I’m a big advocate of sleep.
Good sleep, specifically.
A “good sleep” leaves you feeling refreshed in the morning, with added benefits of skin/collagen regeneration and a metabolic boost. You look better AND you feel better — who doesn’t want that!?
Unfortunately, as we get older stress, hormones, and the general patterns of life sometimes get in the way of a good sleep — especially during the holidays. Rather than tossing and turning all night long (because there is nothing more frustrating than THAT), I recommend trying these 6 strategies to get your sleep on!
Soothe Your Mind/Body
One of the most important components of getting good sleep is calming our overworked brains. While this is never a simple task, I’ve found a few all-natural remedies to get your head in check. Start with fragrance — yes, you’d be surprised how powerful scent can be! I’ve written before about AVEDA’S STRESS FIX BODY COMPOSITION OIL. I sprinkle a few drops in a bath, or more likely, just slather myself with the lightweight/non-greasy oil as soon as I come out of a shower. Something about the scent, helps me wind down at the end of the night. Its moisturizing benefits are just an added bonus!
While I love getting all snuggly in pajamas and layers of blankets, I find that I always get a better night’s sleep when the room is chilly. If possible, turn down the heat or crack open a window to allow the cooler air to lull you to sleep.
Write It Down
I cannot tell you what a godsend this tip is!
Each night, before I shut the lights and set my alarm I do a massive brain dump of everything that’s on my mind. To-do’s, random thoughts, reminders — whatever. It all goes in my notes function on my iPhone, or in a CUTE NOTEBOOK I keep bedside. It helps me unload some of my stress onto paper and it’s reassuring to know that I won’t space out, or forget anything the next morning.
Bedding On Point
Most recently, I was talking with a group of friends about bedding and how important it is to good sleep. In addition to a well-made mattress — I’m dying to try the CASPER, by the way! Anyone have it? — pillows are critical to your sleep quality. A few months ago, I did a ridiculous amount of research in order to find the BEST pillow that will keep my head cool (uggh — hot pillows are the worst!) and adjust to support my side sleeping habits. I discovered the pillows from COOP HOME GOODS. Their memory foam technology and design make them fully adjustable to your specific sleep patterns. I purchased 2 king size pillows for our master bedroom and have never had a more comfortable pillow situation.
Shut It Down
It’s been scientifically proven that the blue light emitted by phones, iPads and TV’s prevent our body from producing the normal and natural amount of melatonin that gives our brains the signal that it’s time to go to bed. I use my phone as my alarm clock, but at a certain point in the night, I turn it on “Sleep Mode,” put it on the charger and flip it upside down. While we’ve been in temporary housing (a.k.a. my generous, patient and welcoming in-laws) I’ve also eliminated TV watching in the bedroom. Most nights, as soon as I turn off those lights, I can fall into a deep sleep within minutes.
This is essentially a beginners method of meditation that forces you to focus on your breathing. Healthy breathing causes a shift in the way your body to stress/anxiety and brings a sense of calm and lowered heart rate — critical to a good sleep. Whenever I feel agitated or anxious, I close my eyes and relax my body. I then inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds. Sometimes my mind can wander, but if I refocus on my breathing I can eventually feel my body relax. Drifting off to a good sleep comes shortly thereafter.
Do you have any tried and true tips for good sleep?! I would love to hear all about them — send me a note or share in the comments below!