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I struggle with not getting enough sleep sometimes. Here's why that's bad and how to maybe fix it.

If you're not getting enough sleep ... well, things happen. To your brain.

I struggle with not getting enough sleep sometimes. Here's why that's bad and how to maybe fix it.

We all need our Zzzzzs.

I've had bouts of insomnia. After trying some stuff prescribed by my doctor that made me freaking loopy, I found better ways to self-medicate that are helping a lot.

I find that my optimal sleep is around 8 hours, maybe 8 and a half. When I get that regularly, I can just tell. My wit is sharper, my senses are more acute, my problem-solving skills are top notch. And my temper is ... well, tempered.


Image from FunnyJunk.com.

The science on this stuff is in. And for those of us who don't get enough sleep at night (6 to 8 hours), the news is not good. Not good at all.

Here's an infographic from Visual.ly about it to get you thinking. (Click on the graphic to enlarge it.)

Image by Visually. Used with permission.


In short ... sleep deprivation makes you like this.

Or maybe this.

So ... because I know a lot of folks will ask about self-medicating for sleep, here are some ideas:

1. Exercise. Look, I'm not so good at getting it regularly myself, but it helps a lot in tiring you out both physically and mentally.

2. Use a noise generator app (my favorite is Simply Noise). I have several on my phone, and they are magical at drowning out ambient noises like kids, dogs, traffic, hotel doors, and more. Some will generate what sounds like waves of the ocean, rain in the woods, or the sound of a radio station that isn't tuned correctly, a.k.a. "white noise." It's gotten to the point that just the sound itself tells my brain to shut the heck up and head for La La Land.

3. If you can pull it off, a short nap during the day is magical. We have two adopted kids who went through a lot before they came to live with us, and their brains are totally evolving on a day-to-day basis, so naps are mandatory for them (or the world suffers). On weekends, we take advantage of the down time to nap, too, and it's heavenly! Adults and children both awake with a new outlook on life.

4. If you're in a state that has either medical or recreational marijuana as an option, and you want to try something else, look for a strain that is high in CBDs, which are usually the Cannabis Indica strains. Names like Northern Lights, LA Confidential, G-13, Death Star, Bulletproof, and almost anything with the word "Kush" in it. But if you're going to medicate at night, stay away from Cannabis Sativa and hybrid strains. Those will wake you up and give you energy — the exact opposite of what you want at bed time. If all you can get are Sativa strains, then use them during the day, because then your brain becomes tired when it wears off. (This is not medical advice, but I'm not going to suggest that you ask your doctor for such because parts of the medical establishment are opposed to self-medicating.)

In case you're still not convinced about that whole "needing sleep" thing, this clip from AsapScience might just wake you right up.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

The Hill/Twitter

It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

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via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

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