Category Archives:

New Research

Life Balance Research: eReaders & Sleep Quality (Plus 3 Tips to Sleep Deeper)

New research (from the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Division of Sleep Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany) shows that eReaders (Kindle, Nook, Ipad…) with an internal light significantly impair your ability to fall asleep, sleep well and make you feel more tired in the morning.

citation:  Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness

Sleeping in the light

Deep sleep is affected by lighted eReaders

Here is some information to think about:

  • Upwards of 90% of Americans use electronics within the hour before bed
  • Mounting evidence from around the globe shows that gadgets that produce artificial light interfere with your ability to sleep
  • Researchers believe that artificial light, especially short-wavelength-enriched light, has been shown to increase alertness, suppress melatonin and throw off your sleep clock.

The study cited above compared reading with an eReader with a back light versus a printed book in a dark room. They found that eReaders:

  • delayed falling asleep
  • reduced bedtime sleepiness
  • reduced melatonin secretion
  • shifted your circadian clock
  • reduced alertness the next morning

If you have attended one of my work-life balance Keynote or workshop presentations where I discussed the 3 top strategies to get deep, quality, truly restorative sleep, then you know that I believe that light is one of, if not the most important factors influencing your ability to fall asleep and sleep well. Don’t believe me?

  • Ask people who live in Alaska about the almost manic levels of energy they experience during the summer when the sunlight shines day and night. (Light)
  • People who go camping are much sleeper much earlier in the evening. Have you ever thought about why? (Darkness)
  • Why do many at conventions go outside during breaks? (Light)

While there are many reasons for the above phenonenons, how light and darkness trigger or impair sleep has got to top the list.

To help you, here are a couple excerpts from my new book, Change Your Day, Not Your Life – A Realistic Guide to Sustained Motivation, More Productivity and the Art of Working Well, and three tips on how to sleep better, including how to better manage light.

Have you ever thought, “I am tired all the time and I don’t know why?”

According to Dr. William Dement, founder of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and past professor of one of the most popular classes at Stanford University, Sleep and Dreams, “For healthy young adults, there is only one cause, and that is sleep debt.”

All lost sleep is incurred as a debt. It can sneak up on you. When your debt builds up, it can leave you saying to yourself, “Why am I so tried?” Or worse, “Why don’t I want to do what I know I should?”

Below are my top 3 ideas for deep, restful, blissful sleep…

 To get great sleep, a person must manage these three variables:

1. Darkness. The brain translates darkness as “time to sleep.” Turn off all the lights you can turn off, especially overhead lights. Instead use lamps, candles, or other soft, unobtrusive sources of light.

2. Coolness. Turn down the thermostat several degrees. (Ideal sleep temperature: 67-70 degrees fareinheit)

3. A predictable bedtime routine that sends strong signals to the brain that it is time to shut off the day and relax into sleep. As part of that routine—a mini-pattern—you might consider softer lighting for two hours before bedtime.

 I look forward to reading your comments and answering any questions. -Andy

 

Questioning Technology

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

2007 was the year when everything changed. The release of the first iPhone set in motion such significant technological progress that we couldn’t have possibly been ready. From maps to music to videos and work-life balance, we’ve all enjoyed the way that smart phones have seamlessly incorporated themselves into our lives.

We’ve integrated every innovation without really questioning the impact. Sure, there are media fasts and even apps that put you on a digital diet, but one thing not enough people seem to be worried about is the new generation of children who were born after 2007. Facebook just turned ten years old, and many of our children’s lives will have been documented online from the beginning.

Having kids of my own, I tend to contemplate this quite a bit, but this weekend, especially, I was struck by the level of priority we give technology. My family had a birthday celebration this weekend, and after dinner, we all sat around the living room to talk. The problem? Every person in the room, from the toddler to the adults, was on their cell phones and tablets. We didn’t play games, listen to music or create conversations without these things for inspiration. From placating a baby with our phones, to buying our children tablets to appease their boredom, every kid will forever have a childhood that constantly involves screens, and I have to question whether or not this is good.

I’m not trying to be doom and gloom about this. In many ways, technology is a great thing that encourages learning and opens communication. And it’s not too terribly different from a television or a video game.

Except that before 2007, you couldn’t easily carry your TV with you, and even if you could, it was a shared experience. Cell phones are highly portable and exclusive; if you’re on Facebook or playing Candy Crush, no one else in the room is part of that technological experience. Could this make our children socially awkward or unlikely to engage?

And what about playing outside using only imagination? Will this soon be a distant memory? Will our children only be entertained by what we give them rather than what they create? What kind of society will come from children lacking inventiveness? And what about reading and writing? Yes, our kids know more with technology, but are they better thinkers?

