How to Get a Better Nights Sleep

How to Get a Better Nights Sleep

If you feel like you’re exhausted all the time, you aren’t alone. One third of Americans regularly miss out on the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep they need. That’s bad news, because studies show getting less than seven hours a night can lead to higher susceptibility to severe chronic conditions including obesity, stroke, heart disease and mental distress. Need to get your beauty sleep? Here are five ways to improve your chances of a restful night. Get Your Body on a Schedule that Honors Your Sleep Cycle With our on-the-go mentality, many of us cram extra hours at work, time at the gym or connections with family and friends into our daily routines to the detriment of our sleep. Then, we rush to bed and hope for a few hours of rest before we’re back at it again. If you’re one of these people, try setting boundaries based on a 90-minute sleep cycle. This rhythm of deep and light sleep helps you wake up refreshed even when you don’t always get enough shut-eye. To take the guesswork out of when you need to go to bed, try an online sleep calculator. It’ll help you choose the right times of night (or morning) to hit the hay so that the rest you get is high quality. Make Your Bedroom an Oasis What do you do in your bedroom? If you answered anything other than “sleep” or “sex,” it’s time for an overhaul. Instead of doing crafts, watching TV or otherwise using your bedroom as a multi-purpose area, try creating a sanctuary for sleep and intimacy only. This calms your mind...
Visually Impaired Who Have Changed the World

Visually Impaired Who Have Changed the World

There was a time when a physical disability meant living in a society that was completely unwelcoming, impossible to navigate, and harshly judgmental. Throughout Europe and the United States, many visually impaired and hearing impaired people were institutionalized permanently even if they were completely able bodied and mentally competent enough to live independently. Today, thanks to the efforts, inspiration, and activism of stalwart pioneers, blind people are no longer forced to live in the margins of society. Many of those pioneers not only forever changed the status of disabled citizens, they also changed the world. Helen Keller Perhaps no other international figure has done more in her lifetime to raise the profile of disabled people than the late, and truly extraordinary, Helen Keller. Born in 1880 in Alabama, Ms. Keller suffered a traumatic brain injury at 19 months from what was likely meningitis or scarlet fever. She was famously left blind and deaf, unable to speak until she met her life-changing and teacher, Anne Sullivan. Sullivan taught Keller how to communicate namely through sign language. Keller has become a historical figure for many reasons, but it is her fortitude and almost superhuman work ethic that is capital to her success. For 25 years, she worked tirelessly to learn to speak clearly so mainstream society could understand her. Keller attended college and became a national celebrity. She used her fame to influence humanitarian causes, including other people living with disabilities, women’s suffrage, and birth control. In 1920, she was one of the co-founders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Stevie Wonder Wonder’s list of hits spans multiple eras and decades....
Which Fluids Hydrate Best

Which Fluids Hydrate Best

Hydration — maintaining the right level of fluids in your body — is crucial to your health. From digesting your food to recovering from a difficult workout, every major bodily function you have requires you to hydrate properly. Of course, high-quality H-two-oh is the best way to keep your body functioning at peak performance. But opinions differ about what constitutes “high quality,” and sometimes you just need a little something more, whether it be nutrients or a pleasant taste. Here are three excellent ways to make the most of your liquid intake to help your body thrive. Water is Water right? Maybe Not Since time eternal, we humans have relied on clear, crisp water to quench our thirst and power our bodies. Indoor plumbing has made access to clean water so simple that many of us think nothing of drinking water directly from the tap in our homes. In general, tap water in North America is the cleanest public water around. If you want to take that cleanliness to the next level, purified water is a good bet for you. With filters that remove chemicals from water that comes from any source, you can strip out anything that may be harmful to your health. These filters are especially useful for camping to get rid of microbes in local stream water, and you can use them in your home as an environmentally responsible alternative to bottled water. Remember, though, that purifying means removing all the chemicals, which includes the minerals that are good for you. To maintain those minerals but improve the way water hydrates your body, you may want to...
Celebrating National Pizza Month

Celebrating National Pizza Month

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…” The American love affair with pizza is around a century old, and it’s still going strong. October is National Pizza Month, so let’s honor this menu staple with a bit of history and some ideas for making the most of your own celebration. From Italy to the New World: How We Got So Lucky Pizza, as you know, is originally an Italian dish. In 19th century Naples, it was a food of the common people. So, when immigrants came to the United States from Italy, they brought their comfort food with them, and a food revolution was born. In the Northeast, New York in particular, “pizza pie” became quite the novelty. Soon, people across the country grew to love the “tomato pie,” and different parts of the nation added their spin to the classic Italian recipe. Today, a huge New York slice, which you should fold in half to eat (much like a “pie,”) so you enjoy the combination of sauce, stringy cheese and crust that’s unique to each burrow, looks vastly different from a Chicago deep-dish pizza, with its cake-like thickness that holds upside-down piles of toppings — cheese on top of the crust, then meats and veggies, then chunky tomato sauce. Still, all pizza came from the same humble beginnings that resembled margarita-style rather than the complex combinations we take for granted now. Why We Americans Love a Good Slice In the U.S., pizza is just as unique as we are, and our endless options make enjoying it several times a week an easy choice. And...
Best Plants for Homes with Pets

Best Plants for Homes with Pets

If you have pets in the house, you likely think of them and treat them like members of the family. Because both dogs and cats love to gnaw at and chew on plants, it’s important to make sure whatever you grow both inside and out of the house is non-toxic. If you have never taken stock of your houseplants before, the following primer is an excellent place to start. Unsafe Under Any Circumstances There are quite a few plants that are an absolute non-starter for cats and dogs. The list, in fact, is quite long. For dogs, amongst the most common houseplants that you need to either keep out of their reach or get rid of entirely are: Japanese peace lilies, aloe vera, philodendron, elephant ear, corn plants, English ivy, jade, devil’s ivy, and asparagus fern. Also, Madagascar dragon trees thrive in offices and make your home look bright and tropical, but they can be lethal to both cats and dogs. If you live in areas where foxtail is common, make sure none of it grows freely in your yard. It can be deadly if ingested. If they’re exposed, check their skin for burs immediately and remove them. Cats, who love the flavor of just about anything in soil or a vase, should generally stay away from perennials like daffodils, tulips, and lilies. Also, keep your felines away from oleander, some varieties of palm fronds, dumb cane (also a no-no for pups), azaleas, and crocus. As a precaution, if you have any questions about the plants in your house or yard, keep them out of reach or covered and contact...