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45 Essential Dog Care Hacks That Will Make Their Owner’s Life Easier

45 Essential Dog Care Hacks That Will Make Their Owner’s Life Easier

Pet parents know that their pup is worth every hair tumbleweed and chewed shoe that they must deal with to have the precious pooch in their lives. However, who wouldn’t want an even smoother interaction with man’s best friend? Below are 45 dog-care hacks to prove once and for all that owning a dog in this era of genius ideas and gadgets has never been easier.

1. Dog Crates to Improve Pet and People Sanity

Crates, when used correctly, can be an extremely important tool. They can help you with potty training, keeping your pup from chewing power cords and other dangerous things when you can’t watch them, and can give your dog a safe place to go to take a break from too much activity. Teach your young children to leave the dog alone if he retreats to his crate. Crates are also great to take with you to give your dog a point of reference if you travel, as they will feel safer in a car, plane, or hotel room if they already see the crate as their familiar den. It’s easy to train a dog to love his crate; especially if you feed him in it. Make it comfortable with soft bedding and keep it open in a quiet area of the house, so the dog can utilize it when needed.

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    Image Credit: Petco

    2. DIY Pet Treats and Pill Pockets

    There are plenty of DIY dog treat recipes out there for those who like to show their pooch a little lovin from the oven! But, if you have a pet that needs daily medication, and you don’t want to spend money on store-bought pill pockets, you can make your own with this simple pill-pocket recipe. Depending on the size of your pill, you can also use frozen blackberries or blueberries if you want to give your pet another healthy anti-oxidant-rich alternative. Just run the berry under water to thaw, and push the pill in! Remember, not all berries are good for your dog to eat!

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      Image Credit: Muttnut

      3. Smart Pet Doors Let in Only Furry Family

      Do you ever feel like a doorman for your pet? Have you thought about a pet door, but are worried that a ravaging racoon may wander in at night? Then get a pet door that only unlocks for your fur kid. These wondrous passageways are only unlocked by a signal from your pet’s collar. This way, your pooch has full access to your house and yard, and you have peace of mind knowing that no masked bandits are entering your home.

      Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.26.06 PM
        Image Credit: PetSafe

        4. Use a Dremel for a Puppy Pedi

        Trimming back your four-legged friend’s nails is an essential part of dog care. Some dogs hate the feeling of regular nail clippers, as they can put pressure on the nail quick and cause discomfort. With a bit of patience, you can train many dogs to accept a Dremel. The Dremel bit does not put pressure on the nail quick like regular dog clippers. Many dogs, once trained to accept the sound and feel of the Dremel, prefer it to regular clippers. Just remember to trim back longer hair that is around the paws so that it doesn’t get caught in the tool. Also, use the sanding drum and constantly put your finger on it to check it when it’s not moving to make sure it’s not building up too much heat, like in this instructional video. This toe tool can then help you create a spa day with your best friend, and easily sand your dog’s nails down for the perfect pedi.

        Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.39.21 PM
          Image Credit: Dog Grooming Tips Revealed

          5. Chicken and Rice Works Wonders for the Upset Puppy Tummy

          Vets have recommended it for years. If your dog suffers from digestive troubles, and you’ve cleared him of the more serious health issues with your vet, you can help soothe his tummy with a base chicken and rice home-cooked meal.

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            6. DIY Pet Beds From Old Furniture

            Ever wondered what to do with that old T.V. cabinet or vintage dresser? Well, wonder no more! Make it a trendy pad for your pooch with these great ideas!

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              Image Credit: Hometalk

              7. Does Your Dog Wolf Down His Food?

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                Image Credit: LifeTricks

                8. Put an Extra Collar Around Your Leash Handle to Make It Hands-Free

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                  Image Credit: Imgur

                  9. Bitter Apple for Problem Chewers

                  If your dog is chewing you out of house and home, Bitter Apple is a safe alternative to deter your pet from taking that next bite. It tastes pretty potent to dogs, but it’s also perfectly safe for them to ingest – unlike your power cord.

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                    Image Credit: Petco

                    10. Pet Evac Kit for Emergencies

                    No one wants to think about disasters, but it’s always good to have a plan in case they happen. It could save your dog’s life!

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                    Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.36.49 PM
                      Image Credit: ASPCA

                      11. DIY Pet Shampoo

                      You can save money by making your own shampoo from common household items like Dawn, baking soda, and vinegar. Get the recipe here.

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                        12. Baking Soda and Vinegar Remove Urine Smell

                        Soak up the urine with a paper towel, spray the stain with a mixture of half vinegar and half baking soda solution, and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, absorb the excess moisture with a paper towel, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, and let it dry. Just keep pets away, as baking soda is toxic to dogs. Once dry, vacuum it up. Remember, dogs will eliminate where they smell their previous markings, so it’s very important to deodorize as well as clean to prevent repeat accidents.

