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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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