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  • Writer's pictureTracy Miller

Reeling in Memories: Wellness and Stress-Relieving Lakeside Adventures Across the Midwest

There's a special kind of magic that lingers in my early memories of vacationing at the lakes scattered across Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota. These trips were more than just getaways; they were a cherished family tradition, rich in the peaceful moments of being on the water and the joys of fishing, instilled in me by my grandfather.


Each summer, our family would pack up the car and set off on a journey to a different lake. The excitement would build as we got closer, the scenery changing from busy Chicagoland suburbs to serene, tree-lined roads. Upon arrival, the sight of the shimmering water always filled me with a sense of peace and anticipation.


My grandpa Ted was an expert fisherman, and he shared his love of fishing with me from a young age. I can still recall the feel of the cool, damp 5 a.m. morning air as we ventured out onto the lake, the aluminum fishing boat motor humming while cutting through still water, and the sights and sounds of nature waking up around us. He taught me how to bait a hook, cast a line, and patiently wait for that thrilling tug signaling a “nibble” or a “bite”. Fishing was more than just a hobby for us; it was a time to bond, share stories, and create lasting memories.


Being on the water was a sanctuary of tranquility. These moments of calm, surrounded by nature, were some of the most peaceful times I can remember. Our lakeside adventures were filled with laughter and joy, creating a treasure trove of family memories. From the thrill of catching our first fish of the day to the adventures staying in primitive fishing cabins, each trip was a chapter in our family's story, woven together by the love and shared experiences that defined our time by the water.


Today, lake life continues to be an important part of how I de-stress and recharge. Being near water, often called “blue space,” has been shown to have a uniquely profound impact on mental and physical health. Research has highlighted the positive effects of blue space on mental health. A 2013 study in Health & Place journal found that coastal residents reported better physical and mental health compared to those inland. Natural water sounds, such as ocean waves or flowing rivers, can lower cortisol levels, reducing stress.


Water can also boost cognitive function. A 2017 study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that students with views of blue space performed better academically and had improved attention spans. The restorative nature of blue spaces aids cognitive recovery from stress and mental fatigue.


Sleep Benefits

Being near the water has some amazing benefits that can help people fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restful sleep, especially beneficial for those with insomnia. Here are five sleep benefits of being near water:


1.      Improved Relaxation: The sight and sound of water have a naturally calming effect on the mind and body, helping to reduce stress and anxiety, which can improve overall relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep.

2.      Enhanced Sleep Quality: The soothing sounds of water, such as waves or flowing rivers, can help to drown out distracting noises, leading to deeper, more restful sleep.

3.      Reduced Stress Levels: Being near water can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, which can contribute to more restful and uninterrupted sleep.

4.      Improved Sleep Patterns: Natural water sounds can help regulate your sleep patterns, promoting a healthier sleep cycle and making it easier to wake up feeling refreshed.

5.      Promotion of Calm and Peacefulness: The tranquil environment near water bodies can create a peaceful atmosphere that is conducive to winding down and preparing for a good night’s sleep.


Conclusion

The wellness and stress-relieving benefits of being near water are profound. From reducing stress and improving mood to enhancing cognitive function and boosting physical health, blue spaces offer a sanctuary for the mind and body. Integrating more blue space into our lives can be a simple yet powerful way to improve overall well-being. Next time you feel overwhelmed, consider a trip to the nearest body of water—you might find the peace and great night’s sleep you seek.


After a fun day on the lake, you are sure to fall fast asleep cuddling up to your favorite pillow. One of my favorite designs is the Sleep Smart™ Down Wrap Pillow featuring temperature regulating 37.5 technology! Love the comfort and support of hotel down pillows? These feel just as good, plus the 37.5® technology that is incorporated into the fabric and fill helps to keep you sleeping cool, as it evaporates excess moisture, heat and humidity! Enjoy!


Sleep Tonight. Create Tomorrow.™ Tracy


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