5 Fitness Exercises: No Gym Required

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Some of the most common excuses that you will always hear from individuals who are trying to avoid regular exercise, is that they either don’t have a gym membership (can’t afford it, etc.) or they don’t have any spare time to allocate to gym duty.

These excuses are weak (just like an unhealthy body) at best. While going to the gym might be a good way to get a good workout, exercise is not exclusively synonymous to gyms. Here are just a few simple ways that you can get an exceptional workout, no gym required.no gym exercise

Walking Lunges

Walking lunges are a type of exercise that a lot of people shy away from because they can be extremely strenuous if not done properly. To start, you should stand upright with your chest up, shoulders back, and your feet apart from each other, parallel to the width of your hips.

You should then follow up from this stance by taking a sizable step forward, bending both of your knees until your rear knee is nearly touching the ground. Continue with your forward motion while alternating your legs. When you are in this position, your knee, hip, and shoulder should all be set in a straight line. If this is not the case then you should try taking smaller steps. You should aim for three to five sets of reps (20 reps per set)

Body Weight Squats/Air Squats

Air squats focus on your butt and legs, just like walking lunges. To begin, place your feet apart from each other at shoulder width (relatively tall persons may want to go a bit wider for best results). Next, angle your toes slightly outwards and (with your shoulders back and chest up) bend your knees while pivoting back into your heels.

This should be a controlled slow movement and you should come to a stop when you are at 90 degrees. Now, once you have done this, move back upwards with greater speed (do not hyperextend your knees). You should aim for three to five sets of reps (anywhere between 20 – 30 reps in each set).

Mountain Climbers

Now this technique actually targets your entire body and for the best effects, it is probably best utilized between your air squats or lunges. You should begin with your belly pulled in tight and your wrists aligned under your shoulders, i.e. in a plank position.

Next, carry your feet upwards in somewhat of a running motion – don’t excessively strain yourself if you cannot carry your feet all of the way upwards (just do as much as you can). However, you should always ensure that you belly remains tight throughout the entire rep. You should aim for three to five sets of reps (30 – 40 reps per set).

Push-Ups

While this is a simple technique that everyone has heard of before, it is still extremely effective. One thing worth noting, is that women who exercise will time and again either neglect or flat out refuse to perform this exercise. This is not a gender specific exercise, women benefit from this exercise just as much as men. If normal full body weight push-ups are too difficult, then you should try doing push-ups with your hands on an elevated surface.

You should start with your hands positioned slightly outside shoulder width. Then, while tightening your body, lead with your chest while moving in a downward motion. Finally, push away from the surface that your hands are placed on and then repeat the entire motion. Keep in mind that you should try to squeeze your shoulder blades together while letting your chest stretch. When you are ready to push back upwards, the force should lead from your chest, legs, and abs. You should aim for three to five sets of reps (10 – 15 reps per set).

Step-Ups

Step-ups are well known for the fact that they target your lower body (especially your butt). Firstly, place one of your feet on a stable elevated surface – make sure that your weight is on the elevated foot (especially on the heel). Next, step upwards, making an effort to move straight up instead of traveling forward. You should then use your butt to ensure that the weight stays on your heel.

Follow this up by stepping down and performing the motion again with the same leg. Proper balance is key in this exercise, since your weight will need to successfully pivot on your heels. You should aim foe three to five sets of reps (with 15 to 20 reps in each set) per leg.

Bonus Supplements

MHP Omega Strong

This facilitates mental strength and focus, as well as the lubrication of your joints. Best taken before going to sleep.

MHP Paleo Protein

The best time to take this is after workouts with a light healthy snack. It actually has no artificial sweeteners, instead it uses stevia as a sweetener. There is no dairy; however, there are egg white and beef protein sources.

Vitamin D3

This helps to boost your immune system, therefore it is greatly helps in preventing the contraction of diseases. Best to take approximately 1,000 IU twice a day with meals.

