Guest Post: Surprising Tips for Better Sleep

surprising tips for a better sleepvia


A good night’s sleep is sometimes all you need to get your energy levels out of the red zone. Getting enough quality sleep throughout your life is essential for your health. In fact, sleep is so important for your well-being that Amnesty International marked sleep deprivation as a form of torture.

To reach the optimal amount of sleep, you should aim to get around 8 hours of shut-eye per night. Sounds easy, right? What happens when you simply cannot shut your eyes and it is already 3 a.m. and your alarm clock is set to 7 a.m.? Or when you wake up every two or three hours?

There are some ways to fall asleep easier and to sleep better.


Know What to Avoid:

Some things are simply bad for your sleep. Remember when your parents forbade you to eat candies before bedtime? Well, that ban still stands. Also, steer away from caffeine (found in coffee, cola, chocolate and some pain relievers…).

surprising tips for a better sleep
Though it is true that a glass of beer (or any other alcohol) will help you fall asleep faster, it will also work as a stimulant a few hours later and increase the number of awakenings and decrease the overall amount of sleep. Do not eat heavy meals before sleep.


Find Your Peace:

When you go to bed, when everything is quiet and peaceful, your thoughts seem to be the loudest. All of your plans, worries and fears gather together in a single mission to sabotage you. In such moments it would be helpful to find your inner peace so you could shut your eyes and get the necessary rest.

surprising tips for a better sleep

According to many studies, mindfulness meditation focused on breathing can help people who have trouble sleeping. So, before going to bed, take a moment to relax. Choose a calming focus (a sound, your breath, positive word) and let go and relax. Keeping stress at bay on a daily basis will also help you. If you cannot achieve it by yourself, try counseling at a spiritual retreat.


Adapt Your Bedroom:

Your bedroom should be a sleep-inducing environment – dark, quiet and cool. First, you will need to minimize the outside noise. Do that with earplugs or relaxing music. Use heavy curtains to reduce the amount of light or block it with an eye mask. The temperature should be comfortably cool and your bedroom as comfortable as it can be.



Do not go to bed right after a set of stressful and exhausting activities. Instead, take some time to do something to help you ease the transition between wake time and sleep time. Read a few pages of a book, or take a warm bubbly bath. Pour a few drops of lavender oil into your bath and let lavender essential oil permeate the air before going to bed and you will sleep more soundly and wake up more energized, as research shows.


Use Tricks and Hacks:

Sometimes no routine helps and you simply need some trick to help you sleep faster. Keep a “worry journal” by your bed and write down whatever is bugging you. Once you unwind, it will be easier to relax.

surprising tips for a better sleep

You can also try to visualize some ideal, calm and sleep-inducing place. Relaxing the muscles throughout the body (progressive muscle relaxation) can help you fall asleep faster, improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. Have a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea before going to bed or take a calming evening walk. If you are sharing a bed with your partner, cuddle up – it can be more effective than sleeping pills!

As you sleep, your body restores and repairs itself to provide sufficient amount of energy for all the challenges ahead of you. Do your best to enable it the optimal conditions for quality sleep and it will pay you back tenfold.



Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is also very passionate about organic beauty products and healthy lifestyle. Sophia writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life on topics related to beauty and fashion.

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2016 Resolution

wellness goals are more than just fitness goals

I know I said I’m not good at annual resolutions, but if you’ve been following along you know that my monthly goal idea didn’t really stick either.

…So back to the yearly resolutions it is! My idea this time is to go BIGGER. Basically, I figured that if my goal is positive and covers a bunch of different things, than I can move it in whatever direction I need to over the next 12 months. I think this kind of goal will be much more effective for me, as it can reflect more of the positive direction I’d like to take myself instead of a strict goal I either hit or miss.

While I was reflecting on 2015 I thought of a ton of great things: getting a new job, finding a great apartment, making new friends, exploring a new city. But I also continued to come back to one major issue: my health. I can’t even lie, I didn’t even try to take care of myself well.

I barely went to the gym, bought a too-expensive groupon for a yoga studio I never went to, ate a lot of (delicious but) unhealthy food, and only went to the doctor once after being sick for 8+ days. I hit my highest weight ever, I don’t feel comfortable in my clothing, and to be honest, I don’t really feel like I’m in my own body anymore. The funny thing is that even though that felt so dramatic to type, it happened so slowly that I didn’t even notice it happening!

I think it makes sense that my goal of 2016 is to concentrate more on preventative health. I want to get my weight on track, yes, but I also really need to take better care of myself in general. Silly things, you know? Set up a healthy doctor visit, work out a few times a week, start taking vitamins, stop going out to eat so much.. in general I need to make more body- conscious habits that could really help me down the road.

