8 Work From Home Essentials

Enhance your productivity with these must-haves

Many of us have been working from home (WFH) for over a year now…and we still haven’t put much effort into creating the ideal work-from-home environment. Maybe you’re still sitting on a hardwood chair at your dining table most days or working from the couch.

I have a confession: I still haven’t bought a wireless mouse–and my right hand is suffering from using the trackpad all day every day (don’t worry, a new mouse is on the way!)

Whatever happens in the future, lots of us will continue working from home indefinitely. After all, we like the flexibility, we don’t miss having a commute, and we appreciate being able to stay in bed for that morning Zoom meeting (unless your boss makes you turn the camera on).

If you’re starting to realize that working from home might be your future, it could be time to invest in some work-from-home essentials that improve productivity and promote overall health. Here are some of the tools you can use to upgrade your WFH environment.

1. Ergonomic chair

I hate to break it to you, but sitting on your kitchen stool all day isn’t doing you any favors. You may not have a home office space available, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have room for an ergonomic chair. If you’re short on space, you can keep the chair at your kitchen table or in the spare bedroom.

A good ergonomic chair will help your posture, reduce back and neck pain, and improve your blood circulation. Check out this chair for $160 or this one for $490. If you’re rather attached to the chair you already have, you can get this lumbar back support cushion for $14 instead of buying a new chair.

2. Standing desk

If you’re ready to see what all the hype is about, you might want to get a standing desk for yourself. According to research, using a standing desk gives you more energy while you work and may boost overall productivity. It also burns extra calories and might even help you live longer.

Buying a standing desk doesn’t mean you need to stand the entire day. Rather, it gives you the ability to alternate between standing and sitting whenever you want. You can choose between this standing desk for $519 or this one for $588. Both of these allow you to adjust them to either a sitting height or standing height.

3. Laptop desk

Perhaps you don’t have enough room for a full desk–or you don’t want to spend the money on one. In that case, you can find a great laptop desk that turns your sofa into a suitable workspace. Remember to sit up straight, even while you’re working on the sofa.

Laptop desks are awesome because they’re so affordable and can double as a TV tray or end table. Check out this one for $50 or this one for $34. You can even use your laptop desk in bed on those days when you just need a slower morning.

4. Blue light blockers

Staring at your laptop screen all day isn’t great for your eyes. Using blue light blocking glasses can help prevent eye strain and keep you from getting headaches. Too much blue light exposure can also mess with your natural circadian rhythm, disrupting your sleep at night.

You can order prescription blue light blocking glasses from Warby Parker or TrueDark…or find cheap and stylish non-prescription ones from Prive Revaux. As someone with an incredibly high prescription, I choose to wear my contact lenses for work with non-prescription blue light blockers.

5. Phone holder

Are you someone who uses your phone frequently for work? You might appreciate a flexible phone holder that allows you to work on your phone without bending your neck too much. This cool phone holder is just $20.

For those of us who know we get distracted by our phones while working, this UV light cleaning and charging phone station ($80) serves the dual purpose of concealing your phone during the workday. When you take your phone out during breaks, it will be freshly sanitized from the UV light. For a cheaper option, simply hide your phone in a drawer.

6. Posture corrector

One benefit of working from home is it doesn’t matter what you wear. We’ve all had sweats days, yoga pants days, and even pajama days. Wearing a posture correcting back brace may not look attractive, but it could be crucial for those who spend the whole day sitting.

This posture corrector is just $27 and forces you to keep your back straight, realigning your spine. Plus, it’s adjustable, so it doesn’t matter what size you are. Wearing a posture corrector should eventually become unnecessary once you train your body to have proper posture.

7. Ergonomic mousepad

When you’re on your computer all day, you need to be careful to take care of your wrists. Having an ergonomic mousepad helps by providing a wrist rest as you scroll and click. Plus, you won’t have the uncomfortable feeling of using your mouse on wood or another hard surface. 

Check out this cute leather mousepad for $22 or this gel one for $8. If you’re like me and haven’t bought a mouse yet, this futuristic ergonomic mouse is $25.

8. Nootropics

Even if you have all of the most cutting-edge WFH equipment, you still might need a little help focusing. Lots of people use nootropics to enhance their concentration and productivity. Nootropics are made up of minerals, vitamins, and plant extracts that boost your brainpower.

My favorite nootropic stack is Qualia Mind from Neurohacker Collective. This brain health supplement is designed to amplify productivity, improve concentration, and promote mental clarity and memory.

8 Ways to Get Over Jet Lag Fast

How to overcome jet lag

Now that Covid is winding down (hopefully), international travel is becoming a part of life once more. Newly-vaccinated folks are boarding planes again and heading for exotic locations. With that comes one of the traveler’s worst enemies: jet lag.

Jet lag occurs when you cross a large number of time zones in a short period of time. It’s a fairly new phenomenon in world history, having begun when the airplane was invented. Passengers aboard the Titanic, for example, didn’t have to worry about jet lag (although they did have other problems).

If you’ve ever experienced jet lag, you know it’s not fun. While you may not be able to avoid jet lag completely, you can certainly take steps to relieve its symptoms. After all, you want to be able to fully enjoy a place like Paris without falling asleep in the middle of the Louvre.

Symptoms of jet lag

When you hear jet lag, you probably think about lying awake in bed at 3:00 AM or falling asleep after lunch. It’s true that jet lag has a huge impact on your sleep schedule, but that’s not the only problem that stems from jet lag.

Because jet lag is the result of a sudden change in your circadian rhythm, it makes your body feel completely out of sync. It takes time to align your body with the new time zone. While you adjust, you’re likely to experience some minor issues.

