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About Audio8Master

Born and raised in Silicon Valley, I am a student at San Jose State and Marketing intern at Velodyne Acoustics. I am an avid San Jose Sharks and San Francisco 49ers fan. When I'm not watching sports, I'm listening to music and thinking deep thoughts about sound.
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Breast Cancer Awareness

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As many of you already know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer is a something that affects the lives of many people in ways that are both measureable and unmeasurable. In recognition of this, Velodyne is running a promotion this month on our pink vPulse in-ear headphones. We are offering 2 pink vPulse for $50 on velodyne.com and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to a breast cancer charity.

Breast cancer affects many people in many different ways. It is true that about 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It is also true that about 40,000 women will die from breast cancer just this year alone. Breast cancer research is of great importance to those affected, whether, victims, survivors or their families. Funds are required to support scientific research, whether it be to raise awareness about early detection and treatment options, prevention, risk reduction, and research into possible environmental contributors.

How can you help? Spread the word. Many band together to do breast cancer walks, which are as much about support and solidarity as raising funds for the cause. Be a good friend, spouse or child to someone you know that is affected. And, hope for the cure.

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Five Must-Have Items for Gadget Lovers in 2014

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I have compiled a list of five items that gadget lovers are going crazy for this year. Can you live without these? Sure. But they really do make daily life much for fun.

The Sony Smartwatch 2 is the #1 gadget on this list. This is for android smartphone users out there. This little device pairs up with your smartphone via Bluetooth and goes on your wrist for easy access. The Sony Smartwatch allows you to initiate, answer and end calls. It also allows you to send text messages, emails and access your apps. You can also receive Facebook and Twitter updates on this little device too. It is water resistant and even comes with a stainless steel band which makes it stylish. Furthermore, it has a rechargeable LiPo battery to give you up to 7 days of uninterrupted use. What, you say your smart phone already does all those things (except rest on your wrist)? Well, the beauty of the Smartwatch 2 is it keeps all of that information at the ready, but you can receive your updates more discreetly and even better, keep your hands free!

The Waterpebble is an interesting little device that I believe people who spend a lot of time in the shower should consider buying. If you find yourself in the shower for more than 20 minutes, that is too much. With the current drought situation in California, reducing water usage is of utmost importance. Not only are long showers a waste of water but are ultimately expensive as they rack up your water bill fairly quickly. If you are looking to reduce your water usage, then get yourself a Waterpebble. The Waterpebble monitors your shower’s water flow and tells you when your time is up and you need to get out. You can set it for however long you want, but bear in mind more time is more water. Not a bad little device to have to have if you are looking for ways to cut costs.

The next item on my list is vQuiet noise cancelling headphones. With so many noise cancelling models flooding the market, what makes Velodynes so special? Well, the first thing is how comfortable they are to wear. The soft ear pads and headband pad coupled with the relative light weight of the vQuiet make them very easy to wear. My ears never start to hurt from wearing these headphones which is not the case with many other brands. The second reason I love the vQuiet is because of the sound quality. The vQuiet headphones deliver the superb bass that Velodyne is known for, making these headphones a definite must have in my book.

Next up on my list of must have is the KeySmart key organizer. Are you one of those people that has too many keys jingling around on your keychain? The KeySmart key organizer is the place for ALL of your keys. This organizer is sort of like a Swiss army knife. You place them all in one little convenient organizer and when you need one of them you just flip them out. The KeySmart organizer will eliminate key jingle and thigh poke. The KeySmart can be enlarged with an expansion pack to hold up to 10 keys for those of you out there that carry a lot of keys.

Last but certainly not least on my list of must have gadgets is the IN1 iPhone case. The IN1 iPhone Case is an 8-in-1 multi-tool phone case. Have you ever noticed that when you need a Philips screwdriver, a pair of scissors or a pen to sign something you never seem to have those items on your person? Now if you are like most smartphone users your smartphone is pretty much always in your pocket or somewhere nearby. This clever little phone case houses a Philips screwdriver, slotted screwdriver, scissors, tweezers, nail filer, toothpick, phone stand and red and blue pen. How’s that for convenience? Now you can have these items on your person at all times.

