Teens and the Impact of Sleep on Mental Health

2 out of 3 high school students maintain only sleep for 7 hours or less during school nights. What does that mean for their mental health?

For millions of adolescents across the world, sleep deprivation has become a far too common lifestyle. Our team created a guide to discuss the mental health ramifications of sleep loss in teens, and the factors that make it so hard for them to unwind at bedtime.

The Teen Insomnia Epidemic

Although everyone has experienced the inability to sleep at some point, occasionally, transient insomnia can last for a night or two and may be caused by such factors as stress or changes in sleeping habits. For those of us where these sleep symptoms persist, chronic insomnia may last for months or even years and can have a profound impact on your quality of life. Teens are at risk for both transient and chronic insomnia – here’s what parents need to know.

How Much Sleep Do Teens Need?

You may be surprised to learn how common it is for teens to survive on less sleep than they actually need. While every child is unique, and some require less sleep than others, researchers have identified some tell-tale trends. Studies conducted in the United States show that:

  • On average, teens need approximately nine hours of sleep on a nightly basis.
  • 60% of middle school students (grades 6-8) do not get adequate sleep on school nights.
  • More than 70% of high school students (grades 9-12) do not get the recommended hours of sleep each night.
  • A whopping 2/3 of high school students report seven hours or less of sleep on school nights.
  • Close to 17% of teens clinically classified as insomnia sufferers, meaning that they are unable to fall or stay asleep at least two nights per week for a period of a month or longer.

Below are some possible factors to take into consideration when helping your teen get a more quality sleep.

Scheduling Conflicts

School schedules generally conflict with the natural bodily rhythms of most growing teenagers. During and after puberty, kids naturally fall asleep later than younger children and older adults. Sending teens to bed early doesn’t usually turn out as expected, as they will lie awake until midnight or later, despite their best efforts at sleep. Considering that most schools in the United States rarely start later than 8 a.m., it’s easy to see how the pubescent years be the first to usher in insomnia symptoms for youngsters.

Approximately 17% of school districts have begun to get the message, moving their start times to 8:30 a.m. or later for middle school and high school students. Experts note that these experiments have been successful, leading to more sleep, fewer car accidents, and even better graduation rates.

Stress Levels

Stress is also powerfully linked with insomnia, and most teens are under a large variety of academic and social pressures. Research indicates that 27% of teens report high-stress levels. The most commonly reported source of teen stress is school, at 83%, while 69% of teens are stressed out about getting into college or choosing a life path after high school.

Puberty and gender

Puberty takes its toll on the mind and body, and sleep cycles are a common target during these times of change. In fact, the entire sleep-wake pattern tends to reorient itself, delaying the natural sleep onset and rising times, and shortening the length of time spent in deep sleep. This leads to sleepiness during the day, as well as irregular sleep patterns in which kids may attempt to “catch up” on sleep during the weekend.

Also, the growth spurts associated with puberty can cause “growing pains”, which tend to worsen around bedtime. In extreme cases, some teens may even wake up in the middle of the night from the discomfort. Although they are not dangerous, these pains can contribute to poor sleep quality.

Gender may also play in role in teen sleep deprivation. Girls are more likely than boys to report short sleep duration. This could be due, in part, to sexually unique biological and social factors during puberty. For example, girls tend to have higher overall stress levels and greater reactivity to stress.

Other neurodevelopmental disorders

Research shows that teens with neurodevelopmental disorders may be at increased risk for sleep problems. Disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and even fetal alcohol syndrome can increase anxiety and make it more difficult for kids to settle into sleep. They can also make it more difficult to maintain sleep throughout the night.

A note on COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the mental health of citizens across the globe, and teens are no exception. According to a June 2020 Harris Poll, approximately 70% of teens report that the crisis has negatively impacted their mental health. Stress, anxiety and depression, combined with a shift in daily school routines and an associated increase in screen time, make matters worse for teens. Parents need to carve out quality non-screen time with kids, as well as to help them craft unique routines.

The Effect of Insomnia on Teens

Missing an occasional night’s sleep rarely has serious consequences, but chronic insomnia can have a major impact on both physical and mental health in teenagers. Physically, researchers have found that poor sleep can increase teens’ risk for diabetes, obesity and even injuries.

Psychologically, even sleep-deprived kids who do not meet any clinical definitions for mental health problems are likely to suffer from behavior problems and reduced academic performance. They are also at risk for anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness. They are more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors like drinking and driving, not using seatbelts, and unprotected sex.