These are the symptoms you might feel if you’re jet lagged:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Sleeplessness at night
  • Intestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation
  • Mood changes

How long does it take to get over jet lag?

The amount of time it takes to get over jet lag is different for everyone. Some people have no trouble adjusting and are ready for an all-day safari the day they arrive, while others feel slightly off during their entire trip. It’s important to understand how your body reacts to jet lag so you can set the right pace for yourself.

A general rule of thumb is that the time it takes to recover from jet lag is one day for every time zone you cross. For example, if you fly from New York to Istanbul, it should theoretically take you 7 days to feel fully normal because the time difference is 7 hours. 

That’s not to say you won’t be able to do anything for the first 7 days of your trip. You’ll probably feel up to an adventure after a couple days of rest. Still, it’s important to have grace for yourself if you still feel lousy several days into your trip. 

Keep in mind that jet lag tends to be worse when flying east than when flying west. This is because flying east shortens the days, while flying west lengthens the days. If you cross 12 time zones (i.e. Munich to Honolulu or Beijing to Boston), it won’t matter whether you’re traveling east or west. You’ll get hit with plenty of jet lag regardless.

Tips for hacking jet lag

Having the tools to overcome jet lag is just as important as whatever other essentials you plan to take on your trip. Here are some tips for you to get over jet lag quickly so you can make the most of your travel adventure.

1. Rest up beforehand

There is always a lot to do to prepare for a big trip. Even so, it’s important to prioritize getting enough rest before you go. It might seem like you can catch up on sleep during your long flight, but you can’t pay off your sleep debt that easily. Starting out a trip sleep deprived is only going to worsen your jet lag.

2. Change your schedule prior to your trip

You probably won’t be able to completely shift your schedule before leaving, but you can mitigate jet lag by slightly adjusting your bedtime. If you’re traveling east, go to bed an hour or two earlier than usual. If you’re traveling west, try to stay up a little later than normal. This will make it that much easier to adapt once you arrive at your destination.

3. Have a flight strategy

International flights can be brutal. You might be tempted to cope by doing whatever you feel like during the flight, but not planning ahead could worsen your jet lag. First, think about when to sleep. If it’s nighttime at your destination, go ahead and sleep. If not, try to stay awake.

Say no to airplane meals, especially if it’s nighttime at your destination. Eating on a long flight can prevent your body from being able to sleep and can throw off your biological clock even more. Pack some healthy snacks to eat when you’re starving, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

4. Go outside

Because sunlight is so vital to your circadian rhythm, it’s important to go outside during the daytime so you can reset your body clock. Reduce light exposure (including devices) at night so that your brain can produce enough melatonin for you to fall asleep.

5. Stay awake all day

This is one jet lag trick I swear by. I force myself to stay awake until at least 9:00 or 10:00 PM and don’t allow myself to take naps for the first week of my trip (I typically have a 9-hour time change to adjust to).

The best way to keep yourself awake is to plan some activities to fill your first few days. They shouldn’t be super demanding, but exciting enough to distract yourself from the fatigue you may be experiencing. If you absolutely need to nap, try to do it at least 8 hours before your bedtime. 

6. Drink plenty of water

Dehydration tends to make jet lag worse. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get dehydrated on long flights due to the dry air in the cabin. That’s why you need to start drinking lots of water before your trip, continue throughout the flight, and keep drinking once you arrive. And yes, you might want to choose an aisle seat for those frequent bathroom trips.

7. Eat healthy food

Because your gastrointestinal system is closely tied to your circadian rhythm, it can be deeply affected by jet lag. The best way to alleviate stomach problems is to eat lighter meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This includes during your flight. Remember, healthy snacks (not plane food) are the way to go.

8. Try cold therapy

I don’t know about you, but I often travel to places that are a little more rustic. That means there aren’t usually flotation tanks or infrared saunas around. One biohacking tool that is almost always available, however, is cold therapy. You can take a cold shower (or bucket shower) no matter where you are to amplify your energy and support your immune system.

This Sleep Position Will Help You Get More Sleep

The best way to sleep for optimal sleep quality

Do you often wake up feeling like you barely slept at all? If you typically get less than 8 hours of sleep a night, it makes sense to feel that way. But if you average 8 or 9 hours a night, you should feel rested and ready to face the day almost every morning.

Getting the right amount of sleep is the first step. The second step is making sure you’re sleeping in the right position. Most people tend to go with the sleep position that feels most natural and comfortable to them, not the one that’s best for their health.

Changing your sleep position (if you’re not already sleeping in the ideal position) can have a great impact on your overall sleep quality and physical health. While it may be uncomfortable at first, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs.

Different sleeping positions

There are tons of different sleeping positions that people gravitate towards. Some people might ask a person who sleeps on their stomach with their hands under their pillow how they could possibly fall asleep in such an odd position. Others might be surprised to see a person sleeping on their back with their arms straight down at their sides.

Sleeping positions fall into three main categories: side, back, and stomach. Each of these include different variations of the positions. For example, people who sleep on their side with their legs up in fetal position and people who sleep on their side with their arms out in yearner position are all side sleepers.

It’s important to note that there are pros and cons to each sleeping position. That being said, some have more pros, while others have more cons. The best way to sleep is on your side because of all of the benefits it offers without many disadvantages.

The benefits of sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side can help you get more sleep than other sleep positions. The main reason is that it allows you to breathe more easily. When you sleep on your back, you are more likely to snore and have issues with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your stomach requires extra effort to breathe from the respiratory cage.

