A Midsummer Night’s Dream elixir

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare, Australian Shakespeare Company, Royal Botanic Gardens, until January 24


As the lights come up on 2021, Shakespeare Under the Stars offers one uninterrupted tradition on Melbourne’s theatre scene. Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company have been producing al fresco summer seasons for more than three decades, and regular theatregoers, deprived for much of last year, will find a comforting familiarity in this production.

It is fortunate timing. Outdoor venues will play an important role in allowing performance to return live this summer, there are few more appealing locales for A Midsummer Night’s Dream than the Royal Botanic Gardens. Given patrons are seated a picnic blanket away in normal times, COVID-safe distancing doesn’t change the experience one jot.

Superlative productions of the Dream are rare, perhaps because the play is such a reliable crowd pleaser. The last one to reach Melbourne was directed, with charm and protean comedic force, by Peter Evans for Bell Shakespeare’s 25th anniversary in 2014.

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Why Isaac Smith had “sleepless nights” over contract decision

Isaac Smith admits he had a few “sleepless nights” as he agonised between staying at Hawthorn or joining either Geelong or Melbourne.

The 32-year-old sealed a move to Geelong as an unrestricted free agent on Friday, signing a two-year contract.

Smith reportedly knocked back a three-year deal from Melbourne as well as a two-year offer from Hawthorn to stay at the club.

Speaking for the first time as a Geelong player, Smith said he was “up for the challenge” after making the move away from Hawthorn.

“It was a difficult decision and very hard (one to make),” he told reporters on Friday.

“I’ve probably had a few sleepless nights over the last three or four nights to be honest, the heart was pulling me towards Hawthorn, but in the end the head won.

“I’m up for a new challenge and a new journey and very excited to be part of Geelong, they’re a great organisation.

“This was the right decision for me and my family. Really in the end, there wasn’t much between Hawthorn, Melbourne and Geelong.

“Right now where I am in my life, I’m really looking forward to creating a new chapter and seeing a world outside of Hawthorn.

“It was just the right decision; my wife and I sat down and made the final call last night.”

Hawthorn received a third-round selection as compensation as part of the deal, which is currently pick 42.

Smith played 210 games for the Hawks in nine seasons and was part of three consecutive premiership sides between 2013 and 2015.

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Wis. police speak out after 3 consecutive nights of violence

Protesters and police line up Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Wauwatosa, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:23 AM PT – Sunday, October 11, 2020

Police in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin are speaking out after three consecutive nights of protests and riots in the city. According to police, they responded to “broken windows at businesses and bricks thrown into the windows of homes” on night one.

Stores in Milwaukee were looted, while “rocks, bricks and bottles were thrown at law enforcement officers.”

On night two, police said they rescued several stranded civilians, who were trapped in their vehicles amid the demonstrations. They also responded to an attempted looting in Milwaukee and multiple instances of reckless driving that blocked all lanes of traffic.

Authorities also reported at least one rioter who pointed a gun at a law enforcement officers.

On night three, the situation grew worse. Police stated demonstrators were seen with Molotov cocktails and other fire starting supplies. Guns were also spotted in the crowds.

Meanwhile, more objects were thrown at law enforcement, while vandalism and reckless driving continued in the area.

The unrest initially kicked off on Wednesday in response to the officer involved shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole. His mother and two sisters were arrested during Thursday night’s protests.

“I’m very upset, I’m disappointed with the outcome,” stated Tracy Cole. “We need justice, …this state been playing with us too long.”

This undated family photo provided by Taleavia Cole shows her brother Alvin Cole, left. (Taleavia Cole via AP)

Critics believe the shooting and law enforcement’s response to the protests were unjustified.

However, police noted they’ve seen an “escalation in force” by the protesters. They reiterated their law enforcement response was in “reaction to this escalation.”

When asked whether the protests should have remained peaceful or not, Cole’s mother expressed “it is what it is.”

“It is what it is,” she said. “They’re tired of the system and they’re tired of police brutality.”

The department even posted video of an arrest on Saturday, which showed one protester carrying a bottle of lighter fluid, after the public claimed all protests were peaceful.

