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20 signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep

20 signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep

Life can get busy. Sometimes we’ve got to go for that heart-affirming run, that exciting date with the new guy at the local, or do that all-important paperwork (the utility bill, the NHS forms, those pesky tax rebates). It all adds up and most of the time, it turns out that 24 hours is just not enough for one day’s work (or play…). So what do we sacrifice? The food? God no, quality time with a cheesy pasta bake is essential for sanity. Social time? Nope, because no person is an island. Sleep? Well it’s already midnight and we have to get up at 6am so yep, sleep it is. And then this happens…

1. Your texts look like pocket dials because you can’t spell anymore.

2. Jokes fall flat at your feet because you just can’t get the punch line.

3. You’re all fingers and thumbs and you drop your pen not just once, not just twice but 3 times in a row.

4. You burn your toast in the morning. Toast. You burn TOAST, for goodness sakes. This must end.

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5. You call everyone by the wrong names. Jim, I mean Sam, I mean Josh – until the ‘oi you’s come out.

6. You snap at the post man, barge past the tourists on the sidewalk, yell at the receptionist who can’t help you. At least you held back at your manager’s meeting…

7. You forget your cufflinks, your earrings, your pants. If you’re lucky, it’s dress down Friday.

8. You miss your train because you’ve forgotten how to read time, and what time your train arrives, and what time it even is.

9. You binge eat and overdose on caffeine because you think you can replace hours of sleep with sugary crap and five consecutive coffees. You are wrong.

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10. You wear odd shoes to work and sit down at your desk all day to avoid the embarrassment of admitting that you can’t dress yourself properly.

11. You yawn at your customers, at the cute guy who struck up a conversation on the bus, at your wife as she updates you on her day (which has been interesting, you massive jerk).

12. You leave your phone in toilet cubicles and on tables and spend the day on treasure hunts following the sound of your ringtone.

13. You miss out on opportunities that you just can’t be arsed to take.

14. You watch 3 seasons of a rubbish sitcom on Netflix just because it’s there, and so is the remote.

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15. You make terrible decisions, agree to dates you shouldn’t, organise two events on one Saturday and make a general mess of your week.

16. You spend money on lunches you can’t be bothered to make at home, coffees you’re too lazy to brew and taxis that are way less hassle than buses.

17. You fall asleep on trains and wake up in strange villages in Kent that you’ve never heard of.

18. You get emotional at strange moments and cry in toilets when your friend doesn’t want to share pasta bake for dinner. Who doesn’t like pasta bake any night of the week?! Oh the humanity.

19. You have to write everything down because otherwise you’ll forget. The post it notes on your desk have wiped out a whole forest.

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20. You have a constant cold which sometimes verges on a migraine because your body is making this decision for you – GO TO SLEEP OR I WILL SELF-DESTRUCT. And then you definitely won’t be able to sleep, right?

In short, you’re just not on top form and you’re not yourself when your fuel gauge is hitting empty, when your pants are on your head and your jumper’s inside out. Your nose is running and you’re throwing temper tantrums. It’s just not a good look.

Featured photo credit: normalityrelief via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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