So there you have it, my list of 5 must-have gadgets in 2014. If you know of any other cool gadgets that you think should be on this list, please comment below and share it with us.

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Dealing with End-of-Summer Blues

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It’s August and we all know what that means… summer will soon be drawing to a close and so will summer activities. The warm weather, long days and fun in the sun will soon be over, making this is a sort of somber time of year for obvious reasons.  I have decided to write a post to give everyone some helpful tips to help both kids and parents alike cope with the end-of-summer blues.
The first piece of advice that I have for parents is to start rolling back your children’s bedtimes by about 10-15 minutes each night, a week or so before your kids go back to school. On top of this wake your kids up a little bit earlier each day as this helps to correct your kids sleep cycles before school starts. Doing this will result in less of a shock come the first week of school making the transition for everyone a little bit smoother. Giving your kids a little bit of structure each day is not a bad idea either. After you have woken them up make them shower, brush their teeth and get dressed as this helps them to get back into the routine faster.
The next piece of advice that I would like to give parents about their kids is to pay attention to what they are doing rather than what they are saying. This is especially true for kids that are under 10. After school has been in session for a few weeks kids finally realize that summer is really over. This is when kids are most prone to start misbehaving. Kids will often resist getting out of bed in the morning, going to school and throw temper tantrums. Children could be more likely to show aggression toward their siblings. If you notice these things happening with your kids, understand that this is a sign of anxiety. Instead of expressing themselves to you in words they show you what is wrong via their behavior. You should talk to your kids and ask them what is wrong if you observe this happening.  Sometimes just being a good listener can go a long way in helping them cope with the fact that summer has finally ended.
My third piece of advice is to prepare in advance by marking your fall calendar. Obviously, the first thing that you should mark is the first day of school. You should also prepare as much as you can in advance. Make sure you have already purchased school supplies, textbooks and other necessities before school starts. This will save you a lot of stress by not having to scramble immediately after school starts to get everything you need. Also, mark fun autumn events on your calendar such as Halloween costume shopping, pumpkin picking, and even Christmas tree shopping. This gives your kids something to look forward too.
So far I’ve given several tips about what adults can do to help kids cope with the end of summer leaving some of you adults out there wondering, “What about me?” I think you guys should treat yourself to a present or some sort of experience after you have worked hard to get your kids back into school routine. Is there something that you really need but have been putting off because money is tight or for some other reason? Why not treat yourself to a new electronic gadget like a new phone or computer or how about pair of Velodyne headphones? Or maybe you prefer experiences instead of material things. Then why not reward yourself with some concert tickets to your favorite musical artist if you know they will be in town soon. The point I’m trying to make is if you are a hard working adult especially one with kids, every once in a while it is good to reward yourself with something you want. I know that often times those of you out there with families spend so much time worrying about your kids and your bills and work that you neglect yourself. Now is as good a time as any to do something nice for yourself especially if you haven’t done so in a while.
Now with the warm summer days fading you have probably realized summer cocktail season is almost over. When the seasons changes so do our cocktail taste buds. The summer makes us crave fruit flavored cocktails while the cooler autumn makes us desire holiday scented cocktails. So how about some ideas for some fun fall themed cocktails? I’ve done some research and found a few that you might like. If you are hosting or attending a Halloween party instead of just the usual boring fruit punch how about spicing it up with some spiked apple punch to make things more interesting?

Halloween Punch (for adults)

To make this you will need:

1 gallon of apple juice, 1 gallon of apple cider, 3 cups of white sugar, 6-8 cinnamon sticks and 1 bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol. Simply add the juice, cider, sugar and cinnamon sticks into a large pot and heat it to a boil. Then allow it to cool and add the grain alcohol and enjoy.

