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Why a To-Do List May Help Beat Insomnia


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If you have trouble falling asleep at night there may be a simple ritual you can perform each night before you go bed – and it only involves a pen, paper and the stream of ‘must do’ tasks buzzing through your head.


Forbes are reporting a new study carried out by Baylor University reveals writing out a to-do list before bed can help you go to sleep faster.

The study, which was carried out on two groups of healthy 18 to 30-year-olds had one group write a to-do list of everything they needed to accomplish over the next few days each night before bed. The other group had to write a list of everything they had accomplished over the prior couple of days.

To do list for the day…today is going to be a productive one! #todolist #organised #productivity

A post shared by Rachel (@organisingclaudia) on


Each group were then studied as they slept in a lab, hooked up to apparatus which tracked their sleep via brain waves, eye and leg movements, heart-rate and blood oxygen level.

The results of the study showed the group which wrote out a to-do list fell asleep nine minutes faster, which the researchers say is comparable to taking sleep medications according to Forbes.

“We live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime,” study author Michael K. Schullin said in a statement obtained by Forbes. “Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads.”


With approximately forty-percent of Americans reporting sleep issues, the study hopes many can benefit by brain-dumping their thoughts before they hit the pillow by writing out a to-do list, or even keeping a journal.

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