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Get a better night's sleep with these 10 products
Photo by Jonathan Fink on Unsplash

If you've ever lain in bed awake when you should be sleeping, staring at the ceiling counting the minutes of your life tick away, you know how annoying insomnia can be. Sleep is a basic biological need, but one that eludes far too many of us far too often. In fact, according to the CDC, one in three adult Americans don't get enough sleep. Since our bodies need sleep in order to repair, restore, and rejuvenate, getting a good night's rest should be a top priority for all of us.

Sleep experts recommend keeping a regular bedtime routine and creating sleep-conducive environment to help your senses shut down at night. Here are some products that can help.

Concave molded sleep mask

MZOO/Amazon

Our bodies are wired to be awake when it's light and sleep when it's dark, but that doesn't always happen automatically. Some people need absolute darkness to sleep, and a comfortable sleep mask can make that happen, even when there's some light in the room. A mask also forces you to keep your eyes closed, but this one leaves room for your eyelashes so you don't feel like your eyelids are being squashed to your face.

MZOO Sleep Mask, $16.99; at Amazon

Portable blackout shades

AmazonBasics/Amazon

There are plenty of blackout curtain options for your home, but what about when you're traveling? Sleeping away from home can be difficult, but bringing along your own portable blackout curtains may help. Simply suction cup them to the window and voila! Dark room. (Don't let the fact that these say they are for a baby deter you — they're less expensive than the best-rated non-baby version.)

https://amzn.to/2pTwaEu


Non-digital, non-ticking alarm clock

Tinload/Amazon

Modern life, with all of its lights and digital displays, can disrupt our sleep in many ways. If you're someone who tends look at the clock and calculate how much sleep you're not getting, perhaps an old-fashioned, analog alarm clock will help. This non-ticking clock can help keep your room completely dark and keep you from obsessing over the time.

Silent Analog Alarm Clock, $17.99; at Amazon

White noise maker

Adaptive Sound Technologies/Amazon

A quiet room is recommended for a good night's sleep, but that's not possible for some of us. If you live on a busy street or have loud roommates or regularly get woken up by your cats' midnight shenanigans, a white noise maker might be your best bet. Getting just the right white noise sound without annoying your ears can be a challenge, but with 20 different sounds to choose from and more than 4,000 5-star reviews, this white noise machine seems like a sure bet.

'LectroFan White Noise Machine, $38.96; at Amazon

Noise-canceling ear plugs

BRYSON/Amazon

If white noise isn't your thing, noise-canceling ear plugs might be your ticket to lalaland. This set comes with two pairs of ergonomic, washable, and reusable ear plugs, one with a noise-cancelling feature. One reviewer said that they perform as well as a $300 pair they own, so if sound keeps you up at night, these are worth a try.

Noise-cancelling Ear Plugs, $22.99; at Amazon

Orthopedic knee pillow

ComfiLife/Amazon

Aches and pains keeping you awake at night? According to a 2015 study, knee and low back pains are associated with short sleep duration and poor sleep quality. Sciatica also affects millions of people, making it hard to get comfortable enough to snooze. If you're a side-sleeper, this little knee pillow might help you get your hips and knees aligned for a better night's sleep.

Orthopedic Knee Pillow, $27.95; at Amazon

Cooling mattress pad

oaksys/Amazon

Sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom at a cool temperature to sleep, but that's not always possible. And some of us are hot sleepers no matter what temperature the room is. This 100% cotton cooling mattress pad is breathable and doesn't trap your body heat beneath you.

Cooling Mattress Pad, $39.95 (queen size); at Amazon

Weighted blanket

Bare Home/Amazon

If anxiety keeps you awake at night, you might want to try sleeping with a weighted blanket. Many people swear by them, both for adults and for children, and their popularity has resulted in an explosion of styles — and thankfully, a significant drop in price. Several years ago, an adult weighted blanket would run you between $100 and $200, but this highly rated blanket comes in several sizes that are less than $50.

Weighted Blanket, $46.40 (prizes vary by size); at Amazon

Magnesium oil blend spray



Seven Minerals/Amazon

Read the reviews from the dozens of chronic insomniacs who swear this spray worked wonders for them. Magnesium has been shown to have a positive impact on sleep, especially for those who suffer from restless leg syndrome. And the manufacturer offers a full refund if you find that the product doesn't work on you, so what have you got to lose?

Sleep Well Magnesium Spray, $19.95; at Amazon

Good night essential oil

Edens Garden/Amazon

If aromatherapy floats your boat, check out this blend of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Chamomile, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Key Lime, Lime, and Vanilla essential oils. With more than 1000 five-star reviews,Edens Garden Good Night aromatherapy oil is worth a try. Some people spritz a bit on their pillow, while others use it in an oil diffuser while they sleep. One reviewer wrote, "Better than any sleep aid I've tried, and I've tried them all."

