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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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    Vikas Agrawal

    Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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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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