Monday, September 29, 2014

Five Steps to Relax to Get a Good Night Sleep

I need my beauty sleep ~ I want my eyes be brighter, skin be smoother, and brain be sharper. Life is just so much better after a good night sleep! 

The problem is that I don't get a good night sleep often ~ whether it is stress, frustration, long work hours, or a kid who gets thirsty at midnight... Without a goodnight sleep, I am a miserable, short tempered Bxxxx. Luckily, I am a lawyer, and I fit right in. 

Oh, but I really prefer to be a nice and happy person, and I want the world be beautiful! 

So I turned to Google for advice, which offered plenty. All I need to do is to lead an active lifestyle, eat healthy; not to drink alcohol or eat before bed time; and relax. Relax?! Easier said than done, but for the sake of better skin and nicer personality, I have to help myself to relax. Here's what I need to do.

1. Create a bed that's ideal for sleeping
Mattress. We cannot get a goodnight sleep without a comfortable bed, starting with a mattress. The mattress should support the body in a neutral position in which the head, body, and heels are in proper alignment. 

Pillow. Choosing the right pillow is just as important as choosing the right mattress. Depending on your sleeping position, you can decide how fluffy your pillow should be. If you sleep on your back, you need a pillow of low to medium thickness, so your head is not thrown too far forward. Side sleepers need a firmer pillow to fill in the distance between the ear and outside shoulder. And if you are a stomach sleeper like me, look for a very thin, almost flat pillow.

Blanket. I love cozy blankets. It is the ideal sleep aid for a cold nights. People seem to sleep best at temperatures between 62 and 70 degrees F.

Sheets. Okay, sheets are important too. Don't be fooled by the thread count when buying the sheets. Apparently, not just thread count matters, but the length of thread! Check out the great guide Emily Schuman put together about quality of bedding. 

Pajamas or no pajamas is solely up to you. To complete my beauty night sleep experience, I wear silky soft VS satin shirt or pajamas (I love that it comes in different lengths!). 
2. Create a cosy and quiet room.
The proper adjectives to describe your room should be dark, cosy, and quiet. Some use darker color sheets and rugs, some put many candles in the bedroom and fill the room with a calming scent, some prefer to dress up their bedroom in animal prints and velour textures. 

Also, no electronics! For years I have been so proud of myself for refusing to put a TV set in my bedroom... And now I have two computers, two cellphones, and an iPad on the nightstands. I know it's hard, but, for the sake of a goodnight sleep, they got to go too. 

3. Allow to turn yourself off.
Okay, this one is the hardest. We often don't give ourselves permission to take a break, but we must.  The world won't stop moving if we stop running for a night. My biggest problem is my laptop. I bring my laptop to bed, and work until I can't keep my eyes open any more. So, for the sake of a happier and kinder me, I promised myself to leave the laptop on my desk and put my nook by the bed instead.

4. Create a sleep ritual
I remember creating a sleep ritual for Alex. This really helped him unwind and fall asleep. He goes to bed at the same time every night, and then we read for about 20 minutes and talk about stuff. 

There is no reason why I should not do the same. I can walk Lucy, or take a hot shower, or read something inspirational. Feel free to choose whatever you think would work for you. 

5. Jot down your thoughts before you go to bed
If you can't turn off your mind, write down your concerns and the steps you can take to solve them. Then, set aside for tomorrow and focus on positive thoughts and breathing.

I hope this helps!

What do you do when you can't fall asleep? Would love to hear from you!

xo, Zuma A.

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