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3 Actionable Tips to Get Better Sleep Every Night

3 Actionable Tips to Get Better Sleep Every Night

You definitely don’t want to stay lazy and stressed all day long. Do you?

A healthy adult requires 7-9 hours of daily sleep on average, and most of us don’t even make it to 6 hours. Some have distractions that don’t let them sleep while some others just aren’t able to sleep despite staying in bed for long.

We all keep hearing about how a healthy lifestyle consists of getting enough sleep but how many of us actually try to get these tips to work?

Unfortunately, most of us don’t!

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I am not sure about you, but I have never been able to adapt to healthy sleeping habits until I came across these simple tips.

Being deprived of a good night’s sleep doesn’t only keep you lazy and stressed all day long but it also has adverse effects on your health as well. But before you diagnose yourself with insomnia, here are some simple tips to help you improve your sleep patterns:

1. Say NO To Stimulants Before Bed Time

This is one of the most commonly made mistakes by most people with sleep disorders, including me. Intake of nicotine, caffeine or alcohol before bed time makes sure you can’t get a good night’s sleep.

Let’s talk about caffeine, which is one of the most popular drug in the world. We consume caffeine on a daily basis in things like coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. Caffeine is a stimulant that most of us use to stay alert at work all day long. But if you are going to have a cup of tea or coffee right before jumping to bed, you are just getting one step closer to a poor night’s sleep. You will stay up longer in bed, staring at the ceiling or even playing games on your phone.

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Similarly, alcohol and nicotine are also stimulants and excessive routine use of nicotine can cause insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Stop caffeine or nicotine intake at least 6-8 hours before your bed time. This ensures that any previous intake is broken down and you are all set to get a good night’s sleep.

2. Fix Your Sleeping Environment

Do you wake up with a sore and achy body?

It’s probably because your sleeping environment is not set, be it mattress or your pillow. If you have neck pain or back pain after you wake up, you need a better pillow. Identify your sleeping position and then select a suitable pillow. If you are a stomach sleeper, get a pillow that is ideal for stomach sleepers.

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If you are a back or side sleeper, an organic buckwheat pillow can come to the rescue. A buckwheat pillow is stuffed with buckwheat hulls that adjust themselves according to the position of your neck, giving you relief from neck and back pain.

If you experience hot flashes or night sweats during sleep, try a hydraluxe pillow or any gel-based pillow that stays cool. You can also use a water-filled pillow to keep your head cool all night long.

3. Being Consistent

Being consistent is vital, be it your business or sleep. Most of us don’t understand the importance of consistency and hence get deprived of good sleep.

Make a schedule and follow it religiously. If you tend to forget things, use your smartphone and schedule it. Set an alarm at 30 minutes before your sleeping time, so you can give yourself grace time to finish things off before going to bed.

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Make sure you cancel any source of light before going to bed. Leaving lights turned on is another distraction and keeps you waking up in short intervals. If you are scared of dark, you can leave a dim light bulb turned on in a corner of your room.

I am not saying that you are going to see an 180-degrees shift in your sleep patterns, but I am sure you will be able to sleep better and longer by following these simple tips.

Featured photo credit: Healthable via healthable.org

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Kyra Taylor

Writer and Lawyer

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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