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I'm Going "Undercover"

We've all heard the phrase, "You snooze, you lose!" But studies show the exact opposite is lose when you don't snooze. Check out some of our best tips on how to make the most of your down time.

1) Increase your bright light exposure during the day. Your body is biologically wired to make the most of natural daylight, so take in as much as you can. It if’s too cold to go outside, sit by a window that gets direct sun.

2) Reduce your blue light exposure during the evening. Step away from the computer. Put down the cell phone. The blue light from your devices confuses your brain and makes you think it’s daylight, not to mention your conscious mind is working when using these devices. If you must use your computer at night, check out this app which runs in the background to help reduce the blue light exposure.

3) Avoid consuming caffeine late in the day. Caffeine confuses your natural rhythm. If you must drink coffee (like me), keeping your coffee intake to 1 or 2 cups a day, and drink both of them before 10am will allow you to sleep more easily.

4) Avoid napping during the day. If you do, make the naps very short, not more than 15-20 minutes.

Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, honoring your natural schedule. I find I’m much more productive the following day when I go to bed around 11pm and wake up around 6am.

5) Avoid drinking fluids, especially alcohol before you go to bed. Fluids make you wake up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself. Alcohol makes you prone to snoring and sleep apnea, which disrupts your sleep.

6) Optimize your bedroom environment. Make sure the temperature is comfortable. Make sure you have a good mattress with adequate support. Make sure you have sheets that feel good to your skin. Make sure you have enough blankets and pillows to keep you comfy. Make sure you have enough darkness to sleep. You spend 1/3 of your life sleeping, so make the 1/3 of your life as enjoyable as possible.

7) Avoid late night meals and snacking. While your body may enjoy the food coma, eating late at night makes it harder to control over eating and assist with weight loss.

8) Relax and clear your mind before you go to bed. If you’re keeping a Happy Journal, review some of your happy memories and goals and dreams so you’re in a positive mindset before you sleep.

9) Pamper yourself! You’re worth it! Take a relaxing bath, shower, or soak in a hot tub just before going to bed. Add some essential oils like lavender and relaxing music to anchor in the relaxation.

10) Exercise regularly. Just moving 30 minutes a day will improve your mood as well as your sleep.

Take a few deep breaths and cleanse your body of whatever the day brought you, good or bad.

11) Ask your mind for permission to rest and recharge itself so you can be at your best the next day. Everything you're worried about and have to do will still be there for you in the morning!

12) Keep a notepad by your bed, and write down everything that’s on your mind before you go to sleep. Your mind works harder when it’s afraid it will forget something you need to do or has a challenge to overcome. BTW, I believe “challenge” is a better way to say “problem”. Tell yourself that "challenge" will be there tomorrow. Ask your unconscious mind to solve it while you sleep so your body can get some rest. This will also help you make better decisions when the time is right.

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