Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or worse still, do you find yourself constantly waking up at regular intervals throughout the night? We all know how important sleep is, but we also live in a world where success is often measured by how busy we are and lack of sleep can sometimes contribute to this success. However, a lack of sleep can lower productivity, cause excessive tiredness, effect our decision making skills and moods, and lead to poor mental health.
Frequent sleeplessness, or insomnia, can affect all of us. In fact, up to 20% of us have suffered from recurring short-term insomnia and around 10% of us have to deal with chronic insomnia.
Chronic insomnia can be defined as sleeplessness that occurs at least three times per week for a period of at least three months.
Whilst this may sound a little alarming, the good news is that sleep habits and behavior can be changed and lead to a more restful and high quality sleep, therefore leading to a more productive day and a happier you.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine claims that poor sleeping behavior is the biggest reason that around 1 in 5 adults fail to get sufficient sleep. If you suffer from frequent sleep deprivation, the first thing you should do is rule out any medical conditions by making an appointment with your doctor.
In most cases, the reason behind your lack of sleep will be nothing serious and can often be due to habits that you can change yourself. Instead of reaching for a harmful bottle of sleeping pills that can have negative and everlasting effects, you can make a few minor changes to your habits and your environment for long lasting, natural results.
There is a proven link between your environment and your ability to sleep well for an extended period of time. Dr. Christina Brown from the Florida School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Tampa states that “In a good number of cases, getting to sleep and staying asleep is a matter of your surroundings.”
It sounds so simple, right? All you need to do is follow our list of eight ways to help you create a peaceful, comfortable bedroom to ensure a successful sleep. By taking control of your surroundings, you will be able to take control of your sleep and will soon find yourself drifting off into dreamland in no time.
In order to fall into a blissful sleep (or any sleep at all really) your body temperature needs to be lowered. You can easily achieve this in your bedroom with a ceiling fan or air conditioner. However, air conditioning can be noisy and you may not want to go to the effort in installing these items as they can be costly. Simply open a window a small fraction to allow for cool, fresh air or poke your toes out of the duvet to cool down a little. Having a hot bath before bedtime will also help lower your temperature (with a few essential oils it may also help you relax).
If your room is too humid you are likely to be kept awake, and if your room is too dry your nasal passages may suffer causing snoring and congestion. Both of these are common sleep issues can lead to a poor quality sleep. A dehumidifier can help regulate the humidity if this is a problem for you.
Studies have shown that a room temperature somewhere between 62-70 Fahrenheit (around 16-21 Celsius) is the most effective in signaling the brain to rest.
You may need to experiment a little in order to find what works best for you. Try buying a small wall thermometer to help keep track of the temperature.
We live in a world full of distractions – television, e-readers, tablets and smartphones are all great for communication, but terrible for sleep. The blue screen light emitted from these devices suppresses the production of melatonin. At night time, melatonin levels are supposed to increase in preparation for sleep. This blue screen light also sends signals to the brain that it is morning time, thus time to wake up.
Try to avoid watching television close to bedtime and if you must work late (because let's be honest, it happens) we have a few tips for you. Dim your computer screed to minimize the blue light or try using a program such as f.lux to decrease the light from your screen. If you want to go all out, invest in a pair of amber-tinted glasses. You might feel a little ridiculous, but you will be able to get your work done and fall quickly into a restful sleep.
Try to avoid having devices in your room altogether to avoid the temptation of flicking on the 11 o’clock news.
If you feel you need to read before bed, opt for a ‘real book’ over an e-reader with a harmful screen. We can also suggest listening to some relaxation music or an audio book to help you wind down and drift off.
It can be a little tricky to just turn your body off as simply as you turn the light switch off. Invest in some low wattage bulbs or dimming lights as they are very useful in helping your body slowly unwind and prepare for sleep.
If changing your whole lighting system is a bit tricky (or simply unaffordable) a soft-lighted side lamp will help. You can even buy dimming lamps so you can slowly decrease the amount of light in your bedroom.
Once your mind and body are fully ready for sleep you will need to ensure your room is as dark as possible.
Kristina Held, assistant professor of Interior Design at the Art Institute of Charlotte, a campus of South University suggests using blackout curtains. They easily block out any light from the moon, street lights and passing cars. Blackout curtains also help with insulation and noise reduction which is particularly handy if you live in an urban area. When morning comes you simply pull back the curtains to let in the natural daylight. This natural daylight can also be used to wake you up. Held recommends positioning your bed so that it faces the east, this way the sun's rays will help you rise and shine.
