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11 Numbers You Should Have on Speed Dial

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Although smartphones can help us retrieve virtually any bit of information we’re after, they don’t always do so as quickly as we’d like. For some situations, having a one-touch connection to help or resources is vital. Check out some numbers that you should have stored in your phone so they're immediately at hand when time is of the essence.

1. POISON CONTROL (800-222-1222)

For households with children (and accident-prone adults), getting quick advice on the proper protocol for dealing with the accidental ingestion of chemicals can be a life-saver. Poison Control also offers information on snake bites and recalled food items.

2. OVERSEAS CITIZENS SERVICES (202-501-4444)

International travel can get hairy if you happen to fall ill or tumble into a foreign bureaucracy. To help you navigate unfamiliar territory, the Consular Affairs office can assign a caseworker to help you get home safely.

3. YOUR UTILITY COMPANY

You can obtain—or report—information about power outages or suspected gas leaks to your local utility company, which is better equipped to respond to those issues than emergency workers.

4. HIGHWAY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE (VARIES BY STATE)

If you’ve experienced a motor vehicle breakdown without injury, you may be better off contacting your state’s emergency highway dispatch instead of 911. Operators can also assist with hazardous spills and reports of reckless or dangerous driving.

5. ANIMAL CONTROL

Contacting your local animal welfare office goes beyond getting someone to corral a wild trespasser: You can also inform them of wounded animals on the road, suspected cases of animal cruelty, or your own lost pet.

6. A LOCKSMITH

Getting locked out of a residence with perishable groceries in the car or a child that needs to use the bathroom is not a great time to start searching for locksmiths. Research and pick one so the number's available when you need it.

7. ANIMAL POISON CONTROL (888-426-4435)

If you suspect your pet has swallowed something toxic and want advice before getting to the vet, calling the ASPCA national hotline for animal-related poisonings could help. Be aware there might be a consultation fee, so have payment information ready.

8. LOST CREDIT CARD HOTLINE

If you find yourself reaching for a credit or debit card that’s no longer in your wallet, you’ll want to act quickly to make sure the issuing provider cancels or suspends the account. Have numbers for each of your card’s customer affairs office so you can avoid having to argue against unauthorized charges.

9. CAR INSURANCE CLAIMS

After contacting medical assistance, your insurance company becomes the biggest priority following a vehicular accident. Keep them on speed-dial to report details while they’re still fresh in your mind.

10. ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

Membership with an automotive club can be handy when a tire goes flat or you happen to lock yourself out of your vehicle.

11. INTERNATIONAL 911

If you’re going to be traveling, take some time to learn your destination's corresponding 911 service. The U.S. Bureau of Consumer Affairs has a list [PDF] of numbers for fire, ambulance, and police assistance.

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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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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Add This Tweak To Your Bedtime Routine
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There are countless reasons people have trouble falling asleep. It could be physiological, as in the case of airway-obstructing sleep apnea, or it could be because you’ve had too much caffeine too late in the day. But some of us experience delayed slumber for a different reason: Our racing minds can’t quite shift into a lower gear. If you fall into this hyper-vigilant category, there’s a side effect-free way to try and resolve the problem.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that subjects who were tasked with writing out a to-do list for the following day (or days) before bed were able to fall asleep more quickly than other subjects who wrote about only what they had done that day.

The test, performed at Baylor University, recruited 57 people between the ages of 18 and 30 and kept them overnight in a sleep lab. Those who wrote down their planned tasks could use bullet points or paragraphs and fell asleep an average of nine minutes faster than subjects who didn’t. The more specific the list, the faster they were able to crash.

Researchers believe that the act of writing down responsibilities might be one way the brain can let go of a person’s obligations. (Thinking of what you have to do won’t have quite the same effect.) It was a small study, but considering how non-invasive it is, it might be worth trying if you're experiencing a lot of tossing and turning.

[h/t Travel+Leisure]

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