How To Properly Prepare For Bed So You Can Get Better, More Restful Sleep

With today’s busy lifestyle, sleep can seem elusive. It is essential, however, to ensure that you are getting enough sleep each night. When you are well rested, you not only wake up with more energy but also have better focus and concentration, allowing you to get more done during the day. Try using these tips to prepare yourself for bed so that you can sleep more soundly through the night.

  1. Turn off your electronic devices.

About 30 to 45 minutes before you plan on going to bed, turn off any electronic devices that have lighted screens including televisions, cell phones, and tablets. The light from the screens can interfere with your natural sleep patterns, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Devices like the Kindle or the Nook that rely on e-ink are the only exceptions since they don’t emit light of their own.

 

  1. Read A Book

Reading is a great way to relax your body and calm your mind before bed. Just be sure to avoid reading books that are too stimulating. For instance, a self-help book may keep you awake thinking about your problems, whereas a novel will help you relax and get better sleep.

 

  1. Turn Down The Lights

As bedtime approaches, start dimming the lights in your home. If you are surrounded by lights that are too bright, your brain may not produce enough melatonin, making it more difficult to sleep. Excess light can also cause your brain to become more active and can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, keeping you from falling asleep right away. Consider installing dimmer switches in your bedroom so that you can lower the lights as it gets close to bedtime.

 

  1. Don’t Overeat Right Before Bed

It is a lot easier for your body to digest food when it is in an upright position. When you are laying down, you are far more likely to experience acid reflux, heartburn, or an upset stomach. As your stomach works to digest food, it can also interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Try not to eat for a minimum of three hours before going to bed. If you do need a snack during this time, opt for something light and easy to digest. It will ensure you make the most of that Hampton and Rhodes mattress.

 

  1. Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Going To Sleep

If you are like a lot of people, you may be under the impression that alcohol makes it easier to sleep. In fact, however, the opposite is true. Even though it is easier for you to fall asleep after drinking, the alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to reach the REM phase of sleep. As a result, you may wake up feeling tired and moody, simply because you didn’t sleep deeply enough. To get the best quality of sleep possible, try to avoid drinking before you go to sleep.

 

  1. Practice Deep Breathing

If you want to achieve a deeper state of relaxation before heading to bed, consider practicing deep breathing. All that you have to do is get into a comfortable position. Then, shut your eyes and begin breathing slowly and deeply. Try to focus on your breath, keeping your mind from wandering. Keep this up for several minutes. Even though this may be difficult at first, it will gradually start to feel more natural as you continue to do it. You may find that your mind is extremely active when you are first getting started. Over time, however, you should be able to get better control over your thoughts, enabling you to focus more fully on your breathing.

 

  1. Write Your Worries Down In A Journal

Oftentimes, things that you are worried about can keep you from falling asleep. One good way to solve this problem is by getting your worries down on paper. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. Each night, before you go to sleep, write down things that are worrying you on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, write down ideas you have for how to solve those problems. If you are struggling to find a solution, jot down the specific date when you will address the issue. This can help free your mind from worry, making it easier to get to sleep.

 

  1. Find A Distraction

Distracting your mind with a menial task is a great way to bore yourself to sleep. For instance, you could try counting down from 300 in increments of three. This is a mildly challenging task that will help distract you from your worries while at the same time allowing your mind to get bored enough to fall asleep.

 

  1. Cut Out Caffeine

Caffeine is well-known for its ability to keep people awake. What most people don’t know, however, is that the effect of the caffeine can last for hours after you drink it. In fact, it has a half-life of as much as eight hours. To give you an example of what that means in the real world, imagine that you have a cup of coffee at 5 PM. Because caffeine has such a long half-life, you still may have caffeine in your system at 1 AM. As you can well imagine, that can make it difficult to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

 

  1. Relax in a warm bath.

Taking a warm bath before bed is a time-honored way to get better sleep. The warmth of the water can help relax your muscles, making it easier to unwind after a stressful day. Just make sure that the water is warm enough to have a calming effect and that you stay in the bath for a minimum of 20 minutes to get the best results.

In Sickness and in Health & Overcoming Vulvodynia

I have Vulvodynia.

I am one of the 16 percent of women in the U.S. who suffer from the illness that causes chronic pain and discomfort in the Vulva region.

