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5 Ways to Improve Your Sleeping Habits

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5 Ways To Improve Your Sleeping Habits

 

When it comes to sleep, you might have gotten into some pretty bad habits. You may have started watching the latest Netflix drama on your laptop in bed, for one. (Now it’s a miracle if you sleep before 1 am, and usually your dreams are of the violent, cliffhanger variety). Perhaps you have started to raid the fridge for late-night snacks, which will also keep you awake for longer. And when you do manage to fall asleep, do you find yourself waking up an hour or two later needing the bathroom after those few beers or glasses of wine that you enjoyed after work. If you find it difficult to get a good nights sleep, fear not, a better nights sleep can be yours by following these simple but effective steps.

1. Create an Evening Routine

Ok, it might sound dull…but trust me on this, don’t knock it until you have tried it! By following the same steps before bed every night, your body and mind will start to realize that sleepytime is not far away. Before you hit the hay, perhaps treat yourself to a nice soothing bath. Read a physical book, burn some relaxing essential oils, do some yoga stretches, listen to a guided meditation or write in your journal. All of these activities will help you calm down after a busy day and set you up for a great nights sleep.

2. Keep The Office Out of The Bedroom

We are all guilty of it: watching TV, checking our phones and updating our profiles right before bed. It may seem harmless enough, but the blue light these screens emit actually inhibit sleep. For one, they overstimulate the mind, even if you might not be aware of it. For another, they block the production of serotonin in the body, which we rely on to make us feel nice ‘n’ sleepy.

So leave the screens out of your sleep sanctuary; better still, turn them off an hour before bedtime. You will be surprised at how much deeper your sleep will be.

3. Chow Down on Sleep-Promoters

There are plenty of foods and drink you can avoid to rid yourself of bad sleeping habits; caffeine and sugar are chief among them. If you need a coffee fix during the day, make sure it is before 2pm as caffeine can take up to 6 hours to leave your system.

But there are also sleep-promoting foods you can eat – foods such as bananas, almonds, kiwis, sesame seeds, sweet potatoes and wholemeal toast. These all benefit our sleep in different ways; some contain mind-calming magnesium, others muscle-relaxing potassium, while others simply keep us fuller for longer. No more rumbling tummies disturbing your sleep.

So get snacking on more sensible stuff – and your sleep will thank you for it.

4. Get Your Zen On

I have already mentioned meditation in your evening routine, but this habit is also worth a point of its own. Although meditation might seem like an difficult undertaking at first, it is pretty much the best way to keep your mind calm at any time of day. And if a restless, anxious mind is what’s keeping you up at night – don’t worry, it happens to the best of us – meditation could be your ticket to Snoozeville.

I would recommend starting with a short guided meditation, of which there are plenty on YouTube. Or simply try a ‘progressive tension’ exercise yourself instead. Lying on your back, imagine that you are first tensing and then releasing your toes, ankles, calves, knees and thighs. Work your way up the body all the way to your neck and head, your eyes, mouth etc, until you feel your body heavy and sinking into the bed/floor. This is a great way to relax both body and mind before settling into a better sleep.

5. Hydrate as Needed

By this, I mean swap sugary drinks and alcohol for water! Sure, a beer or a glass of wine can help us to unwind after a long day; but they actually disrupt our sleep that night. Even if you find it easier to fall asleep after alcohol, the sleep quality that you are getting is actually much lower and chances are you will wake up during the night as a result. Not to mention a full bladder waking you for the bathroom!

Speaking of which, I am a big advocate in drinking plenty of water during the day. But having too many glasses of the stuff right before bed, or especially herbal teas, can send you running for the bathroom in the middle of the night. And it can be a real pain getting back to sleep afterwards. So drink enough water during the day, have a few sips before you go to bed (to avoid waking up thirsty) and sleep right through until morning.

That’s a wrap!

Now that you have seen how to rid yourself of bad habits and pick up some more useful ones, a better sleep now awaits you. Enjoy your new evening routine, that is free from phone screens and caffeine and is instead full of tasty sleep-promoting snacks. Give meditation a try, and any pre-bedtime alcohol a miss. Start sleeping better and waking up brighter in the morning. And if you need any more tips on sleep, whether it is on meditation exercises, sleeping positions or reviews on comfortable beds, check out what the guys from the Sleep Advisor have to say.

Sleep well!

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6 Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

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Reasons Why You Should Create A Bucket List

The term ‘bucket list’ has become quite popular in recent years. It has been used in pop culture references and as a casual topic of conversation when someone wants to do something. Chances are, you have heard someone say, “Oh, that’s on my bucket list!” But, a bucket list is more than just a fantasy, an out of reach dream or an excuse to say that you want to do many things, only to never follow through on them.

