Will a Sound Machine Help You Drift Off?

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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The untold truth of Ina Garten

Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, is the picture of effortless elegance. Watching her show, her home always looks warm and inviting. She lives life to the fullest, and it’s hard to tell which she loves more… cooking or her husband Jeffrey.

However, her life has not always been decadent meals and impressive dinner parties. She started out as an unfulfilled government worker before making the leap to the food business. She worked hard to teach herself new cooking skills and grow her following. She still doesn’t make everything perfectly and struggles with one dessert in particular. Yes, there is so much more to learn about beloved cook Ina Garten.

If Ina Garten had not taken a chance on herself and thrown herself into the world of food, you would most likely find her on her couch watching television. “I worry that if I don’t challenge myself professionally I’ll lie on the sofa and watch old episodes of Law & Order all day,” Garten told Vanity Fair. Garten does not like this quality in herself (or in anyone else), so she is constantly pushing herself and trying new things.

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The untold truth of how the royal family eats

So you think you’re fancy? You think that Michelin restaurant you visited last year is the pinnacle of choreographed, opulent dining? Think again. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the British royal family — you know, the most famous family on the planet, and one of the wealthiest, too — live an utterly unique gastronomic lifestyle.

It’s not just the bizarre magnificence of their meals and traditions that proves fascinating about the royals, however, but also the day-to-day quirks each of them enjoys or insists upon.

The media circus behind the family often makes it easy to forget that they’re, you know, actual human beings, with foods they hate and silly little preferences and personal touches they like to add to their meals. And then, of course, there’s stuff like the fact that they’re not allowed to drink tap water. Seriously. It’s a strange life.

They’re banned from lobster, crab, shrimp and the like, for the simple reason that it’s just too much of a risk. Shellfish, of course, is a notorious source of food poisoning and the rigorous schedule and constant touring of the royals means that taking the risk of being put out of action for any period of time is a serious no-go. The same logic applies with other meats, and the leading members of the family are also forbidden from eating anything cooked rare.

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