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7 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep Well And How To Deal With It

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep Well And How To Deal With It

If you haven’t been sleeping well, you’re not alone. 30-40% of adults experience symptoms of insomnia, says the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health. There are plenty of reasons you may not be sleeping well. Here are 7 of the most common.

1. You’re not exercising enough.

Research shows that exercising regularly can help ease anxiety so you sleep better. And contrary to popular belief, exercising late at night will not disturb your sleep quality. Aim for some type of exercise (even if it’s only 15 minutes) most days of the week.

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2. You’re looking at the clock too much.

Clockwatching” can result in unhealthy sleep patterns. It’s a common problem: you wake up in the middle of the night, usually around the same time, and think about how much sleep you have left before that alarm clock goes off. Here’s an idea to counter this: turn your clock around, don’t check your phone in the middle of the night, and focus on not looking at a clock until you hear the sound of your alarm.

3. You’re too stressed.

Stress is one of the most common reasons you can’t sleep. Going to bed with a head full of thoughts about your bad day at work, a tough family situation, or financial stresses can put a big-time strain on your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few ways to reduce your stress levels so you can sleep better:

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  • Burn off some steam by exercising.
  • Keep a journal by your bedside and write out your stressful thoughts to get them off your chest.
  • Meditate, do some light yoga, or try progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Listen to soft music or read a light-hearted book in bed before you go to sleep.

4. You’re distracted by gadgets in your bedroom.

For many of us, checking our phone is the first thing we do when we wake up and the last thing we do before we go to bed. Technology makes our lives more efficient, for the most part. But if you can’t sleep well, try banning technology from your bedroom. That includes your television too. One study found that watching television in your bedroom is often a major cause of sleep problems.

5. Your sleep patterns are erratic.

Getting to bed and waking up at the same time every day is one of the most important things you can do to establish a consistent sleeping pattern. If you’re accustomed to staying up until the wee hours of the morning on weekends, this can seriously impact your sleep during the week. Napping at the wrong time may be another reason you can’t sleep well. If you’re a napper, make sure you’re not dozing off for more than 30 minutes at a time. And reserve your naps for 2 to 3 p.m., which is the best time to get a quick snooze in.

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6. You’re drinking too much caffeine late in the day.

For many of us, getting that morning jolt of caffeine from our coffee or tea is crucial. However, drinking too much caffeine can keep you up at night. So limit your java drinking to the morning. Avoid drinking coffee, tea, soda or other caffeine-laden drinks later in the day (unless it’s chamomile tea, which can actually help you sleep).

7. Your room isn’t dark enough.

To sleep well, your bedroom should be dark. Any light, whether it’s from your television, windows, phone, or other device, is affecting your ability to sleep well. That’s because your body may reduce its production of melatonin, the hormone that aids in sleep, when it senses light around you (even when you’re sleeping). So invest in some light-blocking window treatments, and shut those electronics off.

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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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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