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2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

2 Simple Tips for Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse Over the Holidays

It’s that wonderful time of year again! The Christmas music is playing in stores, mall Santas are coming out of hibernation, and everyone at work is fighting for time off to visit family. Yes, it’s always the same traditions, but also different. As each year passes, it’s a time for reconnecting with family, reflecting on the year that’s gone by, and preparing a list of New Year’s resolutions to make next year shine even brighter.

One of the things we all want to avoid in the upcoming year is buyer’s remorse, especially after a season of holiday gift-giving.[1] We’ve all seen or experienced the look of dread as a child learns that “batteries are sold separately” for the toy they just unwrapped. At work, I’m certainly guilty of signing on the dotted line without reading the fine print. But the good news is this year can be different! Here are two simple but effective ways to avoid being trapped by buyer’s remorse.

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In the World of Yelp and Amazon Reviews, It’s Hard to Go Wrong

When I was growing up, we had to trust the word of the salesman. Maybe we read something in the paper, or saw an ad on TV, but the salesperson was critical to our purchasing decisions. They explained the benefits of each option, the drawbacks of cutting costs here and there, and made a hefty commission for their time and knowledge.

If something went wrong, we could go back to the store and talk to that same salesman. The honest ones would try to resolve the issue and retain a loyal customer. Unfortunately, many were sleeping through the lecture on ethics and integrity while attending school and sometimes the outcome was a much more negative one.

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But today, in this glorious digital age, there’s a plethora of online reviews! Yes, you’re right to remember recent headlines about Amazon suing reviewers and sellers for fraudulently posting glowing product experiences on their platform,[2] but, collectively, the diversity of review sites means that it’s easy to get a gist for just how good or bad a product is before hitting the “Add to Cart” button.

Take the time to read at least five to ten different reviews before making a buying decision. You’ll find your overall satisfaction with purchases made in the coming year improve substantially!

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Create a Read or Don’t Buy Rule at Work

As a freelancer, embracing all that the gig economy has to offer, I’ve had my fair share of workplace duds. Whether it’s a product or service that claimed to boost my conversions, or improve my productivity, it’s hard to know if the latest snake oil is worth the investment of time and money.

If your inbox is full of free trial offers for the latest CRM, webinar, or SEO tool, it’s time to start hitting the spam button. And, more importantly, if you’re ready to make a buying decision, make time to carefully read the Service Level Agreement (SLA).[3] When things go wrong, whose job is it to put things back together? If you’re dealing with cut-rate tech solutions, chances are that you’re going to be the one left holding the bag.

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You might be sensing a theme here. Every takeaway seems to have something to do with reading. Sales people will promise things verbally that just aren’t true in order to close the sale. Hit the pause button before agreeing to any purchase in 2017. Take the time to read the service agreement, understand the terms and conditions, and enter agreements with a realistic set of expectations, based on the fine print.

From holiday gift-giving to corporate solutions, the theme for this year should be READ BEFORE YOU BUY. Trust me, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of buyer’s remorse.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/holiday-gift-guides/
[2]https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/27/amazon-sues-more-sellers-for-buying-fake-reviews/
[3]http://mergertechnology.com/cloud-storage/the-importance-of-reading-an-sla-cloud-storage-data-breaches-3722

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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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