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7 Morning Habits That Can Affect Your Entire Day

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Your morning routine is like setting up a string of dominoes: You line everything up for success, but one false move can cause it all to come tumbling down. In order to set the right tone for the rest of your day, experts say you should adjust the following seven habits.

1. HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON

It’s tempting to steal a few more minutes of sleep, but hitting snooze has a negative impact on your physical and emotional well-being, says Joanna Kleinman, owner of The Center for Extraordinary Relationships. “Physically, hitting the snooze button actually sets you up to be groggy and less productive because you are repeatedly waking yourself out of a deep sleep,” Kleinman says. “Emotionally, you set yourself up to be late, rushed, and stressed in the morning.”

The obvious solution, Kleinman says, is getting out of bed right away (even if it seems impossible). “If we listen to our minds telling us what we feel like doing, we will never be able to make the positive changes we need to,” Kleinman says.

2. CHECKING YOUR PHONE

Doing this first thing in the morning stimulates self-criticism and judgments in your mind, Kleinman says. “Your emails and texts are all about things to do, things to buy, things to add to your to-do list,” she says. “This amounts to either the stuff that other people want you to be paying attention to, or what your mind says you should be paying attention to.”

Even if you leave your inbox alone and stick to Instagram, you can do harm to your psyche because social media causes you to compare yourself to other people. Bottom line: Checking your phone first thing can awaken your inner critic. To stop yourself from opening Twitter immediately after turning off your alarm, charge your phone in another room. Begin your day instead with a self-affirming habit like journaling or meditation.

3. PLANNING YOUR DAY

If you wake up and have no idea what's on your schedule, where you have to be, or what you’re going to wear, then your day is already off to a frantic start. Psychologist and Certified Master Coach Joel Ingersoll recommends organizing your day the night before. This way, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning.

4. DRINKING WATER...

You may be craving a cup of coffee as soon as your feet hit the floor, but what your body really needs is a glass of water, Ingersoll says. Since you haven’t had any liquids in your system for at least six (or hopefully eight) hours, your body is dehydrated. You can have the coffee (see below), but your body will function better—you'll have fewer headaches, less fatigue, and smaller bags under your eyes—if you down a glass of water first, Ingersoll says.

5. ...AND COFFEE

Don't feel guilty about reaching for the coffee pot after you've had your water—it is actually good for your body, too, says Ilyse Schapiro, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist. “Coffee is a great source of antioxidants, and it can increase energy as well as help to stabilize our moods,” Schapiro says. “It can also help keep our brains healthier and our minds sharper.”

Too much coffee isn’t going to do you any favors, though. Stick with one or two cups a day, and be consistent with how much you drink, or else you’ll start getting headaches and withdrawal symptoms.

6. SKIPPING BREAKFAST

Have you been told to eat a good breakfast before? That’s because it’s important, says Bruno LoGreco, life coach and author of Stop Sabotaging Your Life. “Eating a healthy breakfast consisting of nuts, fruits, and oats will satisfy your brain to get you through a tough day at the office,” LoGreco says. It’s best to skip the doughnuts and croissants, though, as these will give you a sugar high and set you up for a crash just as you reach your desk.

7. RISING EARLY

A study published by the American Psychological Association found that early risers are happier and more successful than those who go to bed late. They tend to be more proactive, get better grades, and better anticipate and minimize problems.

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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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