Mount Hood

Sleep soundly with hacks for better sleep

Tips for getting a good night’s rest

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Sleep is a very important factor in improving concentration, memory, energy and physical health ⏤ though it is well known that we as college students don’t tend to get enough. If getting more sleep is on the to-do list this year, here are some tips from medlineplus.gov and sleepfoundation.org that may help get a better night’s rest.

Get the brain into a habit of going to sleep and waking up at about the same time every day, including weekends. Set recurring alarms or reminders on one’s phone, or utilize a sleep app to help stay on track.

Harbor better sleep by making one’s bedroom more comfortable. People tend to sleep better in dark and colder environments, so decrease the amount of light with blinds or curtains, and lower the temperature by adjusting the thermostat or using a fan. Adjust the noise level by using ear plugs, or use an app to play soft sounds.

For those struggling to fall asleep, try relaxation techniques, like taking a bath or drink a warm, decaffeinated beverage before bed. Reading and listening to soft music can also calm the mind. While lying in bed, try meditative techniques like counting backwards from 100 or perform a breathing exercise.

Some changes to daily routine may be necessary to help get more sleep. This may look like turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed or avoiding caffeine, sugar or large meals in the late evening. Try to avoid spending time in bed while awake so that the mind only associates laying in bed with sleeping. One can also try incorporating regular exercise into their routines; studies have found that doing small amounts or regular exercise promotes more deep sleep.

If lack of sleep is interfering with daily function, contact a doctor for professional help.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu

‌10 scrapbooking tips and tricks to try out

A well-loved pastime is making a comeback in 2021 

Natalie‌ ‌Dean‌ ‌|‌ ‌Entertainment‌ ‌Editor‌ ‌ ‌

Scrapbooking has been cherished by many types of people, and one of the beauties of the craft is that it’s open for anyone to enjoy. It can be used to remember the passing years and fun times and can be incorporated into cards, letters, journals and photo albums alike. The art form has been used for centuries to capture important moments and faces filled with smiles. In past times, some people would compile scrapbooks throughout the years for their children ⏤ occasionally gifting them on their wedding day or important birthdays. It can also be used as a thoughtful way to commemorate a loved one who has passed away. 

Although not as many people are utilizing scrapbooking nowadays, the craft can be explored individually but can be enjoyed with company such as groups, retreats or classes. The world of scrapbooking can be intimidating; there is no one “right” way to scrapbook, and the most important part is to have fun with it and to see where it goes. That being said, there are a few tips and tricks that can make the activity easier to explore:

  1. If a traditional scrapbook isn’t available, any drawing booklet, old journal or photo album will work just fine. 
  2. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Most materials used can be found around the house or bought at thrift stores and yard sales.
  3. Pick a color scheme and a theme. If using photos, the rest of the page layout can be inspired by colors or details in the pictures. 
  4. If using older photos with limited or no copies, it can be best to leave them as is or to cut them in traditional shapes like squares or ovals. If they are more recent photos, consider developing extra pictures.
  5. Thicker cardstock paper works best for backgrounds since it withstands materials like thick markers, lots of tape and paint. Pictures from magazines, newspaper clippings and drawings all work too. Put unused scraps in a resealable plastic bag to avoid a mess.
  6. Journaling highlights and details from the event, memory or photo can be a good jumping-off point for a page, which could include the location, date, weather, favorite parts and the people involved. 
  7. If the page layout doesn’t include journaling and isn’t quite centered around one theme, quotes from books, movies, tv shows or lyrics can be used to balance the design. 
  8. For an added design element, include dried or pressed flowers or leaves, or embellish with bits of fabric, ribbon, stickers, paint and different writing techniques.
  9. Using textured paper adds a little pop to the page, and envelopes can double as pockets for photos or journaling snippets. Two-page layouts add extra space.
  10. Don’t glue or tape things right away; lay it all out and experiment with the design. Double-sided tape works best when layering, and glue sticks work better with paper.

Contact the author at ndean17@wou.edu

Five resolutions to revel in this new year

Kick off 2021 with these New Year’s resolutions

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

The start of 2021 brings about a new sense of determination in the form of New Year’s resolutions. Though some may be just for fun, this time of year is also a great opportunity to think about trying some practical self-improvement resolutions. Here are five New Year’s resolutions to consider adding to the list and a few tips to help achieve them. 

Get more sleep: According to Georgia State University, getting enough sleep — approximately nine hours for college students — is important to improving concentration and memory, rejuvenating energy and strengthening the immune system. In order to get a better night’s rest, healthline.com says to create a sleep schedule that involves going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day. Set a recurring alarm on one’s phone, and be sure to plan ahead for school projects that may otherwise take away from sleep. If sleep is difficult, try turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, avoiding caffeine in the evening or taking melatonin. 

Start saving money: Whether it’s for a house down payment, retirement or a rainy day fund, saving money is a great habit to start as soon as possible. To begin, set up a savings account at a trusted bank or credit union. Then, as thebalance.com recommends, transfer a set amount out of each paycheck into savings; even if this can only be a small amount, saving any money is better than saving no money in preparation for the future. 

Get organized: Decluttering and keeping organized can decrease stress while increasing productivity as stated by organizedmindandlife.com. Start small with just the desk or closet; throw out things deemed unnecessary and use containers to organize like items. Keep things organized by doing a little cleaning every day as opposed to letting it pile up overtime. 

Go vegetarian: According to healthline.com, going vegetarian has health benefits, including lower cholesterol and improved cardiovascular health, and environmental impacts through supporting animal rights and decreasing the need for factory farming. If cutting out meat all at once is challenging, try participating in “Meatless Mondays.” Also stock up on plant-based alternatives to one’s favorite meat products in order to curb cravings. 

Reduce time on social media: Social media is all but an addiction for many of us, yet curbing time spent on social media can be beneficial to mental health says healthguide.org. Set aside a specific amount of time to spend on social media per day — 30 minutes for example — and utilize screen time apps to help. Also try turning off notifications for certain apps and muting or unfollowing accounts that don’t bring happiness. Deleting social media altogether is another option, though depending on one’s attachment to their feed, this may be a goal to work up to.

Contact the author at avanderzanden19@mail.wou.edu