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Your Guide To Better Sleep Habits

You’re reading Your Guide To Better Sleep Habits, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Nothing can be more frustrating than laying on bed at night and waiting for sleep that won’t come. There are many reasons why you’re having a hard time dozing off. You may be suffering from insomnia, experiencing immense stress or practicing unhealthy lifestyle habits. It’s also possible that you have an underlying medical condition that affects your ability to get good sleep. According to the sleep experts at National Sleep Foundation, an adult aged 18 to 64 should be sleeping for 7 to 9 hours each night. Older adults, aged 65 and older, are advised to get 7 to 8 hours of nightly sleep. If you’re not meeting these sleep recommendations, you’re jeopardizing your health. Studies suggest that sleep deprivation can cause “increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose and increased inflammation.” It’s linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. People suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders are also likely to develop anxiety and depression. Here’s a guide to a healthy daily routine for better sleep. #1: Have a gadget-free sleeping area

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The blue light emitted by your laptop, tablet, and smartphone is interfering with your circadian rhythm. It suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, stimulating the brain at any time of the day/night. This is why you could watch movies ’til dawn without feeling drowsy. Tip: Turn off your gadgets at least 1 hour before bedtime. Better yet, turn your bedroom into a gadget-free zone to help you fight the temptation of browsing social media at 11 p.m. #2: Make exercise a part of your daily lifestyle
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Fitness activities are good for your physical and mental health. Harvard Medical School considers exercise as one of the three pillars of health, together with nutrition and sleep. A healthy adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that exercising has positive impact on attaining proper sleep even among people diagnosed of insomnia. In the study, the participants, mostly in their 60s, were sleeping at least 45 minutes more a night after four months of active lifestyle. Tip: Don’t have time to hit the gym everyday? Check out free fitness videos on Youtube on routines you can do at home. You can learn 15-minute exercises that don’t require any gym equipment. Schedule 15 minutes of exercise in the morning and 15 more at night on weekdays, and 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous routines in the gym on weekends. #3: Schedule your coffee time  
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Is coffee affecting your ability to sleep at night? It depends. You may have read a number of studies supporting the positive points of consuming caffeine. These include lowering cholesterol levels, boosting liver health, and reducing depression risk. It helps boost one’s mental performance and memory. But you should know that the effect of coffee can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. So if you drink a cup of black brew late in the afternoon, you’d likely stay up past your bedtime. Tip: Enjoy a cup of coffee, not during breakfast when you’re energy is up, but at around 10 a.m. Your energy levels typically drops mid-day and again at around 3 p.m. Avoid caffeine after 4 p.m. #4: Practice mindfulness meditation
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Stress is a major cause of poor sleep. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 70 percent of those experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety have trouble sleeping. Their sleep problem, conversely, increased their anxiety. The solutions seem straightforward: reduce your stressors. But this is easier said than done especially when you’re living in urban areas where you’re exposed to congestion and various forms of pollution. Tip: The root cause of stress is one’s obsession with thinking about the non-existent past and future. The core of meditation, probably the most effective stress-busting activity, is to be present. Take a 3-minute break from working or studying every 2 hours. You can stay still on your chair or walk toward the window, then clear your mind. Think about nothing, just feel your surroundings. #5: Declutter your room
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Does your mind keep on running even during bedtime? This is a manifestation of stress. “Our bodies and brains evolved to relax and cool down after dark and to spring back into action come morning,” the American Psychological Association noted. But stress causes hyperarousal, wreaking havoc on your sleep-wake cycle. If not managed, stress can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, heart diseases, and cancers. Tip: Identify your stressors. If your desk reminds you of an unfinished task, you better find a new place for your work area. You can also clean up your desk and put away your laptop and journal. Declutter your room. The visual chaos can be a stressor that interferes with your sleep. #6: Eat light at night
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Your diet has a lot to do with your ability to attain proper sleep. Spicy and acidic foods for dinner can cause heartburn and acid reflux that might disrupt your sleep. Eating a lot before bedtime has the same impact. Is a carbohydrate-heavy meal bad for your sleep health? It depends on the time and volume of your meal. Carbs or not, if taken in large quantities and near bedtime, may keep you up all night. Tip: Eat a heavy breakfast and light lunch and dinner. For dinner, you can have sleep-inducing foods such as turkey, tuna, lettuce, and brown rice. Have a cup of hot chamomile tea before bedtime. #7: Create a conducive sleeping environment
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If you’re having a hard time dozing off at night, you should take a look around your own bedroom. Do you have a lot of stuff in your room? Is your bed mattress still comfortable or is it starting to cause muscle pain? Does your room have ample air ventilation? Is it cool throughout the night? The overall atmosphere in your bedroom can make a lot of difference to the quality of your sleep. Tip: Move your work desk into another room in your house, as well as your entertainment system. Keep the television and stereo in the living area. Keep all clothes in the closet and other items in storage. You may want to replace your old mattress with memory foam for optimal sleep quality. Keep your room dark and cool at night. #8: Decide to improve your sleep
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You need to change your mindset about sleep. It’s not an interruption of your daily activities. It’s an essential part of your life. Sleep is as important as healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s more important than accumulating wealth or earning fame. A healthy night sleep, sadly, is widely neglected in our fast-paced society. “The combination of a deeply misguided definition of what it means to be successful in today’s world—that it can come only through burnout and stress—along with the distractions and temptations of a 24/7 wired world, has imperiled our sleep as never before,” Arianna Huffington, business leader and author, wrote in her bestseller “The Sleep Revolution.” Make a real change in your life. Aspire to achieve healthy sleep habits.

