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All-Natural Tips for Fighting Insomnia and Sleeping Better

All-Natural Tips for Fighting Insomnia and Sleeping Better

It’s 4 in the morning. Your mind has taken to wandering about the vacation to the Bahamas that you’ve never taken, even after saving enough for the trip. These and other thoughts have been running through your mind since you laid down to sleep 5 hours earlier. And no matter how hard you try to sleep, your mind just won’t shut down.

You are not alone. Sleeplessness and insomnia have become major health problems in the U.S. and around the world. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 10% of the population suffer from chronic insomnia. Additionally, almost a quarter of Americans report not getting the 7-8 hours of recommended sleep at night. Many of the sufferers often resort to taking sleeping pills or specially prepared herbs to help fall asleep. However, in many cases, these interventions are usually not meant to be long-term fixes, especially when the lack of sleep is caused by things like being overworked and stress.

There are a number of non-medical interventions that individuals can opt to use to help cultivate healthy sleep patterns. Some of the best are discussed below.

1. Take a Hot Shower Before Bedtime

A study conducted in 1985 found that people who often take hot showers before going to bed were more likely to fall asleep faster and improve overall sleep quality. Naturally, the brain triggers a sequence of reactions that initiate a drop in body temperature, which makes the body begin the shutdown process. When you get out of a hot shower, the cool-down you experience helps to induce natural sleep.

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2. Complete Regular Exercises

Another study conducted by the Northwestern University found that previously inactive people who took up exercises at least four times every week reported sleeping better than before. Regular workouts, even mild ones, induce hormonal processes within your body that make you drowsy and more likely to sleep faster and better than if you were sedentary.

3. Try Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and other forms of meditation are especially suited for individuals whose sleeplessness is associated with stress and mental restlessness. Studies have shown that meditation is very effective at improving the quality of sleep and fighting insomnia. Even simple meditation techniques, such as breathing exercises, can be effective at helping you sleep better.

4. Watch Your Diet

Eating heavy meals just before bedtime will force your body into dietary overdrive, which will make it that much harder for your body to shut down. Stay away from heavy and spicy food at least 2 hours before bedtime to help your body concentrate on shutting down instead of digestion.

5. Avoid Caffeine Before Bedtime

Taking that evening cup of coffee or tea will make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Caffeine, the active ingredient in these beverages, stimulates your central nervous system for over 5 hours after consumption. By avoiding tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and other caffeinated beverages anywhere after lunch, you can significantly increase your chances of a good nights sleep.

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6. Ensure Your Bedroom is Sleep-friendly

Another aspect about sleeplessness and insomnia that is often overlooked is the nature of your sleeping environment. Ensure the bedroom is quiet enough with the right amount of light and temperature to help ease you into dreamland. If you can, remove all electronic gadgets from the bedroom that would serve as distractions, including computers and TVs.

Ensure your beddings are as comfortable as possible. Invest in the best bed sheets you can afford, making sure to check out the infographic below for a guide on how to select the best bed sheets for your bed.

    7. Develop a Sleep Routine

    A good number of people with sleeping problems will usually admit to irregular sleeping patterns. In many cases, it’s something like working late into the night on consecutive days in a week, then suddenly going back to the usual routine. Disrupting your body’s biological clock is one of the key reasons why people suffer from sleeping problems.

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    Establishing a regular sleeping pattern will help tune your biological clock, ensuring your mind and body shut down at the same time every day. Ensure you go to bed at the same time each night, even when you are off from work.

    At the end of the day, getting the right amount of sleep is only part of the healthy equation. Stick to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid stress to ensure your body stays in good health.

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    Image Credits:

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    Infographic Courtesy Of YourTrust.com

    Featured photo credit: https://www.Flickr.com via c1.staticflickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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