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The Three Biggest Reasons Why You Can’t Fall Asleep at Night (and What You Can Do about It)

Have you ever tried falling asleep only to find that you still couldn’t after some time? It turns out that your inability to sleep may be caused by your schedule and habits.

No matter how good your sleep schedule is, you can still end up watching your alarm clock for hours on end. When this happens to you frequently enough, this becomes insomnia, and can leave quite an effect on every aspect of your health.

Here are the three biggest reasons why you can’t fall asleep – and what you can do about it:

Screens
It’s easy to blame your computer or mobile device/s as the biggest reason why you can’t fall asleep – but there’s a good reason for it.

It turns out the light emitted from your screens inhibits the melatonin production in the brain (melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep), and as a result you don’t feel as sleepy. However, the rest of your body would still feel the effects of staying up late.

But the good news is that the answer is simple: turn them off before going to bed just like turning off the lights.

Stress
It’s also just as hard to fall asleep when you know that there’s something – or too many things – on your mind, whether it’s your work, your family, relationships, or even just life in general.

To combat this, it helps if you unplug for a certain amount of time once you get home. Establish a pre-sleep routine that lets you take a few deep breaths and simply slow down, whether it’s reading, yoga, or even simply watching a movie.

Sleeping Pattern Disruption
Sleeping at varying hours can do a number on the quality of your sleep, but how badly can it really affect you?
Think of your body as a well-oiled machine that needs a proper routine and schedule. As long as you follow a set schedule that’s in line with the body’s natural biological clock, you will be able to adapt to it and function normally.

However, your body takes time to get used to a schedule. When you keep varying your sleep schedule, your body will find it difficult to adjust and catch up, which is why you need to set a time frame for sleeping – and stick to it.

Stress is perhaps the biggest factor for losing or being unable to sleep, and when paired with other factors such as an unhealthy diet and a significant dose of caffeine, can really affect your ability to fall asleep quickly.
However, the good news is that you can change this and take back your sleep time with a little effort and commitment – and if you still can’t sleep despite having a regular sleep schedule, seeing a doctor might be the right choice for you.

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4 Easy Ways to Relieve Constipation Naturally

Constipation is a common problem that’s characterized by having less than three bowel movements a week, and can even include symptoms such as discomfort and abdominal bloating.

If you find that you’re suffering from it, here’s how you can ease its symptoms naturally from the comfort of your own home:

1. Eat more fiber
If you find yourself constipated, you will often be told that you need to increase your fiber intake – and there’s a reason for this.

Fiber (or more specifically, insoluble fiber) acts like a pipe cleaner for your digestive track. It scrubs up food and waste particles along the way and soaks up water, and adds more weight to your stool.

2. Take caffeine
If you’ve ever had to go to the bathroom after drinking one too many cups of coffee, this is because caffeine stimulates your colon.

Other hot drinks are also great as a substitute for coffee, such as herbal tea or hot lemon water (water with a few drops of lemon juice). And since coffee can take also take away water and worsen your constipation, you might even see better results if you just drink more water.

3. Eat more probiotic foods
People who suffer from constipation usually have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut, which probiotics can treat by improving stool consistency, bowel movement frequency, and overall gut movement.

Probiotic-containing foods such as yogurt and kimchi contain strains of friendly bacteria that can help your gut. Alternatively, you can also take probiotic supplements if you’re suffering from chronic constipation.

4. Don’t ignore the urge
That urge is there for a reason.

Holding in the need to do your business may coast you through certain situations where you need to hold it in, but it won’t do anything to help your insides. Do not ignore the urge and go to the bathroom the first chance you get.
You should also never force it to happen, but instead wait for it to happen on its own. By trying to do so, you can give yourself hemorrhoids or fissures, which can make things worse.

Many other natural remedies can give you relief, such as regular exercise (exercise may relieve the symptoms of constipation), avoiding dairy (those who are lactose intolerant may experience constipations when consuming dairy products), and taking laxatives or medications (e.g. bulking agents, stool softeners, or stimulant laxatives).

But because constipation can have a different number of underlying causes, you should see a doctor if this problem persists and symptoms still haven’t subsided after a while.

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7 Must-Visit Asian Cities for Food

Foodies unite! If you have been dreaming to go on an ultimate food adventure but not sure where to go, here’s a list of five of the best foodie cities in Asia to begin your journey.

