Yoga Can Help with Neck Pain Issues

Yoga Can Help with Neck PainMost people know that yoga is an excellent way to improve one’s health. It provides the body with low-impact exercise that can increase strength, flexibility and improve one’s state of mind (much like meditation).

But did you know there are specific yoga poses that can help with neck pain? Plus, there are certain yoga poses, like savasana, which require neck support to ensure your muscles can relax instead of tensing up. Let’s take a look at some neck-friendly yoga poses and some easy ways to support your neck while you do yoga — and while you sleep!

Yoga Exercises the Strengthen the Neck
We’ve put together some of our favorite yoga poses that strengthen and stretch the neck. If you frequent yoga classes, you can also speak with your instructor for additional poses and tips on your form. Please be advised, that although these yoga exercises can help with neck pain, they do not replace the care of a medical professional.

Breathing & Posture
Let’s start with an easy one, which isn’t really a yoga pose, but is extremely helpful all the same. Breathing deeply and mindfully is an effective way to relieve neck tension, which can be a cause of neck pain. Shallow breathing causes neck muscles to contract, while deep breathing moves the contractions into the diaphragm where it belongs. It can also help relax your body as a whole, and help bring composure to your mind.

While breathing deeply into your diaphragm, focus on your chest and collarbones. Be sure to broaden the collarbones, which in turn will raise your chest, helping your body align. Check shoulder blades and be sure to relax them if they’e raised towards your ears.

With posture, make sure your chair and desk at work are ergonomically correct. We’ve got some tips for this, as well as how to improve your posture while standing and walking in our article, Tips for Better Spine Alignment.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Another simple pose, all that savasana requires is for you place your body in a neutral, supine position. In other words, lie on the floor. Adjust your back and neck until they are straight, hands facing upward at your side, and your feet slightly apart. In order to accomplish the neutral position, you will need support for the head and neck. Our pillow does an excellent job of this, and is perfect for yoga.

Cat Pose & Cow Pose
With cat pose, the first think you’ll need to do is get on your hands and knees. Use a yoga mat if you have one. Then, exhale while rounding your spine towards the ceiling, gently bringing your head in toward the chest. Cow pose is a “continuation” of cat pose. Simply inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling. Sequentially continue these two poses for a couple of minutes.

Downward Dog at the Wall
Face a wall, and place your hands on the wall at waist height. Take small steps backward into a “table top” position. Your feet should be directly under your hips. Lift your sitting bones towards the sky and press your hands towards the wall. If your hamstrings feel too much tension from the stretch, it’s a good idea to bend your knees slightly. Hold the position for six long, deep breaths, while putting your attention on opening the chest and lengthening your spine.

The Clock (Pec Stretch)
Another good yoga pose that can help with neck pain is the pectoral stretch. First, stand along side a wall with your right hand pointing in the 12 o’clock position (arm should be straight, touching the wall). In slow motion, move your hand from from the 12 to 3 o’clock position. Take your left hand and place it on the right side of your rib cage. Breathe in deeply, and as you exhale “pull” the rib cage forward without moving the right arm. Your front, right shoulder should feel the stretch, or possibly down your right arm. Hold for six deep breaths. Once done, repeat the pose on the other side of your body. If you experience any tingling in either arm, move away from the wall until the sensation goes away, or stop the pose immediately.

The more you do these poses, the better off your neck will be! Another way to easily reduce neck pain is to use a supportive pillow …

Support While You’re Sleeping
Just as in the savasana pose, The Natural Comfort Pillow supports the neck, as well as spine alignment, while you sleep. Even better, it works for back- and side-lying sleepers. Supporting the neck while you sleep can go a long way in loosening muscles instead of them tightening up. Learn more about how our pillow.

The Connection Between Sleep & Migraines

The connection between sleep and migrainesIn previous articles, we’ve talked about how to reduce migraines through diet and how to decrease migraines by improving neck and shoulder health. In this article, we’ll cover the connection between sleep and migraines, as well as a handful of simple strategies to improve the quality of your sleep — which in turn can reduce migraine occurrence.