Police in riot gear line up Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Wauwatosa, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Moving forward, the Wauwatosa Police Department reaffirmed they trust their officers to assess what is happening on the scene. They added their goal is to maintain peace.

MORE NEWS: Colo. Man Fatally Shot Amid Dueling Protests

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How Collingwood “missed a trick” in Friday night’s loss to Brisbane

Garry Lyon believes Collingwood “missed a trick” by not taking full advantage of Harris Andrews’ absence after he injured his hamstring in the third quarter of Friday night’s game.

Andrews, who is arguably the game’s most in-form defender, ended the night with ice on his hamstring as Brisbane closed out a narrow eight-point win to return to second spot on the ladder.

After the 23-year-old sustained the injury, Lyon said the Pies weren’t able to “make the most” of Brisbane’s “glaring” omission.

“I can’t help but think that Collingwood have missed a trick here particularly after half time with Harris Andrews (being injured),” he said on AFL Nation.

“They didn’t take advantage of it, it’s as glaring as an opportunity presented to them as you possible can have and it wasn’t until three quarter-time that (Collingwood) started to get pro-active about it.

“Grant Birchall’s value in Brisbane’s side is his experience but never once did I see Collingwood once try and isolate him.

“This is the way footy is played these days, teams go out and say ‘this is how we’re going to play’ and they don’t react to the opposition’s circumstances.”

Lyon pointed out the height differential of the 211cm Mason Cox compared to his 192cm opponent in defender Ryan Lester.

Collingwood wasn’t able to isolate Cox against his opponent in the minutes after Andrews left the ground and Lyon said it was a missed opportunity.

“Mason Cox didn’t get a one-on-one with Ryan Lester for the whole third quarter,” he said.

“The first two he got in the last quarter, he out-marked him. It’s as plain as the nose on your face, give him an opportunity, and I’m not saying it as a knock on Ryan Lester, that is the time where you do have an advantage with Mason Cox, when Harris Andrews is off the ground and you’ve got a foot advantage on the defender.”

The Pies are currently sitting in sixth spot on the ladder and have a handy one-and-a-half game buffer from ninth spot with two games remaining.

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7 Tips on Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Medication

7 Tips on Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Medication

7 Tips on Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Medication : If you’re feeling sleepy because you’ve been awake all night counting sheep and not being able to sleep for even a moment, you should know that you are not alone. In fact, according to CDC, a third of US adults report that it’s really challenging for them to drift into a blissful, nourishing night’s slumber. Sad statistics, indeed.

As we grow older, low sleep quality can become even more real than before. So make sure you develop healthy sleep habits when you’re younger — that is, if you want to prevent insomnia and get a better night’s rest on a regular basis. In this post, we will provide some expert tips on how to get a better night’s sleep — without popping a pill.

One of the experts who participated in writing this post was Сatherine Rodgers, a certified therapist whose area of study overlaps with sleep medicine. Catherine knows first-hand what insomnia means, for she’s been suffering from an insufficient amount of sleep for years. We were fortunate to soak up some of her experience and are now ready to share it with you.

  1. Develop consistent sleep-wake habits.

    Wondering what it means? Plain and simple. First, try nodding off at night and waking up in the morning at the same time on a daily basis. That way, you will keep your inner clock run smoothly and i.e. enhance your sleep efficiency. Second, forget about sleeping in — this will make you feel jet lagged. Approach napping wisely: limit it to twenty minutes maximum.

  2. Make friends with light.

    Have you noticed that you become sleepy in the dark? Yep, it’s all about the hormone called melatonin that helps regulate your sleep-wake pattern. You can adjust its natural influence in order to enhance your rest patterns. Here’s how. Get visual exposure to bright sunlight right after sunrise. That way, you will wake up fast. Go out during the day. Make sure your blinds are open if you’re at home or at work. Avoid bright screens before bedtime. Do not watch TV at night. Keep your bedroom dark throughout the night.

  3. Work out during the day.

    Finally — more good news for the weary. According to a recent study, people who work out on a regular basis suffer a lot less from insomnia. As a matter of fact, even walking for just twenty minutes a day significantly bolsters your sleep quality. So put away your sleeping pills and finally sign up to that yoga studio you’ve been thinking about for a while.

