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The Importance of Having Enough Sleep

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Lack of sleep is already an apparent problem in Singapore. Some may say that it’s not really a problem because they’re already very much used to it. That can be a valid point, but there’s really more happening in your mind and body without you knowing. Sleep is a natural process and our body simply needs it just as much as food. These days, we are more likely to disregard sleep than disregard eating. Nevertheless, here are some points as to why having enough sleep is important.

Concentration and productivity

Having enough sleep is important to keep the mind fresh and sharp. It also helps with our mood throughout the day. When we are well-rested, we won’t succumb to stress easily and we can concentrate on our work better. We will also be able to stay focused on our tasks without having to feel easily tired or exhausted later in the day. 

Better memory

Having a good night’s sleep not only improves concentration and productivity, it also helps with our memory. It’s simple enough, really. If we get enough sleep, our brains will have time to process all the information and memories you’ve had for the day. Plus, if you lack sleep, you’re basically exhausting your brain. Overloading it with information without giving it time to rest, making you more likely to forget things.

Physical performance.

Much like sleep is important for the brain, it is also very much important for the body. If you’re an athlete or you just like to exercise, spending enough time sleeping is equally important as spending time working out. Perhaps it is even more important actually. When you have enough sleep, you’re giving the body much-needed time to recover from the strain of your everyday physical activities. This also gives the body time to restore nutrients and rebuild muscles tissues for them to keep up with your workouts. 

Can help fight depression.

Another problem that is arising today in Singapore, and even the rest of the world, is depression. The connection between sleep and depression can somehow be considered direct. Lack of sleep can lead to depression while having depression may also cause trouble sleeping. Because having enough sleep promotes relaxation, we can easily get rid of stress and we can improve our mood. By starting there, we might be able to avoid getting depressed. 

Heart health

Sleeping too little can negatively affect your hormones in a lot of ways. One of the more dangerous effects of that can even involve our cardiovascular health. Lack of sleep can affect blood pressure and glucose metabolism, for example. When we have spikes in our blood pressure, you can be sure that there is an increased risk of heart diseases and such. So if you want to protect your heart, get enough sleep!

Tips on Caring for Cacti

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Growing cacti has been a favorite pastime of a lot of gardeners because cacti are hardy plants that are low-maintenance and easy to grow. They make for perfect backyard and balcony plants that can also be used to decorate interiors of your apartment in Singapore.

If this is your first time growing cacti, here are practical tips to keep them healthy.

  • If you buy a new cactus, it is good practice to transfer it to a new pot or garden bed. This will allow you to inspect it for possible diseases and ensure that it gets proper drainage, good soil, and nutrients. You should also place the pot away for a few days from your other plants to make sure that it does not transmit diseases or pests to your other plants.
  • The most common pests found in cacti are spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. Quarantine the affected plants and buy the appropriate remedy to get rid of the pests.
  • It’s also a good idea to research about the specific cactus you just bought. This will allow you to give it the required love and care it needs to thrive.
  • When transferring cacti to a plant box, place it in an area where the plants will get plenty of sunlight. If you build a box, make sure that it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom. Any material will do as long as it can drain the water well. Avoid getting pricked by wrapping newspaper around the plant.
  • To determine if the plant is getting enough sunlight, observe the greenness of the cacti. The greener the color of the cacti, the more likely it will survive in low lights. On the other hand, if you notice that there’s a large space in between the leaves, it means it’s not getting enough light. As a general rule, bright lights are very good for cacti, so even if they are indoors, place them near windows where there’s plenty of light.
  • If you are going to transfer the cacti to a pot, make sure the container has a hole in the bottom to drain excess water. The size of the pot will also determine how big the cacti will grow. The bigger the pot, the better the chances of the cacti to grow larger.
  • Do not water the cacti if the soil is still moist. Remember that these plants can survive for a long time without water, but the most ideal is to water them once a week only. Overwatered cacti look dimpled and shriveled.
  • If you need to use a fertilizer, purchase a product that is specifically manufactured for cacti. These are similar to the ones sold for succulents. When applying the fertilizer, add it to the water to dilute it.
  • Don’t forget proper ventilation. They can thrive with less water but not when there is poor ventilation. Install a humidifier in your apartment to avoid killing your plants.

Is Water Birth For You?

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Water birth is becoming increasingly popular birthing method among expectant moms today. While this is a gentler birthing process for you and your baby, it’s important to be aware of what is okay and not okay when you decide to go this route. Here are the benefits and risks you can expect to help you decide if it is for you.

What are the benefits of water birth?

For the mother:

  • The warm water is relaxing, soothing and comforting
  •  Buoyancy improves blood circulation and more efficient uterine contractions, resulting to lesser pain for the mother and more oxygen for the baby
  • Immersing in water helps manage high blood pressure caused by excessive use of energy an anxiety
  • The water helps to make the perineum more relaxed and flexible, reducing severe tearing and the need for more stitches after child birth
  • Since it is easier for the mother to relax physically, it’s also easier to relax mentally with better ability to focus on the birthing process

For the baby:

  • The water mimics the baby’s environment inside the amniotic sac
  • It eases the stress caused by giving birth, increasing sense of security and reassurance

What are the risks of water birth?

Since babies do not breathe in the amniotic sac, in theory, your baby should not start breathing until he is out in the air. However, many health professionals say it’s still dangerous to give birth in the water.