What is the Connection between Sleep & Migraines?
Did you know getting too little, or too much sleep can cause a migraine? Anyone who experiences insufficient sleep knows that it can be a vicious cycle, because lack of sleep is causing a migraine, which in turn causes poor sleep. Sometimes it may appear that you’re getting enough sleep, based on the number of hours you spend in bed. But if you’re waking up with a migraine, feeling run down and unrested, there’s a good chance that the quality of your sleep was poor.

If you’re experiencing poor sleep and migraines, it’s always a good idea to speak with your health practitioner. That being said, here are a few simple strategies you can employ to improve your sleep quality …

Experiment with Sleep Length
If getting five or six hours of sleep has you waking up with a migraine, you might need to get to bed (or stay in bed) an extra hour or two. On the flip side, if you’re getting nine or ten hours of solid sleep, but waking up with a migraine, try getting up an hour or two earlier.

Avoid Electronic Devices Before Bed
We know, easier said than done. But if you’re not sleeping well, isn’t it worth missing an hour of email, Facebook or your favorite game in exchange for a good night’s sleep?

Establish a Pre-sleep Routine
The more ritualistic you make your pre-sleep routine, the more meditative and calming it can become. It’s not just about what time you brush your teeth and what time you go to bed. It’s also about what you’re doing in those in-between moments.

Get Meditative & Mindful
Continuing on our previous point, things like deep breaths, reading a calming book or listening to soothing music can help put you in a more Zen-like state that’s more sleep friendly. Meditation and listening to binaural beats is also very effective.

Darken Your Bedroom
Get rid of night lights, and make sure your blinds and curtains block out most or all of the light emanating from outside.

Implement Standard Sleep Hours
Go to sleep and get up at the same time as much as possible. Once you’ve created a consistent routine, your body will have an easier time sleeping. This includes weekends!

If You Nap, Keep it Short
Naps should last between 15-30 minutes. Longer times may affect your sleep at night.

Avoid Late Night Stimulants
Stay away from coffee, soda or anything caffeinated. It’s also a good idea to refrain from intense exercise late at night. Heavy meals, alcohol and nicotine are also stimulants that can disrupt your sleep.

Become a Fan of Your Ceiling Fan
It’s a great way to create a natural sound dampener, which masks distracting noises during the night.

Check Medications
Some drugs can interfere with sleep. If you’re unsure, speak with your health practitioner to see what the side effects are regarding your medications.

Use a Supportive Pillow
As the makers of the Natural Comfort Pillow, we know how important a role your pillow plays in the quality of your sleep. A supportive pillow can help reduce the neck joint and muscle “triggers” that can pre-empt a true migraine. Learn more about how our pillow can help you sleep better.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow. We hope these tips help reduce your migraines and improve your sleep!

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia and neck and shoulder painIf you suffer from insomnia, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be. Of course, everyone experiences a restless night here and there, but when it’s constant the need for a solution becomes critical to one’s overall health and happiness. Let’s clearly define what insomnia is, and in doing so help you determine whether or not you might be suffering from it.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 30 percent of adults experience sleep disruption of some kind, and insomnia is more common than you may think.

Insomnia sufferers fall into two main categories: those who have difficulty falling asleep, and those who have difficulty staying asleep. Adults who struggle with insomnia may also wake up several times each night, or wake up too early in the morning feeling tired.

In addition, insomnia may only occur occasionally, or can be an ongoing problem.

Acute Insomnia does not last long. It typically occurs in association with a stressful or big event, like a job change, job loss, final exam or getting married. And although many people experience this type of insomnia, it often resolves itself without any formal treatment.

