I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?
Falling asleep isn’t always a matter of relaxing and closing your eyes. Some nights, getting comfortable seems impossible. Luckily, there are ten easy things you can do to speed up how fast you’re snoozing after your head hits the pillow.
1. Keep a journal.
Writing in a journal before bedtime is a great way to get intrusive and distracting thoughts down on paper and out of your way. Anxieties in your journal are far easier to deal with than anxieties in your head. Writing down worrying thoughts is a time tested and effective way of dealing with them.
If you feel uncomfortable writing down what’s bothering you, start with a to-do list. By writing down everything you need to do the next day, you can focus on the task at hand: sleeping.Advertising
2. Sleep in the dark.
It might seem obvious, but a dark room is vital for falling asleep. Any light that your eyes are exposed to before bed impairs melatonin production in the brain. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep.
If you don’t have complete control over the level of light in your room (maybe your roommate just doesn’t understand early-morning classes), consider using a sleep mask. Even if your room isn’t pitch black, a sleep mask will help eliminate unnecessary light.
3. Sleep in a quiet environment.
Unlike your eyes, which close blissfully as you float off to dreamland, ears stay wide open while you’re asleep. Sudden loud noises will wake you up, but quieter, distracting noise can also interrupt your snoozing.
Turning off the TV in the next room is the first step to eliminating extra noise. If you sleep in an area with a lot of noise (blame the neighbor’s party), try sleeping with earplugs or a white noise generator. Listening to music to relax and fall asleep can also work—just make sure the music will automatically stop after a certain time.
4. Get comfortable.
Being comfortable while you sleep has a serious impact on sleep quality. A good mattress will go a long way toward improving your rest and how long it takes to fall asleep.Advertising
Though most people have their own preference when it comes to the temperature they prefer to sleep in, a light chill will improve sleep quality, since the body experiences a drop in temperature and metabolic rate during sleep. A cold room will even make the blankets feel better, so try cracking a window next time you’re tossing and turning.
5. Make use of relaxing aromas.
Though your nose won’t channel as many distractions as your eyes and ears, the nasal passage is a direct route to the brain. Most smells won’t impair sleep, but preliminary research suggests certain aromas can help relax you and speed up the rate at which you fall asleep.
Lavender can be very relaxing. If your roommate’s dirty laundry is becoming difficult to deal with, try lavender aromatherapy.
6. Control your daily stress.
Step one, the nightly journal entry, is a good start to managing the stress of your day-to-day life. Jotting down concerns and anxieties before bed might help you relax, but if you’re not taking time during the day to reduce stress, you might be overwhelmed before you even get to bed.
Proper diet and exercise will help reduce daily stress. Many people enjoy meditation as a way to relieve stress. If you’re not willing to jump into mediation, try active relaxation. Take some time out of your day to sit or lay down comfortably and allow your mind to wander, away from the worries of work and school.Advertising
7. Time your coffee intake.
Caffeine’s ability to get you up and going in the morning will bite back when it’s time for bed. Even veteran coffee drinkers with a strong caffeine tolerance will have trouble falling asleep if too much caffeine is consumed before bed.
Caffeine is metabolized at different speeds in different people. If you’re not a frequent coffee drinker, give yourself at least eight hours between having a cup and your ideal bedtime. If you consider yourself used to coffee’s effects, try to make sure you’ll be up for at least five more hours before committing to a mug of the good stuff.
8. Rethink your diet.
You are what you eat, and what you eat will determine how well you sleep. A consistent lack of carbohydrates can impair sleep. This usually coincides with the bad mood that a lack of carbs brings. If you realize you’ve been trying to shake a grumpy feeling all day, you may also have trouble sleeping that night.
Carbs facilitate the production of serotonin, which the body uses to create melatonin. If you’re on a low-carb diet and are having trouble sleeping, try eating most of your carbs during dinner. This will provide you with enough to get through the night comfortably.
9. Treat your insomnia with melatonin.
You’ve tried all of the above, and you still find yourself staring at the ceiling for hours, unable to fall asleep, night after night. If your problem is specifically with falling asleep, supplementing melatonin can help.Advertising
Melatonin is safe and very effective at helping people fall asleep. To take melatonin, either supplement a 3mg time release capsule, or start with 500mcg capsules and find the lowest dose that helps you fall asleep. Be careful, taking too much can result in some serious morning grogginess.
10. Try other supplementation options.
Melatonin is the best option for reducing sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep), but if your problems concern sleep quality, you’ll need to look elsewhere. There are many sleep aid supplements on the market, but they will benefit the body in different ways.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a popular sedative. It is not addictive, and helps calm hyperactive minds and intrusive thoughts. Glycine is a cheap and safe amino acid that can improve sleep quality when supplemented. If you wake up in the morning feeling like you need to roll over for another eight hours, glycine may help you get the most out of your night.
More things to know about sleep: 11 Sleep Habits of Successful People
Last Updated on May 28, 2020
How to Overcome Boredom
Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?
I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.
If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.
What is Boredom?
We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.
You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.
It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.
If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.
When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.
Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored
If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.
Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.
Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!
In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.
It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.
Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?
Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.
In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.
3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom
1. Get Focused
Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.
You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?
Here are a few ideas:
- Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
- Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
- Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.
2. Kill Procrastination
Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.
So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.
Here are some ideas:
- Do some exercise.
- Read a book.
- Learn something new.
- Call a friend.
- Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
- Do a spring cleaning.
- Wash the car.
- Renovate the house.
- Re-arrange the furniture.
- Write your shopping list.
- Water the plants.
- Walk the dog.
- Sort out your mail & email.
- De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).
3. Enjoy Boredom
If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge. Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.
So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.
Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.
More Tips on Overcoming Boredom
- 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)
- What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually)
- I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Feeling Too Busy)
Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com