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The temperature in your bedroom is perfect. Your blackout curtains have been drawn shut. And you’ve just finished a cup of chamomile tea and novel that made you laugh out loud and forget about whatever was bothering you earlier in the day.

You’re just about ready to drift off, and suddenly the air conditioner kicks on. Or a car alarm screeches through the night air. Or your partner sneezes. Suddenly, you’re wide-awake again. Your brain responds to noises when you’re awake and asleep. But if the interruptions wake you up, that can keep you from getting the restful shuteye that you need.

When ambient noise is disrupting your sleep, white (or pink) noise can help to smooth out the rough edges. Imagine sitting next to a person who is loudly chewing gum in a library. Then imagine sitting next to that same person in a crowded bar. It’s the same chomping gum, but underneath the drone of a crowded place, you can’t even hear it anymore. White noise, whether it’s from a sound machine, a simple fan, or crowd noise helps to mask noise-related disruptions by creating a constant ambient sound that makes a “peak” noise, like a door slamming, less of a contrast. And that makes you less likely to be startled awake.

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12 best and 12 worst foods to buy at Aldi

We’re all looking for ways to save money on our grocery bills, and if there’s an Aldi near you, that might be the way to go. With Aldi hitting a growth spurt in the US market, you’re more likely than ever to find yourself heading to this European favorite for your shopping. Not everything there is a great buy, though, so let’s talk about some of the best and worst things you can find at Aldi.

Why? Because their chocolate aisle is filled with deliciousness imported from Europe. You’ll be paying a little more, but it’s worth every penny. Pick up some Belgian or German chocolates, and you’ll be surprised to find how much creamier and richer they are than American chocolates.

If you bake with chocolate, take The Country Basket’s word for it that European chocolates melt much better than your American staples, and that’s true whether you’re using milk, dark, or even white chocolate. You’ll also find a variety of different flavors you won’t find anywhere else. Toffee and Irish cream liqueur? Yes, please!

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Former vegetarians tell us

There are a number of reasons why people decide to become vegetarians. From animal cruelty concerns to health reasons, becoming a vegetarian may be the right choice for many of the people in your life. So what makes a committed vegetarian go from kale smoothies to bacon cheeseburgers? I had the chance to interview former vegetarians and learn exactly what made them make the switch.

A common theme from the former vegetarians I spoke with was listening to their bodies. So many started noticing symptoms and cravings that let them know it was time to make a change. “My body simply started craving meat again, and I was starting to have a lot of digestive issues eating the way I was,” registered dietitian nutritionist Emily Cooper told me. “I listened to my body, slowly started eating meat again, and found myself a lot more satisfied at each meal.”

When health concerns come up, vegetarians need to make the tough call of whether or not to stick with it. Many felt tired and never satisfied when they weren’t eating meat.

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