Sleeping Conditions and Health Effects

Your sleeping conditions play a huge role in your overall health. Your overall sleep actually has a large impact on your energy levels, metabolism, physical appearance, and much more. For many sleepers, it’s almost impossible to get a good night’s rest if you are too hot or too cold. Sure, maybe you’re just trying to be money conscious by keeping the temperature as low as possible in the winter or as high as possible in the summer, but your thermostat can actually make or break your slumber. Instead, consult your local HVAC contractor, like Boerne Air Conditioning Experts, for advice on how to properly control the temperature of your home.

Cold Sleeping Conditions

Most science has shown that your sleeping conditions are more beneficial is your are sleeping in cool temperatures—maybe between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit; however, there are some dangers to sleeping in the cold—particularly in the winter, if you are trying to combat the cold. For example, there are some sleepers who believe in using space heaters in their bedrooms during the winter months. This can be extremely dangerous. You should only use a space heater when there is zero chance you’ll fall asleep while they’re operating. If you’re feeling a little chilly and starting to drift off, pile on the blankets instead. Similar to space heaters, it can be worrisome to sleep while you have a fire burning.  If you need to sleep in front a fire to stay warm, it’s best to have a glass screen you can close.

While cold sleeping conditions might cause some concerns, the cold is actually ideal for your health. Firstly, if your sleeping conditions are cool, rather than warm, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night. Low thermostat settings or higher than what’s recommended could lead to restlessness and can also affect the quality of REM, which is known as rapid eye movement and is the stage of sleep with the highest brain activity. During REM sleep, you will often have dreams, and it’s usually difficult to wake a sleeper during this stage.


In the end, of course, the best temperature for your sleep varies for everyone. Depending on health and personal comfort preferences, some temperatures may work better than others. However, scientists have agreed that there is such a thing as too cold and too warm. To figure out the best sleeping conditions for yourself, set your thermostat to a number of different temperatures over a period of nights. If you have a programmable thermostat, try working with your body’s schedule. Set temperatures to gradually cool off around your bedtime, and raise slightly a little before your alarm goes off.

It’s also important to understand that by keeping the temperature low, you’re helping your body do its job. Temperature that are too high can interfere with your body’s natural temperature adjustments. This can create restlessness throughout the night, which will only lead to insomnia. If you’re searching for a solution for better health and a better night’s sleep, you just might find your answer with a quick dial of your thermostat.

Are Oriental rugs a good investment?

When looking to part with some of their money, most investors will turn to one or more of the common methods of storing wealth (and hopefully multiplying it). For the brave, there’s the stock market. For the more careful, there’s precious metals like gold. Real estate comes somewhere in the middle.

But what about Oriental rugs? Can they make a good investment and compete with commodities like gold or apartments? The answer depends on the types of profit or wealth storage you’re looking for, as well as the steps you’re ready to take in order to protect your investment. You can always take your Oriental rug in to get cleaned and restored and ask for a valuation from a Oriental rug expert.

The value of Oriental rugs – past, present, future

To know how valuable these rugs will be in the future, we should first examine their attributes and current standing. For one, as industrialization happens in every part of the world, less and less true Oriental rugs are being made, and those that are will often be of a lesser quality. These days, it seems that every manufacturer wants to replace each part in the process with its cheapest version. When you’re dealing with rugs whose main selling points are craftsmanship and fine materials, it’s easy to see why older Oriental rugs only stand to become more valuable as time goes by.

Another thing making Oriental rugs valuable is their vulnerability. They were already rare, but their delicacy makes them particularly prone to disaster. Gold and silver are nearly indestructible – unless smelted, a gold coin that was around thousands of years ago will still be in decent shape today. Real estate isn’t too far off – short of a tornado or a similar natural (or man-made) disaster, most pieces of real estate aren’t going anywhere, which also means they’re not hard to acquire if you have the means.

On the other hand, Oriental rugs depend on each individual owner in order to stay in pristine condition. Each of the owners can significantly reduce the value of an Oriental rug and many do just that, meaning mint Oriental rugs are harder and harder to come by. Unfortunately, this might be an issue for any would-be Oriental rug owner.

Taking care of Oriental rugs – can you do it?

An Oriental rug can last for centuries and will grow exponentially more valuable over that time, but only if its owners take good care of it. Let’s put it in simple terms: every wine spill or pet attack could drastically lower the price of your Oriental rug.

Therefore, the question of whether Oriental rugs are a good investment often becomes another question entirely: can you ensure it’s taken care of? If you can find a way to properly care for it in your lifetime as well as instructing future generations on how to do the same, an Oriental rug will be a great investment and has the potential of bringing your grandchildren a small fortune (or even to you, if you happened to get a good deal on an authentic piece). If, however, you count yourself among the more callous investors, you’ll probably be better off with an investment that is less vulnerable to bad conditions.

The Bulletproof Diet and its benefits

If you’re one of the many people looking to shed that extra weight, you’ve probably already had several unsuccessful dieting attempts. More than likely, you found yourself always coming back to the same junk food and sweets you tried so desperately to avoid. The key to dieting is finding a meal plan you’ll have an easy time adhering to, and the Bulletproof Diet promises to be just that.

The diet was created by tech wiz Dave Asprey, who took the scientific approach and went a step further – by his own admission, his goal was to ‘hack’ his own biology and find a nutritional secret of sorts. Being quite overweight was all the motivation he needed, but it took him a lot of experimentation before he sort of stumbled on the idea for his Bulletproof Diet during a visit to Tibet – there, the monks of exceptionally good health and fitness were drinking buttered coffee.

The basis of the Bulletproof diet and how it works

Most everyone who knows something about nutrition knows that there are three macronutrients to look out for in food: protein, carbohydrates and fat. Protein fuels our muscles and promotes health, carbohydrates give us energy (especially over the short term), but the role of fat was always kind of unclear. The very word ‘fat’ makes people recoil and instinctively avoid any food filled with it. But Asprey says fat is actually good for you and that it should form over half of your diet.

He renounces fruit and similar food rich in sugar and/or carbohydrates, saying it’s poor nutrition and only acts as short-term fuel. Instead, he urges you to focus on ingesting healthy fat, from grass-fed butter and healthy meat to almonds and other nuts. He maintains that the average body is starving for these saturated fats, and that you’ll actually be giving your body the necessary nutrition while also keeping yourself healthy. The ideal meal plan for the Bulletproof Diet can contain up to 70% fat, with the remaining percentage being split dead even between carbs and protein.

What the Bulletproof diet can do for you

One look at Avrey makes it clear that he’s a slim individual despite leading a lifelong sedentary lifestyle. Above all, Avrey aims to provide you with a meal plan that eliminates cravings – when you pass by that McDonald’s years into your Bulletproof Diet, you should have no trouble casually walking or driving past it with a smile on your face.

Aside from a gradual and sustained weight loss, Avrey also promises that the diet wards off a myriad of health ailments that plague the modern man: cardiovascular disease, diabetes and so forth.

Perhaps most intriguing, however, is that the diet’s author also purports your IQ will increase by 10-20 points as you start giving your brain the fat it needs. It’s said that the brain spends a lot of calories, and it’s been proven that some amount of diet fat is needed to keep your mental image clear, so maybe there’s a bit of truth in this claim. On the other hand, for all its health benefits, the diet probably won’t let you deflect bullets any more than a set of Big Macs would.

Benefits of seeing a chiropractor

Professional athletes have some of the most physically taxing jobs on Earth, far more than even construction workers working in tough conditions. It stands to reason, then, that any medical practice pro athletes turn to in order to keep their bodies functional and healthy is worth checking out.

Chiropractic is something that a lot of athletes – one could say the majority of them – put their hopes in when it’s time for restoration. But chiropractic isn’t just useful for those in the uppermost percentile of physical exertion – any Average Joe can stand to benefit from it. In fact, the Average Joe might draw just as many benefits from regular visits to the chiropractor as Tom Brady or Kobe Bryant would.

How often to visit a chiropractor, and whether you should

Let’s put this out there first: if you’re reading this, there’s probably something that a chiropractor can do for you. The number of people maintaining perfect posture while in front of their PC, laptop or mobile device is close to zero, and it gets tougher on your spine the more time you spend staring at the screen.

The frequency of your chiropractor visits should be determined by the doctor himself, but also by your own body. How often do you feel strained performing mundane tasks, or even when merely walking? If the answer is “all the time“, you could probably do with a high frequency of visits.

Those who need to see a chiropractor often tend to engage in activities that work against the doctor’s treatments and set your body back into misalignment. These include manual labor full of repetitive activities, a lot of time spent in a car seat, hunching over a computer on a daily basis and even just working out.

The benefits you can expect from chiropractic

Some chiropractic benefits will be felt immediately, while others will develop over successive treatments. The first and most notable thing will be the removal of chronic or otherwise persistent pain – you’ll no longer need painkillers and the like once the doctor has freed up your skeletal and nervous systems.

But every good chiropractor will aim to focus on more than just dealing with pain, and will want to improve your daily life regardless of how you’re currently feeling. With each subsequent visit, you can expect more strength and vitality to your body. Lifting, bending over, walking, running, sitting down – all will become easier once your body is restored by multiple treatments.

Another great benefit many have reported – especially after prolonged treatment – is a clearer mind. The entire body is connected and should be viewed as a whole, and we all know that the brain is connected to every last cell in the body. It’s not a hard sell, then, that your ability to think straight improves when the brain is no longer preoccupied with strained joints or pinched nerves.

While not a direct benefit, it’s also worth noting that chiropractic is free from dubiously-safe treatments like complex pharmaceutical drugs. When visiting a chiropractor, you’ll never have to worry about long-term negative effects on your health as the treatment is completely natural and uses your own body as a healing mechanism.

Is P90X the best home exercise program?

