6 bad habits that are affecting your sleep

Throw Away These 6 Bad Habits And Catch More Zzz's Once And For All

Believe it or not, there are better ways to fix a lack of sleep that don't include coffee or cold showers.

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Every day I used to wake up wishing I could stay in bed for just a few more minutes, but I was always aware that it wasn't a possibility because I had to get to class. I had created a vicious cycle of going to bed much too late so that the next day I'd walk around like a zombie all day long with layers of bags under my eyes. It was something I had become so used to that I hadn't bothered looking into changing my routine.

After one night when I was extremely ill and took a NyQuil to allow myself to fall asleep, I realized the importance of a suitable amount of sleep holds in a person's life. That night, I was able to get 14 hours of sleep and felt completely replenished and rejuvenated the next day. Although 14 hours is excessive and not possible on most days given my busy schedule, I made a vow to myself to increase the number of hours I slept to around the doctor's recommended amount, nine.

At first, it was extremely hard because I possessed the misconception that if I kept up my old habits, I'd magically be able to get more sleep. It wasn't until I realized that I had to reform my routine and establish these seven tendencies if I wanted to acquire a desirable amount of sleep every night.

1. Tell your phone you need a break

I know many of us feel separation anxiety when we're away from our phones for an extended period of time, but it really is better to keep it in a separate room when you go to sleep. I hate to break it to you, but Instagram and Snapchat can wait until the morning. YOU NEED SLEEP!

I don't know how accurate it is when researchers claim that it's the rays from your phone that disturb your sleep, but there's one thing I know for certain: keeping it by your bed at night will minimize the amount of sleep you get.

The biggest reason I say to part ways with your phone at night is that it's SO DISTRACTING. I'll hear the slightest noise and figure it's my phone buzzing and then I'll need to check if I got a notification. Even if nobody texted me, I'll check every form of social media to see what everyone's up to. Suddenly I'll be cyberstalking my friend's cousin's sister's mom until four in the morning. It's better to have the phone nowhere in sight so you don't even think about checking it.

2. Leave the light for the day time

I always thought that the best method to fall asleep was to allow myself to watch television until I became drowsy and eventually dozed off. That plan would constantly backfire and I'd stay up for hours watching cooking shows until I finally discovered the chef that came out victorious.

I realized that the biggest issue was the light that the television provided. When I began getting tired and would close my eyes in hopes of falling asleep, the light of the television woke me right back up and was practically begging me to watch it.

This goes for night lights, as well. I grew up afraid of the dark like many others, so I'd attempt to sleep with a dim light by my bed. It wasn't until I grew older that I realized how distracting it was. Since I still don't enjoy being alone in the dark, I developed a plan to keep a night light on until I'm feeling pretty tired and then turn it off and try to go to sleep right away so I wouldn't even realize I was in the pitch dark.

3. Just because your friends are up doesn't mean you have to be

In high school, my friends would always want to FaceTime until all hours of the night or text about our late night thoughts. I always felt bad or lame to say I was going to sleep when I was aware that they'd be up for many more hours.

This issue grew even larger as I entered college and my friends could physically be with me all night long. Whether it's attending a party until 3 AM or just fooling around in the dorm, many college kids don't get enough sleep because they're busy socializing.

Having a social life is extremely important, but it doesn't need to occur past a certain time. I learned that taking care of my body was more important than watching a movie with friends until five in the morning and eventually grew the courage to tell my friends I was going to sleep early.

4. No matter how hard it is, don't procrastinate

Like everyone else, I love to save things until the last minute simply because I'm too invested in a Netflix show or literally anything else that doesn't include the thing I really need to do. Whether it's a chore, shopping for presents, or schoolwork, I would always wait until the very last second. Eventually, the due date would come around and then I'd be stuck doing whatever it is I had to do into all hours of the night.

There's such a simple solution to this: time management. Use any downtime to get things done in advance so that you don't need to pull an all-nighter the night before it's due.

5. No matter how hungry you are, it can wait until the morning

My family and I have always been ones to eat dinner pretty early so that when it became time to sleep, I felt like I needed to snack on something. This added usually an hour or more to my bedtime because it took time to choose and prepare and then one snack would lead to another.

Eating would also energize me because it forced me to get out of bed. Doing so made me realize that I had other tasks to do while I was up that I might as well do then because it seemed like I didn't have anything better to do... who cares about sleep?

I eventually told myself that if I fell asleep, I'd completely forget about my grumbling stomach and could satisfy it when I woke up. Doing so led to a tremendous difference in when I would go to sleep.

6. Napping: don't do it

There's nothing wrong with the occasional 20-minute nap, but for most of us, that short time will become four or five hours. Sleeping throughout the day seems like such a good idea at the moment, but when it comes time to fall asleep, it's impossible. Your body has become completely energized from the nap and it takes what feels like forever to fall asleep at night.

Taking a nap during the day creates a cycle where you go to bed extremely late, wake up exhausted, take a nap, and repeat. It's so much better to go to sleep early and feel great throughout the day until it's an appropriate time to go back to sleep.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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