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The 15 Most Liveable Cities in the World and Why You Should Move There

The 15 Most Liveable Cities in the World and Why You Should Move There

What makes a city liveable for you? Things like transport, housing, political stability, health care, climate, crime rate and green areas are probably all on your list. These are more or less the same criteria used by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to come up with their list of the most liveable cities in the world.

It’s no surprise that the liveability rating has sunk for cities where unrest, war, or economic decline have dominated the headlines recently. Cities in this category include Damascus, Cairo, Tripoli, and Athens.

The liveability index notes that cities with low population density in wealthier countries tend to get to the top of the list. The one exception is Tokyo, which occupies 12th place despite being very densely populated (6,000 people per square kilometre).

So, according to the EIU and other sources, the top 15 most liveable cities (taking 30 factors into account) are:

1. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne

    Melbourne was named the world’s friendliest city by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Other factors which helped it earn the top spot were:

    • low crime rates
    • prestigious educational institutions
    • world-class healthcare

    2. Vienna, Austria

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    Vienna

      Vienna has world class cultural facilities including beautiful buildings, cultural events, and museums. Vienna’s transport system is cheap, and the city provides housing at reasonable rates. Its coffee houses provide a warm haven when the weather gets very cold.

      3. Vancouver, Canada

      Vancouver

        Vancouver’s infrastructure got very high marks, along with its health facilities. The Metro Vancouver’s Evergreen Line project got particular mention. Once it’s completed, it will be the longest rapid transit system in Canada. In addition, Vancouver is becoming a safer city, reaching a record low homicide rate in 2013.

        4. Toronto, Canada

        Toronto

          Toronto gets fourth place because it is one of the safest cities in the world. In addition, it has beautiful green spaces and attractive neighbourhoods which can be reached either by walking or with the excellent transport system. It has wonderful facilities for hosting sporting and arts events.

          5. Calgary, Canada

          Calgary

            Because of its proximity to mountains and beautiful weather for winter sports, Calgary is an excellent place to live. It is also clean and has an efficient transport system. It is an ideal center for organizing trips to the nearby icefields and glaciers and other spectacular mountain scenery.

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            5. Adelaide, Australia (tied for 5th place)

            Adelaide

              A safe, clean environment, with affordable housing prices plus a high standard of living helped Adelaide to share the fifth position. Its municipal policies regarding the environment and pollution are well known and appreciated by residents.

              7.  Sydney, Australia

              Sydney

                Sydney’s temperate climate is among the most pleasant in the world. Obviously that was a big plus in getting it into seventh place. In addition, there is a very low rate of unemployment and the economy is booming. It is a spacious city with a spectacular harbour setting, and has plus gorgeous beaches and a cultural life next to none. It would have scored even higher except for the infrastructural problems it has faced trying to cope with traffic and the very high cost of living. The photo shows Centennial Park in Sydney.

                8. Helsinki, Finland

                Helsinki

                  Helsinki has a population of 600,000 although that is growing at a fast rate, according to demographers. The capital city of Finland has led the way in energy efficiency and helping to preserve the environment. The city council is committed to building new residential areas and making the excellent transport system even better in the future.

                  9. Perth, Australia

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                  Perth

                    Perth is rather special because it has managed to strike a happy balance between open spaces and housing developments without ruining the environment. Work-life balance is also respected by the citizens of Perth, who value recreation highly. They have a superb natural environment in which to enjoy themselves.

                    10.  Auckland, New Zealand

                    Auckland

                      Space is no problem in New Zealand. The average population density is only 16 people per square kilometre, which is about half of the USA average. Auckland scored top marks for education, not least in caring for Maori educational needs.

                      Brilliant sunsets, a wide variety of ethnic food at reasonable prices and stunning street art make the city a very attractive place. Day trips are easy and there are ferries to Rangitoto Island which will give you a beautiful view of the city.

                      11. Copenhagen, Denmark

                      Copenhagen

                        Danish citizens rank at the top of the UN World Happiness Report. There are many reasons why they are so content. One is that they value their work-life balance and secondly they have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Copenhagen is a compact, clean, and safe city. It looks after its environment well. Cycling lanes are everywhere and you can easily get to any city district in about 20 minutes. The population of Copenhagen is around half a million.

                        12. Tokyo, Japan

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                        Tokyo2

                          Tokyo would be much higher on the list if it were only measured by efficiency and safety. The transport system will impress you for such a large city. On top of that, there’s the almost universal politeness of the Japanese and the city’s astonishing amount of green space. Although Tokyo did not win their 2016 Olympics bid, their proposal to use the existing buildings as much as possible without adding more buildings was admirable. The photo shows passengers on theTokyo metro.

                          13. Stockholm, Sweden

                          Stockholm

                            Stockholm is a remarkable location simply because of the fact that one third of the city is built on water. Another third consists of 14 islands. It has been compared to Venice. It has an astonishing array of architectural gems and museums which make it a beautiful urban space to experience. Its districts are also colourful and distinctive, which, together with the friendliness of Stockholm residents, makes it a remarkable place to settle down in.

                            14. Frankfurt, Germany

                            Frankfurt

                              Frankfurt is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. When you live there, you have an astonishing range of ethnic food stores, and eating out can be a real adventure. As regards the other liveability factors, these include:

                              • work hard, play hard mentality
                              • buzzing nightlife
                              • the village atmosphere of some city districts
                              • world-famous universities such as the Goethe

                              15. Dusseldorf, Germany

                              Dusseldorf

                                One of the most attractive things about living in Dusseldorf is the low cost of living. You can rent a one-bedroom flat in the city center for about $760 a month, while a month’s gym membership would only cost about $50. Dusseldorf has a relatively small population of half a million and scores high on the educational rating. It also has some very good international schools, and the city infrastructure is second to none. The atmosphere is also rather cosmopolitan.

                                Most people regard liveability indexes with a great deal of suspicion and I am inclined to agree with them. However, let us say that they are a starting point. Living happily in a city or country really depends on whether you can find a job (or live comfortably while retired), and integrate successfully by learning the language. It really is what you make of it. Just like everything in life!

                                Featured photo credit: “Cars Suck”/Denis Bocquet via flickr.com

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                                Robert Locke

                                Freelance writer

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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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