The Maney & LauRen Morning Show

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This is my life … To do list!

Lots of us watch TV before bed, but research shows our late-night television viewing can keep us from getting to sleep because it stimulates the brain when we should be winding down. So if you can’t tear yourself away from Netflix at night, there is something you can do afterwards that may help you drift off more easily. A new study finds jotting down your to-do list can actually help you fall asleep.

Researchers suggest that rather than engaging in a “demanding activity” or something that would disrupt snoozing, like watching TV, listening to music or playing video games, we spend five to 10 minutes writing out a to-do list on paper. Engaging our brains with that can make sleep easier. Study authors explain, “Fully focusing on a task, problem or activity helps to distract the brain.” And that helps us get to sleep.

Previous research backs this up, with one study finding that spending five minutes to write down upcoming tasks before going to bed helps “offload” the worried thoughts that tend to keep us up at night. Not only did it help people fall asleep faster, study authors found the more specific people were with their to-do list, the faster they fell asleep.