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8 Tricks To Distract Yourself From Frustrating Illnesses And Pains

8 Tricks To Distract Yourself From Frustrating Illnesses And Pains

There’s nothing worse than being in constant pain or feeling incredibly nauseous. It can be difficult to think about anything besides the discomfort in those situations. Luckily, there are 8 quick and simple tricks you can use to distract yourself from all of your illness and pain!

1. Scratch Your Ear To Cure A Scratchy Throat!

I didn’t believe it either ‒ until I tried it and it worked. As it turns out, Scott Schaffer, M.D., the president of an ear, nose, and throat specialty center, gave this expert advice to Men’s Health. His exact words were, “When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm. This spasm relieves the tickle.” Fascinating!

2. Relieve Your Migraine with Ancient Techniques

If you’re anything like my sister, you are plagued by constant headaches that never seem to go away. You might even take a lot of advil or other pain relief medicine ‒ which isn’t very good for your body, and you build up a tolerance pretty quickly. Instead, try the ancient technique of using pressure points to relieve your headache.

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According to LiveStrong, you can simply use your thumb and index finger to press against the webbing between your thumb and index finger on your other hand to relieve the pain. Press and hold for two minutes on each hand while gently moving your fingers in a circular motion.

Confused? Watch this video:

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3. Blow On Your Thumb To Calm Your Nerves

Does it sound ridiculous? Yes. Does it work? You betcha.

If you’ve ever had butterflies in your stomach before a big meeting, a date with a cute girl/guy, or just doing something new, you can use this method! Blowing on your thumb works because it regulates your breathing (thus calming your nerves), and also helps control your vagus nerve, which helps to slow your heart rate.

4. Use Alternating Pressure To Drain A Stuffy Nose

All stuffed up and can’t breathe out your nose? Try this technique.

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Alternate pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and pressing your index fingers against the inside of each of your eyebrows at the same time. Go back and forth between these two pressure points for about 20 seconds, and you should be able to take a nice deep breath! This works by moving the vomer bone back and forth, which breaks up your phlegm.

5. Ice Your Hand to Stop Toothaches

Suffering from horrendous tooth pain? Reach for an ice cube!

Take the ice and rub it on the back of your hand. Rub it back and forth on the webbing between your thumb and index finger. The nerves there are linked to the nerves in your face and both of which are linked to your brain. By icing your hand, you’ll block the pain signals in your teeth! Weird, huh?

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6. Splash Your Face with Cold Water To Relieve Stress

You’ve probably already heard of this hack, but do you know why it works?

Apparently, by holding your breath and feeling the sting of ice cold water on your face, your brain is tricked into what is called the “mammalian diving reflex”. This reflex forces your body to use oxygen more efficiently, which in turn forces you to calm down. WebMD has a lot of studies on the history of the human brain and water ‒ it has a lot of calming effects.

7. Cough To Stop Pain From Needles

Are you afraid of getting a shot at the doctor or giving blood because of the impending needle in your skin?

Next time you’re about to get a needle in you, try letting out a small cough just before the nurse is injecting you. A cough will distract your brain from the pricking feeling and it’ll be done before you even realize anything happened! Just be sure to let the nurse in on your brain so she doesn’t jump and miss your vein!

8. Next Time You Get a Burn, Skip The Water or Ice

By running a burn under cold water or putting ice on it, your skin changes temperatures too rapidly, which can cause blistering and more unnecessary pain. Next time, just hold your fingers or hand over the burn to bring it back to body temperature more slowly, stopping the skin from getting as damaged.

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Bill Widmer

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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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