Thursday, December 1, 2016

Facts about Sleep and Sleeping

Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but is more easily reversed than the state of hibernation or of being comatose. Mammalian sleep occurs in repeating periods, in which the body alternates between two highly distinct modes known as non-REM and REM sleep. REM stands for "rapid eye movement" but involves many other aspects including virtual paralysis of the body.
During sleep, most systems in an animal are in an anabolic state, building up the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. Sleep in non-human animals is observed in mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and some fish, and, in some form, in insects and even in simpler animals such as nematodes. The internal circadian clock promotes sleep daily at night in diurnal organisms (such as humans) and in the day in nocturnal organisms (such as rodents). However, sleep patterns vary among individual humans and even more widely among other species. In the last century, artificial light has in many areas of the world substantially altered sleep timing among both humans and many other species.
The diverse purposes and mechanisms of sleep are the subject of substantial ongoing research. Sleep seems to assist animals with improvements in the body and mind. A well-known feature of sleep in humans is the dream, an experience typically recounted in narrative form, which resembles waking life while in progress, but which usually can later be distinguished as fantasy. Sleep is sometimes confused with unconsciousness, but is quite different in terms of thought process.
Humans may suffer from a number of sleep disorders. These include dyssomnias such as insomnia, hypersomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea; parasomnias such as sleepwalking and REM behavior disorder; bruxism; and, the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep. That may not seem like a big deal, but shirking on sleep, even by just an hour, can have serious consequences for your health, and the economy.
Every year, insufficient sleep costs the U.S. economy up to $411 billion, according to a new report from the not-for-profit research group RAND Europe.
The researchers wanted to look at how shortened sleep which means getting less than the normal range of 7 to 9 hours a night affects the economies of five different countries. Using survey data from the National Sleep Foundation, they considered three effects of not-enough sleep: mortality, since shortened sleep has been linked to about half of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including cardiovascular disease, accidents, diabetes and hypertension; productivity, since sleepy workers are less productive and more likely not to show up; and hindered development skills and educational achievement, which affects lifetime earnings.Top of FormBottom of Form
“How would those countries, the U.S., the UK, Germany, Japan and Canada, look if the proportion of people who sleep less than a certain amount of time actually improve?” wondered Marco Hafner, a research leader at RAND Europe and the report’s main author.
The U.S. loses the most from its sleepy citizens. The researchers calculated that sleep-deprived workers cost the country’s economy about 1.2 million working days a year and up to $411 billion, about 2% of the GDP. Japan was the second most affected, losing about the same percentage of its GDP, followed by Germany and the U.K. Canada had the best sleepers, but still lost 1.4% of its GDP to too-little sleep.
The study authors also found marked health effect from too-little sleep. Getting about six hours a night is linked to a 7% higher risk of mortality, and sleeping less than six hours is linked to a 13% higher risk. “It’s not a small problem,” Hafner says. “It seems to be not only a public health issue, but also an economic issue.”
Though they seem bleak, the findings also hint at solutions. In the study, getting more physical activity is linked to better sleep, as is not smoking. And though the study didn’t have enough information on electronic devices, using them less at night can improve the duration and quality of sleep, Hafner says.
“As a society, we need to increasingly think about sleep,” Hafner says. “When you hear from business leaders or political leaders that they can get around four hours of sleep and be fine, and that everyone who needs more sleep is a wimp, it’s increasingly proven to be wrong.”
Pictues of People Asleep


