Friday, August 23, 2013

The Self Esteemed Woman

We've all seen them -- attractive, sweet, intelligent girls -- involved in relationships with men who are possessive, dominating, and even abusive. Are you plagued by anxiety, insecurity, constantly fearful of making a mistake, desperately seeking re-assurance, feeling so imperfect, so inadequate? There is hope out there for women to lead a happy, worthy life.

We need to believe in our own assessment of ourselves rather than "needing" to seek the appraisal of others.

Self Esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.

Women are particularly vulnerable to low self-esteem. We strive to establish our place in a "man's world" in business, while at the same time trying to balance a career with family and household responsibilities. We strive to work on our physical image, feeling pressure to be thin and fit and look like a Hollywood starlet.

A woman's low self-esteem can effect every relationship she has.

She may feel unworthy as a daughter, feeling she let her parents down by not being as successful, smart, or popular as a sibling, or to the same degree that she feels her parents think she should be. As a wife, she may not feel pretty enough, thin enough, or sexually attractive enough. She may even marry someone who is mentally or physically abusive, as she feels she doesn't deserve more. As a partner herself, she may have difficulty being a strict disciplinarian. In friendships, she may not pursue any relationships, causing her to feel more isolated. She may be a pushover and be unable to say no. She may develop relationships with people who take advantage of her vulnerability.

A basic need of all people is that of believing that they are lovable and knowing that they are loved. So many women wake up every morning without that.

Remember - you're uniquely special!

Start improving your self-esteem by acknowledging that you are special - because there's no one else quite like you. Not only are your fingerprints and DNA different from everyone else's (Unless you have an identical twin), but your mind, and how it thinks and operates, is totally your own. This means that out of almost 7 billion people in the world, you are a one-of. So if nature has bothered to make you unique, don't you feel you should accept that you're important and also that you have as much right as anyone else to be on this planet?

Put behaviour in perspective

Unfortunately, lots of people with poor self-esteem really beat themselves up whenever they make a mistake or error of judgment. If you are prone to deep despair at some aspect of yourself, try telling yourself that it's just a tiny fragment of the multiple layers and components that make up the real you. And try not to condemn the whole of your being when you make a mistake or do something you're not too proud of.

Halt destructive thoughts

Many people with poor self-esteem think they're not very important and that their views carry no weight. Is this you? Try to stop these destructive thoughts because if you go around believing them, you'll encourage other people to believe them too. Start thinking of yourself as someone who has rights, opinions and ideas that are just as valid as those of anyone else.

Accentuate the positive

Often we make ourselves unhappy because we go over and over mistakes we have made. But we can improve our self-esteem if we re-think the things we believe we have done wrong or badly. For example, where I work, we are required to give presentations to clients. Our boss used to be very critical of our performance and we would lose sleep afterwards over the tiniest of errors. But now, I write an account of each presentation shortly after I’ve given it and I only write about the things that went well. I don't need to write about the bad things – that will stick in my memory.

A final note...

Having poor self-esteem can really make our lives, work and our relationships so much more difficult than they need to be. Once you have more positive regard for yourself, you'll find that everything in your existence will run much more smoothly than it does at the moment.

Banish the devils in your mind. You’re the most beautiful girl in the face of the planet. And you have the greatest personality and intelligence. Just believe me, you are the greatest!

Written by Ricalda Makena

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Are You Walking on Eggshells in Your Relationship?

You know that feeling. You do not know what to say. You are not sure if your next action will trigger an outburst from your partner. You can’t speak your mind for fear of upsetting him. You pretend everything is all right even though it isn’t. It is called walking on eggshells, dear friend. 

You are walking on eggshells if….

You Have an Opinion, But Cant Air It Out

The best relationships are about speaking out your mind, sharing thoughts and ideas in a loving and mature way. If you find that, you are not able to air out your views all the time because you are afraid of upsetting him, this totally distorts the balance in your relationship. When you have no say, the other person automatically becomes domineering.

You Feel Less Than Confident

One of the reasons why you may be walking on eggshells is because your partner is overly sensitive and often angry. As such, you have no idea what to do or say to ensure that he does not fly off the hook in a fit of rage. This uncertainty and unease you feel around your partner can put a sock on your self-esteem, no matter how confident you generally are. A healthy relationship should help you maintain that sense of confidence. It should help you soar high rather than make you fall flat on the ground!

