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Why You Should Do Nothing But Sleep

Why You Should Do Nothing But Sleep

Ever try to just do ‘nothing’ and realize how hard doing ‘nothing’ really is?

In The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin – research reveals two basic modes for our brains. The “Central Executive Mode” for staying-on-task and the “default mode” for letting our minds wander, referred to as doing-nothing.

When we force our brains to stay-on-task for long periods of time without taking some time to do-nothing, we find ourselves mentally exhausted by day’s end. Since our brains require a healthy balance between the two, here are some do-nothing tips to try when you can’t sleep.

Don’t just lay there. Tossing and turning doesn’t help – get up and do a non-stimulating activity like reading, knitting or jotting some ideas down.

Don’t eat. Late-night snacking can disrupt sleep and lead to weight gain.

Don’t check the clock. This causes anxiety and tempts you to start calculating the number of hours before you need to wake up.

Don’t look into the light. Don’t turn on the lights and avoid blue light from your smartphone/computer.

Don’t force sleep, just relax. The added pressure doesn't help - just relax your mind and muscles.

Do nothing! Couldn’t sleep tonight? Don’t do anything to “compensate” tomorrow. Don’t sleep in. Don’t nap. Don’t go to sleep earlier – follow your routine and everything will turn out fine. 

It’s hard to plan to do nothing – so start by giving yourself small amounts of time to wander off in nothing-ness before bed and throughout your day too.

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