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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

7 Ways To Create a Cosy Home

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Cozy home decor, How to make your home cozy and inviting

When winter time comes around, all anyone wants to do is snuggle up beneath a sheepskin rug by the fire. But what if you don’t have a sheepskin rug? Or a fire? Not to worry, as there are many innovative ways in which you can create a cosy space without having to live on the front cover of a Christmas card. Coming home to a warm and inviting space is one of the most rewarding things when it’s cold and miserable outside. Here are 5 ways to help you achieve a cosy home:

1. Blankets

If you want to keep warm without cranking up the heating or putting on every sweater you own, then invest in some cosy blankets which you can throw over your sofa. If you pick the right pattern or colour to go with your room, they can look great when they’re not being used, too. Creams, subtle patterns and tartan are great all-rounders that can fit in almost any setting.

2. Cushions

Another way to make your sofa warmer and more inviting is to go big on the cushions. Oversized pillows can really create a space which you can sink into which will feel a million miles from the cold outdoors.

3. Carpet

Carpeting not only looks cosy, it is also the best way to help insulate your home. Whereas floor boards let a lot of heat escape, carpet holds it all in, which makes your home warmer and in turn reduces your heating bills – it’s a win-win!

4. Lighting

Warm, soft lighting can make a world of difference when it comes to creating a cosy feel. Whereas cold daylight bulbs may be great during the summer, warm, golden lighting is best in the winter months. If you want the best of both, then use colder lighting offset by warm lamps, which can be used to create pockets of rosy light on a winter’s evening.

5. Heating

Heating is obviously one of the easiest ways in which to make your home warm and cosy. Why not go a step further and install under floor heating in your bathrooms? It certainly makes getting out of the warm shower on a cold night a whole lot easier. Heated towel rails are another great way to bring heat into your bathrooms, while electric blankets can give your bed an ultra-cosy feel.

6. Colours

The colours used in your home can also make a big difference to how cosy it feels. By opting for warmer creams or even yellows and oranges, you can make a space feel warm and inviting. Likewise, pops of gold and rose gold can really help to deepen the warmth of a space. If you have light walls, then opt for warm-coloured furnishings and accessories to create a warmer feel.

7. Photos

Using family photos to decorate your walls and shelves is another great way to make a room feel homely and inviting. Plus, the happy memories this brings will certainly help you to make it through the cold, grey winter.

There are so many small touches you can add to prepare your home for winter, so don’t wait till it’s too late – get prepping now!

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Lifestyle

What to Do When Your External Drive Is Broken

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We capture and store a lot of digital files these days. Over 70% of our lives, from the photos we capture with our phones to the vacation videos from a couple of years ago, are stored digitally. Having a reliable storage solution is a must and many of us rely on external USB hard drives as a solution.

Even the most reliable hard drive can fail. If you have had one of your storage media or external drives fail you before, you know how dreadful – and stressful – the situation can be. Worry not, because you have more options than you realize in this type of circumstance.

Spot the Signs Early

You can actually recognize signs that your hard drive is failing early. When you do, you may still have the option to back up your files to another, newer external drive for safekeeping. This is obviously the easiest way to go, so knowing the signs and how to spot them is important.

One of the major signs that your hard drive is failing is a much slower read and write speed. While a slow drive doesn’t always mean that it is failing, a difference in read and write speed (a noticeable one nonetheless) should prompt you to make an additional backup of the drive immediately.

Other signs are more physical and apparent. You may hear a knocking sound coming from the drive when it is reading or writing data. The drive may even make a louder noise than usual or emit more heat than usual. These too are signs to watch out for.

In a worst-case scenario, your drive may be unreadable all of a sudden. If you are using a Windows computer, Windows usually asks you to format the drive before you can use it. Don’t format the drive just yet. In this case, unplug the drive safely and take it offline.

Data Recovery Options

Your drive fails and there is a serious risk that your files may be gone forever; what should you do next? It is time to take a look at your options.

You want to start by testing the cable you use to connect your drive. Sometimes, the cable is the culprit and replacing it is all you need to do to get the drive working again.