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                          Image Credit: Vetwest

                          13. Know Dog CPR

                          Knowing dog CPR could save your pet’s life. Keep instructions in an easily-accessible place, in case you need to access them quickly.

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                            Image Credit: Imgur

                            14. Re-purpose Old Clothes into Pet Clothes

                            You can use sweater sleeves, socks, and tee shirts to create adorable outfits and trendy clothes for Fido.

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                              Image Credit: Romp Rescue

                              15. Crib Mattress with Fitted Sheets for Pet Bed

                              Unlike regular pet beds, you can easily wash the sheets!

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                                Image Credit: Most Amazing Photography

                                16. Did Your Sunglasses Break? Make DIY Sunglasses For Fido

                                Bright sun can be tough on doggie eyes too! Make some trendy DIY pet shades here.

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                                  Image Credit: Dollar Store Crafts

                                  17. DIY Refill Water Bowl

                                  Tired of filling up your dog’s bowl? Make this cute contraption to make sure your pup stays hydrated.

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                                    Image Credit: Instructables

                                    18. Freeze Attachable Water Bowls in Crate When Traveling So Your Pet Won’t Spill

                                    If you fly with your dog in a crate under the plane, make sure to fill the attachable water bowl with water and put it in the freezer the night before your flight. Take it out right before you leave. The water will slowly melt, and not spill in transit. This way, the water won’t splash out during the hassle of getting on the plane and wet their bedding. Your pet will also have plenty to drink on the long flight, and the ice will keep them cooler in case the temperature is a bit warm on your travel day.

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                                      Image Credit: Petco

                                      19. Keep pet paws clean

                                      Easily wash dogs paws when coming in with the Paw Wash. You can also keep baby wipes handy to make sure your pet doesn’t track in dirt from the great outdoors.

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                                        Image Credit: The Paw Wash

                                        20) Stop Houdini Hounds

                                        If your dog is small enough to squeeze through your gate, buy this ingenious little harness. Your dog can move freely, but will be slightly less squeezable when it comes to fences. Make sure your harness still lets your pet come in through your pet door.

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                                          Image Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

                                          21. Have a Fail-Safe Word That Brings Your Dog Back Every Time

                                          Does your dog run come barreling to you at the word “cookie?” If you haven’t trained your dog to come to you, and you should for their safety, make sure you at least have a word that they recognize, like “treat,” that you can use if they get loose.

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                                            22. If You Don’t Have a Recall Word, Try Drama

                                            If your dog gets loose, and they haven’t learned a word that brings them back to you, they may still respond to some clever acting. Whatever you do, don’t chase after them. They are probably faster than you. However, if you fall down and pretend to be hurt, they may run back to check on you. You can also run away from them calling happily in an excited voice. Dogs naturally chase things that run away from them. Then, when they “catch you,” you’ve actually caught them.

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                                              23. Cargo Pants Convert to Dog Cooling Vest

                                              Does your dog get hot easily? You can create this cute cooling vest by cutting up old cargo pants.

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                                                Image Credit: Instructables

                                                24. For Puppy-Kissable Breath

                                                If you dog suffers from bad breath, but doesn’t enjoy the tooth-brushing experience, you can put dog toothpaste on a lint brush and have your dog lick it off. Much of the bacteria that causes that foul smell is on the tongue. Another trick is to add parsley to their food. It’s full of good vitamins and naturally eliminates stinky breath.

                                                Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 6.12.44 AM
                                                  Image Credit: Leopold’s Crate

                                                  25. Everyone Loves Pool Time

                                                  You can create hours of entertainment for your pet, and also help them stay cool by buying a kiddy plastic pool. Just fill it with water and enjoy your puppy playtime show.

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                                                    Image Credit: Pinterest

                                                    26. Turmeric Can Help with Pain And Other Ailments

                                                    Turmeric has shown, in recent studies, to help fight cancer, detoxify the body, reduce anti-inflammatory issues, and lower or even eliminate pain. All of the benefits seen in humans are also found to be true in our four-legged furry friends. However, Turmeric also is a blood thinner, and may react with medications. So always check with your vet before adding it to your pet’s diet. You can normally feed 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

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                                                      Image Credit: Munch Zone

                                                      27. Vaseline on Paws Protect Puppy Pads From Snow

                                                      Snow can scrape up sensitive paws. A little Vaseline on your pup’s pads before a snowball fight goes a long way to making sure the game stays fun for everyone.