It’s no secret that trouble breathing leads to sleep loss. An extreme example is people with sleep apnea who wake up constantly throughout the night, never getting the deep sleep they need. Side sleeping makes you more likely to breathe easily and sleep soundly, as long as you don’t restrict your diaphragm by curling up into a ball.

According to this study, sleeping on your side may lower your blood pressure as well. While the reason for this connection is not yet understood, it is fairly well-established in the medical community.

Another advantage of sleeping on your side is that it helps relieve lower back and neck pain. If you put a pillow or blanket between your knees while side sleeping, it helps even more. It’s also possible that sleeping on your side can help your brain clear waste faster than other positions.

Side sleepers also tend to have fewer gastrointestinal problems, particularly those who sleep on their left side. Research shows sleeping on your left side rather than your right side reduces heartburn and other digestive issues.

This isn’t to say that sleeping on your side is perfect, however. Sleeping on your side might not be the best choice for people who have arthritis. It’s also more likely to cause wrinkles than sleeping on your back because your face presses into your pillow.

Still, side sleeping is the best choice for most people. It’s also the most popular sleep position. If you’re like me and you don’t naturally sleep on your side, there are steps you can take to change your sleep position.

How to change your sleep position

Changing your sleep position is probably not going to be easy. After all, you’ve likely been developing this habit since you were a baby. It’s not an impossible task, though. With the right tools, you’ll be able to start sleeping on your side and reap the benefits that come with it.

The sooner you can start sleeping on your side, the better. Even if you’re young without any sleep problems, you’ll be better equipped for issues that come later in life such as weight gain, sleep apnea, and digestion problems. Bonus: you won’t have to change your sleep position if you get pregnant.

Here are some tricks you can try to help you change your sleep position.

  1. Go to bed with a tennis ball

How could a tennis ball possibly help you start sleeping on your side? Well, if you sew the tennis ball into the front or back of your pajamas, it will stop you from rolling around at night. Once you train your body to sleep on your side, you won’t have to use the tennis ball any longer.

  1. Get a new mattress

For many people, it’s difficult to sleep on their side because their mattress is not soft or comfortable enough. This pushes them to sleep on their stomach or back to avoid the pressure that a firm mattress puts on their shoulders and joints. Consider buying a new mattress or mattress topper that will make it more comfortable to sleep on your side.

  1. Use pillows as bumpers

How many pillows do you sleep with? It might be time to add a few more. You can arrange the extra pillows as bumpers to make it more difficult for you to move back into your natural sleep position during the night. Again, you’ll be able to get rid of the bumpers once your body gets used to sleeping on your side.

  1. Try a sleep wearable

For many people, the most difficult part about changing sleep positions is the inability to fall asleep. You might want to try a sleep aid to help you fall asleep quickly in spite of the new sleep position. The safest way to fall asleep faster is by using Hapbee, a wearable device that simulates different compounds such as melatonin without any of the side effects.

8 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Concentration at Work

How to concentrate when you’re super distracted

When was the last time you felt great about your productivity at the end of the day? You completed all your projects (and even got ahead on some for next week), your inbox says 0, and you finally managed to clean out that one desk drawer you’ve been avoiding.

That’s what I thought.

If you’re anything like me, it’s been a while since you had one of these days–the days that make you feel like all of the stress and chaos is worth it because you contributed something that really matters.

Sure, there are days that are better than others, days when you’re not drowning in the work you haven’t been able to finish. But those flow-state-productivity-magic days are few and far between.

What if they don’t have to be? Your ability to concentrate is not something you’re born with that you have no control over. Rather, it’s a skill you can hone just like rock climbing, tap dancing, and playing the didgeridoo.

The tips I’m about to give you are all scientifically proven to help you concentrate at work. It’s time to get in touch with your productive side.

1. Sleep more

If you’ve been struggling to concentrate recently, I’m guessing you haven’t been getting enough sleep. Proper sleep is the foundation of being able to focus. In fact, research suggests that people with sleep disturbances have worse productivity and performance.

Remember, being in bed for 8-9 hours doesn’t always guarantee you’re sleeping well. Getting enough deep sleep is what really matters. Check out these tips for how to improve deep sleep.

2. Get organized

There’s nothing more counterproductive to concentration than being distracted by a messy environment. One Princeton University study found that clutter decreases your brain’s ability to focus and process information. Whether you work at home or in the office, take a few extra minutes to declutter your workspace. Oh, and if you have a million tiny computer tabs on your screen, it’s probably time to close some of them.

Speaking of distractions, make sure to make a plan for putting away your phone while working…I mean actually putting it in a place where you can’t reach it. Trust me, those constant notifications aren’t going to do you any favors.

3. Take breaks

It may seem counterintuitive to take a break when you can’t concentrate, but it might be exactly what your mind needs in order to fully focus on the task at hand. Surprisingly, research shows that your brain is actually quite active in the areas associated with complex problem-solving when you daydream. That’s why you occasionally have those light bulb moments in the shower.

How often should you take a break? You could try the Pomodoro Technique, which consists of working on one task for 25 minutes, taking a 5-minute break, and then repeating the cycle. Sometimes you’ll set a goal of focusing for 25 minutes but then get into flow state and end up working for a whole hour before needing a break.

4. Meditate

Meditation is more than just a spiritual practice. It’s also a way to clear your mind when you feel overwhelmed. Studies have found that even brief meditation sessions can enhance concentration. That’s not to say that you should only meditate when you can’t focus at work, however. Building a habit of daily meditation gives you a solid foundation that holds even when the pressure gets intense. 

