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5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

5 Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Most people have experienced at least a few nights in their life where they spend half of the time tossing and turning, frustrated by a seeming inability to fall asleep.

One of the main problems with people not being able to fall asleep is that it is a mental game. Often if people are trying to sleep, and find that they cannot, they get frustrated. This frustration causes stress and increases the heart rate. Suddenly it becomes even harder to sleep, and the cycle continues.

Fortunately there are plenty of nifty tricks that can calm the body and help create a relaxing night’s sleep. Here are five important steps everyone should take to sleep just a little better.

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1. Put your phone away

An increasing number of experts and researchers are coming out and saying that using one’s phone close to bedtime can severely affect their ability to sleep. A lot of it comes down to the light that most phones emit when they are on. The blue light that phones emit has been proven to mess with many parts of the sleep cycle. Most recommendations say to stay away from your phone at least an hour before bed, preferably two hours.

2. Eat the right food

Many people do not realize how much the food that they eat in the latter half of the day affects their sleep ability. That same caffeine that gives you a needed jolt in the morning can also give you a much less desired jolt right before bed. Many people are not aware of all the foods that they eat that contain caffeine.

In addition to caffeine, sugar can push your body into overdrive and energize it at the worst possible moments. Try to eliminate eating close to bed, but if that is too hard, then at least eliminate eating carbs and high-energy foods.

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3. Relax your muscles

There are dozens of ways that people use to relax their muscles before they get into bed. Many people do not even realize that they are tense until they do these exercises.

One that works for many people is based on a series of tensing and relaxing muscles. Start with your head muscles and make them as tight as you can. Next, move on to your chest, then arms, then legs, then feet. Once your entire body is tense, move back up, relaxing one thing at a time.

Sometimes your body just needs to be forced to relax. If you are not unconsciously doing it, then consciously doing it is the next best thing. Here are a few more details on the muscle relaxing exercises.

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4. Improve your mattress

Mattresses are something many people do not think of when they try to figure out why they can’t sleep. However there are many benefits to choosing the right mattress, and a good night’s sleep is just one.

If you find yourself often waking up stiff, or having sore muscles after a night’s sleep, then the mattress is likely the culprit. All mattresses are not created equally and it is important to have one that fits your needs and body type. Here is a great mattress guide for finding one that works for you.

5. Eliminate stress

This is obviously easier said then done. The top reason many people cannot sleep is that they lay awake thinking about their problems. When they try to think about something else, their problem just seems to come right back.

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Fortunately there are many people that suffer from those same problems. There are mental exercises that are fairly easy to do that can yield incredible results when trying to sleep while stressed.

Get into the habit of doing each one of these things each day. It may not fix your sleep issues at first, but over time habits will be developed and your body will learn to calm down and relax at night and your sleep will dramatically improve. It’s science.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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