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6 Secrets People Who Get Enough Sleep Are Keeping

6 Secrets People Who Get Enough Sleep Are Keeping

Is sleep really important for living a productive and healthy lifestyle? And if yes, how so?

Let me fill you in on six secrets people who get enough sleep know to be true.

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1. They embrace dreams.

When you dream, neural synaptic connections are strengthened. This means that what you’ve learned during the day is branded into your memory. Research has shown that dreaming is an exercise in creativity and will help you to harness your own creative energies during your waking hours. Freud discovered dreams are how we express our unconscious emotions.

“And then, in dreaming, the clouds I thought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked I cried to dream again.” ~ William Shakespeare

2. They have two bedtimes.

They know that in order to sleep soundly they have to quiet their mind and slowly transition into peaceful state to prepare for sleep. Neuroscientist (and avid sleeper) Russell Foster advocates bedtime routines for uninterrupted sleep. Because sleep arrives after a whole string of operations that happen inside your brain, it’s important to get into a  calm mental state to facilitate the brain’s functions. He suggests making the room as dark as possible, making sure the temperature is cool, and shutting off any screen time two hours before the actual time you intend to fall asleep.

3. They have two wake up times.

Ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed? Maybe it wasn’t the side that was wrong but the way you jolted yourself from blissful sleep into a harsh awakening. Waking up slowly helps the brain send neural messages to activate sections of the brain that are used in our awakened state. Our biological clock then kicks in. Set your alarm clock at least 15 minutes earlier than the time you actually want to wake up. Then enjoy a gradual waking period.

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4. They feel tired and know that sleepiness is a healthy part of our biological makeup.

It’s important to see fatigue as nature’s way of letting you know that it’s time to renew and restore. One of the many benefits of sleep is that the brain has time to sort through the neural connections you’ve made during the day. It will toss out the ones that don’t count and strengthen the important connections. (Like all the information in that 800-page text book you’ve been working through!)

5. They don’t stress about a sleepless night.

People who get enough sleep forgive sleeplessness. In fact, having a sleepless night or two is acceptable as long as you are aware of your body’s need to make up for your lack of sleep sooner rather than later. Worrying about whether or not you will fall asleep only makes the situation worse.

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6. They view sleep as a ‘me’ time.

Sleep is so critical to your own physical and mental health that it must be guarded. If you have children or live with others, teach them to be respectful of your sleep. Research has shown that adequate sleep is not only restorative and a healing process, but also contributes to a healthy body mass index, prevents the health hazards related to stress, and even prevents many forms of mental illness. Far from being a ‘luxury,’ shortages of deep sleep can be deadly. An estimated 31% of drivers will fall asleep at the wheel due to poor sleeping habits. Each year 100,000 accidents in the US alone are a result of sleep deprivation.

How much is enough?

Doctors recommend 10 hours of sleep per day for children. Teens are often thought to be lazy, but their biological changes demand a minimum of nine hours of sleep per day. And if adults want the full health benefits of sleep they should count on getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. Love yourself, love your sleep!

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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

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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