SLEEP. There’s nothing that really compares to a great night's sleep, am I right?? Yet with the current fast paced rate of the world right now it can be hard to catch the ZZZs… Schedules getting busier, demands at work bigger, and trying to balance everything like chores, family, friends, relationships, dating, events, parties, traveling and the unexpected curve balls that life likes to throw at you. And soon the stressors in life all begin to add up and you constantly feel like you're playing catchup.
The thing is we all want more out of life and we’re happy to sacrifice our sleep for it. But the truth is it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Maybe in the short term but over time it begins to add up leading to health issues that all could be avoided if you just took a deeper look at your sleep.
Have you ever wondered if the time you sleep is actually efficient? I don't know about you but I'm all about time and efficiency. And well, what we don’t realize is the quality in sleep we get. Why does this matter? because it has a huge impact on our mood, productivity, hormones, health and overall quality of life. In our life we spend A LOT more time sleeping than we think. A good 6-9 hours over time adds up so it should be as optimized as possible saving you time and efficiency.
Now if you're thinking whatever... like what's impact does it really make and well, here's a list of all the benefits that sleep does for you.
Benefits of Sleep:
Decreases stress levels
Makes you smarter
I’m not saying I’m perfect but I am all about optimizing my health and learning ways to work more efficiently. And for me I noticed that sleep was a huge factor to my productivity, seriously I need like 9 hours (ideally). Right now my schedule has been a bit crazy with a 4am start time. And I immediately felt a drop in my productivity when I got any less than 6 hours of sleep. So I started doing some research and playing around my nightly routine so I can get the most out of my sleep and here's what works best for me.
Getting into a routine: I try my best to stick to a schedule and go to bed and wake up at the same time I even track this on my calendar. However, I am pretty lenient with this as I try to listen to my body. This is key - there are some days where I can easily fall asleep at 9pm and other nights when I need to get shit done or just feel restless.
If you can try adding in a nap - yes adults are allowed to nap. Now I understand some schedules are pretty hectic and don’t allow for a nap but if you do have the luxury of working from home or have a bit of a break in your day try to schedule a block of time in the day where you can nap. If not, then you have a block to do something relaxing, even if it’s just resting your eyes for 20 min.
Decrease caffeine: One of the more controversial topics... is caffeine good for you ? Is coffee really bad for you? How much is okay? And many more, everyone has their opinion on this one. But from my research and experience it doesn't work for me. Caffeine is known to take a toll on your adrenals and spike your cortisol levels (stress response). In short when our stress levels are heightened over time our body holds on to unwanted weight.
So as much as I love the taste I can feel it do just that, my heart begins racing, I feel jittery, I can't concentrate, I get all anxious to the point where I feel like I'm about to burst. BLAH I hate the feeling. But I never want to say don't do something because I didn't work for me. So here are a few options to test it yourself.
Avoid it after 12pm. Why? Because caffeine stays in the system for about 6 hours so if you're having trouble sleeping this might be your reason why.
Cut it out for 30 days, it's hard, but trust me after about 3 weeks you’ll start to feel the difference that it makes. And if not then you might just be one of the lucky ones that it doesn't really effect.
Try decaf. If you’re like me and love the taste then this is the perfect alternative.
Shoot for 200mg or less.
If you really can't give it up - Try taking a break for a week every 4 weeks to reset your adrenal glands.
Again, everyone is different and reacts differently so I highly recommend testing out what works for you and listen to YOUR body.
Exercise: Over time I have noticed a huge difference in sleep quality on the days I workout and when I don’t. I mean don’t you always just feel better after a great workout? It clears your head, and your body is filled with that adrenaline high.
Limit Electronics: I think this is the one thing we've all be guilty of, the scrolling. It's so easy to get trapped into scrolling for hours without noticing the time. This has been something I've definitely struggled with and something I'm constantly trying to improve and get better at. For me as soon as I get in my bedroom I turn my phone on airplane mode.
And instead I either read, watch something inspiring or a good documentary or just connect with Rhett. If you’re not into reading maybe try journaling or planning out your day.
At a minimum try to put away your phone 30 min before going to sleep and keep it AWAY from your bed. I even challenge you not to check your phone the first 30 min when you wake up... see how much better you feel and let me know what you thought!
Now for the exciting stuff!
These are my absolute favorites if you really want to step up your sleep game.
My Sleep Favorites:
Saje diffuser: If you don’t already have one of these you need to get one ASAP. Rhett’s even obsessed with it - he fills it up each night with my favorite essential oil “yoga” that is the perfect calming smell. What’s awesome about this is that it purifies your air all while making your rooms smell like you just stepped into the most Zen Spa. Plus it creates this calming white noise and runs all night. This is a must.
Silky sleep mask: Perfect for travel and supper cute and soft. If you live in a space that doesn’t have blackout curtains, I highly recommend this silky sleep mask. Little pricey but so worth it - also silk is hypoallergenic so it's not going to mess with your skin. All about that cleanliness over here.
Orua ring: Something that actually opened my eyes to how much sleep I was actually lacking…The days that I thought I was getting 8 hours of sleep I was really only getting 5. This tracks everything from your heart rate, body temperature, sleep cycles, REM and all that good stuff. It keep you on track and honest with your rest. Their website also has tons of info on sleep and how to improve it as well!
CBD: This stuff is liquid gold. Seriously, this is the real deal and is actually a superfood and is one of the highest sources of antioxidants. I do this every single night and recommend it to pretty much anyone who doesn’t ask. It has been a lifesaver for me and decreasing anxiety and inflammation. The brand that I get also tastes the best in my opinion and the girl who owns it is an absolute lady boss.
Sleep Remedy: My go to when I know I need to get to sleep but my body is still wired. I get these sleeves that I just mix in with water and take it about 30 min before bed. And just like that I’m out into la la land. The best thing about this stuff is it helps you stay asleep as well so you don’t get interrupted.
Salt lamp: These are said to have many positive effects and to rid the air of any negative energy, boosting your mood, reducing stress and more. I love these because it just gives the room a peaceful glow and again it makes me feel like I’m in my own Spa.
And that’s that! these are just a few of my essentials in my nightly routine. I’ll definitely be updating this list along the way but I just wanted to share because these tips because they have been a game changer for me and can help you optimize your sleep as well!
If there’s one space you can splurge on make your bedroom, 6-9 hours over time adds up! Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. A place you walk into and you immediately feel at ease. So give your space an update, keep it clear of clutter, invest in a high quality bed, sheets, pillows, plants and anything else that makes your heart happy.
So for now make it your goal this week to try one of these out and see what works for you!
I’d love to hear what sleep hacks work best for you - comment below with your best tips!