7 helpful ideas for clean sleeping

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My nightstand needed to be decluttered for better feng shui. This is the result.
One of my goals of 2017 is to get more sleep.  My husband would probably say I get too much as it is, but sleep seems to be the thing that most people cut out when their 'to do' list lengthens.  But we need sleep to function and help our bodies repair from training so why do we not make it a priority?

I am a light sleeper and I think that is why I always need more. When I do sleep, I am not getting quality shut eye.  It has been really interesting since I started wearing my Fit Bit Surge to bed seeing the total sleep I get and how much of it is restless or awake. It has also been handy to show my husband how often the dog wakes me up in the middle of the night.  I always aim for 8 hours but rarely do I hit my target.

Everyone deserves a good night's sleep.  If you are well rested, you will have less sugar cravings, be more alert, and your body will recover more quickly from training sessions. Your stress levels will also reduce which could help you loose abdominal fat.  The Bed Guru recently posted some suggestions on how to get a better night's sleep as part of a new trend in 2017 of clean sleeping.  The idea is that making a conscious effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night can lead to a healthier and happier life where you are more focused and productive during the day too.  I have tried out a few of the suggestions and added some of my own as part of their #CleanSleepingGuru campaign.  Hopefully, you will be able to incorporate a few of these into your night time routine.

1.  App - Everyone says to leave your electronics out of the room but as many of us use our phone as an alarm clock, the temptation is too great not to check Facebook one more time before bed.  I have installed the Twilight app on my phone, which removes the blue light emitted from your screen based on when the sun sets and rises in your location. Sure everything looks a bit yellow when it is activated, but if it helps me sleep better, who cares?

2.  Hypnotherapy - Sometimes I will listen to my Thinking Slimmer Chillpod  to help me drift off if I am really wound up due to a late exercise session or an upcoming deadline.  It is a bit of hypnotherapy that helps you relax a bit.  I have also been known to listen to it on the commute to work and on my lunch break if I am having a stressful week.  It is less than 10 minutes long, so I should really make an effort to listen to it every day.

Fresh lavendar makes me happy
3.  Lavendar - On my nightstand, I have a lavendar sachet. Lavendar oil is often recomended to sprinkle on your pillow case but we bought several sachets at the Brussels Christmas market (we got a great deal!).  We have a few away as Christmas presents but there a few hanging about the house still.

4.  Technology - My Fitbit also sends me a notification when it is time to start getting ready for bed.  That is my cue to unplug from social media or watching TV and put my pjs on. I try not to go back online after the alert except to set my alarm.  I can set the time that fits in with my evening plans.  The only downside is that it is the same time every day.  You cannot have a different time for each day of the week.

5.  Electric blanket - The electric blanket has been an essential for me this winter.  I know most resources say to have the room a few degrees colder for sleeping, but I am a 'warm happy' person- meaning I would always rather be a bit warm than cold.  I plug it in about 30 minutes before I go to bed and then shut it off when the lights go out.  It is heaven for me to get into warm sheets.  Otherwise, if I am too cold, I just lay there nearly shivering and getting anxious that I won't fall asleep soon.  In fact, my husband used to warm up my side of the bed for me when we lived in snowy Michigan (without an electric blanket).  You need to find a temperature that works for you, that helps you fall asleep easily and stay asleep.  If it is a few degrees warmer, or with the window open all year round, so be it.

6. Blindfold - Typically I use a snood as an eye mask in the summer to block out the late sunlight.  But the excess fabric usually puts a bit of pressure on my eyes and the whole thing somehow falls off in the middle of the night.  While in Berlin, my friend Sabine of My Life My Challenges, introduced me to Bucky 40 Blinks eye masks.  They are soft fabric but the eye cover is a little cup, meaning you can fully open your eyes while wearing it.  I picked one up for her when I was in America but should have got one for myself too.

7.  Melatonin - Normally, I am not one to push supplements but my step-mom sent me joint care pills that contain melatonin, a hormone that helps with sleep and wake patterns.  I have a few friends who swear that melatonin helped them get improve the quality of their sleep.  Even if it is a placebo effect, if you sleep better, it is worth it.

These are just a few of the things I have tried.  Leave a comment below if you have any other unique ways to easily fall asleep or to have a good night's sleep.

This post is in collaboration with Bed Guru.  It also contains affiliate links, which adds no additional cost to you but helps fund this website.

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