If the baby happens to breathe while submerged in water, it can cause potentially severe health complications, including drowning, meconium aspiration and a critical type of bacterial pneumonia.

Because of these risks associated during the final stage of delivery, health providers say that it is okay to labor in the water, but the actual delivery on the baby should be in a traditional birthing setting.

When not to have water birth?

  • If you are diagnosed with Herpes. Since Herpes can transfer in water, water birthing should not be done to avoid passing the virus from the mother to the baby.
  • If your baby is in breech position. Although there are presentations of water birthing done with the baby’s feet or bottom first, you need to discuss this with your maternity care provider..
  • If you have been diagnosed with maternal infection or excessive bleeding.
  • If you’re giving birth to multiple babies. The health of twins (triplets, quadruplets or more) is quite sensitive since they have divided all the nutrition you were taking in while they were inside the womb. Untraditional way of delivery may only cause too much stress for each of your babies.
  • If you’re having premature baby. If you will give birth much earlier than expected, water birth isn’t the right method for you.

If you are contemplating whether you can go on a water birth, your doctor and maternity care provider will help you choose the best birthing method for you.

Overbooked Flight? Know Your Flyer’s Rights

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All your bags are packed, tickets checked and you arrived early so you won’t miss your flight. To your surprise, the attendant in the check-in counter says you can’t board the plane. When you asked why, you’re simply told that your flight was overbooked. In a more understandable lingo, you were ‘bumped off’.

So, what happens if your flight was delayed or rescheduled due to overbooked flights? Depending on the situation you’re dealing with, your flyer’s rights vary.

Involuntary Flight Bump

  • If you are bumped off your flight involuntarily and the airline has arranged a substitute transport that will get you to your destination in less than an hour of your original expected time of arrival, there is no need for the airline to provide you with compensation.
  • If your alternate carrier will get you to your destination within two hours (or four hours for international flights) after your original expected time of arrival, you are entitled to be reimbursed with 200 percent of your one-way ticket—including the connecting flights—to your destination.
  • If the arranged substitute carrier will get you to your destination in more than two hours (or four hours for international flights), or the airline did not make an arrangement at all, you are entitled for a compensation of 400 percent of the price of your one-way ticket.
  • If the plane ticket does not indicate its price, your compensation will be based on the lowest cash, credit or check payment charged for a fare in the same service class on that particular flight.
  • You can keep the original ticket and use it some other time. If you insist on making your own arrangement, you may request for an ‘involuntary refund’ for getting bumped off your flight. The compensation is a payment for the inconvenience the airline caused you.
  • If you have already paid for extra services on your original light (e.g. additional baggage, seat selection, in-flight meals) and you didn’t receive such services on your substitute transport or you were asked to pay for it, your original airline should refund those expenses.

Voluntary Flight Bump

Sometimes, airlines ask passengers at the check-in counter, and other times they will ask at the gate whether you would like to have your flight rescheduled due to overbooked flight. Before saying yes, know that there are no concrete regulations as to what you would get as compensation.

To get the best reimbursement, you may have to negotiate, and know that compensation typically comes in a form of a voucher or a free seat upgrade on your substitute flight. If you will need to stay overnight somewhere as a result of rebooking, the airline usually will give you a hotel room.

This is just a quick overview of your rights as a passenger in case you get bumped off a flight. Do your own research and make sure to read the fine prints of your flight booking for further information.

4 Crucial Tips and Tricks to Make Your First Date Incredible

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In a world that’s more inter-connected than ever, there’s one thing that stays the same: first impressions count more than you want to admit. And when it comes to dating, what with the rise of online dating platforms, Instagram pictures, and Tinder profiles, this is particularly true.

Aside from the basics (dressing well, proper hygiene, putting on a smile, etc.), here are a few ways you can make your first date go really well:

  1. Plan out your date beforehand so you have time to talk while doing something

The last thing you want to do with your date is to have to sit at a table and talk (things can get boring and awkward really quick if you run out of things to say) – find something to do!

You can always go with the time-tested formula of dinner-and-a-movie, but there are other variations, such as taking a long walk, or trying out a new bar or restaurant, or even getting tickets to a sporting event or a concert.

  • It’ okay to admit that you’re nervous

Chances are that your date is also nervous, and a moment of shared laughter can break the ice when you time it right. What’s important is that the two of you have something in common, and once you have that, the conversation can flow much more smoothly.

If you’re really concerned about being nervous to the point of being tongue-tied, focus your attention on him/her. It helps to take away just a little of the self-consciousness.

  • Prepare a list of conversation-starters

No, you don’t need to know all the right things to say. Nor do you need to write them down on paper. What you should keep in mind, however, is that your conversation-starters have to be ones that will spark interest for both you and your date.

It could basically be any question, from choice of inspiring films, to influences, to even the greatest risks they’ve taken in their lives. As long as it will have the two of you talking about your interests and opening up for hours on end, ask away!

  • Have a good time

Don’t think of the date as an obligation or as a way to get something you want. Because the first date can easily be nerve-wracking, you don’t want to add any more reasons to feel pressured and make it strained.

Instead, focus on having fun and don’t take the occasion too seriously. If the two of you feel awkward over your dinner date, don’t hesitate to pay the check and switch it up – you may simply be in need of a change of scenery.

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