To Sleep Or Not To Sleep Early

Sleeping early. These 2 words somehow elude many students, employees and professionals alike. Sleep deprivation has worsened to the point that some of us might be asking ourselves, “What is sleep?” I’ll do you one better – “Why is sleep?” Seriously, many of us now find the concept of sleeping early foreign. We actively forgo it for work, study and commitments, even though we knew all this while the consequences of doing so. Forgoing sleep has adverse impacts on our health in the long term and would reduce our ability to concentrate in the short term. Without the ability to function at peak performance, we are less able to learn and chase after success. Thus, I can safely say, to sleep or not to sleep early is to sleep early. In this article, we will be detailing why this is the case. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Sleeping Early Keeps Your Mind Healthy

As you slumber, your body parts are working hard to regenerate themselves. New cells are regenerated and dead cells are removed, while your brain and other organs work hard to detox themselves. All in all, your body slowly recharges itself and prepares for a new day. This is especially important for the brain. During sleep, neurones decrease in size by up to 60%, increasing the space between them for waste and toxic materials to be washed away easily. In fact, the brain removes significant amounts of a toxic protein known as amyloid-beta, which is involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, science has shown that sleep and learning are closely linked. Here, new memories are processed and consolidated in the brain, as neurones in the hippocampus repeat the activation patterns that took place while the individual was conscious. This helps to transfer short-term memories held in the hippocampus to other parts of the brain, so as to facilitate the formation of long-term memories. Thus, missing out on sleep could cause one’s learning ability to decline by as much as 40%. That is something that you clearly want to avoid!

#2: Detoxification Of Body Parts

The brain is not the only that needs to clean itself. Sleep affects almost all tissues and organs in the body, from your heart to your skin. As mentioned above, your brain has something called a Glymphatic system which involves the shrinking of neurones so as to create room for toxins to be flushed out. Meanwhile, the body also secretes hormones, which decreases one’s breathing rate and promotes muscle relaxation. On the other hand, sleep deprivation increases inflammation levels, which restricts the body from effectively cleansing itself. The removal of toxic materials allows the unrestricted movement of essential substances and oxygen, which ultimately aids in the regenerative processes of the body. Missing out on sleep impedes the aforementioned processes, which may even cause the stunting of growth in children.

#3: Sleep Improves Immunity

Since sleep affects nearly every part of the body, it is no surprise that it also has a tremendous impact on our immune systems. Consistent sleep increases one’s immunity, while a lack of sleep increases the risks of diseases. When T cells detect an infected cell, they activate integrins, which allow them to adhere to and destroy the latter cells. The T cells of consistent sleepers have been shown to have higher levels of integrin activation than those of sleep-deprived individuals. Moreover, stress hormones may even restrict the functions of T cells in poor sleepers. High concentrations of these hormones may in turn decrease the ability of T cells to kill pathogens, thus weakening the body’s immune system. Another example is the fact that the body releases cytokines, in the presence of infection and inflammation, which help to fight diseases. Without adequate sleep, the body will not be able to produce as much of these cytokines and antibodies. During periods of sickness, the body utilises more energy so as to battle infections and eradicate diseases. This means that the body will have less energy on hand for other processes. During these times, sleep is of paramount importance as it helps to conserve energy and resources.

Conclusion

After reading this article, were you surprised by how important sleep is? Why or why not? Will you be sleeping earlier now? Jot down your comments in the comment section below! Thanks for reading! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for more.

Here’s Why YOU Should Write

Writing is something we have been doing ever since our childhoods. All we had to do was pick up a pen or pencil and scribble away. Back in our younger days, writing seemed fun, even transcendent. Now, many of us find it a boring to do, even worse so when we don’t have the option to type. Technology has rewired our minds to prefer things that are more efficient, simple and elegant. We hate apps that have an obnoxious design. Meanwhile, tech companies are trying to make their devices and appliances thinner and lighter. Many of us fail to see the value of writing and dismiss it as a mere hobby or an ancient relic of the past. At most, we only write down what we need to get at the supermarket. What’s even funnier is that our vocabulary has gradually degraded overtime. In fact, I encounter many people who know no substitute for the word “happy” when chatting on WhatsApp. So why should we write then, given that technological advances have basically eroded the need for writing? In this article, I shall discuss this topic in greater detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

