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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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