It is Sweet and Bitter, Hot and Cold

This one’s a big one; I tell you! Emotional manipulation by your partner can leave you feeling insecure, dent your self-esteem, and cause you to wallow in confusion. The sweet-bitter, hot-cold cycle goes like this- he is so sweet at one moment and in the next moment, he is unbelievably mean. He wants to hold you at one moment, but in the next moment he blows cold, he wants you gone, he won’t talk to you, he is pissed off at something, he uses hurtful words to cut you down. Then, he apologizes. And the cycle begins.

I would say that you have two solutions to end the walking on eggshells scenario: Just be your true self, be who you are and let your partner love you for that. If he cannot accept these things about you, then it is time to let go and let live.

Even though relationships take hard work to find, keep and make them work- you deserve to be truly happy with someone who doesn’t make you feel awkward and wobbly and on edge all the freakin’ time!

Written by Donna Moses

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Quick Stress Relieves

It is important to keep away from stress as it is one of the determining factors of our health. Here are a few quick stress relief methods I personally like to try whenever I feel stressed. Thought I would share them with you.

Breathe deeply and calmly. Sit down somewhere peaceful and take deep breaths over at least five minutes. Every time your mind wonders, return it to focusing only on the deep breaths. Inhale, exhale and repeat this until you feel calmer.

Smile. Your body has a ready-made fix-it solution for when you feel overwrought and it is as simple as changing your physiology. The smile is the simplest way to do this. Plaster on a fake grin and keep it there for a few minutes. You’ll feel your mood begin to upturn with your grin. Also change your posture, sit up straight to bring in a positive and confidence look.

Visualize. You are stressing right now because you’re focusing on the problem. Focus on resolving it instead. Think about how things will be when it is completed/fixed/stored away/whatever. Try to “float” through the current problem, telling yourself it is a temporary hitch or issue that will be resolved.

Exercise. Leave your desk, couch or bed and get out there. Go for a run, a swim, a circuit in the gym. Do whatever gets you moving and out of the sitting and contemplating position. The beauty of exercise is that it gets your adrenalin moving for something positive instead of chewing over worries and you can still think about things, probably all the more clearly!

Organize. In a mess? Start tidying it in small amounts. Move one little pile of papers, open one bill or wipe down one bench. You can start, you don’t need to finish. But remember, it’s getting started that matters above all and the motivation will sprout from that tiny beginning.

Meditation. It can be any form, example prayer. Pray using your own words, or read prayers written by others. Reflect on the meaning of the words or write in a journal.

Talk about your feelings or express yourself. This is one of my own personal favorites! Much stress arises because of a tendency to shoulder responsibilities, burdens and heavy workloads without discussing the consequences or feelings that arise from this weight. Important outlets for relieving this build-up of internal tension such as: drawing, writing a diary, blogging etc.

Listening to music. Listening to music does wonders and is a great way to relieve stress. Just be sure to sidestep songs that will make you feel worse, like the songs about giving up and fading away. Instead, listen to good songs that put you in a happy mood. Music is a significant mood-changer and reliever of stress.

Written by Sylvia Oloo/shared from wikihow

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Love on a Cordless String

So the month of June brought with it, strapped in its arms, Father's day. It was a day supposed to have been a celebration of the men in our lives. Children worldwide were meant to look upon it with awe and grateful spirits. They say a father should be a daughter's first love and a son's first hero. They say fathers are meant to provide the strength, the security and reassurance that life will be okay. They say a father is the pillar of a home, the master of his castle, the fearless arrow in times of war. Many took to social media to praise their fathers. I looked at all the hullabaloo and felt all the anger rise up from within me. I have been a girl who has never known her father, never will. I wondered how people could praise the undeserving. How would you explain that to a child whose only memory they have of their father is the reign of terror that descended upon the family each time he was home? How would you explain that to a child whose rough idea of a father is the comparison of a barking dog, a heartless creature? How would a daughter who watched their father languish in alcoholism and adultery, eventually infecting their mother with the deadly virus understand all this? How would a woman, bitterly denied and rejected while she was pregnant explain all this to a child that she so struggles to take care of on her own.

