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Sleep Hacks: Tips for Getting Those Crucial 40 Winks

Sleep Hacks: Tips for Getting Those Crucial 40 Winks

    Sleep is a weird thing, an elusive state that is crucial to maintaining our health and sanity. And yet, it can be so easily interrupted. If you’re like most people, you have difficulty with sleep, whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough quality sleep. So what sneaky hacks can you use to get better sleep?

    Understanding Sleep

    Your body is programmed to fall into a natural sleep rhythm, known as a circadian rhythm. This “internal body clock” regulates your body’s metabolic processes: everything from sleep schedules to hormone production to blood pressure. The circadian “clock” in humans is located mainly in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is a group of cells located in the brain.

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    When daylight hits your eyes, cells in the retinas signal your brain, which in turn can help to keep your circadian rhythms running according to schedule. As you age, the cells in SCN part of the brain may start to die off, causing disruptions in sleep, whether its a hard time getting to bed, or more frequent sleep interruptions.

    Other things can cause interruptions in your ability to sleep include working late or irregular hours, pregnancy, jet lag, or new medications. There are also a number of sleep-related disorders that can affect a person, including Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS), a disorder where a patient will fall asleep at very late times and then have difficulty waking up in time for work or school.

    Tips and Tricks for Better Sleep

    1. Chill Out

    You need to control the temperature of your sleeping environment, and also be aware of the changes in your own internal body temperature. Generally speaking, your brain will cue up your sleeping desires as the air temperature dips, causing you to sleep the most soundly during the cold hours in the morning before sunrise. So, make sure that your bedroom has plenty of fans or air conditioners in hotter months to help you nod off.

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    It’s also worth noting that your body temperature tends to rise in its own circadian rhythm each day, usually nudging you back towards wakefulness between 6 and 8 in the morning.

    2. Fast

    Starving yourself is never healthy, but one of the best ways to reset your sleep-wake cycle is to abstain from food for between 12 and 16 hours. This trick is a great way to combat jet lag, as well as to reset your sleep schedule when you work the late shift, according to a study from the Harvard Medical School.

    This hard reset of your biological clock takes just one day, making it better than exposure to light or day to trick your sleep-wake cycle into doing what you want it to. Once you start eating again, your internal clock will be reset as though it is the start of a new day.  Your body will consider the time you break your fast as your new “morning.”

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    3. Invest in a Dimmer

    If you live in a big city, chances are that you sleep with heavy curtains to help block out the light from buildings and signs. But with such heavy curtains, you’ll also block out the sun as it rises, increasing the likelihood that you will oversleep.

    To combat this, invest in a timed dimmer switch for your bedroom that will gradually increase the amount of light in your bedroom, mimicking the gradual rise of the sun over the horizon.

    4. Keep it Simple

    Sometimes the simple tricks are the best ones. Try dampening a washcloth with warm water, and then place it over your forehead and eyes. The darkness will help your brain to switch off, and the gentle heat can help to relax any tension you might be holding on to after a long, stressful day.

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    5. Try Something New

    Specifically, try out a brand new style of sleep. Dustin Curtis has a great chart that breaks down the differences between polyphasic sleep, normal sleep, Everyman, and Uberman sleep patterns.

    You don’t necessarily need sleep, at least not in the traditional sense. What you need are REM cycles. Just because you are asleep for 8 hours doesn’t mean you get 8 hours worth of sleep, since you really only need four or five 20 minute REM cycles. If your work schedule allows for it, you might want to try sleeping for 6 hours, and then taking a 90 minute nap in the afternoons, or going whole hog and sleeping 90 minutes a night and taking 4 20-minute naps throughout the rest of the day.

    Conclusion

    Our own Seth Simonds once gave some excellent advice when it comes to reclaiming 10-12 hours of productive waking time each week. By sleeping on an uncomfortable bed, you’ll be less likely to sleep in, and tired enough from early rising that you will fall right to sleep at night.

    Ultimately, getting a good night’s sleep is about setting up a routine, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and trying to minimize the amount of bright lights that you are exposed to after sundown. The method that works best for you may take some trial and error to find, but hopefully these tips will help you to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

    What do you do to get a good night’s sleep? Tell us in the comments below!

