Saturday, June 24, 2017

5 tips to fall asleep fast for the night owl reader

One of the most popular traits that make night owl readers night owls is that they find it difficult to fall asleep at night. In fact, some pick up the habit of reading in bed simply as a way to lure themselves to a nap.
How to sleep instantly
How to sleep instantly and peacefully after the bedtime read (Source: Wiki )

To some, this is natural and doesn’t affect their life in any major way. They simply have a natural biological clock that keeps them more alert, energetic and productive when the sun’s down. However, many others become night owls because they can’t get themselves to doze off at night, despite feeling extremely sleepy and tired. They toss and turn, and won’t sleep until after several hours in bed. As a result, they wake up the next day feeling drowsy and depressed. How to drowse off instantly as you lie down in bed? Here’s 5 tips from a night owl who has learned the hard way how to fall asleep 30 seconds after my eyes leave the Kindle.

1. Don’t eat too late

We tend to feel sleepy after we eat, but having too big a meal before going to bed can upset your stomach, preventing you from falling asleep peacefully. In addition, eating right before bedtime has been linked to poor sleep quality. This is because when you lie down after eating, the stomach continues to work and produces acids, which, especially if you have GERD, reflux back up, triggering reactions that wake you up. If you’re halfway through the dreaming phase, your memory of the dreams are more vivid, and it would be easier to recall the disturbing ones. Thus, my fellow night owls, make sure you enjoy your meal at least 2 hours before crashing to bed. It’ll be a lot easier to doze off with a calm, settled stomach!

2. Turn the ceiling lights off

Reading in a warm shade of light
Reading in a warm shade of light before bedtime can help you sleep better (Source: Pexels)

The darker the environment, the easier it is for you to fall asleep. Most LED and fluorescent ceiling lights emit strong light with short wavelengths (blue light), which is similar to daylight. While being of great helpfulness during the day (boosting alertness and elevating your mood), this kind of light can cause major problems to your sleep at night. With strong intensity, it inhibits norepinephrine. As a result, the brain fails to make the melatonin or the sleep hormone. This makes us find it difficult to sleep. In a study on the effects of environment light during sleep on the autonomic functions of heart rate and breathing, scientists had the participants sleep in two different environments: one completely dark, and the other lit at 1,000lx with fluorescent light (typical of a ceiling light). The results indicate that sleeping in the light potentially causes sleep-disordered breathing right from the onset of your nap. Therefore, in order to fall asleep faster and sounder, it is important that your bedroom is dark. An hour or two before you go to bed, draw the curtains to prevent light from outside, and turn off your ceiling lights. If you want some light for reading or other activities before and during bedtime, avoid blue light and pick the lamps with pale amber shades and are dimmable. A low intensity level and a warm, pleasant color temperature will have more positive effects on your sleep.

3. Choose your book carefully

Now for the night time readers like me, who have a reading ritual before bedtime. This tip is based on my personal experience. I tend to categorize my books not only by topics, but also by the best time to read them during the day or the week, or the time of the month. For example, I personally won’t pick on books about loss and sadness during my PMS - when I know I’m more sensitive and it’s easier to feel blue and weep. Anyway, for the evening, I avoid “difficult” books - the ones that need a lot of analysis to be understood, and the one with more than 5 difficult words on a page. I read books that are “light” in language and content. They could be fiction or non-fiction, but they should not require my brain to work too hard. My favorites are delightful short stories - they are easy to read and understand, I can finish them fast without the lingering question about what is happening in the next chapters. Easy, sweet stories help me to fall asleep anticipating a lovely dream.

4. Turn off your electronic devices

Most electronic devices emit blue light
Most electronic devices emit blue light which can disturb your sleep hormones (Source: JBSA)

As for electronic devices, it is advised that you do not use them within one hour before you sleep. A reason is that electronic devices emit blue light, which as mentioned earlier, increases the release of cortisol in the brain, making us more alert. In addition, the use of them also triggers anxiety or the fear of missing out, which prevents you from settling down for a long nap. The anxiety makes you keep checking your Facebook or Twitter until you’re too tired, which is usually several hours after your scheduled sleeping time. If you are a night owl reader and love to enjoy your bookly adventures at night, use a small book light instead of a big lamp. The right book light for reading in bed produces a soft glow of amber, which has longer wavelengths and are less likely to flicker than blue light, thus easier on the eye and on your sleep. If you read on an ereader, set the device to the lowest brightness level possible.

5. The 478 Breathing Technique

As you apply all of the above and still find yourself tossing and turning in bed, try this final resort that has been known widely among yogis.
  • Place the tip of your tongue on your alveolar ridge. Keep it there.
  • Take a deep breath, and then breathe out heavily through your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and inhale through the nose in four seconds.
  • Hold your breath and count to seven. Exhale while counting to eight.
  • Repeat the cycle several times, and you will fall asleep before you realize it.
I wish you a good read, and a good sleep. Namaste!


Anitya is a full-time nooblogger from Hooked To Books, a blog dedicated to book and reading gadget reviews. She aspires to make the reading time the highlight of the day for everyone by sharing her reading tips, introducing interesting books, and reviewing gadgets that provide comfort and enhance reading efficiency. You can find her on Twitter, and Facebook. Check out her latest article here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan Giveaway


Such a Good Girl
Release Date: June 20th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2aphoto B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE**



Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She's never had a secret she couldn't keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She's nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn't have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn't usually play games. (But when she does, she always wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.


Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works on freelance projects when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda’s books include After Hours, written as Claire Kennedy, Secrets Lies and Scandals, and Such a Good Girl.

For more information on Amanda's freelance/technical writing, to ask for information on a specific project, or for other questions, contact her.



      1 $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
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Amber Sky by Claire Warner Giveaway, Excerpt & Fun Facts

SURGEON’S STORY by Mark Oristano Excerpt & Giveaway ***Review Added****

Author: Mark Oristano
Publisher: Authority Publishing
Pages: 190
Genre: Nonfiction Medical

What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story - Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”
Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.


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Book Excerpt:

The first task is to examine the heart to see if the preoperative diagnosis is correct. Dr. G uses delicate instruments to retract portions of the tricuspid valve and examine the extent of the defect of the ventricular septum, the wall between the two ventricles. She determines the exact size and shape of the VSD and trims the segment of pericardium she saved earlier in preservative. She cuts miniscule pieces of the pericardial tissue and sutures them along the walls of the VSD, creating anchor points for the actual covering. Each suturing is an intricate dance of fingers and forceps, needle and thread. Dr. G works with a small, hooked needle, grasping it with forceps, inserting the needle through the tissue, releasing and re-gripping with the forceps, pulling the hair-thin suture through, using a forceps in her other hand to re-grip the needle again and repeat. The pericardial tissue being sewn over the VSD has to be secure, and it has to stand up to the pressure of blood pumping through Claudia’s heart at the end of the operation. This isn’t like repairing knee ligaments, which can rest without use and heal slowly. Claudia’s heart is going to restart at the end of this operation, and whatever has been sewn into it has to hold, and work, the first time. The VSD repair involves cautious work around the tricuspid valve, and their proximity is a concern because the valve opens and closes along the ventricular septum with each beat. Dr. G and her team find that it’s preferable to actually divide the cords of the tricuspid valve to better expose the VSD. After the patch is fully secured, the tricuspid valve is repaired.
        Things don’t go as smoothly during the attempt to repair the pulmonary valve. When Dr. G looks inside Claudia’s heart she discovers that the pulmonary valve is not nearly large enough, and it’s malformed. It only has two flaps where there should be three. She repairs it by what she later says is “just putting in a little transannular patch.”
        Here’s what it’s like to “just” put a transannular patch on the pulmonary artery of a child as small as Claudia:
        First, take a piece of well-cooked elbow macaroni. Tuck it away in a bowl of pasta that has a bit of residual marinara sauce still floating around in it. Take several different sized knitting needles. Slowly, without damaging the macaroni, insert one of the knitting needles into it to see if you can gauge the width of the macaroni on which you’re operating. Then using a delicate, incredibly sharp blade, cut a small hole in the piece of elbow macaroni, maybe a little larger than the height of one of the letters on the page in front of you. Now use pliers to pick up a small needle with thread as fine as human hair in it. Use another pliers to pick up a tiny piece of skin that looks like it was cut from an olive, so thin that light shines through it. Take the needle and sew the olive skin on to the hole you’ve cut in the piece of macaroni. When you’re finished sewing, hook up the piece of macaroni to a comparable size tube coming from the faucet on the kitchen sink, and see if you can run some water through the macaroni without the patch leaking.
        That’s the food analogy. Those are the dimensions Dr. G worked with as she patched Claudia’s pulmonary artery. She made it a little wider to give it a chance to work more efficiently, to transport more blood with less blockage, requiring less work for the right ventricle so that the built-up heart muscle could return to a more normal size. It wasn’t the repair she’d planned to make, but it was the most suitable under the circumstances, and it gave Claudia her best chance.
        Before restoring Claudia’s natural circulation, the team makes certain that no air is in the heart or the tubes from the pump, because it could be pumped up to the brain. Air in the brain is not a safe thing. When all the repairs are completed, Claudia is rewarmed and weaned from the bypass machine. She was on pump for 114 minutes and her aorta was clamped for 77 minutes, not an extraordinary length of time in either case.
        Claudia’s heart starts up on its own, with a strong rhythm. With her heart beating again the beeps, and the peaks and valleys on her monitor return. All is well. An echo technician wheels a portable machine into the OR and puts a sensor down Claudia’s throat where it lodges behind her heart to perform a transesophageal echo —a more detailed view than the normal, external echo. Everything looks good. Chest drains are put in to handle post-operative drainage, and wires are placed for external pacemakers, should anything go wrong with Claudia’s heart rhythm during her recovery from surgery. Dr. G draws Claudia’s ribcage back together with stainless steel wires, perfectly fastened and tightly tucked down.
        Claudia and the surgical team return to the CVICU, and Dr. G monitors her reentry to the unit, making sure the nurses understand Claudia’s condition and the proper procedures to be followed for the next 24 hours. From there, Dr. G enters a small room tucked away from the noise of the unit to meet with the family. Claudia’s mother, father, and aunt are waiting. Dr. G sees Mom wiping tears away.
        “Are you crying? Oh, no, no need to be crying, everything is fine.” Her wide smile reassured Mom, who  put away her tissues.

About the Author

Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.



Mark Oristano is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
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My Review:
This is a great book for anyone interested in the medical field. In a society where there are youtube videos for all sorts of surgeries it was nice to have a written book. It is moving and sad at times, and at other times I thought that medicine was a miracle. My hubby recently had surgery and I am glad that I did not read all the inner workings that go on in the operating room. However I would probably have had a more educated conversation with the doctor! I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own. 

Moonborn by Terry Maggert Excerpt