Monday, May 10, 2010

One Thing Even The Coolest Alarm Clock Cannot Give You: Tryptophan

If you have a difficult time sleeping, you may need to look at your diet. Certain foods can actually help promote better sleep. Studies indicate that foods rich in tryptophan can help assist with sleep and relax your brain. They are full of such amino acids that help generate melatonin and serotonin in the body. Sleep-inducing neurotransmitters are produced by tryptophan. If you are looking for foods to try that contain tryptophan look for: whole grains, beans, chickpeas, hazel nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy beans and others. Raw dairy products and soy milk are also great sources of this natural sleep aid. If you are having difficult sleeping, consult a doctor about adding these foods to your diet.

Or Maybe Just Get A Better Alarm Clock From Moshi.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Always Room for Innovation in the Business of Telling Time

When it comes to the business of telling time, there is always room to innovate and improve the user experience. This is something we believe all those in the business of telling time should constantly be thinking about.

This article takes two companies in the business of telling people the time, Moshi Lifestyle Alarm Clocks and De Bethune Watches, and illustrates how no matter how long an industry or product has been around, there will always be room for improvements and innovations.

Just like Moshi Lifestyle Voice Controlled alarm clocks, De Bethune has seen opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the business of telling and communicating time. Swiss watchmaker De Bethune made it to the New York times the other day in an article on how his innovative use of materials has put the brand on the map. As a newcomer, De Bethune has already developed nine different calibers and has made a name for the brand by being known for continuous innovation to the watchmaking practice, yet still maintaining tremendous respect for the practice's horological traditions.

Wei Koh, the managing editor and co-founder of Revolution, an international watch magazine, describes the brand as "probably the best-kept secret in high watchmaking" explaining that "no other brand has committed themselves to more groundbreaking innovation regarding basic chronometry and functional innovation than De Bethune."

One innovation that stands out with De Bethune is the company's commitment to increasing the use of titanium in watch movements. According to Mr. Flageollet, former professor at the watchmaker's school in Le Locle (Switzerland), "Titanium is a very interesting material for watchmaking. . . It's extremely light, yet resistant, and it is corrosion-resistant. But while several houses use titanium for their cases, the metal is barely used internally." The designs and innovative use of materials brings a whole new experience to the average watch-wearer. Drawing a parallel, Moshi uses voice recognition technology to bring a new experience to sleeping and waking up in the morning.

What De Bethune has managed to create with the company's innovated and daring uses of titanium internally in watches is perhaps the lightest balance wheels in the world. According to Mr. Zanetta, founder of De Bethune, "It has the highest inertia system, which absorbs changes in position and shocks much better than any other system."

The practice of watch-making and clock making has been around for centuries and it makes you wonder why no other legendary swiss watchmaker has attempted these bold moves. Given that De Bethune is a newcomer to the watchmaking industry, as early as 2002, the company brought to the market a very fresh perspective on the entire industry and a state of mind that long time watch makers had left behind decades ago.

The moral of the story is this: when it comes to the business of telling time, there will always be room for innovation and ways to improve the user experience. This is something that Moshi Lifestyle continues to express in its innovative alarm clocks and products.

Read more about the story in the New York Times and learn more about De Bethune or Moshi Lifestyle here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Soothing Sounds to Sleep With

Soothing sounds help provide the perfect environment for restful sleep. Not only do they aid in falling asleep, but they can also be used to help reduce stress, meditate, and practice yoga.

Having music or relaxing sounds in the background helps mask out those little bumps in the night that sometimes keep us awake, or awake us from a light sleep. They keep the noise in the environment consistent, so that you do not go from dead silence to hearing a car starting in the parking lot next to your window.

There are several types of sounds that create a relaxing atmosphere. They include, but are not limited to rhythmic drumming, the sound of a vibraphone, white noise machines, rainfall, waterfalls, trickling streams, ocean waves, light bird chirping, windchimes, easy storms and more.

It is important to find the right type of music that soothes you to falling asleep easy. If the sounds of nature do not help, you can also try classical music, piano and other instrumentals, easy listening, Chinese meditation, and new age.

If you are unsure of what to choose from, try going to bookstores (such as Barnes & Noble) that have a music department with listening stations. Then you can preview the sounds or music to see which one sounds right for you. Also, if you get massages or reflexology treatments, ask the employees at the location what types of music they play, as it is usually soothing and relaxing to create the right, stress free atmosphere.

There are also some websites where you can find royalty-free mp3 downloads. These might be good for finding easy music. Not necessarily the most popular music, but sounds by musicians just trying to get some exposure. These sites will have different categories of music to choose from, so you can do some experimentation with different styles before committing to a CD or iTunes purchase.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

6 Reasons to Wake Up Early

There are so many great reasons to be an early riser, which can be beneficial for your health, productivity and mood. Here are six reasons to wake up early.
  1. Exercise – What a great way to start a productive day than by stimulating your endorphins with some exercise. You can go to the gym, run down the street, walk your dog, play a game of tennis, do some yoga, or anything else that will get your mind and body ready for the day.

