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Sleep Tips: 8 Steps to Better Sleep

Sleep Tips: 8 Steps to Better Sleep

If you have been feeling irritable or exhausted lately, maybe you should consider improving your sleep quality.

Consider all the things that can mess up your precious night’s sleep – from work stress and family obligations to sudden obstacles such as relationship problems, lost jobs, or health issues. It figures why sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Often, it is impossible to take control of all the factors that mess up your sleep, but you can adopt good sleep-promoting habits. You can begin with these simple steps.

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1. Plan your sleep and stick with it

Go to sleep and wake up at regular times every day, including on weekends, days off, and holidays. Consistency strengthens your natural sleep-wake cycle and helps improve sleep quality. But be warned: if it takes you more than 15 minutes to fall asleep, give it up and try to relax with something else. Return to bed when you feel tired. If you get too anxious to fall asleep, then it is likely to get even harder.

2. Watch your food and beverages

Avoid going to bed either stuffed or hungry. It is possible that your discomfort will prevent you from falling asleep. You might also want to avoid excessive drinking late at night, or you might be forced to get up from sleep to go to the toilet. Here are some foods you can eat if you’re really craving something before bed.

Be wary of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants with prolonged action and can destroy the quality of your sleep. Moreover, although alcohol may seem to bring you closer to sleep at first, it has the potential to ruin it for you later in the night.

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3. Create a bedtime act

Adopt a standard behavioral pattern every night to let your body know it’s time to slow down. Examples include reading a book, taking a shower or a warm bath, or listening to relaxing musing – dimming the lights as well also helps. Activities like these may improve sleep quality by making the transition to drowsiness smoother.

Be careful of including television or other electronics in your bedtime act. There is research showing that exposure to screens and other electronics close to bedtime may adversely affect sleep.

4. Get comfortable

Arrange your bedroom in a way that promotes sleep, which often means dark, cool, and quiet. You can use devices such as earplugs, shades, or a fan to tailor the environment accordingly.

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Your sleep will also be affected by your pillow and mattress. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, so make your choices according to your own comfort level. If you don’t sleep alone, ensure that both of you have ample room. If there are pets or children in the house, try to limit their access to your bed or forbid it completely. It might even be a good idea to go with a non-toxic mattress.

5. Limit daytime naps

If you go overboard with naps during the day, your nighttime sleep will suffer — especially if you have been having trouble sleeping properly. If you do opt for a daytime nap, don’t let it surpass 10 to 30 minutes, and try to schedule it for midafternoon.

If you have to work at night, these rules regarding daytime napping don’t apply to you. If that’s your situation, try to prevent as much sunlight as possible from entering your room. It will disrupt your internal clock and prevent you from sleeping during the day.

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6. Get more physical in your daily life

Adopting a more physically active lifestyle will improve your sleep quality, helping you sleep faster and deeper. But you need to time it properly. If you engage in physical exercise too late in the day, your energy drive will be too high to fall asleep. If you find yourself troubled by this particular problem, move your exercise routine to earlier in the day.

7. Deal with stress

When you are overburdened with duties and responsibilities, your sleep might be adversely affected. To overcome this, try to manage stress in a healthy way. The basics work: organize yourself, prioritize properly, and set tasks and sub-tasks. Don’t be afraid to take a break if you feel like it. Socialize with friends and blow off some steam. Before getting to sleep, make a note of all your loose ends so that you can work on them tomorrow.

8. Don’t be afraid to see a physician if you need to

Sleepless nights are something that we all experience now and then. But if this has become a constant nuisance for you, contact your physician. Finding and treating any hidden causes can help you sleep the way you deserve.

Featured photo credit: Olichel via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

    This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

    2. Cranberry Pork Roast

    Cranberry pork roast

      Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

      3. Greens and Beans

      Greens and beans

        Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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        As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

        4. Chicken Curry

        Chicken curry

          That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

          5. Honey Sesame Chicken

          Honey sesame chicken

            Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

            6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

            Mushroom spinach stroganoff

              In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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              7. Stuffed Peppers

              Stuffed peppers

                If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                Cilantro and lime chicken

                  Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                  9. Beef Fajitas

                  Beef fajitas

                    This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                    The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                    10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                    Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                      Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                      11. Hawaiian Chicken

                      Hawaiian chicken

                        This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                        12. Beef and Barley Stew

                        Beef and barley stewd

                          Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                          13. Meatball Soup

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                          Meatball soup

                            This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                            14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                            Turkey black bean chili

                              Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                              15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                              Ham and pinto bean soup

                                What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                Conclusion

                                With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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