Another one you might try if you like apple flavored cocktails is apple cider margaritas. Margaritas are a popular summer drink that transition nicely into the cooler months with this recipe.

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Apple Cider Margaritas

Gather 6 parts apple cider, 4 parts of silver tequila, 2 parts of triple sec, a lime and some brown sugar. In a margarita shaker add the cider, tequila, triple sec. Then squeeze some lime juice and add a dash or so of brown sugar. Finally, shake it up and pour it into a glass with ice and enjoy. You can also add some slices of apple if desired.
Well there you have it. My list of tips to deal with the End-of-Summer blues. If you have any other tips for people to cope with the end of summer or if you have some fun fall themed cocktail recipes please comment below and share it with us as we would love to hear it.

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How To Choose The Right Pair Of Headphones

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As you probably already know Velodyne has a full lineup of headphones. Choosing the right pair of headphones may seem daunting with so many different options to choose from. There are in-ear headphones, over-ear headphones, wireless headphones, noise-cancelling headphones…all of which Velodyne makes. So how do you pick the right pair of headphones for your needs?

What do you plan to do with your headphones? Are you someone who likes to listen to music out and abut or will you primarily be listening to your headphones at home on the computer? If you are like me and you like to listen to music while walking around at school then I would highly recommend that you get yourself a pair of the vPulse. Not only do they sound excellent but they are small earbuds that won’t get in your way while you are walking around. I do not enjoy wearing large, cumbersome headphones on my head which is why I prefer the vPulse for on-the-go listening.  Now of course there are other things to consider when choosing headphones such as affordability, style and wireless capability. The vPulse are the least expensive pair of headphone that we offer, so if you are budget-conscious those would probably be your best bet. If  you don’t mind wearing larger headphones and you are on a budget then the vLeve wired headphone would be a great choice too. Not only do they have a larger driver than the vPulse but they are also our least expensive on-ear model headphone if you are trying to save money. Not to mention, you can change up their look with headphone skins. Several looks for one low price!

Now maybe you are not someone who will be listening on-the-go but instead will be primarily using your headphones at home on the computer or maybe even a stereo. If this is the case then you probably consider the vBold or perhaps even the vTrue if you plan to use headphones on a stereo. The vBold are our largest pair of over-ear Bluetooth wireless headphones. With a 40 mm driver and comfortable over-ear pads the vBold provide excellent sound quality and great comfort. Meanwhile, the vTrue – which is our studio headphone – utilizes a 50 mm driver to deliver premium sound that you will not find anywhere else.

If you are a big traveler and spend a lot of time on airplanes, then the vQuiet noise-cancelling headphones would clearly suit you well. However, airplanes and commuter trains are not the only place that noise-cancelling headphones work well. In fact, the vQuiet works well anywhere. In the bedroom when someone is mowing their lawn outside. When your kids are running around the house making lots of noise and you just want to tune them out. Or anytime you just want some good old peace and quiet the vQuiet can get the job done.

The last thing to consider when choosing headphones is comfort and style. Nobody likes to wear headphones that are heavy and become uncomfortable after you have had them on your head for a while. Fortunately, Velodyne’s full lineup of headphones has plenty to offer in this department. The vFree, vLeve, vBold all have very soft padding on the ears and headband which makes them very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. These headphones are also very light, you might even forget  you are wearing them.

No matter what your headphone preference, Velodyne is a one stop shop.

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Must-Have Back-to-School Items

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It’s August now and we all know what that means…It’s time to head back to school. This can be a sort of chaotic time of year as many of us are scrambling to figure out what we need to buy in order to get ready for the first day of school. This post is intended to provide some insight as to what kinds of things you should consider when you go back to school shopping in the next few weeks. Instead of boring you with the obvious necessities like pens, paper, binders and stuff like that I will try to give you some ideas for items that you may not think of right off the top of your head.

