Lori Bumgarner, M.Ed., Passion & Career Coach at paNASH | www.yourpassioninlife.com | Helping you discover and pursue your passions in work and life.
I’m always pursuing my passions and I work hard to help others do the same. But when you’re not well-rested, you can’t productively pursue your passions. I find I’m always more productive and have the energy for my passions when I get good sleep. Therefore, I make a habit of doing so.
Even if your passions energize you, you still have to replenish your energy to continue pursuing your passions. How do you do this? You learn how to sleep, not more, but better.
I’ve personally improved my sleep by following several simple sleep tips. You too can incorporate these tips so you can maintain your energy for your favorite things:
Don’t have a TV or any form of entertainment electronics in your bedroom. This just creates a lot of “noise” even when they’re turned off. The “noise” created when they’re turned off includes the anxiety of wondering what you’re missing and the temptation to turn them on. Just remove them completely from the room.
Sleep with a pillow between your knees. I once heard this advice on a morning show. It alleviates back pain. For some reason, I always remembered this. So, when I started having back pain in my late 20s, I took this advice and it worked. It decreased my discomfort, and therefore helped me sleep better.
Never paint your room or decorate with colors that heighten your energy. For example, red triggers activity and aggression. Instead, use calming, soothing colors like blue or green.
Consider falling asleep to nature sounds. My alarm clock lets me fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wakes me up to the sound of ocean waves. It used to take me forever to fall asleep until I started incorporating sounds of nature into my bedtime routine. If you find you can’t sleep to such sounds, consider a white noise machine as an alternative.
Straighten up your bedroom and close the closet doors. When everything is orderly, you sleep better.
Make up your bed every morning. It’s much more inviting to get into a neatly made bed. Somehow the sheets feel even better against your skin!
Write down anything that’s weighing on your mind before you go to bed. This will help you stop thinking about it until you have a clearer head to do so.
Count your blessings. We’ve all heard how important it is to develop the habit of being grateful, so use bed time to think of all the things you’re thankful for from the previous day.
Once you start incorporating these tips, you’ll see an improvement in your productivity without having to force yourself to sleep more hours. I personally don’t sleep the same number of hours each night. It varies between six and eight for me.
Regardless of how many hours I get per night, I always choose quality over quantity. You can too.
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“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS