Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Things Parents Need to Know About Sleep

Check out this awesome Guest Post from Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep

Helping your child sleep is one of the most important things you can do to support their health. Healthy sleep is essential for development, performance at school, behavior, moods, and physical and mental health. When your child gets enough sleep, they avoid increasing their risk for behavioral problems, difficulty concentrating at school, and even more serious problems including depression, anxiety, suicide, obesity, and chronic health problems.

These five facts explain important things parents need to know about sleep, from ever-changing sleep needs to sleep disorders and the importance of avoiding screen time before bed.

  1. Good sleep habits must be taught. Sleep comes naturally, but good sleep habits may not just happen on their own. Establishing a healthy sleep routine is on you as a parent, and you can help your child create good sleep habits for life. You can do this by establishing consistent bedtimes, a regular bedtime routine, and healthy sleep hygiene, such as avoiding screen time before bed and creating a dark, cool, and calm sleep environment for your child.
  2. Sleep needs are different at each age. Teaching your child healthy sleep isn't a one-time task, as your child has different needs at every age. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day, much of it during the day -- and for short stretches at a time. School age children have less time in the REM stage of sleep, so they need to make the most of the deep sleep they get at night. By the preteen years, children are sleeping about 11 hours -- but it's all at night, so it's essential that kids this age have a schedule that allows plenty of time for sleeping. When teens hit puberty, they experience a circadian rhythm shift that pushes their bedtime back. This shift can make them feel like they have insomnia, and make it difficult to squeeze in enough sleep before it's time to go to school.
  3. Children can suffer from sleep disorders. Just like adults, children can suffer from sleep disorders. Parasomnias, including night terrors, sleepwalking, wetting the bed, and talking while sleeping are more common among children than adults. Children can suffer from dyssomnias as well, which include trouble getting to and staying asleep, particularly behavioral insomnia. Parents of young children may be especially familiar with behavioral insomnia, which can manifest as stalling and making excuses for not going to sleep. Children can also suffer from sleep apnea, reflux, nightmares, and narcolepsy.
  4. Screen time can interfere with healthy sleep. At any age, screen time can cause issues with sleep, especially when it occurs just before bed. Screens emit bright artificial light. This light can confuse your child's brain, telling it that it's daytime (time to be awake), even if it's just about time to go to bed. Set limits with screen time, avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime and never in bed.
  5. Most teens are chronically short on sleep. Parents often focus intensely on sleep during the infant and preschool years, letting older children manage their own sleep. But teens need just as much help as younger children in establishing and maintaining good sleep habits. In fact, nearly 90 percent of high school students don't get enough sleep on school nights. A lack of sleep in teens can result in poor grades, obesity, drowsy driving, and moodiness. Teens with a lack of sleep are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide. It's important that you continue to focus on healthy sleep habits in school age children and through the teen years.

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Great Closet Project

When we bought our house a few years ago, I was thrilled to have his and her closets in our master. Of course Hubby let me pick which one I wanted first. Well within 10 minutes of trying to put my clothes away, I decided I wanted the other closet! (I know, I know such a female move). Now don't get me wrong, I have a nice size closet and I do did love it, but it just did not work for me. Ok so the 30 shoes boxes might have played a part in that. So here is my closet before, Hubby took everything out (check out the cute photo bomb -who was awake that night at 9:30 when I emptied my closet)


So no it was not horrible, but lots of wasted space. Here are the empty pictures:

I think it was just odd placements of shelves and either not enough space or too much in certain areas. These shelves left tons of wholes in the walls, but the amazing Hubby fixed all of those and gave the closet a new coat of white paint.


So fresh and clean.

Then it was time to re-install the shelves. Since it was Closetmaid products in the closet before hand (and we did not want to spend a fortune), we went with the Closetmaid  Shelf Track. This allowed us a lot of flexibility when we were putting up the shelves to move things around and find the best layout. (Also I can move things at any time now as well). We were able to use all the shelves (cut a few down), rods, and rod holders, and just got new brackets and these fun shoe brackets!

Here is my after pictures:


I really have to thank Hubby for doing such a great job with my new closet. It is so much more functional and I love it!

*** No compensation was received for this post, I paid for all the products we used, the labor was free though;)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Aaptiv App Follow Up

So a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Aaptiv App and the new workouts they are offering.

Now I wanted to let you know what I thought of the workouts on the Aaptiv App. I decided to first try an elliptical workout. Now I will be the first to admit that often I just phone it in on the elliptical and am really not 100% into it. Well with this workout I did not get that chance.