According to an international study by the U.S. National Sleep Foundation,  one in three adults sleep in the nude.
Au naturel, in your birthday suit, in the buff, unclothed, disrobed, stripped. Whatever you want to call it, jump on the bandwagon and start shedding the layers because there are some major benefits to sleeping naked, the Daily Mail newspaper reports.
If you and your lady are trying to have a baby, ditch the boxer briefs and don boxers instead during the day and go nude when you sleep at night. Researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Development and Stanford University tracked 500 men, each of whom dictated their own sleep habits and choice of underwear, for one year. When researchers analyzed each guy's sperm quality, they discovered men who stuck with the boxer-by-day, commando-by-night routine had a 25 percent lower rate of damaged DNA in their sperm than did men who wore tighter underwear 24/7, according to the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Baltimore.
“We have known for some time that men who increase the temperature of their testicles, either through the heat exposure at work or by wearing tight underwear, have poorer semen quality compared to men whose testicles are cooler,” said Allan Pacey, a leading fertility expert and researcher at the University of Sheffield in England, told the New York Post.
People who sleep naked have happier love lives according to a survey of 1,000 British adults by a bed sheet company. This is not totally surprising but 57 percent of nude sleepers were happy with their relationship, compared with 48 percent of pajama wearers. It’s not that taking each other’s clothes off isn’t sexy or fun, it’s just that being naked kind of takes the middleman out of the equation.
In order to fall asleep, your core body temperature needs to drop by about half a degree. And in order to stay asleep, that ideal body temperature needs to be regulated, otherwise your brain will wake itself up to see why you’re so hot.
The advantage of sleeping naked is that it’s easier for your body to cool down quicker, and to maintain that lower body temperature your brain wants to achieve. Disrupted sleep from being too hot doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get less overall sleep, but it does mean you’ll have less deep, restorative sleep, which is key for memory consolidation and cell repair. So, think twice about swaddling yourself in quilts and sweatshirts (it’s called a sweatshirt for a reason), especially if your partner is in bed with you. You have a perfectly good heat source mere inches away; cozy up when you need warmth and then retreat to your side of the bed when you’re arm starts sweating on theirs. It’s a flawless system. 
Brown fat has gained more notice in recent news, mostly for its ability to produce 300 times more heat than any other organ in your body. While ordinary white body fat (bad fat) piles on when we eat more calories than we burn, brown fat (good fat) generates heat, thusly burning that energy stored in white fat. Though brown fat is common in babies--it’s what keeps them warm--studies have found that we have a small amount in our necks, too. 
A U.S. study in the journal Diabetes found that sleeping in a cold bedroom could activate brown fat in adults. In the study, five healthy young men slept in a climate-controlled bedroom for four months. In the first month, the room was kept at 74 degrees Fahrenheit, lowered to 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the second, brought back to 74 degrees Fahrenheit in the third, and raised to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the fourth. 
After the second month of sleeping at 66 degrees Fahrenheit, the men had almost doubled their volumes of brown fat. They burned more calories throughout the day, though not enough to lose weight, and their insulin sensitivity improved. Sleeping naked or in cooler temperatures (or both) can help to activate brown fat.
Lying in bed with your partner, naked, is found to generate a boost in oxytocin, a hormone shown to have many health benefits. Skin-to-skin contact sends impulses to the brain, triggering the release of oxytocin, which has a protective effect on the heart, as it lowers blood pressure,  boosts the immune system and reduces anxiety.

A full one-third of British people report sleeping naked, which can have a host of health benefits, including better temperature regulation and bonding with your partner.

Sleeping Naked

Have you ever slept a full eight-hours and still woke up feeling tired?

Feeling rested has a lot to do with the quality and quantity of your sleep. Aside from stress and other emotional factors that cause sleepless nights, there are many external factors, such as your bedroom feng shui, that can be interrupting how well you sleep and how fast you fall asleep. 

In this post, you will find out how your bedroom Feng Shui is affecting your sleep. Meanwhile, you will get 33 bedroom Feng Shui tips that can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep through the night. Because sleeping habits differ from individuals, some of these tips may work wonders for some but not the others.

Choose Bedrooms at the Back-End of the House

By “back-end of the house,” it means the sections of the home that’s close to the backyard (or at the opposite end from the street). The main reason is that bedrooms at the back-end are usually much more quiet. Your sleep is less likely to be disrupted from the sound and movement of anything that roams in front of the house, which includes both human and automobile traffic. Because of this, you will also enjoy higher levels of privacy.


Avoid Bedrooms at the top of the garage


When your bedroom is on top of a garage, you sleep can be disrupted by a variety of factors, including the smell of car exhaust, noise from garage door movements, insects that creeps into your bedroom, and warmer bedroom temperatures. If these four factors are non-existent, your bedroom’s feng shui location should be fine. .

Avoid Bedrooms Under Highly Active Areas

Active areas can include restrooms, entertainment rooms, or other areas where humans are active instead of sleeping peacefully. This usually does not apply to apartments and high-rises, because the bedroom is likely below another bedroom, and the flooring is usually thick and sound-proof. However, single family homes are a different story. If your bedroom is right under a restroom, your sleep can be interrupted whenever someone flushes the toilet. Or, if you live right under a room of a teenager who has a different sleep schedule, their movements, music, or other activities can keep you awake all night.

Avoid Bedrooms on Top of Kitchen Stove


Some say that sleeping above the kitchen stove brings bad energy that disturbs sleep and creates health issues. Though I do not disagree with them, what I do know is that your bedroom’s temperature may be higher than normal, caused by the cooking activities and the heat given off from the back of the refrigerator. Because the optimal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you may be losing on some quality sleep.
Here’s another potential issue: Do you know where the grease and smoke goes? The kitchen ventilation and exhaust hood use a tube to take the grease smoke out. The tube is filled with filth, and any sort of leaks or malfunction can definitely bring negative health consequences when you’re sleeping right next to it.