1. Tokyo, Japan
In a country that boasts more Michelin stars than any other, Tokyo is the topmost must-visit place for any foodie in the world. Here, you will be surprised how such tiny restaurants, tucked away from small street offer huge variety of dishes. You should obviously try as much sushi and ramen as you can, and while you’re at it, get some yakitori and okonomiyaki as well.

2. Singapore
This little city in Southeast Asia will surely surprise you with its diverse variety of cuisines, which you can easily find in many of its hawker stalls and centres. Some of the crowd favorites are the char kuay teow, chicken rice and the ever popular chilli crab.

3. Dubai, UAE
Food in this city are always rich and flavorful, and consists of a beautiful mix of local Arabic, Emirati and Lebanese cuisines. Do not leave UAE without trying shakshuka and kebab. Don’t miss out on falafel and luqaimat, too.

4. Seoul, South Korea
A food adventure in Korea is never complete without trying the iconic Korean dish Kimchi, which consists of fermented pickled veggies in chilli paste. This local dish will definitely give an extra kick of spice to any of your meal. While you’re there, don’t skip trying bibimbap and Korean barbecue as well.

5. Bangkok, Thailand
Thai cuisine is rich in aromatics and flavor, usually bursting with sauces and spices. For a helping of authentic Thai cuisine, experience the must-try dishes such as tom yun goong, pad thai and the popular mango sticky rice.

6. Hong Kong
What is a Hong Kong trip without dim sum? Here in Hong Kong, you can have your serving of dim sum almost everywhere and anytime of the day. These dishes are not just pleasing to the palate but also to the eyes, as they are served in beautiful bamboo baskets. Some of the favorites include har kow, siew mai and charsiew bao.

7. New Delhi, India
One of the most amazing Asian meals are not served on a plat,e but on a banana leaf. In New Delhi, thali—an Indian traditional meal of rice, bread, various curries and sweets—is served on nature’s plate. And don’t even start looking for spoon and fork, as this local specialty is expected to be eaten by hand.

So, there you have it, seven Asian cities any foodie should visit. While all these cities feature a wide range of flavors, the common thread here is that the ingredients are always fresh, the preparation is meticulous, and the presentation is thoughtful, which of course deserves a deep and passionate consumption.

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The Fundamentals of Facial Treatments

Facial treatments, whether DIY or professionally done, are some of the beauty practices that aren’t meant to be done every single day. Why? Because of the ingredients. Facials are made of potent ingredients, which can slough away dead skin cells and dirt and unclog the pores. While it’s beneficial to the skin, doing this everyday will strip away your natural oils, and you don’t want that to happen.

To master this beauty routine and enjoy its full potential, here’s what you need to know about beauty facials.

1. It is for deep cleansing and exfoliating
Over time, the skin collects dirt, debris and oils that can cause clogged pores and premature aging., and it is important to get professional cleansing once in a while to remove these impurities. Some facial treatments include exfoliating to slough away dead skin cells, help products penetrate the skin better and promote healthy circulation of blood and oxygen.

2. They aren’t instant solutions
Facial treatments are more like preventive than curative. Think of visiting your dermatologist as like visiting your dentist for removal of plaque buildup. Having your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist is like your seasonal facial treatment, while brushing your teeth at home is your maintenance.

3. You’ll see better results when you stick to a schedule
Surprisingly, you can ‘train’ your skin. According to experts, getting a facial every four weeks can significantly improve your complexion. Having facials regularly is like training your skin. The skin cells love routine, and they respond to that very well. However, before sticking to a schedule, decide how often you should see your dermatologist by considering your skin type. While experts suggest going once every four weeks, you can go more or less based on your skin’s dryness or oiliness level.

4. Expensive treatments don’t necessarily mean better
When choosing a professional to do your facials, trust your instincts. When you feel comfortable with the aesthetician, you will know. A good aesthetician should never make you feel as if you need to buy their facial products other than getting your treatment. They should be able to provide you with recommendations for your skin’s ideal health.

5. There is difference between medi-spa and facial spa
do not assume that all facials involve cucumber slices on eyes. A facial spa likely focuses on ambiance and your comfort, but that doesn’t also mean that medi-spa treats you like clinical patients. It simply means that the latter minimizes massages and use of oils. So, when searching for a good place to have your facial treatment, don’t just look for spas. See if your favorite skincare brand offers in-house services as well.

