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Friday, February 16, 2018

The Happygirl Wellbeing Experiment Week 2: The White Noise Machine

One of my top ten favorite things is staying in a great hotel. It isn't the feeling of getting away or the breakfast on the patio or even the languid, happy feeling of sitting by the pool. Instead, for me, it's the sleep, the complete knocked out, wonderful eight hours of sleep that I get in a hotel. I love that sensation of sliding into cool, smooth sheets and falling asleep listening to the drone of the room's air conditioning. At home, I just never sleep this well. It is a battle for me to get three to four hours of sleep a night. This, of course, affects my day, my wellbeing, my fitness program and my happiness.

Countless studies have shown that without proper sleep, your body (and mind) don't function at their optimal ability. One study even shows that without thorough sleep, your emotions can run amok and your brain will overdramatize events of the day. You can become irrational and your immune system takes a hit. Without the right amount of quality sleep, your entire system reacts negatively.

As part of this new wellbeing experiment (and weight loss program), I am interested not only in the weight loss aspect but also in how the rest of my body and mind are reacting to my environment. I have never slept well. My mind is always going, listening to every sound, thinking thinking thinking. I am laying there in the quiet and while my body may be tired, my mind starts reeling ("Did I move enough today? I need to get in more steps. Where do I walk a lot? Oh, Walt Disney World. I love Disney. I like Dole Whips. . .") And that is one reason that I don't sleep well.

Lately, I've been thinking about my best sleep and how we can recreate the kind of sleep we get in hotels. We started by buying different sheets (a future post) and two weeks ago, L. bought me a white noise machine. The ElctroFan High Fidelity White Noice Machine is a miracle. While I have tried several other white noise machines and sound soothers in the past, none come close to this one. One reason being that the sound is non-looping. When you're falling asleep, your bran can detect repetitive sounds. For example, one sound soother we purchased for the baby featured sounds on a short loop, Every time the loop started over (it was almost imperceptible), I could hear it and it jarred me awake. This ElectroFan features non-looping white noise that sounds just like an air conditioner. It also features different frequencies, similar to the sounds of oscillating fans, air conditioners and air purifiers. We fine-tuned the volume and the depth of sound, until we found one that felt right. We fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep. It was exactly what my brain needed to quiet itself.

Also, if you have ambient noise from traffic, neighbors or other family members in the house, turn up the volume and this will shut out even the most distracting sounds.

For a perfect night's sleep, there's always The Four Seasons, but the ElectroFan is a good alternative. I highly recommend this machine for your wellbeing. For travel, ElectroFan also makes a micro version. The sound you get from this tiny machine is incredible. It will knock out even the loudest party happening next door. We won't travel without this.

Weight loss February 1- today: 16 pounds.

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