Do you feel like you get distracted every time you try to meditate? Don’t miss this guide to meditating even when you’re stressed.

5. Embrace lists

Are you one of those people who creates a to-do list for absolutely everything? You might be on the right track. Research shows that making a plan for unfinished tasks makes you feel less distracted and frees up your mind to focus on the task at hand. Writing a to-do list also allows you to prioritize the most important tasks for the day or week ahead so you don’t have to spend valuable time trying to prioritize as you work.

When it comes to to-do lists, less is more. Don’t write down every single thing you want to accomplish. It’s better to limit yourself to tasks you’re actually likely to get done during the day. That way, you’ll feel great when you’ve accomplished most of them instead of stressed out that you’ve only completed 40% of your to-do list. Don’t forget to include time estimates for each task.

6. Play brain games

Do you have that one family member who always brings a crossword puzzle to family gatherings? It might be time to join them. One study found that those who regularly do brain training activities improve their memory, processing speed, concentration, and problem-solving skills.

Here are some of the brain games you can try:

  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Word searches
  • Sudoku
  • Memory games
  • Chess
  • Crossword puzzles

7. Exercise

It’s no surprise that exercise benefits your ability to focus. It’s basically the key to becoming more healthy in every aspect of life. This study suggests that exercising just one time has a small positive effect on cognition. Of course, consistent exercise has an even greater impact on concentration.

If you can get outside to exercise, that’s even better. Fresh air can have additional benefits for your mind, enabling you to refocus when you get back to work. If working out at the gym is best for your schedule, try to find another opportunity to get outside daily.

8. Stay caffeinated

Good news for coffee addicts. Science actually supports the idea of using caffeine to enhance your concentration. Research shows that caffeine improves performance and productivity. So don’t feel bad about that morning cup of coffee that kickstarts your day.

That being said, too much caffeine can have negative side effects, such as jitters and insomnia.

11 Science-Backed Ways to Add Years to Your Life

How to live longer while staying healthy

When you’re young, it might feel like you have plenty of time to make your mark on the world. You have your entire life ahead of you, and your 80s feel like a lifetime away.

As you grow older and more mature, you start thinking about how you want to live a long, full life. You want to be there for your grandkids’ weddings, visit those distant countries you’ve been meaning to see, and soak up as much time as possible in this crazy, beautiful world.

Living to be 100 isn’t a given, even for those who have excellent genes. Longevity is largely dependent on your lifestyle choices and habits, so you actually have a lot of control over how long you live. And no matter how old you are, it’s not too late to start implementing these healthy habits so you can have a long, fulfilling life.

1. Get on board with a healthy diet

It’s time to bite the bullet and start eating better. Studies show plant-based diets such as the Mediterranean diet can make you live longer. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains to improve your overall health.

You also might want to try intermittent fasting as a way to extend your life. Because this practice reduces your risk of several diseases, it can help you live to a ripe old age.

2. Exercise every day

You’re probably not going to be able to reach 100 years of life if you stay sedentary. And no, you don’t have to become a marathon runner either. Research points to the possibility of adding three years to your life by exercising just 15 minutes a day.

If you can build yourself up to exercising for more than 15 minutes a day, you’ll experience even more benefits. And getting outside whenever possible is super important. Absorbing enough vitamin D can make a huge difference in your health.

3. Make friends

Keeping to yourself might align with your personality, but it’s not doing you any favors when it comes to living longer. Don’t worry, I’m not saying you can never have any alone time. According to this study, having just three social ties can increase your lifespan by 200%.

Make sure you always surround yourself with a supportive community. If you move to a new place, don’t wait to make connections. Our society might be more individualistic than ever, so it’s going to take some effort for you to expand your social circle. You can do it! 

4. Sleep well and nap often

If you’ve been living in a sleep-deprived state for a while, you’ve probably noticed the toll it takes on your health. It’s no wonder that poor sleep can negatively impact your lifespan. In fact, sleeping for 5-7 hours a night can increase your risk of early death by as much as 12%.

What about naps? Because napping can help you relax, it can be a great way to supplement your nightly sleep, particularly after nights when you just can’t get a full 8 hours.

5. Don’t be stressed

I know it’s easier said than done, but taking steps to reduce stress in your life can make you live longer. Studies have found that both men and women can suffer early mortality due to chronic stress. Take a few minutes to figure out what is causing you the most stress. Is it your job, your kids, your friends? Consider how you can take a break from stressful situations.

It’s also wise to develop strategies that help you cope with stress. One of my favorites is daily meditation. If you want to relax even more, try Hapbee’s Zen Companion blend to gain mental clarity and freedom from stress.

6. Stay with your partner

Did you know being married can extend your life? This is due to the benefits of emotional intimacy and partnership. Also, having sex 2-3 times a week can relieve stress and increase your health in a variety of ways.

Of course, if you’re in an abusive or highly stressful relationship, that might have the opposite effect on your longevity. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, make sure to find a safe place for yourself and your kids.

7. Get spiritual and find your purpose

It’s hard to live a long time when you feel like life is meaningless. One study found that attending a weekly worship service can decrease your chances of early mortality by 33%. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a church, but it should be some kind of spiritual community that can provide support for you.

In addition to finding this kind of community, you should put some effort into discovering a meaningful purpose in your life. Whether it’s serving on the board of a charity or becoming a foster parent, you’ll live longer if you’re involved in something bigger than yourself.

8. Turn off Netflix

How many hours of TV do you watch a day? If it’s more than six hours, you’re at risk of dying almost five years earlier than people who watch no TV. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop watching altogether, but you should definitely limit your streaming to an hour or two per day.

