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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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