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How Screen Time Interferes with Sleep (and What to Do About It)

Technology and screen time have become an integral part of life for both adults and children. It allows for better communication and an incredible ability to exchange information. However, it can also lead to the sleep deprivation that affects anywhere from 28 to 44 percent of the population. A few simple habit changes can turn things around so you still get the full seven to nine hours of sleep you need.

Screen Time and the Sleep Cycle

Your brain largely relies on natural light to correctly time the start of the sleep cycle. The sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface lies on the blue spectrum. Special photo receptors in the eyes absorb blue spectrum light and send signals directly to the part of the brain that controls the sleep cycle. During the day when light levels are depression treatment hormones are suppressed. As light fades in the evening, the brain releases sleep hormones to begin the sleep cycle.

The light emitted from the screens of your favorite electronic devices like the televisions, laptops, or smartphones can also emit a blue spectrum light. While it may not be as powerful as light from the sun, it’s still absorbed by the same photoreceptors and travels to the brain to suppress sleep hormones. Consequently, screen time can throw off the timing of the sleep cycle, leading to sleep deprivation.

How to Manage Screen Time for Better Sleep

The responsible use of technology and electronics can certainly help you get better sleep. However, you also need to have the right conditions in your bedroom. A comfortable mattress, cool temperatures, and complete darkness are also essential. If you start with a room set up for success, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Set a Curfew

A curfew on the use of electronics can help your whole family get better sleep. In general, your brain needs two to three hours to adjust to changing light levels so the curfew should start two to three hours before bedtime.

Calm Down the Evening Atmosphere

If you’ve already got an electronic curfew in place, your next step is to bring the evening energy levels down in your home. Try dimming the lights, turning off the television, listening to quiet music, or reading a book. If you have young children, it’s a good time to work on puzzles, color, or engage in other quiet activities.

Remove Electronic Devices from the Bedroom

For many people, the use of electronic devices at bedtime is a habit that’s hard to break. Help yourself by completely removing them from the bedroom. The light from the television won’t keep you awake and notifications from your smartphone can wait until morning.

Use a Bedtime Routine to Your Advantage

Help yourself fall asleep by using your bedtime routine to your advantage. Perform activities in the routine in the same order and start at the same time each night. Over time, the brain recognizes your routine and releases sleep hormones when it senses the start of your bedtime routine.

Conclusion

Adequate sleep is a full partner in your overall health and well-being. It may take time and a concentrated effort to develop habits that manage screen time better, but it’s well worth it. Better sleep acts as the foundation on which to build your personal and professional goals. So turn off the phone and shut the laptop to give your body a chance to get the rest it needs.






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How Sleep Can Be a Priority

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If you hear yourself often saying any of the following things about sleep, please read on:

“I am not a good sleeper.”

“I wake up at 3 am and stay awake.”

“I am always tired.”

My husband, my mother, my father, and I have said all of these things numerous times in our lives. My husband and father both have Sleep Apnea. When treated with a CPAP machine, they have the quality and quantity of rest they need. My mother is a worrier. She can’t sleep because she’s thinking too much. That’s a bit of my problem as well, but I am like most mothers with small children…I am a light sleeper. I hear every sound. I use a fan, but I still hear every little noise.

According to “Causes of Sleep Problems” on WebMD:

Other factors that can interfere with sleep include:

  • Genetics: Researchers have found a genetic basis for narcolepsy, a neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness.
  • Night shift work: People who work at night often experience sleep disorders, because they cannot sleep when they start to feel drowsy. Their activities run contrary to their biological clocks.
  • Medications: Many drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain anti-depressants, buy lisinopril online blood pressure medication, and over-the-counter cold medicine.
  • Aging: About half of all adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder. It is not clear if it is a normal part of aging or a result of medications that older people commonly use.

My doctor recently told me that everyone should be able to sleep through the night, for at least eight hours, without getting up to go to the bathroom. And if you can’t, you should see a urologist. While I don’t really believe that because every BODY is different, I do believe that we can achieve quality rest with easy and safe habits.

We’ve heard all the advice that makes complete sense, yet we don’t always follow it:

  • only use your bedroom for sleep and sex…no TV, no electronics
  • go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • finish eating and drinking at least three hours before bedtime
  • keep your bedroom cool and comfortable

These are all great. Here are some more you can add to the list.

  • diffuse and apply essential oils, such as Lavender, Copaiba, Vetiver, and Cedarwood
  • avoid stress in your life, especially before bedtime
  • use meditation, prayer, or any calming ritual before bedtime and if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep
  • invest in a quality comfortable mattress, like the GhostBed memory foam mattress
  • consider sleeping with a fan or sound machine
  • make sleep a priority in your life

These are all manageable habits. And the last one is simply a mindset. We think we can survive a day after a bad night sleep with caffeine, power drinks, and just pushing through, but we don’t have to and we shouldn’t. Sleep is a huge part of your lives. We are meant to spend about one third of our lives asleep. That’s a lot! Make it a priority. Find the ways that work for you. And get a good night’s sleep.

That’s an order.