#1: Writing Helps You To Express Your Feelings

Writing is a great way to release stress – a feeling we all know too well. We have become increasingly absorbed with our jobs and commitments, leaving us with little time for reflection. Many of us have become mindless robots, following a set routine – wake up, work, sleep, repeat. To many, the word “tomorrow” is no different to the word “today”. It’s all the same to them. Writing gives you a sense of time, a sense of what you have done in the present day and what you look forward for the next. This helps to break the monotony between days and allows us to better understand our deepest emotions. Often, we ignore these emotions, hiding them. And when they finally explode, our lives take a big hit. In summary, writing is a great way to understand your thoughts, thoughts that disappear and appear throughout the day. By penning them down on paper, you will be able to capture and study them.

#2: It Lets Your Creativity Run Wild

Much like drawing or painting, writing is a way to express your innate creativity. You can write anything you want. Love science fiction? Go ahead and describe the world of your dreams. It could even be something as simple as planning for your team project tomorrow. Point is, your paper (or text file, if you are using a computer or device) is an open canvas awaiting your ideas. Armed with ideas, a vivid imagination and your amazing brain, anything is possible. Meanwhile, writing activates both your left and right brain hemispheres. According to research, students who read and write extensively show greater creative performance than those who do not.

#3: It Improves Your Communication Skills

Those who write regularly are better able to understand their emotions and those of others. In fact, the ability to empathise is an essential skill in the social world. Furthermore, writing enhances your ability to organise and express your thoughts. This also leads to an increased fluency of speech. This will be useful in team projects of any kind, as you will be able to bring your messages across much more easily, thus allowing your subordinates and superiors alike to understand your ideas at a much deeper level.

Conclusion

Writing is something I would encourage all of my readers to try. Perhaps you could try to write a few lines or keep a personal diary. I hope that you did enjoy this article, and if you did, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading!

Here’s How You Can Increase Your Productivity

It’s easy to get distracted. A notification alert from your mobile phone is enough to throw you off course. We end up procrastinating and we never get our tasks done. So, how do we increase our productivity? This article will show you exactly how to. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s hop right in!

#1: Clear Your Surroundings

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By getting rid of potential causes of distraction, you are better able to focus on your task at hand. Can’t stand that mobile phone? Put it in a separate room. Can’t stop fiddling with markers? Chuck them away. It’s that simple. Still find that you can’t focus at home? Find an environment that suits you. It could be the local Starbucks, a public sitting area or even the park.

#2: Download Apps That Lock Your Phone Temporarily

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For this, I recommend Forest. Forest is an excellent productivity that locks your phone for a selected time. While your device is locked, the app will “grow” a virtual tree, which will be added to your garden. However, using your phone before the timer ends kills the tree. This app provides you with additional incentive to complete your tasks and stay off your phone. At first, this might seem hard to accomplish. However, seeing your trees in your garden will provide you with an unrivalled sense of satisfaction and achievement.

#3: Listen To Music

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You might have thought that steps #1 and #2 were enough. However, the silence of your surroundings can be incredibly unbearable. Music helps to fill this void and quietens your mind, thereby providing you with concentration. Of course, the choice of your music matters too. Take care not to choose music that would distract you. For example, listening to rock music makes some people tap to its rhythm. I personally recommend listening to classical or orchestral music.

#4: Avoid Multitasking

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Believe it or not, when you multitask, you actually aren’t multitasking. Mind blown? What you really are doing is switch-tasking. By nature, the mind is unable to focus on two or more items at once. So, by “multitasking”, you are shifting your attention constantly from one item to another. Naturally, the quality of your work diminishes. The solution to this problem is completing your tasks in a straight line. In fact, this is a tactic used by Samurai warriors when they are outnumbered. They will position themselves in such a way that their opponents would move in a straight line towards them. This allows the Samurai to focus on one opponent at a time. This concept can also be applied to our daily lives. Instead of overwhelming ourselves, let us focus on one task at once.