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    Last Updated on October 17, 2018

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    How Setting Small Daily Goals Makes You Achieve Big Success

    Successful people “think” success all the time. That is why their goals are firmly lodged in their subconscious.

    While most believe that having a long-term goal is crucial to success, successful people understand that without small, daily goals, you will get demotivated easily; success will in turn become hard.

    In this article, we will look into the importance of setting daily goals and how to having daily goals that help you achieve success.

    How to “think” success with your subconscious

    The subconscious is brilliant at prioritizing. It listens to you and gauges from your thoughts what you think is the most important task. This means that what you think about most of the time is what the subconscious will think is the most important thing for you, and will try to find creative solutions.

    If you think about problems, the subconscious will try to find you more problems. If you think about solutions, goals and dreams, it will try to make them come true.

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    But the subconscious goes even further when trying to understand what you think is important; it “listens” to your feelings.

    Luckily, it has been proven that a positive thought is over 100 times as positive as a negative thought. This makes it a lot easier to drive positive emotions into your subconscious.

    How daily goals keep you positive

    It is enough to be positive and keep your thoughts on what you want — and you don’t have to go monitoring your thoughts all the time.

    It is enough to imbue your thoughts a few times a day with a powerful positive emotion when thinking about your goals. The more you can do it, the more powerful this exercise will be.

    For many, reading their goals or making plans become a chore, something that fills them with negative emotions. This ruins the full potential of these activities; filling yourself with positive emotions while thinking about your goals will make them a lot more powerful.

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    Over the last several years, I have been taught several exercises that can help you focus more on your goals and spend more time thinking about and feeling about them. What I want you to remember when doing these exercises is to have fun. Never see them as a chore, you are living your goals, it is something to enjoy.

    If you don’t feel uplifted at the thought of focusing on your goals, you might as well not do the exercise today. Do it tomorrow instead because it will do more harm than good if you are in the wrong mood when thinking about your goals.

    Why positive thoughts inspire you ideas

    In my business, I constantly need to come up with new ways to improve efficiency, new ideas to test and new subjects to teach. It takes a lot of creative work — and creative work has always been one of my weaker areas.

    Luckily, thanks to all my work with goal setting (and because of my focus on my goals), my subconscious knows these are the things I need the most help with and that they are very important to me.

    Every day I get new ideas of things I can try out, products I can create, seminar subjects I can offer, and so on.  All of them aren’t good but when you throw enough “mud against the wall”, something will stick. And that is what my subconscious does — it feeds me idea after idea.

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    How to set daily goals for yourself

    This method is used by countless thousands around the world and for everyone who has tried it, the effects have been incredible:

    1. Each morning, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down your 10 top goals. Don’t look at the day before, just think about what you want to most and write them down.
    2. Remember to write them in the positive present tense and remember to set a deadline for each goal. Just like we did when setting your long term and short term goals. (For example you could set the goal “I make 10,000 dollars per month by the December 31 next year.”)
    3. Do this for all 10 goals.

    In the beginning, writing down 10 goals might be difficult. Each day, they might look a bit different and some of the goals you write never come back again.

    If you forget a goal, it is because it wasn’t all that important and something more important has taken its place.

    What difference does it make?

    By starting your day setting your 10 top goals, you jump-start your creativity — which will motivate you for the rest of the day. You will have programmed yourself to focus on your goals and to move towards them and their completion.

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    What will happen to you?

    If you do this, you will start to realize what is important to you. You’ll see what goals keep surfacing and what goals vanish.

    You will know what you want and you will find yourself presented with opportunities that you haven’t noticed before.

    You will be more creative in finding ideas and chances to make your dreams reality.

    The bottom line

    Having goals on a daily basis can change your life for the better. It will help you keep moving faster and faster towards your goals and dreams.

    So now set your goals and make having daily goals your good habit:

    1. Buy a notebook and a pen at your local bookstore.
    2. Start writing down 10 goals every morning, without looking at the day before.
    3. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and capitalize on them.
    What’s next after setting your goals? While your routine is the key to achieving your goals, you can take these 6 simple steps to make progress towards achieving goals.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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