So there’s this thing…you do it in bed, you do it every day sometimes twice a day. Sometimes you do it by yourself, sometimes you do that with others. Have you guessed it? Get your heads out of the gutter. I’m talking about sleep and honestly, I don’t do it very well. It’s definitely something I miss about having tiny babies. I remember being so exhausted that there wasn’t any doubt that I would get to sleep at night. It was more a matter of when.
Now that the kids have grown up and are sleeping through the night, I am finding it difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. SO when the people over at Essentia asked me to think about it a little more and start the conversation about what and how people get good quality sleep, I took them up on it. If you haven’t heard of Essentia, you should check them out. The story is awesome. It’s the only company that makes memory foam made out of natural ingredients. I also love that they have researched the needs of athletes and are working their needs into the sleep equation. Read it here.
I always thought that my mind was causing all my issues. That I couldn’t “shut it off” at night and while that is true to some degree, after talking with Essentia more, I am starting to realize that it might not be the only thing. So after doing some observations and some research, I’ve identified these five factors when consider:
Power of the Pillow
Essentia sent us a couple pillows and we have been using them for a couple weeks now. I never really gave two thoughts about my pillow but after sleeping on these, I’m shocked at the difference that replacing a pillow can make. It even has me thinking about our mattress. It’s at least 10 years old and I probably worth replacing.
Take out Technology
This is a big issue for me. I do most of my blog stuff at night after the kids go to sleep but the past week or so I’ve been trying to shut it down about 20 minutes before bed and dare I say…read a book. I had really forgotten about the relaxing feeling that comes from reading. Before the kids (and before blogging) at any given time, you would find 2-3 books on my night stand. I’ve gotten away from that and it feels really good to start doing it again.
Set the Mood
We have a TV in our room but it’s rarely on. I don’t like to watch it at night so that was never a problem for me but what I have started to really pay attention to is the lighting I use at night. When I come home from work, later in the evening, I go upstairs and turn my bed down and turn on our bedside lamps and turn off the over head light. I love the welcoming feeling my room has when it’s set up for sleep. If it helps you, turn on some white noise (Scott and I like the sound of a fan and I like to feel the movement of air).
Eat this not that
Snacking at night can harm more than your waist line. It can also play a role in how you sleep. Foods high in sugar and caffeine can be highly impactful. I’ve tried to pay attention to this. I’ve brought back my old favorite, Calm tea by Tazo to really help me get into sleep mode.
Calm the body
You know that feeling you get when your head hits the pillow after a LONG, HARD day? It’s the best feeling ever or at least it should be. Have you ever just laid there for second and taken a minute to feel your body react? I have realized lately that even after I lay down, I’m still holding tension in my back and shoulders especially so I started doing a couple things. I know this sounds weird but while laying on my back I try to do a cat pose type of stretch, then release it. Then I start at the toes and contract the muscle for a few seconds then let it go. I go all the way up to my head. It has really helped me make sure I’ve let go of all the stress of the day.
So there you have it…my recipe for better sleep. It seems to be working but I wouldn’t have given it a second thought if it weren’t for Essentia.