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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 July 8, 2020

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

    The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

    1. Understand Yourself Better

    Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

    Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

    2. Keep Track of Small Changes

    I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

    Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

    3. Become Aware of What Matters

    As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

    You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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    4. Boost Creativity

    The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

    When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

    You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

    5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

    A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

    Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

    6. Process Life Experiences

    When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

    Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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    7. Stress Relief

    In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

    Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

    8. Provide Direction

    Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

    One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

    9. Solve Problems

    Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

    Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

    When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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    10. Find Relief From Fighting

    Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

    Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

    11. Find Meaning in Life

    Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

    12. Allow Yourself to Focus

    Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

    13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

    When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

    14. Let the Past Go

    I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

    15. Allow Freedom

    Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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    16. Enhance Your Career

    Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

    Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

    17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

    All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

    18. Catalog Your Life for Others

    No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

    We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

    Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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