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10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

10 Hacks To Have The Best Black Friday Ever

The biggest shopping day of the year is just around the corner, and while many people have visions of turkey and stuffing dancing in their heads, you can be getting ready for some truly great deals. With only a few days to go until the big day, check out the Black Friday hacks below to make sure that you’re armed and ready to go. All of these hacks cover ways that you can keep more money in your pocket and avoid the exhaustion and stress that often accompanies shopping with crowds full of people. Enjoy!

1. Do Your Research

It’s impossible to be in 5 places at once, so you’ll need to prioritize. Do you want to get a great deal on a TV or were you hoping to score a power tool on sale for that upcoming bathroom renovation? Either way, you should read through all of the catalogs for the major stores that carry the product that you want. This will help you to be in the right place at the right time.

2. Get Some Team Spirit

I said you couldn’t be in 5 places at once, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get together with friends and family members to split up and go to different stores. You can send your spouse to purchase a new dining room table while you head over to get the bike your kid has been asking for.  That way you can get everything on your list all at great prices.

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3. Go To Bed Early

There’s no glory in shopping while bleary eyed and exhausted. Instead of staying up late and waking up early to get in line, try going to bed at a reasonable hour. This would work especially well if your family has your Thanksgiving meal in the late afternoon. That way you can go to bed as early as 8 or 9p.m.

4. Be Efficient

It might sound overboard, but when you have hundreds of people shopping at the same store as you, you have to shop efficiently. This includes going to the store ahead of time and finding out what aisle your product is in. That way, you won’t have to worry about spending needless time searching when you could be headed home to enjoy your new gadget.

5. Use Social Media

Many shoppers and stores will be using social media to share coupon codes and deals. Make sure you are subscribed to your favorite stores so you are aware of any coupons that can be scanned in using your phone.

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6. Shop Local

It’s tempting to shop at places that are big box stores with glossy ads. However, if you know there’s a local home improvement store or an electronic store, call them the day before Black Friday and ask if their deal is going to be any better than the ones advertised at bigger stores. That way, you can support local businesses and get great deals at the same time.

7. Pack Snacks

I know I sound like a mom saying this, but packing snacks is the best hack I can give you. Seriously, you could be waiting to check out for over an hour at some of the bigger department stores, so keep your energy up by bringing a handful of peanuts or popcorn to enjoy.

8. Be A Night Owl Instead of an Early Bird

The early bird may get the worm, but if you love staying up late, that could actually be to your advantage. Many stores will start their deals at midnight, so you can easily shop from midnight until 2AM and then sleep in the next day.

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9. Read The Fine Print

Many stores will advertise a price, but it might only be valid for a certain period of time or certain part of the day. To avoid disappointment, read the fine print. Also, bring your ads with you so that you can prove a certain price. This is also beneficial because many stores offer a price guarantee. If you can bring in a competitor’s ad, you can often get what you want for even less.

10. Stick to the List

Sales can be addicting like something shiny to a goldfish. We can go in planning to only buy one thing and then get caught up in the excitement of great deals and buy more than we can afford. To ensure that you don’t overspend, have a friend or family member keep you accountable. Even better, only bring the exact amount of cash that you will need to buy a particular product.

With this list of hacks, you should be well on your way to actually enjoying your Black Friday shopping excursions without the exhaustion or the regret experienced by many customers. Good luck and have fun!

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Featured photo credit:  Photo of pretty happy woman via Shutterstock

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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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