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10 Surefire Ways To Get A Better Sleep Every Night

10 Surefire Ways To Get A Better Sleep Every Night

Not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to ruin your day even before it has started. Unfortunately, restlessness, insomnia, and just plain being unable to fall asleep plague many of us almost every single night. In fact, I sleep like a baby most nights, but my girlfriend has always had a hard time sleeping. Ever since she’s tried a few of these tips, she has been able to sleep much better:

1. Fall asleep to some noise

Humans didn’t evolve to sleep in the dead silence – they evolved to sleep with large families or even tribes in close vicinity. Having some background noise can actually help our minds relax. You can get a noise machine, an app for your phone, or (this helped my girlfriend tremendously) fall asleep to an audio-book. If you do the latter, try to stick to books you’ve read/heard before or books of movies you’ve watched – she likes Harry Potter. However…

2. Keep your bedroom cool

It can be hard to fall asleep when your bedroom is too hot and stuffy. The ideal temperature for sleep is somewhere between 60°-72° Fahrenheit. Of course, you’ll be able to know the right temperature for you, so experiment a little with the temperature until you find your own ideal range.

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3. Get out of bed

If you’ve been tossing and turning for over 20 minutes, there’s no sense in lying there and stressing yourself out. Instead, get out of the bed and find something relaxing to do that won’t stimulate your mind or eyes too much, like reading a book, knitting, or listening to some soft music.

4. Set a daily sleep/wake time

If your sleep schedule changes every night, it can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm, the internal clock in your brain that tells your body when to fall asleep and when to wake up. By setting the sleep and wake time to be the same every single day (yes, including weekends), you will find it much easier to fall asleep.

5. Sniff some lavender or eucalyptus

Lavender and eucalyptus both have relaxing properties in their scent. Try rubbing eucalyptus body cream on yourself before bed, or burning a lavender candle or oils.

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6. Get some more sunlight

Fresh air and natural sunlight help our bodies fall asleep at the end of the day. These things also help reset our bodies internal clock – the circadian rhythm we talked about earlier..

7. Drink something warm

I’m sure you’ve heard of drinking warm milk before bed, to help you fall asleep. It’s not the milk that does the trick, but the warmth it provides to our bodies. Alternatively, you can drink some hot chocolate or warm caffeine-free herbal tea.

8. Sleep with the TV (and all other lights) off

Our brains have trouble producing melatonin, the drug that helps us fall asleep, when there is a light source. The biggest culprit is the television, but nightlights and even alarm clocks can also harm us. If you need noise to fall asleep, use the alternatives mentioned above.

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9. Use your bedroom only for relaxation and sleep

Many people tend to hang out in their bedrooms – watch TV, play video games, read, etc. However, this does some harm to your brain because you’re confusing it as to what that environment means. If your brain is used to being active and stimulated in a certain environment, it will be “primed” to always want to be active and stimulated in that environment.

10. Repay your sleep debt

Sleep debt is a real thing, and if you’ve consistently gotten too little sleep, you may have accumulated a lot of it. Take a few extra hours over the next couple of nights to repay that debt!

These tips on ‘how to sleep better’ will surely help you get a good night’s sleep. Happy resting!

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Featured photo credit: Wokandapix via pixabay.com

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Bill Widmer

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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