Tuesday, September 25, 2018

#LifeHacks: Eight Tips That Promote Healthy Sleep Routines

Get A Good Night's Sleep

Sleep hygiene may sound unimaginative, but it just may be the best way to get the sleep you need in this 24/7 age. Here are eight simple tips for making the sleep of your dreams a nightly reality:

1) Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep

 As any coffee lover knows, caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake. So, avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, smokers should refrain from using tobacco products too close to bedtime.

 Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night. It is therefore best to limit alcohol consumption to one to two drinks per day, or less, and to avoid drinking within three hours of bedtime.

2) Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment

 A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound slumber. To achieve such an environment, lower the volume of outside noise with earplugs or a "white noise" appliance. Keep the temperature comfortably cool—between 60 and 75°F—and the room well ventilated. And make sure your bedroom is equipped with a comfortable mattress and pillows. (Remember that most mattresses wear out after ten years.)

 Also, if a pet regularly wakes you during the night, you may want to consider keeping it out of your bedroom.

 It may help to limit your bedroom activities to sleep. Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

3) Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine

 Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down—and then putting them aside.

4) Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher

 Staring at a clock in your bedroom, either when you are trying to fall asleep or when you wake in the middle of the night, can actually increase stress, making it harder to fall asleep. Turn your clock’s face away from you.

And if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep in about 20 minutes, get up and engage in a quiet, restful activity such as reading or listening to music. And keep the lights dim; bright light can stimulate your internal clock. When your eyelids are drooping and you are ready to sleep, return to bed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

#LifeHacks: Three Resources Every Resident Should Know

Apartment residents are familiar with this scene: it's move in day, and a once empty apartment is now filled with boxes, furniture, and more.  Now is the time to decorate and personalize the apartment!  But where to start?  And how to make the space both organized and unique?

Residents looking for apartment specific decor and cleaning #lifehacks can always read this blog for tips and ideas.  But, residents may want additional advice.  This week, Apartment Resident #LifeHacks wanted to feature several additional online resources specifically for renters:

Apartments.com blog: The Apartments.com blog features regular posts about apartment decor and organization specifically for renters.  The blog also details money saving advice and moving strategies for those looking to relocate to an apartment community.

Apartment Guide Blog: The Apartment Guide blog features weekly posts about topics such as moving into apartment communities, decorating various floorplan options, and cleaning appliances and features in apartments.

Apartment Therapy: Apartment Therapy is an online resource that focuses on decor and design tips for apartment residents.  The tips featured in this blog span across a variety of topics such as "DIY" design strategies and ideas to decorate studio apartments.  Apartment Therapy also runs an active Pinterest page with additional design ideas.  

Are other digital resources great for apartment residents?  Let us know in the comments!

Apartment Resident #LifeHacks was created in 2018 by Grady Management, Inc.  Grady Management was founded in 1965 and continues to provide a full service residential, commercial, and consulting real estate firm in the greater Washington and Baltimore metropolitan area.  Learn more from our website or Facebook page.