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5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

5 Money-Saving IKEA Essentials That You Shouldn’t Miss

IKEA is everyone’s go-to for great home essentials. We love the clean lines and simplicity, and easy-to-build pieces. But we shouldn’t be buying less expensive items and then be paying an arm and a leg on utility bills. These five product types available at IKEA are not just essentials, they’re also cheaper than alternatives on the market. This means you won’t have to dish out your kids’ college savings just to afford them or put aside that money you were saving to redesign your home. PLUS, they will save you a lot more in years to come. Don’t miss out on these great items.

1. Rugs and Curtains

Living room

    A lot of homes lose heat through the floor. Because of this, investing in area rugs is an easy, low-cost way to save on those heating bills. Putting up curtains on windows and glass doors can also save you on heating and cooling. Curtains can block the heat from the sun during hot summer months and they can also keep the heat inside during the wintry months. Both rugs and curtains come in so many colorful options at IKEA, so they’re not just energy efficient, they can also give your home a bit of a facelift too. Choose from some stunning designs to pair with your sliding barndoor hardware and you won’t have to sacrifice your design personality.

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    2. Refrigerators

    Refrigerator

      Refrigerators are one of those appliances we have to keep running all day, all night, always. But they sometimes sap more energy than necessary. Most new refrigerators or freezer models are being made more energy efficient than older models. Replacing an old one can save you a little extra money, plus it uses up to 40% less energy than older, outdated models. The newest IKEA refrigerators have been rated A+ or A++, compared to the B- or A- ratings of older appliances.

      3. LED Lights

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      LED lights

        About a quarter of energy consumption is through lighting, but IKEA’s LED lights use about 85% less energy than older bulbs. IKEA has switched all their lighting options completely over to LED. But with their new designs, lighting can also become more fun and beautiful. Not only that, but LED lights come in a wide range of sizes and work with all fittings, so you don’t need to replace your favorite lamp or fixture.

        4. Faucets

        Sink

          With larger families, or even just forgetful family members, saving water can seem like a big ordeal. But IKEA has bathroom faucets that save up to 50% of water and kitchen faucets that will save up to 30% of water use. You can begin to save money on water utility bills by focusing your water-saving efforts at the source. With these new IKEA faucets that come in a great variety of wonderful styles to fit you home’s design theme, you can save without having to change your family’s habits.

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          IKEA also has some great new designs for washing machines and dishwashers that also focus on water efficiency. With these great appliances you won’t feel like you need to start hand washing all your dishes just to save a little cash. You can rest easy knowing that the machine is doing all the hard work for you.

          5. Stovetops

          Stove

            IKEA has some great options for stovetops with new induction technology. Don’t sacrifice your good cooking to save, rather, invest in a new cooktop that heats up the pan (not everything around it, which can result in greater heat loss). Not only do these stovetops save energy, they also work better than older glass-ceramic appliances. IKEA also has great pots and pans to compliment their energy-efficient stovetops.

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            These IKEA essentials are not only energy-efficient, helping to preserve some of the most precious resources the earth has to offer us, but they also save you and your family money. Investing in some of these items will help your family become more eco-friendly and your utility bills will be a little more forgiving.

            Featured photo credit: IKEA/ Gerard Stolk via flic.kr

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            Paisley Hansen

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2018

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

            If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

            One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

            Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

            In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

            Why you can’t sleep through the night

            The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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            Stress

            If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

            Exposure to blue light before sleep time

            We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

            While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

            Eating close to bedtime

            Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

            Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

            Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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            Medical conditions

            In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

            The vicious sleep cycle

            The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

            Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

            You get a bad night’s sleep
            –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
            –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
            –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

              You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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              How to sleep better (throughout the night)

              To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

              1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

              What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

              Here are a few suggestions:

              • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
              • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
              • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
              • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
              • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

              What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

              • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
              • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
              • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
              • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

              3. Adjust your sleep temperature

              Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

              Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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              Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

              Sleep better form now on

              Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

              I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

              As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

              Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

              Reference

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