This is an update to a post from 2018. I didn’t realize that I had previously covered this topic until I searched the archives. In the past couple of years, I have learned a few more tips on the topic of sleep and wanted to expand upon the previous post.
You know that person that nods off in the middle of a meeting? Yep, that’s me! I didn’t even realize it until my co-worker mentioned it in passing. I was mortified and knew that my late-night tendencies were starting to take a toll. It’s just so hard to unwind from the hustle and bustle of a busy day!
I have the worst time going to sleep. It’s something that started when I was younger but has become increasingly difficult as I’ve gotten older.
When I was in my teens, I would get so energized by everyday life or my creative outlets that I couldn’t go to sleep. I’m also a night owl and like to stay up late. I used to tell my mom that I didn’t want to go to sleep because I thought I would miss something. That made her laugh!
As I’ve gotten older and my interests have expanded (this blog, jewelry business, BeautyCounter), I find it even more difficult to unwind at night. So here’s to finding a happy medium! Follow these tips for a night of better sleep.
Why is Sleep Important?
Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development. Source
Prepare for sleep early. I am terrible about settling down, especially after work. It finally occurred to me to start early. Now I put on my pajamas and wash my face after dinner instead of hopping on the couch and watching tv. You can still do this but get ready for bed first. Once you’re ready for sleep, you can crawl into bed and avoid disturbing your sleepy state.
Avoid these things 2 hours before going to bed.
Stimulating activities. This one is HUGE and hard to break if you work a typical 9 to 5. So it’s important to give yourself a cut off time to stop working on tasks and projects. My old self would start a task or project when most are settling down for the night. I would get so wound up that I would work into the wee hours.
TV or screen time. This might be the most difficult thing on the list. If you can, refrain from screen time 1-2 hours before bed. This includes tv, phone, and video games. You will notice how easy it is to get in a state of sleep when you avoid these things.
Food. I love to snack at night. During the day I’m fine, but at night it’s fair game. I also suffer from digestive and reflux issues. So it’s crucial for me to stop eating 3-4 hrs before bed. When I go to sleep on a full stomach, I tend to have bad dreams. It’s also important to give your digestion a rest and allow it to do its thing. The other benefit is waking up and feeling hungry instead of full and sluggish. Win-win!
I am not a doctor so it’s important to research these products and talk with an expert before trying. I’ve been working with a nutritionist for over a year and found the below to be helpful.
CBD – I was taking CBD for a while but had to discontinue after discovering that it makes me feel nauseous, even when taken with food. I also found that it left me feeling drowsy throughout the day. These are uncommon symptoms, so I would suggest giving it a shot.
The brand that I recommend is Equilibria. When you make a purchase, you automatically get a free consultation. They’re incredibly knowledgeable in their products and customize a plan just for you. I have tried most of their offerings and enjoyed the liquid drops, daily softgels, relief cream, and bath bombs. If you’re curious about this brand and want to give them a try, click here to receive $10 off your first purchase. This is not sponsored, I just wanted to share.
Jarrow Formulas Theanine 200 mg (link to 100 mg) or (2 pack 200 mg). This product is great for lowering anxiety and can also be used as a sleep aid. My nutritionist recommends that I take one capsule during the day to keep me feeling balanced and another at night to help calm the mind.
I also find L-Theanine to be helpful during times of stress. I used to get major anxiety before doing a show for my jewelry business. During setup I would be drenched in sweat. I now take one capsule before leaving the house and feel calmed and less stressed.
Pantethine. It is known for lowering cholesterol, preventing inflammation, boosting the activity of the immune system, treating cystinosis and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, plus improving athletic performance. My nutritionist recommends Pathethine for regulating sleep. I take one capsule in the morning and another when I go to bed.
Sleep Aide. I take Vital Nutrient Sleep Aide. It’s an herbal sleep aid that I’ve found to be helpful.
Lavela WS 1265 (clinically studied lavender oil). I recently started taking this for anxiety but I was advised to take at night to help with sleep. It’s shown to promote relaxation and calm nervousness.
Get in a dream state of mind. Purchase a diffuser. I just picked one up similar to this and love heating up the lavender melts about 30-60 mins before I go to sleep. It makes the room smell heavenly and the lavender makes you feel relaxed.
Drink something warm and soothing. I like a good sleepytime tea, a hot toddy (when sick), or cocoa drink. Did you know that all-natural cocoa has no calories and is fat-free?! You add 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk) and heat it in the microwave or on the stove until warm. Add the cocoa, a calorie-free sweetener like Truvia, and you have a delicious and soothing low-calorie drink that’s also good for the heart.
Jot down your to-do list and any concerns in a notebook. Clear your mind and know what you need to prioritize for the next day. This will keep you from worrying about forgetting something important.
Read a book. Opt for a kindle or an actual book. The blue light from your phone is stimulating and will keep you from getting adequate rest.
PRO-TIP: Steer clear of education or skill-building materials. You don’t want to be reading up on social media strategies when you’re trying to get your mind in a relaxed state. A book light is also helpful if your partner is already sleeping.
Sleep Stories via Meditation Apps
I prefer Headspace when it comes to their sleep cast. All of their stories are abstract as opposed to Calm’s sleep stories that showcase classic stories that are narrated by celebrities. When I use the Calm app, I find myself listening too intently to the story. When I use Headspace and tune into the Cat’s Marina sleep cast or another fun story, I can easily listen and drift off to sleep.
If you’re someone who enjoyed bedtimes stories growing up, you will most likely enjoy one of these apps. It’s a great way to settle in and relax the mind.
In addition to sleep stories, there are also meditations you can do for all types of scenarios including sleep. You may find it helpful to do a short meditation in the morning and one mid-day for stress. Meditation is something that I would like to do more of since it has a lot of benefits for those who have high anxiety and trouble sleeping.
Get 20-30 mins of fresh air. Even on your laziest days, you can benefit from some fresh air. I like to walk around my neighborhood or take a walk during my lunch break. It’s amazing how inspired and calm I feel during and after. On days that I don’t do OrangeTheory, a low impact walk helps me sleep more soundly.
Get up and go to bed at the same time every day (including the weekends). As human beings, we thrive on routine so what makes sleep any different. After just a couple of days, your body will begin to regulate and you will find yourself getting tired around the same time every day and eventually you’ll be able to wake up without an alarm. It sounds crazy, but it works! I’ve tried this in the past and was shocked when it started to work within a few days. This is a great way to reset your biological clock and will most likely help your REM cycle, allowing you to feel like you actually slept.
For more self-care tips read:
- 6 Ways to Practice Positive Self Talk
- Celebrate Yourself aka Self-Care! 6 Ideas
- Bedtime Ritual with Pixi Beauty
- 6 Tips for Self-Care
What tips do you have for getting your beauty sleep?
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📷’s by Hello Rigby