Three Precious Children’s Music Collections for Your Family

As a mother and music lover, I am happy to share three precious children’s music collections and all the background news that comes from Sugar Mountain PR. These are now all part of our collection whether we want to relax before bed or have a dance party.

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From Sugar Mountain PR:

Berkeley, CA, March 27, 2018 Sara Lovell, an award-winning songwriter and producer known for “imaginative lyrics, sparkling harmonies, intriguing musical layers” and “a voice rich in both purity and nuanced detail,” will release her second all-ages music album Wild Is Everywhere, on April 20(Unbreakable Chord Music/ distributed by Burnside Distribution).

Sara and special guests will celebrate the album release with a concert at East Bay Community Space in Oakland on April 28.

With a wide range of topics and musical styles, these 14 original songs journey through a landscape populated with flying children, misplaced animals of a certain size, and insects or flowers that turn up in the most unexpected places.

From the Sgt. Pepper’s inspired first track, “Get Up,” where listeners are invited to “grab onto the tail of someone’s kite,” the excitement and mystery builds and expands song by song. Wordplay and a vivid fantasy life are apparent with the funky “Rhinoceros under the Bed” and “Raspberry Pickleberry Wormnut Pie.” Blues, disco and funk inflect “Bounce,” “Stand Together” and “Where You Hiding All Day Long?” Every child will recognize the unfairness when “All the Grownups Get To Stay Up Late” and the impatience of “I Want It Now,” showing that Lovell understands the big feelings that live in all of us.

At a time when it can be a challenge to find good news, Lovell reminds us in the songs of Wild Is Everywhere, that joy and imagination are no small offerings. “When we allow curiosity to take hold, it widens our perceptions letting us envision the world we want to see.” As she says in the playfully creepy song, “The Dark Side of My Room,” it’s important to acknowledge: “Oh, I know, I can be a hero in my dreams / Oh, I know, I will see the light in every scene.”


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From Sugar Mountain PR:

La Luna by 123 Andrés ~ Latin GRAMMY winner Andrés and his wife Christina spend most of their time in the United States, but Andrés’ ties to South America carry them across the continent. La luna was produced in Argentina and Mexico, and the list of top-tier guests hail from several countries. The special surprise that closes the album is an appearance by Little Miss Ann (a noted Chicago based kindie artist) with a tender song in English and Spanish called “Fly, Shine, Soar. Due out on April 13th.


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From Sugar Mountain PR:

GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin released her Amazon Originals album, The Starlighter, an album of songs adapted from the children’s music book “Lullabies and Night Songs.” The Starlighter is available exclusively for purchase and stream on Amazon Music.

Two other music videos – of the title track, The Starlighter,” and “Minnie and Winnie” – have been released so far. These videos are based on Victorian paper theatres and the illustration style of children’s books from the same era, and were created by the Manchester, UK/Los Angeles-based motion design studio We Fail. Each scene contains over one hundred layered illustrations, and every element in the video was drawn using a digital tablet before being animated by hand.

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for our complimentary CD’s in exchange for sharing the news about this music!

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Sleep Well and Relax With Cuppa Magic

Sleep Well and Relax With Cuppa Magic

You will be amazed with the lovely ingredients in this tea. They are all so healthy and fresh, combined to ease you into relaxation and sleep. Enjoy this tea with honey or a lemon wedge or both.

Sweet dreams to you!

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RELAXING SLEEP TEA – 14 Day – Herbal Bedtime Calming Aid – Helps Insomnia and Anxiety – Peaceful Mind and Body – Organic Superior Quality – With Ginger Root – Chamomile – Holy Basil – Saffron

  • WRESTLING WITH INSOMNIA? – Look no further – Do you have problems falling asleep – staying asleep – a disrupted sleep cycle – or just need help relaxing? – get back on track with our Chamomile & Ginger + sleep aid – works like a charm every night
    UNWIND – Reduce stress after a long frustrating day – anti-stress – soothing – calms your nerves – helps you relax & get sleepy – supports emotional balance – eliminate anxious moments – aromatic comforting flavors – a perfect way to end a busy day
    DRUG FREE – Natural side effect free brew – easier and better way to snooze – avoid taking addictive & damaging medication – Oxygen purified teabags – no strings attached – some other brands leave debris and grass like particles in your mouth – not these!
    FRAGRANT & DELICIOUS HERBAL BLEND – Some other teas smell pungent like cat urine – seriously taste horrible – Can’t trick your friends to drink it – BUT our tea tastes pleasant & palatable – has a mix of delightful subtle floral flavors & a soothing aroma
    NO WORRIES – Incredibly effective for most people – your body chemistry plays a part in how you react to different things – we understand – know that you are protected by our 60 day refund guarantee – Happy dreams!

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Coffee

You know, it’s funny. I never drank coffee before my daughter was born. I always laughed at those people who had to have a cup before they could start their day. Well, now, I’m kind of one of those people.

But here’s what’s really funny. I started drinking it to keep myself awake during the days after all-nighters with my newborn. Now, she’s almost four and it’s a habit for me. But she gets to me before I get to my first cup and wants stuff. The only solution is to wake up before she does and that would only make me more tired and in need of more coffee.

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I’m completely screwed, right?!