The Benefits of Vitamin K

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When we all think of vitamins, we think of A, B, C, and D. Rarely do we think about vitamin K. However, that is changing. Vitamin K and its counterpart K2 have received attention over the years, and for good reason. It has many potential health benefits. Originally, people thought it was only good to prevent blood clotting proteins from being lost. Being deficient in it was rare, so people thought nothing of it. However, it’s been found that it can prevent cardiac diseases, osteoporosis, and even potential cancers. They’ve also discovered that vitamin K2 has many more benefits than K1, and it’s sadly easier to become more deficient in. This article will cover the K2 benefits more than anything, and provide you ways of getting more K2.

The Five Benefits of Vitamin K

1. Vitamin K can prevent osteoporosis and protect your bones. This is because vitamin K regulates your calcium levels. Without proper regulation, it can cause long-term effects. It maintain osteocalcin levels. That’s a protein that helps keep minerals on your bones. Without vitamin K, those minerals come off, weakening your bones over time. It causes calcium to fall off, giving you brittle bones in the later stages of your life. So if you’re at risk of osteoporosis, you definitely need more vitamin K in your diet.

2. Vitamin K can prevent heart disease. This is primarily because of reason one. If your bones are shedding minerals, those minerals can land in your arteries, causing buildup. Besides that, vitamin K helps to form MGP, a protein that prevents formation inside your blood vessels. To back this up, studies have shown people with vitamin K deficiencies tend to have harder arteries. Vitamin K2, in particular, can lower this risk.

3. Vitamin K provides blood clotting proteins and helps you receive less bruises. See, your liver creates proteins that are blood clotting, and vitamin K helps to form those.vitamin_k_clotting_99 These proteins decrease your chances of your skin bruising and help to heal them faster. If you’re bruising easily, you may need more vitamin K. This was the original reason for vitamin K being used, and recommendations were only small enough to help fix this problem.

With recent discoveries, however, many researchers agree that it’s time to increase the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. In addition, you need to beware of certain blood thinning medications. Medicines such as Warfarin can disrupt K’s function, so you need to talk to your doctor beforehand before you take more vitamin K and see what you can do about it.

4. Vitamin K reduces cancer, or at least has the potential do. A lot of supplements claim to do this, but vitamin K has some studies to back it up. In particular, a study in Europe of over 11,000 for nearly a decade found that if you take enough K2, your risk of prostate cancer goes down. For the women, vitamin K2 can help prevent certain liver cancers if you have viral cirrhosis of the liver. Leukemia is another cancer that is being looked at.

5. Vitamin K helps to improve your skin and may help to stop wrinkles. This is because the lack of vitamin K may lead to damaging on the connective elastin on your skin. In other words, if you don’t have enough vitamin K, you can become wrinkled. This is because calcium is deposited in your skin’s elastin fibers.

In addition, vitamin K helps form proteins that keep your skin cells happy. This may prevent such skin problems such as acne. Vitamin K has been reported to be an effective treatment of acne and acne scarring., so that’s a plus.
This vitamin sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. There are plenty of benefits from vitamin K. But how do you obtain more of it?

Vitamin K Foods

If you want more vitamin K1, you can find it in kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. Vitamin K1, however, is hard to convert. By eating healthy fatty foods with your greens, it will help to increase your chances of absorption. However, due to its difficulty, you’re better off finding more vitamin K2 sources.

For vitamin K2, the best source would be natto. What is natto, you may ask? It’s a fermented soy dish, found in Japan. It’s a delicacy there, and because people eat so much of it, they tend to have lower chances of osteoporosis and hip fractures than most people in Europe and the US. Of course, the problem is that natto isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like Japanese food, you may not like it. So what do you do? Thankfully, there’s a solution. There are natto supplements out there that allow you to get the same benefits, so that problem is solved.

What are other good sources of K2? Liver, kidney, and other meats made from organs are good.vitamin_k_foods_99 Egg yolks from free range chickens work great as well. Grass fed meats and butter are also good. Many fermented foods can help, such as kefir and sauerkraut, and hard cheeses like Swiss are filled with K2.

Overall, vitamin K is something that people need to be more aware of. Vitamin K has many benefits, but because people don’t know about it, they might not be getting enough. Try some of these foods and watch as your health improves. It will definitely help you out now and for the future.

