Reasons-you-may-be-waking-up-tired

Wellness |

5 Reasons You’re Always Feeling Tired

3 minute read

Feeling tired is almost guaranteed after pulling an all-nighter, or waking up with a crying baby multiple times a night. But hopefully those are exceptions, not the norm for weeks and months.

If you’re waking up after a full night’s sleep and still feeling tired, you might not be getting the quality sleep you think you are.

Reasons Why You’re Feeling Tired

The Wrong Bedtime

Did you know there is actual truth behind whether you’re an “early bird” or a “night owl” based on your body’s chronotype?

Solutions:

  • Understand your specific biological programming
  • Schedule your work and daily activities around your levels of productivity
  • Sleep when YOUR body is designed to rest

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Diet and exercise have major effects on energy levels regardless of how many hours you’re sleeping at night. Filling your body with the wrong type of fuel throughout your day makes it that much harder for your body to rest and recover overnight.

Solutions:

  • Drink more water
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake
    • No more than one drink per day for women, two for men
    • Stop caffeine intake by 2pm and cut off any alcoholic beverages at least three hours before bedtime
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
    • Avoid foods with simple carbs and sugars – alcohol, refined grains, processed food
    • Focus on foods rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients – fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Proteins, Dairy
  • Exercise to increase energy

 Blue Light Exposure

It should come as no surprise that screen time has increased our exposure to blue light, particularly after lights out. Blue wavelengths are useful during the day, promoting energy and attention. But at night, they can alter the production of melatonin, which is part of your body’s natural method for dozing off.

Solutions:

  • Soak up as much bright light as you can during the day
  • Limit screen time starting two to three hours before you plan to go to sleep
  • If the use of electronics is necessary for you during the evening hours, invest in some blue light-blocking glasses

Poor Sleep Environment

The quality of your rest depends largely on your sleep environment. The “Sleep Doctor”, Michael Breus, PhD., says it’s important to focus on all five senses to create the perfect conditions for a good night’s sleep.

Solutions:

  • Sight: A dark bedroom is essential for restful nights. Use blackout curtains and/or sleep masks while sleeping and limit screen time. Use small night lights if you wake up in the middle of the night to avoid turning on any bright lights.
  • Sound: “Focus on eliminating, reducing, and blocking the noises in your bedroom that are disruptive to your sleep” through the use of earplugs, sound machines, and picking the right alarm.
  • Touch: Invest in high-quality sheets, as well as a medium-firm mattress that you replace every 9-10 years.
  • Smell: Open windows, use an air purifier and/or dehumidifier, or try aromatherapy.
  • Taste: Eat the right foods like we mentioned above, don’t eat too much right before bed, but don’t go to bed hungry either. Aim for a small snack about ninety minutes before bed.
  • Plus, Temperature: Typically the best sleep environment is between 60-67°F. This can be difficult to achieve during the warmest and coldest times of the year, but it’s easier with a programmable thermostat. Set the best temperature for each time of day to save energy and find the most comfortable environment for sleep.

Sleep Disorder

If you’ve tried all of the above and are still having a hard time getting a restful night’s sleep, it might be a bigger issue than the thread count of your sheets. There are several sleep disorders that can interfere with the quality of your sleep: Sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, bruxism (teeth grinding), and the list goes on.

Solutions:

  • Sleep disorders need to be diagnosed and treated by your healthcare provider, and you will most likely need to go in for a sleep study.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25469597

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

https://www.healthline.com/health/waking-up-tired-2

https://thesleepdoctor.com/2018/07/29/6-reasons-you-wake-up-tired-after-a-full-night-of-sleep/

https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/10-scientific-reasons-youre-tired-after-a-good-nights-sleep

https://www.healthline.com/health/balanced-diet#what-to-eat

Tips-for-deep-cleaning-your-home

Healthy Home |

Deep Cleaning Tips for Your Home

2 minute read

Home in need of a deep cleaning? Wondering where to start?

This might not be the answer you want to hear, but the first, and most important, step to getting a thoroughly clean home is actually to declutter it. Decluttering and organizing go a long way to assist your deep cleaning efforts. After all, you can’t clean a kitchen counter that’s covered in junk, can you?