Adolescents are at higher risk of experiencing negative symptoms from poor sleep quality due to the profound developmental changes that occur during this time. They may have struggle with learning and retaining new information, successfully completing tests and assignments, and moderating their emotions in times of heightened stress during the day.

Even younger children who are sleep deprived tend to show large performance gaps when compared to their peers. Losing even one hour of sleep per night can reduce a teen’s school performance to that of a fully rested child two grades below.

Executive function is the ability to process and organize incoming data, focus the mind and filter out extraneous thoughts to prioritize and accomplish tasks. It is an essential skill for success in all aspects of life. Executive functioning begins to develop in early childhood, and it becomes more sophisticated throughout the adolescent years. Unfortunately, sleep problems can interfere with this developmental process, potentially priming kids for difficulties in their future careers or relationships.

Negative mental health outcomes associated with poor sleep

Although you might assume that a minor reduction in sleep carries minimal risks, this is not necessarily true. Even a single hour of lost sleep can have a major impact on kids, and as sleep problems worsen, so do the risks. Every hour of lost sleep raises the likelihood of feeling sad or hopeless by 38%. It also increases the risk of substance abuse by 23%, suicidal thoughts by 42% and suicide attempts by 58%.

Even after researchers accounted for demographics, substance abuse, suicidal ideation and symptoms of depression at the beginning, those who suffered from sleep problems for a year were 20% more likely to have thoughts of suicide, as well as more likely to actually make a suicide attempt.

Of course, not everyone who is sleep deprived becomes suicidal. But in tandem with all the changes of puberty and the intense pressures that many teens feel, a lack of sleep could be enough to heavily offset the balance in teenagers.

Insomnia and depression: a special case

Insomnia and depression are often linked in complicated ways. Here is what you need to know about these linked disorders.

Insomnia and depression comorbidity

Comorbidity the combination of having two or more disorders which occur at the same time. Depression is one of the most common mental health issues among teenagers, and the link between depression and sleep problems are often associated. Studies indicate that more than 70% of children and teens diagnosed with depression also have insomnia or another sleep disorder. For these kids, the cycle of negatively-reinforcing symptoms tend to leave children more severely depressed than those without sleep difficulties.

Insomnia and risk for depression

Additionally, insomnia seems to be a risk factor for developing depression. Kids with chronic trouble sleeping are more likely than their peers who sleep normally to report symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Interestingly, depression does not seem to be a risk factor for insomnia. Kids who report trouble sleeping are more likely to develop depression and even attempt suicide in the future, but thankfully, those with depression are not more likely to develop future insomnia.

Insomnia interferes with depression treatment

Cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT, is an extremely popular and highly effective treatment for many forms of depression. The idea behind it is that our thoughts create our reality, and distorted thought patterns are responsible for our moods. Cognitive behavior therapy focuses on changing both thoughts and behaviors, replacing them with healthier responses to the stresses of daily life.

Unfortunately, insomnia can make CBT less effective, possibly due to the impact of sleep disorders on logical thinking and executive function, as previously mentioned. Kids with chronic trouble sleeping are more likely than those who sleep normally to have their depression recur after completing treatment.

If your teenager has been diagnosed with depression, let their therapist know about any symptoms of insomnia. Mental health professionals are used to dealing with comorbid disorders and may be able to tweak the course of treatment to address both the depression and insomnia simultaneously. This can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Risk-taking behavior

Sleep loss can take its toll on even the most logical and thoughtful teenagers. Kids reporting seven hours of sleep or less on school nights are also more likely to report carrying weapons, using marijuana or tobacco, binge drinking, drunk driving, fighting or a myriad of other potentially dangerous behaviors.

The reverse is also true for school districts that have shifted to later morning start times. Students tend to sleep more, have better rates of enrollment and attendance, are less likely to fall asleep in class, show fewer symptoms of depression, and have fewer car accidents. A well-rested teenager is a much more effective, productive and thoughtful human.

Parents are the key

Even in adolescence, parents can still help their children unwind for bed. Everyone is different, but sleep recommendations for the majority of middle school students state they should be sleeping at least nine hours per night, while high school students need a minimum of eight. Setting a bedtime for a high school student may be difficult, but the CDC reports that “adolescents whose parents set bedtimes are more likely to get enough sleep,” suggesting that parents can have an impact on their child’s sleep by lightly enforcing it. 

Even if unsuccessfully able to implement a strict bedtime routine, you can still help your child wind down in the evenings by setting a good example. By reducing noise and lowering lights as the evening progresses, avoiding late-night battles over homework or chores, and instead promoting a relaxed environment, parents can find indirect ways to support their child’s healthy sleep hygiene.