  4. Eat & drink smart.

    Did you know that your daytime diet influences your sleep quality? Yep, it is a scientifically proven fact. Therefore, if you want to prevent insomnia, make sure you don’t have too much coffee both during the day and (especially) before heading into the arms of Morpheus. Also, make sure your before-bedtime meals are as tiny as possible. And don’t fill up on too much water or tea in the evening — frequent bathroom visits won’t add up to your sleepiness.

  5. Relax and free your mind from worries.

    If you often find yourself awake in the middle of the night, unable to stop thinking about your kids, work, or a long to-do list, just aim to let your worries go. So instead of turning to a sleeping pill, practice relaxation techniques, listen to calm music with rain or ocean sounds, try mindfulness meditation, and make the most of breathing exercises for healthy sleep.

  6. Сhange your bedtime routine.

    Avoid watching television or pillaging your gadgets in bed. Use your bed only for sleeping and making love. That way, you will help your mind and body relax at night. If you want to end sleepless nights, you should get yourself a comfy bed, as well as invest in the right mattress and pillows. Also, before going to bed, don’t forget to make sure that your room is quiet, cool, and dark.

  7. Master falling back asleep fast.

    Waking up at night is normal. However, if you find it difficult to fall back asleep, meditate or practice breathing exercises for some time. You can read a book, just make sure you avoid using your smartphone, laptop, or any kind of screen. If you can’t fall back asleep because of a brilliant idea, write it down, and then try to focus on relaxing instead of brainstorming. You’ll think about it all tomorrow.


Cutting to the Chase: Good Night’s Rest is Paramount

If you’ve already tried the natural insomnia-preventing hacks mentioned above and still have difficulty falling asleep at night, discuss the problem with your healthcare provider. Tell your doc about your worries and symptoms in detail, and then, together, you will most likely arrive at a conclusion regarding your overall wellbeing and ways to help you fight insomnia the natural way. Have questions or comments on the topic? You’re welcome to drop us a line and get the conversation going. We appreciate your feedback greatly.





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7 Tips on Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Without Medication

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A to Z of tips for getting to sleep in the summer to stop those restless nights

And relax…

CBD has made a huge buzz in the wellbeing world, promising to do everything from ease pain to banish anxiety. However, the cannabis derivative can also aid a good night’s sleep.

“Research shows CBD interacts with receptors in the brain that govern the body’s daily sleep/wake cycle,” says Kloris founder Kim Smith. Try massaging Kloris Uplifting CBD Body Oil, £35 (kloris cbd.com) into the soles of your feet before bed.

Big chill

We all love summer sunshine, but rising temperatures can make sleep difficult. While you may be tempted to throw open your windows, Chris Michael, from air purifier specialist Meaco, says it can make things worse.

“Only open the window when the outside air temperature is cooler than the room temperature. And keep windows and curtains closed throughout the day to stop the sun warming up the room.”

To cool your room before sleeping, try a portable air conditioner such as MeacoCool MC Series 7000, £279.99 ( meaco.com ).

Cherry aid

Cherries help to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin

Latest research from Love Fresh Cherries reveals that the tasty fruit can help you drift off.

Nutritionist Anita Bean says: “Cherries help the brain to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin. They are also a rich food source of melatonin, which promotes healthy sleep patterns.”

Ditch the booze

For better slumber, it’s time to bin the booze. Holland & Barrett’s nutritionist Emily Rollason says, “Alcohol may increase deep sleep in the first half of a sleep cycle, but it disrupts your sleep pattern throughout the night and inhibits rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage of sleep linked to a more restful night.”

Exercise early

“Early morning and afternoon exercise help reset the sleep-wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later,” says Tobin James, MD at Tempur UK.

Early morning exercise can help to reset the body’s sleep-wake cycle

Food to avoid

It’s an old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed gives you nightmares, but it can stop you dropping off, warns Benenden Health’s Cheryl Lythgoe.

