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7 Effective Tips for Better Sleep

7 Effective Tips for Better Sleep

A lack of sleep causes countless problems, both physical and mental. If you find yourself tossing and turning all night and fighting to stay awake the next day, something is preventing your body from restoring itself as it should. Take these easy steps to allow your body to rest completely.

1. Cut Off Your Caffeine

Everyone knows that caffeine keeps you awake. However, many people are unaware that the sleep-disrupting effects can last up to eight hours after the caffeine is consumed. Some even claim that caffeine lasts 12 hours, so try to cut yourself off from coffee, tea, or energy drinks before lunchtime to make sure that it isn’t caffeine keeping you awake at night.

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2. Exercise

Burning some calories during the day ensures that you’ll actually be tired when it’s time to go to bed, with the added benefit of giving you an energy boost through the rest of the day. Just be sure not to exercise too close to your bedtime; studies have shown that the increased hormonal activity can interfere with sleep patterns. Leave at least 4 hours between your workout and bedtime.

3. Keep a Strict Schedule

Staying up late and sleeping in can throw your sleep schedule off balance. Avoid deviating from your usual bedtime by more than an hour or so for your body clock may adjust itself, making it difficult to fall asleep at your usual time the next night. A little bit of sleeping in is fine, but don’t stay in bed for more than nine hours.

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4. Avoid Alcohol

The perception that a “nightcap” will help you sleep is not supported by evidence. While alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep, the quality of your sleep will undoubtedly suffer. In fact, going to bed with alcohol in your system can prevent you from reaching REM sleep, which is the phase during which the most restoration occurs. Skip the evening glass of beer and have a cup of milk or chamomile tea instead.

5. Wind Down Before Bed

Being wound up before bedtime could be the reason that you spend half the night staring at the ceiling. Try to get all of your important tasks done right after you get home so that you’re not rushing to get them done in the late evening. Make it your goal to spend at least one hour before bed enjoying a calm, relaxing activity like reading a book or knitting. Avoid the TV and other stimulants that may keep you awake.

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6. Don’t Hang Out In the Bedroom

Many people, especially teenagers, spend time in the bedroom watching TV, socializing, or talking on the phone. The bedroom should be reserved for sleeping, not leisure activities. It’s important to form a psychological connection between being in the bedroom and sleeping. This way, when you lay down in bed, your brain will know that it’s time to shut down and get some rest. Try to stay out of your bedroom unless you’re ready to call it a night.

7. Soak Up Some Sun

Exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls the day-night cycle of the human body. Catching some rays will, therefore, help keep your sleep cycle in rhythm. Whether you’re at home or at work, open the blinds to let the sun in. You can also take a short walk every day to get the sunlight you need.

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Once you are able to get a proper night’s rest, you’ll find yourself feeling healthier and happier. You can achieve this by putting these tips to use. A smart sleep strategy will free you of the fatigue and frustration that come with inadequate rest.

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Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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