Childhood sleep problems into adulthood

It’s never too early to start promoting good sleep habits. Many kids develop chronic sleep problems early in childhood, which may continue throughout life. In fact, early childhood sleep issues may indicate more risk-taking behavior in adolescence, including early use of marijuana, which can in turn lead to insomnia as an adult. Likewise, adolescent sleep issues are linked with a higher risk of depression in adulthood.

There is a bit of a chicken and egg conundrum in the research. Are some people genetically predisposed to sleep problems, depression and substance use? Or does one lead to another? The answers are not so cut and dry. However, the links between these three issues are strong, and the message is clear: Parents should intervene early to help children overcome sleep problems as soon as they’re recognized.

Help your teen cope with stress

Stress reactivity is a response pattern in which a person has a low threshold for stress, notably in situations perceived as threatening. High stress reactivity patterns can produce a strong stress reaction to any perceived discomfort. It makes it harder to think clearly, and switches the brain to self-preservation rather than higher-order emotions such as compassion or empathy. Stress reactivity can develop after traumatic events, but many kids show a natural predisposition to it early on.

We now know that stress reactivity is highly correlated with insomnia, and some experts suggest having younger children assessed for these patterns, if persistent. Theoretically, both stress and insomnia become more pervasive in adolescence, so identifying and intervening early with stress reactive kids could be the first step in preventing sleep disorders into adulthood.

Even in teens without high stress reactivity, worrying right before falling asleep can impact the quality and quantity of sleep. Therefore, parents should try to help kids learn to process stress and worry in healthier ways early in life. Work with them to name their feelings and develop assertive, proactive responses. Encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities. Help them break large tasks into smaller chunks and teach them to reframe negative thoughts. Promote downtime and help them practice for intimidating events such as public speaking.

Create the right environment for sleep

While some people are blessed with the ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime, the vast majority do better in an environment intentionally designed to support healthy sleep. You generally won’t need to invest in costly room modification, just work with your teenager to make some intelligent tweaks to their routines.

Practice and preach “good sleep hygiene”

Good sleep hygiene is a collection of healthy habits that encourage sleep. Kids are incredibly well-versed as mimicking their parents’ behaviors, so be sure to model these behaviors rather than just telling your teenager what to do. Examples of good sleep hygiene include:

  • Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
  • Eat a healthy diet, but limit late-night eating to a light snack.
  • Lower fluid intake right before bed
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends and vacations.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine such as a hot shower or 30 minutes of reading for pleasure.
  • If you don’t fall asleep right away, get out of bed after 20 minutes and do a quiet activity until you feel sleepy.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark.

Create a comfortable, stress-free space for your child

Help your child create a comfortable and relaxing bedroom space. This can be done in limitless ways, from calming paint colors to soothing essential oils. The internet is filled with easy and inexpensive bedroom ideas — see our 101 Tips for Better Sleep for more ideas. One of the most important investments you can make, though, is a good mattress. Research shows that sleeping on a new, high-quality mattress can reduce nighttime pain, decrease stress and promote better sleep. Mattresses are available in a vast array of types and firmness levels, and comfort is highly subjective, so let your teen choose the mattress that feels right to her.

Get serious about screen time

Screen time is an inevitable part of life in the modern era. Unbelievably, 72% of teens use a cell phone before bed, 64% use an electronic music device, 60% use a laptop and 23% play video games. And 18% report being awakened several nights per week by their cell phone. It’s evident that teens are operating in a highly technological world with new normals, and these nighttime temptations do no favors for teens and adults, alike.

It’s vital to set limits on blue light exposure and screen each evening, as nighttime screen usage can make it more difficult to sleep for several reasons. Exposure to the blue light emitted by these devices hinders the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. Tablets, phones, game consoles and other interactive devices tend to increase arousal as well, making it difficult to quiet the mind and drift off into sleep. The short sleep-wake cycles caused by incoming calls or messages can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, even in kids who otherwise have no natural issues sleeping.

It can’t be overstated: model responsible screen-related behavior by turning off your electronic devices before going to bed, and encourage your kids to follow along and prioritize their rest and health. Analog activities such as reading a book or drawing are much more conducive to falling asleep, without the blue light or hormonal interference.

