The following is one of many articles from Vets Help Center to offer support and insight to war vets.
5 Ways Veterans Can Boost Their Sleep and Mental Health
Are you a veteran who is sick and tired of being tired? You’re not alone. Veterans are commonly impacted by sleep issues, which can have detrimental effects on their mental health. Since mental health can also be a stressful issue for veterans, it’s important to have the resources and information you need to make improvements to the quality of your sleep and overall well-being. That’s where these simple wellness and health tips from Vets Help Center can come in handy:
Seek Out Social Connections
Mental health and sleep can be closely intertwined, which means that if you are struggling with depression and other emotional issues, finding relief could also help you find better sleep. One way you can take better care of your mental health is to stay socially connected, especially after your separation from active duty service. Social connections are essential for both your mental and physical health, so look for ways to stay in touch with friends, family members, and even other veterans. If you’re missing out on the comradery you felt while serving, you can also check out your local VFW or American Legion chapter to meet up with fellow veterans. Joining one of these organizations can be a great way for veterans to stay socially connected so they can boost their mental health and sleep.
Eliminate Sleep Disruptors
Do you wake up with jaw pain or headaches? Have your teeth been chipping or cracking? If so, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night, which reduces your sleep quality and can lead to other problems that make it more difficult to sleep. The good news is that it’s easy to solve this issue with nighttime aligners. They provide a soft, slick surface between your top and bottom teeth so they don’t wear down, and as a bonus, they can even straighten your smile in as little as 10 hours a day. There are a lot of options for aligners (with Byte and Smile Direct Club among the most popular), so consult an online buying guide to help you decide which option is right for helping you sleep more soundly.
Schedule More Time for Self-Care
Many people seem to think that self-care is a luxury, self-care is actually a basic necessity for managing mental and physical health. So if you are not making self-care a priority, you could be putting yourself under more pressure and strain that can lead to more issues with your mental health, and of course, your sleep. For maximum sleep benefits, try adding relaxing self-care to your evening routines. Unwinding with a hot shower or breathing exercises can help quiet any thoughts keeping you up at night and prepare your body for sleep. If you tend to have racing thoughts that make it hard to fall asleep, you can also keep a journal by your bed so that you can get them onto paper and off of your mind at bedtime.
Shop for a New Mattress
Are you still sleeping on a full-size mattress leftover from basic training? Upgrading to a quality queen-sized mattress could be the key to improving your sleep. A queen mattress can be a great option for individuals and couples alike, providing more space to sleep without taking up too much space in your home. Having a bigger mattress can actually be better for couples and provides more room when sleeping with your partner. Sleep style and support needs can impact your mattress choice, but brands like Purple and Nectar have multiple options that could be a good fit. Finding the right mattress is one of the most basic steps you can take to reduce discomfort and disturbances during the night, so no matter what size you buy, you should make sure you purchase the best bed for your body type, needs, and sleep preferences.
Search for Veteran Benefits & Support
When you are constantly missing out on quality sleep, you are doing some pretty serious damage to your body and brain. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to chronic disease, cognitive impairments, and even premature death. So if improvements to your bedroom or routine don’t seem to improve your sleep, you may need to reach out to professionals. Thankfully, the VA does offer help with sleep issues, since many veterans experience sleep issues after their separation, particularly if they have PTSD. You can use these benefits to complete sleep studies and you can work with your healthcare provider to create a treatment plan that will reduce those sleepless nights. If stress about your mental health is making it difficult to sleep at night, you can also seek mental health help from your local VA or veteran organizations.
If you want to get back on track with your life and improve your mental well-being, you have to find ways to get back on track with your sleep. The tips above can be helpful for improving all aspects of overall health, but they can be especially beneficial for enhancing your sleep and taking back control of your life.
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How VA Home Loans Improved Recently
According to Real estate experts, VA home loans are the best government loans available due to their incredible benefits, government guarantee, and money-saving opportunities. However, VA loans did not begin in their current state; that is a direct result of the 77-year history of continuous updates and expansions through several administrations.
The first significant update to take place was the Veterans Housing Act of 1970, which President Richard Nixon signed into law, made it possible for veterans to take advantage of VA loans more than two years after they finish their service. Eight years later, President Jimmy Carter signed the Veterans Housing Benefits Improvement Act of 1978, which increased the number of eligible applicants.
These updates and many other smaller ones have improved VA home loans over time and adapted them to the needs of veterans in more modern days. Thankfully the updates have not stopped, and the latest one of these major updates has improved VA home loans by making changes to the VA county loan limits and closing costs.
The Bluewater Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019
Signed into law on June 15, 2019, by former President Donald Trump, the law’s primary goal was to increase the medical benefits for Vietnam War veterans who might have been exposed to dangerous chemicals during their deployment. This includes internationally recognized chemical weapons like Agent Orange or Mustard Gas.
In addition to these changes, the act also made the previously stated changes which have made a significant improvement on VA home loans. Changes made by the new law have led to an 11.4% increased usage of VA home loans in 2020 compared to 2019.
Funding Fee Changes
The funding fee is paid by VA loan borrowers to reduce the costs of VA benefits to the American taxpayer which because of this law saw an increase from 0.15% to 0.30% for veterans and active duty service members. At the same time, the funding fee was reduced by an equivalent amount for members of the National Guard and reservists.
There are, however, some groups of applicants that were not affected by the new law. This includes veterans with service-related disabilities who already enjoyed an exemption for paying the VA funding fee.
Loan Limit Changes
Perhaps the biggest change made to VA loans by this new law is the removal of loan limits for first-time VA home loan borrowers. This is significant because it allows borrowers to buy a home anywhere in the country without having to follow VA county loan limits.
Although, it is important to know that the borrower will have to follow county limits set up by individual qualified lenders. At the moment, VA Home Loan Centers has lenders who have a $5 million loan limit for eligible applicants, meaning that it is possible to borrow that much without making a down payment.
In addition to removing loan limits for first-time borrowers, the law also removed loan limits for Native American Veterans who are taking out a loan to purchase a home or build a home on Federal Trust Land.
There are limitations to these loan limit removals with borrowers who have more than one active VA home loan still having to adhere to county loan limits which in most low-cost counties is set at $548,250.
Since their founding, VA home loans have helped more than 25 million veterans become homeowners. Hopefully, with these latest updates more eligible applicants will take advantage of their VA benefits and buy a home for little to no money down. In addition, VA loans and their constant upgrades show the U.S. Government’s commitment to rewarding current and former service members for their service.
Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage specializing in VA loans. He has more than 22 years of experience working in the real estate industry. For more information about VA home loans or apply for a VA mortgage loan, call us at (877) 432-5626.
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