March 6, 2014

How to Get a More Peaceful Night's Sleep

How many times do you hit the snooze button each morning? Usually I only have to snooze a couple of times, but on occasion I'm guilty of doing this for hours. Sleep is something I never seem to get enough of. This post is mainly for me...and I'm taking my own advice. But I hope you will too!

March 2-9 has been declared as National Sleep Week. It's an awareness campaign put on by the National Sleep Foundation and it leads up to this weekend's time change (remember, spring forward?).

Many people don't get enough sleep at night and what they do get isn't always good quality sleep. Our bodies need sleep to recharge and revive themselves. In honor of #SleepWeek, I'm sharing some simple tips for getting a better night's sleep.

Most of these tips revolve around the bedroom. Makes sense because this is the room we're doing most of the sleeping in.

1) Bedtime Routine 

My first tip for getting a better night's sleep is to create a bedtime routine. When we're little, this is a book, get a drink of water, say our prayers, lights out. But why is it that the older we get, the less we focus on these types of things that are really quite good for us?

A good bedtime routine could be drinking a cup of hot tea (decaf), reading a few pages in a book or even chatting with your partner or family about events of the day. Maybe you want to jot down a few thoughts in a journal or make a note for something you want to accomplish during the coming week. Whatever routine works for you, try to get one that feels natural. It's also good to try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This trains our bodies and creates a sense of balance.

2) Breathe Better

Fresh air is great, but we can't always open the windows and let some in. Maybe the air outside isn't fresh at all where you live. A really good way to improve the air quality of your home, specifically the bedroom, is by having houseplants.

Houseplants work overtime to purify the air in our houses and this lets us all breathe and sleep easier. You don't have to create a greenhouse in your room, but just pick one or two plants that you like. Good ones to try are snake plants (mother-in-law tongue), ivy, peace lily, spider plant and rubber plant.

3) Bring Some Luxury In

There's something about staying at a fancy hotel that makes me sleep so well. I enjoy all the little extra touches, but they seem so luxurious...not like anything I could ever really experience at home. This just isn't true. That's why I'm trying to incorporate some of the luxurious aspects of staying at a hotel in my own bedroom. Things like having a pretty pitcher of water near the bed or keeping note pads close by. It seems so silly when I think about it, but these small things do make a big difference in making my room feel more inviting. And that can only help me sleep better, right?

4) Beautiful Linens

I've never had fancy sheets. Until now. Okay, the ones I have are from Target. But they seem fancy to me. They are organic cotton and such a beautiful botanical print. I haven't put them on the bed yet, but I can't wait to use them.

It seems like such a small luxury, but pretty sheets that are comfortable too can make your bedtime routine much better.

5) DIY Linen Spray 

Scent is such a powerful trigger and the right smells can calm and soothe us, which is especially helpful when we're trying to relax at bedtime. After doing some research, I created my own DIY linen spray. It was so easy and you can do it too!

All you need is Vodka (I used Stoli Vanilla Vodka), essential oil (lavender is good), and distilled water.

Mix 2 oz. vodka w/ 20 drops essential oil. Blend this well. Then add about half a cup of water. The oil should bind to the alcohol so it doesn't just suspend in the water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well before each use.

I hope you can be inspired to get a better night's sleep! Everybody is different and has different sleep requirements and needs, but we all gotta sleep sometime. Do you have any tried and true tips for peaceful sleep? I'd love to hear about it!