• If you follow every health-obsessed, acai bowl-Instagramming food blogger alive like I do, then you are well aware of the fact that Expo West, a giant healthy-food expo where companies showcase their latest creations, went down in Los Angeles last week. Here, the Well + Good team predicts, based on what they saw there, the seven healthy food trends — from mushrooms in everything to specialty canned and bottled coffees (hey, La Colombe Draft Latte) — we’re about to see all over the place. [Well + Good]
• Excuse me while I sound like a new mom bragging about her infant: I have always been a really good sleeper. Like, the kind of sleeper who zonks out on a plane or a train or on hardwood floor (I went to one of those weird, super-liberal high schools where we called our teachers by their first names and slept wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted) with no problem. So it’s really bothered me that over the past few months, I’ve started waking up around 2 a.m. every morning, unable to fall back asleep. If you have similar sleep issues, or trouble falling asleep in the first place, this 4-7-8 breathing technique could help you get into snooze mode fast, says integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil. Hey, worth a try, right? [POPSUGAR Fitness]
We all know that there are some trustworthy tricks to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep (like not taking a hot shower before bed and sleeping with your socks on, to name a few), but come morning, how do you know if you actually got a good night’s rest?
The National Sleep Foundation has pinpointed four simple indicators of quality sleep based on the findings of over 275 peer-reviewed sleep studies. In a piece on the Huffington Post, chief executive officer of the National Sleep Foundation, David Cloud, said, in a world where trackers of everything from fitness to sleep rule, these indicators are aimed at helping people understand what good and healthy sleep looks like, so they can actually, you know, understand what it is their tracker is telling them about their sleep patterns. Below, the four indicators that tell you if you did, in fact, get a good night’s rest. Read more »
Last week, we alerted you all to the fact that, despite the cozy feels a hot shower or bath may give you, you actually shouldn’t take a hot shower or bath right before you go to bed. (You can read all about why here.) The post went, in a word, bananas. And I was kind of surprised by this, thinking that most folks preferred to shower in the morning, mostly to jolt themselves awake and avoid getting shampoo residue all over their pillow at night.
Guess I was wrong.
Comments on Facebook and on the post itself ran the gamut, going from “I’ve been doing this for years — I knew something was up!” to “I’ve been doing this for years — YOU’RE WRONG.” (I’m paraphrasing here.) And now, since people are clearly very passionate about their showers — and their shower times — I’m curious to know, when do you shower? In the morning? When you get home from the gym, a few hours before bed (this would, scientifically, be ideal for nighttime shower-takers)? Right before you hop into bed? Satisfy our nosiness in the poll below.
Getting quality sleep is like trying to figure out WTF is going on with Kanye right now: Frustratingly, it’s harder than it should be. And bummer alert: Your addiction to Instagram (and Snapchat and even the Headspace app) is only making getting quality ZZZs more difficult, as staring at smartphones and tablets before bed is known to disrupt sleep by messing with melatonin levels and cutting into your REM sleep, thanks to the blue light the devices emit. Womp, womp.
But James Hamblin, senior editor at the Atlantic, who focuses on health in his writing, has a suggestion that doesn’t sound quite as miserable as Designated Screen-Free Hour, even though that’s exactly what it is. Instead, in a new video for the Atlantic, he suggests you embrace what he calls Awesome Hour. Spoiler: It’s a pre-bed screen-free hour, just with a better name. The idea of Awesome Hour is simple: abandon screens for the hour before bed, an expert-backed suggestion, to improve shuteye once you hit the sack. And in that time, do other awesome stuff: read! Go all retro and write a letter to a friend! Do anything besides staring at a screen! Hamblin claims this time, while free of technology, often turns out to be the most productive time of his day.
• If you plan on going home tonight and curling up under your giant down duvet, buttoned up in flannel PJs, with your thermostat set to a nice and toasty 71 degrees, you might want to rethink your plan: According to sleep researchers, one big mistake people make in the winter — that ends up screwing with their ability to fall asleep, losing out on valuable ZZZs — is getting a little too warm in bed. In fact, your thermostat should be set somewhere around a cool 65 degrees. [Byrdie]
• Lemon water is what’s UP. Not only is a great for your skin, drinking a warm cup of it first thing in the morning kick-starts your digestive system, supports weight loss, and balances your body’s pH levels. Plus, drinking it makes you feel like Gwyneth Paltrow for a few precious minutes every morning, and who doesn’t want to feel like Beyoncé’s BFF for a little bit of their day, every day? [POPSUGAR Fitness]
• I have a post-it note on my computer that says “Stop saying yes to shit you hate!” It is there as a visual cue after having said yes to activities that make me want to tear my hair out one too many times. If you, too, having trouble saying no, it seems, according to to science, the trick to saying no and sticking to it is replacing “can’t” with “don’t.” So, “Sorry, I don’t [insert undesirable activity here].” Start practicing! Your mental health will thank you later. [Science of Us]
• If you feel like you kind of suck at your job on days after the Eagles lose a game, you’re not wrong: A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology found that mood, work engagement and job performance all drop the day after a fan’s team loses a game. (Finally, a perk to not caring about football.) [Men’s Health]