The truth is social media has brought with it a tone of hypocrisy. People are so quick to shower praises and honour on parents they do not even speak to. The truth is that we are raising boys who do not care one bit about family. We have loads of young fathers who do not understand the sacrifices that come with that title. We have people who have rejected their unborn children without missing a beat. We have men who have reigned terror on the mothers, and on their children. Our society is flowing with irresponsible men who would rather let their own kids eat the scraps from under their high tables instead of providing a quality life for them. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody wants to say that it is wrong. People hear this and they think there is too much bitterness lying in wait inside me. People do not understand because fathers’ taking their kids for granted has become the order of the day. Nevertheless, our upcoming fathers, our sons, need to understand that there is no two ways about being a good father. You have to set the rules, yes. You have to be firm in your authority, but the greatest thing you can give your child is to love them, provide them the inspiration they need to become their best in this life. You need to make sure that your child's self-esteem never runs dry; you have to teach them that which they are not taught in school. You have to be an active participant in their day to day lives. You have to strive to provide for them a better life than that which you had. You may give them everything material but of what value will it be if it was not wrapped in love? You may believe that this is a totally feminist idea but one day you will be thankful that this was said. We, ladies, have to cultivate this within our sons.

I have seen a lot of things happen around me. I have tried to understand some of our African traditions and the one thing I never agreed on, even with my grandmother was the idea that a father who once abandoned their child had the right to trot right back in and demand the child, especially if it was a boy. I have watched the horror of fathers showing up after years of absence to claim the children that they abandoned, and the only price they had to pay was two cows and perhaps a goat. It sickens me to the stomach. It makes me wish that I could educate fathers-to-be.  It makes me want to bend the rules. It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs that life will never be the same for those children that you abandon, not even when you place the world shimmering at their feet. It makes me want to hope that those friends around me, will provide the best for the children they bring into this world, not just materially, but also with that which only the heart can give. It makes me hope that no child will be left like a guitar without a string, with love on a cordless string to fend for themselves. I can only hope that those with ears will eventually listen to the cries of this broken heart. 

Written by Maureen Songa

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This month we are going to look into the last two types of hair that are said to be the easiest to maintain and handle. Straight hair and Wavy hair.

There are four hair types or categories of Hair. Type 1, 2, 3 and 4 hair. 2, 3 and 4 have sub classes of A,B and C. Straight hair has no variation that is the reason as to why it has no subcategories. Wavy hair which in type 2 hair is said to have variations from body wave to a slight wave.

Type 1 hair is straight with no curl or wave pattern and tends to be oily and usually has a shine to it. You should use a light-weight conditioner if you find it difficult to comb your hair after washings, but be careful not to apply it directly to the scalp. Because of the abundance of natural oil, type 1 hair does not need much to keep it moisturized. 

Hair with some waves but no distinct curl defines type 2 hair. This type of hair clings to the scalp and is coarser than type 1. It is best to wash type 2 hair daily to maintain a healthy sheen and to make your waves look their best. Washing daily tends to strip the natural oils in the hair so use a good conditioner to make sure your waves are properly moisturized. In fact a good leave-in conditioner is beneficial to keep those weaves looking voluminous throughout the day.

   2A                                                       2B                                              2C

As you move from A to C the hair gets wavier and fuller. The less wavy hair tends to become greasy faster as the natural oil from the scalp easily maneuvers down the hair shaft.
These are the most popular hair types for extensions and weaves. They are said to be the most manageable hair types because they are least likely to tangle and do not require taming.
Just like all hair types, a routine to keep type 2 and type 1 hair healthy is required. They are not as involving as type 4 hair but requires more frequent care.
Let us go through a few tips and pointers to note for both straight and wavy hair.

Always detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb before wetting it and never use a small comb as this will cause breakage. Wash at least every week as hair is prone to get greasy.

When washing your hair use a warm water not a hot water because hot water can soften hair, cause breakage or stripping your hair of its natural protection and if you want to rinse it use a cold water because this makes your hair shinier (always rinse off with cold water).

If you have dry hair you will need to use a moisturizing conditioner and oily hair should go for the basic or regular conditioners and apply them only at the tips so that your hair will not be over condition.

Don’t pile your hair up in your hand as it may lead to tangling rather keep your hair hanging down and run your fingers through your scalp gently.
It’s better to run water through your hair than the bending over technic when you are washing your hair. Use a lot of water to wash out all the products on your hair that are not leave-in to avoid over processing but don’t snarl your ends.

Air dry your hair when possible, to keep the waves on your type two hair use a diffuser on your dryer. Always use a heat protector.

Friction is still not your friend
 Friction causes your hair to tangle, cover your hair in a satin wrap or use satin pillow cases to avoid this. Uncovered hair gets caught in fabric as you sleep and this causes breakage and hair fall.

Use correct tools
The wider the better as you begin to detangle prior to a wash and after a wash. The diffuser bit on your blow dryer is great to maintain waves and the paddle brush is good for daily maintenance, define the waves or give some volume to hair.