Conclusion

So that wraps up 4 ways you can increase your productivity. We all know staying focused isn’t easy sometimes and that our distractions can get the better of us. I hope that this article was helpful to you and if it was so, do consider giving it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next post!

The Importance of Habits

There are many things we do everyday without a second thought. Our bodies automatically react and act accordingly to the cues of our surroundings. These are called habits. Some habits are great, while some others are destructive. The habits we possess defines who we are and who we will become, as actions speak louder than words. However, we must realise that our habits are the driving force behind our actions. In fact, the importance of habits is often ignored and overlooked by many. This article will discuss the importance of habits and how they influence our lives, even in seemingly small ways. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s hop right in.

#1: Habits Define Who We Are

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Habits determine our identity and the way we see ourselves. For example, if you play badminton regularly, you might see yourself as an athlete. Likewise, if you write regularly, you might see yourself as a writer. Your perceived identity influences most of the actions you take in your life, your values and guiding principles.

#2: Habits Can Lead Us To Success or Failure

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Good habits inch you closer to success while bad habits nudge you closer to failure. The actions we take everyday due to our habits, while seemingly insignificant, influence how we manage our finances, set our goals and work towards them. Good habits like reading, for example, provides us knowledge related to our fields. The habit of planning a timetable also helps us to use our time wisely and productively. However, bad habits like smoking wastes your hard-earned money and damages your health. It could also be as simple as being addicted to that latest mobile game or playing tons of ranked Mobile Legends everyday. These habits above waste time and decrease productivity, thereby leading you away from success.

#3: Habits Help You To Be Productive Even When You Feel Unmotivated

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There are days we find hard to be productive. You might have worked a long shift the previous day and missed out on sleep. The good news is that habits require little willpower to work. The University College London defines habits as “behaviours which are performed automatically because they have been performed frequently in the past. This repetition creates a mental association between the situation (cue) and action (behaviour) which means that when the cue is encountered the behaviour is performed automatically. Automaticity has a number of components, one of which is lack of thought.” Your body naturally acts the way it has multiple times before, with minimal to no effort. However, there is a limit. If you haven’t been sleeping for the past few days, even your habits can’t save you as the human body can only go so far.

#4: Habits Provide You With Calmness

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As stated under point #4, habits help to simplify our lives. We no longer have to use our precious willpower to get something done. As a result, we are provided with calmness of mind as our stress to get things done is removed. We start to lead happier lives as our minds are able to focus on the more important things of life. Indeed, a detached mind naturally possesses clarity and makes wiser choices.

Conclusion

Habits play an important part in our lives. We must learn to master the power of habits and use them to our advantage. If you are interested in learning how to build habits effectively, do visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/. On the other hand, if you would like to learn how you can destroy a habit, visit my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/05/how-to-get-rid-of-a-bad-habit/. If this article was in any way helpful you, do consider giving it a like! Thank you for reading!

How Curiosity is Relevant in the Modern World

Curiosity is the art of asking questions, no matter how dumb it might seem. As we age and mature, we gradually lose this ability. We are afraid that people would judge and criticise us. This is worsened by the fact that we are accustomed to following orders blindly, in the workplace or in school. As a result, we become mere machines, made to follow a specified routine or order. Our lives become meaningless. Curiosity, on the other hand, grants us the ability to think for ourselves and explore more about this world. In fact, many inventions would not exist if not for the curiosity of the scientists and engineers who designed them. In this article, we will explore why curiosity is important and how it influences our way of thinking. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Remember to like and comment down below as well!

#1: It Enhances Observational Skills

Source: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3268030/the-best-cybersecurity-analysts-should-play-the-part-of-detective.html

Curiosity is said to be the defining factor which separates Sherlock Holmes from everyone else. While climbing a staircase, Sherlock would count the number of steps while a normal person would happily do so without any second thoughts. It is the curiosity of this famed detective that allowed him to be mindful of his surroundings and solve a crime using the tiniest of details, which an average joe would dismiss as normal or insignificant. As Sherlock famously proclaims, without curiosity “You see, but you do not observe.”

