Need some help falling asleep? We have all experienced the irritation of tossing and turning – struggling to doze off. Our minds are clouded with an assortment of stresses, worries, and the things we need to do tomorrow. And we know all those things will be worse if we do not get the proper sleep to deal with them.
This problem presently afflicts about one-third of all Americans who also experience difficulties falling asleep routinely. Health gurus are now telling us that sleep deprivation could very well be the reason of many health problems. So many people are searching for the magic ingredients for getting a good night’s sleep.
Discovering a Surprising Solution
A recent study has apparently found a surprise solution to the sleep problem. They had participants who ranged in ages from 18 to 30 perform one of two tasks prior to going to bed. They were either asked to devote five (5) minutes jotting down a comprehensive list of things they need to do tomorrow and also over the next couple of days, or they could spend the same amount of time making a list of the things that they got done that day.
These participants did as directed and carried out one of the tasks before going to bed. Then it was determined exactly how much time it took for them to fall asleep. Those people who made “to-do lists” took around 15 minutes to go to asleep on average, while the people from the “accomplishments list” group took about 25 minutes to fall asleep.
What was also observed was that when “to-do lists” that the subjects made were more vivid and detailed, the more rapidly they drifted off to asleep. This result made the scientists believe that there must be some kind of “offloading” mechanism occurring. This activity of detailing the tasks that need accomplishing allows the mind to ease and be put to rest. The exact opposite result was observed within the “accomplishments” group. When they used more detail in making their lists, it actually took them longer to fall asleep.
Should we begin making to-do lists right before bedtime?
It should be noted here that this study was a bit limited in scope. It was performed with a small sample set of 57 participants, none of which ever claimed to have chronic sleep difficulties. And there was no defined baseline level for the amount of time it would normally take to fall asleep for each subject. This leaves the possibility that making the list actually made it harder for them to go to sleep. But it does reveal that making a “to-do list” seems to work better than making an “accomplishment list”.
Having difficulty with trying to go asleep are among the most prevalent issues throughout the world. For insomniacs like these, potential relief could lie completing an easy five (5) minute method. Even though more research is certainly required to evaluate whether the writing of tomorrow’s to-do list will help people go to asleep quicker, many of us are gonna begin making to-do lists right before bedtime.