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SLEEP

5 Signs of Sleep Deprivation

Walking around in circles and bumping into walls is a pretty good sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. Thankfully, these sort of symptoms don’t appear as often and in such extremes. But symptoms of sleep deprivation do appear, and today we are covering 5 telltale signs – second to getting that info from your Leaf app of course.

1. Getting the Feels

Have you ever found yourself heading into the work kitchen for a cup of joe and there’s none left? And before you can say Java-Mocha-Latte you realize you’re in tears? Or laughing hysterically at…well…nothing? Don’t worry, this is entirely normal. Running on little or no sleep makes us more sensitive to external stimuli, and we might experience things more deeply than what we normally would.
Our tip: Exercise is a great fix. Try logging in about 1 500 steps with the help of your Leaf. The production of endorphins will help elevate your mood and wake you up a little.

2. Getting the Nom-nom-noms

You know how they say sufficient sleep aids weight loss? Unfortunately, it works the other way also – sleep deprivation can cause weight gain. When we sleep, our body’s use that time to recharge and replenish our energy levels. If we do not get enough sleep, our bodies try to get the extra energy from food and we start munching more than usual. Many people also eat out of pleasure and sometimes boredom (guilty, guilty). Nibbling on midnight snacks can be a reflexive way to pass the time in those wee hours of the night.

Health tracker with meditation application

 

Our tip: Try one of Leaf’s mindfulness exercises, they really work. Prepare yourself a nice cup of soothing tea, find a comfortable position, and turn the lights down. Let yourself be guided by the Deep Sleep meditation and, if at first it doesn’t seem successful, try again. You’ll find yourself dozing off very shortly.

3. Wavering Concentration

Morning to-do list: wash your gym bag and pack your hair. Wait, what? If this has happened to you in some shape or form, you are not alone. Feeling dazed, confused and a lack of concentration are the most common signs of sleep deprivation. You might find it hard to get your work done and focus on tasks at hand, but the good news is that it’s nothing a few hours of extra Zs can’t fix.



Our tip: If this is a persistent issue and falling asleep is not the problem but finding the time is, it might be a good idea to take a sick day. Mental health is just as important as your physical health, not to mention many symptoms are psychosomatic and are the result of an overworked mind. Hit the snooze button, throw the covers over, and try log in at least 8 hours of sleep in your Leaf app. Your body will thank you for it.

4. Coming Down With the Colds

This sort of picks up where we left off in point 3. Sleep deprivation affects your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to colds. In a study involving 153 healthy men and women, participants were given nasal drops containing the common virus and were monitored over the course of 14 days. The results showed those who had slept 7 hours or less were three times more likely to develop a cold than those who had at least 7.5 hours of sleep.
Heath tracker sleep
Our tip: If you are having trouble sleeping, follow one of Leaf’s meditations and try some of the methods we’ve outlined in our previous post here.

5. Red Spots

Oh, those pesky skin blemishes. Like feeling tired wasn’t enough. A lack of sleep can cause your skin to flare up and have you relive your teens all over again with blemishes, pimples, and bouts of acne.
Our tip: Along with what we’ve outlined in the above, we recommend getting enough water into your system. It will help flush out the toxins and restore your internal balance.

 

Have you experienced sleep deprivation? How has Leaf helped you overcome it? We would like to hear your feedback or any suggestions on how to make your Leaf app even better and more inspiring!
April 19, 2017
SLEEP

How to celebrate World Sleep Day

Celebrating World Sleep Day

A Snooze Fest. The Fun Kind.

It is that time of year again – World Sleep Day. Today we celebrate the importance of sleep and the benefits it has on our health. And in honor of that, we say: get your sleep on! Enjoy a few extra minutes snuggled up beneath your covers and feel that sleepy goodness work its magic.

The Three Rs.

Sleep is vital for your health and well-being. It recharges, revitalizes and repairs your body and mind. It also occurs in a cycle of 4 different phases (read all about it here). These phases further fall into 2 main categories: light and deep sleep. Each one has different benefits to your mind and body.

Leaf measures your time spent in light and deep sleep. By simply clipping it on at night, it detects where you are in the sleep cycle. In the morning, you sync and presto – a simple snapshot of the previous night. But what does it all mean exactly?

Light Sleep

Stages 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle are considered to be Light Sleep. As adults, we spend most of our time in light sleep (about 60-70%) and this time is mainly about the brain and when the exciting mental fireworks happen. Our synapses fire electrical bursts and stimulate our brains to improve the neural communication throughout our body.

This is also when dreams occur and a bit of a mental ‘spring clean’. It is said that our mind organizes thoughts and stores short term memory into long term memory during light sleep. Some cell repair happens during this time, but most of this is left for later when you are in deep sleep.

Deep Sleep

Stages 3-4 of sleep fall into what we call deep sleep. Deep sleep is the hardest to wake up from and that’s because our body is hard at work making all the good stuff happen. Think of it like a “Do not Disturb” your mind has placed on your body.

According to Clinical Psychologist John Cline, during deep sleep your body releases growth hormones that help your cells repair themselves. Your kidneys start to filter out toxins, your muscle tissues start to heal, and all the internal magic goes into action. Interestingly, we only spend about 20% of our sleep time in deep sleep but based on an average of 6-8 hours it is all our body actually needs.

