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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 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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