What is Vitamin D? Its Uses and How to get Enough of It

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Imagine if you could walk outside and get some renewal. You could help to improve your bone, brain, and heart functions, and you may have the chance to live longer too. You would think that everyone would go outside then. Well, the truth is, this renewal exists. It’s vitamin D, and your body creates it when it’s exposed to sunlight. That said, many Americans don’t get enough of this vitamin. This can lead to health effects that you don’t want. In this article, we will discuss those effects and include the benefits along with it.

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D allows for easy calcium absorption. This means that your bones will be kept strong and can repair themselves, along with your teeth. According to some research, vitamin D can also help regulate your blood pressure, feelings, and even your weight, acting as a hormone in your own body. Some say that if you have enough, you can protect yourself against fatalities like cancer and heart diseases.

On the opposite side, if you don’t get enough, you can get osteoporosis, muscle weakness, bone pain, and osteomalacia, which is the softening of your bones. Since vitamin D helps with brain development, you may have low energy or be depressed if you don’t have enough. Also, if you’re an athlete, you need vitamin D to help you perform to your highest potential. You can run faster and lift more if your levels are adequate.

So how do you get more vitamin D?

Well, sunlight is the best source out of all of them.sunshine_vitamin_d_44 Your body produces enough vitamin D to keep you well-regulated, but only when you’re out in the sunlight and when it’s shining on your bare skin, all without sunscreen. You don’t need to be outside all day to do this. All you need is to be out in the sun for thirty minutes tops for twice a week to get the amount of vitamin D you need. This way, you don’t even have to worry about burning your skin through harmful UV radiation.

Of course, many people are holed up in a building all day, don’t live in sunny areas, or have darker skin. This means that they won’t have the amount that they need. Even people who are outside a lot may have less during the winter time.
But for those people who don’t spend time outdoors, live far from the equator, have dark skin, or use sunscreen every time they go out may not be able to produce the same quantity of vitamin D.

Many people also have lower levels in cold-weather months, when spending less time outdoors and there’s less skin exposure to the elements.

So how do you get vitamin D in these conditions?

Through foods, of course.

Foods don’t have enough natural vitamin D to satisfy your body’s needs for the most part, but they can help give your levels a boost if you need to. You can find this vitamin naturally in fatty fish and eggs, and many products such as juices, dairy products, and even cereals have vitamin D added to them to help you out.

So what about supplements?

There are pills you can take to give you more vitamin D, but they won’t give you much results if you have enough, and their power and absorption isn’t as good as it is from natural sources.vitamin_supplements_44 However, it’s a good substitute if you’re vegan, in an area with little sunlight, are over 50, or are overweight. Just do your research and find out if the supplements are right for you.

So how many people are in danger of a deficiency?

Surprisingly, extreme deficiency is rare in the US. To be deficient, you need fewer than 12 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood. But if you’re a vegan, have dairy allergies, or don’t get out much, you’re at risk. Your age and weight may determine your needs too. But even though we aren’t low to the point of danger, we usually don’t have the ideal levels. You need 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood, but 30 is better if you want maximum bone and muscle performance. Two thirds of Americans fall short of the minimum guideline, and it increases every winter.

How do you know if you’re low in Vitamin D?

The best way is to talk to your doctor. You can get a blood test if you want, and it can determine if you’re deficient or not. However, you don’t have to get a routine screening if you’re healthy. Just do it every once in a while and keep up your vitamin D levels.

Overall, vitamin D is a powerful source of energy. You may need to get more in your diet to reap its benefits, and when you do, you’ll be set for a healthier life. If you don’t want to deal with foods or supplements, just step outside. If you live in a sunny area, set yourself two days to allow yourself to get outside. It can be early in the morning if you have to.

Everyone should have enough free time to allow themselves an hour each week for some outside time. Maybe exercise along with it. There are so many ways that you can enjoy being outside, and when you do, you’re one step closer for bone health that will last you a lifetime.

Meditation for Beginners

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To those who don’t know much about meditation, you can explain it in one simple statement. Basically, meditation allows you to focus all your attention into one area of your body or mind. It’s been proven that there are health benefits to this. These include happiness, lowered anxiety, and the ability to concentrate more.

