| by Dan Black
Our ten #DesignforHealth healthy living tips from Black + Blum and Button & Sprung!
We recently celebrated our #DesignforHealth collaboration with our good friends at Button & Sprung. Like us, Button & Sprung put great design and quality materials at the heart of what they do, leading to the creation of beautiful upholstered beds and quality pocket sprung mattresses that enhance our bedtimes and stand the test of time. So when we started thinking about a brand to work with on our #DesignforHealth campaign, the Button & Sprung team were the first brand we got in touch with.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been celebrating how making little changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your life and between us we put together 10 tips to improve your daily eating and sleeping routines that we’ve been sharing across our social networks.
We also ran a competition to win our #DesignforHealth hamper of goodies from the two brands.
In case you missed any other them, here’s all ten of the tips in the order we posted them during the campaign first:
Black + Blum Top Tip #1 Have a great breakfast:
Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease and being overweight!
Skipping a morning meal can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low and your breakfast helps replenish it - and of course - delicious!
One of the easiest ways of ensuring you have a great breakfast, is to spend 5 minutes throwing some oats, coconut milk, cinnamon and grated apple into one of our food flasks in the evening for overnight oats to take to work the next day.
Button & Sprung Top Tip #1: Sleep in a Cold Room
Studies have shown that our bedroom temperatures can make a big difference when it comes to getting a good night's sleep. Dr. Christopher Winter, Medical Director at Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine states a bedroom temperature between 15 and 19 degrees celsius is optimum for sleeping, and can have a number of surprising health benefits. These include helping to prevent certain metabolic diseases such as diabetes, releasing the anti-ageing hormone melatonin, and and helping to decrease certain types of insomnia.
Some easy ways to cool down your room include opening your bedroom window just before or during your night's sleep, choosing breathable bed linens such as cotton (or going to bed in your birthday suit!).
Black + Blum Top Tip #2 Drink more water
Drinking more water throughout your day increases energy and brain function, flushes out toxins, improves your complexion and encourages bowel regularity - what’s not to love! We like the clean taste of just our plain charcoal filtered water we get from using our Eau Good bottles, but if plain water isn’t your thing, try adding a slice of lemon, spring of mint or even a handful of your favourite berries.
Button & Sprung Top Tip #2: Turn off your Technology
We've all probably heard by now that technology before bedtime is not good for our health, and sleep research conducted at California State University explains why. The blue wavelength light from our smartphones, laptops and tablets increases the release of the hormone cortisol in the brain, which makes us more alert, and inhibits the production of melatonin, which is needed to fall asleep.
Instead of using your technology just before bed, try turning off all your devices an hour before bedtime. Or if you can't keep away from your Facebook feed, keep it at least 14 inches away from your face and turn down the brightness. This helps to reduce the blue light and increases the natural release of melatonin.
Black + Blum Top Tip #3 adding seeds to your diet:
By including seeds in your weekly diet, the natural fibre, iron, protein, good fats, vitamins, and minerals they contain contribute to a wide range of potential health benefits. Seeds are a great source of energy, can help reduce fatigue and will contribute to healthy hair and skin, muscle and bone growth and maintaining a healthy heart. They can boost the body’s immune system, and can be a great food supplement for those living to a particular diet, for example providing protein and iron for vegetarians and vegans. They are little powerhouses of nutrition and delicious to boot! Sprinkle them on salads and keep them nice and crunchy by popping them in the integral sauce pot in our lunch box
Button & Sprung Top Tip #3: Declutter your Bedroom
We all have an overflowing closet or a stuffed drawer somewhere around the house, but have you ever thought about how this could be having a negative impact on our health? Scientists believe a chaotic home environment can have significant impact on your wellbeing, for example preventing a natural decline of cortisol levels (aka the 'stress hormone') throughout the day. It can also affect your ability to focus, leading to decreased productivity levels. So it's no surprise this can affect your ability to fall asleep at the end of a long day!
There are lots of simple ways to tackle clutter in your bedroom. Use drawer organisers to maximise drawer space, and baskets are a great and inexpensive way to keep clutter at bay. There are also now loads of 'lifestyle/cleaning gurus' out there (look out for our favourites in our blog at the end of the week!).
For a longer term space-saving option, how about investing in a storage bed? Button & Sprung’s Ottoman Beds come with a gas-lifting top for effortless access to storage underneath and we now offer a Super King size Ottoman Bed for even more storage space!
Black + Blum Top Tip #4 try increasing oils in your diet
Increasing unrefined fats and oils in your diet, can over time have the cumulative effect of improving metabolism, brain function, skin tone, muscle mass, balancing hormones and helping decrease the chance of heart disease. A natural partner to those yummy seeds we have already recommended, try using plain avocado, olive or unrefined nut oils to dress your salads instead of your usual processed or dairy based salad dressings for a flavoursome and healthy change. The sauce pot in our lunch boxes is the perfect way of keeping salads crisp and undressed until you’re about to tuck in.
Button & Sprung Top Tip #4: Choose Protein Rich Foods
Did you know that a few small diet changes could help you get a better night's sleep? Nutritional therapist Kerry Torrens explains that protein foods that are rich in the amino acid tryptophan help to boost the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. So by eating these foods during the day, you could be on the right track for a better night's sleep.
Try recipes including chicken, turkey, milk and dairy, nuts and seeds, check out some of these healthy and spicy recipes from the Black + Blum blog to get you started! Caffeine can also diminish sleep quality, so try swapping your regular tea or coffee for a decaffeinated alternative.
And why not make a big batch and use Black+Blum's Box Appetit range to prep for the week? Lunch sorted!
Black + Blum Top Tip #5 Increase your fresh fruit and veg intake:
A bit of a no-brainer, this one - but we can all be guilty of defaulting to our standard shop bought ‘meal deal’ lunch more often than not. Liven up your lunches and increase that crunchy, fibre rich, colourful fresh fruit and veg in your diet throughout the day. The health benefits of fresh fruit and veg are well documented, but it doesn’t always have to mean “salad”. Try taking your own sarnies to work in one of our lunch boxes and stuffing them with hummus, slices of pepper, grated carrot and radish for a change to get a spicy crunchy kick, or simply prepping some chopped fruit the night before to take to work in one of our lunch pots for a mid afternoon snack, instead of reaching for a chocolate bar.
Button & Sprung Top Tip #5: Rotate your Mattress
A question we often get asked is around settlement, or body impressions, on the surface of the mattress. This can sometimes concern those who have just bought a mattress, as it looks like the mattress is not performing correctly, and can result in a disrupted night's sleep.
This is actually a very normal process for a mattress to go through, as it is just your mattress getting to know you and your body shape. Usually, natural fillings tend to recover better than synthetic mattress fillings such as foam and latex.
One way to reduce the settlement is to ensure you rotate your mattress every couple of weeks for the first 12 weeks, and then thereafter rotate it with the change of the seasons. Two-sided mattresses (such as our Wensleydale, Teesdale and Swaledale mattresses) should also be turned over fully twice a year
This will not only refresh the sleeping surface, but it will help with reducing body impressions in the mattress, helping you to get the best night's sleep possible.
We hope you’ve been enjoying seeing our tips and hint as much as we have putting them together and good luck to everyone who entered the competition! We will be notifying the winner by 2nd March!