For four long years, I experienced sharp, stabbing, burning pain in my pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy sexual intimacy with my boyfriend, Jason, who would become my husband. The pain – physical emotional and mental, was agonizing and impacted my quality of life.

I went to many doctors who failed to diagnose my condition and, sadly, underwent several unsuccessful operations. How bad was my medical advice?  One OB/GYN told me to drink wine and take some Advil before sex.  I really could not believe what I was hearing. So I continued my research journey every night on the web trying to find out what could be causing this horrible pain.

Searching for another answer, I went to a pelvic pain specialist who did not even examine me. How can you be a pelvic pain specialist and not even examine me? Instead, he wanted to put me on an antidepressant for the pain. I told him that I did not want to be on medication for this issue and alter who I am as a person. He actually snapped at me and told me that he was just giving me options. Another one of his brilliant ideas was just to cut that part out that hurts. I politely refused and never went back to his practice. He was the kind of doctor who only cares about money and not really helping the patient. He did not even give me a name for my condition.  I never went back to him. Back to square one.

Finally, I had enough. I took my medical condition into my own hands. Searching for an answer went on for years until I ran across an article on Vulvodynia and I realized that is what I had.

From my previous positive experience using neodymium magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, I had a “lightbulb moment” to add neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. I was so excited. I know neodymium magnets work great for nerve pain so I called my husband and told him we had to make this device to try. Within two weeks I could have sex again. I had to help women, I had to start a business to help them.

With the help of medical experts and advisers, I turned my idea into a nonprescription vaginal dilator device and startup business VuVaTech (www.vuvatech.com) to relieve the pain and sexual discomfort experienced by so many women today. The dilator device has allowed me and over 6,000 women all over the world to live a more normal life and finally enjoying sex without pain. This device as has also improved relationships, marriages and even helped couples expand their families.

It’s been an amazing, surprising and fulfilling ride. But if I never made a cent from my business, it would be fine. My passion is spreading pelvic pain awareness to women who are not receiving correct diagnosis from their doctors. Women need to know they do not have to live with painful intercourse and pelvic pain. There are safe alternative treatments other than surgeries. There is hope and there are answers.

Culinary Trend: Ice Cream – Fun Facts

Everyone knows that ice cream has always been one of the most popular desserts in the world, and some people say that even 87% of Americans have it in their freezer at any given time. A lot of ice cream parlors have been opened every day, ranging from traditional to hipster ones, and there’s one thing that connects all of them – this tasty cool treat called ice cream. If you want to learn something more about its history and some fun facts, just stay with us and keep on reading. Here’s everything you need to know about this dessert, so have a scoop or two and enjoy!

 

Who was the genius who invented ice cream?

Even though there are a lot of names that start popping up when you type ‘ice cream inventor’ into your browser, the fact is that no one knows who actually invented this delicious dessert. The first one mentioned is Emperor Nero who enjoyed mixing snow with honey and fruit back in Ancient Rome, who often sent his messengers to gather fresh snow from the mountains. On the other hand, there’s also Marco Polo, and some historians claim that he was the first one to bring some kind of ice cream to Europe. He actually learned the recipe from the Chinese, who mixed snow with milk and rice in order to make a creamy dessert. Finally, the United States also found out about this tasty treat thanks to Christopher Columbus, who brought the recipe to American soil.

 

Did you know that sundaes were actually invented for Sundays?

Millions of people these days simply adore sundaes, those yummy sweet desserts that consist of several scoops of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, peanuts, and fresh fruits, but did you know that these were invented for Sundays? We bet you didn’t! Well, ice cream sodas were a huge hit back in the past, but they were actually forbidden by the religious laws as people weren’t allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath. However, the owner of one ice cream parlor tried to outsmart them and started serving ice cream soda, but without soda – just ice cream and syrup. This combo was sold only on Sundays in the beginning, and they changed the spelling to ‘sundae’ to avoid linking it to the holy Sabbath.

 

Which came first: chocolate or vanilla?

