Prioritize Sleep Over Studying

Prioritize Sleep Over Studying

Planning ahead and sleep should be put first over cramming this finals season.

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Sleep is essential for functioning, yet hard to come by, especially when it's midnight and you have a final at 8 a.m. that, cough cough, you didn't study much for, slash didn't start studying for. Or maybe you have, but pre-finals nerves are keeping you from resting well. Whatever the barrier might be, many college students suffer from sleep deprivation.

A good night's rest does much more besides allowing you to stay awake throughout the day. A good night's sleep has been proven to greatly improve memory and concentration as well as general mood and health. Grades, health, and physical appearance are all areas that are heavily impacted by the amount of sleep obtained. For the average college student, this means 8-10 hours of sleep a night, according to the American Sleep Association.

Getting a few more hours' shut-eye is far more beneficial to your grade than a few more hours of cramming, as research has proven time and time again. So what can you do to maximize the time you spend asleep? The importance of studying in advance cannot be overstated: procrastination often leads to desperate cramming of a semester's worth of academic content, most of which will end up being forgotten. The night before the exam is much better spent asleep than awake. That means starting to studying at least a few days before the day of the exam, but ideally spreading out studying over a week prior to the test. And if worst comes to worst, just try not to pull an all-nighter. Those are the worst for your health, and will completely throw you off.

As tough as it may be, try keeping away from Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Entire hours can drain away once you open up those enticing apps. There goes 2 hours worth of studying or exercising, or most importantly, hours that may enhance a great night's sleep. To abstain from the allure of social media, try turning off notifications from those apps temporarily and keeping your phone out of sight while you study.

One way to help ensure sleep time is to plan out the time that you'll dedicate to spending asleep. Being specific is a good way to plan your schedule around this time. By setting aside time for sleep before starting to study, you may be more likely to stick to the plan rather than just study until you feel tired. If you feel tired and sleepy, listen to your body and get some rest. Straining yourself even when your body is sending you alarm signals is detrimental to your health. Because one's mental state and physical state are interconnected, letting yourself sleep when you feel tired can greatly improve your performance come exam day.

Last but not least, keep in mind that finals are NOT life-or-death. Regardless of how they go, life goes on and your grades are not an indicator of how well you are doing at life. So don't let those worries and fears keep you from sleep. Rest assured, finals are not the final say.

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An Honest Review Of ItWorks! From Someone Who Doesn't Sell The Products

No, I'm not looking for you to "join a team" or begin any challenges.
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I'm sure you've seen your friends on Facebook transition from friend to salesman. Whether it be for Scentsy, LipSense, or AdvoCare; multi-level marketing companies are on the rise thanks to social media. ItWorks! remains one of the most prominent.

ItWorks! is a health and wellness company using primarily plant-based ingredients without any artificial sweeteners or coloring. Their "number one seller" is the famous body wraps but the company is mostly weight loss supplements and vitamins. The company has a passion for the natural over the synthetic. Co-founder Mark Pentecost states on the site's Our History page that "you want to know that you're putting the very best things in your body."

Since most reviews of these products come from distributors, who are therefore biased, I have reviewed three of their greatest products and one I believe you should avoid.

1. Greens™ Blend Chocolate

As a vegan, I sometimes have to double check that I'm receiving the proper nutrients. ItWorks! Greens have been saving my life lately. It contains 52 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods as well as 34 fruits and veggies. It is meant to alkalize, balance, and detoxify.

This is my favorite product! It gives me energy and even fills in for breakfast sometimes. It honestly makes me feel great. Then again... they always said eating all your fruits and veggies would!

ItWorks! gives you those healthy servings in a delicious chocolate flavor (which is bomb with almond milk). Make sure you use a blender bottle or blender. Like many powdered supplements, it can have that grainy aftertaste.

2. Advanced Formula Fat Fighter™

The idea behind this supplement is that it’s "okay to indulge if you have your Fat Fighters." Basically, if you just must have that sweet treat or piece of bread then you can take this pill within an hour to prevent your body from absorbing the carbs and a portion of the fats. If you're anything like me, you eat what you want when you want, so you'll end up taking these pills on the daily.