Chronic insomnia typically occurs a minimum of three nights per week for a minimum of three months. There are many factors that can cause chronic insomnia, including unhealthy sleep habits, 2nd or 3rd shift work, certain types of medication, as well as neck and shoulder pain. Sufferers of chronic insomnia can often benefit from treatment that addresses the underlying causes of their sleep disorder.

Common Insomnia Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood disturbances
  • Decreased performance in work or at school

Common Causes of Insomnia

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Poor sleep habits like watching TV in bed
  • Stimulants like tobacco, caffeine and alcohol
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Let’s take a closer look at that last point — neck and shoulder pain. This can have many causes, including overexertion, stress, your pillow and your mattress.

Many people don’t realize that using a non-supportive pillow can be detrimental to spine alignment. In addition, a non-supportive pillow can also cause muscles in the neck and shoulders to tense up causing pain and stiffness, which can lead to insomnia.

The Natural Comfort Pillow can help with both of these issues. Whether you’re a back- or side-lying sleeper, our pillow supports your neck and aligns your spine, helping your body’s muscles relax instead of tense up — helping you sleep better and wake up more refreshed (and less stiff).

Learn more about how our pillow helps with insomnia, as well as how it can relieve neck pain and shoulder pain.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Could Sleep Disorders Cause ADHD Behavior in Kids?

Could Sleep Disorders Cause ADHD Behavior in KidsDid you know that children who experience poor sleep can exhibit symptoms very similar to ADHD? Over the years, many studies have been performed linking ADHD to poor sleep patterns. But more recent studies suggest there are some cases where poor sleep patterns are causing behaviors that at first glance appear to be ADHD. Let’s examine this more closely and look at ways to help children sleep better — whether they have ADHD or not …

Children who consistently experience lack of sleep typically exhibit the following symptoms:

A decrease in …

  • Performance
  • Reaction time
  • Ability to concentrate
  • Absorption or processing of information

An increase in …

  • Irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Memory lapses
  • Being accident or injury prone
  • Behavior problems and acting out
  • Impulsive behavior

If you’re thinking these symptoms sound almost identical to those of ADHD, you’re correct. In the medical profession, ADHD has gotten so much attention that it has a tendency to dominate conversations, as well as diagnosis. And since the symptoms are so similar, it’s very easy to mis-diagnose sleep deprivation as ADHD.

In many ways, this is a very similar conundrum as to what came first: the chicken or the egg? In some cases, sleeplessness can cause ADHD symptoms, while in other cases ADHD can cause sleeplessness. And although our blog can’t diagnose a definitive answer as to what a particular child’s symptoms actually mean, we felt it was important to raise awareness about the similarities between these two conditions to help spark conversation between parents and pediatricians.

According to Parenting magazine, “experts believe many kids are actually misdiagnosed as having ADHD when the problem is really a sleep disorder like sleep apnea (in which a child stops breathing and wakes several times throughout the night) or restless leg syndrome (where the legs jerk randomly and wake a child up) … If you suspect your child may have ADHD, it’s wise to get him or her assessed for sleep problems as well. Even if ADHD is the correct diagnosis, having your child sleep longer and more soundly will likely help manage her behavior.”

“Sleep deprivation can cause daytime hyperactivity and decrease
in focused attention. This can be mistaken for ADHD or other
behavior disorders.” — National Institutes of Health

Signs that your child may not be sleeping well:

  • He or she does not wake up “spontaneously” in the morning. In other words, it typically takes multiple attempts to have them wake up
  • Oversleeping that causes rushed or missed breakfast
  • Sluggish, sleepy behavior (in school or at home)
  • Trouble concentrating or completing tasks
  • Daytime irritability
  • Falling asleep in the afternoon once home from school

If your child is having trouble sleeping, the Natural Comfort Pillow may help
In addition to seeking assistance from your pediatrician, there’s a good chance our pillow can help your child sleep better. Whether the issue is ADHD, or sleep deprivation, the goal is to help your child get more rest.

Our pillow is made to work for both children and adults. One side of the pillow has bolsters that accommodate larger individuals, while the other is made for smaller individuals including children. Learn more.

