Anti-Valentine’s Day Keep Calm & Love It Guide

Image

Crush on these anti-V day ideas

Is Valentine’s Day just to show that special someone how much you love them? What if it’s about something bigger? We think Valentine’s Day isn’t about relationships or dates – it’s about LOVE. So on February 14th, show your special someone some love – your dog, mom, best friend, wine, pizza or yourself. Celebrate! Love is in the air.

If you’re single, you may be tempted to ignore Valentine’s Day, but we have some ideas for you that can take this day to the next level. Single or taken, you can enjoy all this holiday has to offer.  Valentine’s Day celebrates LOVE in all forms and we’re thrilled to share this side of the biggest love-fest-day of the year.

Ready to embrace what you love and share it with the world?

So where did Valentine’s Day originate from?

If you have an aversion to the pink and red holiday, the truth can set you free. Valentine’s Day didn’t start as the lovey-dovey, chocolates and hearts filled day. There are 3 different possible origins of how V-day started.

·         When the Roman Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better as soldiers (because those who were married found it difficult to leave their wives and families for so long), he outlawed marriages to build up his army. A priest named Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret and when Claudius found out, he ordered Valentine to be executed. He would later be given Saint status in the Catholic Church.

·         Valentine found himself imprisoned after he was caught helping those who were being prosecuted by the Romans escape. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and before his death, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine.”

·         Valentine’s Day was a replacement for the Pagan celebration Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival that incorporated both women and agriculture. The Pagan priests sacrificed animals, cut their hides into strips and dipped them in blood. As they walked the streets, they gently slapped the women and the field crops with the bloody strips – gross, I know. The Roman women welcomed this practice as they believed it enhanced their fertility and helped fields produce crops. At the end of the day, the women placed their names in a big urn where the cities bachelors chose a name to be paired up for potential marriages.

Single and ready to mingle?

If you’re single, treat yourself to something special on Valentine’s Day. As much as we love our beds (perhaps we should buy them a Valentine’s Day card) we shouldn’t find ourselves commiserating with our pillows and comforters. This year, I’m buying myself a vacation, watching a movie marathon and catching up with all my single friends. Valentine’s Day isn’t a horrid holiday to avoid, it’s all about perspective. Here are 14 things you can do on February 14th to conquer those anti-valentine’s day feelings:

1.     Celebrate LOVE, not relationships – Make everyone a valentine, like we did in elementary school. Have fun and get crafty. Giving always feels better than receiving.

2.     Buy yourself a gift – Have you ever heard of Treat Yourself Day? If you’re like me and don’t have too much extra cash to spend on yourself, here are some cheap ways to Treat Yourself.

3.     Go to dinner with friends – Dress up and be sure to order dessert.

4.     Have a pajama party with friends – Don’t forget the snacks and wine.

5.     Bake yourself some goodies – Who needs a heart shaped box of chocolates when you can make you and your friends a pan of heart-shaped cupcakes? Check out some yummy recipes to try.

6.     Stupid Cupid – Set up secret Santa-like gift exchanges with friends and/or co-workers. Make the exchange using funny gag gifts to add some fun. Stupid.com has some great options to choose from.

7.     Spread the Love – Volunteer in your community and give back to others who have less.

8.     Pamper yourself – Book a manicure, pedicure and/or massage. Looking great and feeling great is the best revenge toward negative energies.

9.     Wine and paint parties – These are popping up in every city. Bars host nights where you can have some drinks and learn to paint a beautiful picture you can take home with you. Find one by you.

10.  Movie marathon – Netflix and cheers with yourself and some friends. Peruse the list of 20 of the best movies to watch (or avoid) for Valentine’s Day.

11.  Date night with yourself – Go to the museum, art gallery, cooking class or movies with yourself. Empower yourself by treating yourself to some “me” time.

12.  Take a trip – Go visit an old college friend or go all out and find yourself on a beach somewhere.

13.  Work it out! – Take any frustrations you may have with V-day at the gym. Make yourself a kick-butt playlist and sweat out all those cupcakes you ate at work.