Don’t Oversize Your Bedroom

If your bedroom is too large, you may wake up tired even if you get a full eight hours of sleep. From the people that I’ve talked to, I’ve learned that some people feel find it hard to fully relax in extremely large bedrooms. This could be our survival instincts at play. We are most vulnerable when we’re sleeping, and with a larger space, we may feel less in control of our surroundings, causing us to sleep on high alert rather than fully relaxed.

Place the Bed’s Head Against a Wall

Imagine yourself on a plane, seated in a window seat. If you had all the window seats to yourself, would you sleep with your head on the side of the walkway. The same applies to your bed. Although I’m sure you won’t have flight attendants or passengers walking around your bedroom, having a headboard against the wall gives you a subtle sense of security that’ll help you fall asleep easier. This again has to do with our survival instincts and sense of security.

Avoid Placing Bed Against the Same Wall as the Door

This is especially true if you live with someone else, like a significant other, family members, or even disrespectful roommates that have a different sleeping schedule than you. Whenever the door opens while you’re asleep, you’re more likely to wake up on high alert, mainly because the sound and movement of the opening door is loud and sudden. Also, you will have to rise from your bed to see who’s behind that door, instead of just raising your head if your bed is placed on the opposite side of the door.

Avoid Placing the Head of Bed Directly Below a Window


The window is the gateway between your bedroom and the outside world. When you sleep with your head directly under a window, your sleep is more easily disrupted by the Qi coming from the outside, which includes wind, scent, noise, light, shadows, and movements of insects and animals. When the sound, movement, or scent is unfamiliar, they will alert your survival instincts and completely wake you up, sometimes making it hard for you to fall asleep again.


Place Head of Bed Againstthe Wall Opposite from the Door 

 Placing your bedthis way gives you a higher level of comfort, security and control. As mentioned earlier, even when the door opens while you’re asleep, all you have to do is to raise your head to see who’s coming in from that door. You will feel less alarmed, making it easier for you to return to sleep. Just remember to avoid placing the bed directly in front of the door.

Bed should not Share Wall with Toilet

This is a little similar to having your bedroom right under a toilet. If your bed shares a wall with the toilet, you will be able to hear the flushing of the toilet and the water moving through the pipes. These water pipes are usually not limited for toilet use, as water faucets and showers may very well use the same water pipe. An easy solution is to use a thick headboard for your bed, which can minimize these unwanted noises that disturbs your sleep.

Do Not Share Wall with the Kitchen

This is a little similar having your bedroom right above a kitchen stove. Some say the fire energy from the kitchen stove can cause insomnia and other health problems arising from lack of sleep. A more scientific explanation is that the wall transfers heat from the kitchen, which in turn reduces your sleep quality. And, the sound of the refrigerator and water moving to the kitchen can all bring noise to your bedroom. Also, the kitchen is an area with high amounts of human activities. If you live with someone with a different sleep schedule, your sleep will be disrupted by the clinking sound of dishes, ovens, pots, as well as all other activities conducted in the kitchen.
Avoid Sloped or Slanted Ceilings
The same is true with slanted or sloped ceilings. Though the feeling is very subtle, it does give you some sort of unease or feelings of being compressed (worse for claustrophobics), and those feelings carry over whenever you go to bed. This is especially true if you sleep on the side with the lower ceiling. An easy solution is to use a canopy bed. The four pillars that surround you while you sleep have the tendency to make you feel more “supported” from the downward pressure of the ceiling.
Avoid Bed Under a Beam
Just like the sloped or slanted ceilings, sleeping under a beam can also give you a subtle feeling of unease. Beams give you discomfort because it is similar to having a sharp object pointed at you. Also, they can give you a feeling that your space is being chopped up, which can be highly distracting. The size and shape of the beam, as well as the height of the ceiling, can all play a role on how much discomfort you feel. The easy cure to this is to use a canopy bed.

Remove Hanging Furniture Above Your Bed

How do you feel when you stand right under a low-hanging chandelier that’s the size of you?  If you have anything hanging right above your bed, such as a chandelier, you will get that same feeling of discomfort because you may not feel 100% safe, and the effects are worse if it is hanging right above your head. The cure is to remove that furniture and place it somewhere else, like right above a dining table, where people will not reside right under it.

Do Not Place Large Furniture by Your Bed

Some people like putting large bookshelves right by the bed. It provides easy access to books for those who enjoy reading right before going to sleep. Small bookshelves are fine. However, if you have bookshelves that are more than six feet (180 cm) tall, then you are better off without the bookshelf. The reason is that the large furniture can give you that invisible pressure that makes you feel oppressed. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you drive right next to a truck or when you’re standing right under a monumental structure.

