The Art of Sleeping - 8 Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep

 Tossing and turning. Clock watching. Drifting off to sleep then waking up? counting sheep? Thinking I need to sleep but thoughts are like the M25 on a Friday evening, - jammed packed with thought traffic.

Sound familiar?

We all know the body needs to sleep to rest, to rejuvenate, to tune up heal itself and to repair what needs repairing.

Lack of sleep impacts our thinking process, makes us tired, grumpy and irritated at times, it's very difficult to function when the body and the mind are both exhausted.

Good sleeping patterns are essential to our emotional and physical well-being and is often an overlooked factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 1 - Cut out caffeine

Caffeine is an enemy of sleep - it is not your friend! If you need coffee don't have it after 12. Caffeine dehydrates your body and increases anxiety and stress because of the rush of adrenaline in the body.

Do you know that caffeine still impacts your body up to 10 to 12 hours after you have consumed it?

The Art of Sleeping Tip 2 - Keep rehydrated

Ensure you drink enough water during the day, the recommended amount is between 1.5 and 2 litres a day (and that doesn't include coffee!). Being dehydrated can impact sleeping as it disrupts your body's natural rhythm, so you don't feel tired when you should. It also causes fatigue but not the type of tiredness to help you sleep.

Being dehydrated also decreases the melatonin in the body which is needed for sleep.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 3 - Ensure you have sufficient natural light during the day

Natural day light is essential to sleep as it increases melatonin in the body. Open curtains, go for a walk outside, and ensure your work space has sufficient natural light, perhaps angle your desk so that you are facing a window.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 4 - Stay away from lights at night

Lights at night decreases the levels of melatonin in the body. Lights from TV, even computers decreases the melatonin at night. Even the light from an iPad can suppress the melatonin.

Stop using your laptop, TV and iPads late at night. Read, listen to some relaxing music or do some relaxation exercises to help you prepare for sleep.

Change lights bulbs in your bedroom is it is a soft and gentle light.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 5 - The importance of healthy eating and exercise

A healthy balanced diet is essential to a healthy sleeping pattern. Don't eat a heavy meal late at night, especially meat as the body takes a while to digest it.

Bananas are good for helping sleep - but don't eat them too late at night.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 6 - Quit smoking

Many smokers think that smoking helps relax them. Wrong! Nicotine is a stimulant and disrupts the sleeping patterns.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 7 - Cut out alcohol

Alcohol reduces your quality of sleep. Although you may go to sleep quickly it also wakes you during the night. Don't drink alcohol a few hours before going to bed.

The Art of Sleeping Tip 8 - Try alternative safe methods

Perhaps experiment with soothing and calming background noise (sounds of nature or the ocean) which can be played when you go to be bed. These can be purchased inexpensively online. You can also try seeking the advice or counsel of an experienced and registered professional such as a sleep therapist or hypnotherapist.

Happy sleeping!

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How to Talk to a Girl You Like For The First Time!

Having a crush on a girl can make you very shy around her, especially if you don't know each other well. Here's how to strike up a natural conversation with the girl you like.

1) Make eye contact. 
Spend a few days catching her gaze every now and then. Don't just stare at her, though; instead, shoot her small glances until your eyes meet and she catches you. When she does, smile slightly and look away after a second. You'll probably blush as well, which is all the better - blushing indicates you're nervous, which is a hint that you like her.

2) Time it right. 
When you do talk to her, pick a time that's convenient. Don't try to get her attention when she's obviously involved in something else, and try to have a bit of privacy - you don't have to be completely alone, but her attention shouldn't be too distracted.

3) Start with a compliment.
 Paying a girl the right compliment makes your intentions clear right away - she'll know instantly that you're interested in being more than her friend. Here are some things to consider:

  • Know how to deliver a compliment. Even the best compliment in the world will fall flat if your delivery is off. Keep a half smile as you talk - it will make you naturally add appealing inflection to your voice. (Try this trick out when you answer the phone sometime and see if you notice a difference.) Maintain eye contact with her, and keep the tones of your voice up, but lower the actual volume - speaking softly immediately communicates intimacy, and it can make her instinctively lean in closer to hear you. If this all sounds a bit difficult, practice it in front of a mirror first.
  • As anyone who's ever had a stalker can tell you, there's a fine but definite line between flattering and creepy. With this in mind, choose your compliment wisely. Saying something like "You always look amazing in that shirt" can come off as weird if you don't know her well, and implies that you watch her. (Even if you do, it's best not to spill that information immediately.) Instead, opt for something general but cute, such as "Your smile is glowing today. What's making you so happy?" or "I thought what you said in class earlier was really interesting." A good compliment should naturally lead to more conversation, instead of just hanging awkwardly in the air after you say it.
  • Know what to avoid. If you're going to pay a girl a compliment about her physical looks, stick to her eyes, smile or hair. Do not comment on her body otherwise, especially on the first interaction.
  • If you want to play it extra safe, pick something you already know she's proud of. For instance, if you know she's a dedicated violinist, say something like, "I've heard you're an amazing musician," and use it as a way to ask her some questions about it.

