Sawatdeeka’s Life Hacks

 

Effective solutions don’t have to be complicated.

–The humble mint (I buy this brand) provides three useful services, besides making one less self-conscious about bad breath:

1.) It flattens the appetite. Pop one after church, and you can stick around chatting without being distracted by your growling stomach.

2.) It heightens alertness. I find that consuming a couple of these on the way to work perks me up. During late-night small group meetings, too, these provided instant wake-up.

3.) It instantly stops that cough building up in your throat.  If you’ve ever been on an airplane after a wretched cold, and find that cough still welling up in your throat (not that I would EVER have timed such a flight in the Covid era), quickly pop one of these to prevent the wondering stares of other passengers. You will want to call the company and thank them later.  It’s better than a cough drop.

–Hot tea with lemon and honey truly soothe a sore throat. This combo once carried me through a long day subbing in Kindergarten.

–Sleepytime Tea, the “Extra” version can indeed help one overcome sleeplessness.  This blend is inexpensive and soothing. Tips: It perhaps has diminishing returns, so don’t use it every night. Also, I brew a concentrated version of the tea in about a quarter cup of water before bed.

–Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy.  Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours. (Usually, as I’m reading a relatively boring work on a dimmed Kindle.)

–A timed house cleaning with a willing family member can help you feel much less dragged down by clutter, dust, cobwebs, and other depressing issues. Ask your assistant how much time she has to give, then pick an area and start working on different rooms for twenty-minute increments.  If your helper has only twenty minutes, then choose four areas and work on them for five minutes each. You will still like the results.  Repeat the timed cleaning over days, and the practice will make quite a difference. It’s extra fun when the two of you can agree on a playlist or Crash Course video to have on in the background. You will find that the twenty minutes often spills over into twenty-five, but you can often drag yourself away and get going on the next task.

–If you get stuck at your desk mindlessly scrolling online after work, get a family member to nag you to come hang out or go on a walk. These plaints will get you on your feet and away from that magnetic glowing screen.

What can you add to this list?

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  1. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    A timed house cleaning with a willing family member can help you feel much less dragged down by clutter, dust, cobwebs, and and other depressing issues.

    That’s what we do when we decide to get some non-routine housecleaning done. “We’ll clean the windows in one bedroom and the living room” . . . “We’ll wipe down the the baseboards on the first floor,” etc. Maybe not timed, but specific and limited.

    • #1
  2. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    A timed house cleaning with a willing family member can help you feel much less dragged down by clutter, dust, cobwebs, and and other depressing issues.

    That’s what we do when we decide to get some non-routine housecleaning done. “We’ll clean the windows in one bedroom and the living room” . . . “We’ll wipe down the the baseboards on the first floor,” etc. Maybe not timed, but specific and limited.

    We just decide once we get into that space. We’ve got a few more problems than average, perhaps.

     

    • #2
  3. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    sawatdeeka: Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy.  Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours.

    Maybe I’ll give that a try.  I work at night and sleep in the afternoon.  Sometimes I can sleep a decent seven hours, sometimes I sleep for 3 or 4, wake up, and can’t fall asleep again.

    • #3
  4. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    So coffee in the am and port just before nap time doesn’t work for you?  Give it a try. 

    • #4
  5. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    I have an even easier way to keep your house clean: Lower your standards.

    • #5
  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    I have an even easier way to keep your house clean: Lower your standards.

    This man is a genius.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    I have an even easier way to keep your house clean: Lower your standards.

    This man is a genius.

    In one episode of Rhoda, Brenda Morgenstern summed up her life’s philosophy as this:

    “Avoid disappointment.  Aim low.”

    I printed that out and kept it on my desk for years . . .

    • #7
  8. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    +1 on tag-teaming the housework. And you can sweeten the deal by planning a movie or dinner out for that night, which creates both an incentive/reward and a hard out.

    • #8
  9. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    I’ll have to suggest the tea and lavender to Mr. Charlotte. He has a hell of a time getting back to sleep if he wakes up in the wee hours.

    • #9
  10. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    sawatdeeka: Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy. Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours.

    Maybe I’ll give that a try. I work at night and sleep in the afternoon. Sometimes I can sleep a decent seven hours, sometimes I sleep for 3 or 4, wake up, and can’t fall asleep again.

    @RandyWeivoda and @Charlotte  I buy this brand of lavender, supposedly very pure and natural.  ;-)   My friend is a dealer. In this form, you don’t touch it to your skin. You can put a few drops in water in an inexpensive diffuser, or even just on a Q-tip or Kleenex to draw nearer your face, close enough to smell, when you wake up in the night and can’t settle back down.  It’s very strong. There is a roller ball version that can be applied under your nose and to your skin in general.  I thought the lavender for calm and sleep claim was all balderdash, but I tried it, and it works. I’ve probably become over-reliant, but as one strategy in your tool box, it should be helpful.