Every fitness coach selling an exercise or weight loss program promises the same thing: it’ll get you fit in a short amount of time. Yet today more than ever, people are struggling with obesity, too much weight or a general state of poor fitness. How can it be possible, with so many seemingly-effective fitness programs out there?

The truth is that most of them just rehash old diet-and-exercise plans into new ones, offering very little in terms of novelty and efficiency. However, a select few programs stand apart from their rivals in terms of popularity, effectiveness or availability – take your pick. P90X is perhaps the most popular exercise program, promising to transform your body in 90 days.

How does P90X work, and should you buy it?

The premise of ‘Power 90x’ is a simple one: use a rigorous training regimen of mostly bodyweight exercises and couple it with a good diet. The diet itself isn’t too complex and features solid advice – increase protein and reduce carbohydrates during the first 30 days (the cutting-weight period), and then add more carbs throughout the following two months.

The exercises are where things get interesting. Provided you have a couple of exercise tools at home, you’ll have everything you need to immerse yourself in the grind – no expensive equipment is needed.

P90x aims to shock the body and prevent it from adapting to any particular exercise, which would reduce its benefits. Over a period of 3 months, you’ll be subjected to various grueling bodyweight exercises, from easy stuff like yoga to exhausting plyometric drills. While the program does somewhat take into account your overall level of fitness, don’t hope you’ll get off easy – it’s more or less a standard course for everyone.

It also comes with a set of DVDs that explain each technique in detail. If you find the coach likeable and motivational, the video footage will help a ton and will make it seem as if you have your own personal fitness trainer. P90x has been called the best home exercise program by many due to its simplicity and effectiveness, but it has 2 significant rivals.

2 sound alternatives if you don’t like P90x

Insanity isn’t quite a competitor of P90x since they are distributed by the same company (unsurprisingly called Beachbody), except with a different coach and an altered program. Those who have used Insanity swear it’s the most brutal home exercise regimen available – it focuses on an array of bodyweight exercises, which are particularly difficult for most out-of-shape people, and it also features a lot of cardio to boot. If you don’t like P90x or its coach, Insanity is probably the next best thing to try out.

Crossfit isn’t an exercise program in the strictest sense, but it has many upsides over those mentioned above. For one, it’s free – provided you have some equipment or a gym membership, all you need to do is go on the Crossfit website and adhere to the new set of drills that is posted daily. The exercises are extremely varied and are meant to shock your body into shape, but aren’t exactly cut out for beginners. They do seem to work for Crossfitters, though – they sure are a fit bunch.

Best Body Weight Exercises To Tone Your Body

What you’re about to read isn’t rocket science: the more extra weight you carry, the harder any bodyweight exercise will be. For this reason, overweight people – especially males – prefer to hit the weights right away, as they find bodyweight training too difficult.

It’s true that if you have a couple of dozen pounds extra, lifting weights will do more than push-ups or pull-ups(probably because you can’t do much of them). Once you start gaining some fitness, however, you might easily find that bodyweight exercises do more for your entire body while taking less time and work. Don’t expect them to get any easier, though, and there are always ways to add more resistance as you get progressively fitter. Here are the best bodyweight exercises to tone your body and get yourself in fighting shape, or just prime yourself for hitting the beach when summer comes around.

The Best Body Weight Exercises To Tone

  • Push-ups: Of course the good old push-up is going to be the first on this list. This exercise has been around longer than anyone can remember, and is still used by everyone – pro athletes, the military, hobbyists, children in PE class… How many push-ups you can do is a very good indicator of your overall fitness, especially if you have extra weight. They train your entire body, including the cardiovascular system, and can also increase your explosiveness to boot. Plus, they never really get easy – if you think they’re no problem, you should know that there are people who can do a hundred push-ups in 2 minutes, so try getting there yourself.
  • Pull-ups: Even harder to do for overweight people, pull-ups won’t do much for your lower body but will make everything above your torso powerful and toned – that includes your mind, as you will have to gain mental toughness in order to do more of this strenuous exercise. You can hit various muscle groups by altering your grip or head position, and you can also attach weights to your lower body for increased resistance.
  • Crunches/sit-ups and hanging leg raises: Of these three exercises, sit-ups will tone the most muscles in your body – your entire abdomen, the sides and much of your lower back. Unfortunately, some find them to be too stressful for the spine, preferring to focus on crunches instead, which won’t burn as many calories and will only hit your midsection. Hanging leg raises are an alternative to these two, and will give your abs and lower back a brutal workout.
  • Squats with/without weight and pistols: The squat is a beloved exercise, with some swearing it’s the most important of them all. A large volume of weightless squats will quickly tone your legs and buttocks from top to bottom, especially if you stand on your toes when rising. To improve your balance and hit those difficult-to-reach muscles, you can try the pistol, a one-legged squat exercise that’s also a great way to impress your friends. For the hardcore fitness freak, though, nothing can replace a squat with some additional weight placed on your upper body – a barbell, a weighted box or even a rock. Weighted squats will quickly tone your legs and increase their muscle mass, and they’ll also give you a general feeling of good fitness.