Many people try it during their lives for various reasons. However, very few people actually keep doing it. In a way, meditation is just like a commitment to the gym. And just like being committed to that, you have to ease your way into it, and some people find that too intimidating. It’s a shame, because of its many benefits. So how do you ease your way into meditation? There are many ways to do it. In this article, you’ll find some ways for you to begin your meditation and deal with the problems that come with it when you’re beginning.

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Don’t be casual about it, find yourself a consistent time each day to meditate. Two times a day is preferred. Stretch before you meditate. This will loosen your muscles and make you more comfortable when you sit.

Take a deep breath. This slows your heart and relaxes your muscles, giving your mind more focusing power.

Meditate with a motivation. Meditation is an active process, not passive. You need to focus all your undivided attention to just one point in your body, and to do that, you need to be engaged.

Let your frustrations go. When you’re beginning, you may question why you can’t stop your mind, or wonder why you’re doing this in the first place. Focus your breath and forget about your feelings to quell this.

Think outside the box. When you think of meditation, you think of someone sitting under a tree with their legs crossed. However, you can do other forms too. You can sit, lie, or have your eyes opened or closed. Find your best way to meditate.

Use your mind to feel your body. In other words, when your mind stops, put attention to your feet, and then move slowly upwards, also taking note of your insides. If you can do this, you’re on your way to meditation.

How and Where to do it

Make your own meditation room, preferably not in the same place as you sleep, work, or exercise. Decorate it to give you relaxation. Candles, running water, chimes, or anything else you think might calm you down should be in the room.

Check out a few meditation books for more information on how to do it, as well as its benefits. This way, you can get yourself motivated. One book to check out is Wherever You Go, There You Are by John Kabat-Zinn.

Remember that you need to be committed. Meditation is something you’ll do for a lifetime, and you need to remember that not every meditation is going to go well. Just do your best.

Similar to the book rule, you should listen to CDs, podcasts, or stream videos on how to meditate. Devote informal times to meditate too. Performing meditation when you’re on the go is a great tool to help develop your meditation skills.

Make sure there are no distractions in your meditation room. Turn off all phones, do it when you’re home alone, and make sure all other appliances that will disturb you are off.meditate_appliance_33

Be aware of tiny adjustments. If you’re a beginner, your frustrated practice can turn around if you notice even the slightest physical movements. These minor body movements would not be noticeable to someone watching, but they can mean everything to you.

Focus your Attention when Meditating

Find something for your eye to focus on if you meditate with your eyes open. A candle is a great tool for you to do this with. Since meditating with your eyes open is ideal for beginners, you might need this.

One of the most important tips for people starting out is not to stress. This is easier said than done, but you need to do it. Don’t be nervous, don’t feel angry, but just do your best all the time when you’re meditating.

If you have someone willing to meditate before you, all the better. It might allow you to be able to improve your meditation. Before you meditate with someone, however, make sure that you two follow the same rules.

If you wake up in the morning, do it early. There is a lower chance that you’ll be disturbed, and your mind is already relaxed and clear. A good idea is to get up a half hour earlier for your meditation.

 Practice makes Perfect

Feel satisfied when you finish meditating. Spend a couple minutes after each session showing appreciation for your mind and body and its focusing power.

If you feel like you’re losing interest in meditation, you need to make sure you renew it. Read some more meditation books or other media, and practice even more. Also, make sure your problems in life are dealt with beforehand. Life’s problems can make you lose interest after all.

These few tips can help a beginner turn into a master. If you’re  practicing meditation, it is for your own good that you implement them and use them the next time you meditate. Meditation may have its benefits, but those benefits won’t happen if you don’t practice.

Breaking Down the Benefits of Vitamin B

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There are so many B vitamins that it sounds overwhelming. But in reality, there are just eight, and they’re known as the vitamin B complex. These eight are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12, and they all help to give you the best performance that you can give out. Just like a car needs oil, you need B vitamins to keep you going. They help change food into fuel so that you have energy, but they also have so many other individual benefits. They can range from healthy skin and hair to stopping you from losing memories.

However, there is no need for you to start chowing down on supplements. Odds are, you have enough B vitamins in you from what you eat. Overloading yourself on vitamin B isn’t going to make much of a difference in your performance. But it’s still worth noting why each vitamin is important, and you can learn how you can eat healthy so that you can heave enough in your diet. With that said, let’s break down each vitamin.