Detangle                                          Diffuser                                            Maintenance

Grease free hair

Type 1 and 2 hair is prone to oil build up. Unless you have a very dry scalp and hair.

It is always advised to use water base moisturizers and conditioner on your hair as this prevents overly greasy hair. On the other hand you want to stay away from shampoos with alcohol content as this dries up the scalp and does not allow it to naturally moisten the hair with sebum from the scalp.

My product recommended for these types of hair whether naturally growing from your scalp or extensions and wigs are the tresemme’ range newly available in Nakumatt stores.

I hope these tips can help you maintain your hair whichever way you wear it. I am not a hair specialist but a hair enthusiast, the best way to learn is through experience. For a full range of hair extension and protective style wigs, see our website

 Written by Nempiris Lesiit

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Emotional Intelligence

Have you ever wondered why we have differences in approach when it comes to women and men in emotions such as anger, happiness etc, well am sure you have discovered this especially those who are in any kind of relationships..... 
Women are more emotional than men and many may not agree with me if I was to say that ladies are more intelligent when it comes to emotions and this goes a long way in qualifying them to work in certain careers and even handling emotional situations. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive and control emotions. It involves four steps: 
1. Perceiving the emotions- involves reading emotions.
2. Reasoning with emotions- it’s all about internalizing the emotions
3. Understanding emotions- involves figuring and understanding
4. Managing the emotions-knowing how to react and respond
Men are more into problem solving than dealing with emotions. This only applies when active solutions are required. Men's brains sense feelings at the moment it occurs; they tune out of emotions and focus on ways to solve problems at hand. Ladies on the other hand tend to stay with those feelings. This is all a brain difference; men are tuned out of emotions while women are so emotional. It’s important when both parties in any kind of relationship to understand this to avoid a lot of misunderstandings.
If you are looking for a more sympathetic ear, talk to a female and for more active and instant solutions, men are the best.

The main reason I stated above that ladies are more emotional intelligent above is because a study states that they can act as a support system to friends and families, they empathize more than men, and hence they are more fit in positions of leadership, sales and teams. They are also able to handle stressful situations than men by talking out their feelings or even joining friends and families.

Writen by Esther Gathambo

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dress for the weather--that's an important element of dealing with cold winter weather. But how do you do it? Read on!

The cold season has checked in, dressing for cold weather is something we’ve all gotten used to. But showing off your style while still staying warm now that, can be a challenge. After all, it’s tough to see your outfit when it’s covered up by a big jacket. What’s a stylish girl to do?

Don’t worry; you don’t have to forego looking good to keep from getting frostbite this year. There are many ways to dress so you can stay warm and still show off your fashion sense, and none of them require breaking the bank.

Here are some tips for braving the cold and still looking hot:

1.      Invest in a classic and stylish coat.
Your coat is the most important part of your winter wardrobe, so invest in a fabulous one that will last you many years. I’ve talked about cute winter coats here before, so be sure to read the linked article if you’re coat-hunting.
If you just want something classic that won’t go out of style, I personally recommend a pea coat. A good quality wool pea coat will stand the test of time and keep you super warm. Pick one up in black if you want a basic coat that goes with everything, but don’t be afraid to invest in something a little flashier if you find one in an amazing shade of red or hot pink. Bold colored pea coats are fabulous!

If your style is on the trendier side, consider picking up a trendy winter coat like a plaid parka, swing coat, or cocoon coat. You’ll make a statement and stand out from the crowd with your funky style.

2.      Add interest to your winter look with accessories.

Accessorizing isn’t just for regular outfits – you can (and should) accessorize your outerwear as well! Bright scarves, cute hats, and colorful gloves are your best friends during the winter months. Even better, they’re so cheap that there’s no reason not to buy a bunch in different colors.

And don’t forget about gloves! Make a statement while you keep your hands warm with a bright pair of hot pink knit mittens, or go for a rocker vibe with an amazing pair of studded faux-leather fringe gloves.

3.      Switch it up with two coats.
If it’s within your budget, consider buying two winter coats this year – one for everyday, and one for special occasions. That way you can alternate them and keep your winter wardrobe looking fresh and stand out.

4.      Rock fabulous winter boots.
One of my favorite things about winter fashion is that I have an excuse to buy cute boots. Boots are so versatile in winter, and if you get the right pair, you’ll have the perfect footwear for almost any occasion. A great pair of boots is a must-have if you want to be stylish in winter. For more on boots, here’s an article I wrote recently about cute winter boots for any budget.