Remember to avoid the light given off by screens on various electronic devices – these also count as light! Do not answer late night emails from the comfort of your bed. Dr Michael Breus, author of 'Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-week Program to Better Sleep and Sleep Health, points out that the sooner you can create a physical and psychological separation between work and sleep the sooner your bedroom will become more relaxed.
A more relaxed bedroom means a more relaxed sleep. Keep your work out of your bedroom! If you have a bright, digital alarm clock by your bed turn it the other way to help create that dark soothing environment. In fact, any artificial light should be eliminated from your sleeping environment. This type of light interrupts the body's natural sleep cycle - waking you up when you should be winding down - and will making falling into a restful sleep rather difficult.
Red may be your favorite color, and whilst it is perfect for a pair of high heels it won't do much good in your bedroom. It can contribute to keeping you awake and there has even been suggestions that it may make some people aggressive. Instead, opt for space creating natural hues of beige, white and cream, or calming colors such as shades of blue and green.
A study performed by Travelodge in 2013 found that people who slept in rooms furnished with blues and greens get the most sleep. A second study in the United Kingdom where 2,000 participants where surveyed, showed that those who sleep in blue bedrooms sleep an average of 7 hours and 52 minutes.
This is significantly longer than their purple-roomed sleeping counterparts who only get around six hours. This is perhaps due to the fact that there are specialized receptors called ganglion cells that are found in part of our eyes. These are more sensitive to blue colors and feed information deep into our brains whilst we sleep that can affect how we think and feel during the day.
Adding colors found in nature such as blue and green you will not only be sleeping better, but performing better throughout the day. You can add these colors in the form of the paint you put on the walls, but also the color of your bedding and furnishings. When it comes to paint, it is best to ensure that your chosen paint is VOC (volatile organic compound) free to create a chemical-free space.
We spend around one third of our lives in bed, so it makes perfect sense to make it as comfortable and safe as possible. Upgrading the quality of your bedding is a simple and effective first step to a successful sleep.
We have all heard of celebrities that insist on hotels providing them with Egyptian Cotton sheets with an incredibly high thread count, and maybe they are on to something - scratchy and stiff sheets not only cause discmofort and itchiness, they can be bad news for allergy sufferers.
Luxurious bedding is good for both your physical and psychological well-being. Once upon a time, high end bedding was reserved for those who could afford it, but now there are many more affordable options to cater for just about any budget.
Bamboo bedding is becoming more and more popular, and with very good reason! It is actually softer than cotton and also uses less water in the growing process. It is environmentally friendly and sustainable due to the fact that it grows quickly and can thrive without harmful chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides, it filters toxins from contaminated soil, it absorbs around 12 tons of carbon dioxide for every hectare and it produces 30% more oxygen than a hardwood forest of a similar size! Good for planet earth and good for you!
Bamboo sheets require no special care, so you can wash them regularly without causing damage. It is recommended to wash your sheets and pillow cases every week. Using bamboo sheets will not only help keep your conscious clear, but also offers natural thermoregulation and its incredible wicking properties mean that you will be kept cool in summer and warm in winter.
They last a long time, making them a worthwhile investment when creating your ideal sleeping environment. Bamboo sheets are hypoallergenic, antibacterial and chemical free which will allow you to rest in comfort, therefore meaning you are more likely to remain asleep all night.
In order to get the best possible sleep, you need the best possible mattress. The firmness and style of the mattress will depend on personal preference and personal needs. Tamara Robbins Griffith of IKEA Canada suggests consulting a specialist when it comes to purchasing your mattress in order to accommodate your weight, favored sleeping position and other sleeping habits. You should also ‘try before you buy’ – head to the store and lie down for a reasonable amount of time on a range of mattresses before making your final decisions.
Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein of Harvard Medical School suggests you “lie on your favorite one for as long as you need before you buy to make sure it's comfortable.” We think this is good advice, after all, you will be spending a significant amount of time on your mattress.
Once you have purchased your mattress your should cover it with a hypoallergenic cover to help repel dust and minimize allergic reactions. To have a good night sleep buying a bamboo mattress is a good start. Bamboo is a great material for mattress covers as it is free from chemicals and will help naturally regulate your body temperature.
The final step in creating the ideal bedding environment is an appropriate pillow. Your neck and head muscles need to be sufficiently relaxed in order to sleep comfortably. Side sleepers are more likely to need a high pillow to provide adequate support to the head and neck with back and stomach sleepers needing a medium and low pillow respectfully.
