1. Condition Yourself to Fall Asleep Quickly
Stop hanging out and watching TV in your bed! When you wake up in the morning, get out of bed immediately and don’t go back to bed until you are ready to go to sleep. This will help you to subconsciously associate your bed with sleeping and, over time, it will help you to fall asleep more quickly when you hit the pillow.
2. Prevent or Force a Sneeze
To prevent sneezing at an inopportune time, with your mouth closed, try pressing your tongue firmly against the back of your teeth to help prevent your sneeze. While preventing a sneeze is great, there is nothing more annoying than a sneeze that you can feel as a tickle in the back of your throat but never actually initiates. To force a sneeze, try staring up into a bright light.
3. Stop “Brain Freeze” Fast
Brain freeze, the intense pain that we experience after eating very cold foods, is a nerve response to cold food touching the soft palette toward the back of the mouth, especially when that cold food is eaten rapidly. To stop the sensation of brain freeze, try warming up that soft palette with your tongue by pushing it up, flat against the roof of your mouth.
4. Prevent Acid Reflux
While there are a number of potential reasons for acid reflux, one very preventable cause is sleeping on your right side. When you lay on your right side, your stomach is higher than your esophagus, which allows gravity to cause acid reflux. Try sleeping on your left side to reduce night time discomfort.
5. Hold Your Breath Longer
You can hold your breath a bit longer if you hyperventilate first. By taking several short breaths in quick succession, you trick your body into thinking it has a larger oxygen supply giving you more time before your brain starts freaking out.
6. Remember Data and Solve Problems in Your Sleep
Research shows that most memory consolidation happens when your mind is in a resting state and as such, reviewing raw material or the details of a complicated problem before going to bed can help you to better remember the data or even devise a solution to the problem.
7. Improve Your Hearing
Having trouble hearing a conversation in a crowded place? Lean in with your right ear, it is better at picking up the rhythms of speech. Can’t tell what song is playing softly in the supermarket? Let your left ear do the work, it is better at picking up musical tones.
8. Reduce Toothache Pain
Holding an ice cube firmly on the v-shaped area between your thumb and index finger on the back of your hand can reduce toothache pain by around 50% according to one Canadian study.
9. Reduce Side Pain when Running
Most people, when running, tend to exhale when their right foot strikes the ground, which actually puts pressure on the liver and causes the dreaded “side stitch” in many runners. Try simply training yourself to exhale when your left foot strikes the ground and take the pressure off your poor liver… which probably takes enough abuse as it is.
10. Improve Your Long Distance Vision
One potential cause for nearsightedness is what optometrists call near point stress that occurs from staring for hours on end at an up close item like your computer’s monitor. One way to combat this and improve your long distance vision after sitting at your desk all day is to periodically close your eyes, take a deep breath and flex your major muscle groups. Doing this will help the involuntary muscles in your eyes to relax.
11. Wake a Sleeping Limb
To revive an arm that has fallen asleep, try rocking your head from side to side, which will reduce tension in your neck and help to ease the pins and needles sensation in your arm. For a leg that has fallen asleep, walking around a bit is still your best option.
12. Scratch The Itch in Your Throat
Few things are more frustrating than an itch that lies right outside your grasp and cannot be scratched. Instead of reaching your hand down your throat, try scratching your ear. When the nerves of the ear are stimulated, muscles in the throat spasm, which often relieves the itch in your throat.
13. Hold Back Tears
To avoid publicly weeping, hold your eyes open without blinking and you can usually hold back the tears. If you have already starting to cry, try looking upward without tilting your head to stop up the waterworks.
14. Clear Your Sinuses
Alternate thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth and pressing firmly with your finger on the space between your eyebrows (note, if you don’t have a gap between your eyebrows, rethink your grooming routine) which moves the vomer bone back and forth, aiding the sinus passages to clear.
15. Avoid Blisters When You Burn Your Fingers
Typically, if you touch something hot, the initial reaction is to reach for some ice, and while that may ease your pain quickly, that’s not necessarily what’s best for your skin as you are going from one temperature extreme to another. Try cleaning the affected area and applying pressure against the palm of your uninjured hand to prevent the burn from turning into a blister.
16. Prevent a Yawn
If you are about to yawn, try touching the tip of your tongue just as your mouth opens to stop this embarrassing display dead in its tracks.
17. Get Rid of the Hiccups
There are a million and one home remedies for the hiccups and we all have our personal method of choice, but if you ever find that your go-to technique just isn’t cutting it, give this a shot: hold a breath as long as possible and when you just can’t hold it any longer, exhale as slowly as you can.
18. Suppress your Gag Reflex
The next time you feel the urge to gag, try gripping your thumb firmly within your closed fist to help suppress your gag reflex.
19. Increase your Memory with Cinnamon
Cinnamon is taken by many as a supplement to aid in weight loss, but did you know that just smelling cinnamon can improve both your memory and cognition. Try keeping a few cinnamon sticks in a cotton sachet by your desk and take a deep whiff whenever you need a quick mental pick-me-up.
20. Keep yourself Awake (without caffeine)
Before you guzzle that Red Bull or force down another cup of coffee, consider a natural way to keep yourself awake, blue light. Scientists have found that blue light keeps people awake more so than any other color.
Featured photo credit: Model Man at Central Market, Austin via flic.kr
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