I have a love / hate relationship with sleep. I love sleeping, it’s probably one of my favorite things to do but on the other hand, I hate it. I feel like I’m always too busy and sometimes feel guilty getting extra sleep because I have stuff that I need to get done. I’m a night owl, which does not help my sleep schedule. I usually stay up until the wee hours of night working and trying to get caught up or stay ahead. I enjoy staying up and working because no one else is usually up at that time. When I return emails during the day, I almost always get an email right back which I have to respond or acknowledge but at 3:30am, it’s very rare I get a return email back.
I was given the opportunity to work with Aveeno (http://www.aveeno.com/) to help jump start my healthy habits. I vowed to get 8 hours of sleep for 3 weeks with the Aveeno Daily Challenge. I knew this would definitely be a challenge but it was much needed. I knew that if I was really going to get the sleep I needed, then I needed to set a routine every night.
I work from home, so I am able to wake up when I want to or stay up as late as a I need to which is partially why I have such a crazy sleep schedule. I do know that if I went to sleep earlier and woke up first thing in the morning my days would be much more productive. Here’s my progress and what I learned throughout the past 3 weeks:
The first week was rough. My body was adjusting to my new schedule and tried to fight me going to sleep early. Every night I would try to do the same routine. I would take a shower, use my Aveeno lotion then lay down for the night. Some nights I would drink the sleepy time tea, which I do think helps you get ready for bed. Drinking the tea relaxed my body and the herbal ingredients helped me get some shut eye. I would wake up still sleepy during the first week which I think was because my body’s schedule was still confused.
Getting to sleep and waking up was much easier this week. I noticed a few things, my skin looked and felt much smoother as a result from using the Aveeno Daily lotion, it’s formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal and blended with rich emollients to soothe and moisturize dry skin. Waking up early wasn’t such a task during the second week. My body was finally starting to get in the groove of things. I felt more rested and energized throughout the week.
It’s amazing how refreshed my body feels. I never thought the day would come that my body was waking up by 6:45am by itself! Not only am I amazed by my new habits, but my peers are too! By waking up early and getting my day started by 6pm, my body was definitely tired. At 6pm, I had already put in almost 12 hours of work, which is amazing. By getting the sleep that I needed, I have been able to do more and be more productive rather than just dragging through the day. The Aveeno Daily Moistrizer also played a major role in the way my skin has improved. When used daily, it is clinically proven to improve the health of skin with major improvements in 2 weeks and it worked wonders on me! I loved that the lotion is hypoallergenic, fragrance free and noncomedogenic so it doesn’t clog pores like other lotions.
If I can get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, then I really think anybody can. It is worth the hard work, especially since I’ve been feeling so great with the extra sleep! To help you get in the groove of becoming healthy, I’ve listed a few things that have helped me sleep better.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. This helped me tremendously. I knew that every night I would go to sleep at the same time. If I was still working at this time, I would stop everything I was doing and start my nightly ritual to get ready for bed. Try not to break this routine on weekends when it may be tempting to stay up late.
- Wake up at the same time every day. By doing this, you are teaching your body your new sleep schedule. You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn every single day but set a goal to wake up at 8:30am or anytime that works for you. f you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, you may need to set an earlier bedtime.
- Turn off all electronics. I love to play games, especially at night before going to sleep. The problem with playing games is that it makes my brain more active and doesn’t allow my brain to shut off. Without even realizing, it will be 2am and I’m still playing the same game. The best bet is to shut off all your electronics and turn your phone on silent.
- Use your bed for sleep and sex. If you bring work and stressful events to bed with you then your brain will start associating bed time with other things which will make it harder for you to sleep.
- Keep your room cool. The temperature of your room can greatly affect the way you sleep. Make sure the room isn’t too hot or too cold.
- Have a nightly routine. Every night I take a shower, use Aveeno daily lotion and relax by either watching tv or browse online for 30 minutes before trying to sleep. By having a routine, your body will learn to associate your schedule with bedtime and start shutting down.
- Cut down on caffeine. Make a rule that you won’t drink caffeine within a few hours of your bedtime. Caffeine can affect you up to 10 hours after it’s intake, so be careful how much you are putting in your body.
- Make sure your bed is comfy. This sounds obvious but many people don’t realize their bed is what is causing a bad nights rest. If you wake up all the time with a cricked neck or back pains, it might be time to double check your mattress and possibly purchase a new one.
Do you have a nightly routine that helps you sleep better? Let me know!
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