One morning, as I stayed inside our school’s publication office, I noticed a junior writer entering with a pale face and her handkerchief covering her mouth. She is also a member of my organization back then. Her senior writer immediately approached her and asked what was going on. She couldn’t respond and she started shaking. […]
If you’ve got a dog, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite like a snuggle on the sofa while binge watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race. They look adorable when they’re sleeping, our entire camera roll is basically delfies, and they give the best cuddles.
But did you know that sleeping next to your cute canine is actually really good for you? A study by The Mayo Clinic found that you get a better night’s sleep when you snooze next to your pet pup.
Researchers found that the 40 healthy individuals involved in the study slept better when next to a dog, no matter how big or small the pet in question was, or how much it moved in the night.
The Mayo Clinic’s Lois Krahn said: ‘Most people assume having pets in the bedroom is a disruption. We found that many people actually find comfort and a sense of security from sleeping with their pets.
‘Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximise their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.’
Another study found that we love dogs more than we love other humans (true), and even newer research shows that you get a better night’s sleep when you sleep next to a dog rather than a partner (true again).
The scientific study by Dr. Christy L. Hoffman, a professor in Animal Behaviour, Ecology, and Conservation at Canisius College in New York tracked sleeping habits to find out whether sleeping next to a pet affects women’s sleep patterns.
And the results showed that those who slept next to a dog reported a better, more restful sleep than those who slept next to a cat, or another human. Apparently, dogs are less disruptive and we experience feelings of comfort and security when cuddling a pet pooch.
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Dr. Hoffman told Broadly that the ‘keyword here is perception, this study is based on individuals self-reporting how they feel their sleep is affected.’
She added that it is ‘important to note that this is based on aggregated data and an average of responses, so getting a dog won’t solve everyone’s sleep problems.’
If you haven’t got a dog, don’t worry – this is probably the most perfect excuse to get one.
When my wife and I promised the rest of our lives to each other, I doubt either of us suspected that life would involve quite so much TV. I am working long hours at the moment, and every day I call my wife and say something along the lines of: “When I get home, shall we just snuggle up and watch something?” She agrees, then when I get in we spend some time saying things like: “It’s just nice to spend some quality time together, isn’t it?”, ignoring the fact that we have just decided to stare in the same direction for a few hours before going to sleep. That sleep will involve two minutes of us pretending to want to cuddle before one of us executes a subtle reshuffle that frees us from each other. And so it will continue till one of us dies. I say “one of us”, but I have Sri Lankan heart manufacturing, so it will almost certainly be me.
We have this conversation every day as if we are coming to the decision afresh, pretending for nobody’s benefit that it hasn’t actually become our routine. I don’t mind it at all. I’m very happy and I think she is. Having said that, I haven’t asked her and I’m not good at reading signals, so it’s as likely she’s in the latter stages of preparing to leave me.
In fact, I would say it’s more than likely. I was playing “battles” with our youngest son recently – a game that involves us fighting each other while he repeatedly changes the rules until it’s impossible for him to lose – when he told me he had a secret daddy. I asked him who the secret daddy was and he said he couldn’t tell me because it was a secret, which made me feel very foolish for asking. I asked him again at bedtime last night and he told me he was joking and it’s me, which sounds exactly like the sort of thing a cheating wife would tell her son to say.
Routine is the supposed enemy of passion, and I am constantly paranoid that we are on the slide and haven’t noticed. We were at a restaurant a while ago and there was a couple next to us who ate their meal pretty much in total silence. I was so smug. “I hope we never get like that,” I said, like the judgmental little shit I am.
Bad move. The next time we went out for dinner, I felt self-imposed pressure to keep the conversation moving the whole time, trying to start chats with comedy “bits” such as: “What’s the deal with spaghetti? Eating it is like a Crystal Maze challenge, am I right?” Then my wife, also remembering that we thought we were better than that silent couple, would answer me as if what I had said was interesting, rather than saying what she actually felt, which was: “I would rather we were silent for ever than continue this conversation.”
It would be great if we were the sort of couple who did spontaneous things – the types who pop off somewhere for a weekend. But, actually, I prefer the type of people who accept how it really goes: passion, friendship, acceptance, tolerance and a hope that somebody dies before it gets to resentment. That’s love.
I have decided to drop the paranoia. What will be will be. If we want to be silent at dinner, we will. If we want to spend every single night tearing through Designated Survivor, we will. If we want to spend more time talking about the fantasy list of other people we would have sex with than about sex with each other, then we will. But, if she ever watches an episode of something we’re watching together without me, then I am afraid she’s going to have to spend the rest of her life with secret daddy.
life of Riley carefully hand-picks game-changing experiences and global events – each one is rigorously researched and checked, then grouped by genre, budget and month, so that they are simple and inspiring to browse. Rather than a booking site, this is an informative, one-stop resource for discovering the extraordinary – whether you’re looking for cultural kicks or push-yourself-to-the-limit sporting challenges. Here are eight of the very best things to do on the planet.
It’s becoming what’s known as a ‘sleep divorce’ and far from being a sign of a relationship in trouble, experts are saying it could be a good thing.
