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How to Get Great Sleep in all Seasons of Life

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How to Get Great Sleep in all Seasons of Life

The average adult needs at least seven hours of sleep per night. But, more than one-third (35.5 percent) of adults report getting less than that on a regular basis.

Chronic sleep deprivation affects nearly every aspect of our lives, from our performance at work to our ability to manage our emotions.

There are a number of reasons why people aren’t getting as much sleep as they should be, from stress to chronic blue light exposure. Many people also find their sleep quality is dramatically influenced by the changes in seasons.

Do you feel like you get great sleep in the winter but not in the summer? Does “springing forward” for Daylight Savings Time leave you feeling like a zombie for weeks?

If certain seasons come with irritating sleep obstacles, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will help you get great sleep during every season of the year.

Spring

Daylight Savings in the springtime does bring about longer, sunnier days, which many people love. But, many people also have a hard time dealing with the loss of a precious hour of sleep.

One hour might not seem like much, but the loss can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm. It also brings about a number of obstacles that go beyond feeling more tired during the day.

For example, research shows that losing just one hour of sleep can cause you to overeat the following day. It can also hinder your school, work, and workout performance, and many businesses report an increase in employees “cyberloafing” in the days following Daylight Savings Time.

Clearly, the arrival of springtime has the power to significantly interrupt your sleep. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to lessen the impact of Daylight Savings Time, including the following:

  • Write in a journal, plan a fun activity, or make a to-do list to offset anxiety about losing sleep
  • Go to bed one hour earlier than usual
  • Turn off the TV and put away your smartphone earlier than usual to minimize blue light exposure
  • Cut off caffeine by 12 p.m. to make sure you’re not overstimulated before bed
  • Keep your room dark (install blackout curtains if you need to) — the sun might stay up later, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay up with it
  • Expose yourself to plenty of sunlight during the day to maintain alertness and cement your circadian rhythm

Summer

Long, sunny summer days are great for outdoor activities, but they can also negatively affect your sleep. When you’re constantly exposed to the sunshine, your body may not produce as much melatonin as it needs to properly regulate sleep and wakefulness.

Increased temperatures in the summertime can also make it harder for you to get comfortable at night. Cool temperatures are best for getting quality sleep, but those can be hard to come by during the summer months.

To minimize sleep disturbances and ensure you’re getting quality rest during the summer, keep these tips in mind:

  • Limit evening sunlight exposure — a couple of hours before bedtime, close your blinds and dim the lights to make your home a little darker and send a signal to your body that it’s time for bed. You should also wear sunglasses if you need to leave the house in the evening.
  • Keep your room as dark as possible (definitely install those blackout curtains or buy a sleep mask) and invest in a fan or air conditioner to keep your room cool (68 degrees or lower is ideal).
  • Invest in light blankets and pajamas that will keep you cool and comfortable at night.

Fall

While “springing forward” is a major irritant for most people, “falling back” and gaining an extra hour of sleep also comes with its own challenges. In the same way that losing sleep throws off your circadian rhythm, so does gaining an hour.

You may feel more fatigued during the day, and the lack of sun exposure that typically accompanies shorter fall days can contribute to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

To minimize the negative effects of Daylight Savings Time in the fall, consider making these changes:

  • Get as much sunlight as possible during the day — open your windows, eat lunch outside, go for a walk in the afternoon — expose yourself to all the sunlight you can (you’ll have plenty of time to relax and wind down in the evening since it gets darker earlier).
  • Keep your home cool — it might be tempting to light a fire and curl up in a warm blanket, but keeping your home cool will help you sleep better. Try not to let your thermostat go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Exercise regularly, spend time with loved ones, and find activities that you enjoy to help stave off feelings of depression that often arise in the fall.

Winter

In the same way that long summer days can negatively affect your sleep, so can short winter days. Dry winter air also doesn’t help promote good sleep quality, and neither does the influx of carb-heavy holiday food that people tend to indulge in when the weather starts to get frightful.

It can be hard to get quality sleep during the winter months, especially if you live somewhere like the Pacific Northwest where the sun often sets around 4 p.m. These changes can help:

  • Don’t overheat your bedroom — you already know that high temperatures negatively affect your sleep, but take extra care during the cold winter months.
  • Exercise regularly to promote quality sleep — just make sure your workout ends about three hours before bedtime so that your cortisol (stress hormone) levels have time to return to normal
  • Keep your diet as healthy as possible — you can indulge in some treats here and there, but too much rich, sugary food will throw off your digestion and make it harder for you to rest at night
  • Get outside whenever you can — in the winter, sunlight is even more limited than it is in the fall, so you’ll need to be extra vigilant about spending outdoors during the day.
  • Make sure your nasal passages stay moist — indoor heating can dry out the air and cause nasal congestion, which causes snoring and can make it hard for people to fall asleep. Use a humidifier at night, stay hydrated during the day, and use a Neti pot to flush out your nasal passage before going to bed.