Thank you for visiting the Natural Comfort Pillow blog!


Decreasing Migraines by Improving Neck & Shoulder Health

Neck and Shoulder Pain ReductionIn a recent article, we talked about reducing migraines through diet. This week, we’re going to focus on simple ways to reduce neck and shoulder pain, which often leads to decreased migraines — not to mention a better quality of life. But first, let’s take a quick look at some common causes of neck and shoulder pain …

Common Causes of Neck & Shoulder Pain

  • Stress or tension, which causes compression of spinal nerves (known as a “pinched nerve”)
  • Arthritis
  • A herniated disk
  • Muscle strain caused by overuse (sports- or labor-related)
  • Any kind trauma injury
  • Shoulder instability (joint slippage in and out of sockets)
  • Poor posture when sitting or standing
  • Spinal misalignment when sleeping (caused by use of a non-supportive pillow)  

Reducing Neck & Shoulder Pain
One of the easiest ways realize better neck and shoulder health is by using a supportive pillow. In addition to reducing pain, a supportive pillow can also help you sleep better. This combination of proper support, which aligns the spine, and better sleep is a highly effective way to reduce migraine occurrences.

How Our Pillow Helps

  • For Back-lying Sleepers: A multi-bolster system, created by leading Australian physiotherapists, cradles the neck for proper spine alignment
  • For Side-lying Sleepers: The non-bolster side of our pillow supports your shoulder while maintaining spinal alignment
  • With proper spine alignment, your muscles are in a position where they can relax, instead of being tensed up, which helps decrease the occurrence of pain and migraines
  • Migraines are often triggered by a poor night’s sleep; using a pillow that reduces pain can go a long way in helping you sleep better 

Additional Ways to Reduce Neck & Shoulder Pain
Speaking with your doctor is always a good idea when addressing chronic neck or shoulder pain. Seeing a licensed massage therapist, physical therapist, or a chiropractor are also smart strategies. When choosing one of these specialized health professionals, look for experience and a proven track record, as opposed to who’s offering the best price. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Stretching and exercise are also two options that help reduce neck and shoulder pain. But if you’re in pain, it may be difficult to stretch or exercise without causing more pain. Again, forming a plan with a health professional can assist in helping you feel better, while avoiding further injury or pain.

Aerobic conditioning is often an excellent way to help the neck and shoulders loosen up, reduce pain and increase range of motion. This occurs because aerobic activity increases blood flow to the muscles and soft tissues of the neck and upper back (your whole body, actually). It also helps release endorphins (after approximately 30 minutes of aerobic activity), which naturally reduce pain in the body.

We hope these strategies help reduce pain and improve the quality of your life!

Learn more about how our pillow can help with neck pain and shoulder pain.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Do You Have Sleep ApneaDid you know that approximately 22 million people are believed to suffer from some form of sleep apnea — either mild, moderate or severe? If you believe you fall into any of these categories, you might want to review the following criteria that can help you determine whether or not you should seek the help of a medical professional. Indicators of sleep apnea include how often you snore, and how easy it is for you to doze off during the day, among other things.

Before we take a deeper look at indicators, let’s get started by reviewing the three different types of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
This is the most frequently seen form of sleep apnea, which typically occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat relaxes while a person is sleeping. Relaxed soft tissue can block a person’s airway, in varying degrees, and can be a cause of snoring.

Central Sleep Apnea
Far less common than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea is connected to the central nervous system and occurs when a person’s brain doesn’t properly communicate with the muscles that control breathing. Snoring is NOT a symptom of this type of sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep Apnea
This is a combination of the two types of sleep apnea mentioned above.


Since you’re sleeping, self-diagnosis is not an easy task. If you have a significant other, calling upon their assistance, and documentation of what occurs, can prove helpful. You can also record yourself while you sleep and review yourself. 