The first item that I think everyone needs to consider closely is a new backpack. I know that I promised that I wouldn’t bore you with obvious items, but this is actually something I felt is worth mentioning. When kids go to school they have to lug around books which are HEAVY. When I was in middle school it always drove me nuts having a backpack that hurt my back when it was full of books. Often I would just choose to not bring books with me to school because I didn’t want to carry them around.  This didn’t always go over well with teachers, but I didn’t want to have a sore back at the end of the day. What is my point? Well, when it comes to backpacks my advice is to shop around a bit and invest in a good one.  They even have back packs with wheels on them now which are a lifesaver. You will thank yourself for it down the road.

The second item that I think everyone should have is a reusable water bottle. These come in BPA-free plastic and stainless steel, among other materials. There are convenient sizes and shapes, those that fit in your cup holder in the car, as well as the side sleeve of your backpack. Remember that when school starts it is still actually summer which means that it is still quite hot out. Being a equipped with a water bottle will keep you hydrated to avoid fatigue and other side affects of dehydraton. This is especially true for grade school kids who play outside in the heat during recess. You will also save money with a reusable water bottle as you won’t have to buy individual bottles of water whenever you are thirsty and this is also kind to the environment.

The next item on my list is a pair of headphones and not just any headphones. Get yourself a quality pair of headphones that are stylish, comfortable to wear and above all deliver premium sound. You may, depending on your school and grade, wear headphones while walking to class, waiting for the bus, on the bus, in the library and during free time on campus. The Velodyne vLeve are an excellent choice for those students out there who are looking to invest in a good pair of headphones before heading back to school. As you may already know the vLeve are customizable with our designer skins. The vLeve are also very light weight with soft ear pads and head pads making them comfortable to wear. Finally, the vLeve provide premium sound quality so you can listen to all your favorite tunes loud and clear while you are on-the-go.

Now of course if you are going to invest in a pair of vLeve headphones then I would also highly recommend you download Onkyo music player to get the best sound performance out of your new headphones. For those of you that have never heard of Onkyo music player, it is an equalizer app that works much like the music player app on your iPhone or Android phone with one key difference. It allows you to equalize all your songs either by the presets or by hand. I’ve had this app on my phone for about 6 months now and I love it. By changing the presets for individual songs I can get the best sound performance out of all my Velodyne headphones which makes this app a must have in my book.

There are two more must have items on my back-to-school list. The first of which is a USB thumb drive. Most of you know what these are and what they are used for. Thumb dives are little pocket sized flash memory cards that plug into the USB port of a computer. You can put all kinds of different files on them in order to go from one computer to another. These are handy for research papers, PowerPoint presentations, pictures, music and anything else you might have that is school related on your computer.

Lastly, I recommend a dry erase board for lockers or dorm rooms, or even study areas for those headed back to school. This will allow you to write reminders and have themt posted somewhere that you will see it. These also come in handy to jot down ideas, and rough outlines of papers. You can’t beat the visual impact notes written on a dry erase board have, and the ease of changing those ideas with the swipe of the eraser.

Hope everyone is prepped with all of their essentials. Comment below with your favorite back to school item for a chance to win some Velodyne swag.

 

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SaberCats Fan Appreciation Night

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Another SaberCats season has come and gone and we are proud to say that we will attend Fan appreciation night on July 11 when the SaberCats take Tampa Bay Storm. The SaberCats will play their final home game of the regular season at SAP center at 7:30pm.  We will be there out one last time this season to showcase our lineup of headphones.  So if you are there then don’t forget to stop by our table and listen to your favorite music on any of our headphones.  We will once again showcase our vTrue studio headphones, vLeve on-ear headphones, vFree and vBold Bluetooth headphones and finally our vQuiet noise-cancelling headphones. We hope to see you at the game.

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Summer’s Here: Tips To Help You Wake Up In The Morning

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Do you often find yourself hitting the snooze button in the morning at the sound of your alarm clock because you are not yet ready to get out of bed? This tends to happen even more during summer since many of us stay up later since it stays light longer. We also tend to be more active in the evening due to the light and warmer weather, which can also lead to more barbecuing and socializing, creating the need for more rest. So how do you combat these things to get yourself up in the morning?