Once all the clutter is cleared, it’s time to get cleaning. Follow these room-by-room tips to get that sparkling clean home you’re dreaming of. (Bonus if you can involve the kids in a contest of who can cross off the most tasks!)

Deep Cleaning Tips: Room-by-Room

Bathrooms

  • Wipe down cabinets, mirrors, light fixtures, wall decor, and window treatments
  • Wash bath mats and shower curtains in the washing machine
  • Scrub down showers/tubs, sinks, countertops, and toilets
  • Disinfect door knobs and handles

Kitchen

  • Wipe down the tops of cabinets and insides of all cabinets, shelves, and drawers
  • Wash windows and window treatments
  • Clean each major appliance in detail: refrigerator, oven, microwave, and dishwasher
    • Wipe down inside and surface area
    • Vacuum behind and underneath
  • Disinfect sink
  • Wipe down cleared countertops

Bedrooms

  • Dust/wipe down all surfaces
    • Ceiling fans
    • Window, window sills, mirrors
    • Headboards, footboards, bedposts, baseboards
  • Wash all bed linens, including bed skirts, shams, duvet covers, mattress pads, and pillows
  • Flip or rotate mattress
  • Vacuum and/or mop under bed and dressers focusing on baseboards and corners that often get neglected

Common Areas

  • Wipe down light fixtures, window treatments, and ceiling fans
  • Remove all couch and chair cushions and vacuum each one as well as the space underneath
  • Polish wooden furniture
  • Shampoo rugs/carpets
  • Dust all shelves, decor, and electronics

Laundry/ Mud Rooms

  • Wipe down shelves, hooks, countertops
  • Store or discard/sell/donate unused items
  • Wipe down washer and dryer
  • Sanitize your washing machine
  • Vacuum lint trap filter, dryer vent, underneath and behind appliances

Entire Home

  • Clean moldings/baseboards
  • Clean air vents and ducts
  • Wash windows

Outside

  • Pull any weeds that have sprouted in your landscaping, lawn, or garden
  • Spray down all outdoor furniture, decks, porches, swing sets
  • Sweep off patios, decks, and/or outdoor porches
  • Cover up the air conditioner for the winter

Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about deep cleaning on your own, our professionals offer an annual clean and check to ensure that all your home air systems are clean and running properly. Nothing says a clean home quite like clean air.

Sources:
https://www.merrymaids.com/cleaning-tips/tidy-home/how-to-deep-clean-your-house/

https://www.care.com/c/stories/14975/deep-cleaning-house/

https://dengarden.com/cleaning/How-to-Deep-Clean-Your-House-in-7-Days

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How-meditation-can-improve-your-life

Healthy Air | Wellness |

Health Benefits of Meditation

< 1 minute read

Meditation is an amazing tool that everyone can use to improve their mental and emotional health.

Not only are there a variety of styles to cater to individual strengths and personal gains, but meditation is something you can do anywhere without any special equipment.

Find the method that works for you and try to practice it regularly. It can be as simple as breathing in and out of your nose, or taking the time to close your eyes while free of distractions.

There are literally hundreds of benefits to meditation, but we are going to focus on four main categories of wellness that come from meditating.

Primary Health Benefits of Meditation

Mental Health Benefits

  • Mindfulness practices can decrease depression
  • Help regulate mood and anxiety
  • Reduces overall stress and anxiety

Performance Benefits

  • Improves focus, attention, and ability to perform under stressful conditions
  • Improves information processing and decision making
  • Fosters creativity

Physical Health Benefits

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and premature death

Relational Health Benefits

  • Improves levels of compassion
  • Improves positive relationships
  • Fosters social connectedness

Your health is further affected by your environment, including your home, your workplace, and wherever you choose to meditate.

Just be sure you’re not cancelling out all the health benefits of meditating by breathing in polluted air. The EPA warns that both the air inside and outside your home can contain air pollutants that cause serious health effects.

So before you start the beneficial deep breathing, learn how to best to maintain your Indoor Air Quality. Then find a quiet place, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and let your mind do the rest.