Source Link: https://myslumberyard.com/blog/teens-impact-of-sleep-on-mental-health/

Making Money Through Technology This Year

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

In the last year, a lot of us have realized the true power and need for technology in our world. As Covid 19 ripped through our world many companies and singular workers had to bring their operations to home, and use technology to keep their finances afloat. 

Sadly, 2021 doesn’t seem to mark an end to the pandemic just yet and this is why using technology for your own personal gain might be a great way for you to make some money and grow even while stuck at home. 

Today we want to talk about making money at home and some of the best ways you can do it. There are plenty of opportunities to use technology for your financial gain and today we want to take a look at some of the ways you can do it. 

Develop an app 

If you have an eye for detail and a knowledge of app development, why not use this time at home to make an app that is of use to others? Apps are a great way for you to make some passive income and they are useful for a number of purposes in someone’s life. Consider building an app this year and sending it out in the world to help you make some extra money and connect with your audience. Whether it be as a part of your business or something unique – it can be a fun activity and one that will bring you money in years to come. 

Consider writing an ebook 

Writing a book is a difficult task and one that takes many years of honing your skills to do – however if you already have some writing experience this could be a good opportunity for you. Consider writing an ebook this year and hosting it on Google books as well as Amazon to make some passive income throughout the year. You can use social media to promote your book as well as paid ads and use technology to yoit advantage this year. 

Lease a cell tower 

If you are looking for something a little more unique to do this year and you have a cell tower either on your property or your commercial property – you can lease it. This is a way to use your minor inconvenience to make money throughout the year passively. You can use Vertical Consultants to help you through the process and lease your cell tower for use of people anywhere in the world. 

Provide online training 

If you have a particular skill to share with the world this year, a great idea would be to create a video for SkillShare and host an online class in your skill set. This can be a brilliant way to help you access your talents and it will be a passive form of income as people can choose to take your course whenever and wherever they want to. 

Use some of these ideas to make yourself some passive income using technology this year and enjoy some money from home.

Don’t Let Winter Affect Your Business: The Common Threats You Might Face

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There is no denying it but businesses have felt a big struggle these last twelve months. Some have had to shut their doors on their business, operate from home or change the way they do things logistically. It can’t have been easy for anyone to have to go through the changes that have been made. But there is another hidden hurdle that a lot of businesses face right now and that is the threat of winter. It can be quite a difficult time for businesses for many reasons, but below are some of the common ones that you might want to prepare yourself for.

The threat of illness

One of the biggest issues that a business can face at the time is the threat of illness. It can be quite a difficult issue. Usually in the winter, you have the worry of colds and flu viruses getting out of hand, and this can mean that some employees or even freelancers are unable to complete their work. But even more so right now, you have the added threat of Covid-19 where people may have to have tests or even self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone. This is when having backup plans for your workload and also outsourcing in certain areas can help you to ensure that your business still runs smoothly. 

Icy conditions and threats to customers

Another issue is the weather and this can cause many problems with your business location. For starters, if you do have people coming into work, then icy conditions on stairs or access areas of your business can mean that your access to your business becomes dangerous. The winter means that other things you need to consider are your customers safety and welfare. They will need to be able to access your business safely. Having things on hand such as grit and salt can help you to get rid of dangerous icy patches that may from. 

Water leaks and burst pipes

You may also find that the weather can be a big issue for you. This might be in terms of water leaks and burst pipes as well as having issues with general plumbing. As the temperature drops, these pipes can burst and cause issues. You might also need to do some extra work on your pipework that is on the xerios such as considering looking at pipe plug suppliers and also looking into adding an extra layer of insulation around the pipe. Just having the temperature slightly warmer can ensure that there is no freezing. 

Heating breaking down

Finally, the last thing anyone wants on a cold day is for the heating to stop working, not just in your home but also in your business. This is especially hard if you have people working in your business premises. They need to be able to do so safely and comfortably, and if the temperature isn’t right then this can cause problems with productivity. Having an engineer on call to help if this should happen can enable you to feel more confident that this won’t be an issue in the future. 

Let’s hope sharing these common threats will help you to be better prepared for the weeks ahead.

7 Recession-Proof Product Ideas To Inspire Your Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

You’re likely reading this blog post because you want your business to be successful. You also sell products and probably do so on the Internet. But, you’re looking for product ideas that won’t flop during a recession. Or even in times of crisis, such as COVID-19.

When adding new products to your existing range, you want to make sure they’re going to sell and be profitable. Otherwise, your time and financial investments will get wasted. With that in mind, take a look at these mind-blowing ideas for recession-proof products to sell:

1. Everyday Essentials

Let’s face it: everyone needs certain items in their lives, regardless of their background, where they live, or even their wealth status. Everyday essentials are perhaps the best recession-proof products you can sell.

