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Sleep Is The Ultimate Self-Care Habit
If you have ever struggled with insomnia you know how exhausting, frustrating and depressing sleep deprivation really is. Being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep makes you question yourself and your ability to control your own life. You feel powerless, hopeless and desperate to try anything and everything to beat insomnia. So you spend a lot of money on sleep supplements, self-massage tools, bed linen, fancy pillows, expensive lightning or even new bed hoping that these products will solve your sleeping problems.
But unfortunately, in most cases, it won’t actually work. It will not work because the quality of your sleep is determined by your mental state, habits and activities of the day before bedtime and not by the amount of product you will purchase. So before you buy another high quality and pricy Melatonin Sleep Aid Supplement, you should focus on your behaviors during the day, and especially before bedtime and ask yourself whether they negatively impact your sleep or not.
And if you struggle to identify those habits, which I highly doubt, I’ve created a list of 5 absolutely worst (in terms of getting quality sleep) modern lifestyle habits that I was guilty of and tips on how you can easily get rid of them.
Dangers Of Getting Less than 7 Hours Of Sleep
- Weak Immune System
- Poor Cognitive Performance
- Memory Issues or even Memory Loss
- Concentration Problems
- Migraine Headaches
- Digestive Issues
- Slow Metabolism
- Insulin Resistance
- Mood Swings
- Depressed Mood
- High Blood Pressure
- Higher Levels of Anxiety
- Vision Problems
- Poor Physical Performance
- Balance and Coordination Issues
- Low Sex Drive
- Chronic Pain
Benefits Of Quality Sleep
- Strengthens Immune System
- Raises Productivity Levels
- Improves Mental Performance
- Improves Memory
- Balances Hormones
- Improves Digestion
- Maximizes Athletic Performance
- Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
- Reduces the risk of diseases
- Reduces stress levels
- Helps the body repair itself and recovers
- Reduces inflammation
- Heightens alertness
- Increases creative thinking
- Increased libido
5 Habits That Ruin Your Sleep
Habit #1 Getting Less Than 7 Hours Of Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation guidelines, healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to feel well-rested, energized and ready to smash the day. So if you get less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis only to get more things done during the day you basically work against your body’s “biological clock,” or more precisely against the 24-hour cycle (circadian rhythm) and you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re experiencing extreme fatigue and exhaustion.
Unfortunately, the hustle culture we’re all actively encouraged to participate in creates that toxic belief that we should be obsessed with working harder, smarter and faster in order to achieve our goals. And what’s worse, we should pretend that we love our work more than anything else.
While being productive and effective at work is crucial to get the intended results, work should never be put as the #1 priority regardless of anything. Your health and well being should be at the top of your priorities list. “There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.”
Work From Home Productively Workbook
Habit #2 Blue Light
Living in a Technological Era has many advantages, like being able to work remotely, study online, connect with your loved ones within seconds, increase your knowledge without going to the library, develop new skills, create an online community, pay your bills or even shop for food without leaving your home. However, there are also many disadvantages of living in a tech-saturated world and one of them is exposure to too much artificial blue light, especially at night.
While exposure to blue light during (especially natural blue light from the sun) the day is extremely beneficial because it boosts our energy levels and helps maintain a healthful circadian rhythm. Everything changes in the evening when exposure to artificial blue light blocks or even completely suppresses the production of melatonin – our sleep hormone. As a result, we’re unable to fall asleep.
- Evening digital detox
- Invest in blue-light blocking glasses
- Turn on dark mode on your phone, laptop and Ipad
- manage your lights
Habit #3 Lack of Physical Activity
A longitudinal study has shown that a regular exercise routine is one of the most effective strategies to cope with insomnia. There are several reasons for this – stimulation of happy chemicals (dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, serotonin), relief of stress, worry and nervous tension, better cardiovascular health, regulation of blood glucose and mental decluttering.