Perhaps one of you is a night owl, while the other is an early bird. If one partner often has disrupted sleep, then this can impact the other. Other reasons people sleep apart include different schedules, snoring , co-sleeping and even the temperature of the room.
“Poor sleep also can have negative effects on relationships,” PT reports.
“Lack of sleep may diminish the positive feelings we have for our partners. Researchers found people with lower quality sleep demonstrated lower levels of gratitude, and were more likely to have feelings of selfishness, than those who slept well.
“What’s more, poor sleep on the part of one person in the relationship had a negative effect on feelings of appreciation and gratitude for both partners.”
If this sounds like something you could both benefit from: “Tell your partner that you really love them but you’d be [less resentful of their sleeping habits] if you slept in separate beds.
“Suggest trying it for one or two nights a week and see how it goes.”
Every time one of my friends brings up their meditation practice, I quickly reply with something along the lines of, “I wish I could do it, but I can’t focus.” I know that meditation isn’t about perfection, but being type A, it’s hard for me to do something if I’m not “perfect” at it. Lately, meditation keeps popping up in my circle, from badass friends who are constantly hustling to my sheroes like Robin Roberts meditating every day at three-something in the morning, according to an interview with The Cut.
I figured if Robin Roberts can wake up that early every morning and commit to a meditation practice, I, too, could wake up (a little later) and get my meditation on. I’m still a meditation rookie, but one thing I found helpful when my mind wanders, which is basically every minute, is mental noting. “Mental noting, or labeling, is a mindful awareness technique of noting and naming the thoughts and feelings that come up as you meditate,” Millana Snow, meditation teacher, energy healer, and founder of Wellness Official, told POPSUGAR.
“When your mind starts to go off into tangents, you can use mental noting to bring pause and awareness to those thoughts so that you can start to unidentify with them and become the observer of those thoughts and feelings.” If you find your mind wondering, make note of it — “I’m thinking about the big pitch I have on Friday” — then return to the present.
Every time my mind drifts and I find myself wondering what I’m going to eat later that day, thinking about how many clients I have to train, planning a trip to Colombia, combing my never-ending to-do list, and every other random thought that comes up, I revert back to mental noting. Some days, I have to do it a lot, but other days, I only have to do it once or twice during my practice.
If you’re already going, “Yeah, I still won’t be able to do this,” I promise you, you will. When I catch myself thinking about everything else instead of being in the present, I practice mental noting by focusing on my breath while thinking, “Breathing in, breathing out.” When Millana finds her mind drifting, she said she reminds herself to “‘come back to my breath’ or come back to noting what the moment contains: the sounds in the room, the smells, and the way my body feels. I find this helps me go deeper into awareness,” she explained.
The key word in “practice mental noting” is practice. “We must allow ourselves to be the observer of our thoughts, and to watch thoughts pass by like you would clouds in the sky,” Millana said. She also recommends noting and naming your thoughts “instead of identifying with them and making them distractions.” The key is to become more present and separate the thought from yourself.
If you gave up on your meditation practice before starting because you thought focus would be an issue, try introducing mental noting into your practice.
Eight years ago, I was three months into my grief journey when I participated in my first International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. My dad had just taken his life, two months after my wedding. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’ve come to appreciate the event’s proximity to the holiday season. November…
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If you missed a few hours of sleep, you’re definitely going to feel tired the next day. And with that fatigue will likely come all sorts of ideas for staying awake, such as guzzling caffeine, taking a long nap, or going to bed super early. But even though it all seems like a good idea when you’re tired, these are things you should avoid at all costs.
The only real cure for fatigue is getting a good night’s sleep, every single day. And that means creating a healthy sleep schedule, one night at a time. “Resetting your sleep schedule or establishing good sleep hygiene is a process and takes more than a few days,” licensed psychologist Nicole Issa, PsyD, tells Bustle.
And yet, the sooner you can start, the better. “It will begin with having a consistent wake up time and sticking to it,” she says. “Your bedtime will gradually shift to an earlier time to allow you to get enough rest.”
Creating a relaxing evening routine can come in handy, too, such as slowing down, putting away your phone, reading a book, and even getting ready for bed beforeyou’re tired. As Dr. Issa says, “That way you can just go to bed when you are ready and not get woken up by washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc.”
These are things you should do for good sleep, as opposed to the things listed below, which experts say you should try to avoid if you’re tired.
1. Drinking Tons Of Energy Drinks
Even though they can give you a quick boost of energy, it’s not a good idea to load up on these drinks as a way to stay awake.
“[They] often have a lot of B vitamins, which can be stimulating, and then cause insomnia, which perpetuates the cycle of being tired and reaching for more energy drinks,” Catherine Darley, ND, from the The Institute of Naturopathic Sleep Medicine, tells Bustle.
Instead, stick to one caffeinated drink in the morning, so it has plenty of time to wear off before bed, when you can officially catch up on your rest.
2. Taking A Nap
If you can, try to resist the urge to take a nap. Or at least try to time it right.
