Advertising
Advertising

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

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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!

      Advertising

      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!

        Advertising

        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

          More by this author

          10 Benefits of Sleeping Naked You Probably Didn’t Know 12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons 15 Most Effective Cool Down Exercises For Every Workout 10 Things Guys Love That You Didn’t Expect 20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently

          Trending in Productivity

          1 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 2 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on January 16, 2019

          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

          How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

          We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

          You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

          You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

          That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

          Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

          1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

          Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

          We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

          To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

          At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

          The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

          2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

          Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

          The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

          In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

          It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

          It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

          Advertising

          So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

          • Are you a great strategist?
          • Are you an effective planner?
          • Is Project Management your strength?
          • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
          • Are you the ideas person?
          • Is Implementation your strength?

          Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

          3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

          One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

          Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

          Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

          Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

          4. Take Time for Planning

          “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

          One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

          You can take the time to think about:

          • What’s the purpose of the project?
          • How Important is it?
          • When does it need to be delivered by?
          • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
          • What are the KPIs?
          • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
          • Who is working on this project?
          • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
          • What tolerances can I add in?
          • What are the review stages?
          • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

          Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

          5. Focus on Priorities

          Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

          Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

          One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

          1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
          2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
          3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
          4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

          James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

          Advertising

            The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

            If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

            If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

            6. Take Time Out

            To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

            If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

            Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

            In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

            Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

            7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

            Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

            I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

            Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

            If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

            8. Stop Multitasking

            Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

            So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

            When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

            Advertising

            If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

            9. Work in Blocks of Time

            To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

            I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

            Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

            Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

            Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

            Then take another 10-minute break.

            Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

            By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

            10. Get Rid of Distractions

            Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

            “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

            Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

            If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

            11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

            You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

            Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

            Advertising

            Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

            12. Take a Time Audit

            Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

            Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

            You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

            Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

            Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

            At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

            If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

            13. Protect Your Confidence

            It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

            When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

            Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

            When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

            Final Words

            A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

            The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

            If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

            Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

            Reference

            Read Next