, always find yourself waking up to the ring of your alarm while lying on your stomach with your face smashed into your pillow, take note: In a new video posted by the folks over at Huffington Post, featuring the author of “Sleep Smarter,” Shawn Stevenson, the stomach sleeping position gets called out for, essentially, being the problem child of the three primary sleeping positions.

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The Checkup: The Inflammation-Fighting Ingredient You Can Add to Anything 

• If you’ve been to Whole Foods lately, you know: Turmeric, a root known for its inflammation-fighting powers, is EVERYWHERE, from the spice aisle to the bottled water aisle. And if these three very different turmeric-filled recipes — they range from baked eggs to puffed pancakes to garlic root mash — are any indication, a dose of the root is a fit addition for just about anything you’re whipping up. [Well + Good]

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The Checkup: Trying to Lose Weight? Do These 6 Things Before Lunch 

• Earlier, I saw a headline that read something along the lines of “20 Things to Do to Have a Healthy Night.” I thought to myself, twenty things to do just so I can go to bed? Pass. But six things — six things seems manageable enough. And if you’re trying to lose weight, checking these six tasks off your to-do list in the hours leading up to lunch is a simple way to up your weight-loss game. [Men’s Health]

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How I (Finally!) Learned to Turn My Brain Off Before Bed

Geber86/iStock.com

Geber86/iStock.com

Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on honing habits that aren’t just good for my body, but for my mind, too. And (like many other sleep-deprived Americans), refining my sleep schedule was a main priority on that list.

I know I don’t need to tell you that catching the right amount of zzzz’s per night is super important for maintaining healthy brain and bodily functions, but not everyone realizes how important it is for your mental well-being, too. When I’m sleep deprived, I turn into an emotional, irrational, short-tempered, annoying version of myself who — ask any of my family or friends — is not pleasant to be around. Caution: if you see me out rocking my under-eye bags that day, do yourself a favor and stay away. Far, far away.

Unfortunately, I wear my eye bags (not confidently) wayyy more often than I’d like. You see, sleep is one of the things that pretty much goes out the window when your schedule is packed with classes and work, forcing you to stay up until 2 (or 3 or 4) a.m. plugging away at what seems like a never-ending to-do list.

But recently, even if I DO make it to bed (also known as my favorite place on Earth) at a reasonable hour, I often lie awake for hours on end stressing about what the heck I’m going to do with my life once I graduate school or thinking other unnecessary thoughts about things totally out of my control. Sometimes my brain can really get on my nerves! Am I the only one who wishes this thing had an off switch? Like, seriously, I am trying to catch a REM cycle over here, dude.

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The Checkup: How to Deal With a Terrible Night’s Sleep Come Morning

• Sometimes I wake up and swear I only slept for 15 minutes and I know a siesta is necessary in my near future unless I’d like to be a miserable human being for the rest of the day. But a sleep expert out of Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine says sleeping in or squeezing a nap in after a crappy night of sleep probably isn’t the best way to deal, actually: according to him, the best way to cope with a lack of sleep isn’t to try to make up for it the next day but to just suck it up throughout the day so you are sleepy enough to get back on track the next night—sleeping in or squeezing in an hours-long afternoon nap could actually backfire on you come bedtime, screwing up your sleep for way longer than one night. [Science of Us] Read more »

The Checkup: Words for All the Emotions You’ve Never Been Able to Explain

• Humans are strange creatures and our brains are filled with all sorts of odd thoughts (“I wonder what Missy Elliot is doing today”) and emotions (“I’m not sad, exactly — my heart just feels like a train ran over it, then reversed back onto it, pressed the brakes and stayed there”), many of which we have a hard time describing. To help us out, the folks over at Science of Us have created a handy list of real words  from around the world — like pronoia and malu — for emotions you never knew how to describe before. Guarantee: The list will have you saying “Ahhhhh-ha!” for a good five minutes. [Science of Us] Read more »

The Checkup: MLK Drive Is Getting a Serious Trail Upgrade 

• Just last week, I was biking along the trail that runs along MLK Drive when I realized just how many bumps and grooves are speckled throughout, many of which could easily send a cyclist flying or trip up a runner. Good news, though: According to the folks over at PlanPhilly, a $500,000 grant — which will be matched by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation — was just approved to fix up four miles of the MLK Drive Trail. Can we get an amen? [PlanPhilly] Read more »

Can’t Sleep? This Is Why, Philly.

Photo by Dan Saelinger | Styling by Dominique Baynes

Photo by Dan Saelinger | Styling by Dominique Baynes

A few months back, there was a story in the Wall Street Journal about the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. Only it wasn’t about basketball, per se. It was about how the point guard’s remarkable performance this season has caused an East Coast phenomenon known as “Curry insomnia.” As the article explained, those of us in the Eastern time zone tend to fall asleep between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. Half the Warriors’ games don’t even start till 10:30. NBA fans are sacrificing sleep to catch the Curry excitement — and paying for it the next day.

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Sleep Week: 10 Common Sleep Myths Put to Bed — Once and For All

It’s Be Well Philly Sleep Week! All week long, we’re celebrating sleep and all the wonderful things good quality shuteye does for your body. We reached out to Philly’s top sleep experts to answer all your sleep questions in one fell swoop. Check back this week for more installments of our ultimate sleep FAQ. And to see them all in one place, pick up a copy of Philadelphia magazine’s May issue, on newsstands now. 

SLEEP MYTH #1: A warm glass of milk before bed will help you sleep.

The theory here hinges on tryptophan—yup, the same sleep-inducing amino acid found in turkey that many believe makes them nod off after a Thanksgiving feast. Although tryptophan is indeed found in protein-rich foods like milk, turkey and even chicken, a 2003 study out of MIT found that the other amino acids present in them actually decrease the ability of tryptophan to reach your brain. And without entering your brain, good ol’ tryptophan can’t work its sleepy-time magic. So while drinking warm milk might be relaxing, the milk itself isn’t going to help you fall asleep faster. Read more »

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