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Difficulty Falling Asleep? Try This To Trick Your Brain

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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.

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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