If you’re used to watching a show to relax after work (which inevitably turns into three or four episodes), try to replace this habit with something screenless. You might try reading a book or listening to a podcast to help you unwind. Or find a creative hobby you can look forward to doing each day after work.

9. Find a furry companion

Did you know that owning a pet can actually help you live longer? According to research, having a pet lowers your risk of heart disease. Whether it’s a cat, dog, or turtle, you’ll find meaning in taking care of them. And the cuddles certainly don’t hurt.

If you’re not a pet person, try investing in the kids in your life. Whether it’s your grandkids or kids in your neighborhood, being involved in their lives will give you purpose. You can offer to help out with childcare or buy little gifts to show you care.

10. Look on the bright side

It turns out that looking at the glass as half full does have a tangible impact on your life. Studies have found that optimists live longer than pessimists. If you’re a natural cynic, try beginning a gratitude practice to make you more positive.

Laughing often can increase your lifespan as well. Laughter relieves stress, so don’t hold back when something tickles you. Make an effort to surround yourself with people who make you laugh and encourage you to enjoy life.

11. Cut down on substance use

I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but high amounts of alcohol consumption can result in early death. Fortunately, you don’t need to give up drinking completely. Having a drink or two a day shouldn’t shorten your life.

11 Coffee Alternatives to Boost Your Energy

Coffee replacements that make you feel good

So you’re thinking about cutting down your coffee intake, huh? Whether you’re making this choice due to the negative side effects of caffeine, your dislike of coffee’s flavor, your desire to save money, or your realization that you’ve developed a slight addiction to those morning espresso shots, you’ll be pleased to discover there are tons of coffee replacements that can give you the energy you need to stay productive all day.

While you’ve undoubtedly heard about the many benefits of coffee, you might be disillusioned by your inability to fall asleep at night or that shakiness you get when you drink too much (or not enough) coffee.

If you’re accustomed to drinking more than a couple cups of coffee per day, you may have increased health risks, including increased risk of heart disease for those with hypertension as well as increased anxiety and depression.

Even if you’re not ready to give up coffee completely, you can consider substituting some of these alternatives for that late afternoon cup of coffee you feel like you can’t finish the workday without. Having a moderate intake of caffeine is much healthier than relying on multiple cups of coffee a day.

Many of these alternatives still contain caffeine, but none of them have as much as coffee. Several on this list are completely caffeine-free. Keep in mind that any beverages containing milk can be made with non-dairy substitutes.

1. Chicory coffee

This caffeine-free option is made from chicory root and tastes very similar to coffee. It could be the perfect alternative for you if you love the taste of coffee but hate the side effects of all that caffeine. Chicory contains inulin, which is a fiber that promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria, giving you the additional benefit of better digestion.

2. Rooibos

Rooibos is a delicious caffeine-free tea originally from South Africa. It’s full of healthy antioxidants and doesn’t contain potentially harmful tannin antioxidants like coffee and other teas do. If you don’t know what to do with your espresso machine now that you’ve stopped drinking coffee, you can actually use it to make red espresso, which comes from rooibos.

3. Golden milk

This warm and comforting beverage is completely caffeine-free. It’s perfect for cold mornings when you need something warm in your system. Golden milk is essentially heated milk combined with a variety of spices, including ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper. It’s easy to make at home, and it’s much more affordable than coffee.

4. Kombucha

You’ve undoubtedly heard of or even tasted kombucha, but did you know it can increase your energy? Because it contains L-theanine, it offers a more balanced burst of energy than coffee does. Kombucha is almost entirely free of caffeine. It also includes healthy probiotic bacteria that aid with digestion. You might be tempted to make your own kombucha, but health experts recommend buying it instead due to the contamination risks of home brewing.

5. Chai tea

This black tea has less caffeine than coffee, but still gives you a caffeine boost when you need it. Studies show that black tea can improve mental focus and alertness. Chai tea is full of flavor, and you can even add milk to make it a latte. If you’re giving up coffee but still want an option you can easily find when meeting up with friends at the local coffee shop, this could be a great choice for you.

6. Chocolate milk

You may feel like you’re returning to your childhood with this one, but chocolate milk is a healthy, delicious coffee alternative that offers a little caffeine to wake you up. It’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth if you’re used to drinking sugary coffee drinks. Plus, companies like Slate Milk make high-protein, low-sugar, lactose-free adult versions of this childhood favorite.

7. Dandelion root coffee

Although it might seem a little weird to make coffee out of dandelion roots, it’s actually quite nutritious and energizing. You might appreciate that it tastes like coffee without the bitterness or the caffeine. It’s also super quick to make, which is perfect for late sleepers and non-morning people. Don’t forget to make a wish before you blow on your dandelion root coffee!

8. Probiotic shots

Looking for something that will really wake you up? Try taking a probiotic shot–full of organic juices, superfoods, and, of course, probiotics. Trust me, it will look great on your Instagram story. Keep in mind that some probiotic shots may contain caffeine, depending on the ingredients. Check out So Good So You and Pressed Juices to find a probiotic shot you love.

9. Beet juice

Okay, I know beet juice sounds gross…but just hear me out. Beets are great caffeine-free stamina builders that also support heart health, inflammation reduction, and muscle recovery. And you don’t have to drink straight-up beet juice to get the benefits. You can try Blume’s Beetroot Blend for a delicious (and lovely) latte replacement.

10. Brewed cacao

One more for the chocolate lovers out there. Not to be confused with cocoa, brewed cacao is like hot chocolate for adults. It’s incredibly healthy, and it contains theobromine, a stimulant that boosts your energy and lasts much longer than caffeine. Full of antioxidants, brewed cacao is a delicious way to get the energy you need.