If it isn’t the cable, then you need to start weighing some data recovery options. There are software programs that enable you to do it yourself, but the best way to go is by getting the assistance of professional and secure data recovery service provider.

Sending the Drive for Recovery

Here’s the good news: the best recovery service providers can restore most – if not all – of your files without an issue in most cases. The files aren’t accessible with the drive being broken, but they are still there and can be moved to another drive.

Package the drive with bubble wrap and make sure it will stay protected as you send the drive for recovery. Either ship the device yourself or call the recovery service provider to schedule an on-site pick-up for the drive. Wait for the recovery process to be completed and you should have your files back and safe.

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Lifestyle

4 Reasons Why Microfiber Cloths are Better for Cleaning

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Microfiber cloths for cleaning, Is microfiber cloth good for dusting

There are many products that claim to do a better job than the original, like exercise machines that promise to burn more calories or shoes that claim to be better for your posture. Indeed, many have fallen for these promises and ended up disappointed. 

Microfiber cloths are in a league of their own, however, because they really ARE better than rags and other cleaning implements. Don’t believe it? Here are a few reasons why you should buy microfiber cleaning cloths and towels for your home. 

They are Better for Dry Dusting

The physical structure of microfiber cloths is what makes them different and more effective: the tiny fibers of this synthetic fabric are split into even thinner, tinier “hooks,” which pick up and hold on to the dirt and grime. Other materials like cotton or cotton blends simply don’t have this property, and that’s why you end up just scattering dust or transferring it onto another surface. 

Another benefit of microfiber is that it leaves no residues that often end up attracting more dust. You can even use the same cloth as a surface polisher; just flip over the cloth and buff the surface for a lint-free shine. 

They Do a Better Job Removing Grime

Sometimes, you really have to use a wet cloth to get out some stubborn grime, like grease stains or soap spots. The good thing about microfiber is that you don’t need to use special cleaners to do the job — most of the time, a little bit of water will do. If you need more environment-friendly cleaning power, white vinegar will do just fine. Simply moisten one end of your microfiber cloth, scrub the grime away, then use the other end to dry and shine the surface your cleaned. 

Microfiber also has another edge over other materials: where other cloths leave lint behind, whether you use them wet or dry, microfiber doesn’t have this problem; it cleans without any lint and streaks. If you’ve ever experienced cleaning something that ended up looking dirtier than before, because of all the streaks and smudges, you’ll certainly appreciate a high-quality microfiber cloth. It’s especially wonderful to use on glass and mirrored surfaces!  


‘Calibri’,’sans-serif’; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri;”>It’s Better for the Environment

Because there is no need for chemicals and other harsh cleaners, microfiber cloths are safer for the environment. Even the washing process of microfiber is a lot more ecologically friendly — no need for bleach and fabric softeners, just some mild detergent. 

What’s more, high quality microfiber doesn’t degrade as easily. As long as you follow the proper care instructions, one piece of microfiber cloth can last for about 300 to 500 washings! This means you also reduce the waste you generate while cleaning. Less waste also means less expenses, so it really is a win-win situation. 

It’s Better for Your Health

Apart from the reduced exposure to harmful chemicals, microfiber cleaning cloths can also protect you from physical strain. Why? It’s a lot lighter than cotton even if it absorbs so much more moisture. This saves you from neck, wrist, and back injuries that may be caused by carrying heavy, water-soaked mops. 

Microfiber has also been scientifically proven to be able to remove 93 percent of viruses and up to 98 percent of bacteria from surfaces. And because it dries much faster than cotton, it’s a lot harder for bacteria to grow in the cloth; this also drastically reduces that chances of cross-contamination. 

Finally, using microfiber cloths and cleaning implements like dusters and mops cuts down your cleaning time. You therefore have more time to rest or do other things like your hobbies, which is definitely better for your overall health. 

Over the years, many revolutionary products have come and gone. They may actually do as they promise, but they could be complicated to use or a bit too expensive for many people to access. Microfiber cloths, however, have truly changed our lives for the better. Although not as technological when compared to smartphones and computers, microfiber cloths have definitely made our lives easier, healthier, and more comfortable.

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