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Sleep Tips: 8 Steps to Better Sleep

Sleep Tips: 8 Steps to Better Sleep

If you have been feeling irritable or exhausted lately, maybe you should consider improving your sleep quality.

Consider all the things that can mess up your precious night’s sleep – from work stress and family obligations to sudden obstacles such as relationship problems, lost jobs, or health issues. It figures why sometimes it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Often, it is impossible to take control of all the factors that mess up your sleep, but you can adopt good sleep-promoting habits. You can begin with these simple steps.

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1. Plan your sleep and stick with it

Go to sleep and wake up at regular times every day, including on weekends, days off, and holidays. Consistency strengthens your natural sleep-wake cycle and helps improve sleep quality. But be warned: if it takes you more than 15 minutes to fall asleep, give it up and try to relax with something else. Return to bed when you feel tired. If you get too anxious to fall asleep, then it is likely to get even harder.

2. Watch your food and beverages

Avoid going to bed either stuffed or hungry. It is possible that your discomfort will prevent you from falling asleep. You might also want to avoid excessive drinking late at night, or you might be forced to get up from sleep to go to the toilet. Here are some foods you can eat if you’re really craving something before bed.

Be wary of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants with prolonged action and can destroy the quality of your sleep. Moreover, although alcohol may seem to bring you closer to sleep at first, it has the potential to ruin it for you later in the night.

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3. Create a bedtime act

Adopt a standard behavioral pattern every night to let your body know it’s time to slow down. Examples include reading a book, taking a shower or a warm bath, or listening to relaxing musing – dimming the lights as well also helps. Activities like these may improve sleep quality by making the transition to drowsiness smoother.

Be careful of including television or other electronics in your bedtime act. There is research showing that exposure to screens and other electronics close to bedtime may adversely affect sleep.

4. Get comfortable

Arrange your bedroom in a way that promotes sleep, which often means dark, cool, and quiet. You can use devices such as earplugs, shades, or a fan to tailor the environment accordingly.

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Your sleep will also be affected by your pillow and mattress. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, so make your choices according to your own comfort level. If you don’t sleep alone, ensure that both of you have ample room. If there are pets or children in the house, try to limit their access to your bed or forbid it completely. It might even be a good idea to go with a non-toxic mattress.

5. Limit daytime naps

If you go overboard with naps during the day, your nighttime sleep will suffer — especially if you have been having trouble sleeping properly. If you do opt for a daytime nap, don’t let it surpass 10 to 30 minutes, and try to schedule it for midafternoon.

If you have to work at night, these rules regarding daytime napping don’t apply to you. If that’s your situation, try to prevent as much sunlight as possible from entering your room. It will disrupt your internal clock and prevent you from sleeping during the day.

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6. Get more physical in your daily life

Adopting a more physically active lifestyle will improve your sleep quality, helping you sleep faster and deeper. But you need to time it properly. If you engage in physical exercise too late in the day, your energy drive will be too high to fall asleep. If you find yourself troubled by this particular problem, move your exercise routine to earlier in the day.

7. Deal with stress

When you are overburdened with duties and responsibilities, your sleep might be adversely affected. To overcome this, try to manage stress in a healthy way. The basics work: organize yourself, prioritize properly, and set tasks and sub-tasks. Don’t be afraid to take a break if you feel like it. Socialize with friends and blow off some steam. Before getting to sleep, make a note of all your loose ends so that you can work on them tomorrow.

8. Don’t be afraid to see a physician if you need to

Sleepless nights are something that we all experience now and then. But if this has become a constant nuisance for you, contact your physician. Finding and treating any hidden causes can help you sleep the way you deserve.

Featured photo credit: Olichel via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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