11. Hapbee

Don’t have time to mix a cup of your favorite coffee alternative? Hapbee is the best way to get the energy you need with zero side effects and zero inconvenience. Just put the device around your neck and choose which signal you want to play. Our most popular productivity signals are Focus, Alert, and our newest signal, Boost.

Using the powerful energetic effects of theobromine, Boost gives you a burst of energy when you need it the most. If you’re staying up late at the office or in the library, Boost is the perfect way to increase your productivity without letting your sleep quality suffer. Order Hapbee today and see what it can do for you!

The Real Reason You Can’t Remember Your Dreams

What stage of sleep do you dream?

Do you ever wake up to the sound of your alarm and then press snooze so you can go back to dreaming that wonderful dream? Or do you often wake up in a cold sweat, haunted by the nightmares that seem completely real? Or maybe you’re one of those people who never really remember their dreams…and you wonder what’s wrong with you.

Dreams have been an intriguing mystery to humans ever since we started walking the planet. Many have tried to offer an explanation, but few theories seem believable. I mean, come on, Freud, we don’t all have an Oedipus complex.

Surprisingly, even modern science hasn’t given us a lot when it comes to understanding the reason we dream or what our dreams could mean. But there are some studies that have shed some light on the subject, if only slightly.

So why do you wake up feeling like you didn’t dream at all while your partner constantly tells stories about the weird dreams she has? It all starts with the sleep cycle. 

To sleep–perchance to dream

You’ve probably heard of deep sleep and how important it is, but do you know what stage of sleep you dream?

During your final stage of sleep, your eyes actually start moving quickly back and forth underneath your eyelids. That’s why this sleep stage is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. It’s also the stage when you dream most of your dreams.

Does everyone dream? Yes. Even if you forget your dreams when you wake up, you still dreamed them. The amount of time you spend dreaming is probably about two hours every night, regardless of what you remember when you wake up.

Some studies point to the theory that dreams aid us in emotional processing. Other research suggests that dreams can boost creative problem-solving. This could explain why you sometimes spend hours trying to find a solution to a problem only to think of one immediately after you wake up the next morning.

What makes you remember your dreams?

There are a variety of factors that can cause you to remember (or forget) your dreams. The most significant might be your quality of sleep. If your sleep is irregular or you have a disruptive condition like sleep apnea, you’re more likely to wake up during a dream and remember it vividly–at least for a few minutes.

Waking up suddenly due to your alarm or something else can also cause you to remember your dreams. If you typically wake up before your alarm goes off, you’re less likely to remember your dreams.

Your ability to remember dreams could also hinge on your age and gender. The older you are, the less likely you are to remember your dreams. And men tend to forget their dreams more often than women.

Still, there’s no rhyme or reason for your inability to remember your dreams. Maybe you were simply born this way, babe. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Do you even want to remember your dreams? They can be super weird–or even frightening. That being said, there are some things you can do if you want to become better at recalling your dreams.

The best way to improve your dream memory is to write your dreams down first thing in the morning. This is when you have the best chance of remembering the most details about your dreams.

You can also try staying in bed a little bit longer than usual and drifting in and out of sleep. As you’re lying there, make an effort to remember what you dreamed. After a few days, you might become better at remembering.

How to get enough deep sleep

Regardless of whether or not you remember your dreams, it’s vital to get enough deep sleep each night. In fact, sufficient deep sleep can protect you against Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and other medical conditions.

How do you know if you’re getting the deep sleep you need? If you often wake up groggy or constantly feel tired during the day, chances are you’re not getting enough deep sleep. Here are some tricks for improving deep sleep.

1. Body heating

Taking a hot bath or shower before bed has the potential to increase deep sleep. Studies show that the positive impact of body heating on deep sleep is due to the higher brain temperature necessary for deep sleep. Doing something to raise your body temperature before bed will help you reach deep sleep faster so you can stay there longer.

2. Pink noise

Falling asleep to pink noise has the power to improve deep sleep, according to research. Pink noise is sort of like white noise, except it has more intense lower frequencies. You might find it quite soothing to listen to in bed.

3. Sleep wearables

The best way to increase your deep sleep is to invest in safe, effective sleep wearables. Start with Oura Ring, a biotracker that shows you exactly how much deep sleep you get each night. Once you have a better understanding of your sleep metrics, you can begin experimenting to see which habits positively affect them.
For a device that actually improves your deep sleep rather than just tracking it, check out Hapbee. With 19 unique blends designed to enhance each moment of your life, Hapbee is the perfect way to feel your best at all times. The Deep Sleep blend gives you the restorative sleep you need to wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. What are you waiting for? Order your Hapbee today.


A retThe leap in time in terms of work culture that we are currently in catapulted us knowledge workers into the home office a year ago and thus into a new form of work. So I’m really late with this article. Nevertheless, I think it conveys interesting points that are useful to us both now and in the post-Covid period.


According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means  paying attention in a specific way: consciously, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. This type of attention increases awareness and promotes clarity and the ability to accept the reality of the present moment.

It is beneficial for our job performance as well as for our recovery and resilience . This inner attitude of mindfulness can support us in many ways, for example in the home office.