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                                                        Image Credit: Sarah Hansen

                                                        28. The Vacuum Isn’t the Enemy

                                                        Many dogs hate the vacuum, but with a bit of positive training, you can teach your dog that the vacuum only brings good things – like praise and treats. Then, you can use grooming tools like the Dyson Grooming Tool or other vacuum attachments to suck up your dog’s dander and hair before it ever hits the floor.

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                                                          Image Credit: K9 Magazine

                                                          29. DIY Frozen Dog Toys

                                                          Is your pet the coolest kid on the block? To help him keep him in that status, freeze some of his toys and treats in water or chicken broth, and watch him go to town. He will be occupied for hours getting to all of the hidden treasures, and will be too busy to get into other mischief.

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                                                            Image Credit: Pinterest

                                                            30. Use a Dryer Sheet to Calm a Dog During a Storm

                                                            Many times, it’s the electric charge in the air and not the actual storm that upsets dogs during bad weather. Some dogs just don’t like the noise, but if your dog just hates the electricity in the air, take a dryer sheet and rub it over him to make him feel better.

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                                                              Image Credit: Mashable

                                                              31. Remove Pet Hair with a Wet Rubber Glove

                                                              If you don’t have access to a lint roller, take a wet rubber glove and rub your hand over furry furniture. You can easily pick up the hair.

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                                                                Image Credit: Super Cool Pets

                                                                32. Soften Dry Kibble in Warm Water

                                                                If you have a finicky eater or an older dog, add warm water or chicken broth, and let the kibble soften for about 15 minutes. You may notice a renewed interest in their appetite. This also helps your dog stay hydrated.

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                                                                  Image Credit: Happy Bark Days

                                                                  33. Know Your Dog’s Body Language

                                                                  Dog’s can’t talk like humans. If you know how to read their body language, they can communicate very effectively to you how they are feeling. Many dog bites happen from humans not tuning into the signals the dog is screaming through their body posture. Most dogs bite when that’s the only recourse left to get their point across.

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                                                                    Image Credit: Pet Lovers

                                                                    34. Use Classical Music to Calm

                                                                    You may enjoy relaxing to a good Bach concerto, but did you know that studies also show that classical music soothes your pet too?

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                                                                      Image Credit: Amazon

                                                                      35. Tire Out Your Energizer Bunny

                                                                      If you have a high-energy dog, have them wear a vest and carry water, waste bags, and other supplies on walks. It gives them a job to do that challenges them mentally and physically, you don’t have to carry anything, and you also don’t have to run a marathon with them to tire them out.

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                                                                        Image Credit: CesarsWay

                                                                        36. Beat the Street Heat

                                                                        Remember, if you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement without it burning, then neither should your dog. Always walk them early in the morning or later in the evening if they have to walk on pavement to prevent burned paws.

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                                                                          Image Credit: Adopt a Pet

                                                                          37. For Cleaning Those Puppy Pearly Whites

                                                                          Some dogs don’t tolerate people brushing their teeth. If your pup is a bit reluctant to do his dental diligence, squeeze some doggie toothpaste onto a Nylabone or rope toy. They can happily chew on it, while unknowingly brushing their teeth.

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                                                                            Image Credit: Hammock’s House of Hounds

                                                                            38. DIY Pet Paw Ornaments

                                                                            These cute ornaments will give you a lasting memory of your pet, and let them contribute to the Christmas decorations. Learn how to make them here!

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                                                                              Image Credit: Sew Doggy Style

                                                                              39. Lost Dog Tip

                                                                              First, you should exhaust all other options to find your dog, such as putting up posters, posting adds online and in the paper, checking animals shelters, and personally searching. However, if you have some idea where your dog was last seen, leave something that smells like you, such as a used article of clothing, with some food and water.  Leave a note asking people not to take the items. Leave your phone number on the note so that people can call you if they see your dog staying in that spot. Then, keep checking that location. If your dog is still nearby, he will be drawn to your scent, as well as the food and water.

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                                                                                Image Credit: Three Village Veterinary Hospital

                                                                                40. Microchip and Register your Pet

                                                                                A registered microchip on your dog could save his life if he ends up in a high-kill animal shelter. Keep your records current with the microchip company and your vet.  There are so many stories of families who would have never been reunited with their pets, except for their decision to microchip.

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                                                                                  Image Credit: High Desert Animal Hospital

                                                                                  41. Pet Credit Card for Emergencies

                                                                                  If you choose not to carry Pet Insurance, having a pet credit card like Care Credit will allow you to make payments interest free for a year on big veterinary expenses.

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                                                                                    Image Credit: Credit Cards

                                                                                    42. Car Insurance That Covers Your Entire Family

                                                                                    Some car insurance companies, such as Progressive, offer to pay medical bills for your pet in the event of an accident.

