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9 Scientific Ways To Fall Asleep Much Faster

9 Scientific Ways To Fall Asleep Much Faster

If I were a superhero, my power would be falling asleep quickly. I’ve always been lucky in the sense that I can fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow. Although it would make a lame superpower, it’s darn handy in day-to-day life.

So here’s my secret: I’m always tired. Kidding, of course. Although being a dad of two young kids does leave me wiped out, I’ve been able to falling asleep quickly well before they came along. If you want to learn to fall asleep much faster, there are tricks and skills you can learn. Here are 9 scientifically explained ways to fall asleep much faster.

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1. Write about your day in a journal

Like a partner who talks your ear off the moment you want to relax, our brains wait until bedtime to think about impending bills, the upcoming visit from the in-laws, or the chores you’ve been putting off. Writing in a journal allows you to get those thoughts out earlier, so your mind can relax and let you go to sleep.

2. Keep the bedroom for sleeping and having sex

For many of us, our bed is the most comfortable piece of furniture we have. Why not work on your laptop or watch TV while laying in your comfy bed? Well, research has shown that even browsing your phone in bed is enough to ruin your sleep. Keep your bed for the things it was built for: sleep and sex.

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3. Sleep in total darkness

From the blinking alarm clock to the phone beside your bed, modern bedrooms are full of light. Exposure to light interrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you tired. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much light to interrupt melatonin production. Ditch the electronics at night and put a thick dark sheet over your window. Motion-sensor nightlights are useful for you’re apt to trip over furniture in the dark.

4. Keep your room at the optimal temperature

Use 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius for those of us on metric) as a starting point for finding your optimal sleep temperature. If you feel like hypothermia is starting to set in, don’t be afraid to turn up the thermostat by a couple degrees. Personally, I sleep with a second blanket nearby, in case there’s a late-night martial dispute over temperature.

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5. Practice mindful breathing

Not only is breathing essential to survival, it’s also relaxing. Mindful breathing involves consciously taking a deep breath (2 seconds in), holding it (4 seconds), and slowly exhaling (8 seconds). Not only does this deeply relax your body, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. There aren’t many better ways to fall asleep fast than mindful breathing.

6. Take a natural sleep aid, such as valerian

You can pick up this medicinal root at the health food store. Valerian comes in several different forms, including pill, liquid, or even a tea, and is consumed 30 minutes before you go to bed. Before you know it, you’ll be dragging yourself to bed. As with any supplement, make sure to read the bottle, in case any warnings apply to you.

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7. Practice progressive relaxation

Mindful breathing and progressive relaxation make a great combination. Progressive relaxation involves consciously relaxing all your muscles, starting with your toes and working your way up to your neck. It should only take a couple minutes and just like mindful breathing, it keeps your mind off occupied as you drift into la la land.

8. Avoid stimulants before bed

Smoking is bad news if you’re trying to sleep. Nicotine is a powerful stimulant and will happily keep your brain buzzing well into the night. Drinking coffee, even in early afternoon is too much for many people, but energy drinks and soda somehow gets a free pass. Here’s a chart showing how much caffeine is in popular drinks, giving you an idea of what to avoid.

9. Read a book

We’ve all had the experience of trying not to fall asleep in class while the teacher/professor drones on and on. Reading a book before bed can give the same effect. As long as your reading material isn’t too stimulating (think non-fiction), reading relaxes you and let’s your body’s natural fatigue take over. Just remember: devices ,like phones or tablets, emit light that keeps you awake. Old-fashioned books or a Kindle (minus the back-lighting) are the way to go.

Featured photo credit: Woman Sleeping with Jane Austen – Timothy Krause via media.lifehack.org

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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