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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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