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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.

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Tara Massan

Founder of Be Moved, Life Coach and Writer.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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