  2. Create Plenty of Time to Get Things Done – Let’s face it, if you sleep in until noon, half of your day really is gone, assuming that you don’t work the night shift somewhere. Therefore, the earlier you get up, the more day time you have to accomplish things. Even getting up one extra hour earlier than you usually do gives you one whole hour to devote to tasks that you usually feel like you do not have enough time to finish.

  3. Meditate – Another great thing you could do if you arise from bed a bit earlier before starting your usual day is meditate. For those that have non-stop, super busy lives, a little calm meditation will give emotional and mental balance, leading to improved over-all well being.

  4. Avoid Rush Hour – Does your morning commute involve a half-hour stand still on the freeway? See if you can arrange to be at work an hour earlier than everyone else, beating rush hour traffic on the way to and from the office.

  5. Have a Great Breakfast – If your usual morning routine involves slamming down a pop tart or gas station donut, chances are, you would do yourself some good by getting up just a bit earlier and having a more nutritious breakfast with whole grains and fresh fruit. Not to mention, you could eat it calmly and digest a bit before beginning the daily rush.

  6. Set Daily Goals – Everyone has a list of things they need to get done on a particular day. Instead of spending the day reacting to each event as it comes, why not set a list of goals of things you definitely want to accomplish at the start of the day. Then you will not feel overwhelmed, but organized.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Avoid These Things and Get a Good Night's Sleep

There are many things that may ruin your ability to get a good night's sleep. Here are some things to avoid in order to get the most restful sleep possible for your body.
  • Loud Alarm Clocks
    Being awoken suddenly and harshly is stressful to the body, and thereby starts your day with more stress. If you can't get on a regular sleep schedule and wake up naturally, try an alarm clock that wakes you up more calmly and naturally, rather than having a buzzer or loud music.

  • Snacks Before Bedtime
    Snacks, especially grains and sugars, will raise your blood sugar level and make it difficult to fall asleep. Likewise, when your blood sugar level drops, you may wake up and not be able to fall back asleep.

  • TV Before Bedtime
    Watching TV before bedtime may stimulate your brain, making it more active which will make it harder to fall asleep.

  • Taking Too Many Medications
    Certain medications, both prescription and over the counter, effect your ability to sleep. Read the side effects of your medications carefully, and talk with your doctor about natural alternatives to those medications if they affect sleeping habits.

  • Alcohol
    Although alcohol makes people sleepy, it also hinders the body from falling into a deep sleep, which will make them more likely to wake up too early and not be able to fall back asleep.

  • Caffeine
    Depending on how your body handles caffeine, even a caffeinated drink in the afternoon may affect you long after, making it hard for your body to fall or stay asleep.

  • Working Before Bedtime
    If possible, try to stop working at least an hour before bedtime. This allows the mind to unwind and slow down so you will be able to fall asleep easier.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sleep Disorders

There are many different types of sleep disorders that may affect our ability to get a good night's sleep. Here are some common sleep disorders, and some tips on how to remedy them.


One of the most common sleep disorders that people suffer from is insomnia, or the inability to fall or stay asleep. Insomnia can be anything from only being able to sleep just a few hours a night to not being able to sleep for days. It can be triggered by stress or depression, and can lead to problems with mental clarity, focusing, memory, coordination and irritability.

While there are many prescription sleep aids available, it may be best to try something that is less addictive that will actually aid the body into falling asleep naturally, as opposed to forcing it too. Valerian root, for example, is a natural herbal remedy that helps people fall asleep naturally without the undesirable side effects of being too groggy the next morning.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person's breathing is interrupted while sleeping. This is a serious sleep disorder, with symptoms such as waking up with a sore throat or gasping for breath, recurrent waking in the middle of the night or insomnia, morning headaches, and forgetfulness. It can lead to hypertension, stroke or even heart attacks.

Sleep apnea is more prevalent in men, and risk factors include being overweight, over the age of 40, and having a family history of sleep apnea. Lifestyle changes to help treat this disorder include losing weight, avoiding sleep aids and alcohol, avoid sleeping on the back, change sleeping positions often, and stop smoking.

Sleep Paralysis

Sleep paralysis is not mentioned too often due to the fact that it does not have many serious side effects, but it can be enough to keep you awake at night and not wanting to fall back asleep. It is a sensation that can happen when you are either falling asleep or starting to wake up. When your body is in REM mode, it is somewhat "paralyzed" in order to prevent you from physically acting out your dreams and injuring yourself. What happens in sleep paralysis is the mind begins to wake up before the body, and mildly hallucinates that there is someone or something in the room with you. Because the body is still in its paralyzed state, you feel like you are unable to scream or get away from this intruder, and it is hard to wake yourself up.

Sleep paralysis can be reduced by avoiding scary shows or movies before bedtime, and by avoiding sleeping on the back. In the event that you find yourself in the middle of a sleep paralysis episode, it is helpful to try to focus on moving one body part, whether it is a hand or a foot, rather than just trying to scream or jump up. Lucid dreaming techniques, where you learn to control your dreams, are also said to be helpful.