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5 Sleep Hacks to Get A Better Night’s Sleep

5 Sleep Hacks to Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Stressful schedules at work, school, or even both leave many of us feeling drained during the day. Although you would think that this fatigue throughout the day would lead you to a solid sleep at night, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, the very reason you’re so tired throughout your daily routine could be due to your inability to get a good night’s sleep.

There are many factors that could be contributing to poor sleep quality depending on the individual at hand. If you’ve found that despite your attempts to get to bed early, you’re still feeling tired each day, there are some simple hacks you can try to increase your sleep quality and feel more rested in the morning. Here are 5 things you can do to set yourself up for a better night’s sleep.

1. Develop a bedtime ritual.

It can be difficult to fully unwind from a day full of activities as you lie in your bed attempting to fall asleep. One way you can prep your body and your mind for sleep is to develop a bedtime ritual that signals to your body that it’s time to go to bed.

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You could try things like taking a relaxing bath, drinking a cup of herbal tea, listening to relaxing music, meditating, or even diffusing a relaxing essential oil in your room.

2. Check your mattress.

According to sleep experts in an article on The Huffington Post, things like excessive tossing and turning at night and increased stress during the day could mean it’s time for a new mattress. The same article addresses the issue of mattresses being too soft or too firm and suggests that you try your mattress for at least 20 minutes prior to purchasing.

Although it would be ideal to head to the store and try each mattress before selecting one, most of us don’t quite have the time for that. For those of you who are strapped for time, the sleep experts at Eve Mattress recommend checking out memory foam mattress options as these will typically provide a comfortable mix of firm and soft for most buyers.

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3. Avoid using your smartphone.

Studies continue to show that using your smartphone before bedtime can hinder the quality of your sleep. If you tend to look at your smartphone in bed before attempting to fall asleep, try placing it across the room before you get into bed at night.

If you’re like most of us who use your phone as your alarm clock, placing your phone across the room could also be a way to help you get out of bed when your alarm goes off in the morning.

4. Exercise regularly.

The benefits of exercise are basically endless. Although we typically tie our fitness efforts to weight loss, their benefits in contributing to overall wellness and a better night’s sleep are almost more important.

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Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. This will help your body run off some of its excess energy before you go to bed and will also contribute to your overall health and wellbeing which will help your body maintain regularity in important functions like sleep.

5. Stick to a schedule.

Like it or not, humans are creatures of habit. This means that we work best with schedules. According to the Sleep Foundation, if you’re having trouble sleeping, a lack of routine could be the issue. Try to set a time to get to bed each night. If you have decided to start a bed time routine as suggested in tip number one, try setting that to start on a specific schedule as well.

So there you have it, 5 sleep hacks you can change your daily routine and bedroom setup to get a more restful sleep and feel relaxed and refreshed in the morning. Hopefully these tips will help you achieve not only a better sleep, but a better quality of life as well.

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If you have any additional tips or questions, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to post them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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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.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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