Examples of everyday essentials include food products like bread, milk, pasta, fruit, and vegetables, and things like toiletries and household cleaning products. You’ll find it’s a profitable venture, whether you sell those items in a retail store or on an e-commerce site.

If you’ve got the cash, consider buying items in vast volumes to negotiate exclusive volume discounts. You can then pass those savings onto your customers. After all: it can often make sense to sell lots of low-margin products than just a few high-margin ones.

2. Plumbing Supplies

Things still need fixing in people’s homes and commercial and industrial properties. One such example is plumbing – things like faucets, pipes, bathrooms, showers, and so forth. Plumbers need a reliable source of plumbing supplies, and you could corner the market.

Plumbing supplies are an excellent niche to get involved with, and there’s little to no downturn of sales during a recession. So if a plumber or engineer needs a solenoid valve or some faucet fittings, you can be their number one source in your local area.

Of course, you should also sell your products online to expand your reach – especially if you live in a rural area.

3. Camping Supplies

Let’s face it: when there’s a recession going on, many people will seldom spend the money on a vacation abroad. Instead, they’d prefer to go camping so they can still enjoy themselves but keep their vacation costs down.

Camping supplies are another niche market that’s worth capitalizing on during a recession. Many people will want to buy things like tents, portable gas stoves, folding chairs, and solar charging packs for their ‘staycations.’

4. Automotive Parts

During a recession, many people will rightly avoid spending money unnecessarily. As you can imagine, new car sales will nosedive during a time of economic strife as most individuals worry about getting laid off.

Instead of buying a new car, many people will keep what they’ve got, and some car owners may even take to maintaining their vehicles at home. It’s for that reason the automotive parts niche does so well during a recession.

Even when there isn’t an economic downturn, it’s still a profitable niche because everyone needs their cars and trucks serviced and repaired.

5. Candy

Everyone knows that candy isn’t an ‘essential’ food – but most, if not all, people enjoy eating candy. That’s because candy is cheap to buy and brings people lots of happiness. Of course, candy isn’t a healthy food – but people don’t think about that when they eat it!

You might think that candy wouldn’t sell so well during a recession because it’s not an essential food, as mentioned a moment ago. Yet, candy manufacturers such as Nestle and Cadbury report increased profits during recessions!

6. Video Games

It’s easy to assume that teenagers are the biggest consumers in the video games market, but you’d be sadly mistaken. According to Statista, the largest age group among gamers in the United States is 35 to 44 years.

During times of recession, middle-aged people are less likely to go out and spend their money. But, many of those individuals would be happy to stay indoors and play video games for hours on end – much to the annoyance of their partners and family!

7. Baby Products

Diapers, clothing, formula, bottles, and wipes are just some of the baby products that are resistant to economic problems caused by recessions. Each year, millions of babies are born in the United States. That means there will always be a demand for baby products.

Again, you could sell these items in a retail store, but it also makes more sense to sell them online for increased market reach and profitability.

How To Prepare For A Work Day As A Remote Freelancer

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Working remotely as a freelancer is exciting but can be challenging. As you would have done from the office setting, it requires a commitment to time management without compromising productivity. A Stanford Graduate School of Business survey discovered that freelancing and working from home boosts performance by 13%. Due to COVID-19, this system of working has seen a sharp increase worldwide and looks like a prominent feature of the new normal. So, how can you prepare for your workday as a remote freelancer? Here are some tips to help you.

1. Prepare ahead of time

Image credit: https://desky.com.au/

Before work begins, ensure everything you will need is prepared ahead of time. It is never a good idea to wait until the last minute to scramble for the things you require. By maximizing the free hours from the night before you start work, you gain more time to be productive the next day. Besides, it is an effective way to avoid rushing through with your work. Ensure you have sufficient internet data to last you through the month. Also ensure that the connection speed is optimal to maintain your productivity levels.

2. Pay attention to your to-do list

As a remote freelancer, you must set daily goals to enhance your value, use your time productively and deliver quality work. Creating a to-do list helps you accomplish your goals and gives you a sense of direction during the workday. Sometimes, you may want to multitask but without knowledge of which tasks have high priority over others. Writing a to-do-list provides a visual reminder of duties that need to be done urgently without slighting a client. 