Even though die-hard fans of vanilla are almost 100% sure that this flavor was invented first, the truth is that they’re wrong simply because the chocolate was the first one. Needless to say, these two are the most popular flavors all across the globe, but there are so many innovative ice cream parlors that try really hard to come up with outstanding and unexpected flavors everyone will absolutely adore. There’s a fantastic Aussie ice cream store that has the funniest flavors such as licorice, mint choc chip, apple pie, rum and raisin, salted caramel, orange and cardamom, Turkish delight, lime and coconut, and many other that’ll completely sweep you off your feet. Just be sure to step outside your comfort zone and give them a try!

 

Have you heard of astronaut ice cream?

Astronaut ice cream has always been a huge hit, and you’ve probably seen it in some quirky candy stores or gift shops, but you know what? This kind of an ice cream has never been on any space mission! Even though some people think that it was used on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, the truth is that astronaut ice cream has never been to space at all. The only living astronaut on that mission, Walt Cunningham, denied that claim and said that there was never such thing. However, NASA scientists are working on brand new formulas and inventions to allow astronauts to enjoy this dessert in space, so it may actually be a part of some future space mission. We hope it will!

As you can see, there are a lot of amazing facts related to ice cream, one of the coolest (pun intended!) desserts in the world. Even though we don’t really know who its inventor was, it definitely doesn’t stop us from indulging in it whenever we can. After all, there are so many new flavors that need to be tested out, so brace yourself and do what you need to do!

Why Australian Coffee is the Best on the Planet

Whether it is cappuccino or espresso, a morning energy booster or a part of a social occasion, everybody loves coffee. There are many different types of this delicious beverage, and there are many different ways of serving it. In time, coffee has become much more than a simple drink – it has become a culture we all share. However, not every culture is the same, and Australian coffee seems to stand out when it comes to its taste, quality, and even the appearance. Some would even say that it is the best coffee on the planet, and here are some of the reasons why that statement might just be true.

The human factor

The thing is, Australians have high criteria when it comes to their coffee. This was best seen in 2008, when Starbucks closed over 70% of their stores in Australia because, well, nobody was buying their coffee. This is because everybody knew at least a few independently owned cafés near Starbucks that sold better coffee and had much better customer service. Today, there are only around 20 Starbucks cafés in the whole country, which says a lot considering the popularity of Starbucks in the rest of the world. Australia is actually the only country in which their business couldn’t grow, and Aussies are completely fine with that.

The espresso

This type of coffee plays an important role in Australian coffee culture. During the 50s, when most of the world drank some type of filter coffee, Australians enjoyed quality espresso coffee made in some of the finest Italian cafés around the country. Sure, espresso might be smaller in size than the regular filter coffee, but it’s much better in taste. Nowadays, this espresso-based culture is so stable, there are numerous independently owned coffee shops serving some of the finest espresso-based drinks in the world. Plus, the fact that they are independently owned also means that every café looks different and offers a unique, personal, and memorable experience. In Australia, a café is not just a café – it’s a second home where you can relax, read, or just enjoy your meal and drink in peace.

However, Italians also prefer espresso, so what is it that sets apart the Land Down Under?

Creativity

Unlike Italian coffee that is mostly simple and traditional, Aussie coffee is everything but simple. They have used espresso as a base for the other types –  the flat white, long black, iced Vietnamese, Sweet Mexican, etc. Moreover, they aren’t afraid of experimenting with temperatures, blends, and beans. For example, there are many reliable coffee suppliers from Melbourne that offer unique blends ranging from organic for those who are more eco-conscious to strong for those who are looking for that kick only a good cup of coffee can provide. And next to all that, Australian cafés employ baristas who are more like chefs than waiters. They know so much about coffee, they are able to tell you the origins of your coffee, the variety, the time of the harvest, and much more.

Finally, creativity is also an important part of the visual presentation. In Australia, a café won’t last a month if its baristas don’t know how to make good latte art. And it’s not just about the appearance – it says a lot about the quality of the coffee as well. That’s because you can’t make any kind of latte art if the milk isn’t perfectly frothed; in other words, if it looks good, it definitely is good.

When you’re passionate about something, naturally, you’re more likely to be good at it. This is exactly what makes Australia the best place for quality coffee – they love everything about their coffee culture. They know how to recognise good quality, they appreciate great customer service, they know how to be unique and creative, and they are proud of having high coffee standards. So, if you ever want to experience the best coffee on the planet, visit the Land Down Under – it’ll be worth the trip.

