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When You Do These 10 Things, You Will Get Better Sleep, Backed By Science!

When You Do These 10 Things, You Will Get Better Sleep, Backed By Science!

When it comes to trying to fall asleep faster, people will try anything. Some will take medications while others may have a glass of wine before bed in hopes the alcohol will help. Others may try more creative things. As it turns out there are some things you can try to fall asleep faster that are backed by science! Let’s check them out.

1. Cool down your room

According to Robert Oexman, director of Sleep to Live, you should try keeping your room cooler at night. He recommends a room temperature of between 65F and 70F. He says that when we sleep, our bodies naturally cool down about a degree. If the room is too warm, it interferes with our natural cool-down process which can prevent you from getting good sleep.

2. Sleep in the dark

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fall asleep faster

    Studies have shown

    that sleeping in the dark can and will help you fall asleep faster and it will help you sleep deeper. Sleeping in darkness helps increase melatonin production which equals better sleep. Experts suggest using blackout curtains or a sleep mask. They also recommend facing digital displays away from you (or turning them off), and if you must have a nightlight then use a Blue light bulb.

    3. Sleep in a quiet environment

    It’s pretty much a no-brainer that silence helps us sleep. Experts suggest that we don’t use white noise in order to sleep better but that we actually use it to drown out other offending noises that may keep us awake. The best practice is simply to keep things as quiet as humanly possible. If there are elements outside of your control (sirens, dogs barking) then you can always use earplugs or noise cancelling headphones.

    4. Use light bedding

    We agree that nothing feels quite as good as it does when you cuddle up under a thick blanket in the middle of winter and warm up. Over the course of the night, that heavy blanket is going to actually be worse for you and your sleep. Experts recommend lighter blankets and loose clothing when it’s time to go to bed. Lighter bedding can be easily adjusted to keep your body temperature at an optimal range which experts agree will help you fall asleep faster.

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    5. Get some supplements or drink some herbal tea

    fall asleep faster

      Studies have shown

      that you can take a melatonin supplement and it’ll help you fall asleep faster. You shouldn’t make a habit of it because it can negatively affect your health long term. Every now and then in a pinch should be okay though. Another thing you can do is drink teas. Chamomile tea has long been considered an herbal treatment for anxiety, stress, and insomnia thanks to its calming properties. If brewing up a cup of herbal tea before bed helps you get to sleep, we can’t think of a reason not to do it!

      6. Control your naps

      There are times where we just need to take a nap. It’s been a long day and maybe you didn’t get that much sleep the night before. Taking a nap doesn’t usually affect your sleep unless you take one that is took long or too late. Most experts and doctors agree that 20-30 minute power naps are best for rejuvenating your energy during the day and that naps should take place no later than 3 P.M. or 4 P.M. Any later (or longer) than that and you’ll likely have trouble falling asleep later. Don’t sabotage yourself!

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      7. Hack your body temperature

      fall asleep faster

        Sleep scientist Penelope Lewis recommends that you hack your body temperature before sleep. According to studies (which I talked about earlier), your body cools down when you sleep. Knowing this, you can actually trick your body into believing it’s going to sleep by artificially raising your body temperature before going to bed. This can involve taking a hot bath or shower or just dipping your feet into hot water. When you go to bed in your cooler room, your body will believe it is ready for bed because it cools down. Just like it does when you’re asleep. Combine this with other items on this list and it actually does help you fall asleep faster.

        8. Change how you breathe

        Have you ever sat down and thought about how you breathe when you’re relaxed? It’s not the same way you breathe when you’re active or alert. We naturally take deeper breaths when we’re relaxed and much deeper breaths when we sleep. Thus, you can get your body in the mood for sleep by breathing as though you’re relaxed. Eventually, this will well your brain and your body that it is time to let the defenses down and go to sleep. Then you’ll fall asleep!

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        9. Perform light mental exercises

        Dr. Vicky Seelall recommends doing light mental exercises while you’re trying to sleep. One way she recommends is counting backwards from 100 using multiples of three. It’s challenging enough that you have to pay attention but simple enough that you can remain relaxed. Simple mental challenges like this can help take your mind off of the stuff that’s keeping you awake and help lull you into a state of relaxation. Soon after that comes the sleep.

        10. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed

        fall asleep faster

          According to Dr. Eric Olson of the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Harneet Walia of the Cleveland Clinic, you should absolutely get out of bed if you can’t sleep. They state that if you remain in bed when you can’t sleep then you’re actually training your body and mind to be awake in bed instead of sleeping in bed. If you cannot sleep for 20-30 minutes after laying down then get back up out of bed and perform an activity elsewhere. Read a book in the living room, do some dishes, or something else. After a little bit you can then go back to bed to try again.

          While there is no magic number for getting enough sleep, it is absolutely important that everyone gets enough sleep. If you want more information on sleep, here is an article from Harvard University that explains sleep, sleep patterns, and the importance of sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, give these tips a try!

          Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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          Joseph Hindy

          A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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          Last Updated on July 13, 2020

          How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

          How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

          Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

          If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

          1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

          The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

          Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

          For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

          The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

          2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

          Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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          As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

          Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

          3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

          Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

            This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

            We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

            Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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            When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

            Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

            4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

            Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

            For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

            Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

            5. Make Decisions

            For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

            If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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            If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

            Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

            I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

            This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

            The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

            6. Take Some Form of Action

            Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

            The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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            It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

            Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

            The Bottom Line

            Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

            When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

            More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

            Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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