5.      Remember that being warm is still the most important thing.
At the end of the day, no matter how cute your winter outfit is, if it doesn’t keep you warm, it’s not doing it’s job. That’s why it’s crucial to spend a little more money on a quality coat that will keep you toasty instead of going for a cheap yet fashionable jacket. Spending more now means you’ll have a quality piece you can wear for years.

Keep warm and stylish.

Written by Dorothy Moraa Osoro

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Monday, August 19, 2013

The Forgotten Generation

It is true, when you hit around 12 years as a young female, you slowly start to lose that strong sense of self that peaked at around age 9, this according to a survey. It happened to me as well, growing up. I knew who I was. I was strong. I had a mind of my own and I never once doubted myself-not that I have any memories to prove otherwise. I was intelligent, creative and brave. The world really was my oyster. And more to that everyone loved me. And I knew I was beautiful without it being confirmed to be by anyone.

So how and why did it all start going downhill-this unshakable strength that I had? All I remember was becoming surprisingly insecure over things I thought I had control of before, my body, my smarts, and my personality. It’s like the world I had before teenage hood was slowly crumbling before my eyes and I was sure would inevitably lose control of everything. High school was easier for the sole reason that I was not a loner anymore. It eased the confusion and awkwardness somewhat. Because I met other awkward loners and was thus saved from being so self-aware.

But after high school, college years brought the dark side in. I got wilder, not because I was restricted before, but just because I felt like getting out of my head, falling in love and slacking off. And all this I did, later coming out of it bruised, not really nostalgic for those college years. Now in the real world, growth has been slow but tremendous. And this so called independence thrust upon my shoulders has forced me to take a long hard look at myself. This in my mid-twenties feels more like a mid-life crisis.

So I explain my sort of point of view for anyone who feels sort of confused like me. Out of University, starting out at new careers, nearing the time to settle down. There is a lot out there for teens or married folks, but what about us, the in betweens?

Written by Freddy Njeri

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Banana Bread

We don’t usually have a lot of overripe bananas, but I was recently gifted bananas which were already covered with several dark spots. When bananas get too ripe to enjoy, don’t throw them away: they are great for baking and smoothies. If you are diabetic you especially want to avoid overripe bananas and should only have bananas with a green tip. This banana bread is great, and can even be toasted. The trick is to NOT OVERMIX, since the bananas make it dense.

Bananas lose nutrients when they are overripe and cooked. Nevertheless, this is a great way to use up overripe bananas. Five or six bananas are used to get 2 1/3 cups mashed bananas. Bananas contain Vitamin C, Iron, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Dietary Fiber, Protein, Magnesium, Folate, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin A, Sucrose, Fructose and Glucose.

The bananas you use for this recipe should be very ripe and brown. If you can’t bake right away Place the bananas in the freezer to use at a later date. Once thawed, though the blackened bananas will be ugly and slimy, they will make your baking taste great!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Written by Yvette Green

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Saturday, August 3, 2013


I’m sure we have all had a lot of sleepless nights, or struggle with sleep at some point, so called insomnia. So I thought I would share this article on the magazine.

The average person spends more than one third of his/her life asleep. But don’t be fooled – just because the body is sleeping doesn’t mean it’s slacking off. During sleep, the body repairs itself so that when the alarm clock goes off our bodies are renewed and refreshed. Tossing and turning all night can effect judgment, productivity and the ability to retain information the next day. Over time, it can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and of course a chronic bad attitude. (Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?) So whether or not you’re a morning person or not check out these easy ways to sleep better and you’ll thank us in the morning.

Disclaimer: While factors like stress or big life changes can bring on a few sleepless nights, prolonged trouble sleeping could be a sign of another issue like depression or a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. If these are worries, schedule a doctor’s visit to get things checked out. A medical professional might suggest a hormone test or another kind of evaluation to make sure everything’s okay.

