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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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