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Is Texting Painful? Doctors Say ‘Smartphone Thumb’ Is On the Rise

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Your texting habit might be giving you tendonitis. If you find yourself struggling to tap out texts, you’re not alone. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota tell CBS News that “smartphone thumb” is on the upswing, thanks to the unnatural way we move our thumbs while punching out messages on touchscreens.

Once common to factory workers, tendonitis of the finger now also affects people whose work involves more emailing than manufacturing. Kristin Zhao, a Mayo Clinic engineer in Rochester, Minnesota, has been developing imaging techniques that show what happens to nearby bones when joints move. She and her colleagues hypothesize that the pain of smartphone thumb might come from a loosening of the joint that causes the bones in the thumb to move in a different way.

Their imaging research is designed to create a baseline of normal bone movement to compare to. The idea is that the quicker doctors can catch the abnormal motion, the quicker they can correct it, minimizing pain down the line.

The best way to prevent permanent injury to your favorite texting digits is to employ some of the same strategies you might use to ward off carpal tunnel. Take breaks, do a little stretching, and above all, be aware of the problem. If you really must keep up your emailing, texting, Instagramming, and Whatsapping for hours at a time, try to at least switch up that finger posture. Type things with your pointer fingers on occasion.

A healthier idea, of course, would be just to put your phone down for a few minutes.

[h/t CBS News]

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REM-Fit
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Stop Your Snoring and Track Your Sleep With a Wi-Fi Smart Pillow
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REM-Fit

Everyone could use a better night's rest. The CDC says that only 66 percent of American adults get as much sleep as they should, so if you're spending plenty of time in bed but mostly tossing and turning (or trying to block out your partner's snores), it may be time to smarten up your sleep accessories. As TechCrunch reports, the ZEEQ Smart Pillow improves your sleeping schedule in a multitude of ways, whether you're looking to quiet your snores or need a soothing lullaby to rock you to sleep.

After a successful Kickstarter in 2016, the product is now on sale and ready to get you snoozing. If you're a snorer, the pillow has a microphone designed to listen to the sound of your snores and softly vibrate so that you shift positions to a quieter pose. Accelerometers in the pillow let the sleep tracker know how much you're moving around at night, allowing it to record your sleep stages. Then, you can hook the pillow up to your Amazon Echo or Google Home so that you can have your favorite smart assistant read out the pillow's analysis of your sleep quality and snoring levels the next morning.

The pillow is also equipped with eight different wireless speakers that turn it into an extra-personal musical experience. You can listen to soothing music while you fall asleep, either connecting the pillow to your Spotify or Apple Music account on your phone via Bluetooth or using the built-in relaxation programs. You can even use it to listen to podcasts without disturbing your partner. You can set a timer to turn the music off after a certain period so you don't wake up in the middle of the night still listening to Serial.

And when it's time to wake up, the pillow will analyze your movements to wake you during your lightest sleep stage, again keeping the noise of an alarm from disturbing your partner.

The downside? Suddenly your pillow is just another device with a battery that needs to charge. And forget about using it in a place without Wi-Fi.

The ZEEQ Smart Pillow currently costs $200.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
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For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

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