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6 College Habits That You Need to Shake off if You Want to Look Younger

6 College Habits That You Need to Shake off if You Want to Look Younger

Who doesn’t want to look younger? If you’re anything like me, college is in the rearview mirror; something I look back on and smile. Unfortunately, while I’ve moved on, some of my habits have hung around.

If you want to look longer, it’s time to take a close look at these habits you might have picked up in college. And, if your freshman 15 turned into a mid-life 30, these habits will help you with that too!

1. There Really is Such a Thing as Too Sweet

Hitting the vending machines in the lobby of my dorm was a go-to midnight snack solution during my late-night cramming sessions. But, it turns out that the foods in our refrigerators and cupboards could be even worse for us.

According to a recent study, Americans are consuming 40% more sugar today than we did in the 70’s (source). Take a close look at the nutrition labels on your food. Sugars (both natural and artificial) are packed into a lot of our favorite snacks. Cut back if you want your skin to recover and the dark bags under your eyes to become less noticeable.

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2. Cut Down on Hair Products

During my weekends in college, there were few things more important than making a killer impression at off-campus parties. Gel, mousse, hair spray and all of the other chemicals we put into our hair can cause hair to split, lose its luster and become seriously damaged as a result of long-term use.

Switch to a hairstyle that doesn’t require the use of daily hair styling products. Your hair will thank you and look much healthier.

3. It’s Time to Drop the Tobacco Cigarettes

I know, it’s so easy to blame the proliferation of smoking on Hollywood and the real-life Mad Men that made smoking so cool, but it isn’t the 80’s and 90’s anymore; the rebellion against parental authority is over. It’s time to put out tobacco cigarettes, for good.

If you’re having trouble quitting, try E-Juice, “Also known as e-liquid, vapor juice, and nicotine juice, e-juice usually blends propylene glycol with vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavoring to be vaporized, not burned. Most e-liquids are made with synthetic flavoring…[and] contain no actual tobacco,” according to the ECASSOC.

It’s an excellent alternative to traditional, tobacco cigarettes; especially if your intent is to eventually quit.

4. All-Night Cram Sessions

It was so easy to do it all in college; at least if you were willing to give up precious hours of sleep to cram before exams. Yes, we were kings and queens of the world! But, procrastination is what gave us our social life, and it then cost us our sleep as we tried to catch up.

The Daily News reported on a study that showed those lost hours of sleep actually make us “…look old and sad.” If that won’t scare you into sleeping more, I don’t know what will! Make sleep a mandatory part of every 24 hour period.

5. Energy Drinks, Nicotine and Copious Consumption of Caffeine

If you want younger, healthier skin, it’s time to cut back on the consumption of the hazardous chemicals found in energy drinks. Even caffeine, if consumed to excess, can contribute to your dry, prematurely wrinkled skin.

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And it isn’t just energy drinks. There are some reports of e-cigarettes getting a new ingredient added to the list of options: caffeine? Yes, caffeinated e-cigarettes are actually a thing, reported by Vapourlites.

Alex Williams, a reporter for The Times, described his experience trying the “…Eagle Energy caffeine vaper…Just five puffs of the stuff made his fingers tingle and at ten puffs he felt a serious caffeine buzz…”

I’d definitely give the inventors credit for making a more efficient caffeine vehicle, but they may be contributing to an increasingly over-caffeinated population with horrible skin.

6. Don’t Forget to Condition!

In college, there were weeks where I was so broke, buying shampoo was sometimes a stretch. Adding conditioner into the mix just wasn’t financially in the cards. I didn’t give it much thought until a recent magazine article caught my eye. I never really considered how important a good conditioner is to maintaining hair’s resilience and vitality.

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If you want to look younger, longer, don’t forget to add a quality hair conditioner into your daily regimen. You have a career; you can afford the little things to help take care of yourself! Combine conditioner with less styling products (see point 3) and you’ll have younger looking hair in no time!

We all want to reclaim our youth, and relive some college memories. Hold onto the memories, but let go of the habits. It’s time to focus on taking care of you, and that starts with living a healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you, and trust me, getting carded for alcohol at the grocery store is a fun reminder that you’re doing things right!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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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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