Conclusion

As you can see, every season of the year comes with its own sleep obstacles. It’s important to be adaptable as these changes occur so that you can maintain good sleep hygiene and stay as well-rested as possible.

These tips are a great starting place — if you feel like your sleep has been lacking, implementing some of them and switching up your routine might be just what you need.

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Lifestyle

A Step-By-Step Guide to Long-term Furniture Storage

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Guide to Long-term Furniture Storage

In this day in age, people, companies and families require convenient mobile storage solutions for a variety of reasons. From businesses to individuals, there are a lot of scenarios where having some extra space makes sense.

If you are considering moving some of your furniture into storage for a long-term period, here is a step-by-step guide to ensure it all goes according to plan.

1. Take Time To Prep

No matter whether you are putting your furniture in storage for months or years, you want to take the time to prep the items before they go in. Make sure to give your furniture and any other belongings a thorough clean before moving them. You and the other members of your household can do this, or you can hire professionals cleaners (who know the most effective and efficient dust cleaning methods) to take care of this task for you for greater convenience.

A thorough clean entails wiping each piece down with a fresh cloth and then using the appropriate cleaner for the type of material (metal, wood, glass, etc.).

Finally, let the furniture dry in a well-ventilated area, so that no trapped moisture remains on the furniture when you wrap and prepare the piece for storage. If humidity or moisture does stay on the furniture, it can damage your belongings over time.

2. Make A Plan For Moving

Every person or family who moves underestimates how much “stuff” they have accumulated over time.

Before you jump into moving everything, make a thorough plan of action.

Figure out if you are going to hire helpers to move some of the more significant furniture pieces, or if you are going to do it yourself. It is a good idea to disassemble some of the larger pieces of furniture, such as your chests or sofas. This will make them a lot easier to transport into the storage unit.

If you do remove the legs from your tables and separate the boards from your bed frames, remember to group, wrap and label these pieces together so that you can reassemble them with ease when necessary.

Additionally, only purchase one to two box sizes for stacking and convenience purposes. When packing up the boxes, create a contents list — a numbered list that notes all the contents of each box — that you can refer to when you need to retrieve something or when it comes time to take things out of the storage unit.

3. Wrap Everything Up Appropriately

The most important aspect of long-term furniture storage is making sure you are protecting your belongings as well as you possibly can.

For your furniture, use sheets or covers to prevent dust from settling on them, while also still allowing the air to flow. However, bypass plastic package materials as they can stifle some materials such as wood and fabrics.

For your smaller, more delicate belongings, such as framed pictures and lamps, use bubble wrap for wrapping.

4.  Keep It Organized

Once you have strategically moved everything into your storage unit, it is essential that you keep it organized throughout the time you have it.

An organized storage unit will ensure not only that you can locate furniture and other items when necessary, but also that everything that is in storage remains safe and protected.

Always have an aisle down the middle of your storage unit, so that you can move throughout the space to reach boxes whenever necessary. 

However you decide to stack your belongings (boxes, shelves, etc.), just make sure there is plenty of distance between your boxes and the walls to have sufficient airflow.

If you do have to rearrange things at some point, keep the boxes that are filled with “essentials” front and center, and always put everything back where it belongs.

A Few Final Thoughts

If you follow this step-by-step guide for prepping and storing your furniture, you need not worry about keeping it in storage long-term. If you clean the pieces, pack them appropriately, disassemble them for easy transport, and keep your storage unit organized, then you will know that they are ready for you upon removal, whenever you require them again.

Have you ever moved your furniture into an onsite storage rental unit for the long-term? What tips and tricks did you learn for making it a smooth process? Let us know in the comments below! 

AUTHOR BIO: Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.

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Lifestyle

How To Ensure A High Quality Construction Job

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How To Ensure A High Quality Construction Job

If you work in the construction industry, then you will be aware that having quality construction materials throughout the duration of the job can result in a high-quality end product being produced. This is especially pertinent given numerous advancements in modern construction techniques as well as the various new materials that have been introduced onto the market. Indeed, to make sure that you create a quality construction job, you should make sure you get the best building materials which are available on the market. However, you should also make sure that you avoid using cheaper materials as a result of trying to save money in the short term, which can sometimes reduce the end quality of the construction job that you are working on.

Therefore, if you want to make sure that all of the construction jobs that you are working are completed to the highest quality possible, then you should follow these simple tips to make sure you choose the right materials from the correct supplier.

Modern Advancements

Given the various advancements in the construction industry over the last few decades, especially relating to the provision of quality construction materials, the cost of building has increased. This is especially pertinent given modern environmental concerns as well as other social and safety issues. However, if you want to help fight global warming, whilst creating a high-quality construction end product, then you should consider the use of modern materials and construction methods which can offer a number of advantages over more traditional techniques.

