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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. Also, there are more sleep related tips that would help you. Visit Counting Sheep Research.

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Lifestyle

Gift Ideas For The Man Who Loves To Hunt

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Is there a man in your life who loves to hunt? If you’re buying a gift for his birthday or some other special occasion you could consider buying something which helps him to get even more enjoyment from his favorite pastime. Here, we bring you some of the best gift ideas for keen hunters to help inspire you.

A Hunting Backpack

Every hunter needs a good quality backpack to help them get their equipment from A to B without any problems. The best backpacks for hunters are ones which can be twisted around to access items on the go.

A Kevlar Retractable Cord Phone Cover

If the man in your life is always losing his phone when out hunting it’s time to give him a phone case with a Kevlar retractable cord. It’s perfect for use on the move since its retractable and can be attached onto his pants or belt. He can just drop it once he’s finished using it and it retracts instantly into the right place so he won’t accidentally drop it in the mud.

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A Survival Kit

Every good hunter needs a good survival kit. Choose one which is small and compact, lightweight and easy to carry in a backpack or even in a pocket but which contains all the essentials just in case of an emergency. Items like waterproof matches, a fishing line and hooks, a whistle and a sewing kit are ideal for survival in the wilderness.

A GPS Dog Tracking Collar

Does the hunter in your life take his four legged friend with him on his hunts? A GPS dog tracking collar is an ideal gift. Sometimes dogs may be scared by a gunshot, run off chasing a creature or just wander off to check out something they’re curious about. With a dog tracking collar and inclusive monitor, he’ll easily see where his pet is.

Forearm Ammo Sleeve

If he’s always struggling to access his ammo on the hunt an ammo sleeve which straps right onto his forearm will make sure he can instantly access his ammo whenever he needs it. Capable of holding multiple shotgun shells and made from a high quality material it’ll adjust to fit forearms of all shapes and sizes.

A Backpack Cooler

If he’s out on the hunt all day, he’s going to need a way to carry his drinks and food. A backpack cooler is the best option. Wearing it on his back he can take his cans anywhere he wants to go with ease and convenience. Make sure you choose one which is waterproof and mildew resistant.

A Hunting Scope

Choose an extreme hunting scope with a super powerful lens so that he can see his prey long before shooting at it. When you’re choosing the right one for you make sure you choose one which is also waterproof since it can get pretty wet out there in hunting conditions!

A Tactical Knife With A Flashlight Built In

If the man in your life loves to hunt at night he’s going to love receiving a tactical knife which also comes with an inbuilt flashlight. It’s pretty difficult to hold your flashlight steady while you’re also holding your knife but this handy tool will eliminate the problem.

A Deer Boning Knife

It’s no good him bringing his prey home if he can’t prepare it and cook it! A deer boning knife is the perfect gift for the man who wants to do it all. It’s a must-have in any kitchen if there are hunters in the house.

A Folding Multi-Tool And Shovel

There’s always a need for a good multi-tool out on the hunt and one which also includes a folding shovel is even better value for money. One that folds up into as small a size as possible is the best option since it will fit perfectly into his backpack when he’s heading out on the hunt.

Are you inspired? If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a man who’s a hunter, you’re sure to find something in our list of suggestions that will be ideal for the guy in your life. Happy shopping and happy hunting for him!

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6 Amazing DuPont Products That Shaped Modern Living

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“Nylon,” “Lycra,” and “Teflon” are brand names with high recall all over the world. You’d be hard-pressed to find a household, work site, or commercial establishment that doesn’t benefit from the material construction of at least one of these products. But what’s the story behind these well-known biotech products? Who’s responsible for the manufacturing wave that’s synonymous with the cutting-edge industrial developments of the 21st century?

The brains behind products like pantyhose, spandex, and non-stick pans are E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, or what is more commonly known as DuPont. DuPont was founded in 1802 by its namesake ÉleuthèreIrénée du Pont, a French-American chemist who fled his home country at the cusp of the French Revolution.