  • Very loud snoring (a typical symptom of obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Pauses in-between snoring, followed by choking and/or gasps
  • Severe daytime sleepiness, also referred to as hypersomnia
  • Falling asleep easily during the day when you’re not active
  • Temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping
  • Waking up abruptly, accompanied by a discernable shortness of breath (typical with central sleep apnea)
  • Recurring morning headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Concentration, memory or learning problems

The Natural Comfort Pillow Can Help
Did you know that our pillow can help relieve obstructed sleep apnea symptoms? In addition, it’s incredibly comfortable and hypoallergenic! Find out more.

Please be advised that if you suspect you have any form of sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Reducing Migraines Through Diet

Reducing Migraines Through DietAnyone who’s ever experienced a migraine knows how debilitating it can be.

In addition to consulting with your doctor, there are many simple, safe things you can try that may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Today we’d like to focus on diet — specifically how what we eat and drink can affect our migraines.

Let’s examine what types of foods and drinks can help reduce migraines, as well as some of the things a migraine sufferer should avoid.

Help Prevent Migraines by Eating the Following:

Also known as B2, riboflavin has been shown to help reduce the occurrence of migraines dramatically. A healthy daily intake is somewhere around 400mg. You’ll find vitamin B2 in crimini mushrooms, asparagus, low-fat milk, spinach, calf liver and quinoa. It can take up to 2-3 months of taking enough riboflavin daily before you notice any real difference in the frequency and severity of your migraines.

Similar to riboflavin, many people are magnesium deprived and don’t know it. Raising your daily intake to about 450mg per day can help put migraines at bay. Spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources of magnesium, as are bananas, sunflower seeds and sweet potatoes. Magnesium is also a key ingredient in keeping blood vessels functioning normally.

Found predominantly in cold-water fish like halibut, salmon, tuna and sardines, omega-3 fatty acids have an array of benefits for the body — including improved heart, skin and brain health. With improved brain health comes diminished migraines. Don’t worry, if you’re not a fish person you can also get your daily dose of omegas from non-fish sources like flax seeds. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a quality product like Udo’s Choice Omega 3-6-9 blend, which can be found in gel tab and liquid form.

You’ve probably heard that an adult’s body is made up of 50-65% water. Like everything else we’ve mentioned so far, many people don’t get enough of it. When our bodies are dehydrated, headaches and migraines can occur. It’s important to stay hydrated through out the day, but if you feel a migraine coming on grab a refreshing glass of water or two and see if it helps.

Help Prevent Migraines by Avoiding the Following:

High amounts of salt can induce a migraine. Once you start reading food labels, you may find high concentrations of salt in places you didn’t expect. Soups are notorious for having high amounts of salt (also called sodium), but did you know even a can of soda contains salt? Become label savvy and you just might get less migraines.

Aside from being bad for your heart and arteries, too many “bad” fats like cholesterol and triglycerides can sometimes cause an increase in migraines. Reduce intake for overall improved health.

I’m a coffee lover, but I’ve experienced first hand how too much coffee can cause a migraine. Some studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee, in small amounts, can actually stay off a headache. The key words here are “small amounts.” In larger quantities, caffeine of any kind can bring on a migraine, sometimes incredibly quickly.

Many red wines contain sulfites, which are preservatives that have been linked to migraines. If you notice that you’re frequently getting headaches after a glass of red wine, it’s quite possible the wine is the cause.

Keep a Food Diary

This is a critical component in figuring out what helps, and what triggers migraines. I had found that a glass of wine with dinner, followed by a cup of coffee was a migraine-inducing combination. I’ve also known people that got migraines whenever they ate bacon (high sodium) and chocolate at the same time. With a food diary, you’ll quickly be able to discern what foods are helping or hurting your body, making it easier to make dietary changes that can improve your life.

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Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

What Does Formula One Racing Have in Common with Your Pillow?

