Tips for Better Sleep

For many working class people, sleep is a luxury. Many people in the world choose to work overtime or take on multiple jobs to survive instead of getting enough rest. 

However, sleep affects our mood. Short or interrupted sleep may cause irritability and make us unproductive during the day. To help you sleep faster and get better-quality sleep, here are some easy yet helpful steps you can follow.

1. Have a relaxing bath or shower

Washing away the day’s stress can help you prepare your mind for sleep. Nothing also beats the feeling of laying on your bed after having done your entire nighttime routine and having only sleep on your agenda.

Scientifically, these also help condition the body for sleep. According to Discover Magazine, taking a warm bath or a shower an hour or two before going to bed aids the body’s natural flow into sleep by lowering your body temperature.

2. Use essential oils

Introducing essential oils to your nighttime routine is an economical and convenient form of therapy. Certain scents can put the body in a calm state and prepare it for sleep. According to The Sleep Doctor, this is due to the emotions and memories we associate these scents with.

Vanilla, lavender, jasmine, rose, citrus, and sandalwood are only a few examples of scents used to induce better sleep. To use these, you can add a few drops to your bath, apply a diluted solution directly to your body, put it in a diffuser, or use it as a linen spray.

3. Turn off your electronics

Blue light emitted by electronic devices causes the brain to think that it is still daytime, making it reduce the amount of melatonin it produces and keeping you from sleeping. 

For this, you should turn off your television as well as other sources of bright light two hours before bed. If this can’t be helped, you can also install apps that put a blue light filter on your screen, such as f.lux for your desktop or laptop.

4. Make yourself comfortable

Sometimes, an uncomfortable sleeping space is actually what makes it hard for people to sleep. A comfortable mattress is a great investment that improves your day-to-day wellbeing. Some people even go as far as to buy weighted blankets for the feeling of security during sleep. However, if you’re on a budget, clean beddings should be enough.

For people who wake up feeling too hot at night, it may also be helpful to check if your air conditioner or fan is working as well as it should. To get uninterrupted sleep, have your cooling device checked by a professional repairman. Regular maintenance check-ups help appliances work better and last longer, say the experts at Ceiling Fan Repair Singapore.

5. Check with a doctor

If your difficulty in sleeping lasts for weeks at a time, it is best to go to a doctor to see if you have insomnia. They can prescribe you a melatonin supplement for you to fall asleep faster and have better sleep quality.

If you snore loudly, wake up several times at night, and you are easily fatigued in the morning, ENT Doctor Singapore suggests you may have obstructive sleep apnea instead. This needs urgent medical action, so see a specialist right away.

Anyway, these are only a few quick ways to sleep faster and without interruption. If you’d like to improve your sleeping quality for the long term, however, there are also permanent lifestyle changes you could do such as exercising and eating better. 

Easy & Healthy Binge-Watching Snacks

Since we’ve been stuck in our homes due to the pandemic, binge-watching movies or series has turned into the only escape from reality for most of us. And if you’re like any regular person, you may have food beside you as you watch 80% of the time.

Unfortunately, a lot of our favorite binge-watching snacks are unhealthy. They are packed with carbs, sodium, and, ultimately, junk. This, plus the fact that we may be sitting in front of our screens for a long time isn’t good for our bodies. 

This is not to say that you shouldn’t indulge in some good films from time to time. However, to go easier on your body, you may want to go for healthier binge-watching snacks like the ones in the list below.

1. Fruits and nuts

There is not much preparation needed for fruits and nuts. You can just eat them as they are, provided that you’ve bought pre-roasted nuts at the market. In case you mistakenly bought raw nuts, you can still easily roast them on your stove for a few minutes. If you’re not fond of certain fruits or nuts, you can even mix and match based on your preference. 

If you don’t want to go through any hassle at all, there are also ready-made trail mixes of dried fruits and assorted nuts available at grocery stores. These are just as easy to grab as your regular junk food. 

2. Vegetable sticks 

Trick yourself into eating your veggies by munching on vegetable sticks as you catch up on your favorite series. The chances are, you’ll be too focused on what you’re watching to even realize how many carrot sticks you have eaten.

For this, you can have any vegetable that can be eaten raw. Cucumber, celery, and carrots are the most common. If you find these too bland by themselves, Healthline suggests having them with easy dips such as Greek yoghurt, hummus, and mashed peas.

3. Yoghurt bowl

If you’re planning on starting your binge-watching in the morning, a yoghurt bowl can be a nutritious breakfast option that still allows you to mix and match the ingredients as you like.

You can opt to use any yoghurt you prefer and add fruits, granola, nuts, seeds, and other toppings, such as cinnamon and toasted coconut flakes. However, it is better to research the benefits of these health foods to personalize your yoghurt bowl to suit your body’s needs. 

For instance, a high-fiber yoghurt bowl with antioxidant fruits and seeds can help people with slow metabolism, say the experts at Gastroenterologist Singapore. You just have to identify your health goals and come up with a recipe based on which foods help you achieve those goals.

