5 ways to get a better nights sleep.

Sleep has so much control over the well being of our lives, but not enough people remember the last time they got a night of flawless slumber. I’ve struggled with functioning, day-to-day, on a few hours of rest so I started looking for something – anything – to help me. The Internet is full of suggestions and ideas for those desperate to get a few hours of shuteye, but I spent a few months figuring out my own.

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1. Atmosphere. Find the atmosphere you like sleeping in. Some people like it cold, some people like hot, some people like the noise of a fan in the background, the list goes on. Try out different combinations and find the temperature and sounds that enhance your sleep condition.

2. Analyze Your Mind. Too many people think relaxation is the key to a good night’s sleep but, if your mind can’t stop racing, don’t lie still and hope you’ll fall into a sleep. Instead, stimulate your mind. Try to count back from 100 by 3’s. This will make your mind work and focus on something other then your thoughts. Even if your mind wanders, bring it back to the task at hand.

3. Quality of Your Bed. We all want our bed to be equivalent to a cloud, yet sleep hygiene is something we often ignore. Wash your sheets regularly, change your pillows once they lose their support and occasionally flip your mattress if required.

4. A Date With Sleep. Pamper yourself and really prepare your body and mind for a goodnight sleep. Have a bath prior using lavender soap. Set flame-less candles around your bedroom, play soft music, turn off the light and carry your relaxed state of mind into a nightlong slumber.

5. Empty Your Mind. Find a planner that works best for you. Find one with a month view, a week view and lines to write additional work.  Before going to bed, fill in your schedule accordingly and make to-do lists for the following day or week. Create a grocery list if required and essentially clear your mind of all things that could keep you up.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas that work for you? Please share!

your darkest thoughts.

Screen shot 2014-09-27 at 8.31.30 PMThere are days when you find yourself at your lowest. A recluse in your condo and a prisoner of your sweatpants. These days are the struggle. You don’t know if you’re okay or why you feel so hollow. Your eyes don’t say anything but pain and confusion. These days question everything that once was, as the things that use to make your world turn, don’t anymore. Your darkest thoughts start to make sense and you spend your time, just getting by. Yet, on the days you can’t even force a smile, are the days you still feel purpose. It’s not that you don’t want to live. It’s that you’ve forgotten how.

the madness in your head.

Screen shot 2014-09-23 at 6.10.00 PMWe’re scared of the people who are going to let us down, kill our dreams and cause us pain. We’re scared of real emotions. The weight of heartache and the misery we must tolerate when we can no longer find sense. We runaway from pain and we cheat ourselves from life.

This proves we know so little. We’re cowards hoping to numb rejection. Hoping to endure no more then the sting of a paper cut. There are amazingly painful emotions we must learn to survive. We need to get out of our own way, out of our own mind and see that we’re not alone. We’re surrounded by people who bleed red, whose hands shake, whose voices are laced with fear.

So, embrace the mess you are and the madness in your head. Be so excited you’re scared and so scared you’re excited. Be so afraid your vision blurs and all you see is pain worth feeling.

impractical dreams.

Screen shot 2014-09-23 at 6.11.27 PMWe have impractical dreams to gain instant success. We think things come to us. We think life waits for us. There’s a truth we deny which is a future free of promises, for the only constant is that nothing is.

Every room has a door but for now, some are locked. Every path has an end but for now, we feel lost. This leaves us as victims of what’s meant to be, when it’s meant to happen. We must be patient enough to wait.Besides, the longer we are without something, the more we appreciate it. So as long as we have something to chase, we’ll keep running.

days get lost.

Screen shot 2014-09-23 at 6.13.12 PMToo many people live in oblivion. They take life as it is. They have amateur ambitions, a close-minded outlook and a persuadable mind for conspiracy theories. They accept the stability of a plateau. They have no interest in seeing what else life has to offer.

If your dreams haven’t made you cry, haven’t kept you awake at night, or haven’t forced you to give up, time and time again, they’re not big enough. You don’t want them bad enough. There’s a lot of motivation at night that morning pretends not to remember, so don’t let it slip away. Don’t let your days get lost.

Go for the long shot. Go for as far as you can skip a rock, for the only lies we believe are our own. Don’t tell yourself this is enough because there’s a danger in believing that’s true and it will cost a life you’ll never know.

this crazy thing called life.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 8.21.13 PMThere will be a day when you realize, life’s been busy changing. Your drinking buddy’s having a baby while your best friend’s tying the knot. The familiar faces of your hometown have scattered across the world and the girl whose name you once knew is the face of the biggest magazines. The jocks are chugging beers and the nerds are making money. The pretty girls still love the drunks while you’re just relieved you’ve moved on.

And on this day you’ll see, there are people behind you and people ahead of you in this crazy thing called life. We’re in a race, competing against a world that knows no rules and plays by no standard. No one comes out the winner and with that, no one comes out the loser. You’re tired and you’re gasping but as long as you keep running, you’re playing the game right.

life in the 90’s.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 9.00.04 PMLife in the 90’s were simple. They were easy. Our TV’s played cartoons, not the madness in the news. Stress was level 50 in Bop-It or the sound of your VHS, jamming in your machine. We expressed ourselves on Paint documents and through our latest Art Attack. Crime was a Mary Kate and Ashley episode including ghosts and amusement parks while horror was the theme song to Goosebumps, you forgot to turn off in time.

And in the midst of perfection, and our picket fence lives, there was death, and loss and tragedy. Meaning we have been taught to fear a world that once offered so much happiness. We’re no longer hidden from truth so we can no longer pretend it’s not there. Which leaves us to wonder, did we like the 90’s or did we like the opportunity to live in oblivion?

dream for better.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 8.31.54 PMWe can’t understand people. We can’t understand why it takes them to lose you to miss you. To hate you to love you. To misunderstand you to get you. We can’t seem to open our eyes and like what we see so we close them tight and dream for better. But more often then not, better never comes, because better is what you have. We’re too quick to let go and too excited to move on. Sometimes the very something we’re moving on from, is the very something we’re looking for.

sometimes we’re scared.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 8.39.50 PMIf you heard someone cry would you console them? If you watched someone trip would you lift them up? If you felt someone surrender  would you promise there’s good, they haven’t yet seen?

Day after day we can save someones life, we can show them the light, we can share what we know. We should all be so lucky to find someone whose seen the dark for those people know how to shine light when we need it ourselves. But sometimes the people who have seen the dark, leave their problems there.

Sometimes we’re scared of hugging, in fear of them holding too tight. Sometimes we’re scared to pick someone up, in fear they’ll pull us down. Sometimes we’re scared to save someone’s life, in fear we will forfeit our own. And sometimes we’re scared to share the lessons we learned, in fear of re walking our own path.

we fight who we are.

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 8.19.30 PMOur teen years fixate on the popularity of the girl with pretty long hair and a drinking problem. The jock like boyfriends that will bend over backwards to hold their books and the instant glamour that can be found when accessorizing with pink. It’s the kind of life we hate to want.

We try to make a normal so far from what we know, but it’s a matter of time before we realize people don’t change, they simply can’t. We can fight who we are for as long as we have the strength but eventually it’s inevitable and we give up the act. The twenties come with a lot of hardships, a lot of obstacles we must overcome but while we’re occupied with the more serious problems in life, we forget to pretend to be someone else. There is no better time to embrace who you really are then a time where no one has a clue.