The enterprising du Pont originally concentrated in the manufacturing of gunpowder and dynamite, but later branched out into paints and plastics. More than two centuries since its inception, “global science company” DuPont is now a world leader in the manufacturing of synthetic polymers.

What are some of DuPont’s biggest brands, and what kind of impact have they made on our day-to-day living? What properties does each material have, and what modern-day applications are they commonly used in? Here’s a list of six interesting examples to get you started.

6 Amazing DuPont Products That Shaped Modern Living

1. Nylon

This silk-like material, made of synthetic thermoplastic polymer, was the first of its kind to become commercially viable. Key nylon products that took off in the late 1930s were the nylon-bristled toothbrush and women’s stockings or pantyhose, which in themselves are commonly referred to as “nylons.” Outside of hosiery, nylon still enjoys considerable popularity among the public. It’s incorporated into parachutes and tents as a silk substitute, as well as in the strings of musical instruments like classical guitars and ukuleles.

2. Tyvek

Released more than fifty years ago in 1967, the synthetic material Tyvek has broadened in its applications. Tyvek is a flash-spun high-density polyethylene fiber that is as lightweight as paper, but it’s also remarkably durable and tear-resistant. The material was first used as a housewrap, but the many uses of Tyvek now include tamper-proof paper wristbands, document envelopes, racing bibs, coverall one-piece garments, and even backpacks.

3. Lycra

Our conceptions of superheroes in costume and athletes in sporting uniform would not be complete without Lycra, a polyether-polyurea copolymer synthetic fiber. Also known as Spandex or elastane, Lycra’s distinguishing characteristics are its resilience to high temperature and its capacity to expand (the word “Spandex” itself being an anagram for “expands”). Lycra first took off in the late 1950s as a material for women’s undergarments, but it has since become a staple for athletic wear and costumery.

4. Teflon

“Teflon” is the brand name that was ascribed to polytetrafluoroethylene, a slippery resin discovered in 1938. Though initially thought to be a commercial failure, Teflon has since risen in industrial use as a non-stick coating for pots and pans—a great advantage to culinary professionals and to home cooks who want to decrease their oil consumption. Interestingly enough, Teflon is also an additive ingredient in products like paint and home furnishings.

5. Kevlar

The durable and heat-resistant Kevlar is synonymous with strength, protection, and valor. This synthetic fiber’s high-tensile strength-to-weight ratio makes it as much as five times stronger than steel. It’s a key component of combat helmets, bulletproof vests, and shoulder and elbow pads for motorcycling apparel. But it can also be found in bike tires, drumheads, sails on racing boats, and even basketball shoes.

6. Neoprene

Neoprene, which is also known as polychloroprene or pc-rubber, is a synthetic rubber that is known for its flexibility across a wide temperature range and its exceptional chemical stability. The first iteration of neoprene was notably foul-smelling, and DuPont undertook significant efforts to address the obstacles in its production as well as generate public demand for it. Thankfully, neoprene has since amassed commercial viability since its debut in the 1930s. Its myriad applications include material for gaskets, corrosion-resistant coating, wetsuits for diving, and laptop sleeves.

In 2017, news broke that DuPont would be merging with fellow industry titan Dow Chemical Company. DuPont is now known as a subsidiary of DowDuPont, and it now partakes in DowDuPont’s dominance as the world’s largest chemical company in terms of sales.

Suffice to say, DuPont is still going strong. As consumers, we’re likely to stay on the receiving end of their productivity for many years to come. And during this time, who knows what other life-changing innovations they have in store for us?

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5 Amazing Benefits of Encouraging Your Child to Play Outdoors

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It’s plain to see that kids don’t play outside as much as they used to.

With so many popular high-tech toys and so much kids television and video available to stream, you’re more likely to see your kids sprawled on a sofa than playing outdoors in the backyard or neighborhood park. In fact, research in the Connected Kids report suggests that kids are typically spending a huge 6.5 hours per day in front of a digital screen, a figure that has doubled in a generation.

