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When Watching Television can Enhance Personal Growth

When Watching Television can Enhance Personal Growth
    Television. It isn't ALL bad.

    Many education and personal development experts claim that people watch way too much television these days.

    As a result of having our eyes glued to the television for hours each day, we waste our valuable time watching all the latest reality shows and sitcoms when we could be using that time to do something more constructive with our lives.

    I would tend to agree that the average person should cut down on the number of hours, but I think some TV is actually okay if utilized well.

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    Since we all need breaks in the form of entertainment, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to watch a few regular shows each week. But of course, many people are watching much more than just a few shows on a weekly basis.

    Where Television Can Actually Be Beneficial

    Where I think television can actually be beneficial for us is in programming that is educational and thought-provoking. Programs like the ones on the outdoors, on history — as well as the Discovery Channel, of course — educate us on nature, technology and culture. These can help broaden our horizons.

    Cultural shows in particular can help us learn more about each other so that we, as people, can become more tolerant of each others’ differences. This will help to reduce the level of racism and conflicts we still have in the world.

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    Other programs (especially those highlighting nature and travel) help us build appreciation of our precious planet.  I know that in my case that as a result of watching travel shows, I have been influenced to book trips to certain different destinations around the world…all because of the initial exposure on television.

    It was programs about our planet’s marine life underwater showing colorful coral reefs with tropical fish that got me interested to go snorkeling and then eventually become a certified scuba diver. I saw on TV just how beautiful the underwater world was and I wanted to be in that environment so I could experience it for myself.

    Rather than just watching the coral reef marine life on a television screen in my living room, I wanted to be there in the real actual environment. Even a giant IMAX theatre could not duplicate the real thing when you have gorgeous tropical fish swimming all around you in a 360-degree zone.

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    Television Can Help Us Appreciate Our History

    Television in the form of historical documentaries or even re-enactments of past events in time can also have quite an impact. I always knew about the Great Pyramids in Egypt but when I finally saw more in-depth footage of various ancient Egyptian ruins on TV, I knew that I just had to travel there to see them in real life.

    I actually did go on a trip to Egypt one year — and there is really nothing quite like standing in front of colorful murals that are still vivid on the walls of ancient tombs in the Valley of the Kings after thousands of years. These breathtaking experiences I had were a result of initially being exposed to these ancient antiquities on television.

    The combination of the initial television exposure and real life visits have made me appreciate mankind’s history much more. I get a better sense of where we have been and perhaps what we still have to do to make our society better.

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    Learning From Great People

    Although we can all still learn from great people through their writings, attending a live talk where they are speakers would definitely be even better.  However, since many of these great people are no longer with us, watching their stories on TV with either actual footage of them or through movie portrayals are the next best thing.

    I learned about people like Gandhi and Malcolm X through movie portrayals on television, which prompted me to do a bit more research on them. Their wisdom has made me a better person, again thanks to the initial exposure on TV.

    So if you are already involved in activities that contribute to your personal growth, don’t write off television completely. Use it as one of the tools that you can use to get some exposure to events, people and places that can broaden your horizons further.

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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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