Like mattresses, pillows should also be covered in a hypoallergenic cover such as one made from bamboo fabric and then finally covered with a high quality cotton or, even better, a bamboo pillow case.
Remember to wash pillow cases once per week, maybe more if you have oily skin or hair.
We're sure you've heard of the saying ‘less is more’. This is definitely true when it comes to creating a calm and successful sleeping environment. When it comes to furnishing your house and bedroom this is often known as a ‘minimalist’ look. It is no longer considered trendy to have your house piled up with clutter and trinkets. However, this doesn't mean you need to get rid of all your favorite keepsakes and hide away items that show off your personality.
Try to cut down throughout the house, but pay particular focus to your bedroom. If you have an abundance of photos, memorabilia, books, DVDs or piles of clothes do your best to remove them. If you need to keep certain items try and relocate them to other rooms in the house and keep only the bare essentials in your bedroom. By having less you will also find it easier to keep your bedroom clean which in turn will have a hugely positive affect on your sleeping patterns. A tidy bedroom will create a sense of calm allowing you to drift off into sleep and stay there all night long.
Nature plays a big part in developing successful sleeping habits. Just like natural colors such as blue and green will help you fall into a deep slumber, natural elements themselves can help.
A few small plants will do the trick nicely, as will pictures of plants if you're not so much of a green thumb. If plants are not really your thing, then any image or print of natural elements can help. Waterfalls, lakes and mountains are all useful in creating feelings of relaxation and calm.
Natural elements can be extended to scents and smells. It probably obvious that the smell of dirty socks will not help you to relax, but many essential oils will.
Try burning lavender, chamomile and rose in a diffuser for wafting calm. If you choose to use scented candles (they give off a low, calming light too), make sure they are fully extinguished by the time you fall asleep.
Feng Shui may seem like a load of garbage to some, but it can have a surprisingly positive impact on your sleeping environment. Many of the items we have spoken about such as color and lighting fall under the Feng Shui umbrella. For extra effectiveness, we have a few more suggestions. Firstly, remove anything form under your bed. It may be a useful storage space, but all that excess clutter can hinder your sleep. Next, move your bed away from the wall. A bed that only has entry from one side tends to block positive energy. This may be tricky in some bedrooms, but even the smallest of spaces can make a world of difference. Finally, remove or cover up any mirrors. Katherine Anne Lewis is a Feng Shui master and points out that “mirrors that face you while you’re in bed pull energy away from you–making it hard for you to fully reap the benefits of sleep. The solution? Either reposition the mirror or cover it up with fabric at night.” The need for a high quality sleep is so important that following Feng Shui guidelines is surely worth a try.
Overall, you bedroom décor needs to be inviting and it should be a place you feel relaxed and calm. Invest some time in rearranging your room, maybe even follow some Feng Shui practices to promote positive energy. Invest a small amount of money in quality bamboo bedding, some appropriate colors and get busy decluttering!! Your bedroom and your bed should be reserved for sleep and intimacy only – it is not an office. Refrain from doing work sitting on the bed and keep TV and movie watching in the living room. If checking your phone in bed is a bad habit (trust us, you are not alone on this one) keep it in another room overnight to avoid the negative effects the harsh blue light of the screen can cause.
When you have a restful sleep you will wake feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day. You will be more productive, have more energy, make better decisions and generally feel better about yourself.
If you ask a lot of people about bamboo, they'll mention pandas and move on, but bamboo could actually help save the planet. Global climate change is not going to fix itself, and the Earth has recently crossed some important thresholds with regards to the progress of global warming.
However, it's important for people not to go from denying the problem to ignoring the problem out of a misguided belief that it's magically unsolvable. Humanity created this problem and we can solve it just as easily.
One of the problems with a lot of the technology that could save the planet is that it just isn't very cost-effective. With bamboo, it's exactly the opposite. The commercial potential for bamboo is staggering.
Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants in the world. Unlike some of the technology that people are using in order to achieve sustainability and for the sake of geoengineering, bamboo has already been rigorously tested. It's been in use for thousands of years, and it can be used to solve a lot of modern problems as well.
One of the most important uses of geoengineering today involves removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Many plants already do this as a matter of course when they're growing. However, some of them absorb more greenhouse gases than others.
One of the frustrating things about trees is that they grow very slowly. They're not going to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere fast enough.
Certain types of bamboo actually hold the record for the fastest-growing plants in the world. Since they grow so quickly, these are the plants that could actually pull greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere at a rate that will matter. They also release more oxygen into the air.