B1 AKA Thiamine

Vitamin B1 is also known as the anti-stress vitamin. This is because it helps to protect your immune system, and it even helps your body create new cells. vitamin_b_grains_43When you consume carb-heavy foods, vitamin B1 can help your body break those down and ensure digestion and easy absorption. You can find B1 from whole grains, beans, peanuts, kale, spinach, blackstrap molasses, and wheat germ.

B2 AKA Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 helps to defeat free radicals, which may damage your cells. In addition, it can help to prevent early aging, and even help stop heart disease in its tracks. Speaking of heart disease, it’s great for red blood cell production, which can lead to more oxygen transportation. It’s speculated to even help prevent migraines.

However, the sunlight may break down B2 in food sources. For instance, opaque containers help to block sunlight, so it’s best to put them in there if you’ll be eating outside. You can find it in milk, yogurt, wild rice, almonds, eggs, Brussels sprouts, soybeans, and spinach.

B3 AKA Niacin

While being deficient in this vitamin is rare, it’s not uncommon for people with alcoholism to have low levels. Being deficient in this vitamin is bad news, as it helps you to have good HDL levels. HDL is the good cholesterol that will lower your bad cholesterol. Additionally, it can even help with your acne levels as well, and you can use topical applications for that. You can find it in red meat, milk, eggs, yeast, beans, and green vegetables.

B5 AKA Pantothenic Acid

The word “pantothenic” is derived from the Greek word meaning “from everywhere.” It makes sense, since you can find this vitamin in any food group, some more than others. B5 helps to break down fat and carbs, as well as producing hormones such as testosterone and other sex-related elements. B5 has been studied for healthy skin and reducing aging, making you less likely to be red or have spots. The best sources include yogurt, avocados, eggs, meat, and legumes.

B6 AKA Pyridoxine

B6 helps you to maintain levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease, along with B12 and B9. It’s also a determinate in sleep patterns and even your mood, as it produces melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, some studies reveal that B6 can help with your inflammation. You can find it in brown rice, carrots, chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon, sunflower seeds, lentils, and cheese.

B7 AKA Biotin

This is known as a vitamin of beauty, as it promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair. That said, it has less superficial uses. It can help people control high blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, and it helps promote growth of a baby when it’s still in the womb. To get this great vitamin, consume egg yolks, nuts, liver, yeast, pork, barley, chicken, fish, cauliflower, and potatoes.

B9 AKA Folate

This is also known as folic acid, which is synthetically created for supplements and added to foods like bread and cereal. B9 may lower your chance of depression and memory loss.vitamin_b_vegetables_33 If you’re pregnant, it’s another vitamin you’ll need for the development of your baby, and it can prevent birth defects as well, so make sure you have plenty of this vitamin if you want a healthy child. You can find it in milk, bulgur wheat, beans, root vegetables, beets, salmon, leafy greens, and asparagus.

B12 AKA Cobalamin

Finally, we have B12. And as they say, it’s last, but not least. This vitamin co-ops with B9 to produce red blood cells and help iron produce oxygen. There is only one problem, and that’s that vitamin b12 is found in animal products only. So if you’re a vegan, you may need to find supplements to help you out and get your levels optimized. You can find this in pork, beef, eggs, shellfish, fish, and dairy.

As you learned, vitamin B has many forms, all with various uses to boot. They all help your body perform at its greatest, and you need to have optimal levels if you want to do that. Now that you know about your B vitamins, talk to your doctor and see if you’re having enough. If not, try some of these foods above and get your B levels up! Your body will thank you for it later.

The Definite and Detailed Guide for Managing Your Day to Rest Better At Night

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Tell the truth; can you remember when last you actually had a good night of sleep? If you can remember and the answer is last night then be grateful, you are one of the lucky ones. Let’s go a step further and pose an even harder question to answer then: when was the last time that you had a good night’s sleep every single day for an entire week? Now that is truly a difficult thing to remember; far too many people will say that has never happened to them, it is and impossible feat to even think of achieving.