“Cheese contains high levels of the amino acid tyramine. This causes the body to release the ‘fight or flight’ hormone, which increases alertness for a number of hours,” she says. Stay away from chocolate (caffeine) and ice cream (sugar) before bed too, she adds.

Gut instinct

There is growing evidence of a link between the friendly bacteria in our gut and our brain. Looking after gut health could help the body produce more sleep-promoting hormones such as serotonin, which is turned into melatonin.

A recent trial suggested probiotics may help to regulate melatonin production and reduce stress levels, both of which could aid restful sleep. Try Bio-Kult Migrea, £19.94 ( bio-kult.com ).

Helpful apps

Restless kids? Try the Moshi Twilight app.

The nifty programme uses sleepy trigger words combined with soothing sounds and heartbeat-style meditations to ease children into a deep slumber. And it’s audio only, meaning there’s no need for screens in the bedroom. Free to download at makebedtimeadream.com

In the mix

Move over sleep stories. Meditation app Calm (calm.com) has teamed up with DJ Kygo to create a soothing mix of relaxing music that is designed to banish stress. The new music features 60 minutes of calming melodies, designed to help listeners unwind before bed.

Jettison (social) jetlag

Waking up at the same time every day is one of the most important ways to ensure effective and healthy sleep. “This reduces a phenomenon known as social jetlag which can lead to poor sleep,” says psychiatrist Dr Iain Jordan.

Getting up at the same each morning is one of the best ways to ensure rest

Try the Wakey app. Set your alarm and you’ll be woken up with a nine-minute breakfast show designed to get you up and encourage a brighter start to the day.

Keep food light

When eating before bed, think light, says Erin Berman, wellness expert for Nectar Sleep.

“If you’re feeling peckish opt for a handful of nuts and seeds (walnuts, cashews or sunflower seeds), a glass of milk, a banana or an apple, which all contain the sleep hormone melatonin.”

Lose weight while you sleep

Need an incentive to get to bed? A study from Silentnight and the University of Leeds has found a direct correlation between poor sleep and higher BMI, suggesting that sleep could be key to slimming down.

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says: “Not getting enough sleep means we run on adrenaline, which makes us conserve energy and store fat around the middle.”

Moisturising pillow

Snap up the latest bedtime beauty booster, the Nanu Yu Nu moisturising pillowcase, £35 for two (nanusleep.co.uk).

With organic probiotics infused into the cotton, it hydrates skin and prevents lines and wrinkles forming as you snooze.

Nighttime breathing

“As we prepare for sleep, it’s important to breathe deeply as it activates the area in the brain which is responsible for rest, relaxation and recovery,” says hypnotherapist Nick Davies (ndhypnotherapy.com).

“As you breathe in, push your stomach out to breathe all the way down to the bottom of your lungs, then hold the breath before breathing out a loud sigh. Repeat this cycle 10 times.”

Get into the sleep mode with some gentle breathing exercises when you get into bed

Only decaf

After lunchtime, that is, advises consultant dermatologist, Dr Justine Kluk.

“It can take eight hours for the effects to wear off, so a cup of coffee in the afternoon may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.”

Power nap

A power nap can give you a much- needed boost, says Elite Sport sleep coach and Pro Plus ambassador Nick Littlehales.

“The key nap duration is 20 to 30 minutes. No longer, or you’ll feel woozy. Remember to set an alarm,” he says.

A 20 to 30 minute nap is the perfect pick-me-up

Quality not quantity

Forget the eight-hour myth, says Kathryn Pinkham, founder of The Insomnia Clinic.

“People who live the longest actually sleep seven hours per night, not eight.

“But either way, worrying about how much sleep you have had will cause anxiety and make sleep even harder to get. Focus on quality not quantity.”

Right way to lie

According to bed products supplier Kally Sleep, more than 60% of us sleep on our side or in the foetal position. And the other 40% should take note.

“This is an ideal choice from a health perspective, as nothing is weighed down on your back, eliminating those morning strains,” says Dr Rick Hussein.

Sleeping on your side can eliminate strains in the morning

Stock up on snake plants

Snake plants, of which there about 70 species, are ideal for bedrooms.

