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5 Tricks To Help You Fall Asleep



Everyone dreams of a sound night’s sleep, sleeping in, lounging and dozing…but for some, it is just a dream. Insomnia is a serious and debilitating condition, affecting people who are stressed out, struggling with medical conditions or are taking medication. It’s a common ailment, one that tends to affect people at some point in their lives even if only for short period of time. Even without insomnia, lately it seems the world is just spinning wildly and it is hard to let it go when you head hits the pillow.  Here are 5 tricks to help you fall asleep naturally.

Use mindfulness

If you have recurrent bouts of insomnia, you can try working on your mindfulness, be that through the use of apps or through meditation. Develop this habit by practicing several times a week, before bedtime or at some time that when it works for you. Apps like Headspace provide guided meditations that can help your mind stay in the present and get your body to fall asleep.

Get to know your sleep habits

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We all have different sleep habits, formed and reinforced over the years from the side of the bed we sleep on to the positioning of our bodies when we snooze. Get to know your preferred positions for sleeping and try sticking to them, even when sleeping with a partner, sleeping in a new bed or in a new bedroom.

Develop a bedtime routine

Routines are extremely helpful for developing habits and for getting yourself to do something, including sleep. Try to maintain a steady routine before bed, limiting your screen time and getting your body ready for sleep. This can be as simple as brushing your teeth, reading a bit and laying in bed at the same time every night.

Address your stress

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Most insomnia is due to stress, reminding us of all the problems that are bothering us and all the stuff we have to do. Find ways to cope with your stress, be that by speaking your problems out loud, writing them down or practicing mindfulness.

Get out of bed

A strange, yet very helpful piece of advice is to get out of bed when you’re tossing and turning. It’s important to keep your bed “clean,” keeping electronics and things that aren’t associated with sleep away from this space. If you can’t sleep and feel energetic, try taking a walk around the room, cleaning up your space or reading.

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What You Need To Know About Drug Tests




Roughly 1.47% of US job postings mention required pre-employment drug tests and only 0.66% mention regular drug testing.

The good news is only about 1.47% of US job postings mention required pre-employment drug tests and only 0.66% mention regular drug testing. Yet, a majority of large companies, airlines, and some state and the federal governments still require testing.  Here is what you need to know about drug tests.

A urine test is the prevalent form of pre-employment drug testing. Hair testing has a longer detection window for drug use spanning up to 90 days. Oral fluid testing is 100% observed, making it difficult for employees to cheat, dilute, or adulterate the test. This test can also be collected on-site, reducing costs and time.

The most common is a a urine drug test which looks for any traces of substance abuse. The procedure is quick and painless, as simply requires you to provide your urine as a sample for the test. Using this sample, your urine can be tested for alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, opioids (narcotics), PCP, and benzodiazepines.

However, it’s not all about that because there are also certain policies which protect the privacy of the tested person. Nevertheless, if you are required to take a drug test by a potential employer or for any other reason, it’s important you know what to expect from the procedure.

Types Of Urine Drug Tests

Today, there are two different types of urine drug tests. Immunoassay is the first test type which is a cost-effective drug test yielding quick results. There are, however, drawbacks to using this kind of urine test. The test sometimes gives out a false positive result, wherein the test brings a positive result for drugs even if the person is not taking any drugs. This is due to medicinal residue left in the system that can trigger drug tests in numerous ways. When this happens, you’ll have to retake the test.

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If the drug test comes out positive and you deny using any drugs, you’ll be required to take the second urine drug test type known as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The second test uses the same urine specimen as the first test. These tests are usually more expensive and could take longer to produce test results. On the plus side they rarely give out any false positives.

Taking The Urine Test

No matter what drug you’re testing for, the process in urine test is as the same as taking it through drug testing kits. Since these test kits may be used at home, you can take the test anywhere you’re comfortable or most convenient in, such as a doctor’s clinic, hospital, workplace, or even your own home.

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The following tests are to be followed:

  • You will receive a specimen cup from the person administering the test
  • You will have to leave behind your belongings in another room as you take the test. There are some instances wherein you may be required to change into a hospital gown so you can easily take the test.
  • To make sure that you don’t try to skew the test results, a nurse or a technician may accompany you into the bathroom.
  • Before starting, make sure to clean your genital area with the provided moist cloth.
  • Start urinating into the toilet, as you would normally do.
  • While you are urinating, make sure to catch sample into the cup midstream. Don’t let the cup touch your genital area.
  • When done, put a lid on the cup. Bring it to the technician so it can be processed.