Agricultural products in general can be difficult to market because it takes so long to produce them in large enough numbers in some cases. This is not a problem when it comes to bamboo. Replacing stocks of bamboo is easy because the stuff grows at such an accelerated rate. Bamboo can grow up to 24 inches on day, while some species can grow close to 48 inches. This is the stuff that people could use to build several businesses and more.
Many countries all over the world are looking for ways to establish themselves in the global marketplace. It is difficult for them to compete with Western nations.
Bamboo flourishes in East Asian countries, and it is profitable enough that it could manage to bolster many of their economies right away.
Since it can be produced in large numbers and it is so versatile, it's even easier to revive an economy with bamboo.
Lots of agricultural products produce so much waste that it is often not a good idea to try growing them in the name of greater environmental protection.
With bamboo, every part of the plant is actually worthwhile and can be used, and that means that people are actually going to be able to use this plant in the name of environmental protection at last. T
his is something that is not going to contribute to the massive problem of agricultural waste. People will actually be able to improve the agricultural product to waste ratios thanks to bamboo.
While bamboo has its own preferred and native habitats, that does not mean that it could not be grown in other areas. In fact, bamboo is the kind of crop that might actually still be doing well in the wake of global climate change. It is true that some effects of global climate change are inevitable at this point, but the loss of bamboo is not one of them. Many different areas may be capable of growing bamboo of their own before long, and it might be able to replace some of the crops that are lost to global climate change.
It should be noted that almost all agriculture is bad for the soil. Deforestation is particularly bad for the soil. However, given the way in which bamboo grows, it's much better for the soil than most of the other crops that are in use today.
People can rest assured that they're not contributing to one of the most pressing environmental concerns of today, which is soil erosion, when they grow bamboo.
Bamboo does not seem to be the sort of crop that attracts a lot of pests. People who grow bamboo are able to do so without using pesticides or herbicides.
Pesticides and herbicides tend to be very bad for the environment in general, and being able to produce really important crops without them, or at least without lots of them, really can make all the difference in terms of the long-term stability of any environmental system.
The reduction in the surface area for bamboo means that harvesting and growing bamboo is not going to contribute to habitat destruction in the same way as a lot of other crops.
People are not going to have to worry about setting aside as much space for bamboo, which is the sort of concern that could potentially stop countless problems.
Deforestation and habitat loss contributes to the loss of biodiversity, an increase in greenhouse gases, and the destruction of good soil. Growing more bamboo instead of cutting down more trees really can make all the difference in that regard. The bamboo environmental impact is minor along nearly every single metric.
Traditionally, the fight over natural resources has torn people apart in every way. This is not going to be the case when it comes to bamboo. Areas that have struggled with poverty can sell their crops to areas that are able to afford them, and they're going to be able to afford them as well.
Bamboo is a cash crop that can potentially empower some areas and build bridges between others. Bamboo has literally been used to build bridges in the past. Today, people may be able to use bamboo to build bridges figuratively.
Lots of the artificial clothes that people use today that are made from artificial fibers trigger their allergies and give them bacterial infections.
Bamboo is hypoallergenic naturally and it is also naturally anti-bacterial. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed and treated crops around today, and that is one of the many reasons why a lot of the clothes made from cotton have a tendency to be toxic to many of the people around today.
Since bamboo benefits environment, bamboo benefits the people who have various sensitivities to environmental contaminants.
Clothing is often expensive these days, and the stuff that is produced for cheap has a tendency to be stiff and unappealing. It is possible to create bamboo clothing that addresses all of the concerns that people tend to have about modern clothing and more. People can purchase bamboo clothing that is very comfortable, very stylish, and perfect for the people who want their clothes to be more socially responsible in every way.
Many people are interested in purchasing products that were not made in sweatshops. Lots of the bamboo products, that people will be able to purchase today will be made by the people in a lot of impoverished areas.
Buying the products can help these people grow their economies successfully. Most of the products will be good enough that people will want to be ethical consumers.
If there is anything left over with bamboo, people can just as easily use it for the sake of fuel.
Bio-fuel allows people to burn pretty much anything, and bamboo works very well in that category given its fast growth rate.
If bamboo products put an end to cotton and polyester, the environmental impact of the clothing industry would drop precipitously.
Similarly, bamboo could manage to replace a lot of the other products that are terribly bad for the environment, offering the world hope instead.