You’ve read Your Guide To Better Sleep Habits, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed

You're reading 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

After working for the whole day, running from one place to another, handling boss and irritating colleagues, the only thing which can make your day is a good sleep. But good sleep doesn’t mean lying in bed for 9 hours and still feeling exhausted after waking up. A good sleep means that even after taking 6 hours of sleep, you should feel recharged again to work for the whole day.
Although there are many things which you can do to get a good, relaxing and deep sleep there are also many habits which you should never follow before going to bed and in this blog post, we will be looking at those 10 things which you should always avoid before going to bed.

1. Alcohol
A small glass of wine before going to bed sounds like a fascinating idea and it surely will help you to fall asleep but if you are concerned about the quality of sleep and then you should never consume any type of alcohol before going to bed.

2. Mobile Phone
Many studies have shown that using a mobile phone, tablet, e-reader or even watching television before going to bed can disrupt your sleeping. So, if you want to experience a deep sleep, then you should always avoid any light-emitting device before going to bed.

3. Caffeine
Caffeine stays in our body for almost 10-12 hours and even a small cup of coffee contains at least 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. And you must be aware of the working of caffeine in our body and how the employees of late night shift consume it for staying awake. So avoid consuming any type of caffeine before going to bed.

4. Chocolate
If you are a sweet tooth then consuming chocolate after dinner as a dessert might sound like a very good idea but you should know that even chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine and especially dark chocolate. So replace your idea of consuming dark chocolate with any other dessert which will not keep your eyes wide open even at midnight.

5. Big Meal
Devouring a big meal before going to bed can also disrupt your sleep. The reason behind this is after taking a big meal, your metabolism has to kick in and that can affect your sleep. It can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux diseases, weight gain, and other serious bad effects on your body.

6. Lots of water
Drinking water is very much necessary throughout the day but if you have completed the quota of your water consumption in a day, then there is no need to drink a jug full of water before going to sleep - it will result in unnecessary trips to the bathroom which obviously disrupt your sleep.

7. Wrong food
Including foods like a cheesecake in your everyday dessert sounds very delicious but you should know that, food products which are high in saturated fat and sugar are a major cause of disrupted sleep.

8. Smoke
Although smoking is injurious to your health, regardless of the time you consume it smoking just before going to bed can cause disruption in your sleeping habit as well. Many people think that smoking will help them relax but the nicotine content in products like cigarettes can make your insomnia worse.