There are actually many benefits to creating a bucket list, if you just put in the time, the thought and the dedication into it. Making a bucket list is a perfect way to set your life goals and to stay focused on making them a reality. Still not 100% convinced? Let’s take a look at six reasons why you really should create a bucket list. Maybe, by the end of this article, you will be ready to put together one of your very own.

1. It Gives You a Purpose

While putting together a bucket list won’t tell you what the meaning of your life is, it can help to give you a purpose to your life. A bucket list should be more about the major goals that you have for yourself, rather than a bunch of fun little things that you might want to do. A bucket list gives you something to get out of life and allows you to stay focused while you are doing it.

Have you ever been bored, wondering what you’re going to do this weekend to fill up your free time? A bucket list can give you that answer, encouraging you to always work towards the things that you truly want to do and experience in life.

2. It Brings Your Goals to Life

As stated above, a bucket list should be about exciting goals that you have for yourself. But, it is also an opportunity to hone in on those goals. Many people have ambitions and even make goals or resolutions for themselves each year only to be forgotten a few days later. But, when you have a specific list of goals written down, it can help to make you more motivated and focused to achieve them.

Goals are incredibly important to have, and the fact that your bucket list can make those goals clearer and more tangible is really important.

3. You Will Create Lasting Memories

Memories are one of life’s greatest treasures. As you start to accomplish the things on your bucket list, you will also be making wonderful memories each time. Since you are doing the things you really want to do, those memories will bring you comfort, a sense of achievement and give you something positive to look back on and share with others.

Bucket list Create Lasting Memories

4. It Will Pull You Forward

Have you ever been in a “funk” in life, or maybe you have had bouts of feeling down or depressed that have kept you from doing the things you typically enjoy? No one wants to stay in that kind of mindset for long. Because a bucket list can help to give you a sense of purpose, it can also give you the motivation to pull yourself out of a funk. It can call you to do something new, something different, or something that even challenges you. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs to be pulled out of a tired or depressed state.

Additionally, doing something on your bucket list will help to distract you for a while. That can be a great solution for someone who has anxiety or tends to focus too much on the negative things in life. Sometimes, a distraction can be a welcomed reprieve.

5. You Will Experience Life-Long Learning

When you commit yourself to having new experiences, you are also committing yourself to learning something new. So many people think that learning stops when you finish school, but you can learn so much more simply by living and trying more new things throughout your life. People who embrace this type of lifestyle are called “lifelong learners”. The reality is this; you will never be able to learn everything there is to know. But, because all of us have such a short time on this planet to figure things out, the more experiences we participate in, the more that we will learn and grow. Not only can a bucket list help you to learn things about different cultures, skills, situations, people and personalities.

It can also help you to learn more about yourself. Closing your mind off to the idea of lifelong learning will cause you to become stagnant with your thoughts and your growth. As a human being, you should have a desire to continue to grow and achieve as much as you possibly can throughout your life. Working through your bucket list can help you to achieve that.

Bucket List For Life long Learning

6. You Will Never Run Out of Things to Do

If you sit down to make a bucket list, you might write down anywhere from 10-100 things that you really want to do. But, it doesn’t have to stop there. Chances are, as you start to work through some of the things on your list, you will come up with more ideas.

Experiencing new things, and even challenging things, is a great way to get inspired and motivated to continue on that trend. A bucket list can truly be never-ending as you come up with more exciting new ideas and goals for yourself.

Building Your Bucket List and Bettering Your Life

There are so many additional reasons why you should create a bucket list for yourself. Remember, a bucket list is a very personal thing, and the experiences you put on the list should be things that you truly want to do or accomplish. Don’t make them  so unrealistic that you will never plan on committing to. Instead, promise yourself that you will immerse yourself in those experiences.

A bucket list might be something you create to accomplish things before you pass on, but in creating one and diving into new experiences, there is a good chance you will feel more alive than ever!

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

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8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself Every Day

Self-care is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately, to the point where it’s easy to ignore or blow it off as some kind of “buzz word”. But, it’s so much more than that, and when you are willing to take self-care seriously, you might just start to see how much easier it will be to get through each day. (more…)

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

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The Top 8 Most Important Things in Life

It is easy for people to speculate and debate about the most important things in life. You have probably heard that “the best things in life are free” or that “love is all you need”, but what about what are the most important? What do you really need in this life in order to find contentment and fulfillment? (more…)

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