14.  Karaoke – Sing your hearts out. Belt out every corny love song or go in the opposite direction and sing along to every anti-love song. What is your favorite anti-love medley to rock out to?

Don’t stress, my fellow singletons. While all those out there with dates are hoping for their special someone to sweep them off their feet, we’re guaranteed to enjoy ourselves.  Love thy self and a great Valentine’s Day shall follow. And remember, the best way to love yourself is to make sure you get a great night’s sleep every day.

Let me know how you will celebrate this year.

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

6 Relaxing Videos to Help You Sleep

6 Relaxing Videos to Help You Sleep

Wake up well-rested without a prescription with these videos

While drugs treat everything from insomnia to restless leg syndrome, reaching for a pill isn’t always the best answer. If you want to stay on the drug-free side of healthy sleep, these videos will help you fall asleep. And if you’re lucky, stay asleep longer.

1.    Forest & nature – 10 hours

Nothing like a little nature to help you relax – there’s just something soothing about the gentle sound of rain in a forgotten forest. With 10 hours of playtime, this video will insure an uninterrupted deep sleep for the entire night.

2.    Relaxing music, nature sounds & ambient tracks – 3 hours

This 3-hour long nature video features over 100 exotic landscapes accompanied by calming nature sounds and beautiful soothing music. The producers wanted to set everyone in a sleepy mood and used cloud/sunset sleep music, starting with time lapses and slowly moving towards colorful evening skies. Let us know if it works!

3.    Rain & thunderstorm – 1 hour

One hour of relaxing noise from realistic thunder and rainy. Use this relaxing realistic thunder and rain when trying to fall asleep or when you need to concentrate on an important task. The storm gets more interesting at 6.3 minutes.

4.    Delta waves – 45 minutes

Turn this on and envision yourself at the spa with nothing but time to relax. Whether or not there’s scientific truth to delta waves making it easier to fall asleep faster, the ambient music sets the stage for sleep.

5.    Sounds of night crickets – 37 minutes

At only 37 minutes, this video is just long enough to help you fall asleep. Reminisce about your childhood at the cottage or camping and soak in the sound of crickets serenading you off to dreamland.

6.    Mr. Bean – 1.24 minutes

This video won’t help you sleep but it’s funny – and a good reminder that watching someone else play chess is ALWAYS a good way to fall asleep.

Sweet dreams!

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Do You Let Your Pet Sleep in Bed With You?

 Pets in the Bed

dogs-are-just-like-people-in-the-sense-that-they-do-dream-they-dream-during-rem-stage-so-when-you-see-your-dog-twitching-and-whimpering-in-their-sleep-it-is-because-they-may-be-having-a-bad-dream

Does sleeping with your dog or cat affect how well you rest?

According to Dr. Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, the idea of people sleeping in bed with their dogs is nothing new. Dr. Coren notes that even Rameses the Great, the Egyptian pharaoh, had a hound name Pahates who was given the title of “Bed Companion to the Pharaoh.” Rameses is one of many famous people throughout history who have been known to sleep with their dogs in their beds.

Why do we sleep with our pets?

Even in modern 21st century times, many pet owners choose to sleep with their furry friends. According to a 2012 Harris poll, about 70% of Americans, at least occasionally, let their pets sleep in their beds. There are many reasons why we let our pets sleep in our beds. Here are just a few:

·         ContentmentOxycotin the snuggle hormone, which is raised by touching (human or otherwise) increases our level of contentment. As you can imagine, the more content we are, the better we sleep.
·         WarmthDr. Cohen notes that dogs have a slightly higher body temperature than humans. Sleeping with dogs may have meant the difference between survival and death in more primitive times. As the colder weather approaches, I often encourage my dogs to climb on my bed to keep me warmer at night, even if they’d prefer to sleep on their own somewhere else in the house.
·         Security – Some pets are meant to keep us safe. Perhaps your reason for letting your dog, cat, or rabbit into your bed is because you sleep better knowing protection is close by. There are hundreds of heroic stories of owners being awoken by their pet to let them know someone or something is unusual around the house. This natural instinct could have also helped in the survival of humans, suggests Dr. Cohen. Dogs would have been used to warn humans of an approaching dangerous animal or hostile human, which could have meant the difference between life and death.