In a recently updated study that was conducted by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) it was approximated that at least 50 to 70 million US citizens have some form of sleep related disorder. For this reason, among others, inadequate sleep is categorized as a growing public health epidemic.

However, despair not for there are certain things that you do to augment your daily life that will accordingly have a direct effect on your sleep habits – putting that much closer to attaining a good night’s sleep.sleeping_bed_tips_67 While you will most surely see the short-term benefits of this within a couple of days; to see long-term benefits you will have to apply yourself to these practices for a couple weeks to see results. However, it is all worth it.

One thing that you will hear doctors and sleep experts telling you to focus on is your circadian rhythm. By focusing on this circadian rhythm you are focusing on the portion of your brain that is responsible for the natural sleep cycle of your body. Here are a few ways that you can improve and maintain the quality of the sleep that you get each and every night.

Morning

Meet the daylight. As you get out of bed, one of the initial thing that you should do is pull back your curtains and let in the early morning daylight. This is very beneficial right off the bat, since it awakens your body and helps to adjust your body’s biological clock.

Protein and carbs.

Your first meal of the day should have that kick to get your body started and give you that boost of energy to keep going throughout the day. Your protein can be obtained from easy to digest sources such as milk, eggs, yogurt, and nuts. You can obtain the needed carbs from sources such as oatmeal, cereal (whole grain), and bread (whole wheat). By combining the protein and carbs before you get your day started, you are ensuring that your body stay fuller longer and your energy reserves will be topped up.

Take your caffeine early.

A great majority of American adults need their coffee to get through their hectic day to day lives. While there is nothing wrong with this, medical experts will all come to an agreement that if you have problems sleeping (or simply want to improve the quality of the sleep that you are getting) then drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages when you have six or less hours before hitting the hay will negatively affect your sleep habits.

Noontime

More protein.

After 11am or so your body will start to require more protein to keep you supplied with enough energy to manage the day. Adding foods that are rich in protein to your lunch and snacks in small portions will greatly help you. Foods such as; fish, soybeans, nuts and poultry can make all the difference.

No shame in napping.

If you have the freedom and spare time to take a short nap during the day then by all means go right ahead. You should just be mindful that it does not exceed half an hour; also, if you can, try to have it after 12pm but before 3pm. A power nap like this can keep you rested in the day and have you sleeping like a baby when night comes.

Pre-dinner workout.

While there is no fixed consensus on when exactly you should squeeze in your workout session; all experts will agree that it is best done somewhat close to dinnertime (late afternoon). This gives your body time to return to its normal state (muscles relaxed, etc.) and you get to build up back your body with a healthy meal.

Limit your alcohol intake.

Once you have given yourself a set bedtime you should then make sure that you don’t consume alcohol at least four hours before going to sleep. While alcohol has been known to give a relaxing feeling and even induce drowsiness, it does not provide us with the high quality sleep that we are seeking. It can lead to tossing and turning, abrupt awakenings and bad dreams.

Evening

Get a balanced meal for dinner.

Yes your dinner should be balanced, but it should also be light enough to not burden your digestive system while you are sleeping. Brown rice or whole wheat pasta are great places to start when it comes to carbs. Adequate healthy vegetables are a must, as well as a reasonably sized portion of lean protein that will sate your hunger but not leave you bloated like a balloon. If you really need a light snack before bed after dinner, you can consider getting a small bowl of oatmeal or cereal, fresh fruits, or nuts.

Calm your mind and body.

This is logical enough since over the course of your hectic day you are bound build up great amounts of tension in your body and mind. Herbal teas, warm baths and best of all meditation; are some of the ways that you can achieve this without overexerting yourself before bed (since overexertion would defeat the whole calming process).

Set the “mood” and crawl into bed.

Take the time to adjust your surroundings to the optimal conditions for YOUR sleep needs.tips_sleep_99 Make sure the area is: just as dim as you want it, the correct temperature, and quiet enough (dead silence is not necessary as some of us need a bit of ambient noise to feel comfortable). Power down all devices that can become distracting during the night and especially try to stay away from excessive texting, browsing and messaging shortly before trying to go to sleep (blue light emissions suppress production of melatonin, preventing healthy sleep).

These tips should help you optimize the sleep you are getting to prepare you for the day ahead.