    • #10
  11. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    @Charlotte, I buy this version of Sleepytime Tea (Extra).  I just noticed that is holding five stars with over 4,300 ratings, so apparently other customers approve.  This one I drink in a concentrated form with small amount of liquid before bed and give it time to absorb. It can give me at least six hours of hard sleep, way better than nothing. 

    • #11
  12. Kelly B Member
    Kelly B
    @KellyB

    sawatdeeka: –Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy.  Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours. (Usually, as I’m reading a relatively boring work on a dimmed Kindle.)

    Reading on a dimmed Kindle – that’s my back-to-sleep hack, too. I can’t claim the “relatively boring” approach exactly, because I have a few loved books that work better than all others (thank you, Jane Austen) and they’re not at all boring. Soothing maybe.

    Pre-Kindle, I used my iPod Classic, a pillow speaker, and old-time radio to get back to sleep (WWII news broadcasts were the most effective, oddly), but the Kindle is more reliable. I haven’t tried the lavender; might give that a shot.

    • #12
  13. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Kelly B (View Comment):
    Reading on a dimmed Kindle – that’s my back-to-sleep hack, too. I can’t claim the “relatively boring” approach exactly, because I have a few loved books that work better than all others (thank you, Jane Austen) and they’re not at all boring. Soothing maybe.

    Yep, the Kindle has been my go-to for seven years. I guess boring is the wrong word. Informational and/or complex text is better, perhaps. Exciting, flowing narrative has the opposite effect than what I’m seeking. 

    • #13
  14. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    @ Charlotte, I buy this version of Sleepytime Tea (Extra). I just noticed that is holding five stars with over 4,300 ratings, so apparently other customers approve. This one I drink in a concentrated form with small amount of liquid before bed and give it time to absorb. It can give me at least six hours of hard sleep, way better than nothing.

    I’ve never gotten through a whole cup of Sleepytime; it knocks me out so quickly, I can’t imagine an “Extra” version!  I’ll suggest another bedtime beverage that helps with hunger and sleep at the same time.  I used it frequently when I was working crazy hours during Covid testing and would often come home hungry, but also need to get right to sleep (cooking and eating tend to wake me up).  Hot cocoa.  Made with whole milk, about 2 minutes in the microwave.  Break a few squares of dark chocolate into the hot milk and stir.  Dark Hershey’s kisses work well, too, and are easier than breaking up the chocolate bar.  Top with whipped cream (the real thing, not cool-whip) and maybe a drizzle of some kind of liqueur for extra flavor.  Mint, amaretto, or cherry are all nice.  The hot milk may provide tryptophan and melatonin, though not in large quantities, apparently.  But it is soothing.  The protein and fat provide calories that take care of the hunger and it takes just a few minutes to prepare.  It’s also yummy, yummy, yummy!

    • #14
  15. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Caryn (View Comment):
    beverage that helps with hunger and sleep at the same time.  I used it frequently when I was working crazy hours during Covid testing and would often come home hungry, but also need to get right to sleep (cooking and eating tend to wake me up).  Hot cocoa.  Made with whole milk, about 2 minutes in the microwave.  Break a few squares of dark chocolate into the hot milk and stir.  Dark Hershey’s kisses work well, too, and are easier than breaking up the chocolate bar. 

    I did that for awhile, too, when the after-dinner hunger dilemma would arise. I use cocoa powder and sugar in whole milk. I’ve had to cut way back on sugars, so I use plain almond milk now and a sugar substitute with the cocoa. So that’s a low-cal morning drink now, in place of the caffeine I can no longer handle.  

    • #15
  16. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Someone once said to  me, “Never refuse a breath mint.”  

    • #16
  17. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor
    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher
    @HankRhody

    Kelly B (View Comment):
    Reading on a dimmed Kindle – that’s my back-to-sleep hack, too. I can’t claim the “relatively boring” approach exactly, because I have a few loved books that work better than all others (thank you, Jane Austen) and they’re not at all boring. Soothing maybe.

    Keeping a baseline load on your brain so it doesn’t spiral off into worries seems to be helpful. Following a familiar but still enjoyable story seems to do it. Too new to you and you’re staying awake trying to see what happens next. 

    • #17
  18. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    Kelly B (View Comment):
    Reading on a dimmed Kindle – that’s my back-to-sleep hack, too. I can’t claim the “relatively boring” approach exactly, because I have a few loved books that work better than all others (thank you, Jane Austen) and they’re not at all boring. Soothing maybe.