There is one more advantage of regular physical activity – ease of getting rid of negative energy accumulated in your mind, body and spirit. This is especially important if you consider everything that has been happening lately in the world.
A sedentary lifestyle is not doing you any good and it’s ruining your sleep. So, if you haven’t already created your workout routine, not it’s time to finally build workout plans that fit your schedule and goals. To improve your sleep health, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity during the day or evening.
If you’re struggling with self-discipline and motivation, here are the top 5 fitness apps that will keep you accountable:
- Sworkit – personal trainer app iOS / Android
- J&J Official 7 Minute Workout – science-based workout method designed by Chris Jordan iOS / Android
- Fitness & Bodybuilding Pro on the App Store – iOS / Android
- Daily Workouts Fitness Trainer – each workout and exercise is demonstrated by a professional trainer iOS / Android
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Habit #4 Consuming Too Much Caffeine
The potential of coffee beans is one of the most important discoveries in the history of mankind. Honestly, I think that coffee is the best thing ever. I go to bed and I cannot wait for this cup of coffee in the morning. I wake up and I cannot wait to take that first sip of my morning coffee that puts me in a good mood. But when I drink coffee in the late afternoon I’m unable to fall asleep at night. That’s why in the second half of the day I try to stick to caffeine-free options that don’t disrupt my sleep.
However, it is important to mention that coffee is not the only product that contains caffeine. There are many different products that contain caffeine as well. For instance, tea, chocolate, cocoa, energy drinks, headache and migraine remedies, PMS medications or even breath fresheners contain a significant amount of caffeine that can cause sleeplessness. And yes, decaffeinated coffee also contains caffeine so don’t be fooled by the name. So if you want to sleep better at night make sure you don’t consume caffeine (in any shape or form) in the late afternoon.
Habit #5 Not Giving Yourself Time To Unwind & Relax
If you don’t give yourself time and space to truly rest, relax and unwind before you go to bed, you will find yourself overthinking and overanalyzing everything at night. Because no matter how much you want it, difficult thoughts, unpleasant feelings, painful memories and stressful experiences will not go away themselves at night. They will drain your mental energy keeping you awake all night. And we all know how frustrating struggling with racing thoughts in the middle of the night can be.
To avoid this, you should give yourself at least an hour before sleep to truly rest, relax and clear your mind. Sitting alone with your thoughts and true feelings can be quite challenging but it’s quite necessary if you want to reduce stress, shut your brain off, put your racing mind to bed and go to sleep.
There are many effective techniques for unburdening your thoughts and freeing your mind of the excesses such as journaling, meditation, deep breathing exercises, evening walk, yoga or even a simple stretch.
Best Relaxation Apps
- Headspace Meditations, Mindfulness & Sleep (Android / iOS)
- Calm Meditation and Sleep Stories (Android / iOS)
- Aura: Sleep & Mindfulness (Android / iOS)
- 10% Happier: Meditation & Sleep (Android / iOS)
- The Mindfulness App: relax, calm, focus and sleep
(Android / iOS)
- Insight Timer – Meditation for Sleep & Anxiety (Android / iOS)
- Smiling Mind Meditation for all ages (iOS / Android)
Relaxing Music Youtube Channels
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Best Posts About Achieving Goals:
- Discover 10 simple ways to train your self-discipline muscle
- Use best time management apps to keep you on schedule at work
- Organize your day around your goals
- Use the Eisenhower Box to identify your top priorities and avoid the urgency trap
- Create and maintain a powerful morning routine
- Develop morning rituals to make your motivation flow effortlessly
- Keep your mind sharp
- Create motivation through action
- Start before you are ready
- Improve your decision-making process
- Overcome your self-limiting beliefs that block your progress
- Balance productivity and happiness
- Cultivate self-care routine
- The 3 x 8 rule for Perfectly Balanced Day & Life
- Create rituals to induce a flow state
- Try Dopamine Detox for Maximum Productivity
and improve your sleep quality!