Remember that the client is the reason you have an income at the end of the month. Therefore, you should never take them for granted. Write down your list immediately after checking your voicemails and emails. Through these emails, you can identify how your day will pan out. When done, tick all urgent tasks with a red marker and non-urgent ones with a green color. Use online apps such as Wunderlist, Toodledo, and Flow to help you track your daily progress.

3. Decide on your working hours

flexible work schedule as a remote freelancer may be a blessing or a burden, depending on how well you manage your time. Sometimes, in building a career through freelancing, many freelancers lose sight of setting restrictions on work hours. More often than not, working outside of an office setting tends to mix up a freelancer’s personal and professional hours. Therefore, before you begin your day, set out the number of hours you will be working and stick to it. Your schedule could start to control your life if you don’t. Depending on the requirements of your job, your working hours could be out of your control – particularly when working as part of a team. For example, if your work involves designing custom cable assemblies, your working hours may be determined by the wider team involved in prototyping, design verification, production and testing. The collective effort increases the likelihood of meeting client deadlines.

How you prepare for a workday will determine your overall productivity. Although remote freelancing offers flexibility, it also tests your self-discipline and dedication to clients’ satisfaction. Keep in mind that what works for another freelancer may not necessarily work out for you. Therefore, do what feels comfortable for you.

How To Rediscover Your Love Of The Home Amidst COVID-19

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen most people spend more time at home than ever before. In truth, it has had a largely detrimental impact on our relationships with our properties. However, you do not need to start waving the white flag just yet. 

It is possible to rediscover your love of the home, but it will take a conscious effort. Pay added attention to the issues below, and you won’t go far wrong. 

The Work-Home Balance

If you are currently working remotely for the foreseeable future, you must adapt the home to suit your new needs. The reality of the situation is that you cannot afford to persist with the ideas that served you adequately when it seemed like a short-term fix. Perhaps the most important step is to establish a mental barrier between the two. When you’re not in work mode, you should be able to enjoy the property as a home. Without the right balance, it becomes hard to enjoy either aspect to the max.

Add Curb Appeal

You are probably spending more time than usual inside the home. So, it’s vital that you can enter it in a positive frame of mind. Investing in the curb appeal should, therefore, sit very high on the agenda. New siding materials can transform the look of the home. Meanwhile, new windows can boost the insulation as well as the looks. Upgrading the driveway with asphalt paving is another highly productive project. Aside from enhancing the value of your life, it’ll add to the value of the property too.

Treat Yourself To Tech

Too much tech can be a bad thing. However, there’s no doubt that it can significantly enhance your experiences around the home. A new projector screen can completely transform a recreational room while VR gaming is another popular choice. While home entertainment is great, you may want to consider home security features too. This will deliver peace of mind. In turn, it’ll consciously and subconsciously alter your feelings towards the property. Now is the perfect time to do it.

Add Some Personality

When you fall into the trap of creating a house rather than a home, you will soon see your enthusiasm fade. Restoring a sense of personality isn’t hard to do. Turn family photos into canvas art. Choose a feature wall color or pattern that you love. Opt for textured fabrics that aren’t found in the shopping mall. When the home is both distinct and capable of telling your family’s story, you will notice an instant change to the way you view the home. It’ll bring the family a whole lot closer.

Cut Wasted Expenses

Nobody wants to be in debt. If the home is currently leading you into a dark hole, this is the time to change it. The increased time at home means that any faults and financial waste become bigger issues than before. Whether it’s changing energy suppliers or increasing the insulation is up to you. Either way, trimming the fat will reduce your stress, which will make your home life better. Moreover, some of the savings can be put toward other home upgrades and facilities. What more could you want?

What To Expect Next Year From Sports

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

A lot of sports events have been held off until next year, which could make 2021 a potentially exciting (and slightly hectic) year for sports fans. Here are some of the big sporting events to look forward to next year and what we can expect.

The Olympic games

This year, Tokyo was meant to host the 2020 summer Olympics. Due to covid-19, the games were rescheduled to July 2021.

In response to fears by athletes that the games may be cancelled again, the International Olympic Committee has put its foot down and declared that the games will be held ‘with or without Covid’. While it’s therefore very likely that they will be going ahead, certain changes are expected to be made. For instance, athletes may need to quarantine before competing and there could be a focus aimed at ‘essentials’ within the Olympic village. Spectators are likely to still be encouraged to attend – but they may too have to quarantine if travelling from another country.

Who are the athletes to watch out for in 2021? With an extra year to train, it’s become more uncertain as to who will be the big stars. Swimming is thought to produce quite a few new superstar athletes including the likes of Hungary’s Kristof Milak, Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov and America’s Regan Smith. With new sports such as sports climbing, skateboarding and surfing also being added, there could also be some exciting new athletes to look out for in these sports.