Recent research from AVG Technologies shows that by the age of 3-5, more children are able play a computer game (66 percent) or navigate a smartphone (47 percent) than tie their shoes (14 percent).

As a parent, and as a person, I have to wonder if this is okay. Technology is here to stay, and we’re all grateful for how much easier it’s made our lives, but it’s our job to contemplate the impact these devices are having on our future both in the personal and global level. Are we raising better citizens, workers, and family members or are we raising selfish, socially awkward, unimaginative ones?

 

Convention Speakers Practice the Right Kind of Stress

Adrenaline from healthy sources can be a good kind of stress.

Adrenaline from healthy sources can be a good kind of stress.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

To many ears, the word “stress” has negative connotations. It conjures to mind images of not feeling well, being burned out and wanting a break. However, convention speakers like Andy Core know that stress can also be good.

  • Getting a rush from exhilarating activities like test-driving a race car, bungee jumping or even something as simple as ordering an exotic dish at a foreign restaurant makes those butterflies in your stomach good ones. Moreover, the knowledge that you overcame a hurdle will only add to your confidence.
  • When you carry a heavy workload, as opposed to a workload that drags you down, it is a good way of keeping yourself busy. The busier someone is, the less likely they are to make mountains out of molehills.
  • The release of hormones in your body is good in small doses. They can make you extra alert to your surroundings, enabling convention speakers to take in more information and make more informed decisions.

Not all stress has to be of the negative variety, and it takes stress in your life to make you realize the good parts. However, like all good convention speakers recommend, the key is to minimize them and use stressors for their key qualities instead of letting them overtake you.

To learn more on Andy’s programs,

 

 

Maximize Productivity in the Workplace by Using Available Resources

Learn more about the programs on your computer and maximize productivity in the workplace.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance

It is astounding how little we actually know about our computers. We know how to email and use basic software, but many of the more intricate details elude us. This is a shame for productivity in the workplace because if utilized effectively, a computer can save you hours of time that can be spent working instead. Consider the following computer tools.

Templates

We send hundreds of emails every month, yet tend to write each one out in full. Emails need to be personalized, but when you are sending the same message to a number of people, it is a waste of time to write each out in full before sending. Set up a template message, that will only require you to add names; the time that you save typing emails can be better spent on other tasks.

Filters

We sign up to a lot of websites, which then send us a lot of emails. Our productivity in the workplace is continually disrupted by our checking emails, expecting there to be an important message, but many turn out being an offer of some type. Set up filters that will send emails to different folders, depending on their content. This will enable you to see whether you have an email that needs reading, or one that can wait until later.

Macros

Macros are incredibly useful, yet incredibly underused. Macros are actions that can be used to automate tasks that you do regularly in certain programs. Rather than going through the same laborious procedures every day, with the press of a few keys they are done in a matter of moments.

Save time by learning to use your computer to its full potential and your productivity in the workplace will grow.

For more information about Andy’s work-life balance programs,

 

 

A Business Keynote Speaker Stresses that Sleep is Just as Important for Well Being as Exercising

Good sleep habits are one of the most important ways to increase well being according to a business keynote speaker.

Good sleep habits are one of the most important ways to increase well being according to a business keynote speaker.

Andy Core is an expert in Work-Life Balance, Well Being and Peak Human Performance.

One thing a business keynote speaker often stresses in their talks is just how vital sleep is to attain and maintain wellness. It’s been well documented that a nutritious diet and active lifestyle are key to health. However, health and wellness expert Andy Core says that sleep is just as, if not more so, important than exercise and eating well.

1. It improves memory. Getting a full and good night’s sleep has been shown to improve memory skills by increasing information processing and retention. You can exercise and eat well all you want, but if you’re not giving your body a chance to recharge, all of your efforts might as well be for nothing.

2. Your heart will thank you. Not sleeping between 7-9 hours per night increases risk of heart disease, accumulation of cholesterol-related diseases and can increase blood pressure. Getting the right amount of sleep is one of the biggest ways you can reduce those risks.

3. Stress levels go down. When you’re on a regular and full sleep schedule, your stress is decreased without you even doing anything else about it. Picture yourself stuck in traffic: are you more likely to snap at other drivers if you’re lethargic, or do problems roll off your shoulders more easily? Getting to work in a calmer state of mind also increases productivity.

So, make a cup of tea, grab a pillow, and settle in for a good night’s sleep. It’s one of the most important and easiest ways to improve your overall wellbeing advises a business keynote speaker.

For more information about Andy’s programs,

 

 
Page 1 of 4123...Last »

Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
read more

About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
read more

E-Newsletter
Receive monthly email tips, research, how tos...
read more