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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

4 Essential Tasks to Add to Your Nightly Routine

Health

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It’s no secret we live in a fast-paced world. Because of this, we’re often left lying awake in the middle of the night hoping that we’ll eventually doze off to sleep. But there’s a remedy for the sleep fight: incorporating a nightly routine into your life will give you structure, better sleep, and even more time.

Here are 4 surefire ways to sleep better and lead a healthier life:

Meditation

Research suggests that meditation can improve quality of life in a multitude of ways. For example, meditation appears to increase your brain’s ability to repair gray matter, which is responsible for allowing nerve cells to communicate with one another which is important for learning and memory. The positive effects of meditation are numerous and integrating it into your schedule is worth it.

Meditation is a practice used to clear your mind and absolve you from your needs and desires. This is achieved by clearing your mind and focusing on your breath, a sensation, or your empty mind. It sounds daunting, but it’s not—you can easily start your practice by utilizing an app that will guide you through the meditation. This is a simple and cost-effective method to reduce stress and acquire a better nights sleep tonight.

Silence Your Room

Even if you don’t live in the city, noise pollution is common within a sleeping space. Whether you have an analog clock ticking, an air conditioner humming, or water dripping, your quality of sleep could be negatively affected. Contrary to popular belief, sleeping with a sustained noise does not encourage high quality sleep. In fact, the opposite occurs.

Unless you are thinking about incorporating white noise, which is essentially radio static, any additional noise will negatively affect your sleep by unconsciously waking you up. Decreasing noise will increase the depth of your sleep, which will give you a better quality of life when you’re awake.

Of course, soundproofing a bedroom can be a difficult and expensive task, so it’s much easier to use the following:

  • Ear plugs
  • White noise with some color (“brown” noise and “pink” noise, for example)
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Soundproof just your bed

All of these methods serve as a way to increase your quality of sleep, so incorporate as many as you see fit. Soundproofing your bedroom will allow you to reach a deeper level of sleep and decrease the likelihood of waking up at night.

Reading Nonfiction or Literature

Most people fall asleep right next to their cell phone, tablet, or computer. Falling asleep near the blue light of your electronic device increases the amount of work your body must do before falling asleep. This is due to the disruption of our circadian rhythm (the part of our brain that tells us when we are tired).

Fortunately, reading a nonfiction or literature book helps extinguish this problem (the key here is to make sure the book isn’t scary or exciting—go for math textbooks). You can spend your last hours learning, imagining, or improving yourself instead of stressing out your body with blue light.

Writing or Reviewing Your Day In a Notebook

You can increase productivity by reviewing your actions every day. It’s a tactic many successful CEOs use, and integrating this activity into your routine will be a method to hold yourself accountable. If you’re trying to optimize your nightly routine, taking inventory of what you did correctly or incorrectly will help you reach your goals faster

A great way to remind yourself to complete this task is by setting a notebook next to your bed. Every time you climb into bed, you’ll notice the notebook and feel drawn to recollect your day. Furthermore, this task will move you away from using your electronic devices and help you focus on what objectives you wish to achieve and how to get there.

All of these tasks serve as a way to improve your quality of life. Improving your life begins with optimizing your sleep. Instead of distracting yourself with your phone at night, you can spend the time optimizing your body and mind through beneficial tasks that have been proven to enhance your life.

See also: Sleep Deprivation & Stress

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