As April shifts to May, the days are getting longer—which can affect sleep—and more people are spending time outdoors. This week, we explore experimental ways to sleep as well as learn how to stay healthy when enjoying outdoor activities.
Can sleeping like a Victorian improve your life?
Some historians and sleep scientists are questioning our culture’s emphasis on a rigid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Research shows that throughout human history—including Victorian times—it was considered normal to go to sleep at dark and wake up for an hour or 2 in the middle of the night. Experimenting with a “2-phase sleep”—sleeping 4-5 hours, waking up for 1-2 hours, then dozing until morning—has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce frustration of people who struggle with insomnia. Just don’t use electronic screens during the waking period or you’ll never get back to sleep!
Can noise pollution be bad for your heart?
Recent research shows that noise pollution is not just annoying but can also be hazardous to your health. Studies show that anything at or above 65 decibels—approximately the same noise level as an air conditioner—can trigger an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones in the blood. Chronic exposure to noise pollution can increase risk of heart disease and other stress related ailments. To reduce risk and stress levels, try wearing ear plugs or spending time in quiet environments like libraries and parks that aren’t near major roads. Take our quiz of the day to learn more about how noise pollution can affect your health.
Swinging strong on National Golf Day
Hitting the links to celebrate National Golf Day on April 25 is a lot more fun with strong and healthy shoulders. Common shoulder injuries—such as rotator cuff strains—can happen if internal and external rotators of the shoulder are tight. Try using a lacrosse ball to break up fascial adhesions and help loosen up these muscles. Strengthening the shoulder stabilizer muscles can also help prevent injury. Exercises such as dumbbell shoulder presses, lateral raises, and push-ups can help keep shoulders strong and functional. To maximize your swinging potential, always include an upper body warm-up before starting a round and work on keeping form strict.
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