Get Work Out of the Bedroom


Work and sleep don’t mix, so avoid work-related furniture and Feng Shui in the bedroom, such as a desk. If you have a desk in your bedroom, you may go to sleep thinking about work instead of relaxing. Worse, it may invoke work-related stress, which can significantly impact your sleep quality. This applies mostly to adults and not students, because the adults are the ones who get more pressure from work due to the need to support the family and the kids. The easy cure to this is to remove the desk or other furniture that remind you of work. Here’s a tip I got from Hipster Feng Shui. If you live in a small space, you can try dividing your work area and your bed with a curtain.

Use Conventional Furniture

Some modern furniture designs are very slick and appealing. Here’s a bed frame that I think looks absolutely amazing. Though I love how it looks, I’m not sure how comfortable I will be when sleeping on that frame. Having experienced wood cracking and furniture breaking, People frequently feel anxious and scared of breaking that bed when I move or adjust on the bed to find a comfortable sleeping position. It is suggested that you choose comfort ability over design. And as for bed frames, choose the ones with proper support so that you can feel more relaxed.

Use Dim Lighting


Bright lights keep us awake and can disrupt our sleep pattern. It is true even with artificial lights and especially true for LED lights, which is known to create “light pollution” that causes sleepless nights (this is also the reason why it is bad Feng Shui to sleep with your head under a window). Try to use dim lights with a soothing color, as it can provide the atmosphere and environment as you are getting ready for bed.

Use Blinds and Curtains that Completely Blocks Out Light


Even a little bit of lighting can disrupt your sleep, simply because light can penetrate our eyelids and influence our biological clock. You are in complete control of the lights in your bedroom. However, you have little or no control of the lights outside of your home. That is why you need blinds and curtains that can completely block out the light from the outside. If your current blinds or curtains have light shining through the cracks at night, it may be worthy to invest in double layered curtains to improve your sleep.

Move the Electronics Away from Your Bed

People today are very attached to their electronics and smart-phones- probably too attached to them.   So, Just looking at your phone before you go to sleep at night can be wrecking your sleep. Electronics, such as your smart-phone or alarm clock, are great human inventions. It tells you the current time and give you your friend’s Facebook status updates. However, most of us are addicted to our smart-phones, and staring at this artificial light before bed is wrecking your sleep. Remove them from easy-access, and you can find your sleep quality improve.


No Mirrors Facing the Bed

We humans have survival instincts. Part of our evolutionary trait and how we survived till today is our ability to identify threats through our vision. Put another way, our eyes are very sensitive to movements. If you have a mirror facing the bed, any type of movement reflected by the mirror will alarm you. Sometimes, you couldn’t help noticing your own movements in the mirror, even from the corner of your eyes. Remove the mirror that’s facing the bed to prevent it from distracting your sleep.
Remove the Plants from Your Bedroom
Plants have an “evening complex” where they grow taller at night. The vibrant growth energy gives off quite the opposite energy you want when you’re asleep. Contrary to popular belief, most plants release more carbon dioxide than oxygen at night. Carbon dioxide has the ability to affect your sleep quality, and is one of the reasons why plants should not be in your bedroom. Here’s a post that talks exclusively about how plants affect our sleep, backed by scientific research.

Remove Water Features

Waters are great, but only when we’re awake. At night, we should be sleeping in as much serenity and calamity as possible. Science has indicated that sound as minor as whispers have the ability to disrupt the quality of our sleep. The same goes to any other sound, including the water features in your bedroom. Though some find the sound of water flow soothing, it is likely that you will experience moments where it irritates you.

Choose Soothing Colors

Avoid vibrant colors as the main theme of your bedroom. These colors include bright orange, pink, and yellow, and they are not suitable for your bed linens, curtains, and your bedroom walls. Brighter colors tend to shout out at you, which can amplify your emotions and give you more energy. They also reflect more light, which is known to disrupt your biological clock and keep you awake. If you desire to use bright colors, you may need to dim down the bedroom lights to balance out the brightness. Another method is to use the bright colors as accents rather than the main theme.

Remove Any Odd Home Decors


I have slept in a room with ancient masks from African tribes hanging on the wall. What ended up happening was that I just stared at them almost all night. On occasions, it felt like they were staring back at me too. I also slept in a room with an Academy Award Oscar in it and I could not take my eyes off of it. Humans have an amazing ability to recognize faces and familiar patterns. It is suggested that you remove animal heads (hunting trophies), pictures of faces, and other odd decors from the bedroom, because they can keep you distracted and awake.


