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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

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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