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8 Proven Tips for Sleeping Better

8 Proven Tips for Sleeping Better

The role of sleep in our lives is more well-recognized than ever before. Our cells literally undergo repair and our brain recharges while asleep. And without an adequate night’s rest, we simply aren’t our best the next day. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night or simply want some easy rules to stick to, here are 8 things you can do immediately with ease.

1. Create a Bedtime Routine and Schedule

Consistency is a powerful tool when it comes to sleep, and performing a daily ritual before you lay down can make a huge difference in sleep quality. Your ritual could include taking a hot bath, doing yoga, meditating or reading a book. As long as you perform the task every day at about the same time, your brain will begin to associate that particular activity or ritual with sleeping.

2. Keep Your Bedroom Dark

Light has a strong effect on your body’s circadian rhythm, and the absence of light typically tells your body and brain that it’s time to power down. You can, therefore, trigger sleepy feelings by making your bedroom as dark as possible.

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If streetlights or other light sources are visible from your bedroom window, make sure that your curtains are thick enough to block them. Even small lights, such as LEDs on your computer or other electronic devices, can keep you awake, so consider covering them with electrical tape.

3. Get More Exercise During the Day

You’ll likely have a harder time getting to sleep if the majority or your day is spent doing sedentary activities, such as sitting behind a desk for 8 hours. Try to spend at least 15 minutes every day walking or exercising. Activities that increase your blood pressure and heart rate for a short time use up energy reserves, helping you feel more tired at the end of the day.

4. Only Use Your Bed for Sleeping

If your bed is used for other activities, such as reading during the day or watching movies with your family, it’s often more difficult to associate the space with sleep. You should also avoid snacking or hanging out in bed, no matter the time of day.

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5. Clear Your Thoughts Before Laying Down

“Concentrating on things” is the top reason people have trouble sleeping, according to the CDC, behind only “remembering things.” The mind can be difficult to shut down, so instead of laying awake worrying about the future or ruminating on the past, set aside a few minutes before bedtime to sort out your thoughts.

This could mean making a list of tomorrow’s tasks or jotting down what’s on your mind, both the good and the bad, in a notebook or journal. When you integrate the practice of writing down your thoughts and fears into your bedtime routine, you may find that you fall asleep more easily and wake up less often.

6. Change Your Eating Habits

Along with your mind, your diet may be contributing to inadequate sleeping patterns. While laying off caffeine halfway through the day may be a no-brainer when it comes to getting more sleep, you may need to alter your eating habits as well.

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By integrating more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet and reducing sweets and high-calorie convenience foods, it may become much easier to fall and stay asleep. You should also avoid going to bed on either a stuffed or empty stomach.

7. Shut Down Your Screens Earlier

Many people unwind by watching a favorite TV program or surfing social media, but this habit can lead to restless nights. At least one hour before bedtime, turn off your screens and leave them off.

Additionally, resist the temptation to pick up your phone during the night. The bright screen may trigger feelings of wakefulness, even in the middle of the night.

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8. Find Better Ways to Wake Up

Finally, you may need to alter the way you wake up in order to get better sleep. Fully committing to the day as soon as your alarm goes off may seem nearly impossible, but it can make a huge difference when it comes time to sleep.

Avoid hitting the snooze button, no matter how tired you are. Five or 10 more minutes of sleep isn’t going to make you feel more rested, and you may have even more difficulty waking up after the second alarm. Once you’re out of bed, open the curtains. Sunlight tells our interior clock that it’s daytime, making it easier to wake up and get going.

Featured photo credit: imsa.edu via sites.imsa.edu

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Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

How to Form Good Habits That Stick 7 Exercises You Can Do Without a Gym 10 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes 8 Healthy Dessert Alternatives 7 Effective Tips for Better Sleep

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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