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                                                                                      Image Credit: Aol Autos

                                                                                      43. Travel in Style

                                                                                      You don’t have to leave your pet with a sitter. Utilize free travel sites that show what hotels welcome your furry family. For example, the hotel chain La Quinta doesn’t charge a pet fee for your dog to join you in your room.

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                                                                                        Image Credit: Goodnight Lucky

                                                                                        44. Keep Your Dog Trim and Get More Time!

                                                                                        Feeding dogs extra treats may make them extra happy, but it shortens their life if they become obese. In fact, dogs at a healthy weight lived almost two years longer in a recent study. That’s a big number to a dog! Keeping your pet lean can also help them live a more active lifestyle by reducing their risk for joint problems and diabetes.

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                                                                                          Image Credit: Examiner

                                                                                          45) Never, Ever Leave Pets in Your Hot Car

                                                                                          The temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes according to a recent study! Cracking your windows makes little difference in the power of the sun to turn your car into a death oven. Take your pets with you or leave them at home, but don’t lock them in your car!

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                                                                                            Image Credit: Abcoics

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                                                                                            Sarah Hansen

                                                                                            A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                                                                                            Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                                                                                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                                                                                            Feeling tired all the time?

                                                                                            Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                                                                                            I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                                                                                            Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                                                                                            If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                                                                                            In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                                                                                            What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                                                                                            If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                                                                                            Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                                                                                            • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                                                                                            • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                                                                                            • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                                                                                            • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                                                                                            • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                                                                                            • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                                                                                            • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                                                                                            Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                                                                                            Unfortunately, yes!

                                                                                            Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                                                                                            Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                                                                                            Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                                                                                            Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                                                                                            Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                                                                                            Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                                                                                            1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                                                                                            2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                                                                                            3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                                                                                            The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                                                                                            It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                                                                                            Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                                                                                            Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                                                                                            If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                                                                                            Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                                                                                            Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                                                                                            But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                                                                                            Symptoms of fatigue include:

                                                                                            • Difficulty concentrating
                                                                                            • Low stamina
                                                                                            • Difficulty sleeping
                                                                                            • Anxiety
                                                                                            • Low motivation

                                                                                            These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                                                                                            Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                                                                                            How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                                                                                            The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                                                                                            Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                                                                                            So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                                                                                            The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                                                                                            Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                                                                                            Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                                                                                            If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                                                                                            And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                                                                                            It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                                                                                            4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                                                                                            Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                                                                                            1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                                                                                            2. Exercising regularly
                                                                                            3. Using stressbusters
                                                                                            4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                                                                                            So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                                                                                            After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                                                                                            In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                                                                                            I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                                                                                            Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                                                                                            • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                                                                                            • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                                                                                            • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                                                                                            • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                                                                                            The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                                                                                            And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                                                                                            But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                                                                                            L — Living Healthy

                                                                                            Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                                                                                            So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                                                                                            In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                                                                                            As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                                                                                            Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                                                                                            1. Unplug

                                                                                            Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                                                                                            So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                                                                                            2. Unwind

                                                                                            Do something to relax.

                                                                                            Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                                                                                            3. Get Comfortable

                                                                                            Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                                                                                            Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                                                                                            Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                                                                                            Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                                                                                            If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                                                                                            Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                                                                                            This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                                                                                            E — Exercise

                                                                                            Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                                                                                            That’s what happened in my case.

                                                                                            But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                                                                                            As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                                                                                            My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                                                                                            That made sense to me.

                                                                                            So, I decided to swim.

                                                                                            I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                                                                                            Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                                                                                            Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                                                                                            So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                                                                                            If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                                                                                            A — Attitude

                                                                                            Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                                                                                            When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                                                                                            Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                                                                                            Breathing.

                                                                                            But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                                                                                            Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                                                                                            1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                                                                                            2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                                                                                            3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                                                                                            4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                                                                                            5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                                                                                            6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                                                                                            This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                                                                                            When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                                                                                            Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                                                                                            N — Nutrition

                                                                                            Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                                                                                            If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                                                                                            Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                                                                                            For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                                                                                            Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                                                                                            Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                                                                                            1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                                                                                            2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                                                                                            3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                                                                                            4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                                                                                            5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                                                                                            6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                                                                                            7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                                                                                            8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                                                                                            9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                                                                                            Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                                                                                            That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                                                                                            Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                                                                                            The Bottom Line

                                                                                            If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                                                                                            If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                                                                                            If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                                                                                            • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                                                                                            • Regular Exercise You Love
                                                                                            • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                                                                                            • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                                                                                            Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                                                                                            More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                                                                                            Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                                                                                            Reference

                                                                                            [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                                                                                            [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                                                                                            [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                                                                                            [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                                                                                            [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                                                                                            [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                                                                                            [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                                                                                            [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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