Facial treatments are generally great for skin. However, it is not meant to be an everyday habit. Go easy on facial treatments and focus more on daily facial washing, essences and creams to boost your skin’s complexion.

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10 Reasons to Own a Dog

Dogs are loyal, intelligent, and lovable animals. You could see why they’re given the title of “Man’s Best Friend”. Besides leaving you with fun-filled moments every day, having a dog could give you benefits you never would have even expected.

1. Dogs promote a positive mood. Spending time with your dog can help you feel happier. This is because playing with your dog boosts levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Making you feel more calm and relaxed.

2. Having one encourages you to exercise. Dogs need exercise daily. Owners should also take the responsibility to give this time to their pets. If you look at it, jogging with an energetic companion is not so bad at all.

3. Dogs contribute to social interaction. When taking your dog out for a walk, you will notice that there are some people who would ask if they could pet your dog. Of course, this will prompt conversation giving you chances to talk to different kinds of people.

4. Your place is always filled with fun. There’s never a boring moment when a dog is around. In you free time, you can train your dog, play, even talk to them. There are also those random goofy moments that comes with just being with them.

5. They can keep you safe. There is also a reason why dogs are taken for security. They naturally grow up to be aware of their surroundings and when something odd or suspicious comes up, they are always on alert.

6. Dogs are exceptional service companions. Dogs are known to detect diabetes and approaching seizures, which makes them excellent service animals. They can also be properly trained for the handicapped and those with other disabilities.

7. Dogs can shield kids from allergies. Kids’ early exposure to dogs can help improve immunity against allergies. Children who grow up with dogs also have a reduced risk of developing eczema.

8. Owning one may reduce the risk of heart disease. Spending time with your dog has also been seen to help lower blood pressure. This means that there is less risk of heart and blood problems.

9. Dogs can detect cancer. Because of their keen sense of smell, dogs can detect cancer. Trained dogs have been found to lick and sniff continuously at lumps and moles, which are later confirmed to have conditions evident of cancer.

10. Having a dog makes you a better you. Owning a dog teaches you to be more patient, selfless, and most importantly, responsible. Without even knowing, you will realize that you’ve learned much about yourself because of your relationship with your pet.

Just always remember, owning a dog requires responsibility and adequate attention. It is not simply owning an animal, it is sharing a bond and making a commitment.

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The Benefits of Boxing

All around Singapore, boxing gyms like Ares Fight Club, Spartan Boxing, Evolve MMA, and many more, offer trainings and courses for those who want to get into the sport. Either you want to become an amateur boxer or simply want to get a good workout, many gyms are there to give you that opportunity. Boxing is an intense activity and it can give us a lot of benefits- health, safety, and a lot more.

1. Full-body workout
Boxing pushes us to use almost all our muscles, which is why it is great for overall fitness. Some may think that boxing is heavily focused on the upper body. Thinking that the only highlight is on the arms and core isn’t exactly right. When punching, you also draw power from the lower part of your body. You move around a lot and you might even exhaust your legs. Boxing can also be a great workout for the back and the shoulders.

2. Stamina and weight loss
Have you ever felt exhausted climbing the stairs to even just the second and third floors of your building? Boxing can help with that. Firstly, boxing improves our resting heart rate. This means that our stamina and cardiovascular endurance will improve and we won’t get tired too easily. Because boxing can be considered an intense cardio workout, we can be sure that we’re also going to burn a lot of calories. It is said that thirty minutes of punching a bag can burn 200 calories while fighting in the ring can burn 400.

3. Better coordination
Our physical coordination plays a crucial role for us even just as normal, everyday people. Having good physical coordination improves our reflexes and help us to react quicker against things that may threaten us. Punching a speed bag or sparring with a partner can sharpen our coordination because it requires us to hit and react to a moving target.

4. Stress relief
Generally, any kind of intense physical activity can help us relieve stress. But nothing can be more satisfying than using our fists to release stress- of course against a bag and not a person. Boxing can help us release our pent-up anger and stress through the punching bag. And hitting the bag not only helps to relieve tension in our mind and body, it also boosts endorphins that can make us happier.

5. Self-defense
One of the most obvious benefits you get from boxing is learning to defend yourself. Boxing helps us to improve our skills and prompts us to use them when we get in a bad situation. It teaches us when to move and strike at the perfect time. But, learning this involves real combat. Compared to just punching a bag, sparring with someone can emulate a real fight and help us get used to an atmosphere of actually fighting.

