Tuesday, October 30, 2007

170 Million Addicts

Caffeine. 55% to 90% of Americans consume it every day. And now caffeine is being hidden in products that don't just come in Starbucks cups. According to an article that I found on Time.com today, caffeine is now being infused into gum, lip-balm, mints, beer, candy, sunflower seeds, and even soap. One product that I have come across a few times lately while studying the affects of caffeine is called "blow." Its' name and packaging are both intended to resemble cocaine. The white powdered substance is sold in a plastic vile and is meant to be stirred into water or other drinks.

Although these products are making money, the affects of caffeine addiction and withdrawal can be uncomfortable. I for one developed the habit of drinking a venti latte, made with three shots of espresso, at the beginning of my work shift every night. By midnight, I would develop a splitting headache and would have to drink coke or another soda with caffeine in it in order for my headache to subside. After a week or so of this, I decided I was consuming way too much caffeine. I switched my regular venti latte to "half-caff"--a mix of part decaf and part regular. Since then my headaches haven't returned.


World Series Champions!!!!

So the Sox must have read my plea last week because they successfully swept the Rockies! Thanks boys! Today I'm going to crunch the Sox parade into my schedule by trying to take in as much as I can between my two classes. My mom called me yesterday and said everyone must be excited for the Sox but also relieved that they can start sleeping again...we'll see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sleep Loss Leads to Mental Illness

I came across a few new articles this week dealing w/ a study done by UC Berkley as well as the Harvard Medical School. Findings from the study have proved that sleep loss directly relates to psychiatric disorders. I better watch out...


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NU Offers Time Management Coaches

Boston.com recently posted an article dealing with time management coaches that Northeastern is currently offering to the students in the Professional and Continuing Studies program. Adults in the program can choose to team up with a personal coach who they will hold weekly phone calls with. The coach will help the student to plan his or her time, to better juggle full-time work schedules and college courses which are taken at night and during the weekend.

Northeastern says in the article that only half of their continuing students graduate as it is difficult to take classes, work full-time and also raise a family, as in some students' cases. NU is one of only 13 schools nationwide that has hired the company InsideTrack to provide the coaches to the university.

I seriously doubt that NU will ever decide to offer the same benefits to their Undergrad students. I wonder if they did extend the availability of the coaches to undergrads, if students would take advantage of it. I for one, consider myself too stubborn and independent to be willing to take advice from a time management coach. The coaches do seem better suited to adult students who need to live by stricter schedules than younger students may have to. For example, I could pull an all-nighter to get a project done if it was necessary. But a mother who needs to get her kids ready for school in the morning could definitely not consider this option.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Napping is Natural

I love to nap. Lately I haven't had much time to squeeze in a really good one though. I often long for the days of last semester which I filled with Spanish-style siestas. I recently came across this article which describes the idea that humans were evolutionarily made to take naps during the afternoon and that a nap as little as ten minutes can actually be very beneficial. It also says that naps should not last more than 45 minutes, to avoid falling into a deep sleep cycle and becoming too groggy. I think I'll definitely try to fit in a good 45 minutes between my last class and work tonight.


Sox: Please sweep so I can sleep!!

Don't get me wrong: I am STOKED that the Sox came back to win the ALCS. BUT, I do recognize that entering the World Series means another few weeks of even less sleep. With all these after 8 pm games that don't end until around midnight, I know I definitely won't be getting to bed any earlier on my nights off. This past weekend I had Sunday night off. I should have been at home prepping for my midterms this week and getting a good night's rest. But instead I was huddled around the plasmas at Cask n' Flagon watching every victorious play. My biggest hope for this series is that the Sox sweep the Rockies. That would definitely be a great "win, win" situation for me. Not only would we be the World Series team winner but it would also free up a little bit more time for myself.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fighting the Flu

When you have a hectic schedule, you can't let getting sick slow you down. As the colder weather, and flu season approaches, we should all do a little extra to keep ourselves healthy. Here are some tips to avoiding getting a cold, such as taking Vitamin C, eating a healthy diet, and washing hands often.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hottest Accessories for Fall

I live by my planner. Every appointment, homework assignment, work shift and social engagement I plan to attend will be hastily jotted down in my calendar. Since more and more people are becoming slaves to their planners, naturally the planner has become not just a scheduling tool but a fashionable accessory. Check out some of these hot for Fall patterns from my favorite accessories store--Coach.


Leisurely Reading

On my flight back from Los Angeles last week I reclined my seat and did something I haven't had a chance to do in months--I opened a book. I love reading, but I haven't had enough time lately to actually sit down and get into a good piece of literature. I started wondering how many Americans actually read anymore, and I came across this article which mentions an AP poll. The poll found that the "typically person" reads four books a year. Of the others polled, half read more books and the other half read fewer but one in four didn't read a single book last book. I supposed I would fall into the "typically person" category. I used to read daily, but now if I get a free block of time, I'd prefer to just read a book cover-to-cover.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Quick Workout Moves

I love working out and especially going for runs. With my schedule this fall, however, I've cut my daily running routine down from everyday to about three times a week if I am lucky, and I definitely never have a big enough time chunk to hit up the gym.

The website below gives some good tips for how to incorporate a few small exercises into a daily routine so that you can stay healthy without devoting any time away from your regular activities. Don't be surprised to see me doing calf lifts if we're ever riding in an elevator together!


Cut Cooking Time

When I do have a decent amount of time to cook dinner before I head to work, any time saving tips definitely make a difference. Check out these 10 tips to make prep and cooking time a little quicker.


Dinner Bell

I love to cook. If I could I'd make a three course meal for dinner each night and invite guests over for a long leisurely meal. But in the real world, my time constraints usually mean I have to settle for slapping some chunky peanut butter on a couple slices of 12 grain bread and eating it en route to the T.

Lately I've befriended my microwave and tried a variety of what I hope are healthy frozen foods. The article below gives a good recap of which frozen foods are healthiest and what to stay away from. Hey, it's not gourmet, but it offers a welcomed break from PB&J.


Check it out

Click the link below to check out this blog which deals with 33 classic time management tips. All of the tips are links to other articles and offer some great advice!


Thursday, October 4, 2007


...that is the sound I wake up to every morning. As a slave to my alarm clock I depend on it to wake me from deep slumber on a daily basis. I usually set two to three alarms on my cell phone, double check it twice and if I'm still feeling unsure, set my iPod speakers to go off as well. If getting out of bed is tricky for you as well check out one of these new alarm clocks. There is "Clocky" invented by an MIT grad who will run around the room until you turn him off, or Sleeptracker, a device that will wake you during light sleep so that you won't feel tired.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Energy Drinks

It seems to me that drinking excessive amounts of energy drinks would definitely take a toll on someone. I read several articles on energy drinks, however, and I didn't encounter too many negative stories written about them. The least positive is linked below which explains that energy drinks can only really be dangerous when mixed with alcohol, a recipe that is becoming increasingly popular. I personally think that most energy drinks taste like nasty cough medicine and steer clear of them, but I do have some friends who seem to live off them.


Time Management

I did a quick google search to find out about books written about time management skills and found hundreds on the topic. It seems a little ironic to me, however, that someone who honestly has enough time to sit down and read an entire book really has that little amount of time to work with. I haven't read anything for pleasure since school started up again, and feel like picking up one of the novels I started over the summer is a luxury I can't afford right now.

If anyone really is interested in learning about time management, Julie Morgenstern's Time Management from the Inside Out, seems to be a popular choice on Amazon.

Sleep Study

I found this article on USA Today which talks about a sleep study done on college students. No earth-shattering results were found but there is a correlation between students pulling all-nighters to study and lower GPAs.