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.

 

Relax:

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.

Find Sophia on:
Facebook
Twitter
Google +

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?

 

via

Finding Happiness

finding happy

Sometimes a little stress is healthy. A stressful situation can force you to run around, test your skills, and push yourself further than ever before. It can be a great motivator and a little stress is necessary sometimes.

But stress is also sneaky.

I’ve noticed some changes in myself lately. I’m slower and sleepier. I get less enjoyment out of the gym so I don’t really go. I’ve found myself giving negative responses faster and speaking up about things that are better left unsaid. Basically I haven’t been my best self. So I started thinking about why this could be happening and after a little reflection exercise I realized that I’ve slowly become stressed without even realizing it. I’m sure you can relate. One thing happens, than another, a few days later it’s something else.

You have a late night.
Then you hit snooze too many times and end up rushed in the morning.
Almost late to work, but you made it just in time!
…Just in time for a surprise meeting you’re unprepared for.
Pull out of the parking lot and straight into traffic.

I think you get the picture. Lately the timeline above seems normal not stressful- but the truth is that my normal has become stressful. I’ve never really thought about how quickly small stressors can add up over time. So to combat my hectic days I’ve decided to create a little goal list for this month to help me find a little more happiness.

  • 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

When I first started blogging I started to do monthly goals based off of the chapters in The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’m not good at goal lists so this fizzled out pretty quickly, but I purposefully made this one more fun and very simple to give myself the opportunity to complete it.

I’ll report back next month. In the meantime, stress-relieving tips are always welcomed!

Getting Healthy

3 easy ways to be healthy

Somewhere between March and October I’ve gained weight. Like, 4 pounds above my high weight, gained weight. Usually this would bother me, but because it’s fall it wouldn’t have been so bad. You throw on a few extra layers or a jacket of some kind, and you tend to forget the extra weight. However, living in Florida doesn’t allow for the same fall pleasures.

The good news is that the southern heat really pushes me to be more active. I’ve been running more, taking Allegra on longer walks and I even purchased a groupon to try a local hot yoga place! Operation: Get Fit (aka Operation: Fit Back In My Clothes) is officially in action!

Just in case you want to get involved with me, here are 3 simple ways to make healthy choices throughout your day.

  1. Utilize commercial breaks. As I confessed last week, I’ve been obsessed with TV lately (will it gross you out if I tell you that I’ve been watching even more shows than I listed there?) But I feel a little better about my obsession when I use them to workout. Sometimes I do sit ups, other times it’s push-ups or squats, but either way I do my best to set myself up to get some movement in during commercials.
  2. Park in the back of the lot. No more searching for front-row parking. Utilize your able body by taking a parking spot in the back and walk your butt past all those lazy spots to the front door.
  3. Bring your own lunch (and your own coffee). Going out to eat may be fun, but the negatives tend to add up quickly. Between the extra cash you’re spending and the extra calories you’re ingesting, going out for lunch is better left as a fun treat, not an every day occurrence. Oh, and the same rings true for buying coffee out. Forget about those starbucks and DD runs. Bring your own coffee in the morning and grab an extra one for later if necessary.

What do you like to do to get into a healthy groove?

 

PS- Drink more water!

Back to the yoga grind.

beachyogagirl

Back in November I joined a 30 for 30 challenge with a local hot yoga studio and fell in love. Then I took a little break and went to Florida and had a million people over for the holidays. Fast forward to the second week in January and I just went to my first class of 2014 last night. And it sucked.

I mean, I’m still really lovin’ the feel of hot yoga (it seriously has to be the best workout & detox ever created) but man is it hard after my impromptu break. I’m sure by the end of the week I’ll be excited for the classes again, but today I’m more excited about the accessories than the work out. Sometimes the gear can be the extra push you need to get going.  I’m dying to get my butt in gear so that I can rep yoga clothes 24/7.

yoga gear

Yoga Mat  //  sports bra  // Mat Size Yoga Towel // capris

shorts // bra

zip up  //  capris  //  Water Bottle

Photo from Kerri’s instagram- @beachyogagirl – she’s so fun to follow!