9. Exercise
Just like drinking water, exercise is also very much necessary for keeping you in shape and good health but doing it just before bed allows your-feel good hormones to get active and thus it can also affect your sleep.

10. Bath
A nice warm bath can help your body to relax and then after sometime, you can get lost in your dreams of the deep sleep but if you are planning to go instantly to bed after taking bath then instead of feeling relaxed, it can keep you awake for late night as well.

A good sleep is as necessary as food, air and water are for the body and brain. So, if you want to sleep properly throughout the night, without feeling exhausted for the whole day, then you should always avoid the above-mentioned things before going to bed.


Saurabh Gupta is a technical content writer at Cloudwalks His area of expertise includes software, cloud computing, cybersecurity and life lessons.

You've read 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere.

You're reading From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all have our own moments of doubt, distress, and complete laziness. But what usually determines someone`s success or failure is your ability to stay motivated especially during their toughest times.  I`ve worked on this topic for years and below are some of the things you can do to stay motivated.

1. Work Your Negative Thoughts Out
Tony Robbins was right when he said the difference between you and success is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. These limiting beliefs are keeping you in doubt and the only way to stay motivated is by exposing them to journaling and expressive writing. Studies have found that those who completed four weekly journaling sessions for eight weeks were less worried and more motivated, than those who didn`t.

2. Remove Performance Barriers
Tim Ferris has a simple learning technique that works like magic. Whenever you`re about to learn a skill or do something new, take some time to list all your reasons to quit.

Your goal, after identifying these barriers, is to complete the first five sessions of whatever you want to practice. Why five? Because that`s what your brain needs to create wirings for new habits.

3. Do Less of The Things That Aren`t Aligned With Your Goals
Sales mogul, Grant Cardone once shared a story about someone who worked with him at McDonald`s. Unlike Cardone who was only there for the money, this guy was super pumped to go to work. Why?Because his goal was to learn everything about the business and open his own McDonald`s franchises. Soon Cardone was fired and that dude went on to achieve his dream.

4. Create Necessity
Brendan Bouchard once asked a client, an Olympic sprinter, who he thought was going to win the race. And the man replied, “I will get on the guy who gets down at the blocks, looks at the finish line and says ‘I`ve got to do this for my mom."

This is the power of WHY. Whenever you lack motivation, ask yourself why, or for whom, do you want to reach that goal. If you keep digging, you`ll always find something worth working hard for.

5. It`s like a bath
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
You usually hear people saying, “I don`t feel motivated to chase my goals.” Well, maybe if you write them long enough you`ll eventually feel pumped to go after them.

You must commit to writing your goals at least once a day, every day regardless of how good or bad you feel because, at the end of the day, the quality of your life will come down to what you`ve chosen to pay attention to. So you`d better pay attention to something worthy.

When listing your goals, write down whatever makes you pumped. If “I`m making my first million before my 25th birthday” doesn`t motivate you, then think about listing all the things that you want to buy, or experience, when you make your first million. A trip to Italy, a courtside seat in a Lakers` game, spending X amount of dollars guilt-free…etc.

Forget about what others tell you goals should be, as long as the ones you`ve chosen make you feel excited then you`re good to go.

6. Get a Quick Jump on the Day

It`s much easier to change feelings with action that to do it the other way around. Why? Because you have more control over actions than over feelings. As William James once said, "By regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling."
If there`s one nugget I want to leave you with then let this be it: Productivity comes before motivation and not the other way around. This is why you must start the day with a bang regardless of whether you`re an early bird or a night owl.

The quicker you start the day with a victory, the more motivated you`ll feel during the rest of it. So cut Facebook, meaningless texting or T.V., and focus all your efforts on getting something done.

Any sort of productivity, no matter how small. Just remember that once the ball starts rolling you`ll feel motivated to get more done. An object in motion will stay in motion, so sayeth the law.

Marwan Jamal is a fitness and health blogger at and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

You've read From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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