Tag Archives: hacks

8 Hacks to a Better Night’s Sleep

There are a lot of things that hang on a good nights rest; your mood the next day, productivity level, diet, and the list goes on. Below are 10 hacks to get you a better night’s sleep so you can rock your week without the dreaded exhausting shadow that lingers:

Moderate Your Alcohol Intake

A nightcap might make you drowsy, but it probably won’t improve your sleep. Alcohol is an anesthetic that depresses your central nervous system, says Rafael Pelayo, MD, a clinical professor at Stanford’s sleep center. As the sedative wears off, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night and then sleep fitfully. A small 2011 study found that when participants went to bed drunk (for some that is having the equivalent of three drinks in an hour), they had less REM sleep. They also woke frequently during the night, an effect that was more pronounced in women than in men. Since it takes at least an hour for your body to metabolize a standard drink, Pelayo suggests waiting one hour per drink before heading to bed. “Going to sleep sober is a healthier choice than nodding off with a buzz,” Pelayo says. “You might sleep less, but the sleep you get will be far better.”

—Christie Aschwanden

Cognitive? Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

The best-kept secret in sleep medicine isn’t some wonder drug, but a pill-free treatment called cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which targets the thoughts and behaviors that screw up your slumber (the panicky feeling of being wide awake at 3 A.M., the hours of tossing and turning). According to recent research, CBT-I can be stunningly effective—after at least three sessions, 86 percent of insomniacs showed significant improvement in their sleep. However, there’s one big challenge: About 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia, but there are only a few hundred CBT-I practitioners.

To help bridge the gap, a new app calledSleepRate delivers the therapy to your iPhone. The app works with a heart rate monitor, logging your heartbeats as you sleep, while your phone records ambient sounds, such as a snoring spouse or barking dogs. Once the app collects data for five nights of a nine-night stretch, it generates a personalized plan based on science from Stanford University. The suggestions, which can take up to eight weeks to fully implement, might surprise you. If you normally go to bed by 9, for instance, “we could recommend that you don’t get into bed until two to three hours later,” says Britney Blair, who is board certified in behavioral sleep medicine. “If you have trouble falling asleep, we want you to get in bed only when you’re good and sleepy. When patients feel their sleep improving, I often get an ‘Oh, my God!’ response because they can’t believe it’s actually working.”

—Rebecca Webber

 

Exercise. Anytime, Anywhere

For years we’ve been told that exercise improves sleep unless you work out close to bedtime, in which case it can have the opposite effect. But according to recent research, fitness can be great whenever. We asked Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University, to explain.

Q: I can really exercise any time of day? A: When insomniacs did 30 minutes of exercise as late as 7 p.m. three times per week, we found that it actually improved their sleep. A separate poll also found that working out within four hours of bedtime won’t keep most people up.

Q: So will it cure my insomnia? A: The subjects in our experiment slept 45 minutes longer and reported having higher-quality sleep. But more research needs to be done to determine how much exercise is needed to maintain those effects.

Q: When can i expect to see results? A: In about two to four months. We don’t know why it takes that long; it could be due to improvements in mood, which take time to have a lasting effect on your sleep patterns.

—Jessica Migala

 

Imagine You Slept Better Than You Did

© gpointstudio
© gpointstudio

Telling yourself you got a good night’s rest may make a difference in how you think and feel: In a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, scientists told one group of subjects that they had logged an above-average amount of REM sleep, while a second group was told they didn’t get enough. Then everyone was given a test that measured their cognitive function. The above-average sleepers performed better than those told they’d slept poorly. “Simply hearing that you had high-quality sleep may trigger automatic responses, like heightened energy, that your brain has come to associate with being well rested,” says study coauthor Kristi Erdal, PhD.

—Jessica Migala

 

The New Jet Lag Cure.

Tired of feeling like a zombie the first few days in a new time zone? Entrain, a recently launched app developed by mathematicians at the University of Michigan, can help speed up the recovery process. The free app focuses on light, the most important factor when it comes to resetting your circadian clock. “When people travel, they often want to immediately shift their sleep schedule to the new time zone, but for some trips, that can actually make things worse,” says Olivia Walch, one of the app’s creators. “You can adjust fastest by exposing yourself to light at times of day that aren’t always intuitive. We may, for example, recommend staying in the dark until 10 a.m., even if you wake up at 6. When curing jet lag, sleep matters, but light matters more.”

—Arianna Davis

 

Lullabies Aren’t Just For Babies.

Before you hit the sack, cue up a soothing playlist. Research in the International Journal of Nursing Studies found that when insomniacs listened to relaxing music for 45 minutes prior to bedtime, they spent more time in REM sleep.

—Jihan Thompson

 

Myth: The Early Bird Gets The Worm.

At least, not always. When you rise before dawn to finish a last-minute task, you may be more likely to experience microsleeps—temporary moments of nodding off that can last up to 30 seconds. “Your body follows its own circadian rhythms and wants to keep sleeping,” says Michael Twery, PhD, a sleep expert at the National Institutes of Health. Try to complete your work before you turn in (even if it’s past your normal bedtime). And if possible, Twery advises, plan ahead for the lost sleep with a nap during the day.

—Ashley Williams

 

Oversleeping. Too much of a good thing can be bad for your health.

