Experts say that you spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping. Certainly, you want to make every moment count toward the physical and mental rejuvenation that a good sleep provides! So, how can you enjoy a restful night of slumber?
Put these 8 tips into action now to experience some of the best sleep of your life:
Investigate your evening routine. Think about the activities you’re involved in from the time you walk in the door to the moment your head hits the pillow. The goal is to increase your awareness about what you’re doing and see if it could be interrupting your sleep.
Are you playing catch-up by bringing work home from the office? If so, your mind may be on overdrive and unable to turn off.
Do you find yourself consumed with doing household chores like laundry and house-cleaning? In that case, you’re probably lacking time for relaxation.
Plan to be in bed with the lights out for at least eight hours. Do you stay up until after midnight? Try to schedule evening activities early, so you can still get eight hours of sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, you might want to make it eight and a half hours.
Allow time to unwind. If you’re super busy, you’ll probably be rushing around until you finally collapse on the bed in hopes of getting a few winks.
Instead, give yourself at least an hour to shift gears and relax before bed. Everyone needs some downtime.
Clear your mind from the day’s chaos. Maybe it’s reading your kids a bedtime story or taking 20 minutes to meditate. Focus on shifting your thoughts from the intense to the trivial. A tranquil mind invites more sleep than a chaotic one.
Create an uncluttered, relaxing bedroom environment. Although you may think that a cluttered bedroom is benign, it may be preventing relaxation and interfering with your sleep. Besides, clutter draws dust, which can cause breathing difficulties during the night.
The first step is to put everything away. Clothes can go into drawers or the closet. Put junk mail and magazines into the recycling bin.
The second step is to organize what you have left. Place a lamp, reading materials, and your alarm clock on your night stand. Set the scene for a comfortable night’s slumber.
The third step is dusting. Use a damp cloth and clean all the surfaces in your bedroom each week to ensure an environment where you can breathe easily. If you spend just 15 minutes dusting and tidying your bedroom, you can prevent future clutter.
Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed. The light emanating from backlit screens like cell phones, tablets, and e-readers can trick your body into thinking it’s daylight and time to be awake. Plus, it’s best to rest your eyes from such gadgets before trying to sleep.
Take a warm bath rather than a shower. If you tend to struggle with sleep quality, it may be that your shower routine is invigorating you rather than relaxing you. Sitting for a few minutes in warm water can help your muscles relax and prepare for sleep.
Practice breathing in bed. Take deep breaths through your nose, hold them for five to eight seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Do four of these breaths after you switch off the lights, and you’ll feel your body immediately relax.
Adopt these practices will help you create a restful bedtime routine. When you establish consistent relaxation habits, your body will become accustomed to them, and restful sleep will follow. Soon, you’ll be sawing logs with the best of them. Sweet dreams!
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins
Today is the very first day of the rest of your life. Today, you get to decide exactly who you are, what you’ll accept and how your day will go. You are powerful and you are in charge. Now, let’s do this.
Create Rules For Your Life That Serve You Well
Having rules that govern your life, behavior, and choices might seem confining and restrictive. But there’s a profound freedom that comes from living by a set of rules that you’ve chosen for yourself. You can refrain from toiling over as many decisions.
It’s pretty easy, really.
You just follow your own rules.
For example, let’s say you had the rule that you’re never going to lie to your partner. Because that’s a rule, you never have to ask yourself whether you should tell the truth. And you don’t struggle to keep track of which lie you told him or her–fact is, you know what you said because you said what was true.
Bam–huge amount of stress–gone! When you follow the rules you make and never go rogue, you avoid the drama and the emotional drain. In the case of our example, you simply tell the truth and get on with life. Easy–simple–underrated.
How to Create Life Rules That Work FOR You
Develop your own set of rules for each aspect of your life. Rules provide the framework for having a more productive and stress-free life.
Need help creating a unique set of rules for your own life? Check out this example for some inspiration.
1. I always go to bed and get up at times that provide me with the opportunity to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
2. I refrain from checking email before 10 AM or after 4 PM.
3. I refuse to answer the phone when I’m spending time with my family.
4. I tell everyone in my family that I love them at least once per day.
5. I accept full responsibility for all outcomes in my life, both good and bad.
6. I read a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
7. I speak to all of my friends at least once each month.
8. I meditate every night for 10 minutes before I go to sleep.
9. Before bed, I make a list of the most important items to complete the following day.
And so on.
Why You Need the Rules
Each week, we all make choices that result in guilty or remorseful feelings. But we also make tough decisions that we know are correct. Having a list of rules for your behavior makes it easier to make wise decisions with less mental turmoil.
Your rules can move you closer to your goals, as well as remove frustration from your life.
More Help: Tips to Flesh Out Your Life Rules
1. Make a list of your most important goals. It’s helpful to have goals related to your finances, health, family, and personal accomplishments. If you know your goals, you can develop rules that support them.
2. What are your values? When you’re behaving in a manner that’s congruent with your values, you’ll be much happier and more successful.
3. What obstacles stand in your way? How do you waste time? What are your weaknesses? Rules that eliminate or minimize the challenges in your life are worthwhile.
4. What example do you want to set for your children? If you have children, what do you want them to see when they watch you? They’re always watching, even if you think they aren’t.
Most of us are striving for a greater degree of freedom, and rules seem like a limit to freedom. However, you free up a lot of mental resources when you make important decisions beforehand. If your rule is to exercise every day, then you can avoid having to spend 20 minutes deciding whether or not to exercise. You just do it.
Assignment: Draft Your Personal Life Rules
Take the time to make your own set of rules. The number doesn’t matter. Start with a couple and add more as you see fit. Make some rules for yourself in order to set yourself free.
Take a few moments to come up with a working draft of your personal life rules.
Document the rules, either on paper on electronically.
Do this exercise in your personal journal (online or offline) and/or your blog.
The late Steve Jobs inspired many people during his life. In addition to showing the world that a college dropout wasn’t necessarily doomed to failure, Jobs freely shared his secrets to success with the world.
Even though I’m currently a PC and Android kind of girl, I have a great respect for Jobs, not only for his extraordinary success, but also for his apparent understanding of the world around him and his ability to inspire others.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
What points stood out most for you in Jobs’ speech? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, below.