My first suggestion is that you try to adjust your circadian clock. Your circadian clock is your body’s internal clock that tells you when to go to sleep and when to wake up. So how do you adjust your internal clock? There are several factors that go into how your circadian clock is influenced. One factor that affects your clock is light. Light signals to your body when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to wake up. In one of my previous posts I suggested avoiding bright objects like T.V. and computer screens an hour before bedtime. When it comes to waking up the opposite is sort of true. Instead of avoid light in the morning you need to expose yourself to it. Open up your blinds if it is sunny out. If not, then turn on lights in your bedroom to make it bright. Bright light helps your body to accept that it is time to get out of bed and begin the day.

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Next, try to play with the time that you go to bed but not with the time you wake up. Our bodies sleep in cycles. The best time to wake up is when we are in the lightest phase of the cycle. By changing the time that you go to be but not changing the time that you wake up, this teaches your body that wake up time is inflexible and therefore it must instead adjust your bedtime. By setting a rigid wake up time your body will start to become tired earlier.

A great way to wake up is  by turning on music. Some may use music as their alarm clock. Upbeat, happy tunes will rouse you from sleepiness, get your blood pumping and may even get you singing. If your living situation is such that a stereo system complete with subwoofer is a too much for the rest of your household (or your neighbors!) in the morning, put some headphones on while you’re getting ready so you don’t disturb anyone.

There are two final pieces of advice that I have for you to help you get up in the morning. If you find yourself frequently hitting the snooze button, then you need to make it more difficult for yourself to do this. One such way is to set your alarm out of reach so that you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. This helps to avoid the temptation to go back to sleep.  Lastly, you should try to maintain your sleep pattern every day….including weekends. This is probably the hardest thing for all of us to do. I find it very difficult to not want to sleep in on the weekends but keeping our sleep pattern will make it easier to get out of bed on Monday morning, typically one of the toughest days to wake up. Give these a try and let us know how they work out for you. Or, share your tips if you have a great way to get yourself out of bed in the morning.

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Reasons You Need A Pair Of Bluetooth Headphones

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Nearly all of us own a cheap and practically disposable pair of headphones that we likely received with the purchase of an iPod, iPhone or other listening device. Due to the popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and mp3 players, the demand for headphones has increased dramatically. Headphones come in all sorts of styles, brands and price levels to meet consumers appettite for them. This has raised one important question. Are expensive headphones worth the money? The short answer to this question is, yes they are and in this post I will explain why sound quality is important and how the vFree and vBold meet this need.

 Sound quality is of utmost importance to many people. Musicians spend numerous hours in recording studios tailoring their music to be heard just the way that they want us to hear it. In order for us to hear all of the different instruments and frequency ranges that there are in different songs we must have high quality speakers that can accurately reproduce the sounds that these musicians create for us. Without well-built speakers we will not hear music the way that artists intended for us to. The sound quality of the vFree and vBold is excellent. As you would expect from a subwoofer company, these headphones deliver the excellent bass that many music lovers seek without compromising the mid and high ranges. The first time I listened to a pair of the vFree headphones I was very surprised at how crisp and clear the audio was. Producing clean and true bass as well as a good mids and highs make sound quality a big strength of both these headphones. This makes them both a big winner in the audio quality department.

Another reason that I believe that they are worth the investment is because they are comfortable to wear. Nobody likes to wear uncomfortable headphones. I remember the first time that I saw the vFree headphones and I felt the pads on them. I was immediately pleased at how soft the padding was, not to mention how light they are, making them almost un-noticeable when you wear them. Put these two things together and you have a very enjoyable pair of headphones. 