It helps establish routines and habits at home that encourage mindful work. In terms of an incomplete list, I see the following mindfulness impulses that can specifically enrich our home office day:

  1. Start
    – A conscious start to the day with a breathing Vipassana meditation or mindful physical exercises anchor us in the present and give vitality and energy.
    – Using the short commute from the kitchen to the study as a walking meditation sharpens awareness.
    – Airing the study well in the morning leaves valuable oxygen and freshness behind.
  2. Working
    – pausing every now and then and noticing what is happening in body and mind leads to awareness in thinking and acting.
    – Monotasking instead of multitasking leads to concentration and productivity.
    – A minute’s silence before an online meeting (alone or with all meeting participants) can induce calm and insight.
    – Communicating mindfully, for example with the help of conscious and value-free I-messages in difficult conversations, can create a connection.
  3. Rest
    – Take regular breaks. After tension comes relaxation – a law of nature that keeps us healthy if we follow it.
    – Drinking and eating mindfully during coffee and lunch breaks creates joy and presence.
    – Take care of yourself. Paying attention to nutritious food, regular exercise and enough sleep helps to stay healthy and vital.
  4. Let go
    – separating the office from home gives you relaxation. A walk outside clears the head and activates the body.
    – A conscious transition from the home office day to the end of the day with a short silent pause and linger on the body or recite the sentence ​“I did my best, I’m letting go now.” a few times. Or a metta meditation can give kindness and gratitude.
    – In the home office it is possible to work around the clock, but this contradicts healthy self-care. There is a limit to what you can do. Postpone the rest until tomorrow or get support. Do not see this attitude as a weakness but as a strength.

Which mindfulness impulses have you already heard or already established as your own routine in your home office? Please leave a comment below.

“It is clearly important to read and add knowledge to be an effective worker and leader.
Even more important are the mind and heart we show up with every day.”

– Matt Tenney


For most people, working from home also means video communication instead of meetings. It’s beneficial because it helps people stay connected face-to-face and saves physical trips.

However, many video conferencing users complain of exhaustion after online meetings. There is already a term for it: Zoom fatigue , which means something like video call fatigue resp. Video Conferencing Exhaustion. Just as “google” is like any web search, the term “zoom” has become ubiquitous and a generic verb replacing video conferencing.

The psychologist Dr. Linda Kaye from Edge Hill University in the UK says that a large part of this is because we want to see ourselves on the screen and present a good image to our colleagues. “It’s likely that this raises our self-awareness to a higher level than usual, and therefore causes us to engage more with our self-presentation than in face-to-face interactions in the real world,” she explains.

Another explanation for fatigue, according to the psychologist, could be our inability to fully utilize the usual range of social cues and non-verbal communication during video calls. We need to pay extra attention to the behavior of others in order to effectively track social interactions. These extra attentional efforts can tire over time.

The good news: There are ways to reduce zoom fatigue.

The following tips are suggested by  Harvard Business Review :

  • Build in breaks.
  • Keep meetings shorter.
  • You don’t have to participate in virtual social meetings with colleagues.
  • Switch to a phone call or email when appropriate.
  • Reduce the stimuli on the screen – try to take yourself out of view.

And Stanford University professor Jeremy Bailenson summarized the following possibilities:

  • Stop looking at yourself on the screen. Constantly looking at your reflection in the mirror can lead to stress. In the video settings, select “Hide self-view” by right-clicking on your own photo (once you see that your face is properly framed in the video).
  • give yourself more space. We are cognitively more efficient when we are not constantly sitting still. Sitting close to the screen during a video call can feel confining. Give yourself more space by moving around the room with your laptop.
  • Make the faces smaller on the video screen. Too much close-up eye contact can be intense. Resize the video window to minimize the face size, this gives a little distance.
  • Turn off your camera and turn away from the screen every now and then during longer meetings (if the video situation allows it).

MINDFULMIND is part of the vision that meditation as a tool and mindfulness as an attitude in the health promotion of Swiss companies – at work and in the home office. Above all, we would also like to address SMEs that can take a first step with a relatively small budget. For this we have developed the practice-oriented and holistic  mindfulness training MINDFUL WORKS as well as a mindfulness program – for the benefit of the employees and the company.

5-Day vs 4-Day Work Week: Which is Better for Productivity?

Should we switch to a 4-day work week?

Do you feel like your weekends are gone in the blink of an eye? You toil away all week, and then you barely get a chance to catch up on sleep before it’s Monday again. Your laundry hamper is still full, you didn’t have time to meal prep, and you never got around to cleaning the oven.

You’re not alone. People all over the world are starting to consider implementing a 4-day work week to allow employees more time to rest, hang out with friends and family, and catch up on household chores. Rumor has it that going from a 40-hour work week to a 32-hour work week won’t even have a negative impact on productivity.

Sounds like a win-win situation, right? The 4-day work week could be the key to solving all our problems…or it might just create new ones. Fortunately, we can look to those who have gone before us for help making this decision.

Success stories

We have COVID-19 to thank for bringing the 4-day work week into the spotlight, but one country was doing a study long before the virus broke out. Iceland conducted trials on 2,500 workers from 2015 to 2019. A variety of industries took part, including schools, businesses, hospitals, and social service providers.

The findings were encouraging. Researchers discovered that productivity remained the same or improved in each of the workplaces they studied. While this may sound surprising considering these workers had 35-hour weeks instead of 40-hour weeks, it’s actually reasonable since people tend to be more productive when they are not overworked.

Now that the trial is finished, over 86% of Iceland’s workers have the right to work shorter hours for the same pay. Similar experiments are in progress in Spain and New Zealand.

Several of the world’s most productive countries, including Norway, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany, work an average of less than 30 hours per week. This corroborates the findings of Stanford University, which reveal a relationship between increased productivity and decreased working hours.