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. This lets the body know it’s time to unwind from the day’s stress and chill. Figure out a schedule and stick to it every night of the week, even weekends!
  2.  Journal. Thinking about or doing stressful activities can cause the body to release stress hormones, leading to alertness. But writing out stressful thoughts in a journal can help us avoid restlessness once we hit the sheets. Studies suggest certain types of journaling allow us to focus on the positive instead of the negative aspects of our day.
  3. Munch on magnesium. Research suggests magnesium plays a key role in our ability to sleep through the night. Try chewing on magnesium-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, and Swiss chard. Or pop a ZMA supplement, another form of magnesium, about half an hour before bedtime.
  4. Try a cup of chamomile tea. This herbal drink can reduce anxiety that might make it more difficult to fall asleep.
  5. Exercise regularly. Studies suggest some aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety and improve quality of sleep in people who suffer from insomnia.
  6.  Work out earlier in the day. While exercise can help improve sleep quality, it’s important to schedule workouts that end at least two hours before hitting the hay so that post-workout adrenaline boost doesn’t keep you up.
  7. Take a power nap during the day. Ten to 30 minutes in the mid-afternoon is best to ensure a good night’s sleep. Any longer and we risk falling into deeper stages of sleep, which can leave us feeling groggy when we wake up.
  8. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep. While many of us don’t get nearly that much, sleep deprivation has been linked to high cortisol levels (aka more stress). Recent research also suggests not sleeping enough is linked to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body can’t process insulin efficiently and a risk factor for diabetes.
  9. Bedroom activities only, please. Reserve the bed for bedtime-only activities so the mind associates the bedroom with relaxation. Sleep and sex, yes. Work and bills, not so much.
  10. Create a comfortable environment. Whether that means picking the perfect mattress, splurging on 800-thread-count sheets, getting heavy-duty curtains to block out light, or keeping a fan in the room for background noise, make sure it’s comfy before climbing into bed. Share a bed? Work with your partner to make any changes necessary so everyone sleeps well.
  11. Keep the bedroom slightly cool. Between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. A room with extreme temperatures leads to more frequent awakenings and lighter sleep.
  12. Take a hot shower or bath before bed. This can help the mind relax, while the rise and fall of body temperature induces sleepiness.
  13. Set a daily wakeup time. Just like it’s best to go to bed at the same time every day, it’s a good idea to keep a consistent wakeup time - even on the weekends. Irregular bedtime and wake-up hours can lead to poor sleep patterns.
  14. Make up for lost sleep. Stayed up too late the past few nights? Take on an extra hour tonight to repay sleep debt and get back on track.
  15. Keep caffeine fixes to mornings and early afternoons. Drinking it too late in the evening can lead to an unwelcome bedtime boost. For some people, the effects of caffeine can last the whole work day up to 10 hours after that last venti macchiato.
  16. Don’t toss and turn. Can’t fall asleep? If you’ve been lying in bed awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and try a relaxing activity like reading or listening to mellow music. Thinking about not sleeping will bring on even more anxiousness - it’s a vicious cycle.
  17. Check the medicine cabinet. Certain medications might be interfering with sleep. Think a prescription is the culprit to a sleepless night? Talk to a doctor about potential side effects and how to deal with them.
  18. Leave Fluffy on the floor. Sleeping with pets can interfere with sleep. Snuggle before bedtime and then let them get comfortable elsewhere.
  19. Face the alarm clock awayWatching the time tick by can actually cause more stress and make it harder to fall asleep. Plus, artificial light from electronic gadgets can mess up our circadian rhythm, making our bodies’ think it’s time to stay up and party.
  20. Get techy. Check out the variety of smartphone apps and other gadgets designed to help usher in a better night’s sleep. Tracking sleep over a long period of time can also help us pinpoint what’s helping and hurting our snooze time.
  21. Listen to soothing music. It can improve both sleep quality and duration. Try classical, folk, or slow-paced contemporary styles for some soothing sounds.
  22. Sniff some lavender. This scent can actually be an antidote to insomnia. Try burning lavender-scented candles or essential oils to ease into sleep.
  23. Try progressive muscle relaxation. Starting with the feet, tense the muscles. Hold for a count of five and then relax. Do this for every muscle group in the body, working up from the feet to the top of the head. A nightly meditation practice that involves focusing on the breath can also help prepare the body for sleep.
  24. Dim the lights. Bright lighting, in particular the “blue light” emitted by most electronic devices, might contribute to sleep disturbances. Tech-savvy insomniacs might want to check out the special glasses designed to block blue light and help us snooze through the night.
  25. Get some fresh air. Exposure to daylight helps regulate the body’s internal clock and with it, sleep timing. Getting some sunlight also keeps daytime fatigue at bay, leading to more sleepiness at bedtime.
  26. Establish an “electronic curfew.” The artificial lights from computers, TVs, and cell phones might make it more difficult for the body to understand when it’s time to wind down. And one study suggests limiting TV at bedtime can reduce sleep.
  27. Drink something warm. While a glass of warm milk might not be medically proven to bring on sleep, the relaxation that comes with sipping on a mug of a “comfort drink” like warm milk, hot chocolate, or tea can make those eyelids a bit heavier.
Written by Kissairis Munoz

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