Sources:

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/B:COTR.0000045557.15923.96
  2. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2006.12.817
  3. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.149.7.936
  4. http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2008914,00.html
  5. https://newsroom.ucla.edu/
  6. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00116/full
  7. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.112.967406
  8. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2008.0416
  9. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07764-x.pdf?origin=ppub
  10. https://www.healthcentral.com/article/meditation-good-for-loneliness-depression-and-disease-prevention
  11. http://ccare.stanford.edu/article/enhancing-compassion-a-randomized-controlled-trial-of-a-compassion-cultivation-training/
  12. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004093504.htm
  13.  https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-13989-015 
  14. https://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/
  15. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#section13
  16. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=3066

It’s Time to Care About Healthy Air
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Tips for kids heading back to school.

Archive |

Tips for Parents for Back to School

2 minute read

Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to tighten up your routines for the start of the school year.

Tips for parents for kids heading back to school from summer break

Move up Bedtime for kids heading back to school

Staying up late is one of the best things about summer, but getting kids on a healthy sleep routine in time for school is crucial to their success. Start moving your child’s bedtime up by fifteen minutes at a time until they are going to bed at an appropriate time for at least two full weeks prior to the first day of school. Blackout shades are a great tool for those first several weeks when the sun might still be up when it’s bedtime.

Less Screen Time for kids heading back to school

Mr. Kadow, who has been teaching third grade in Southeast Wisconsin for the past six years, recommends that parents, “Start to limit screen time now.” Getting kids undigitized will help them concentrate at school, and help them make better use of their free time. Set up restrictions and expectations as a family using a No Screen Time Until Checklist.

Get Organized for kids heading back to school

Parents and kids, alike, will benefit from a little organization. After seven years as a high school English teacher, Miss Sheppard from Midwest Wisconsin suggests, “Start and stay organized. It’s much easier to get yourself organized at the beginning of the year than part way through. ”

Try some of these ideas for scheduling and homework organization:

  • Hold a weekly family meeting to share activities for the week
  • Hang a calendar schedule to manage all the activities
  • Have kids choose a personal scheduling tool that excites them
  • Establish a designated homework station so kids have a place to work on assignments when they get home. Aim to provide all the supplies they’ll need and a calming environment

Improving Brain Power for kids heading back to school

Summer diets tend to include an increase in “junk food” that can leave them feeling sluggish or wired, neither of which are ideal for a classroom environment. A balanced diet is crucial for a child’s ability to concentrate and learn.

  • Breakfast
    • Aim for a healthy breakfast made up of complex carbohydrates and protein to fuel your child for their day ahead. Fruit can add some additional vitamins and minerals.
  • Lunch
    • It’s a great system to let kids help pack their balanced lunch the night before. Not only does that help with staying organized, but it ensures your child will have a healthy meal that they will actually eat.
  • Snack
    • A nutritious snack after school is the perfect fuel kids need to focus on their homework or after-school activities.

Sources:
https://www.care.com/c/stories/3192/101-back-to-school-tips-for-kids-and-parents/

https://therahealth.com.au/tips-for-heading-back-to-school/

Healthy-Alternatives-for-your-family-BBQ

Wellness |

Healthy Alternatives For Your Family BBQ

< 1 minute read

Summer often feels like one giant vacation. From the pool parties, to the family reunions, to the neighborhood block parties. But all of those summer soirées can become an all-you-can-eat buffet of some not-so-healthy choices. Here are some delicious alternatives for a healthy family BBQ.

Option 1: Lean Protein

Choosing grilled chicken or fish over red meat or sausages is a great way to cut fat and calories at your family BBQ without sacrificing the flavor.

Option 2: Rethink the Bun

When a burger, brat, or hotdog are your only options, opting for no bun is a great way to cut back on refined carbohydrates. Or, try one of these low-carb alternatives to the classic white bun.

Option 3: Veggie Noodle Substitutes

These are another low-carb healthy alternatives to some of your favorite pasta salads at your family BBQ.

Option 4: Fruit for Dessert

Is it even a BBQ without dessert? Grilling fresh fruit caramelizes its natural sugar, making it the perfect sweet treat for your BBQ.

Simple Swaps

No matter your diet or lifestyle, your outdoor parties can be guilt-free when you make these simple substitutions.

Here are a few more honorable mentions:

  • Fresh Veggies > Potato Chips
  • Green Salad > Creamy Coleslaw
  • Baked Beans > Potato Salad
  • Fresh Iced Tea > Soda or other sugary drinks
Preparing your family for emergencies

Family |

Making a Family Emergency Plan

2 minute read

Though we don’t like to think about it, disaster can strike without a moment’s notice. And the best way to keep your family safe is to be prepared. A Family Emergency Plan is a great tool to ensure your family is on the same page and remains safe and calm in the face of an emergency.

