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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 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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