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Understanding Caulking and the Different Types of Caulk

Caulking may sound dirty at first, but is an essential and versatile component used in almost all homes and office buildings all over the world.

The word refers to not just the process, but also the material that is used in sealing up the holes or gaps between joints and seams in both structures and plumbing. This is mostly done using a special chemical sold in cartridges, which is loaded into a caulking gun and applied to the target area.

Caulking vs. Sealant

Caulking is essentially sealing up holes and gaps in different material, but is a different process from applying sealant. While most people use them interchangeably, they do have a few important differences that you need to keep in mind.

The biggest difference between the two is elasticity – while sealant is specifically used for roofing and is supposed to be waterproof, caulk is more rigid and is used for sealing gaps.

Another difference is in the way they are applied. Caulking is usually sold in cartridges and applied with the use of an apparatus called a caulking gun, while sealant can be directly applied onto the leak from the container.

Types of Caulk

There are many different types and varieties of caulk, each one with their own specific use. However, they can generally be classified into a few major categories. Some of the most common include:

  • Acrylic latex – Also called “painter’s caulk”, this is one of the most common and cheapest types of caulk available, as it is meant to cover small holes and imperfections in surfaces for them to be painted on.
  • Acrylic tile sealant – This type of caulking is the type used for sealing up bathroom tiles, and often comes in smaller tubes compared to most types of caulk. Acrylic tile sealant resists both mold and mildew, and will take a few years before the next replacement. 
  • Silicone – The best way to seal a shower area or bathtub for good is by using a silicone caulk, which has a longer lifespan and works great on non-porous surfaces. However, it is really difficult to clean off and can have a bad smell when first applied.
  • Asphalt – Though mostly used to seal shingles, flashings, and certain roof areas that aren’t exposed to sunlight, asphalt caulk degrades much faster than butyl when placed directly under the sun.
  • Adhesives – Adhesive caulks, also known as “liquid nails”, are used to glue almost any surface regardless of porosity and has an impressive lifespan. Though it can be cleaned up with water, the best way to dissolve it or clean it up is by using a solvent.  
  • Fireproof – This specialty caulk is often used for insulation and sealing holes where plumbing or electrical wiring goes through, and contains a retardant that prevents fire from travelling through them.
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4 Reasons Why You Should Consult a Nutritionist

While there is a lot of great advice on the internet about what you should and shouldn’t eat, everyone has different dietary habits that work for them, and different people would require different quantities of certain foods in order to be healthy. 

A nutritionist’s main role is to help you achieve optimal physical health by offering information and advice on your food choices as well as how you can make the best ones.

Here are a few reasons why you should see a registered nutritionist today:

1. You’re looking to lose weight.

If you’re not sure what you need to do to lose the weight even after making the healthy choices yourself, a nutritionist might be able to help you pinpoint the problem and tackle it with a customized diet for your specific needs.

Consulting a nutritionist to help you lose weight also keeps you from using unhealthy weight loss methods and reduce any risk of long-term damage associated with unhealthy weight loss.

A nutritionist can even help you break your habit of binge eating, an unhealthy way for managing stress that ends up in potential health risks if left unchecked (as well as help you find more constructive ways to deal with stress).  

2. You’re experiencing irregular bowel movements.

Something might be going wrong with your dietary system if you find that you need to visit the restroom more (or even less) than you need to, as most doctors suggest that bowel movements need to happen at least once a day.  

To avoid the problem, consulting a nutritionist to know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid is key. A customized diet that is high in fiber can even help for a much easier, less painful time during restroom visits.

3. You have unexpected food allergies.

These are the foods in particular that make up most of the allergic reactions suffered by about fifteen million people in the world: nuts, milk, shellfish, fish, soy, and wheat.

If you find yourself allergic to food that you previously have had no problem consuming, seeing a nutritionist can help you look for alternative sources of the nutrients found in that particular food.

This is especially true with people who suffer from multiple food allergies, though these cases tend to be uncommon. Sticking to a rotation diet, also called elimination diet, will make sure that you don’t develop more allergic reactions to the remaining foods that you eat.

4. You’re simply too tired to plan your meals yourself.

Being fatigued at work can drastically decrease your work performance, and this can be caused by a lot of things, such as certain foods. Consulting a nutritionist can help you pinpoint which foods make you feel a certain way so that you can switch to alternatives to feel more energetic.

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