What to Include in a Family Emergency Plan

Safety Zones

This begins with a knowledge and understanding of the types of disasters that can affect your area.

  • Evacuation Route: As a family, go through each room in your house and determine the quickest and safest way to escape that room in the case of an emergency.
  • Shelter Plan – Pick a few spots to cover different situations.

i. One inside your home (in case of earthquake or tornado)
ii. One outside your home (in case of fire)
iii. One location out of town (in case of severe weather or evacuation)

Communication Plan

This should include how each member of your family will receive local emergency alerts (TV, text, radio, etc.) and a means of keeping in contact with one another.

Be sure to have a list of emergency numbers posted in your home and/or saved in your cell phones for easy access.

  • Numbers for each family member (work, school, childcare)
  • Police Station/Fire Department/Hospital
  • Poison Control
  • Out-of-town emergency contact to reach and check in with during a disaster situation

Disaster Supply Kit

A kit is a convenient way to have everything you need in one place in case of evacuation or emergency. This kit should include basic necessities to help your family survive on your own for at least 72 hours and should also include important documents that you would need to take with you.

The Department of Homeland Security gives instructions on how to build a kit that is customizable for your family.

  • Review your kit once a year to replace expired or broken items
  • Tailor your kit to your family’s specific needs (pets, seniors, infants)

Once you have your Family Emergency Plan in place, make sure you write it down in detail and practice, practice, practice. Twice per year is a great goal to set to ensure that everyone stays on the same page and feels prepared for any emergency.

Sources:

https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan

https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/family-life/preparing-your-family-for-emergencies/creating-a-family-emergency-plan

https://www.grangeinsurance.com/tips/7-tips-for-creating-a-home-emergency-plan

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Why whole home air systems are a great investment

Healthy Clean Air |

Why Whole-Home Air Systems Are A Great Investment

2 minute read

Your home is a big investment. Whether you plan to live there for five years or you’ve found your lifelong dwelling, you want your home to be the best it can be.

You’ve heard about the value of a kitchen remodel or finishing up the master bathroom. Now it’s time to consider something that can have a big impact on the health and longevity of your home.

Healthy Home = Healthy You

The air inside our homes can be filled with dust mites, pollen, dander, mold, and smoke. These microscopic pollutants contaminate the air we’re breathing.

A clean and well-ventilated home helps to keep those contaminants under control, but nothing maximizes breathability and comfort like a whole-home filtration system.

Here are the top three reasons a whole-home air system is a worthwhile investment that you’ll see the benefits from for years to come.

1. Healthier Air

The main benefit of installing an air purifier is healthier air for you and your family to breathe every single day. An air purifier has germicidal capabilities that allow it to reduce germs and filter out bacteria and viruses, meaning it can lower the risk of respiratory disease, heart problems, and certain types of cancer that have all been linked to air quality.

An air purifier removes up to 99% of toxins in the air. Its ability to remove allergens and contaminants from the air helps eliminate allergy symptoms like congestion, eye irritation, sore throats, and coughing, as well as ease asthma and COPD symptoms, which are worsened by polluted air.

2. Odor Elimination

An added bonus to installing a whole-home air purification system is that it allows your HVAC to remove unpleasant odors from your home related to:

  • Mildew
  • Pets
  • Refrigerators
  • Cooking
  • Bathrooms
  • Smoking

The odors don’t even have time to accumulate because the system is constantly cleaning the air. You’ll notice fresher air, without the need for using potentially costly and harmful spray fresheners or burning candles and incense.

3. Prolonged HVAC System Lifespan

It’s pretty simple. A clean HVAC system will last longer and work more efficiently than one that’s constantly filtering contaminants. Typically this would require regular maintenance and the ability to stay ahead of any potential issues.

However, the installation of an air purification system traps contaminants that would otherwise settle in the HVAC’s filters. You won’t have to replace those as often, and you can wait longer between cleaning the air ducts.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587002/

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/air-cleaners-and-air-filters-home

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180925110030.htm

Let’s Clear the Air
Clean air is Healthy Air, pure and simple.

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