Play Pretend: Sleep

I believe sleep is a method of self-care. When I feel worn thin, I turn to sleeping more as a form of treatment. In this play pretend post, I imagine the ideal space for a good night’s rest. Good sleep isn’t fashioned out of thin air. Many factors play a role. Setting up for sleep success involves creating just the right environment and surroundings. Take note of these sleep essentials, and start getting better sleep today!

Ways to Improve Sleep

There are many ways to improve sleep. The first rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of blue light exposure before bed. Blue-light comes from screens. Studies show that avoiding blue light at least two hours before bed increases sleep dramatically. Other forms of light can also decrease sleep quality. Heavy duty curtains can prevent outdoor light from shining into the bedroom and are a great investment. A cheaper option would be a sleep mask for the eyes for each individual. Anything it takes to reduce light exposure!

On top of sleeping in a darkened room, an ergonomic mattress has been shown to greatly improve quality of sleep. Investing in a high-quality mattress changes lives. We highly recommend the Leesa Memory Foam Mattress. Everyone in our social circle swears by it! We personally own a Leesa mattress topper and Leesa pillows. You can read my review of Leesa here.

An added priority should be sheets that are friendly to the skin and worth sinking into. Imagine trying to get good sleep in itchy sheets. Or sheets that keep you too warm. Worse, imagine being cold at night. I used to always wake up as a child with cold feet and hands. Sometimes I woke up a few times over the course of the evening! I never realized it was because I did not have warm enough sheets, but now I look back and realize that it caused me to have restless sleep.

Lastly, humidity control and replenishing masks allow skin to recuperate overnight. Humidity is very important as it helps with our airway and proper breathing. Have you ever woken up with an itchy throat and started coughing in the middle of the night? Or have you ever needed to get up to drink a glass of water? These situations are caused by air that is too dry. Check out my list of modern humidifier recommendations in this post.

Essentials for Better Sleep

In an effort to create the ideal micro-environment for decent shut-eye, here are a list of home favorites that set me up for sleep success.

Better Sleep Habits

In an effort to stray from the indication that good sleep requires spending, here are a list of free actionable tips to improve your sleep.

  • Maintain consistency in following your natural circadian rhythms.
  • Avoid screens up to two hours prior to bedtime.
  • Drink a glass of water prior to sleeping and upon awakening.
  • Quiet the mind in the form of meditation.
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine.
  • Consider when you eat. Go to bed satiated, not hungry or full.

Of course, a combination of both creating the right environment and doing the right actions creates the best results. You may also find relevance in the following posts.

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Gift Guide: Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day is a week away and with stores closed, I would say that now is considered last minute, thereby making this post a wee late. But there is still time, so here goes.

This year, I wanted to focus on an aspect that my mom in particular struggles with: sleep. She is not alone in this, as many mother’s will report having reduced shut-eye after giving birth to kids. Something about their over-active Spidey senses constantly tingling, or so she says. After everything our moms sacrifice for us, it seems to me that sleep is the one thing they deserve most.

Now that the kids are out of the house, my mom still has a bit of insomnia. “It’s a habit that’s hard to break.” Resisting the urge to take medications that leave her drowsy in the morning (she has suffered an accident of falling asleep behind the wheel because of these Western solutions), my mom has turned to more holistic approaches. In an effort to give back to moms around the world the gift of rest and relaxation (and more importantly, sleep), I made a thoughtful gift guide to getting them one step closer to their dreams.

+ This eye mask and this eyewear to help block up to 30% of blue light.
+ This diffuser or  tea set to calm the senses.
+ These slippers, for shuffling in the middle of the night.
+ A new sheet set  for the upcoming summer months.
+ A light pajama set or a singlet to lounge in.
+ A support cushion for a ritual before bed.
+ Water Glasses for the bedside table.

Of course, insomnia is a health issue and I’m not here to belittle that fact with gift baskets and the sort. If your mom or someone you know really is suffering from sleep deprivation, may I suggest speaking with someone about what could possibly be done. Perhaps the answer lies in non-monetary solutions, like yoga, meditation, or a way to relieve her of her responsibilities and stress? Regardless, I hope those privy to insomnia this Mother’s Day find some comforting thing to bring them back towards a restful evening in bed. We appreciate all that you have been willing to sacrifice, but sleep shouldn’t be one of them.

XOXO