This healthy binge-watching snack option can also be prepared the night before your Netflix marathon, by the way, which makes it all the more convenient. 

And if you’re not into yoghurt bowls, you may find fruit and yoghurt popsicles more enjoyable! To make this, simply put your fruit and yoghurt mixture into a popsicle mold, then freeze overnight.

4. Fries

Yes, you read it right. You can still enjoy one of your go-to binge-watching snacks. There are just a few tweaks you need to do to make it healthier. 

For this, you have to air fry your sliced potatoes. Air frying with little to no oil instead of deep frying cuts back on calories and fat, instantly making your food healthier than normal. 

Once it’s cooked, put little salt on your fries. This doesn’t mean you can’t put other spices on your fries for flavor. If you’re a fan of Cajun seasoning, Davita has a salt-free recipe you can easily make at home. There are also other salt-free seasoning recipes you can find on the Internet.

5. Fresh fruit juices

Instead of consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar with soda, go for fresh fruit juices. Watermelon and orange are some of the fruits that can give you the most juice. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can also mix and match fruits and even add some greens.

Some people also enjoy fruit smoothies, which are just as simple to prepare. It’s just like making fruit juice, but instead of juicing, you blend ingredients with ice and milk, yoghurt, or low-fat ice cream.

If you don’t own a juicer or a blender or if you are simply too busy to make an effort, coconut water is a good example of a healthy drink you can find in stores.

As a final note, keep in mind that it’s usually best to only make as much of these snacks as you can feasibly finish in one sitting. If you make a mistake and whip up a little too much of any recipe, pop it in the fridge immediately!

Specifically, the ones with milk and yoghurt can spoil easily. You have to keep them around temperatures of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius. 

Here’s a hot tip we got from our fridge repairman from Fridge Repair Singapore on this topic, by the way. We called him in to ask why our milk was always spoiling even with the fridge on: you have to ensure your fridge is set at the right temp and keep milk/yoghurt towards the back of the fridge, to combat what happens when you open your fridge door a lot!

Anyway, that wraps up our post for today. Remember, staying healthy doesn’t always mean going hard on a diet and a workout. At times like this, doing the best we can is already commendable -- so feel free to binge-watch and snack, as long as you snack healthy.

Tips for a Comfortable Quarantine Life

Life hasn’t been anywhere near normal this year, with an ongoing global pandemic. Movement control orders are still being given each time the number of cases rises in an area. No matter how much we want to live our normal lives, we have to follow restrictions to keep ourselves and others safe.

The coronavirus has taken away a lot of important people, experiences, and milestones from us. However, there are still many ways to stay sane in the comfort of our homes. 

That’s what we’ll talk about here. Below are some tips for a comfortable home life in quarantine.

1. Stock up on food you need

Stock up on two weeks’ to a month’s worth of groceries to avoid going back and forth to your local supermarket. If you haven’t been able to have home cooked meals before, now is the time to explore. Buy various meats of different cuts, a variety of vegetables, and fruits you have never before tried. 

To change up your menu every now and then, you can also browse recipes online for easy-to-cook food from different cuisines.

2. Have basic medicine at hand

Nowadays, it could be difficult to go outdoors even when you need it the most, so this tip is especially important if you’re living alone. Besides basic supplies for cuts and burns, Mayo Clinic suggests having the following medicines in your first aid kit:

  • Pain relievers
  • Cough and cold medications
  • Antihistamine
  • Antacids
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Laxative
  • Hydrocortisone cream

You can also personalize your medicine kit depending on your health concerns.

3. Make sure home appliances are in tip-top shape

Under lockdown, we are obligated to stay home for the majority of the time. When your life is restricted to your home, chores can feel duller than ever. 

Luckily, various home appliances exist to make house chores much easier. For a seamless home life, it is important to make sure that home appliances are working as they should.

The moment you notice something going awry with an appliance, get it seen to as well. That’s because repair costs tend to balloon after an issue has already worsened… and home repair appointments are now harder to book than ever due to rising demand, say the experts at Washing Machine Repair Singapore

4. Connect

Technology has become even more valuable these days. Because of our devices and the Internet, we get to connect with our loved ones even from halfway across the globe. 

Since the pandemic is keeping us from seeing our friends and family, virtual get-togethers are our best option. You can make virtual hangouts fun by playing online games with friends or having a movie night with family. 

5. Disconnect

Although technology is extremely useful during these times, being online 24/7, working from home, and seeing the news can also be very emotionally draining. To prevent a burnout, unplug your WiFi once in a while.

Some alternative activities you can do offline are reading, bullet journaling, and yoga. If you’re not into very slow activities, you can also simply turn off your work-related apps and play games or watch a movie on your TV, the staff at TV Repair Singapore suggest.

It can certainly be challenging to live a rich, healthy home life under quarantine. But with a little self-control and respect for your own personal time, many things can be done to make the lockdown a lot easier to manage.