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5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

5 Bad Habits Of Insomniacs, And How To Change Them

When you just can’t get to sleep it can be tempting to fill your awake time with distractions- many of which are likely to keep you awake even longer. Often the most helpful things to do are not things you actually feel like doing! Your automatic habits are probably going to make you feel wired, stressed and make it even harder for you to unwind and drift off to sleep.

Here’s 5 bad habits that all insomniacs try at some point, why they’re not a good idea, and what to try instead:

1) Playing games on your phone

First, staring at a bright screen is unlikely to send anyone to sleep, but really, most games these days are designed to hook you in and get you to keep playing. It becomes harder and harder to pull yourself away, even when you do begin to actually feel tired.

If you’re a game addict and you’re thinking of playing for a bit when you’re struggling to sleep, try giving yourself a time-limit. Play until your time is up and then try to sleep again.

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2) Scrolling through newsfeeds

Scrolling through Facebook, Instragram, Twitter or Pinterest might seem like a good idea to help you get to sleep but, like with playing games, this is actually more likely to keep you awake. All it takes is for you to click on one alluring hashtag and you’ll get whisked down a rabbit-hole scrolling through endless pretty pictures and interesting stories.

We’ve all been there.

As already mentioned, bright screens are not conducive to a natural sleep state. If you’re looking for a way to get a bit of external stimulation that will help you wind down, try reading a book- preferably the paper kind.

3) Thinking about things that you can’t change

Stressing and worrying about things which have already happened or about situations or circumstances that you can’t change is a wasted use of energy. You’re just causing yourself to suffer unnecessarily.

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You’re lying in bed, waiting to sleep, and then you get sucked into the trap of thinking about things that you have no power to change. You analyse everything; you over-think all the scenarios from the week prior that you wish had gone differently, playing out your preferred storylines and thinking of witty comebacks that completely eluded you at the time.

When you have no power to change a situation, the best thing that you can do is to accept it and make peace with it so that it no longer has the ability to stress you out.

4) Contacting people

Lying awake at night might seem like the perfect time to see what your ex is up to or to tell your bestie what you really think of her new love interest. Heed my advice: If you are thinking about saying something that you’re not one hundred percent sure of, then DON’T DO IT.

If you wouldn’t say it in the morning then don’t say it in the middle of the night.

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Sometimes insomnia is like being drunk. It strips back our inhibitions, boosts our confidence, and distorts our ability to adequately assess risks. Your friends are probably asleep. Don’t hassle them.

If you really feel like reaching out to someone, try this instead: write your message into a note-taking app but vow not to send it until the morning. Re-read it in the morning and send it then, only if it feels like the right thing to do after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

5) Dreaming of the future

It can be great fun to indulge in fantasies about the future, making plans for your dream house, travel destinations and career success. It’s easy to get carried away and let your fantasizing keep you awake all night.

The best way to pull yourself out of the future, and get yourself into a restful state is to use mindfulness to bring you into the present moment. Focus on your breath and observe your thoughts rather than being absorbed into them.

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Follow these tips and you’ll be asleep in no time!

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/timothykrause/ via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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