Sleep More Help Your Fashion Beauty

Of course, I couldn’t say for sure that it was the change in my sleep pattern that had caused my sudden recovery from exhaustion, so I tested it by going back to eight hours a night. My original plan was to experiment with eight hours for a couple of weeks, but after the third day I was already feeling drained and weary again, so I gave up and went back to six hours, a pattern which I have continued to follow to this day. I find it easy to get out of bed, and I almost never feel tired until late in the evening.

As it turns out, not everyone needs eight hours a night to feel rested. Some need more, some less. A bit of light research on the internet turned up quite a few studies and personal accounts of people who need only four hours per night, all the way up to ten or more. I was worried that I by only sleeping six hours per night, I was depriving myself of something important, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, there are a wide variety of factors that influence how much sleep a particular person needs, and in the end, there is no magic number that fits everyone.

This really put my mind at ease. I can’t say that I won’t continue to sleep in from time to time, or that I’ll always manage to get exactly six hours per night if I feel I need more or less at a particular time. I’m just glad that I have found some flexibility from what I thought was a hard-and-fast rule, and thus I have been able to create a sleep schedule that both fits my lifestyle, and makes me feel as rested and energetic as I possibly can.

Inexpensive Gifts for the Fitness Guru

Inexpensive Gifts for the Fitness Guru

Do you have a friend or family member who is a fitness fanatic? Here is a great selection of gifts for the fitness queen (or king!) in your life. What’s more, all of these gifts are less than $100.

The Garmin Forerunner 50 with Heart Rate Monitor offers an affordable alternative to traditional sports watches while maintaining key features that are perfect for the cyclist, runner, or jogger on your gift list. It features wireless technology that allows you to automatically load your workouts to your computer without any hookups required — and it’s waterproof! Get it at

Your fitness-minded friends will love the Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit when they see it under the tree. This resistance training kit comes complete with a balance ball, a 60-minute workout DVD, and a resistance band for additional exercise capabilities. Get it for $29.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

For beginning exercisers, TKO’s Home Fitness Gift Set is the perfect set to start them on the road to fitness. This kit is jam packed with everything they’ll need to jump start an exercise routine, including ankle weights, dumbbells, wrist weights, a jump rope, resistance bands, and more. Available from Everything Fitness.

For the fitness (and fashion) minded women in your life, consider giving them a pair of New Balance WX 855 aerobic sneakers. These shoes provide amazing shock absorption and ventilation while being exceptionally durable and comfortable. Get these shoes from New Balance.

Finally, Dance Workout for Dummies will liven up any workout routine and is sure to be appreciated by any fitness fanatic on your list this holiday season. Complete with 44 minutes of workout instructions and routines for anyone who is just beginning to understand dance aerobics, this DVD is a delightful and inexpensive gift to help your friends stay fit in a relaxed, fun way. Available at

Whether your fitness-minded friends and family run, bicycle, walk, or do aerobics (or anything in between), these inexpensive fitness gifts are sure to make a splash this Christmas. For less than $100 bucks each, these gifts are affordable options for all the fitness gurus you need to shop for.

Biolage SmoothTherapie Shampoo and Conditioner

Biolage SmoothTherapie Shampoo

I rarely use salon products — normally, I stick to whatever happens to be on sale at the drugstore. However, after a recent cut I decided to splurge a little, and purchased Matrix’s Biolage SmoothTherapie shampoo and conditioner.

The products, a blend of natural oils like almond and grape seed, promised to “cleanse hair without weighing it down.” They also promised my dry, unruly hair would be luscious and frizz-free. It sounded good, and for $20 I figured I may as well give them a chance.

Excited, I hopped in the shower and squeezed out a dime-sized drop of shampoo. I massaged it into my scalp and was pleasantly surprised. It has a light, almost tropical scent that’s just perfect and not overpowering. The conditioner offered the same pleasing fragrance and made my hair feel smoother before I’d even rinsed it out. I was feeling pretty optimistic at that point!

After rinsing, I hopped out of the shower and scrutinized my hair. It was already looking pretty healthy after my recent cut, but I was very surprised to feel how soft it was! For once, a shampoo and conditioner had done what it promised to do. I finger combed my hair and let it dry, and my hair remained touchable and frizz-free all day.

Since then, I’ve used Biolage SmoothTherapie products regularly, and continue to be delighted by the results. If you have unruly, damaged or frizzy hair, I strongly suggest you try these products. Normally after showering I have to put some sort of product in my hair to make it soft, but I skipped that step entirely because these products actually work.

Biolage is only available in salons, and I paid $20 for the set of shampoo and conditioner. If you are tired of your regular shampoo and conditioner not doing what it should, give these products a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!