Test Results

Once you have supplied your specimen sample, the technician or nurse will inform you of when your test results will be available. With the use of an Immunoassay test, you should be able to get your results right away. In the event that your test results to positive for illegal drugs you haven’t taken make sure you request for a GC/MS test right away.

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Tips To Help Stop Overreacting To Everything




Everyone overreacts at times. You get caught up in an immediate, instinctual emotional response, and do or say things which we later regret.   Every person is different, but if your freak outs are frequent, it might be time to do something about it. While it’s always a good idea to talk to an expert, there’s no need to feel crazy or unhealthy. Feeling and honoring your emotions is a good thing, just as long as you’re not impaired by them and you’re not hurting other people.

What matters most in freak outs and overreactions is understanding the catalyst; it’s perfectly reasonable to freak out if you unexpectedly get fired from your job and don’t have enough money to pay rent. Now, screaming and crying because of a jammed door? That’s overreacting.

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Here are five things you can do to avoid overreactions and manage your emotions during stressful times.

Understand what bugs you

We all have triggers, even if we don’t know what they are. Try to think about what bugs you, and moments when people have really annoyed you. Keep these mind, write them down, and try to think about your feelings in the particular moment. Were you hungry, sleepy or had had a stressful day? All of this contributes to overreactions. The next time one of your trigger pops up, you might still feel peeved, but you’ll be better equipped to deal with it in a healthier way.

Implement a 10 second rule

If you can, try to step away from the situation and take a breather. Count to 10 and think before you act. “By allowing yourself some time to reassess before reacting, you will increase the ability to prevent yourself from overreacting and doing something you’ll regret,” psychologist L.A. Barlow tells Bustle.

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Deep breaths are a cliche but they work

Before you do anything which might make you feel stressed out or emotional, take a deep breath and be mindful of your situation. Once you’re actually facing something stressful and triggering, take another deep breath. This will slow you down and oxygenate your brain, giving you a few seconds to think of something more thoughtful and positive than to walk away or start screaming.


Try to separate yourself from the issue and look at things through a more objective lens. “Find a way to be compassionate and avoid personalizing what happened to you,” explains Psychology Today.

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Talk it out

A lot of the times we overreact because we’ve been bottling up feelings for a long time, using the first chance we get to open the flood gates and take down everything in our paths. To prevent this try to address issues the minute they bother you, talking about them to a loved one who can provide some perspective or feedback. If you prefer a more private route, you can also write down your feelings in a journal or a piece of paper.

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Hacks To Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh




Christmas trees are a cherished symbol of the holiday season, and the displaying of the real deal instead of a plastic tree is on the rise in North America. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016 over 1,800 farms produced trees for the $77 million dollar market, exporting the evergreens across the world.

The American Christmas Tree Association reports that in 2018 over 95 million homes displayed a tree, with 17.9% of households displaying a real tree. The industry advocacy group has a few pointers on how to keep your Christmas tree fresh and thriving throughout the holiday season. 

Water is crucial to keeping a tree green and fresh while displaying it in the home. The NCTA recommends fitting the tree in a traditional stand with a water reservoir that holds at least a quart of water for every inch in tree diameter.

Other tips include making a fresh, half inch cut perpendicular to the axis before setting it in the stand. A fancy V-cut is unnecessary, can make the tree unstable, and actually reduces the tree’s ability to absorb water. Keeping the outer layer of bark intact will also help the tree absorb and retain more water.

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Keeping the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, heaters, HVAC vents, and direct sunlight is also a good idea, as is using low heat Christmas lights, and monitoring the water level in the stand, ensuring that the water does not go below the base of the tree.

Other safety tips include never leaving decorative lights turned on when away from home, always inspect light sets before using, do not overload electrical circuits, and promptly remove dry trees from the house.

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Lastly, never dispose of a Christmas tree by burning it in a fireplace. The small, dry needles can ignite and burn uncontrollably fast, and send sparks all over the house, quickly setting everything in the domicile on fire. The high sap content can burn hot and long enough to set chimney deposits aflame, starting a flue blaze that can spread rapidly. It’s also unnecessary, as many communities have recycling programs available to households.

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