Jamie's voice was super engaging and keep me right in the workout the whole time. I love that she had me keep changing resistance (something I never do on my own). It keep my head and body in
the game the whole time. I really pushed myself and after 24 minutes burned about 350 calories!

I was totally pumped and ready for Day 2.

Next I tried a yoga workout. I loved having the voice to coach me through the moves so that I did not have to look at anything. This was one I for sure enjoyed.

Day 3 I decided to go with strength training and this was an awesome workout. I loved Sultan's motivation and the music was on point for sure!

I am continuing to use the Aaptiv App and I really enjoy the pre-selected music and the motivation to push me along through the workouts. If you have not yet, give the Aaptiv App a try for 7 days free!

*** No compensation was received for this posts all thoughts are my own.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Improved Seventh Generation Free and Clear Wipes

 I love Seventh Generation Free and Clear Wipes and was very happy to try the new and improved version from Generation Good

I love how thick they are and that it takes very few wipes to get most jobs done. I think that makes them a cost saving wipe as well as knowing how safe they are on my little ones sensitive skin. These wipes are by far the best that I have tried with my two little ones, and we have tried a bunch!

We love keeping these with us for on the go trips!

**No compensation was received for this post, I was sent free sample wipes to try even though we already use them!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Support Your Right To Know #ComeClean

It is so important to know what is in the chemical that are in our homes. Thanks Seventh Generation and Generation Good for sharing this.

 Check out this information about proper labeling for cleaning products:

Q: Why should consumers care what’s in their cleaning products?
A: Exposure to cleaning products may cause or exacerbate certain health conditions. Fumes from some cleaning products can induce asthma in otherwise healthy individuals and exacerbate asthma in people who already have the disease.
  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) “has found that nearly 10% of all work-related asthma cases are caused by exposure to cleaning products.”[i] CDPH is concerned that the use of some cleaning products in schools may contribute to asthma in students and workers.[ii]
  • About 8 percent of adults and children in California have asthma, with almost 200,000 new cases diagnosed each year.[iii] Asthma is much more prevalent in lower income communities.[iv]
  • Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, according to a 2010 study by the New York State Department of Health.[vi]
Q: Who is at most risk from these adverse effects? The general consumer, kids, or professionals like janitors?
A: Workers, children, and minorities are most at risk. Workers like janitors, maids, and housekeepers are most vulnerable to these products, being exposed for long hours every day.
  • About 6 percent of janitors experience a job-related injury from chemical exposure to cleaning products every year.[vii]
  • About half of the nation’s janitors, maids and housekeepers are Latino or African American.[viii]
  • Children born to women who held cleaning jobs while pregnant have an elevated risk of birth defects, according to a 2010 study by the New York State Department of Health.[ix]
  • The California Department of Public Health “has found that nearly 10% of all work-related asthma cases are caused by exposure to cleaning products.”[x]
  • According to the U.S. EPA, cleaning products contribute to concentrations of many common pollutants that are 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside.[xi]
Q: Why should consumers care about fragrance?
A: The generic term "fragrance" when listed on a product label can refer to a mixture that may be composed of any of over 3,000 chemicals. According to the Califormia Department of PH, fragrances in cleaning products are actually a combination of many chemicals, some of which contain ingredients that have been associated with dizziness, cancer, endocrine disruption, and asthma.
The manufacturers of cleaning, and personal care products for that matter, are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels. Without this information consumers do not know what ingredients, including potential allergens, are in their products.
Further, “unscented” does not necessarily mean a product is made without fragrance chemicals. This term can be misleading to consumers, particularly to those with an allergy related to fragrance. Natural fragrances can also cause sensitivities.  The term "fragrance free" on the other hand denotes products that do not contain any fragrances at all.
Q: Why put ingredient information on a label? Will consumers really know what to do with it?
A: Consumers at the store can’t make informed purchasing decisions without accurate ingredient information on labels. A 2015 survey of 1,000 U.S. moms found that 73% of those surveyed, “often do research to understand the safety of ingredients to which their family is exposed.” Kids and workers with acute skin rashes and allergic reactions, or pregnant women counseled to avoid certain chemicals by their doctors, will be able to avoid cleaning products with ingredients they have reactions to. Union negotiations rely on ingredient information in order to negotiate for safer cleaning products in the workplace.
It comes down to consumer education and awareness. Think of food labels. While it was once a foreign concept to look at the ingredient labels of your food, it’s now commonplace and consumers are knowledgeable about certain ingredients they may choose to avoid.