4) Keep the conversation moving. 
You might be tempted to stop talking and just stare at this girl, but don't let your nerves get the best of you. Allowing a long lull in the conversation will make things feel awkward.

5) Instead, have a mental list of backup questions you can use if you stumble on an uncomfortable pause.

  • Ask about what she thinks of a shared homework assignment or an upcoming event. Asking for her opinion communicates that you care about what she thinks, and see her as more than just an object.
  • Use the conversation to find out more about her, but be subtle. For instance, if you want to find out if she already has a boyfriend, you could casually ask, "So, anything fun planned with your boyfriend for the weekend?" If she doesn't have one and she's interested in you, she'll let you know immediately.
  • Ask open-ended questions. For instance, instead of saying "So, have anything fun planned for the break?" (which can be answered with a short "yes" or "no"), say "What are you going to do to keep busy while school is out?" A question that requires a detailed response is always better to keep a conversation flowing.

6) Make her laugh (optional). 
If you're sure you've got a joke she'll appreciate, give it a shot. The goal is to show her you have an engaging sense of humor, but you don't want to come off as desperate or cheesy.

  • If possible, crack a joke about the current situation or something you both saw happen. Situational humor is more meaningful than a joke you read online.
  • Don't tell a dirty joke. It's not appropriate for a first conversation, and it might give her the wrong impression.
  • If she doesn't get the joke, don't explain it to her unless she asks. Just move on quickly with a new point of conversation.
  • Good humor is really attractive, but bad humor is a complete turn off. If you can't think of a joke that makes sense with the situation at hand, leave it alone.

7) Close the conversation early. 
Follow that old saying - "Always leave them wanting more." Find a way to gracefully duck out of the conversation before it goes stale.Good luck!

Also remember that each girl is different; therefore, there is no specific set of steps to magically get all girls you like to like you. The reason she likes you is because she likes you for who you are. So just be real, do not fake interests or things that you do or know.

credit : wikiHow

Conversation Starters: Are You Always Lost For Words?

Perhaps you are a shy person or you are lost for words and can't start a conversation with someone and keep it going. Lacking conversational skills can hold you back academically, socially and professionally... 

When you know how to approach someone, strike up a conversation and ask the right questions of people, you stand a much better chance of getting your instructor's attention. You also have a better opportunity to get your supervisor's attention and attract the notice of the opposite sex in dating situations.
Improve Your Conversation Skills
Knowing how to walk up to people, greet them and start a conversation may not come automatically for you. Perhaps you struggle to find topics of conversation - "What interests him? Will I know enough about what he enjoys discussing? Maybe I'll be boring!" As soon as that last thought enters your mind, you give up on the thought of approaching someone - and you sit in your seat, silent, nervous or shy - missing conversation success.
When you learn how to approach others and say, "Hi, my name is ________. How are you today?" you increase your probability of successfully beginning a conversation and making a new friend.

Increase Your Confidence
Are you lost for words? Do you believe you are shy? If so, this may lead to lower self-confidence and missed opportunities to engage in conversations with others. Your work performance and social skills may also suffer.
One part of increasing your level of confidence involves knowing what general topics someone might be interested in discussing. Should you be sitting at a party with an attractive girl, you need to know how to bring up topics with which she might be familiar - the latest movie, Hollywood gossip or her job, for instance.

Know What to Say to Others
Avoid being lost for words. You need to know how to bring up different conversational topics. After you have introduced yourself - "Hi, my name is Mary. How are you today?" you give them an opening to respond. After the person responds, you might ask a question about the weather. As you do, make sure you ask in such a way that the person has to speak in a full sentence. Try a question like, "So, what do you think of this weird weather?" as opposed to, "Do you like all this rain?"

Keeping Conversations Going
So, now you have started a tentative conversation with the person you spotted earlier. She's give you her thoughts about all the rain and how she loves it. You might hate all the rain because you can't ride your bike to work. Approach this by saying, "I can see how you'd like the rain. I have to be careful, though, because I can't ride my cycle to work on rainy mornings." This opens another conversational topic. To avoid being lost for words, fall back on favorite movies or restaurants.

Avoid Conversational Mistakes
Look at your differing viewpoints of the rain that's been falling for two weeks. Your conversational partner may love it while you hate it. If you want to keep the conversation going, telling her, "I hate all this rain!" will stop the conversation dead in its tracks. Find a way of expressing yourself, experiencing conversation success.

Keep Your Body Language Open
You want to approach someone who's body language says, "I'm interested in meeting new people." These people keep their body open - they don't cross their arms or legs. Should you see someone who's closed off, look around for someone who has a relaxed posture.

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