The idea of working less is starting to reach American shores as well. Recently, California Congressman Mark Takano introduced legislation for a 4-day work week. His proposal involves lowering the maximum hour threshold for overtime pay from 40 hours to 32 hours. Apparently, workaholism may not be a core American value as we once thought.

The pros and cons of a 4-day work week

I’m guessing some of you are still a little skeptical. It seems like the 5-day work week is part of the foundation of our society. What would happen if we threw it out the window? Would our kids have only four days of school? Would our stock market stop trading on Fridays?

Yes, the 4-day work week would be a big change. Like all huge changes, it has advantages and disadvantages. While some of them might be obvious, others are hidden below the surface.


Aside from improving productivity as we discussed earlier, the 4-day work week offers a host of benefits. Employees can experience increased job satisfaction, improved work-life balance, heightened company loyalty, and decreased stress.

The 4-day work week also promotes gender equality in the workplace in that it makes space for working mothers to focus on childcare. Jobs that value staying late and working the occasional weekend tend to be harder on working moms. A shorter work week gives them more time to spend with their kids and contribute to society in that way.

Another important advantage of the 4-day work week is that it reduces our carbon footprint. If the entire office is closed on Fridays, no AC or electricity is needed. There is no reason to use excessive gas for a lengthy commute. Furthermore, people tend to spend their free time doing less carbon-intensive activities such as biking and walking, playing with their kids in the backyard, and visiting neighborhood friends.


Switching to a 4-day work week is sure to be met with pushback, especially since it requires such a radical societal transformation. While it has been confirmed that productivity won’t suffer from this change, there are other disadvantages that are important to keep in mind.

The main complaint surrounding a 4-day work week is lack of access to government services and other important services. With offices closed on Fridays, people have less time to run errands and get the help they need. One solution for certain businesses might be to give half the office Mondays off while the other half has Fridays off. In the future, AI might become adept enough at customer service to run the show when offices are closed.

It’s essential that companies don’t try to make their employees squish the same amount of hours into four days. This will cause burnout and lead to decreased productivity. It will also prevent people from having a healthy work-life balance because they get home so late. The 4-day work week should have 35 hours maximum.

Is it time to switch?

Whether you’re an employer thinking about attracting valuable employees, an employee looking for an ideal work situation, or a gig worker figuring out your weekly schedule, you may want to consider implementing a 4-day work week. It could make the difference between satisfaction and burnout in your workplace.

That being said, it’s not going to be easy to make this change. You’ll probably need to redesign your entire company structure to make sure your employees can get all of their work done in a shorter amount of time. This means shorter meetings, fewer distractions, and streamlined communication processes.

Still, your choice to make this switch now will pay off in the long run. The world is moving towards a 4-day work week, and you want to be ahead of the game. Plus, you’ll feel great knowing you’re contributing to building a more balanced and connected society.

4 Tips You Can Use to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age

One of the most prominent fears when it comes to aging is memory loss. In fact, a recent national poll reveals that a lot of Americans in their 50s and early 60s are increasingly afraid of dwindling brain health, particularly if they have relatives who have suffered from dementia.

However, it’s very much possible to retain the basic aspects of your memory and keep your brain healthy as you age. Here, we list down four tips that can help you age gracefully while maintaining optimal brain function.

Exercise your brain

The brain is like a muscle ⁠— the more you exercise it, the sharper it gets. When you stimulate your mind through various mental challenges and exercises, you also enhance the connective tissue between the neurons in your brain, which then encourages it to function better. What’s more, a study by psychiatry researchers notes that constant cognitive training through brain exercises can help protect you against cognitive decline and dementia. So, be sure to seek out mentally challenging activities such as learning a foreign language or trying out a musical instrument.

See your healthcare provider regularly

A good reason why you should go in for regular check-ups is to find any potential health issues before they become a huge problem. So be sure to take note of any neurological problems you’ve experienced recently, such as disorientation, a sudden inability to complete easy activities, and short-term memory loss. Raising this with a general practitioner or neurologist allows for the early diagnosis of conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Another capable health professional who you should approach when it comes to brain issues are neurology nurses. These practitioners have finished a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited RN to BSN program to gain extensive skills in neurology, research, patient assessment, as well as physical rehabilitation. This allows them to be more involved in the different aspects of neurological care, such as assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients. In addition, neurology nurses are at the frontlines of neurological care today, as telemedicine remains to be the only option for those stuck at home due to the pandemic. So if you’re afraid of not being able to physically visit a clinic for a check-up, you can opt for telemedicine services and update your healthcare provider about the current state of your brain and neurological health.

Limit your alcohol consumption and quit smoking

It is well documented that various substances found in cigarette smoke, such as nicotine, tar, and formaldehyde can badly damage your brain. In addition, drinking too much alcohol regularly can also be toxic to your brain. Because of these, you should do your best to be tobacco-free and limit your alcohol consumption. If you find it difficult to quit these vices and live a healthier lifestyle, you should talk to your healthcare providers so they can refer you to an alcohol or smoking cessation program.

Don’t forget to stay social

Stress, depression, and anxiety can contribute to the decline of your memory. To help you overcome these challenges, you should try to be more social and interact with people who can keep you engaged and interested. Brain atrophy is known to be connected to solitary, so social interaction can help you fight feelings of loneliness, improve the state of your mental health, and eventually strengthen your brain as you age.

Aging gracefully means taking care of your physical and mental health. Following the tips we’ve listed above can help you keep your brain sharp as you enter older adulthood. If you find yourself saying worrying things such as, “I can’t focus.” or “I can’t concentrate”, we have many insightful posts.