Good Night Essential Oil Blend, $15.45 for 10ml; at Amazon

Here's to a better night's sleep for everyone.

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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How a 3,800-year-old stone tablet helped create modern legal systems

'Innocent until proven guilty' isn't that new of a concept.

Kind of looks like the Matrix code...

The modern justice system is certainly not without its flaws, however most can agree that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is one that (when not abused) stands as the foundation of what fair due process looks like. This principle, it turns out, isn’t so modern at all. It can actually be traced all the way back to nearly 3,800 years ago.

historyLady Justice, the image of impartial fairness. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

English barrister Sir William Garrow is known for coining the "innocent until proven guilty" phrase between the 18th and 19th century, after insisting that evidence be provided by accusers and thoroughly tested in court. But this notion, as radical as it seemed at the time, can, in fact, be credited to an ancient Babylonian king who ruled Mesopotamia.

During his reign from 1792 to 1750 B.C., Hammurabi left behind a legacy of accomplishments as a ruler and a diplomat. His most influential contribution was a series of 282 laws and regulations that were painstakingly compiled after he sent legal experts throughout his kingdom to gather existing laws, then adapted or eliminated them in order to create a universal system.

Those laws were inscribed on a large, seven-foot stone monument, and they were known as the Code of Hammurabi.

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Pop Culture

TikTok star's surprising method for finding good Chinese food is blowing people's minds

Yelp can be a helpful tool for scoping out food joints, but maybe not in the way you think.

Photo by Debbie Tea on Unsplash

Different cultures view service differently.

Content creator Freddy Wong has a brilliantly easy way to find authentic Chinese food.

As he reveals in a mega viral video that’s racked up 9.4 million views on TikTok and 7.7 million views on Twitter, the trick (assuming you live in a major metropolitan area) is to “go on Yelp and look for restaurants with 3.5 stars, and exactly 3.5 stars." Not 3. Not 4. 3.5.

He then backs up his argument with some pretty undeniable photo evidence.

First, he pulls up an image of a Yelp page from P.F. Chang’s. With only 2.5 stars, one can tell the food is “obviously bad.” Alternatively, Din Tai Fung—a globally recognized Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant—has four stars.

Sounds good right? Wrong. In this case, “too many stars” means that “too many white people like it,” indicating that the restaurant is being judged on service rather than food quality. According to Wong, if “the service is too good, the food is not as good as it could be.”

He then pulls up the Yelp page for a couple of local Chinese restaurants, both of which have 3.5 stars. The waiters at these establishments might “not pay attention to you,” he admits, adding that they might even be “rude.” But, Wong attests, “it’s going to taste better.”

@rocketjump

Why I only go to Chinese restaurants with 3.5 star ratings

♬ original sound - RocketJump

"The dumplings here are better [than Din Tai Fung's]. I've been here," he says of the 3.5 star Shanghai Dumpling House. Considering his Twitter profile boasts a “James Beard Award winning KBBQ Gourmand'' title, it seems like he knows what he’s talking about.

So, why is this 3.5 rule the “sweet spot”? As Wong explains, it all comes down to different “cultural expectations.”

“In Asia, they’re not as proactive. They’re not going to come up to you, they’re not going to just proactively give you refills, you need to flag down the waiter,” he says, noting the different interpretations of service.

"People on Yelp are insufferable,” he continues, arguing that “they're dinging all these restaurants because the service is bad,” but the food is so good that it balances out the bad service. Hence, a 3.5-star rating. His reasoning is arguably sound—people do often give absurdly scathing reviews that in no way accurately reflect a restaurant’s food quality.

“A good Yelp review doesn’t mean it’s a good restaurant — it simply means the restaurant is good at doing things that won’t hurt their online rating,” Wong said in an interview with Today, adding that “highly rated Yelp restaurants are often those with counter service and limited menus, minimizing potential negative interaction with staff.”

He also added the caveat, “I don’t have anything against those places, but I think people who only eat at the ‘highest rated’ restaurants on online review sites are only eating at the most boring restaurants.”

A ton of people in the comments seem to back Wong’s theory.

best chinese food

100% accurate, some say

TikTok

Plus, the theory seems to not be limited to just Chinese restaurants, further implying that maybe there’s more of a cultural misunderstanding, rather than any real lack of quality.

thai food near me

No drink refills but the food is fire.

TikTok

yelp reviews, yelp

2.8 is the new 5

TikTok

One of the gifts that our modern world provides is the opportunity to truly experience and appreciate other cultures. Since food is easily one of the most accessible (and enjoyable) ways to do that, perhaps we should prioritize seeking authenticity, rather than rely on a flawed and superficial rating system.

As Wong told Today, “I hope it encourages people to go out and eat more food from not only Chinese restaurants, but restaurants representing the whole world of cultural cuisines.”