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10 Car Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

10 Car Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

As someone who drives a lot, you have probably noticed that there are all kinds of little problems that can crop up, from having a cluttered and messy vehicle to windows that fog up all the time to the need for toilet paper in an emergency.

So, with this in mind, we have compiled a list of 10 great car hacks that will make your life a lot easier when you are on the road, whether you are driving a junker or the best luxury SUV.

1. Keep Your Steering Wheel Cool

Instead of touching a hot steering wheel that has been in the sun, when exiting your vehicle, turn the wheel 180 degrees. That way, the part you normally touch will be shaded and not as hot when you want to start driving again.

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2. Prevent Windows from Fogging

You need to have good visibility, and that doesn’t happen when the windows are fogged. To prevent this, cut a potato in half, and rub it on the inside of your vehicle windows.

3. Ask for Directions

When you are lost, the best places to ask for directions are at fast food restaurants. There will likely always be someone there who can tell you where you need to be, and how to get there. Gas stations and convenience stores are other great places to get directions, and they often sell road maps.

4. Use Dryer Sheets

Instead of spending money on car air fresheners, simply use dryer sheets that you already have. Just place an open box of dryer sheets in the car, and they will keep the air smelling fresh and clean. You can also stick dryer sheets into the vents for a few minutes to really get the scent throughout the vehicle.

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5. Use Shower Organizers

Driving with kids can be an adventure, and often, a messy adventure for you to clean. One way to keep the back seat more organized is to hang shower organizers on the back of the front seats. Then, use the pockets for baby wipes, bottles, diapers, games, and more. Shoe organizers can also be used for this.

6. Make a Phone Holder

If your vehicle didn’t come with a built-in mobile phone holder, you can easily make one with an elastic band. Simply slip the elastic between the slats of one of the vents, and then wrap it around the phone. Now, you have a hands-free phone system without having to spend any extra money.

7. Carry an Air Pump and a Pool Mattress

You never know when you are going to end up sleeping in your vehicle (breakdowns, impromptu camping trips, etc.), so be prepared. Keep an air pump and an inflatable pool mattress in the trunk, and you will always have a bed to sleep on instead of the uncomfortable seats.

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8. Have an Emergency Kit

Everyone should have an emergency kit in their vehicle, because you never know what can happen. The kit should include such things as water, snacks, a first-aid kit, blankets, toilet paper, and an inexpensive mobile phone. If you do a lot of winter driving, also include a bag of kitty litter (in case you get stuck and need traction), a candle, and a tin can (to create light and heat to melt snow around tires).

9. Use a Shower Caddy

It is important to keep oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, etc. in your vehicle at all times. Keep all of the vehicle fluids organized by putting the smaller bottles inside a shower caddy. That way, nothing is going to roll around and end up leaking all over the trunk.

10. Use a Mesh Bungee

If you are traveling with clothing that you don’t want to pack because you don’t want wrinkles, hang them. All you need to do is hang a mesh bungee on the ceiling of the vehicle, and then hang the clothing from it. Make sure that you do this in the back seat, and that the rear-view window is not obstructed so you can see clearly.

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Featured photo credit: jaymantri.com via pexels.com

More by this author

Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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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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