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  1. In an ideal world, we’d all be clocking in eight hours of z’s a night. We would cut down on afternoon naps and steer clear of caffeine to make falling and staying asleep a cinch. But even when we do stick to all the “right” sleeping strategies, it can be hard to doze off. If that’s the case for you, your lifestyle choices might need a closer look, as there are some pretty unexpected things that can be throwing your precious slumber out of whack. Dr. Janet Kennedy, Ph.D., revealed six surprising habits keeping you from restful sleep. A Case of Sleep Performance Anxiety Trying to fall asleep can actually be the thing keeping you from well, falling asleep. Kennedy calls it “sleep performance anxiety.” Getting into bed to try to doze on command will increase anxiety if the body is not ready for sleep because you’ll be too stressed out to relax and snooze, she says. Her favorite trick falling asleep is hopping into bed with a good ol’ book. “Reading, especially fiction, occupies your mind, distracts you from stressful thoughts and allows your body to relax,” she says. Working Out Too Close to Bedtime So, research tells us that there is no ideal to work out. Morning, afternoon, or evening, the best time to fit in a sweat session is more tied to personal preference than anything else. That being said, hitting the gym too close to bedtime can leave you counting sheep. “Exercise raises the body temperature and heart rate, so it can be hard to fall asleep (right after). Some people don’t have any trouble going to sleep after working out, but if snoozing post-workout is difficult, it’s best to avoid vigorous exercise two to four hours before bed,” says Kennedy. Cuddling With Your Smartphone What do email, Candy Crush, and Instagram have in common? They all could be sabotaging your sleep. “Your phone keeps the mind tied to work and stress. Easy access to devices also makes it too tempting to check all your apps, making it even harder to fall asleep,” Kennedy says. Recent research has found that the light from smartphones increases sleep deprivation because it tricks our brains into thinking it’s morning. An hour before bed, it’s time to ditch your smartphone and tablet for the evening. Too Little Unwinding Time Trying to doze off immediately after a late night at the office or a night out raging might work sometimes, but it’s not the best sleep strategy. And Kennedy notes that even if you do fall asleep quickly, the quality of your sleep may suffer. “You can’t work or play hard all day and expect to fall asleep and stay asleep without a wind-down period. The body and mind need a chance to transition from the active stress of the day to the relaxed state that leads to good sleep,” she says. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour before bed to read, journal, or meditate — activities that will turn down the stress dial. Irregular Sleep Schedule Trying to “catch up on sleep” and snoozing until noon during the weekends can throw your sleep cycle out of whack. “It’s better to keep your wakeup time consistent even if you go to bed later than usual sometimes. That way, you’ll be tired when your normal bedtime rolls around the next night,” Kennedy explains. Skimping on Food While downing a three-course meal or even a very fat-laden dish (think: hamburger, mac and cheese) pre-bedtime is discouraged, “diets that are too calorie restrictive can also interfere with sleep since blood sugar will be too low at night,” notes Kennedy. Aim to eat a small snack an hour or two before hitting the hay, especially if you had an early dinner. Turkey on whole wheat or an apple with nut butter are great options. Source: bit.ly/13uHEgh *Removed ad*
  2. Now I have a wallet that will (hopefully) be impossible to lose! Not to mention, be a subtle *ahem* reminder for people to remember my name. I decided to take one more day to hunt down the metal letters, and was beyond stoked to find some I loved at the hardware store. Seriously so excited to pull out this wallet! BTW the hardware is not heavy at all, so don’t worry about weighing down your already uber heavy bag. Steps after the break! Source: http://bit.ly/1yXMpMZ *Removed ad*
  3. You have a super boring door? Well, let's try this DIY to top up your door to another level. For this DIY, the main thing you need a whole lotta patience. We used electricians tape for the straight lines, measuring and marking to get the even spacing. The triangles and circle were made by using a shape punch on black contact paper, and the yellow edge was created with duct tape. Finally we sprayed frosted spray paint over vinyl letters spelling “HELLO!” and then peeled off the stickers. Tip: make sure you do not stretch the electrical tape because it will recoil. Alright all, have fun! Source: http://bit.ly/1yXMpMZ *Removed ad*
  4. Do you know that an average mattress contains 10,000 to 10,000,000 dust mites? Yes, it's true. Yes, it's gross. But there's a way to clean your mattress regularly. Dust mites live in pillows, bed covers, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpeting, even clothing. One of their favourite place is a mattress. Vacuuming your mattresses every few weeks will help to control the dust mite population. Put approximately 1 cup of baking soda into a small mason jar and add 4 to 5 drops of Lavender essential oil (or your other favourite scent) and give it a shake. This would be enough to do half your king sized bed. Just quickly shake up another batch for the other side. Before you start, it's a good idea to strip off all your bed sheets and wash it in hot water (at least 130 degrees). This will kill the dust mites in your sheets and blankets. While your bed sheet is in the washing machine, pour enough baking soda through a sifter or strainer to lightly dust your mattress with it. Leave on for an hour or more, allowing it time to draw out dirt, moisture, and odor. Using the hose end of your vacuum and an upholstery attachment, thoroughly vacuum the mattress. Vacuum slowly so that you're using the vacuum suction efficiently to pull out as much debris from within the mattress as possible. The baking soda not only draws out moisture and dirt, but it also deodorises and leaves the mattress smelling fresh and clean. The Lavender oil helps calm stress and anxiety and promotes sleep.. Plus it just smells wonderful! Source: http://bit.ly/1w7BS0n