On the flip side, I wasn’t totally terrible to my body. I did start taking better care of my skin and found an awesome, life changing face wash. I cut my coffee down to 1 (max 2) cups of coffee a day. I started paying a lot more attention to the ingredients in my soaps and hair products and I even started making some of my own! I let myself find more fun and found new ways to cope with stress. These are all things I’m excited to build on over the next 12 months.

I’m starting strong in January by setting myself up with my first doctor appointment in months, buying a FitBit and tracking my food. I’ve even been researching new hot yoga studios and I drank extra water all week to prepare for my 90 minute sweat session tomorrow. So I think this could work for me. What will you be concentrating on in 2016?



Internet Intervention


I need to find a way to be much more productive with my time on the computer.


Do you ever find yourself sucked into the internet? It usually starts on my phone. I’ll check out instagram, read through my facebook timeline, read a few blogs, head over to Pinterest for a little browsing… and then all of a sudden I realize that I’ve been looking at a screen for well over an hour and I’ve accomplished nothing.

This makes me a little uncomfortable.

The internet is good for so many things. It allows me to connect with friends and family at home up north. It allows me to explore my interests, practice my photography, and find new knitting patterns. It introduces me to news stories, keeps me up-to-date with trending topics, and allows me to be a part of global communities. But as much as it connects me to the world it also takes me outside of the little piece of the world that I have right here. It takes me away from Dean, separates me from Allegra, and pulls me out of the moment.

So I need to be more conscious of the time I spend browsing.

Lately I’ve been itching to blog. I’ve had an impressive number of post ideas during my long work commute, but I have zero urge to write when I get home. I have good intentions, I swear! I open my computer, pull up my blog and stare at the cursor…. and then I flip over to catch up with other blogs, which turns into Pinterest, which leads me to facebook, which is usually where I get a little bored and finally realize it’s time to power down and go to bed.

So I need to find a way to be more productive when I’m on the computer.

Because my life doesn’t have time for hours of aimless clicking, and to be frank, I don’t want to have time for it. I want to go places and do things without having the urge to write about it or photograph it or do anything at all that could potentially drag me into the www. Because for as many wonderful gifts the internet has brought to me, I’ve also found double the number of time-wasters. So please excuse me if I haven’t been visiting my blog often. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I’m stuck in the middle of my little internet intervention.


Photos of Life Lately

old lady Halloween costume

Can you believe it’s already NOVEMBER? I just can’t get over it. I also feel like it’s been a while since I’ve stopped in. So what have I been up to lately….. that’s a good question!  For starters, Dean and I dressed up as old ladies for Halloween. While it may have been put together less than 2 hours before we hit the town, I will say that it was pretty darn good! I mean I don’t want to brag, but it’s the first costume I’ve ever had that literally made people stop us in the streets for pictures. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the fact that Dean was wearing a mumu 😉

the most comfortable pizza eating costume EVER

a costume that lets you add to your WIP ;-)

And yes I did bring out my knitting. I mean, I didn’t get anything done, but it was still a fun idea! Besides, I was a little knitted-out after working on a few new projects this week.. (eg: the hat below and these fun arm warmers!)


Okay moving on… I’ve also been pretty dedicated to my “get to know Miami” plan. Last week I went down to explore the Lowe’s Art Museum on UMiami’s campus. Coming from a school with a tiny little campus art gallery in PA, I’m still in awe at the size and talent showcased here! I also tested out my bowling skills down in South Miami anddddd the results were less than stellar. Pointers would be appreciated.





Oh, and did I mention that Dean and I took a little trip back home to PA? …after a quick staycation in Fort Lauderdale? We’ve seriously been living the life! One week we’re lounging by the pool and the next we’re layering on sweaters and checking out the fall foliage.


lately Fall in NJ


Seriously- Who are we?!


PS- don’t miss anything else! Follow along on instagram!

Happiness Check-In

finding happiness at home

About a month ago I wrote a post about finding more happiness in life. I felt like I was stressed out about general day-to-day things and I needed to regroup…so I did! My short-term goals for the month were to:

  • Go to at least 1 yoga class
  • Spend at least 5 hours a week reading
  • Take Allegra on longer walks
  • Buy a bottle of wine

While I didn’t make it to the yoga class, I did read for at least 5 hours a week, take Allegra on some great walks, and a bought a bottle of wine… each week. It’s crazy how much little things can make a difference in your overall attitude. While I wouldn’t say I have things under control yet, I would say that I’ve been a lot happier. More than anything my little goals reminded me to take time for myself and do things that I enjoy. This month I decided to make a few new goals that help me to remember to take care of myself and my surroundings:

  • Spend 20 minutes a day cleaning
  • Find something fun and free to take part in each weekend
  • Go to bed earlier on week days (11pm LATEST!)
  • Start my commute by 7am

I’m hoping that this month I can continue to take some time for myself while still carving out time to keep the house clean and get to work on time. I’ve noticed that when things are in order and my home is tidy, my stress levels go way down. What things are you working on this month?