“Unlike most plants that give out carbon dioxide through the night, snake plants continue to produce oxygen,” says Lisa Needham, founder of Root Houseplants.

Take a sniff

Surrounding yourself with the right fragrance can help your body switch between being alert and relaxed, says psychologist Suzy Reading. Citrus or pine is ideal for keeping focused during the day, while lavender or rose have sleep-inducing qualities.

Spritz your pillow with rose and chamomile-infused Bramley Sleep Spray, £16 ( bramleyproducts.co.uk ).

Understand colour

Colour therapy has been found to improve concentration, vitality and even sleep quality. “Colour therapy is a simple way to improve your wellbeing,” says Aqua Sana group spa manager Kay Pennington. “Purple hues will soothe you, while blue has a calming effect.”

Very irritating

Leaving the window open at night can bring pollen and pollution into your home that irritate your eyes and throat, leading to a bad night’s sleep.

“Washing sheets frequently, covering the bed with a sheet during the day and turning pillows just before you get in can all help reduce symptoms,” says Max Wiseberg of Haymax pollen barriers.

Weight and see

Weighted blankets, filled with tiny glass beads to make them heavy, are designed to relax the body and mind before sleep. The gentle all-over pressure from the beads calms the nervous system. Try Silent night Weighted Blanket, £59.99 (amazon.co.uk).


Swap screen time for sex to help you sleep, says relationship expert Vena Ramphal. “Far too many people stare at their screens before they fall asleep. Having sex is a much healthier thing to do,” she says.

“Pleasurable sensations are much better for the brain to process than data from your social media feed.”

Yes to early mornings

“Even if you have a poor night’s sleep, get up nice and early and get some fresh air,” says Kathryn Pinkham.

“This will help you to build an ‘appetite’ for sleep, helping you get a better night’s rest the next evening.”

Zen sleep space

Keep your bedroom tidy, advises Holly Housby, sleep expert at Sealy UK.

“Studies have shown that those who have a messy and cluttered bedroom have a worse night’s sleep due to increased stress levels, compared to those who keep their room tidy.”

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William Callaghan spends first night at home after two nights missing in near-freezing bush

A teenager who spent two nights lost in near-freezing Victorian bush can climb
into his own bed after the ordeal.

William Callaghan, 14, who is non-verbal with autism, was given the all-clear from the Royal Children’s Hospital on Thursday to go home, a day after he was found alive at Mt Disappointment.

The teen spent the night at the hospital after surviving the bush with a suspected broken foot, cuts and bruising and an insect inside his ear.

Earlier on Thursday, his mother Penny Callaghan told reporters outside the hospital it was hoped they’d remove the bug later in the day.

By late Thursday afternoon, he’d been discharged from hospital.

Ms Callaghan is amazed by her son’s ability to stay put during his time in the bush, clearly waiting to be found.

“This was a massive ordeal for him but to him, it was probably just an adventure as well and he was happy I’m there and he slept pretty well last night – a lot better than I did,” she said.

The massive search effort was sparked after he became separated from his family while hiking up Mt Disappointment on Monday.

Rescuer Ben Gibbs speaking to media on Mount Disappointment in Victoria.


Local bushman Ben Gibbs found William off the main track, giving him socks and chocolate before he was reunited with his family.

Ms Callaghan thanked the “amazing guy” Mr Gibbs for rescuing her son.

Rescuers had blasted the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song during the search to help draw him out, as William finds the tune soothing.

Acting Inspector Christine Lalor, who led the search, never lost hope they’d find him alive and well.

“For some reason, or whether it was wishful thinking that morning, I just had a feeling we were going to find him that day,” she told reporters on Thursday.

“It is important to not lose hope and to stay optimistic.”

While there’s a push to rename Mt Disappointment after the ordeal, Ms Callaghan would prefer any renaming to be after Mr Gibbs, not her son.

Inspector Lalor thinks the current name has a nice ring to it now that the mountain is actually full of hope.

William’s survival is the good news the community needed in a year dominated by bushfires and COVID-19.

“I think it’s really important,” Inspector Lalor said.

“It’s given everyone a little boost.”

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