DIY Brown Sugar Scrub

I absolutely hate paying top dollar for beauty treatments and often make my own at home for a fraction of the cost. There are plenty of items in your kitchen that can be used to make your own and it’s very nice to actually know what is in your products. This DIY Brown Sugar Scrub is great for using on your face, hands, heels and elbows… pretty much anywhere! It’s an all-in-one product that exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time. So head into the kitchen and let’s get ready to have a spa night!

5 ways to calm your wedding nerves

Your wedding day is the first day of the rest of your life, which can be scary to think about. Wedding nerves are extremely common among both brides and grooms – it’s supposed to be the best day of your life, so it’s perfectly normal to be feeling a little anxious on the big day. If you’ve found yourself feeling a little on edge on the lead up to your wedding, then our five tips to help you calm your wedding nerves are sure to help you.

Why Unresolved Sex Problems Will Ruin Your Marriage

Whether you’re married or not, the Honeymoon stage of a relationship doesn’t last forever. This is why underlying sex problems need to be resolved sooner rather than later. So they don’t ruin your marriage.

Sex problems including erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and being unable to achieve orgasm generally don’t go away by themselves. Unresolved sex problems can be a source of ongoing anxiety and stress and may result in ruining your marriage. If you’re not yet married they will create instability, doubt and insecurities about the future direction of the relationship!

While most experts will tell you that medical issues are the cause of these sexual “malfunctions” most of the time it is simply a misdirection of one’s attention. This causes the brain to become confused as to what the person actually wants. While most people think that sex “just happens” in reality our brain requires a sequential combination of “messages” which then triggers blood flow, hormonal responses and the relevant muscle programs.

When the wrong messages are given to the brain then the brain cannot respond with the wanted program and the resulting chaos (known as sexual dysfunctions) occurs. These problems can be caused by mental, emotional or physical distractions or any other mental contamination. The resulting disappointment causes anxiety and mental duress to all concerned!

Imagining the Worst Scenarios

It’s interesting to note that we’re not taught a complete start to end procedure for sex (for either gender) and therefore we don’t understand the order in which the sexual programs must work. Because of this lack of relevant knowledge we often come to the conclusion that these sex problems are happening for an entirely different reason. Many men and women imagine that they are in some way deficient as a human being and therefore incapable of being able to enjoy normal sex. For others, it’s a torturous turmoil of imagined realities as they try to figure out the reason behind their partner’s sexual dysfunction.

It’s common for men to lose erection hardness during foreplay. This usually happens when he is putting too much of his attention on his partner’s fulfillment. However, from her uninformed perspective she imagines he is no longer attracted to her, doesn’t love her – or worse, is having an affair!

Many relationships are affected and then fail due to imagined scenarios which just aren’t true. This is caused in part by resisting the related emotional responses which then contribute to increasing resentment, tension, anxiety and fear caused by an ongoing cycle of unwanted thoughts.

Emotional and Sexual Withdrawal

When we don’t know how to cope with an unwanted sexual dysfunction we have a tendency to withdraw emotionally as we try to figure it out. Many men will watch porn instead of having sex with their partner because they’re afraid of failing. A woman who is constantly unable to achieve orgasm can lose her desire for sex as she struggles to not judge herself as being sexually deficient.

A woman will frequently refrain from initiating sex so she doesn’t put pressure on her partner, whereas in reality, her apparent lack of interest increases his burden and performance anxiety. All of these problems result in declining libidos when sex appears to be too difficult and emotionally taxing for either or both partners.

In Summary

If you or your spouse or fiancee are suffering from sex problems it’s better to take action sooner rather than later so it doesn’t ruin your marriage. Regardless of whether they occur intermittently or are an ongoing source of anxiety and stress, please understand that the real deficiency is a lack of relevant knowledge of correct sexual technique. This can be easily learned and the related problems immediately solved. With this advanced knowledge, you will be able to transform an ailing sex life into a mutually fulfilling sex life where both partners are able to feel relaxed, happy, confident and connected. This will set your marriage up for life.

8 Mistakes that Can Sabotage a Relationship

Nobody’s the perfect partner all the time, and all relationships go through rocky patches. However, certain mistakes we make can have dire consequences. If you want your long-term relationship to remain happy and fulfilling, avoid these eight common pitfalls.