The main reason I like the Fat Fighters is that they reduce cravings and I normally have such a sweet tooth!

3. ThermoFIGHT™

This product is meant to increase calorie burning, boost the rate of your metabolism, and boost your energy. Like with Greens, I definitely feel energized when I take this supplement. Not in a jittery or wired way, either.

They say "abs start in the kitchen" but I'll try and cheat the system when I can!

4. Ultimate Body Applicator™ and Defining Gel™

This is the ItWorks! claim to fame... and that ASTOUNDS me.

I used to be so skeptical of this company because of the wraps. I tried them three different times and was not impressed each time. The ultimate body applicator and defining gel are meant to tighten and tone the skin to redefine the appearance of your body’s contour. Sure, you'll receive those results... just at an outrageous price. It's an expensive product that requires a lot of re-purchasing in order to receive any drastic results. Not to mention the most drastic results are just reduction of water weight.

They're really just an overpriced skin firming lotion. I suggest finding a nice cream from Target and sitting in the sauna instead.

If your facebook-friend-turned-salesman pushes for you to buy the wraps, just remember that I warned you.

I would like to give an honorary mention to KetoCoffee (probably their second most popular item). Because it is not vegan, I have not given it a try. I have heard amazing things from multiple women, though. Most keto coffee recipes give people the shakes and amp them up too hard. I've heard that ItWorks! has perfected the recipe.

I have used the first three products for a little over three months now. Sometimes I am inconsistent and miss servings. However, I match these products with a vegan diet (mostly whole foods based) and 3-4 days of exercise. I do not have drastic results but I have lost a little over ten pounds and feel great each day. I plan to remain a customer with this company (I have Greens on Autoship!).

I feel so blessed to be a Loyal Customer with ItWorks! because I receive up to 40% off and free shipping after three months. Without this discount, I probably never would have given this company a second thought. I highly recommend going that route because, well...

Cover Image Credit: Savanah Garcia | Instagram

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In The End, You Decide Your Own Fate

No matter how often I was given advice about something, ultimately it was up to me to decide my fate.

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Has anyone close to you ever tried to insert their opinion whether you wanted it or not? I'd like to assume that for anyone reading this, you've gotten some advice that you didn't completely want to take, even if it seemed good for you. I've sought out advice from many people, especially during the lowest parts of my life, and their opinion wasn't quite what I wanted to hear. Say for instance that some people don't like a friend you have or disagree with a decision you've made, how you spend your money, or anything else, really, and they tell you over and over again why you shouldn't do what you're doing or why you need to change your life habits. Often, no one wants to hear that they're screwing up in life, but is it always that you're screwing up or is it just that they don't like the way you live your life?

Here's how I see it: no matter how often you tell someone not to blow their money on insignificant things, how they shouldn't hang around a friend or even that they should break up with their boyfriend/girlfriend, it doesn't concern you. Don't get me wrong, giving your opinion isn't always a bad thing, but you have to understand it isn't always going to be taken and you have to let people learn the hard way or learn to improve their current situation by themselves. I often didn't learn lessons until I either made a mistake myself or until I watched someone else make a mistake. No one wants to learn the hard way, but sometimes I feel that it's a necessary step in developing who you are and strengthening yourself as well as your skills.

To clarify, I'm not saying learning the hard way isn't preventable. This is to say, if you know a decision is wrong, don't do it—plain and simple. In this sense, don't make the excuse that you have to learn one way or another. If it's bad, don't do it. I would hope that this is self-explanatory.

No matter how often I was given advice about something, ultimately it was up to me to decide my fate. It was up to me to decide what was worth fighting for, what was worth my energy, what I should be doing with my life. It didn't matter whether people agreed with me or not. In the end, it was (and is) my life and no one else suffers the consequences for my actions, only I do. So, therefore, it's my decision and I decide my own fate whether you're there for me or otherwise.

As painful as it is to watch someone mess up in life, sometimes—and I use this with emphasis— sometimes it is necessary to go through tough situations in life to pull yourself back up and figure out what's worth it in the end. It's similar to raising kids. Sure, you don't want them to mess up or feel any physical or emotional pain and you want to prevent all of life's hardships from being thrown at them, but we all have to learn somehow.

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