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5 Strategies To Nuke Your Insomnia Forever

5 Strategies To Nuke Your Insomnia Forever

It happens every night. You open your eyes in the middle of the night, frustrated that what feels like hours of lying fruitlessly in bed has yet to lull you to sleep. Your eyes feel heavy and your body aches, but you can’t drift off like everyone else does. Chronic insomnia can have major, negative consequences on your life. If you’re struggling to figure out how to knock yourself out, or you feel like you’ve been counting sheep for hours, you may feel like you’re doomed to another sleepless night.

Doctors and scientists have developed a number of drugs and therapy methods meant to help aid sleep in insomniacs. Here are five strategies to tackle your nightly insomnia struggle.

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1. Relaxation training

Relaxation training, also known as mindful thinking and generally recognized as meditation, is a stress-relieving technique meant to help prepare your body to relax. The exercise involves carefully exploring and sensing your entire body, often with the aid of a gentle guiding recording.

The exercise is typically done laying down on a bed, and asks participants to slowly follow steps such as breathing through your nose, feeling the aches of your body and keeping your eyes shut. It’s ideal for insomnia and is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. The soothing, gentle voice of a narrator can often provide some gentle white noise stimulation as well as relaxing instructions that can help someone struggling with insomnia slowly drift off to sleep.

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2. Cognitive behavioral therapy-insomnia

Another popular behavioral treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy-insomnia (CBT-I therapy), designed to help an insomniac. The National Sleep Foundation describes it as safe and effective. CBT-I will often require documenting your experiences in a sleep journal and discussing them regularly with a therapist. The goal is to help patients learn methods for good sleep hygiene behaviors such as putting screens away at least an hour before bed, recommending a cool dark room, and asking participants to avoid consuming alcohol or tobacco near bedtime.

3. Sleep medication

The market for sleep medication is saturated with less effective medications as well as medications used off-label, such as Bendaryl, which comes with associated health risks. As a result, many insomniacs find themselves with a large collection of ineffective bottles of pills or liquids they’ve bought in an attempt to go to sleep. The best medication for insomnia, however, is going to need a prescription and a doctor’s visit, as well as close monitoring for signs of abuse. Prescription sleeping pills or benzos, an anti-anxiety class of sedatives, can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but they typically come with side effects and are only approved for short-term use.

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4. ASMR and white noise

In recent years, ASMR—autonomous sensory meridian response— videos have popped up everywhere on the Internet. Relatively calm videos featuring people gently talking, completing tasks or creating a rhythm or pattern with items around them, ASMR videos use white noise and gentle sounds to promote relaxation in listeners. Although little research has been done in the field, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be an effective relaxation technique to treat insomniacs, according to the University of Florida College of Medicine.[1] Videos are posted on YouTube by ASMR bloggers, like Youtube user, GentleWhispering.

5. Melatonin

One of the most natural supplements available for sleep aid is melatonin. Naturally produced in your body, melatonin is a sleep-encouraging hormone that is available over the counter in pill form. Insomniacs looking to treat their sleep problems naturally but tired of behavioral attempts can turn to this gentle medication to induce a gentle sleepiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, research suggests it’s most effective when taken regularly to follow a schedule, rather than to induce immediate sleep.

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Insomnia can be a major hassle and interfere with many aspects of your life. Rather than lying awake night after night, try one of these sleep aids, and see if they can help knock you out for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Featured photo credit: Ciocci via flickr.com

Reference

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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