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Five ways to get a better bedtime routine by Amy Sedghi
Getting to sleep can be a struggle, but blackout blinds and to-do lists can help – as can reserving the bedroom for sex and shut-eye
An eye mask will block out light.
1. Go to bed at regular times
Going to sleep and waking up at regular times – even on weekends – will strengthen your body clock, says Dr Lizzie Hill, a clinical sleep physiologist and a spokeswoman for the British Sleep Society. Regular mealtimes are also an important cue for your circadian rhythm. Avoid exercise too close to bedtime, as it can cause restlessness and an elevated body temperature, says Samantha Briscoe, a senior physiologist at the Sleep Centre at London Bridge hospital.
2. Protect the bedroom
Preserve the bedroom as a place for sleep (and sex): there is evidence that the brain forms a strong association with sleep there. A temperature of 16- 18C (60-64F) is thought to be ideal for most, according to the Sleep Council, an awareness and support organisation. Blackout blinds or an eye mask can help block out light, while keeping electronic devices out of the bedroom is highly recommended. If you struggle to fall asleep after more than 25 minutes, Matthew Walker – a sleep expert and a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley – suggests getting up and going to read under a dim light in another room. Once sleepy, you can return to bed.
3. Get ahead on the next day
Your night-time routine is an opportunity to make mornings run a little smoother: choose your clothes for the next day when you reach for your pyjamas or pack your bag while brushing your teeth. Martin Hagger, a professor of health psychology at the University of California, Merced, has stressed how routines are linked to the formation of healthy habits.
4. Wind down
Reading a book can help slow breathing and relax muscles, while yoga stretches or even a gentle walk can reduce anxiety, says Briscoe. A warm bath or shower can also help you relax: researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that bathing in water of 40-42.5C one to two hours before bedtime was associated with better sleep.
5. Write down your worries
“If your mind is buzzing from the day, try keeping a journal or worry book,” suggests Hill. The NHS also recommends writing to-do lists for the next day in order to organise thoughts and clear the mind. “If you experience difficulty with sleep over the longer term, consider whether there may be an underlying medical condition,” says Hill. A sleep diary could help you identify any patterns
(https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/oct/04/five-ways-toget-a-better-bedtime-routine. Access: 08/01/2020)
Dr. Dweck’s research into growth mindset
changed education forever
Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.
Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us
that the brain is far more malleable than we ever
knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how
connectivity between neurons can change with
experience. With practice, neural networks grow
new connections, strengthen existing ones, and
build insulation that speeds transmission of
impulses. These neuroscientific discoveries have
shown us that we can increase our neural growth
by the actions we take, such as using good
strategies, asking questions, practicing, and
following good nutrition and sleep habits. […]
So the researchers asked, “Can we change
mindsets? And if so, how?” This began a series of
interventions and studies that prove we can indeed
change a person’s mindset from fixed to growth,
and when we do, it leads to increased motivation
and achievement. For example, 7th graders who
were taught that intelligence is malleable and
shown how the brain grows with effort showed a
clear increase in math grades.
In addition to teaching kids about malleable
intelligence, researchers started noticing that
teacher practice has a big impact on student
mindset, and the feedback that teachers give their
students can either encourage a child to choose a
challenge and increase achievement or look for an
easy way out. For example, studies on different
kinds of praise have shown that telling children
they are smart encourages a fixed mindset,
whereas praising hard work and effort cultivates a
growth mindset. When students have a growth
mindset, they take on challenges and learn from
them, therefore increasing their abilities and