This screen time comes at a cost.

In startling research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute believes that the average 10-year-old is engaged in vigorous outdoor play for as little as 12.6 minutes per day.  At the same time, people are hearing more and more about:

  • Increased childhood obesity rates
  • Poorer child and adolescent mental health
  • Other physical, medical and emotional issues afflicting children today such as low energy levels, diabetes and heart problems as well as boredom and attention deficit disorder

As an adult, tempting your children away from screens and getting them outdoors is one of the most positive things you can do for them. Here’s why:

1. It Will Increase Their Fitness Levels

Vigorous outdoor play, such as running, jumping, sliding, swinging and climbing, gets muscles working and the heart beating faster. There are so many physical benefits to exercise for our kids, including:

  • Lower chances of childhood obesity and related health issues, such as Type 2 Diabetes
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Stronger muscles
  • Improved flexibility
  • Higher energy levels for everyday tasks and school life

2. It Will Boost Vitamin D Levels for Healthy Growth

Vitamin D is vital for the human body. It helps regulate calcium levels and is essential for healthy bones. For growing children, good bone health is very important.

Low levels of Vitamin D can be damaging to skeletal health. In extreme cases, a disease like rickets can develop which can result in skeletal deformities and stunted growth. Therefore, ensuring your kids get enough Vitamin D is a must.

But the biggest source of Vitamin D is not diet; the vitamin is absorbed through the skin from sunlight. It is possible that children who rarely play outdoors are not receiving enough vitamin D for healthy bone growth and development.

Encouraging your children to venture outdoors more is a simple solution to this problem, as long as you follow professional advice on how to keep kids’ skin safe from the dangers of too much sun.

3. It Lowers Stress Levels and Boosts Mood Levels

Research from the University of Colorado in 2014 clearly demonstrated that getting kids outdoors had a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing. Playing outside helps children escape from daily routines, including the stresses and pressures of the classroom.

In the study, children found playing outdoors peaceful and enjoyable, with positive benefits to lowering stress levels. It was also found that children could nurture friendships and enjoy forming supportive social groups through their outdoor play, meaning the benefits were long-lasting.

Increased Vitamin D levels from playing outside also helps mood levels by helping to release serotonin, which is sometimes known as the ‘happy hormone’ for its positive impact on mental health.

4. It Gets Kids Closer to Nature

By playing outside, children can pay attention to the diversity and richness of nature, even in their own backyard. Kids can wonder at the tiniest creatures hiding away, and witness the birdlife and wildlife that regularly visit.

By helping your children learn to appreciate all these small things, you are helping to raise a generation that will go on to nurture and protect the planet as best it can.

5. It Boosts Creativity, Independence and Self-Confidence

Encouraging children to play outside, in less confined spaces, can help bring out some really positive personality traits.

Firstly, getting children to play outside in wide open spaces can be a less intimidating experience for them. Compared to busy classrooms or noisy play centers, children have the time and space to be themselves outdoors. They’ll be negotiating different environments, exploring and learning. This is perfect for nurturing self-confidence and independence.

Outdoor play is naturally more unstructured than much indoor play. This allows freedom, the opportunity for creativity, and for their imagination to run wild. Indoors, children are drawn to complex, high-tech toys with a very structured order of play; outdoors, children can entertain themselves with very little for hours at a time. This is ideal for developing the creative part of the brain.

Encourage Your Kids to Venture Out

The benefits of getting kids outdoors speak for themselves.

As a parent, it’s your job to make the outdoors a fun, positive experience that all the family can enjoy.

It starts in your own backyard: investing in some great play equipment and then spending time outdoors with your kids, supervising and playing with them is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child.

AUTHOR BIO: Michael Davies is the Senior Account Manager at Sandleford, a trusted supplier of letterboxes and home security products and solutions in Australia. The company’s Swing Slide Climb range has grown and grown over the past 4 years, and together with Bunnings Australia, it has become one of the most exciting and innovative suppliers and developers of children’s play equipment in the Australian market.

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