No Unpleasant Images or Artwork

Being surrounded with unpleasant images, such as pictures depicting violence or sorrow, can invoke strong emotions that can keep you awake at night. Worse, these emotions can carry over to your dream, making you wake up tired the next day. If you have any pictures that invokes strong emotions, remove them. Pictures that soothe and relax you are more suitable for the bedroom.
Close the Window when You Sleep
Closing the window can block unwanted scent from the outside. For instance, if you can smell cigarette smoke from your next door neighbor when they smoke on their balcony, you may want to keep your windows closed. And, closing the window also cancels out the noise from the outside, which is especially important if you live in the cities where you can hear the rumbles of automobile or noise from human chatter. As previously mentioned, the slightest noise can disrupt the quality of your sleep. If you happen to live in a noisy neighborhood or close to main streets, you might want to invest in double-paned windows.

Close Your Bathroom Doors


Bathrooms are notorious for its bad Feng Shui because of humidity and filth. For those that live in master bedrooms, you might want to keep those bad Feng Shui within the bathroom. Leaving the bathroom door open will affect the air quality of your bedroom. For instance, if you just finished “taking care of business”, and you left the bathroom door open, the smell can easily travel to your bedroom, which can significantly affect how fast you fall asleep. Worse, if you have mold in your bathroom, your may be suffering from health problems such as muscle and joint pain, headaches, shortness of breathe, sinus problems, and more.


Close the Bedroom Door

Closing the bedroom door increases your sense of privacy, especially if you live with family members. It can also provide you with a feeling of security, which can further relax your survival instincts to assist you with your sleep. Also, closing the bedroom door also cancels out the noise from within your home. These sounds include the humming of the refrigerator or other home electronics, and the noise from your family members or roommates living with you.

No Clutter Lying Around

Speaking from personal experience, there are many ways to hurt yourself if your bedroom is filled with clutter. You can trip on something. You can step on your own clutter. Worse, you can stub your toe. The pain associated with that can wake you fully and can completely disrupt your sleeping cycle. Maybe you can relate to this funny Vine video that shows “how it really feels when you stub your pinky toe”. Also, imagine if that happens to you in the middle of the night. How would you feel? Though sometimes your kids or your pet may have created the clutter by your bed, make it a habit to keep your bedroom free of clutter. Furthermore, a clean and organized bedroom is more visually relaxing and less likely to invoke frustration and agitation that lower your sleep quality.


Let Go of the TV

Though some claim that TV helps them sleep, the light and sound from the TV are actually causing us to stay awake longer than needed. The light from the TV is a form of artificial light that has the tendency to keep us awake by delaying the release of sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.  Further, whatever show or movie that you’re watching can also invoke strong emotions that’ll keep you awake longer than usual. And, some experts also mentioned that electronics in the bedroom, such as TV, brings electromagnetic field that can potentially harm us. I’m not sure how it affects our sleep, but I do know that strong electric currents creates strong electromagnetic fields that can cause many health consequences, which is why you shouldn’t live close to power lines.

Keep Work Out of Bed

Even if you don’t have a work desk in your bedroom, you need to keep your laptop, smart-phone, and emails away as you prepare to sleep. Any of these can remind you of the work that needs to be done, which can easily increase your stress levels that will prevent you from relaxing. For others, it can keep you awake because it stimulates your mind to work-mode. Even if you’re already tucked in, you may be thinking about how to solve a certain problem at work or how to perform better. Sometimes, you may be more inclined to grab your nearby laptop or smart-phone to write an idea down where you should be going to sleep instead.

Open the Bedroom Window During the Day

After a full night’s sleep, your bedroom is filled with your own carbon dioxide. To refresh the air quality in your bedroom, make it a habit to open the window right after you wake up. This way, your bedroom will feel more nurturing during the night. And, carbon dioxide is known to adversely affect the quality of your sleep. So even if you live in a region with extreme cold or hot weather, try to keep your window fully open for at least a couple of hours during the day to recycle your bedroom’s air.


The Feng Shui of your bedroom is very important. It determines how well you sleep and how much energy you have during the day, all of which directly affect your work performance, mood, and how you interact socially. Further, chronic sleeplessness can cause inability to learn, headaches, weight gain, colds, depleted sex drive, depression, and many more horrible things. Maybe that’s why Feng Shui places a special emphasis on the bedroom. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in our bedroom sleeping.
If you want Feng Shui to help you with other aspects of life, Feng Shui bedroom is not enough. But, if you’re only looking to better your sleep, these tips will help you feel rested and energetic to prepare you for tomorrow’s challenges.

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