A Nice Cup of Mindfulness

It’s no secret now why we love World Sleep Day. Sleep is awesome and we can’t get enough of it, especially on Monday mornings. But sometimes it is easier said than done. If you are having trouble sleeping we recommend trying Leaf’s Deep Sleep meditation found within the Leaf app or on the Bellabeat Dashboard. 9 minutes well spent.

How to celebrate World Sleep Day today?

5 more minutes  

Today it is perfectly acceptable to hit that snooze button and keep that dream alive! Treat yourself to some extra minutes of sleep.

Power nap

We know that St.Patrick’s Day and World Sleep Day don’t really go that well together, but if you’re planning to party all dressed up in green today, that’s an extra reason why you should take an afternoon nap and recharge your batteries.

Relax your mind

Relaxing your mind before bed time is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Treat yourself with a nice warm bath to relax your muscles and listen to one of the meditation exercises in your Leaf app to relax your mind.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Have you tried our meditation exercise for Deep sleep? We would like to hear from you so feel free to tell us your experiences in the comments below.

 

March 17, 2017
SLEEP

The truth about sleep you didn’t know

Leaf - Sleep goal setting

The amount of sleep you need to function your best may be different for you than for someone who is of the same age and gender. While you may feel powered up sleeping only six or seven hours a night, someone else may need eight or nine hours to have a productive day. Find out how to set up your ideal sleep goal.

Sleep goal

sleep goal

 When setting a sleep goal in your Leaf app, try to be honest with yourself. Don’t strive for that magic number ‘8’ if you have been sleeping for 6 hours a night for the last 10 years. According to a study published in European Journal of Social Psychology, researchers found that the average time it takes to form a new habit is actually 66 days; furthermore, individual times varied from 18 to 254 days.

Start with baby steps and set realistic goals!

  • 1. Go to ‘Settings’

  • 2. Scroll down to ‘Goals’

  • 3. Choose ‘Sleep’

  • 4. Try to stick to it with the help of other Leaf features 🙂

Sleep cycles

Did you know that during the night you go through several sleep stages which form a complete sleep cycle? One sleep cycle usually lasts for 90 minutes. A good night’s sleep consists of 5-6 complete sleep cycles. If you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle you are likely to feel tired. Your Leaf can help you wake up refreshed with its smart alarms!

Sleep reminder and wake-up alarm

Leaf alarms
If you know the exact time you want to wake up you can do a little math and determine the best time to go to bed. But keep in mind that the average adult requires 10 to 30 minutes to fall asleep. If it takes you any less than five minutes to fall asleep at night, this means you’re sleep deprived. The ideal sleep latency is between 10 and 15 minutes, meaning you’re still tired enough to sleep deeply, but not so exhausted you’ll feel sleepy by day.

So, how can your Leaf help you?

Set yourself a sleep reminder or a wake up alarm at the time that suits you best:

  • 1. Go to ‘Settings’

  • 2. Choose ‘Alarm’ and label it as “Sleep reminder”

  • 3. Gentle vibration will wake you up in the morning or remind you when your best time to go to bed and catch enough Zzzzs is

Beside sleep, set an activity goal that will make you wanna jump out of bed in the morning. Use our complete walking plan to achieve the desired amount of steps. Your Leaf is designed to help you form healthy habits. 

October 3, 2016
SLEEP

Happy World Sleep Day!

Good morning sleepy heads! Today is World Sleep Day and that means that it’s perfectly ok to stay in bed for 5, 10 or 15 minutes longer than usual! And of course, it’s obligatory to take a nap this afternoon. Have you tried our nap feature in the app yet?

Sleep plays a vital role in our well being. While we’re sleeping our brain is preparing for the next day and forming new pathways that help us remember information so getting enough quality sleep is crucial for us to function well throughout the day.

While you were sleeping…

Your body goes through five stages of sleep. We spend almost 50% of our total sleep time in stage 2, 20% in REM stage and 30% in the other stages.

Stage 1

This is a light sleep phase between being awake and falling asleep. Research has shown that the average sleeper takes about 7 minutes to fall asleep. How long does it take you?

Stage 2

In this phase your body temperature drops and you become disengaged from surroundings and our brain produces very short periods of rapid brain wave activity as sleep spindles.

Stage 3 and 4

This is a transitional period between light sleep and a very deep sleep. Deep sleep lasts about 30 minutes and sleepwalking typically happens at the end of stage 4.

REM sleep

REM sleep is characterised by the rapid eye movements. During this phase, your breathing becomes more shallow and irregular and your heart rate and blood pressure increase. This is primarily where you do most of your dreaming.

Why it’s important to have a quality sleep:

  • Sleep improves our memory

  • Boosts our mood and makes us happier

  • Makes our skin look fresh and healthier

  • Helps us be more productive and focused

  • Improves our immunity

 

If you’re having troubles sleeping or falling asleep, here’s what you should try:

  • Practice meditation before going to bed (You can find our meditation exercises in the LEAF app that will help you calm your mind before going to bed)

  • Keep your bedroom dark and cool

  • Try to go to bed at approximately the same time every day

  • Don’t drink caffeine late in the evening

Happy World Sleep Day!

So let’s celebrate the World Sleep Day with a good night sleep today and every day!

Do you have problems sleeping? How many hours per day do you usually get? Share with us your experiences in the comments below 🙂

 

March 18, 2016