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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 March 15, 2019

          How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

          How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

          When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

          Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

          In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

          What Makes a Leader Fail?

          A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

          If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

          And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

          What Is Effective Leadership?

          Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

          Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

          Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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          “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

          How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

          To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

          1. Courage

          The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

          “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

          Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

          For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

          In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

          It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

          Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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          2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

          If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

          The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

          To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

          3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

          Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

          Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

          4. Likability

          Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

          When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

          Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

          So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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          5. Vulnerability

          Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

          When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

          6. Authenticity

          Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

          Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

          7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

          Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

          Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

          Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

          Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

          As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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          “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

          8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

          Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

          This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

          9. A Passion for Continual Learning

          Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

          These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

          Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

          The Bottom Line

          No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

          Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

          More Resources About Effective Leadership

          Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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