Bamboo can be used in everything from building materials to charcoal. All of these industries could get a boost from bamboo, and they could also all become more environmentally friendly as a result of this new material. Material science sometimes means embracing the newest and most modern thing that anyone is going to find or that anyone is going to invent. In some cases, it means going back to nature in order to find the answer, and that is where bamboo comes into play.
Here are 20 interesting Bamboo facts that you may or may not know. These facts about Bamboo have been compiled through a wide range of sources across the internet and to best of my knowledge are factually correct, I hope!
1, Bamboo (Bambusoideae) is actually a plant, a sub species of grass, not a tree as most people assume.
2, Bamboo plants can grow as high as 39 inches or 99 centimetres in 24 hours, that makes it a very fast growing plant and easily renewable.
3, The name Bamboo (bambu) originates from Kannada Indonesian and Malay language, the word was anglicized by the British into the English language.
4, There are over 1,400 different species of Bamboo plants in 115 genera.
Bamboo houses look amazing and they are extremely eco-friendly too. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could live in a Bamboo house in a tropical paradise? This is a guide to show you how to build and live in your own eco-friendly bamboo house!
The accessibility and availability of the Bamboo construction material is an important point to consider before making definite plans for your Bamboo house. The building materials should be mostly traditional and the house will need minimal foundations due to the low weight. The walls need to be constructed using wall panels that are assembled from Bamboo grids that are split and steel chicken mesh, this needs to be plastered over with cement mortar. The overall cost of these components will be quite low. One of the reasons that houses are made from Bamboo in earthquake zones is the fact that the houses can sway back and forth due to Bamboo’s elasticity.
Bamboo is a renewable plant that has a short rotation period. A Bamboo tree will grow to full size in a year and by 2 to 3 years old, the plant will be at full strength. Bamboo is very versatile and can be grown on degraded soil and it does not need much water to grow. When you build a Bamboo house, longevity should be the main focus. The eco-friendly benefits of using less cement or steel in the construction process helps the environment.
There are two harvesting seasons for Bamboo, the tropics harvest during the dry season and the subtropics harvests during the autumn and winter. When the Bamboo is harvested the branches need to be removed from the stem and this avoids any damage to the outer skin. It is advisable to store the Bamboo canes vertically, as horizontal storage can lead to the canes bending out of shape.
After harvesting, the Bamboo canes need to be protected from the sun, rain, soil and moisture. There are two methods of drying Bamboo, either through air-circulation, which takes 6 to 12 weeks or by using a kiln, this is a faster method of drying. Bamboo canes need to be dry for them to work best on your eco-friendly Bamboo house.
The Bamboo canes need to be preserved after harvesting to prevent invasion of insects, pests and fungus. If the Bamboo canes are not treated then the poles would not last for more than 2 years. There are 3 methods of treatment.
Immersion: the freshly cut Bamboo canes are immersed in water for 4 to 12 weeks and the nourishment that the insects need is removed from the poles. Ponds and streams are fine to use for this, but not salt water.
Heating: the Bamboo canes are heated in this method by using a kiln that set to 1500C/350F. Another method is place the canes in an oven and cook for 25 minutes.
These are a few tips for harvesting and preserving Bamboo for you Bamboo house project. Bamboo houses are very popular in Southeast Asia for locals and for tourist accommodation. You can always buy a ready made home made from Bamboo and then construct it yourself. Here at Everything Bamboo we believe that environmentally friendly Bamboo houses are the way forward.
At the beginning of this year we started this site and now Everything Bamboo is six months old, it’s been a journey so far! Bamboo is a fantastic sustainable plant that we really enjoy promoting to you via Amazon product links, but we think we can go further than that. We like to produce our own bamboo sheets, bamboo pillows and bamboo clothing, it’s not going to be easy, but we think it will be worth it! This is one of the things that we are looking into to make this site better and better.
At the beginning of the year, our launch date was 6th January, we were not even ranked in top 500 for bamboo pillows, bamboo sheets and bamboo mattresses. Fast forward six months and we are ranked on page 1 and page 2 on Google for all our products lines, we would like to be #1 for everything, so plenty of work still to do. We tested some of the best products available today and gave an honest opinion on them, hope you enjoyed all of our articles.
What does the future, more of the same, plus more on top, that’s we hope to achieve. There are plenty more bamboo products that will be reviewing and writing about. We will doing some head to head comparison tests of the best bamboo pillows, sheets, duvet covers and mattresses, full of vital stats so that you can make the best possible decision. It’s possible that one of us will take a trip to Southeast Asia to have a close up look at bamboo plants and see how the process of making the fiber takes place, exciting times indeed at Everything Bamboo!