7 Hacks For a Good Night's Sleep
There's nothing like a good night's rest, and going through days, weeks, months without one can be torture. Your workflow, your energy levels, your social life all lag if you aren't clocking consistent quality sleep. In America today the number of young adults seeking sleeping pills and other aids is staggering and also unhealthy. Sleeping pills and the like tend to create dependency and fail to solve the root cause of poor sleep. So here are some simple and easily implemented hacks that can help you ride the waves of your body's natural energy cycles better and sleep like a champ. Who wants to be better at sleeping? I know I do.
Proper Nap Time
During the course of the day our bodies hit a natural energy plateau. That means daily around 1-3 we start to feel pooped. It's apart of the bodies natural rhythm and if you must nap, this is the optimal time of the day for it. A quick 15-30 minute nap will revitalize your life and put you into high gear for the second half of the day. And for my coffee drinkers who'd like an added boost, try a little coffee before your nap, the caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick into action, so you'll arise from your nap with an extra kick.
Clear Your Mind
How many of us have found ourselves laying in the bed with our minds racing too fast to actual enter into a restful state of mind? Two to three hours before bed, start to let go of the day. Leave the office at the office. Your bed is your sanctuary. A very powerful hack is to write down whatever is worrying you before falling asleep - expressing gratitude that your mind will find a solution through the night, then rest easy. This technique has helped people sleep with peaceful minds since antiquity.
Watch What You Eat
While diet is important all the time, particularly for a good nights rest you should be mindful of your intake. Try not to eat super heavy foods right before bedtime. The digestive system uses a large amount of active energy in the body in order to break down foods and disperse nutrients. It's like having an active system going on in your body while you're also telling it to rest. A nice filling meal a few hours for bed - and once your body is finished it's digestive work, it will be nice and tired, and prepared to enter that restful state.
Regular exercise is clutch, and helps keep the body balanced. Be wary of exercising too near to bedtime however as the post work out energy boost will do more to keep you awake than put you to sleep. Use that post energy boost to kickass before bedtime and then you'll be nice and puckered out. Light mind-body activities like tai chai and nighttime yoga routines are also really great ways of diffusing energy, and relaxing the muscles in preparation for sleep mode.
Lights Out, Power Off
Do all you can to create a pitch black and quiet undisturbed sleep environment. All the little lights from your electronics actually interfere with your sleep. Cover the digital display of your alarm clock, cable box, or dvd player, etc. Even turning your cell phone off for the night is suggested. Aside from its rings, dings, vibrations, and lights - studies show that EMFs emitted from your cellular devices disrupts sleep patterns.
Keeping the bedroom between 67-72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Too hot or too cool and the body cannot properly enter and maintain sleep mode as it also undergoes the restorative processes of rebuilding your body. Fresh clean bedding also promotes a cool clean happy sleeping feel.
What To Do If You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night
Its not unnatural for people to wake up in the middle of the night, and it's something you shouldn't fight. Back in older times we held two sleep sessions - one earlier and one later. The time in between these sleep sessions would be used for such great undertakings as reading, having sex, thinking, writing. These are the golden hours so seize them. This promotes a very healthy and satisfied second round of sleep. Remember the aim is also the quality and restorative depth of the sleep, not just the number of hours.
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.