Bluetooth capability is the final reason that I love both of these headphones. The ability to go wireless is awesome. You can roam around your house without the limitation of a cord. You can also listen to music on the go without having an irritating cord tangling from you headset down to your pocket that can get caught on something. Both of these headphones have microphones built into them so you will also still be able to answer calls while using the Bluetooth capability. The thing that surprised me the most about the Bluetooth feature was that the sound quality was not noticeably inhibited when streaming music wirelessly. My biggest concern about using Bluetooth to stream music was that the audio quality would suffer. However, after listening to a pair of vFree using the Bluetooth feature I was very surprised to find out that they still sounded wonderful even while streaming music. In fact, the only difference that I noticed between cordless and wired use was the strength in the volume; you get a little bit more volume when the headphones are wired but that is about it. Velodyne’s Bluetooth vFree and vBold have proven to be quite a “sound” investment.

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Tips to help you get to sleep at night

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Getting to sleep at night has been a challenge for all of us at one point or another. This can be especially frustrating when it is late at night and we have to be up early the next day. In an effort to help you deal with this irritating occurrence here are some helpful tips below to help you try to cope with this common problem.  

The first and most obvious suggestion that I have for you is that you need to make your room both quiet and dark. Your body’s natural response to darkness is to start getting sleepy. If you have a T.V. on or you are staring at a bright screen like a cell phone or computer then you are inhibiting yourself from becoming tired. You also need to make your room cool.

The Next suggestion that I have is to regulate your room temperature. Optimal room temperature for falling asleep is in the low to mid 60s which is fairly cool. The reason for this is believed to be that a cool room helps to lower your core body temperature which then makes you sleepy. If the temperature gets too hot or too cold many people have trouble falling asleep. 

It is also not a bad idea to shower or even better take a warm bath before you go to bed. Just as throwing cold water on yourself wakes you up and makes you more alert warm water has sort of the opposite effect. It relaxes you and also starts to make you tired.

Listening to some music can also be a helpful way to get you to sleep at night. Not everyone sleeps best in total silence. In fact, some people may find it easier to fall asleep when there is ambient noise. This would be a good time to pull out your vFree or vBold headphones.  Obviously you will want to listen to music that is soft and soothing. Nothing that is loud or hard on the ear as this will make it even tougher for you to fall asleep.

The last piece of advice that I have for you is to take some melatonin. For those of you that have never heard of melatonin it is the natural hormone that your body produces that regulates sleep. As you age your body naturally produces less and less of this hormone which is why that as you get older you begin to sleep less. Taking a small dose of melatonin is a simple and natural way to get to sleep at night. I can personally vouch that melatonin works as it has helped me get to sleep countless times.

Now that I have given you a list of things to try to help you sleep I will give you a list of things to absolutely not try. As I said before you should seriously refrain from watching television or looking at any bright screen about an hour or so before bedtime. The reason behind this is because darkness tells our bodies that bedtime is approaching and it is time to get sleepy. When you have a bright television on in your bedroom you are artificially tricking your body into thinking that it is not time to go to sleep yet. This is why we are told not to go to bed with a television on. When it starts to get dark our body begins to produce natural hormones that make us sleepy. By having lights or other bright things on close to bed time it tricks our body into thinking that it is earlier in the day that it really is.

The next piece of advice that I have for you is don’t work out close to bed time. Workouts do the opposite of putting you to sleep they wake you up. It is actually better to work out in the morning than it is to work out at night for this reason.

 I would also strongly advise you not to nap during the day. This is one that I personally struggle with. When I am tired in the middle of the day nothing sounds more appealing than a nap. However, it has also been shown that taking naps messes with you sleeping pattern which I can also attest to. An interesting suggestion that I have heard of is to take a nap with keys in your hand. Whenever the keys fall out of your hand this wakes you up and this is the right amount of nap time for you to get a burst of energy without messing with you sleep pattern. Lastly, I would also recommend you not eat before you go to bed. Going to sleep when your body is trying to digest food is difficult and you should therefore avoid it. You should especially avoid drinking anything that has caffeine in it for obvious reasons.   Hopefully the next time you are having trouble falling asleep you will find these tips helpful.

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