I don’t know about you, but every year, some time around the first of January… (yes, i’m talking New Year’s resolutions) I promise myself that I’m going to start making sleep a priority. While it’s a nice thought, I think most of you can agree that it’s not always that easy. I have some advice about how to turn your New years resolution into a routine – no more laying awake until the middle of the night, and no more snoozing your alarm – okay maybe just once. And while a good nights sleep can help with most New Years resolutions, it’s especially important for losing weight. Stop losing Z’s and start losing LBS..
Make sure your hormones are in check. Melatonin lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which can wake you up if it’s too high, and raises hormones that are produced during exercise. Sleep also helps to keep appetite hormones in check.
Beds are for sleeping. “Use your bed for sleeping and sex only,” advises sleep expert, Natasha Turner. Screen time like scanning social media and checking e-mails stimulates dopamine (the hormone for motivatio). Single-tasking, however, like meditating, journaling or light reading, stimulates serotonin and helps you sleep. Create calming bedtime rituals that help get you ready for zzz’s. For example, taking a hot bath, shower or sauna actually causes your body temperature to drop afterwards, which is ideal for sleep. Read more tips from Natasha turner from our friends at Lululemon
Get in the habit of monitoring your AM/PM routines. Is your bedroom completely dark? Did you read a stressful email before bed? My friend Catherine Roscoe Barr from The Life Delicious has a whole list of morning and evening rituals to consider on the road to becoming an expert sleeper.
I’ve found a few PM rituals that make my road-to-sleep a whole lot easier. My sleep routine (when I’m on my A game) is about an hour long. I start with a hot bubble bath and put my Saje Ultrasonic Diffuser on with a relaxing scent to make my space more conducive to sleep. Next I boil a pot of sleepy time tea, it helps settle me down, and it’s delicious. We try to turn off the TV and the computers at least an hour before bedtime in efforts to wind down. I generally meditate with the help of my Headspace app and try to write down something I’m grateful for.
Now that we’ve outlined the perfect ambiance, we need to talk about the perfect platform. I’m talking about your bed, sheets, pillows and blankets (or lack there of).
01 The Bed
I’d say this is arguably the most important. My boyfriend used to keep me up all night tossing and turning, and since we switched to our Casper mattress he sleeps through the night. There are three mattresses on the market which I think are all equally as amazing. Each one has a different set of features, a slightly different pricepoint and unique features. I suggest looking at Casper (the wave mattress is to-die-for), Leesa – who donates one mattress for every ten they sell, and Endy – who is Canadian made and unexplainably comfortable. All three of these companies have excellent return policies and allow you to test out the feel of their products, and return them if you’re unhappy (but you won’t be).
02 The Pillow
The pillow is a really personal choice. Your weight/fluffiness/firmness/size/feel will all vary based on the way you sleep, your neck and back and whatever you feel like is most comfortable. I can’t live without the Endy pillow, where as my boyfriend swears by the Casper pillow.
Now let me address the water pillow hype. I always thought of water pillows as a fun accessory that might pop if I sleep with my earrings on. Mediflow has altered my thinking and actually forced me to fall in love with water pillows. Mediflow explains that you need comfort AND support for the best sleep. While comfort is the key to falling asleep quickly, support is what keeps you snoozing all night long. All of their pillows feature a waterbase at the bottom for support and a comfort layer of fiber, gel foam or down on top. Plus, ALL of their pillows offer warranties.
I suggest trying a variety of pillows to ensure that you’re choosing whatever is right for your neck and back. Last but not least, if you haven’t heard about MyPillow then you’re out of the pillow-loop. MyPillow stays cool, it keeps it’s shape, comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and you can toss it right in your washer and dryer. Barb tried it and is never going back. Head to MyPillow, click on the 4 pack deal and get 50% off with promo code BEAM. If you’re looking to pretty up your pillows, I’m crazy about these Pom Pom at home shams.
So are you ready to embark on an exciting (sleepy/relaxing/calming) journey to a better night’s sleep? The most important thing is to find out what works best for you. After focusing on my sleep i’ve realized that my mood, productivity, general healthy, work and even relationship has improved. I’ve even cut my caffeine intake in half!
In the spirit of snooze, I want to pass on the good zzz’s.
Comment your go-to sleep ritual for a chance to win.