Insomnia is defined as "repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, or quality, despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep, that results in some form of daytime impairment," according to the National Classification of Sleep Disorders.
In other words, it's a term that can refer to a wide range of sleepless situations, from those who lie awake all night to those who wake up and can't get back to sleep. (Sleep problems that don't fall under this umbrella include sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.) Insomnia can last a few weeks or months, and for some it's a lifelong challenge.
One thing is certain: "Insomnia is a symptom of an underlying problem," says Susie Esther, a specialist in sleep-disorder medicine. So if your doctor gives you that label, she will want to look for the cause, which might be depression, anxiety, or physical issues. Treating those underlying issues can often cure the insomnia.
Written by Sally Wadyka
9 Sleep Problems, Resolved
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Insomnia is defined as "repeated difficulty with sleep initiation, duration, or quality, despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep, that results in some form of daytime impairment," according to the National Classification of Sleep Disorders.Read More »from Are You An Insomniac?
Michele GastlNothing's so annoying as wanting to make your friend Sally's snickerdoodles and not being able to find the recipe -- or her cell-phone number for that matter.Read More »from Create a Recipe Notebook
A binder system can solve one of the most niggling kitchen problems -- keeping track of recipes. This is more than just a place to stash clippings: It works for the novice as well as the gourmet. Unfortunately, this binder will not cook four separate dishes for four sets of picky taste buds. But it will help you avoid the anguish in locating the recipes.
Setting Up the System
1. Categorize and Subcategorize. Instead of organizing your recipes by appetizers, entrees, and desserts, make your categories as specific as possible. Break them down by major ingredient (poultry, beef, pork, etc.), type of side dish (salad, rice, potatoes), or kind of dessert (brownies, cookies, pies).
2. Protect. Keep your recipes behind the plastic sleeves when you cook so they stay splatter-free.
3. Consolidate. Instead of flipping back and forth
David HoriiThe CauseRead More »from Tip: Conquering Food Odor
Poorly ventilated or cramped kitchens mixed with pungent foods -- such as garlic, curry, eggs, cheese, and burned casseroles -- make for strong odors that re-create the atmosphere of a pub at closing time.
Lemon and citrus fragrances remove strong food odors. Often the best (and easiest) remedy is to open a window or turn on a vent. "We use exhaust fans that suck everything out," says Wayne Almquist, a professor at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York.
Conquer Common Household Odors
8 Surprising Household Deodorizers
Big Solutions for a Small Kitchen
Nancy NewberryFirst impressions count, even when it comes to a pet. Before falling head over heels in love, determine whether a dog or a cat will be the right fit for you and your family.
At a Breeder:
"When you are first introduced to the litter of puppies, sit down in a chair, not on the floor, and observe them," says Kellyann Conway, director of animal training and behavior for PetFinder.com, an online database of adoptable animals. While the first puppy that comes bounding over may seem full of spunk, he may prove to be a difficult pet. "You want a little hesitation from a puppy, especially if you are looking for a family pet," says Conway. "The puppy that immediately runs over might be too assertive and test boundaries when he grows up." On the other hand, a puppy that hides in shyness or cowers in the corner won't be a good match, either, especially for a social family. "You want a dog confident enough to come over and say hello," says Conway.
Note, too, how the puppies interact with one Read More »from How to Choose a Pet Dog
Body language can almost always be interpreted in more than one way. Following are 4 gestures, with advice for reading them from a team of experts in nonverbal communication.Read More »from Become Fluent in Body Language
It Could Mean: She's thinking.
But It Might Mean: She disapproves of or disagrees with what you're saying. Or else she can't hear you.
What the Experts Say: "This almost always means something negative," says trial lawyer Maria Katrina Karos. It is often a cue people use to tell you something is wrong, says author Lydia Ramsey: They want you to ask them what they're thinking.
It Could Mean: She's unhappy or uncomfortable.
But It Might Mean: She's concentrating.
What the Experts Say: Some people frown without realizing it, so don't comment on the frowning directly, says anthropologist David Givens. If it happens during a job interview, you might ask, "Did that answer the question?" With a friend, just ask if she's OK.