Does sleeping with your pet affect your sleep?

The big question and of course, there is no simple answer. According to a group of Australian researchers from Central Queensland University: yes, but not really.
In their 2014 sleep study, they found that people who slept with their pets took longer to fall asleep, were more likely to wake up tired and were more likely to be woken up by a dog barking or animal making noises. There were, however, “no significant differences found in total self-reported sleep or feelings of tiredness during the day,” The study found that, on average, people who shared a bed with their pets, took only 4 minutes longer to fall asleep than those who slept without pets.

Another study published in FastCo.com surveyed 298 patients at a family practice clinic. About 50% of respondents said they shared a bed with their pet. Nearly a third of people who shared a bed with their pet also reported being awoken by their pet at least once per night. What’s more, 63% of the same bed-sharing owners, stated that they have a “poor sleep quality” and also share a bed with their pet 4 nights a week or more.

Another aspect of sharing your bed with your pet are the ripple effects it may have on your relationship. A study cited by the Daily Mail suggests that a dog will add nearly 2,000 arguments to a couple’s relationship throughout its lifetime. Disagreements can range from who will walk the dog, yard clean up with the most common being, you guessed it, whether or not the dog can sleep in the bed. Yikes!

Concerns about pets sleeping in the bed

Let’s say you’re like me, and you’re happy to let Fido, Felix, Thumper or Babe also share your bed. There are other concerns beyond a good night’s sleep (and your relationship) to take into consideration.

Disease – Dogs and (especially outdoor) cats are known to get dirty. I like to believe my dogs compete with one another to see who can smell worse or who can dig a bigger hole in the backyard. But do they bring diseases and parasites into our beds?
Dr. Sophia Yin wrote a piece for the Huffington Post where she argues this is unlikely. In 2011, there was a studyby two Californian veterinarians which stated people who slept with their pets were more likely to get diseases such as the bubonic plague. Dr. Yin says the chances of this happening are rare and pets on regular flea protection should not be a concern for disease if sharing a bed with their owner.

·         Disturbance – Another reason you may not want to let your cat or dog into bed with you could be that they disturb your sleep.One reason for insomnia can be your partner’s (or pet’s) snoring. If this is the case, you might consider shutting the door to your bedroom and teaching your pet that they’re no longer welcome in your bed. As any animal lover will undoubtedly know, this is much easier said than done sometimes.

·         Dirt – I’m a softie, but the one rule I am adamant about is that the bed is for sleeping – no bone chewing, or dirty dogs in the bed. My dogs are pretty good about respecting this rule, but I’m sure that if I were to setup a webcam in my bedroom, I’d see them chewing a bone or two on my bed while I was away.

Beyond the odd toy I find in my sheets as evidence, it doesn’t cause me (or likely other pet owners) much of a concern. Adapting a more frequent cleaning schedule and changing of bed sheets is normally a sufficient solution to this problem.

So do my dogs affect my sleep? I’d say not really. They prefer to sleep on their own at night (perhaps it’s me disturbing their sleep), so for the most part my bed isn’t shared with animals at all. To anyone who knows me, they know I’m already an early riser. Most days I’m up earlier than the dogs or the sun. When they do join me in bed, I’m either cold at night or taking an afternoon siesta. Sometimes they just enjoy the comfort of being next to me – and I mean, who can say no to those big loving eyes?
How do you feel about animals in the bed? Has it ever caused disagreements between you and your partner? If you don’t share your bed with your pets, why not?
Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from pet owners who feel strongly one way or the other about sharing their bed with their furry friends.

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.