#2: It Lets You See Things In Different Perspectives

Source: https://www.livescience.com/can-you-ever-stop-thinking.html

As humans, it is common for us to think in a fixed and biased manner. Unable to see the world in a different perspective, we become rigid and inflexible. We are afraid to ask ourselves “what if?” Curiosity, however, grants us the ability to analyse a problem in different angles and find a solution, despite it being seemingly unsolvable. Sometimes, the solution to a problem is right in front of us. It just takes a curious mind to identify it. Nothing becomes unsolvable for you and with this mindset, you will have the potential to change the world.

#3: Your Mind Becomes Active and Sharp

Source: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/you-have-the-power-over-your-mind/

Instead of waiting to have answers delivered on a plate, as we are so used to, a curious mind will seek them for itself. In other words, it becomes proactive. Your mind becomes hungry for knowledge and starts to notice details which would otherwise be ignored. The mind is like a muscle; use it and it grows, leave it and it atrophies. Curiosity always gets your mind working and this results in greater intelligence, concentration and memory. As Samuel Johnson once said, “Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigourous intellect.” Indeed, intelligence is useless without curiosity, as the latter is the one that brings the former to use.

Conclusion

Curiosity is a skill that everyone must possess in this ever-changing world. We must not become overly dependent on the internet or technology to solve our problems. Only when we open our minds to different possibilities and perspectives can mankind advance further. On a side note, if you are curious about how you can build or destroy habits of any kind, check out my blog at www.bestofwrite.com/blog/. Thank you for reading!

How to Get Rid of a Bad Habit

Bad habits are indeed like a comfortable bed; easy to get into, but hard to get out of. If left untreated, bad habits can escalate into an addiction. It is therefore important to get rid of these bad habits before they go out of control. In this article, let us see how we can effectively eradicate these habits. Before you continue reading, remember to follow me and subscribe to the newsletter.

Tip #1: Make it Hard

Source: https://breakthrough-sales.com/2019/01/18/a-sales-managers-most-difficult-task/

The first step to breaking a bad habit is making it difficult to accomplish. To do so, you must identify and destroy your cues. For example, if you are looking to quit smoking, throw away all your cigarettes and never go near a shop selling them. Most people relapse from their bad habits as they think that it wouldn’t hurt to just see it. But that isn’t true. It’s the same thing as a gambling addict watching people gamble. By putting yourself in temptation, it makes it very easy for you to relapse. At the same time, write down the negative consequences of the bad habit you are trying to get out of. For example, you could write “Smoking can cause lung cancer and kill me.” or “Gambling will cause me to waste my hard-earned money and destroy my family.” Every time you feel yourself slipping back into it, remember what you wrote and that should deter you from doing it again.

Tip #2: Replace it With a Good Habit

Source: https://www.inc.com/james-paine/5-billionaires-who-credit-their-success-to-reading.html

Introducing another habit such as reading will distract your mind and keep you occupied. The previous bad habit suddenly becomes less pleasurable and addictive as your body focuses on the new habit. Try to engage in something you love. Your mind does not have time to think about the old habit anymore and naturally quitting it becomes much easier. If you want to build a good habit effectively, check out my article at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/11/30/how-to-build-a-habit-effectively/ to learn more.

Tip #3: Reward Yourself

Source: https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/to-reward-or-not-to-reward/

By rewarding yourself for quitting a habit, you make it much more enticing to do so. These rewards inspire and push you forward even when your motivation and willpower is low. Give yourself something you like to eat. Give yourself a movie.

Tip #4: If You Relapse, Get Back on Track Fast

Source: https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/12042/follow-give-up-on-dreams/

You might be tempted to give up when you relapse. You start to doubt whether your efforts are working and giving results. The truth is, all of us slip and fall sometimes. It’s okay to make mistakes, but what’s most important is to pick yourself up and push on further and don’t give up. By doing so, you avoid derailing your hard work and become one step closer to success.