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Staying up late to finish that blog post could be doing more harm than good

By Sasha Peakall

It’s the middle of the night, your eyes are heavy but you are pushing through it, you just have to get this one blog post finished.  

You hit publish, “Thank God, now you can actually sleep.”

The next day you share that blog post on social media, then you reread it and realise that OOPS, there are A LOT of grammar and spelling mistakes. Or worse, someone points out your mistakes in the comments or on social media. You’re mortified!

As a blogger it is easy to fall into the habit of sacrificing precious hours of sleep to work on your blogs especially if it’s not your full time job and you only have the mornings, nights and weekends to work on it. 

You find yourself working well into the night again and again and then feeling like rubbish the next day, tired and with no energy for anything. 

Now while those late nights blogging seem to be a productive use of time, after all, it may be the only time you have, did you know that a lack of sleep could really effect the quality of your blog? 

We’ve all heard the experts say that adults should get 7.5-9 hours sleep per night.  Now while it may seem like your brain’s having a holiday when you’re sleeping, in fact it’s working harder then ever to repair and rejuvenate your body and mind.

Without the required hours of good quality sleep you lose your ability to focus (in other words you’re more likely to get distracted on social media rather than focusing on the post you’re working on). You’re more likely to make spelling and grammar mistakes and generally struggle with stringing a good sentence together. 

Lack of sleep is a killer for motivation and effects our ability to access our higher-level cognitive functions aka those really important brain mechanisms that help you with thinking, reasoning, learning, remembering and creativity.

Now lets take a moment to imagine that you are getting the full 7.5-9 hours of quality sleep a night, you would transform into productivity and creative machine, and quite possibly a genius!

But how when you have been living in the negative pattern of lack of sleep do you get back into a better routine?

Well, follow these 5 tips and you will find yourself sleeping better and waking up earlier giving you time to work on your blog during the most productive time for your brain, the morning.

1. Give Your Bedroom a Makeover

If you have been using electronic devices in your bed or just generally have not been sleeping well in that bed for a long time then chances are your brain does not associate your bed with going to sleep.  If you give your bedroom a makeover, change the position of the bed, de-clutter and change up the décor, your bedroom will feel like a whole new room.  This essentially tricks the brain into thinking it’s a new room and it becomes much easier to fall into a new, healthier sleep pattern. 

2. Get Some Exercise in the Late Afternoon

Getting off your office chair or your sofa and just going for a 30 minute walk can do wonders for your sleep. When you exercise a chemical is released in your brain that accumulates throughout the day helping you to get to sleep at night. 

Walking or gentle exercise also releases tension in the muscles and the mind that allows for clearer thinking and a better nights sleep. 

3. Stop Working at Least 2 hours Before Bed

What happens when you’re working? Well your brain is running at a million miles and hour with a million ideas running through it. If you go to bed straight from working then all these thoughts will still be running through your head and your brain will just be too active to sleep.

Instead, stop doing anything related to work at least 2 hours before bed (and yes this means `checking social media). Instead do something calming that doesn’t require a lot of thinking like meditation, or reading a trashy novel or watching a sitcom.  

4. Do Not Take Electronic Devices to Bed

Electronic devices with all their apps and the only clock in your house have a knack of seducing you into letting them go to bed with you. But, taking your electronic devices to bed is the worse possible thing you can do for your sleep. 

The white electronic glow of the screens and all that fun stuff you can do on them over stimulates the brain making it impossible to fall asleep. Ideally you shouldn’t even have them in bedroom and if you do need an alarm clock, an old fashion analog clock will suffice, people used them for decades without running late! 

5. Wear an Eye Mask to Bed

Any light even if it’s just a tiny stream coming from the streetlights through the gap in your curtains can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to sleep. Wearing an eye mask will keep you in the pitch black your brain needs to sleep. If you make wearing a eye mask part of your bed time ritual than just the act of putting on the mask will tell the brain your ready to sleep and trigger your slumber. 

If you change your habits and start getting really good quality sleep you will wonder how on earth you ever functioned without it!  Your blog will only benefit from your newly discovered productivity, energy, creativity and clarity.   