Tennis has also been affected by Covid-19. Wimbledon was cancelled and the French Open was postponed. Many events have continued to go ahead this year such as the French Open and US open, however athletes have been dropping out due to health concerns. Crowds have even been allowed at the French Open.

Next year’s Australian Open is set to still go ahead in January, but with smaller crowds and player bio-security in place. Most players are looking towards this event as a return to normal tennis (Federer has said that he won’t be playing any tournaments in 2020 – the Australian Open is set to be his first tournament since lockdown).


This year’s NFL season has started as usual. As with other sports, there have been efforts to reduce spectators in the stadium and media on the side lines. The game itself has not been affected in any way by the pandemic.

The 2021 Super Bowl will be held in Tampa in February. If you’re thinking of betting on the Super Bowl 2021, you can find plenty of information online about the favorites. Will the Chiefs win for the second consecutive year in a row? Will the San Francisco 49ers come in and steal the trophy? Or will an underdog come in and take the victory?


The 2019 to 2020 NBA season has been long and eventful. In March, it was suspended due to Covid-19. The season restarted again in July but was suspended for a second time in August due to a wildcat strike. It is now not thought to finish until October.

A new condensed 2020 to 2021 season has been proposed that would allow NBA seasons to return to normal in the future. This would start on December 1st, providing that the current season finishes by then. Such a condensed season has occurred before back in 2012 and may require less games.

Odds have already been posted on the 2021 NBA season. Some of the favorites for the next season include the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. The results of this current 2020 season will likely be more telling.


The UEFA champion’s league has already returned. As with other sports, crowds and media have been reduced to keep the virus at bay.

The UEFA Euro 2020 has been postponed to Summer 2021. To celebrate the event’s 60th birthday, the event was already planned to take part in numerous cities across Europe – there are plans to continue this in 2021. The women’s UEFA Euro will meanwhile be held in England in 2021.

France are currently the favorites to win the UEFA Euro 2021. Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium are also likely to do well. Then there’s England, who may well be in for a chance.


The Rugby Six Nations started in February this year but had to be put on hold due the pandemic. The remaining matches have been postponed until October.

Next year, the Rugby League World Cup will take place in October. With any luck, covid-19 should be well under control by then and there shouldn’t have to be any changes to the way in which the games are held.

Formula 1

Formula 1 was postponed this year, but has since started up again. Several races have been cancelled in order to keep this year’s grand prix within the time frame.

Next year, there is expected to be more races and things will get back to normal. A few regulations changes will be put into place that could spice things up. Every team is going to have a budget cap, dual-axis steering will be banned and the usual four day race weekend will be condensed into three days.

Tour de France

This year’s Tour de France was postponed and has only just started this September. A few measures have been taken to control crowds and keep the event relatively safe.

Next year, the famous cycle race is expected to return to being held in June. It is scheduled to start in Best in Brittany.

How You Can Adapt Your Home For Remote Working

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Many of us have been working from home for longer than we expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And, it may be something that is asked of us for quite some time, especially if you are able to complete your work duties from home. If it’s not something that you have done regularly in the past, you probably don’t have a dedicated workspace, let alone a separate office. Now that we may be working from home for longer, it could be the time to think about getting ourselves work-from-home ready.

You will find, having a dedicated workspace at the top of most working from home lists. Which is fine if you have somewhere that could be used as a home office, but not so great if you have a large family taking up space in your home, or live in a small one bed flat or studio. 

This is when you should be thinking creatively about the space that you can use, and consider what space you may need to complete your work throughout the day. 

Think About How You Use Your Space 

You should consider who needs to work as it could be that you, your partner, and grown-up kids could all need space to work. Think about who else is also using the home at the same time. Do you maybe need space for the kids to play or home school too? 

Look around your home and think about how each space is utilized. Could they be adapted in any way? Could you create zones with the use of a divider or bookshelf? 

Some people have temporarily moved kids into the same room so they can create a home office, although it may be less than ideal in their eyes, being able to complete your home at work in a quiet space has become a priority. This is a good option if you want to maintain the family zones in places like the living and enable your children to still have a space to relax and play during the day. 

Using A Small Space 

There are some really clever ways that you can adopt a small area to becoming a dedicated work zone. From using spaces under the stairs, in walk-in wardrobes, or even large hallways to using initiative furniture like at Civic Australia. There are certainly many ways you can fit a working space into even the smallest of homes. 

