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3 Signs That You Are Addicted To Sports Betting

3 Signs That You Are Addicted To Sports Betting

Many people suffering from a gambling addiction feel alone. Perhaps you think that no one could possibly understand what it’s like to be you. However, you are not alone and others know exactly what you are going through. This feeling is so common that the mental health field has a name for it – gambling disorder. Psychology Today’s website estimates 3.5% of the American population have gambling disorder[1] – and that’s just in America.

There are many misconceptions about compulsive gambling. The biggest is that only people of weak character become gambling addicts. The fact is that gambling addiction is a mental illness. Mental illness can happen to anyone. If anyone reading this wonders if he or she may be addicted to sports betting, check for these three signs.

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1. Betting Becomes Your Whole World

Is having a wager now and then a sign of addiction? Not when it is just a few times a year or even once a week. Psych Guides describes gambling[2] to the gambling addict as being “compelled” to keep on gambling, even if there is no chance of ever recouping the cost of bets. Some addicts purposefully lose their winnings in bad bets because the urge to bet is stronger than even the urge to win.

The gambling addict does not manage to bet every day but wants to. Life becomes finding money to make a bet and making the wager. Everything takes a back seat to the wager – job, school, family, friends, reputation and health.

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2. Chasing the High

No one wakes up one day and thinks, “I’ll become an addict.” Becoming an addict often happens involuntarily. Just why some people can have a bet and not become an addict while others do is unknown, so it is difficult to prevent. Right now, the focus in the mental health field is on treating addictions and not pointing fingers except at one thing – chasing the high.

The “high” is not always a nice sensation. It is often just a release of tensions. For example, you have seen what smokers are like when they cannot have access to their cigarettes. They are the definition of the word tense. The only thing that can calm them down and get them back to “normal” is by smoking. This is what happens to gambling addicts too. Instead of taking that first drag, they make a bet in person or online.

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3. Money For Nothing

The most tragic sign of sports betting addiction is how the addict finds ways to get money for the next wager. This time everyone connected to the addict becomes affected. The Mayo Clinic states that people suffering from gambling disorder will lie and steal from anyone and anything to get the money.[3] If you have borrowed a lot of money from family and friends that you can never pay back then you are suffering from a gambling addiction. If you are not eating regularly, going to the doctor or paying your bills because that takes money away from your gambling, then you definitely have a problem. Gambling takes over your life like a puppeteer moves a puppet.

Another problem is that it often takes larger and larger wagers or more wagers per day or session to get the same high that just one wager used to give. This is similar to what happens to people taking drugs from the benzodiazepine family like alprazolam. The body gets used to the drug so the patient needs to take higher and higher doses until there is a crisis.

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In Summary

There are many sports betting websites that make you want to get into betting after learning how easy it is to bet. If the three signs of a gambling addiction sound like you, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. The bad news is that gambling disorder is a serious mental illness that could take control of your life. The good news is that gambling disorder is treatable through a combination of medications and therapies.

Featured photo credit: Fancy Crave via unsplash.com

Reference

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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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