Therapeutic & Supportive PillowYou may be wondering, what could Formula One Racing possibly have in common with your pillow? The answer to this question depends on what type of pillow you use. If you’re using a typical, department store pillow, probably nothing. But if you’re using a therapeutic pillow, the connection between one of the fastest moving sports in the world and the restful slumber of sleep becomes clear — it’s all about support.

Let’s examine the similarities between some of the gear used in Formula One racing, specifically the driver’s seat and the Head and Neck Support (HANS) system, and the Natural Comfort Pillow.

Formula One Gear that Supports the Head, Neck & Spine

Did you know that those little tiny cockpits in Formula One racecars contain a custom-made seat? At their core, they’re made of a single piece of plastic for the strongest possible support. The next step is adding a custom-made seat cover that’s crafted to fit the exact shape of each driver — it actually molds perfectly around their bodies! This offers stability when driving, as well as support for the entire back.

While the spine is supported by the custom seat, the neck and head are supported and protected by the HANS system. This system includes a carbon fiber shoulder collar that sits under a driver’s safety belts, and is securely connected to his or her helmet with elastic straps. If impact occurs, the straps reduce head movement preventing vertebrae from stretching, and the collar absorbs and redistributes force away from the driver’s skull and neck muscles.

How Our Pillow Supports Your Head Neck & Spine

While the products mentioned above support a person when they’re driving fast, our pillow helps get you up to speed for your day. Speaking of driving, did you know you can use our pillow in the car? Just sit it vertically on our backrest, and the pillow will mould to your back — supporting it much like a custom Formula One seat!

As far as sleeping is concerned, consistently using a supportive pillow like the Natural Comfort Pillow can help with a variety of issues including:

  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • TMJ
  • Migranes

Support for Back- and Side-sleepers

Here’s a quick overview on how our pillow works for both back- and side-sleepers. Feel free to visit our How this Pillow Helps page for more info.

Neck Pain Relief Back-Lying & Sleeping

Neck Pain Relief Side-Lying & Sleeping

We understand that when you’re sleeping, you’re not risking your life like a Formula One driver does during a race. The question is, by sleeping on an inferior pillow, how are you affecting your life negatively by not addressing issues lie insomnia or neck pain?

We created the Natural Comfort Pillow because we want to help people lead happier healthier lives. We also want you to be as successful as possible. Being well rested, and reducing pain can make a big difference in the amount of success each of us enjoys.

Since our pillow has an unconditional money-back guarantee, there’s no risk involved in giving it a try. All we ask is that you use the Natural Comfort Pillow for at least 30 days to see how it can improve your quality of life.

Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Regulating Your Sleep-wake Cycle for a Better Night’s Rest

Regulating Your Sleep-Wake Cycle for a Better Night's SleepDo you know if you have a healthy sleep-wake cycle? In our tech-centric world, many people don’t. The good news is there are easy ways to make a positive impact on your sleep-wake cycle, which can help you produce melatonin when it’s time for bed, as opposed to during the middle of your day.

Let’s define what melatonin is, and examine some of the ways you can better control when it’s released in you body.

What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s controlled within the body by light exposure, and it’s a key element in the regulation of a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Our brains typically secrete more melatonin in the evening when it becomes dark outside, making us sleepy. During the day, less melatonin is released because of daylight, causing us to be more awake and alert.

Modern-day Disruptions
These days, many people work in an office where there is no direct exposure to daylight. No windows means no sunlight, which can lead to more production of melatonin during the day. This is why so many people experience mid-day drowsiness. Then, when it’s dark outside, our eyes and brains get bombarded by the artificial light of televisions, computers and mobile devices — which can suppress our body’s production of melatonin and make it harder to sleep.

So as you can see, with the advent of modern culture and technology, we’ve got our sleep cycles pretty confused.

How to Reset Your Sleep-wake Cycle
Simple, effective strategies to get your sleep-wake cycle back on track include increasing your exposure to natural light during the day, and decreasing your exposure to light before you go to bed.