If you don’t have to space for a large desk, then a side or console table could be adapted to create a smaller working zone. If you’re choosing this option then it’s best to find somewhere to store any paperwork, files, stationery, etc and only pull them out when you need them. 

Create A Space You Like 

It has been difficult for many people to get used to working from home and with so many other things now predominantly at home like spending time in the garden at a weekend or homeschooling the kids at the same time as working, it has put a lot of stress on to people to feel like they need to be perfect and fit everything in. Creating a space that you really like and feel comfortable to work in can help to make your working day a little more positive. 

These three tips should be able to help you adapt your home for remote working. Is there anything that you have done to create a working zone in your home? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Diesel Generators For Sale

The global pandemic, COVID-19 has put the medical world running on their toes day and night. The virus has already claimed over 2.5 million people worldwide. The imminent potential of destruction that this virus has can be estimated by simply going over through the number of patients and the death toll in the US and Italy.

Although both of these countries are known for their sophisticated medical facilities, they are the ones that lead the number of corona infections globally. Considering this fact, the devastation that this pandemic can cause to developing nations and third-world countries can simply spike shivers through the spine.

However, governments all around the world are cooperating with each other and providing the necessary resources to combat the common enemy. Let’s take a look at some of the basic support systems that hospitals are in dire need of these days.

Managing Ventilators To Meet The Growing Demand

One of the symptoms of corona infection is shortness of breath. Doctors and medical experts are continuously urging people to maintain social distancing and cover their faces with masks to prevent the spread of the virus. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from the infection need assistance with their breathing. Ventilators have recently witnessed a surge in their demand since the pandemic struck. Many innovators have come forth with their indigenous ideas of ventilator designs that are economical and effective, as well. One such innovation comes from India where Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. have recently announced the production of a valve-based mask they’re calling Ambu bag. It is noteworthy that the company has a global presence in the automobile industry, and in time of the pandemic, it is coming forward to help meet the demand for ventilators in the hospitals. It is truly appreciable.

Power Backups For Keeping Up The Support Systems

Notably, most of the medical equipment in hospitals depends on electrical supplies, be it any monitoring unit or a ventilator, or even the HVAC unit to help keep the air clean. And with the hospitals working beyond their capacity during the pandemic having a power backup has become all the more important. Mobile treatment units, temporary hospitals, even converted medical facilities, all of these setups need the power to work properly and efficiently. This has also brought a surge in diesel generators for sale, and in all sizes. The backup solution offers a cleaner and more economical solution to power needs when compared to gasoline and natural gas-based generators. Moreover, these pieces of equipment are also highly durable against weatherly effects and are easier to operate in all conditions. Thus, making them apt for hospitals, especially during pandemic times.

Availability Of Personal Protective Equipment

As already mentioned, the doctors and medical experts are urging to maintain social distancing to break the chain. However, doctors and medical staff cannot do so for themselves because of their professional obligations. Therefore, they approach a convenient way to maintain distance from the infected and not come in any direct physical contact with them; they wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The equipment is made out of medical-grade textile fibers that help keep away the harmful pathogens and viruses from coming in contact with the medical personal. However, the PPE also needs to be discarded after one use. It means, there needs to be a regular supply of the same to help the medical staff keep performing their duties while protecting themselves against the infection. It also makes these pieces of protective equipment a basic necessity with growing demands these days.

Isolation Wards To Accommodate If The Number Of Infected Increases

The growing number of patients affected by the COVID-19 virus is alarming another demand. Governments all around the world are creating more isolation wards to accommodate the increasing number of patients. In fact, several countries have already started converting public establishments such as stadiums and public parks into temporary hospitals. The need is to isolate the patients from others to help prevent the spread of the virus. Potentially, a single infected person can spread the virus to over 600 people directly or indirectly. This is surely an alarming figure. In case, the governments fail to control the spread of the virus, it may soon start spreading in the community at a much faster rate than any other disease in the history of mankind. This is the primary reason why more isolation wards need to be created and at a much faster pace.

The current pace of the spread of coronavirus is, although, believed to slow down in a couple of weeks. However, it depends upon how intelligently people follow the guidelines and protect themselves against the virus. Several governments have already imposed a lockdown and have allowed only the essential services to function. Hopefully, this step would help break the chain, and the world shall recover from the losses. Regardless, it is still the duty of every earthling to stay home and stay safe. If not for your own good, at least to empathize with the warriors, the doctors, and medical staff, for their efforts during these pandemic times.