“Avoid taking a nap longer than 30 minutes to ‘catch up,'” Doug Hale, a sleep expert from Brooklyn Bedding, tells Bustle. “Just as important, don’t take a nap late in the day as that will disrupt your normal sleep cycle, leading to insomnia at night.”
3. Going To Bed Super Early
While it might be tempting to pass out the moment the sun goes down, try to stay awake as long as possible, or until your usual bedtime.
“Going to bed too early […] can result in what is essentially a long nap late in the evening,” Dr. Darley says, “which then causes the inability to sleep through the night.”
Do this, and you’ll likely wake up at 3 a.m., and be just as tired the next day.
4. Staying Inside
When you’re tired, you might want to hide away from the blinding light of the sun. But stepping out can actually be a good thing.
“Get outside in bright sunlight for 20 minutes soon after getting up, then continue with light bursts of 10 minutes every couple hours,” Dr. Darley says. “Full spectrum light naturally increases alertness.” And that can help get you through the day.
5. Doing A Strenuous Workout
“It might seem like a good idea to burn off energy in order to get a restful sleep, but working out later in the day can cause cortisol to spike which can prevent some people from being able to fall asleep,” health coach Rachel MacPherson tells Bustle. Instead, do your workout in the morning. Or skip it entirely until you’ve caught up on sleep.
6. Snacking To Stay Awake
Fatigue can make you feel hungrier than normal, and lead to cravings for simple carbohydrates. And while that’s fine, keep in mind that eating sugary snacks can crash your blood sugar, and make you feel even worse. Instead, “eat a healthy balanced diet so your blood sugar levels remain steady,” Dr. Darley says.
7. Drinking A Night Cap
A night cap may seem like a good idea, if you want to fall asleep faster. But if you want that deep sleep, you may want to stick with water.
“Alcohol interferes with your deep sleep cycles and REM cycles,” Jason Piper, a sleep and nutrition coach, tells Bustle. “These are the restorative phases we go through at night. Alcohol keeps you mainly in a light sleep phase.”
8. Cramming For A Test
If you have a big test tomorrow, and plan to stay up all night studying, it may be smarter to just go to bed. “You may feel like you are making progress, but when you finally go to sleep and it is a short duration, you will miss out on a lot of your REM sleep,” Piper says. “REM sleep is when the brain moves short-term memories into long-term memory, so a lot of what you were studying becomes lost.”
9. Sleeping In
Just like going to bed early, sleeping in always seems like a good idea in the moment. And yet, “it can shift [your] circadian rhythm for the day, making it harder to fall asleep at night,” Piper says.
Basically, sleeping in — even for just one hour past your usual wake time — throws off the timing of the sleep hormone, melatonin. It’s best to stick to your normal sleep and wake times, to help your body get back on track.
10. Eating Right Before Bed
While it’s OK to have a light snack before bed, keep in mind that eating a big meal can make for a rough night.
“Your body needs to digest the food,” Piper says. “So it will raise your internal core [temperature] as it metabolizes the food and also will divert energy away from sleep to digesting the food.”
With all that going on, it’ll be hard for the body to slip into a deeper, more restorative sleep cycle, Piper says, and you’ll feel even more tired come morning.
11. Checking The Clock
If you ever find yourself in bed, tired, and yet unable to fall asleep, do yourself a favor and avoid staring at the clock. Or worse, wondering when (or if) you’ll ever fall asleep.
“Doing this isn’t going to change anything,” Dr. Issa says. “In fact, it will only make you feel more anxious which will increase your physiological arousal and make it harder to fall asleep.”
12. Relaxing With Your Phone
However tempting it may be, don’t lay in bed and scroll through you phone, as the “blue light from it will interfere with your ability to fall asleep,” Dr. Issa says. If you want to fall asleep easily, and wake feeling rested, avoiding electronics before bed will be key.
13. Willing Yourself To Sleep
Have you ever had that moment where, despite how tired you feel, you just can’t fall asleep? When that happens, it’s actually best to get out of bed, instead of lying there wishing for sleep.
“Doing that will probably come with a lot of other thoughts about your lack of sleep,” Dr. Issa says, including anxiety about how tired you’ll feel the next day.
“Instead, get out of bed and take a break,” she says. “Get up and go in a different room until you start to naturally feel tired. Then go back into your bed.”
14. Making Important Decisions
If a big decision can wait, do yourself a favor and wait. “Whether financial, relationship, or anything important, you would be much better off making that decision in the morning when your mind and body are fully rested,” Bill Fish, certified sleep science coach and co-founder of Tuck, tells Bustle. When you’re fatigued, you just won’t have the capacity to think clearly.
15. Soaking In A Hot Bath
In order to fall asleep quickly, it may be a good idea to avoid warm showers and baths right before bed, and instead opt for a quick (and cool) rinse.
According to MacPherson, since your core body temperature drops at night in preparation for sleep, taking a hot bath can disrupt that cycle, increase your heart rate, and make it difficult to sleep.
Even though it often seems like a good idea, doing these things when you’re tired tends to be anything but helpful. The best and only way to feel less fatigued is to get a good night’s sleep, which includes sticking to a bedtime routine, and getting the right amount of rest every day.