Save Costs

In addition, if you are looking to save money, but also to ensure a high-quality construction job, then you should look for new materials which can give you both cost savings as well as other benefits which the building owner can enjoy at the end of the project. Specifically, it should be noted that looking for new techniques as well as advanced materials which have a number of environmental as well as financial benefits should be one of the main tasks if you are working on any number of construction jobs.

Appropriate Materials

Some construction materials have recently been found to be dangerous; especially a number of volatile compounds including asbestos which can create increased health risks. However, by choosing a company which offers quality construction materials that are free of such contaminants, it is possible to complete the construction job you are working on to the highest quality, whilst also ensuring the health and the well-being of both the construction workers and the end users of the building.

Choose The Right Company

Lastly, by carrying out a quick search online, you can find the various companies which supply such materials to the construction industry in your area. In addition, if you are looking for reviews or testimonials about these companies, then a simple search can allow you to understand whether the materials that they provide are of the highest quality available.

Therefore, in order to make sure you complete a construction job to the best quality possible, you should always think about finding a company which can provide you with the highest quality construction materials which are available on the market.

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Health

How to Support a Loved One Who’s Struggling with Addiction

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It’s impossible to talk about physical and mental health without also addressing the fact that more than 20 million people over the age of 12 are suffering from some kind of addiction.

Addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States — and the rest of the world, for that matter — and the chances are very high that someone you know and love is struggling or will struggle in the future. Because of this, it’s important to know how to provide support and encourage loved ones to get the help they need.

Not sure where to begin?

Listed below are some easy-to-apply steps that will help you show support to a loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Know the Signs

One of the most important steps you can take is making sure you’re aware of the signs of addiction. It’s not always easy to spot, but if you’re loved one starts exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they could be struggling.

  • Appearing intoxicated more often than usual
  • Developing memory and cognition issues
  • Feeling lethargic or sleeping more often than usual
  • Having trouble at school or work
  • Only attend social events where drugs or alcohol will be available
  • Isolating themselves and skipping activities they used to enjoy
  • Stealing money or other valuables to fund their habit
  • Lying about how much of a particular substance they’re using
  • Getting angry or defensive when questioned about their substance use
  • Neglecting their appearance or personal hygiene

Speak Up Early

When you start noticing signs that could indicate your loved one is struggling with an addiction, be sure to speak up early and express your concern. Don’t wait until they hit rock bottom to offer help.

Letting them know early on that you’re there for them and want to help them could be the push they need to start to turn things around. Addiction is just like any other disease — the sooner it is treated, the better.

Avoid Common Communication Pitfalls

When it comes to addressing your loved one’s behavior and expressing your concern, it’s important to communicate effectively and avoid common pitfalls that can cause them to become angry or defensive.

Remember, they might not realize yet themselves that they have a problem, so it’s important to avoid coming on too strong and making them feel as though they’re being attacked.

Some common mistakes to avoid when talking to your loved one include:

  • Avoid preaching, lecturing, bribing, threatening, or moralizing
  • Don’t be a martyr — this means avoiding emotional appeals that make them feel guilty or ashamed for how they’re affecting you
  • Don’t argue when they’re clearly under the influence — they won’t be in the right state of mind to hear what you have to say

Make Sure You’re Not Enabling Them

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of enabling an addict when you’re trying to help them get better. Be sure to avoid these enabling behaviors:

  • Covering up, lying, or making excuses for them and their behavior
  • Taking over responsibilities to protect them from consequences
  • Giving them money or access to their substance of choice
  • Driving them to meet with a dealer or to purchase their substance of choice so they’re not driving under the influence
  • Spending time with them while they’re using so they’re not alone

You may think you’re doing the right thing by practicing these behaviors, but remember that they don’t actually benefit your loved one — they only make it harder for them to see why their behavior is a problem.

Consult a Professional

Remember, too, that you don’t have to go at this alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is incredibly difficult. Working with a professional — someone who has experience working with addicts — will make it easier for you to stop enabling behaviors and make sure your loved one is getting the help they need.

Whether you hold an intervention or simply get advice from a specialist, consulting a professional throughout this process will increase the likelihood that you’ll be successful in helping your loved one overcome their addiction.

A professional can even help you write letters or practice communicating with your loved one in a more effective way.

Be Patient

No matter how hard you work, some people just aren’t ready when you are to give up their addictions.

Remember that you may need to have several conversations before your loved one accepts that they have a problem. Even if they’re not receptive the first time around, be patient and let them know that you love them and are there for them.

At the same time, make sure you’re giving them space to experience consequences. It’s also important for you to have space from your loved one so that you can continue to care for yourself — you can’t help them if you’re neglecting your own needs.

Final Thoughts

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is difficult, but there are ways to effectively communicate and let them know that you want to help them.

Keep these tips in mind as you start navigating the waters of working with a loved one who’s currently struggling and — most importantly — remember that there’s always hope.

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