Thursday, April 25, 2013


In college, sleep was considered optional. My friends and I often joke now that if we looked at the clock in college and it was midnight, then the night was still young! I was definitely a night owl and after completing homework for the day and taking care of needed responsibilities, we often wanted to end the night, or early morning, with a movie, heart-to-heart talk, or a last minute trip to Waffle House. Oh the joys!

I remember graduating, getting married and starting my first 9-5 job within two weeks of leaving college. Suddenly, staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning was unrealistic for the early mornings I needed to wake up. Jon and I often found ourselves struggling to get to bed early, because one of our favorite things to do was watch shows together late at night.
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After many weeks of feeling exhausted and never really feeling like we were on a good sleep schedule, we finally decided to lay down some rules and make some changes to improve our quality of life. PLUS, as you might already know, there are a ton of health benefits to getting good sleep. Here are a couple of tips on creating a good habit around sleep and making it a priority in your life:

1. Create an Oasis - For some people, the idea of sleeping in a messy room or the same room that you do work in, can create anxiety and make it difficult to find "rest" or feel peaceful. As best as you can, make your room a getaway and a place you feel you can rest in. You can do this by giving your room an economical room make-over or even just clearing out clutter and organizing your current space. Put things in your room that you enjoy like candles, fluffy blankets, a record player for your favorite albums, and photos of people you love. Make it a priority to keep your room clean and do restful things in your room like listening to light music, reading, and giving yourself pamper nights. :)

2. Set a Sleep Schedule - One of my goals has been to get my body on a regular sleep schedule so I no longer have to use an alarm in the mornings. I want to naturally feel sleepy around the same time every night and naturally wake up without the assistance of a jolting alarm or my tendency to be BFFs with my snooze button. Setting a time each day that's consistent to go to bed and to rise in the morning will help you build that routine. Currently, Jon and I like to head to bed right around 10:00PM, we'll take a little time to maybe watch an episode of one of our favorite shows, catch up on the day, or read before falling asleep. We like to get up between 7:00-7:30AM every morning, although this has been the biggest struggle point for myself personally. It's just sometimes too difficult to leave a warm, cozy bed in the mornings! I'm getting better, and now that I have a business partner to work with every day, it's much more motivating to get up and get ready at a set time every morning.

3. Make Sleep a Priority - The "average" adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Forsaking needed sleep and not making it a priority in your life will result in feeling exhausted and not mentally on top of things. Work on scheduling out tasks ahead of time so you don't feel like you need to take "all-nighters" or work late into the night.

4. Get Cozy Bedding - Sleeping on a lumpy mattress, not having a great pillow or being too cold or hot during the night can contribute to interrupted sleep. Be sure to create a cozy bed for yourself so that you actually look forward to getting in bed every night. If you look forward to staying in a hotel bed more than your might be time to think about saving for a new mattress! ;)

I'm certainly not an expert on sleep and I know I've got a lot of habits to continue forming. But I've really found that getting 7-8 hours of good sleep each night, helps me to be more productive during the day and gives me energy to take on my responsibilities. Of course, some people suffer from sleep disorders and if you feel that you hardly ever get a good nights rest, consider seeing a doctor. Sleep is good, people! :)

If you have any tips for sleeping well, please share below. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fun Sleep Related Infographics:
* The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation
* How Much Sleep Should Your Child Be Getting
* Sleepless in America
* Dream On: Why Sleep is so Important

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