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Better Time Management Can Save Lives And Limbs

Better Time Management Can Save Lives And Limbs
    From magnusfranklin on flickr

    I was still in bed when I heard that big bang this morning. Since I already heard that similar type of sound a few times this year, I knew that it was another fender-bender of a car crash outside.

    My house faces a street intersection that can get quite busy during rush hours even though at other times, the traffic is quite low to moderate. Fortunately, my house is separated from the main street not only by a pedestrian sidewalk but also a steel fence, garden area and a front lane. So the traffic is still quite a distance from my front door.

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    I went to the window of my home office which faces the street and sure enough, there was a car stopped just past the intersection and another one that was actually off the road right on the corner pedestrian sidewalk area. This second car must have been hit with enough force to send it off the

    road. Fortunately, no pedestrians were on that corner at that time. If this was during the school year, this could have been very different.

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    What amazes me is that this is about the fourth or fifth such traffic accident at the same intersection this year. It’s usually when one car is trying to beat the traffic lights and another one is turning into the intersection. The times of these car accidents are always either morning or evening rush hours.

    Always in a rush is a symptom of poor time management

    The drivers of the speeding vehicles who tried to outrun the yellow (or even red) lights were likely in a rush to get somewhere. They are the ones who feel extra frustrated especially when it seems that each time they approach a traffic light, it’s turning amber or red. I know the feeling because I’ve been late for appointments on the road too (although not recently).

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    The need to rush somewhere especially during rush hours is a symptom of poor time management. These folks just did not factor in adequate extra time needed either in the morning or right after work when traffic is the heaviest.

    Some time management tips to avoid the need to rush

    Since I’ve been down this road before so to speak, I’ve learned a few things to avoid the need to rush. Here are some useful tips.

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    1. Factor in additional travel time in the morning, especially during snow days if you live in winter zones
    2. Wake up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier the night before so you are alert
    3. Prepare as much as possible during the night by setting out your work materials and wardrobe (do this for kids too)
    4. If possible, schedule appointments and travel outside of rush hours
    5. Relax during driving knowing it’s better to arrive late and safe in one piece
    6. Enjoy music or an educational audio while driving
    7. Do not try to beat the traffic lights and drive defensively especially through intersections

    As far as I know, none of the car accidents outside my home this year resulted in any loss of life but there have been injuries requiring ambulances and vehicles requiring tow trucks. I’m sure that we have all seen on the TV news, other accidents where the circumstances were much worse.

    These types of fender-benders, as with most car accidents, are totally preventable. If only individuals learn not to be in so much of a rush, a lot of damage, injuries and grief could be avoided. This is always a very expensive lesson for those who were the offending drivers as they not only put themselves at risk, but also other innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians in danger.

    We have all heard that by improving our time management habits, we will become more productive. But now we also know that better time management in terms of advance preparation can also possibly save lives and limbs.

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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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