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10 Things To Remember If You Want To Fall Asleep Faster

10 Things To Remember If You Want To Fall Asleep Faster

Stress from your day job and an endless to-do list at home doesn’t just melt away when you slip into bed. It’s hard to turn off your brain and let everything go when you close your eyes. Here are some things to remember when you want to fall asleep faster, naturally.

1. Turn off the TV.

And not just the TV. Put down your cell phone and shut down your computer at least an hour before bedtime. Your body starts getting sleepy as it gets dark outside. This means you should also turn off those bright overhead lights. Use small, dimmer lamps or handheld book lights later at night. Having lots of lights on and staring into the glare of a screen contradicts what your body is naturally trying to do as darkness falls.

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2. Relax your body.

You’re not supposed to exercise before bed because it gets your body riled up. Instead, work out in the mornings to wake yourself up. Simple yoga moves, however, can stretch your muscles just enough to relax. Once you’re in bed, you can start relaxing by stretching your toes, then your calves, then your thighs, and so on. Simple stretches warm up your muscles just enough to calm you down and put you to sleep.

3. Adjust the temperatures.

Take a hot shower before bed, or cuddle up under a blanket on the couch. Feeling warm will make you feel sleepier. There’s nothing better than finding that cold spot on your pillow in the middle of the night‒imagine if your whole bed felt like that! Keep your bedroom cooler, so when you’re ready for bed you get to slide into fresh, cool sheets.

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4. Unwind with a book.

Reading before bed will help you feel sleepy, and the book doesn’t even have to be boring! Get a new book from the library, or pick an old favorite, and cuddle up in bed to read for awhile. No matter how interesting the book is (as long as it isn’t a scary book!), you’ll feel your eyelids getting heavy and you’ll realize you just read the same paragraph five times in a row‒and don’t even remember what it says!

5. Write in a journal.

The book doesn’t have to be a novel! Find a blank book and start writing down your thoughts. If you get out all your stresses and worries onto paper, your mind is free to think of other things‒or nothing at all! You’ve got your to-do list written down, you analyzed a troubling conversation with a friend, you wrote your worries about tomorrow’s presentation‒now you don’t have to think about them anymore. The words you wrote will still be there in the morning; let your mind be free to drift off to dreamland!

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6. Indulge in a warm drink.

You’ve read about characters drinking warm milk to help them fall asleep. That’s not fiction! It really works. If you can’t fall asleep, sip some warm milk with honey, or a variety of teas. Just make sure there’s no caffeine in the tea, or else your plan will backfire!

7. Turn down the volume.

Eliminate excess noise in your home and bedroom. Don’t leave the TV on all night. Even if you think music helps you fall asleep, it more than likely activates your brain more than you realize. Silence is the best way to encourage sleep. If total silence makes you uneasy, try a white noise machine.

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8. Meditate.

Lay down, clear your mind, and think of nothing. Your body is relaxed, and your mind is on its way. Forget the stresses of your job and all those petty problems nagging you. Think of nothing. Think of something calming and clean and empty. Eventually your mind will be clear and will naturally put you to sleep because it has nothing to think about.

9. Try aromatherapy.

Instead of turning to supplements, though there are natural sleep aids out there, why don’t you try aromatherapy? Find a natural oil scent you like and dab a few drops on your pillow. Lavender is a scent that has been proven to help induce sleep.

10. Get out of bed.

It seems strange, but if you can’t fall asleep after a period of time, get out of bed! Your body is getting tired (no pun intended) of lying down, which frustrates you and makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead of tossing and turning for an hour, get up and go to another room. Sit on the couch and read a book. Try to meditate in another room. Just make sure you’re not getting up and turning on bright lights or looking at a phone screen.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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