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Difficulty Falling Asleep? Try This To Trick Your Brain

Difficulty Falling Asleep? Try This To Trick Your Brain

Do you have a difficult time falling asleep? Is it hard for you to shut down at the end of the night and get to bed at a reasonable time? Do you lie awake in your bed only wishing that you could fall asleep soon? If you’re facing difficulties falling asleep you can try tricking your brain for a restful night.

For a trick to work, the magician needs to create a distraction. In this case, when you’re lying awake counting sheep, there is no magic wand that will make you drift into a midnight’s slumber. Turns out a distraction (or even a trick) can play a critical role in making sleep happen. You will need to create a distraction for your brain while your body can relax into a slumber.

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If you struggle with falling asleep in any shape or form, getting to bed and settling in can actually induce anxiety since you are desperately trying so hard to fall asleep. Therefore, I suggest you create a sleep routine.

Create A Sleep Routine

We all have some sort of routine throughout the day. Some of us have morning routines or routines when we finish up our day at work. Well, what about a sleep routine? For me, this is a new concept, but after reading study after study and implementing this sound advice, it turns out it’s worth its while. When you create a sleep routine and consistently adhere to the practice of your routine, your brain will produce more melatonin to help you fall asleep. This hormone helps control your sleep and wake cycles.)

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A sleep routine can consist of the following:

1.  Power Down Your Electronic Devices

When you power down electronics 45 minutes prior to bedtime, you reduce the amount of external stimuli you expose your mind to. It turns out that blue spectrum light sends certain signals to your brain that decreases the production of melatonin. Escort your electronics out of your bedroom and use an old fashioned alarm clock for a goodnight rest instead.

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2.  Lights

Keep it nice and dark in your bedroom. Eliminate any external sources of light that may pierce into your bedroom.

3.  Quiet the Mind

This can be difficult. We all have hectic days and some days are extremely difficult. Try a gratitude practice to turn off minor nuisances of your day and replace them with thoughts of what you are more grateful for. This will also help you appreciate all that you have.

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4.  Room Temperature

A warm room can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. I’m sure at some point in your life you can recall a time when you had a vivid dream, only to discover that it was really warm or hot in your bedroom. The body’s core temperature needs to drop in order for sleep to take place, so turn down the thermostat, open a window, and use appropriate bedding.

5. Training for the Mind

Training your mind for a good night’s sleep is similar to when you train a dog. Maybe you have experienced this personally. When you train a dog, whatever the trick or activity, there are associations and rewards.  An example of a well-trained dog would demonstrate running to its food dish after hearing a bell ring. The dog associates meal time with the sound of the bell and the reward is the food. The same goes for creating a sleep routine. When you begin your sleep routine the mind automatically associates it with bedtime.

Conclusion

You can train your mind to fall asleep just as if you were teaching a dog a new trick. If you have difficulties falling asleep, try investing some time in designing your own sleep routine. Create a routine that works for you and begin practicing it. Just like a dog, the mind can be trained to give you a good night’s rest.

More by this author

Tara Massan

Founder of Be Moved, Life Coach and Writer.

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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