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Ten Tips for Tremendous First Dates

Ten Tips for Tremendous First Dates
First Dates
    Photo credit: jrodmanjr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    For many people, the prospect of a first date inspires more anxiety than eager anticipation. Where to go? What to wear? What to say? Will they be hot?  What if they’re not?

    With so much unknown, it makes sense to be smart about the things you can control.  So here are some tips to give you a head start.

    1. Location, location, location

    The first rule of real estate is just as applicable to first dates. If you are lucky enough (– or unlucky enough – depending on your perspective) to be choosing where to go, avoid the temptation to come up with a “unique” idea and instead choose a familiar place or environment in which you are comfortable.

    It makes sense to entertain in your natural habitat; you’ll feel at your best and will exude confidence which can be a great aphrodisiac.

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    2. Packaging

    Sometimes the date will dictate the dress code, but other dates — like coffee on a weekend morning — offer a lot more room for interpretation. I’m personally in favor of erring on the side of over-dressing – but not to the extent that you put on something you would never normally wear. Whatever you’re wearing, it goes without saying that it needs to be clean. As do you.

    If it’s an after work date and you won’t be able to go home, bring a change of clothes with you. If you have access to a suitable bathroom at work,  freshen up there. If you are a member of a gym, perhaps you could take a shower there first. As an absolute minimum, always brush your teeth.

    3. Review the research

    On the day before the date, take a few minutes to review what you know about this person to date. If you found them online, print out their profile and review any emails or phone conversations you have had. If you get very nervous about what you will talk about, you might want to go so far as to think of some subject areas or even specific questions to bring up on the date.

    4. Timing

    Never be late to a first date. Aim to get there 20 minutes before you actually want to arrive, it’s better to have some time to kill before you make a leisurely entrance than to be rushing and stressing.

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    If it’s a blind date or you are worried about recognizing the person, arrive extra early, that way you can get comfortable with a drink and let them find you.

    5. Smile

    Smile! Science shows that consciously smiling will make you feel happier.   So start by smiling rather than waiting for something to make you smile and you will get things off to a good start.

    6. Be Curious

    Make sure that you ask as many questions as you answer. Don’t fall in to the trap of talking about yourself all night. Even if your date is skillfully interviewing or strategically interrogating you, step in and turn the tables, they may just be waiting to see how long it will take you to seize the reins.

    7. Be Authentic

    Whilst it can be tempting to play the role of the person you would like to be on a first date, have a little faith that the real you is loveable and be authentic.

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    8. Stay in the present

    That means no talking about past relationships and no getting ahead of yourself into the fantasy future with this date. Your goal should be to have an enjoyable couple of hours getting to know someone new.

    9. Be honest

    Be honest with yourself as well as your date. If you know that something about your date is an absolute deal breaker for you, you may as well find out about it now and save everyone some time.

    Hopefully, your date will be able to read your signals, but in the worst case scenario where they are saying they are so happy to have found you at last and you are thinking, “check please!”, resist the urge to skirt the issue and gently let them know that you’re not feeling a connection.

    10 .Have Fun

    Make your sofa miss you – have a blast! As to whether to kiss (or sleep together, or anywhere in between) on a first date – that’s really up to you. But as a general rule, on a first date, I suggest you should always aim to leave them wanting something more.

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    If all else fails, as you crash and burn, take comfort that the worst dates make the most entertaining stories for your friends and if you have really bad luck with first dates, you may end up with enough material to try a new career in stand up comedy.

    Above all try to relax and enjoy yourself. After all, this is supposed to be fun! One of the best ways to take the pressure off the date is to consider that what you are doing is going out to meet someone who may turn out to be friends with the perfect person for you.

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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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