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Best Places to Visit for Spring Cleaning your Mind

Best Places to Visit for Spring Cleaning your Mind

As soon as the winter months are over, most of us are looking for a way to reboot and climb out of our hibernating state. That’s about the same time that we get a look at our to-do lists and start to thing “maybe hibernation isn’t so bad.” Take a breather, relax, and start the spring cleaning with your mind. Here are a few places that will help you escape your responsibilities and air out the cobwebs upstairs before you start your new productive project.

The Bahamas

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    While this might seem like a destination that has been beaten to death, let’s give it another chance. The Bahamas are a beautiful sand, sun, and ocean-filled island paradise. You can get away from the troubles of the world by walking on the crystalline white beaches and swimming in the beautiful sparkling waters. Feeling cool ocean breeze whisk away your troubles and responsibilities is enough to get you in the mindset to revamp the rest of your year. If you find yourself wishing for another relaxing scene, you can explore the inner island landscape or find your way to another island within the cluster that is the Bahamas. Just sit back, relax, and let the island atmosphere wash away your troubles.

    Vermont

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    Vermont

      There are several places in Vermont that can calm the nerves and get you in the right serene mindset, which is exactly why the entire state has made this list. Vermont is the place to go if you’re feeling the need to be at peace with nature and find your inner tranquility. From the lush vastness that is the Green Mountains to the rustic avenues of the Church Street Marketplace of Burlington, you will be able to find your home away from home in these beautifully kept cities and landscapes. There are so many different sites and scenes to embrace in this quaint state, you may want to take a few weeks to just breathe deep and explore everything you’ve ever wanted to know. If you never wanted to know anything, then just feel the mountain trails under your feet and sit back in awe of the brightly colored purple and pink dusk skies. Take a breather and let nature sweep you off your feet.

      Portland, Oregon

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      Portland, Oregon

        Portland is one the seaports better known for something other than sea: rain, nature, and a laid-back nature. Portland, Oregon is one of the most laid back cities in America and happens to have the quaintness of a small cottage town. It’s is still a big city, so when you feel the need to go walking the streets, exploring the various shops and other native cultural artifacts throughout the town, you’ll still be able to pick up your everyday needs. Portland is nestled in between trees, forests, mountains and culture, lending itself to whatever fantasies your mind can fathom. You will never be stuck between the walls of a building or the hustle and bustle of other more eastern cities. Portland is the perfect place to put your feet up, enjoy the crisp air and have a nice cup of coffee while dismissing your troubles.

        Boston, Massachusetts

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        Boston, Massachusetts

          Maybe the hustle and bustle of the city is something you love. If that’s the case, may you find your solace within the walls of Boston. The town is littered with history, grand gestures of different cultures decorating the city streets, and a relaxed attitude that would make anyone envy its pubs and patrons. Boston is home to several museums, as well as parks where you can still get your fill of the outdoors but return to the busy city once you’ve had your fill. Enjoy the days checking out some of the greatest cultural inheritances the U.S has ever had.

          When it comes right down to it, you’re the one in charge of your internal spring cleaning. If you find your solace in a place filled with water, kayaks and birds, or you’d rather try your time at the local café, you know exactly where you need to be to make your mind rest its weary feet and kick back just a little bit. Never start a new project while you have the remnants of the old one still lingering in the confines of your mind. Life is far too short to plug away without enjoying the world; so breath easy and take a walk around the globe.

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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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