If you’re regularly snoozing nine hours or more per night, you may be putting yourself at risk for more than a few illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. Cognitively, you’re not at the top of your game, either. According to a 2014 report from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study, women who slept nine hours or more performed worse on cognitive and memory tests than women who averaged seven hours of sleep nightly. Lead researcher Elizabeth Devore suspects that the brains of those who slept longer were aging faster because those women were disrupting their body’s natural circadian rhythm. Her advice: “Don’t kick this problem down the road. As early as midlife, sleep habits can predict future memory problems. Create a routine: Go to bed at the same time every night and force yourself to get up at an appropriate time, even if you’re still a little tired.”

—Kathryn Wallace


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Key Moves To Keep You On Your A-Game At Work

That looming deadline is staring you in the eyes and sweat beads from stress are dripping down your neck and to top it off your dead tired because its the afternoon and you haven’t gotten out of your swivel chair since 9am…. I don’t know about you, but that alone makes me want to throw in the towel and unfortunately, most likely each of us have endured that day once or twice. But I have good news! The work hacks listed below will surely kick all of those unwanted side effects to the curb! Cheers to a solid productive day filled with Wins!

 

Schedule a meeting at 3 p.m.

The panicked preparation that comes with an early-morning meeting doesn’t do anyone any favors. The best time to schedule that catch up? According to one study, that would be 3 p.m. on a Tuesday, Inc. reported. The time is late enough in the day where you can get tasks done beforehand but still have time to accomplish items in the meeting without encroaching on the end of the workday.

 

Or, better yet, schedule a walking meeting.

Syda_Productions
Syda_Productions

Exercise, fresh air, no computer… what more could you want? Emerging research shows that walking meetings can boost creativity and employee engagement. Company leaders, from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, are also big fans. But if that still doesn’t convince you, maybe this will: Studies show walking can drastically improve your health and boost your mental well-being.

 

Watch a puppy video.

In case you really needed an excuse to watch these adorable puppies discover the joy of a slide, do it for your productivity. A 2012 study found that watching cute videos may actually improve your concentration. Now that’s a real mood booster.

 

Eat citrus.

Research shows the scent of tangy fruits like oranges and lemons can helpimprove alertness. Snacking on them also helps you get your daily dosage of Vitamin C, which has a host of health perks. Orange you glad you have an energy boost? (Sorry.)

Leave your work at work.

Smartphones have blurred the lines between the office and home, which can quietly destroy your workday productivity. Constantly checking your inbox or taking care of a quick task after hours makes you highly susceptible to burnout.

Try to check out of work when you leave for the day. Home is where the heart is — not where the email is. Your workday productivity will thank you.


 

Original Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/work-productivity-hacks_56659888e4b079b2818f1f79?ir=Healthy%2BLiving&section=healthy-living

3 Holiday Traveling Hacks You Need This Season…

Let’s face it, the holiday’s can be stressful enough… yet alone adding travel on top of that. In the midst of going through security, high airline prices, and remembering what you can and can’t bring on a plane, it’s easy to loose sight of the Joy holiday’s are supposed to bring. That’s why I’ve brought you 3 Joy-saving hacks so you can grab your travel by the horns, take off, and enjoy the holiday:

 

Book Your Tickets…Incognito

By which we mean an incognito browser. See, many airline and travel websites use cookies to track how many times you’ve visited and then alter their prices accordingly (meaning, they jack ’em up). To make sure you’re getting the best deal, use Google Chrome Incognito. In the top right corner of your browser window, click on the drop-down menu and select “New Incognito Window.” A new window will open automatically and you’ll be safe to book your tickets with no preconceived pricing.

 

Breeze Through Security (And Email)

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for TSA PreCheck ($85 for five years), which will expedite you through security in more than 150 U.S. airports. Want the same speedy access to Wi-Fi? A Boingo subscription (from $5 a month) keeps you online at more than 30 domestic airports (and more than 1 million hot spots around the globe). Tip: American Express Platinum cardholders are eligible for free accounts.

 

Wrap Wisely

© nito103
© nito103

Did you know the TSA has the authority to open gift-wrapped packages, even ones in your checked luggage (eye roll)? In other words, do not travel with wrapped presents. Instead, either ship your gifts to your destination or pack them up unwrapped and prettify upon arrival.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Read more: Holiday Travel Hacks 

 

5 Hacks Your Barista Wont Tell You To Save Money

Coffee-holics rejoice! There are multiple ways you can prevent Starbucks from eating your wallet whole while still getting the most out of your order. So drink up, and take on your day with confidence thanks to that extra boost of caffeine you can now enjoy, guilt free!

  1) $2 Iced Lattes

Order a triple espresso over ice in a venti cup and pour the milk yourself at the condiment area!

  2) Refills for 50 Cents

Understandably, sometimes one cup just doesn’t cut it, which is a problem no more because you can refill your cup with brewed coffee for just 50 cents during the same visit. Not a bad price for an extra pick-me-up.

3) Bring Your Own Cup

nanka-photo
nanka-photo

You will save a whopping 10 cents on your drink when you bring in your own reusable cup, mug, or travel tumbler, and if you’re the coffe-holic you claim to be, the savings will add up!

4) The Water Secret

Steer clear of reaching for those bottle of waters by the registers. In fact, the water they can provide for you may even be cleaner! Starbucks water and ice is triple-distilled!

 

5) Take Advantage of Your Birthday 

If you sign up for Starbucks Rewards Program (which is free of charge), you can receive a free drink for you birthday as long as you redeem it within 30 days!


 

Learn More Starbucks Hacks At: http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Saving-Money-Starbucks-3751741?stream_view=1#opening-slide