Sasha Peakall quit her well paying tourism Marketing Management job, moved to Vang Vieng, Laos and started her own business helping female solopreneurs run successful businesses without all the overwhelm and stress.  She is a Wellness Coach in training and believes that your wellness is your biggest business asset. Sasha is also a Yoga Teacher and Co-founder and director of Non-profit organization Hand Up Laos

You can learn the secrets and tools she uses to overcome overwhelm and stress in her business and hectic life by downloading her FREE Overwhelm Buster Toolkit here. You can connect with Sasha on Facebook, Instagram  and Twitter.

Kim Wardell of Design Life Kids // Behind The Blog Scene

When I first starting blogging personally in 2010 I did so to capture the beauty of the mundane. The often forgotten, boring moments that create our every day movements. In short I started blogging to find the beauty in the every day. 

When I first found out that Kim Wardell of Design Life Kids had the same tag line for her shop I knew that I had to have her as a guest in our 'Behind The Blog Scene' series. This series is dedicated to women bloggers and business owners from around the globe, carving their own path. Women that inspire and prove without a doubt that anything is possible when you follow your heart.

Kim has taken a life-changing moment - the passing of her husband - to turn her grief into a family run business with the seal of approval from her two daughters. Her store and story are one to be admired and I am thrilled to have her inspiring words with us here today....

Describe your blog in 3 words… 
Modern, Design Minded, Raw
What is your blogging manifesto?
Have fun and only write about things YOU want to. Not every post has to be a happy one, but once you lose the love for what you do, then your blog loses it's magic.
Top 3 blogging essentials?
A dream, an iPhone and time.
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
There were two actually. 1: Sharing the loss of my husband. 2: When I announced that I was to transition from full time blogger to fulfilling a dream and opening shop DLK in Oct 2014. 
Best piece of advice I've been given?
Cry when you want to, smile when you have to and find the beauty in the every day.
I'm dreaming about traveling to...
Sydney, Copenhagen, Japan, California, Korea... south of course.
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
We eat with our eyes first. Whether it's food, decor, photography or fashion; it's very much the same. So keep your aesthetic bright and clean and eye catching, then you'll be able to bring in the reader.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Running a store filled with my most favorite things... which is where I'm at now.
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
An office full of inventory boxes, crumbs from breakfast on the floor and two little babes running around happy as can be.
This year I'm most excited about...
Bringing on new lines and seeing where the shop goes! I'm also excited to start sharing more about what's going on in our life now and featuring new artists/designers from around the world on the blog.

Link Love // The Friday Files

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Popping in from Boston today to say hello! I'm hoping the iced coffee in my hand cures this jet lag but nothing feels better than to be home, surrounded by my family. It's only until you're home do you realise how comforting it is to be around such familiar spaces. I have a lot of catching up to do this trip with friends and family but also a lot of big projects that I've taken on which means a lot of writing (hint, hint) and planning to be done, I think this fresh fall air is going to help. I'll be sharing all of my East Coast adventures on Facebook and Instagram so follow along if you wish, otherwise I couldn't help but share some link love this week and will certainly be posting some of my American blogging finds next week!  Happy blogging!

  • Spent some time with this lovely lady while she was in Sydney
  • Love a good playlist
  • The event that blew my mind
  • I'm a sucker for clever content marketing
  • The Art of Presence
  • A good old fashioned mood board

Not on our list? Stay up to date on all our adventures by signing up to our newsletter here.

Link Love // The Friday Files

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One of the best things about writing this column is that it allows me to stop and reflect on the week that was. To pause, ponder and remember moments, big or small, that often would be forgotten in the fast paced, whirlwind that is my life. There were certainly some milestones achieved this week as well as a few late nights burning the midnight oil in order to get caught up but I'm realising that these highs and lows are all part of the journey. Luckily it was balanced out with some fun events and a chance to connect with bloggers I don't often get to see. So as we round out Friday I'm looking at a weekend with zero plans and can't wait to do absolutely nothing but relax and recharge before Monday hits. Hope your weekend is blissful, before you head off here are some links from around the web that had me smiling...

  • Go on and fail, but do it gracefully
  • This gal is my new girl crush. Zoe can we please be best friends?
  • Some awesome shots from our workshop last Friday
  • Never under estimate flower power, I had a blast at this event in Sydney.
  • Did you miss my interview with THE Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge? Read it here.
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Top Image: Tealily