  1. Not discussing relationship rules

Many couples make a commitment thinking that everything will just work out. But major disagreements or misunderstandings can develop if you don’t agree on certain ‘rules’ from the start. For example, what constitutes ‘cheating’? Is it okay for your partner to have virtual sex in a chat room or with someone’s avatar in an online game? Finances are another area where lack of initial discussion can lead to big arguments. Does your partner need to talk to you first before buying certain things or spending money over a certain amount? If there are behaviors you just won’t tolerate within a relationship, make sure your other-half understands and agrees. On top of that you need to feel open enough to talk about the things you like does your partner have any of these common fetishes? Would you know if they did? These are the sort of things you need to know about the person you love if you expect to have a long and lasting relationship.

  1. Attempting to change your partner

Everyone wants to feel loved and accepted for who they are, not who someone else would like them to be. People also need to feel free to make decisions about their own lives. This is why attempting to change your partner’s opinions, habits or lifestyle will only result in exasperation and resentment. Nagger, badgering or manipulating your partner is unlikely to change them, but it will certainly cause friction within the relationship. That doesn’t mean you can’t discuss your concerns with your partner and try to persuade them to change something, just accept that, ultimately, it’s their life and their choice.

  1. Complaining about your partner

If something your partner does is getting on your nerves, you may feel the urge to complain about them to a friend or relative. It’s might seem easier to vent your frustration to a sympathetic ear than to confront your partner about what’s bothering you. This tactic is counterproductive. If you don’t discuss the problem with your other-half, you’re not giving them a chance to resolve it. They might not even be aware of what’s bothering you. Moreover, if your partner hears about the complaint through a third party, they will feel betrayed. Then, when you do discuss the issue, they’ll be more reluctant to see things from your perspective.

  1. Decreasing physical contact

When a couple first falls in love, they usually can’t keep their hands off each other. Once they settle down together, passionate displays of affection tend to become less frequent. However, if you become so physically distant that you only touch your partner during sex, both of you are likely to grow emotionally distant as well. During close physical contact, the pituitary gland releases the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin which plays an important role in human pair-bonding. Oxytocin helps two people establish a sense of intimacy and attachment. Regular cuddles keep couples together.

  1. Breaking your word

Within any relationship, partners need to feel they can count on each other. If your other-half asks you to do something and you agree to do it, it’s essential that you follow through. It could be something trivial like taking out the trash or something important like paying an overdue bill. If you make a habit of disappointing your partner or leaving them to pick up the pieces, the relationship will soon be in jeopardy. If, with the best intentions, you aren’t able to follow through on a promise due to unforeseen circumstances, apologize and explain.

  1. Holding Grudges

If your partner says or does something that makes you feel angry, insulted or hurt, it’s vital that you deal with the issue and then let it go. Reacting in passive-aggressive ways such as not speaking to your partner or maintaining your distance will not make the situation any better. The longer behavior such as this continues, the more likely you are to drive your partner away. If your other-half forgets your birthday, you may take it as a sign that they don’t care about you. Instead of punishing them by pretending that you don’t care either, let them know how upset you are. Then give them a chance to make it up to you.

  1. Getting stuck in a boring rut

It’s easy for committed couples to slip into a comfortable routine. But if you rarely share new experiences, you or your partner may be tempted to seek stimulation elsewhere. Several studies have shown that couples who do exciting things together feel more satisfaction in their relationship. Doing unfamiliar or challenging activities with your partner will help you to see each other afresh, appreciate each other more and feel like a team. Travel to somewhere off the beaten path, learn ballroom dancing, go abseiling or just try a strange foreign cuisine.

  1. Having unrealistic expectations

If you expect your relationship to be perfect or your partner to be the man or woman of your dreams, you are in for a big disappointment. Don’t expect intense, crazy romantic love to last forever. Over time, it evolves into a calmer sort of intimacy.

Don’t expect your partner to always understand you or be able to see things from your point of view. No two people are exactly alike, and no one can read your mind. Don’t expect your partner to save you from all your personal problems. The best they can do is to offer their support. Finally, don’t assume that a good relationship is one without conflict. It’s how you resolve disputes that matters.