It Could Mean: Nothing. It's just a
Anna Williams1 6-to 7-pound whole roasting chicken, giblets removed
9 sprigs fresh thyme
9 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 lemon, halved
4 heads garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
1 cup Nicoise olives
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large baguette, thickly sliced
Heat oven to 450Â° F. Gently loosen the chicken skin from the breast meat and place a third of the thyme and tarragon under the skin. Place another third of the herbs, plus the lemon and a handful of garlic cloves, inside the chicken cavity, and tie the legs together with cooking twine.Read More »from Real Simple Recipe: Garlic Roast Chicken
Place the chicken in a small roasting pan and surround with the remaining herbs, garlic, and olives. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the thigh juices run clear when pricked with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170Â° to 175Â° F. Transfer the chicken to
Michele GastlFew moments are more absurd than the times you beg your loved ones for their dirty laundry. That's why you should put a few receptacles in strategic locations that will make transporting and sorting clothes easier, says Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty Laundry With the Queen of Clean ($9.99, Amazon.)Read More »from How to set up an efficient laundry room
- A hamper, a basket, or a bin should go in each family member's bedroom or bathroom. Even if you can't get every family member to do his or her wash, you can save time by giving everyone a portable receptacle. Make sure the hamper has soft edges that won't mar paint or chip doorjambs.
- Set up a central three-bin sorter in the laundry room where people bring their individual hampers. Laundry that doesn't make its way to the sorter doesn't get washed. (If your child's jeans du jour are left dirty, it's not your problem.) Any family member over four feet tall should be able to separate lights and darks. Hand-washables go into the third bin.
- Keep dry cleaning away from the laundry
- Organize your DVDs by slipping them into DiscSox boxes with plastic sleeves (shown) so you can flip through them by genre or artist. To Buy: $27 for 25, www.discsox.com (Get a 10 percent discount with the promo code RealSimple).Read More »from 4 media organizing tricks
- Use a decorative wooden ladder to hang magazines. See Real Simple's 12 Ways to Cut Clutter
- Send Riptopia your CDs and the company will convert them to digital music for easy transfer to your iPod or computer. To Buy: 99 cents to $1.70 per CD, www.riptopia.com.
- Depending on its shape and size, a wine rack might store magazines and newspapers. See Real Simple's Instant Wine Smarts
Use 5-minute windows of time to make big headway on making meals
Photographer: Yunhee KimShop Smart
Sort groceries before you get home. At the market, ask the bagger to put all the perishables in one bag, the snacks in another, the canned goods in a third. You can help the process along by loading like foods together on the conveyor belt. At home, unloading will go far more quickly and be easier to delegate.
Prep meat and fish. The few minutes it takes to trim or pound meat can be sandwiched in between the flipping of the breakfast pancakes or afternoon calls to doctors and plumbers. Come suppertime, just pull your pan-ready fillets from the plastic bag and cook.
Meat can sit in an oil-based marinade for about 24 hours in the refrigerator, so you can set up the next day's dinner before hitting the sack; fish, with its more delicate flesh, should sit for no more than 4 to 6 hours, so this is something you might do at lunchtime. Place the meat or fish and the marinade in a resealableRead More »from 10 Ways to Speed Up Dinner-Prep Times
Susie CushnerStep 1: Gather all the garments you anticipate needing.Read More »from Best way to pack for a business trip
Then put half of them back. Select clothes in the same color family, packing more tops than bottoms. For a five-day trip, you'll likely need five shirts, two pairs of slacks or jeans, and one skirt, says Kathleen Ameche, author of The Woman Road Warrior: A Woman's Guide to Business Travel (Agate. $13, Amazon). The average 22-inch check-in bag fits roughly two pairs of jeans, three sweaters, two dresses, and five shirts.
Step 2: Choose knits, wools, and cottons.
These fabrics tend to resist wrinkles and are versatile (some garments can do double duty, like yoga pants that moonlight as pajamas).
Step 3: Roll softer garments and fold stiffer ones.
Underwear, T-shirts, jeans, cotton pants, and knitwear won't wrinkle when rolled tightly, says Judy Gilford, author of The Packing Book (Ten Speed Press, $13, Amazon). Stiffer fabrics, such as starched cotton shirts, blazers, dressy pants, and skirts, should be carefully folded.