    Keeping a baseline load on your brain so it doesn’t spiral off into worries seems to be helpful. Following a familiar but still enjoyable story seems to do it. Too new to you and you’re staying awake trying to see what happens next.

    Agreed all around.  The white on black Kindle option is brilliant.  I can read with the light off and just tuck the kindle under a pillow when I feel sleepy; no need to change from the comfortable position to turn off the light.  Short story collections are nice or easy stories–I’ve read all of the Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables, etc) stories over the course of several months and they’re sweet, peaceful, unchallenging, but rather lovely.  If I stop mid-chapter, I can either go back a page or to the beginning and catch the gist, or just go forward.  Not earth shattering material, but well read and about a sweet time and place in life.  One hint about Kindle, don’t read it propped on the next pillow.  There’s a tendency to get a rude awakening when it falls back nose-ward when sleep comes.

    • #18
  19. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    HankRhody Freelance Philosopher (View Comment):

    Kelly B (View Comment):
    Reading on a dimmed Kindle – that’s my back-to-sleep hack, too. I can’t claim the “relatively boring” approach exactly, because I have a few loved books that work better than all others (thank you, Jane Austen) and they’re not at all boring. Soothing maybe.

    Keeping a baseline load on your brain so it doesn’t spiral off into worries seems to be helpful. Following a familiar but still enjoyable story seems to do it. Too new to you and you’re staying awake trying to see what happens next.

    I can testify that reading Jerry Pournelle short stories is not working.

    • #19
  20. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    sawatdeeka: Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy. Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours.

    Maybe I’ll give that a try. I work at night and sleep in the afternoon. Sometimes I can sleep a decent seven hours, sometimes I sleep for 3 or 4, wake up, and can’t fall asleep again.

    @ RandyWeivoda and @ Charlotte I buy  tried lavendar oil in a diffuser and this brand of lavender, supposedly very pure and natural. ;-) My friend is a dealer. In this form, you don’t touch it to your skin. You can put a few drops in water in an inexpensive diffuser, or even just on a Q-tip or Kleenex to draw nearer your face, close enough to smell, when you wake up in the night and can’t settle back down. It’s very strong. There is a roller ball version that can be applied under your nose and to your skin in general. I thought the lavender for calm and sleep claim was all balderdash, but I tried it, and it works. I’ve probably become over-reliant, but as one strategy in your tool box, it should be helpful.

    I tried lavender oil in a diffuser and did not notice any effect.  I think I need to find a source for chloroform.

    • #20
  21. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeeka
    @sawatdeeka

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    sawatdeeka: Lavender oil does seem to shut me down when I’m otherwise not sleepy. Just sniffing a diluted version has pulled me back into slumber when I’ve awakened in the wee hours.

    Maybe I’ll give that a try. I work at night and sleep in the afternoon. Sometimes I can sleep a decent seven hours, sometimes I sleep for 3 or 4, wake up, and can’t fall asleep again.

    @ RandyWeivoda and @ Charlotte I buy tried lavendar oil in a diffuser and this brand of lavender, supposedly very pure and natural. ;-) My friend is a dealer. In this form, you don’t touch it to your skin. You can put a few drops in water in an inexpensive diffuser, or even just on a Q-tip or Kleenex to draw nearer your face, close enough to smell, when you wake up in the night and can’t settle back down. It’s very strong. There is a roller ball version that can be applied under your nose and to your skin in general. I thought the lavender for calm and sleep claim was all balderdash, but I tried it, and it works. I’ve probably become over-reliant, but as one strategy in your tool box, it should be helpful.

    I tried lavender oil in a diffuser and did not notice any effect. I think I need to find a source for chloroform.

    I was wondering just this morning how this worked for you!  I was thinking about brands, because there are cheap brands out there–who knows whether they’d work just fine, or whether you’d need something like the one I linked above. I have heard that in the days before the essential oils craze, women used to sleep with a sachet of lavender where they could breathe it in, because it helped them sleep–conventional wisdom. I woke up in the wee hours this past week and used the roller ball mentioned above, and it helped me get back to a deep sleep.  I hope you find something that works for you, short of chloroform! That is frustrating. 

    • #21
  22. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    sawatdeeka:

    Effective solutions don’t have to be complicated.

    Diosmin and hesperidin pills. From citrus peels. Improves hemorrhoid problems.

    Too much information?

    Well, someone out there probably needs to know about this.

    Pro tip: DAFLON pills make those chemicals smaller for better absorption. Not approved by the FDA, but should be. Prescribed for me by Dr. Lai at Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. It worked.

    • #22