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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

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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