Ways to increase your exposure to light during the day:

  • Remove sunglasses, especially in the morning
  • Spend more time outside during the day. Take a walk during one of your breaks, or simply go outside and get some sunshine.
  • Exercise outdoors, or try walking your dog during the day instead of the night.
  • Fill your home or workspace with as much light as possible. Open those curtains and blinds! Moving your desk closer to a window is also an effective way to increase alertness.
  • If you don’t have access to natural light, try a light therapy box. It can simulate sunshine and is especially helpful during the winter when daylight is in short supply.

Ways to boost melatonin production at night:

  • Decide what time you want to go to sleep. If bedtime is 11pm, be sure to turn off all electronic devices by 10pm. At first, this may be difficult. Many of us have formed strong habits around these devices, so be kind to yourself as you develop new, healthier habits. In addition to lowering melatonin production, these devices can actually stimulate the mind, making you feel “wired,” even after a long day.
  • Wind down you day with an audio book, an actual book, meditation, or by listening to music.
  • If all of your books are electronic, and you must read on your mobile device, set the background to “night mode,” which essentially makes the background black and the text white.
  • Change out bright light bulbs with softer ones with lower wattage — especially in your bedroom.
  • When you go to bed, make sure your room is dark. The darker your bedroom, the better chance you have of sleeping well. To darken the room, cover electronic displays, use heavy curtains, or try a sleep mask.

We hope these tips help you have more productive days, and more restful nights.

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Thank you for visiting Natural Comfort Pillow!

Managing Stress for Better Sleep

Managing Stress for Better SleepIt’s no surprise to anybody that stress is part of life. And although we can’t always control the events that cause stress or anxiety to manifest in our lives, we can control how we respond. Finding ways to manage stress is a critical factor to leading a happier, healthier life. It can also be the deciding factor as to whether or not we sleep well on a regular basis. Let’s take a look at a handful of ways to manage stress — including meditation, exercise and mindfulness.

Meditation comes in many forms. Let’s examine two simple, effective ways to mediate that can be accomplished in as little as three minutes.

First, let’s turn to your smart phone. recently posted an article that details the top 17 meditation apps of 2014 for your Android or iPhone. Two of our favorites are Mindfulness and Mindful, which are very effective and only ask for 3-5 minutes of your time to complete a meditation.

Our second suggestion is much more low tech. Simply find a place in your home where it’s quiet and you can have some privacy. Sit comfortably, with your legs crossed (if possible) and your back straight. You can also sit in a chair if you find it more comfortable. Light a candle, and simply stare at it while you take slow, deliberate breaths. Breathe deeply through your nose into your stomach, and exhale completely through your mouth. At first, you may find that it feels impossible to sit still for even five minutes. But with a little practice, meditating in this way can be quite rewarding. An important tip is to try and clear your mind while you’re performing your meditation. That being said, if a thought enters your mind that’s totally OK, just let it pass as best you can and refocus on your breathing.

There’s often a preconceived notion that exercise needs to involve immense amounts of effort. Not true. Even a 10-minute walk around the block at lunchtime is good exercise for your body, and can lower your stress. Bring that deep breathing into your walk for increased meditative benefits. Of course, if you prefer running, yoga, biking, weightlifting or some other form of physical activity, go for it! Doing something you enjoy is far better than doing something you feel you “should” do. The point of exercise is to de-stress, not add stress to your day.

Mindfulness is defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, etc. In our tech-centric, fast paced world, it’s sometimes difficult to me mindful. Instead, our thoughts often focus on what’s next on our to-do list — even while we’re still currently working on a task. The best way to stop this cycle is to take a minute or two every few hours to focus on your breath. The simple act of focusing on taking slow, deep breaths is a form of mindfulness, and can help lower stress. While you’re taking these breaths, note how your body feels in the moment, and what your surroundings look like. Can you feel your muscles, and your brain, relaxing a bit?

Thank you for visiting My Better Spine. We hope these tips help reduce your stress.

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