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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 May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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