Now, if you weren’t already aware, March is designated as National Sleep Awareness Month (also important to note it’s Women’s History Month). So… you already know SleepSwag had to come out with a new blog!
Sometime this month, I want you—yes, you! Our wonderful reader(s)!—to really reflect on your sleep habits this month. Sit down, pop the journal out, and write about how much sleep you’re getting. Consider the quality of rest, how you generally feel emotionally and physically after sleeping, and the environment you’re resting in (i.e. light, temperature, noise, etc). More often than not, when people reflect on these sleeping habits, they realize their routines haven’t been the most beneficial for their overall well-being. Now I should underscore that the point of this blog is not to send you spiraling or shame you for “bad” sleep habits because we’re all trying to figure out what works best for us given our individual circumstances. But, we at SleepSwag do have some nifty tips and tricks to aid you in building what could (hopefully) be a transformative sleep routine!
First and foremost, let’s dispel some common narratives that tend to diminish the importance of sleep. Because to even begin the work of altering our sleep routines/habits requires a shift in how we understand rest and its importance to our daily lives. So put to rest the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” ism’s and try to keep an open mind here.
“You can ‘catch up’ on sleep”
Oh boy, oh boy… wrong! It’s scientifically proven (here) that you can’t just “catch up” on lost sleep. In fact, you actually accumulate sleep DEBT. While the occasional nap might help with the daytime sleepies, it won’t ever reverse the effects of sleep deprivation.
“The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need”
Wrong! Again! The National Sleep Foundation states that adults should get on average 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Think 5 hours’ sleep is sustainable? Keep dreaming buddy.
“A warmer bedroom is ideal for sleeping”
I know what you’re thinking here. A cozy fire (for those even lucky enough to have a fireplace in the bedroom… sorry I’m just jealous) or cranking up a space heater can make our bedrooms feel nice and snuggly. But actually, sleeping in hot environments typically interferes with our ability to fall and stay asleep (here)! An ideal temperature for sleeping is around the mid 60s, but of course pick what feels right for you!
Alright, now that we have some myths dispelled, let's get into the nitty gritty. And If it isn’t already becoming obvious, you should know how important sleep is to your well-being! The amount and quality of your sleep has direct impacts on your physical, mental, and emotional welfare. So it goes without saying that you should always try to prioritize rest and recuperation! But, I know it’s definitely not as simple as it sounds. Sometimes your job(s) gets in the way, maybe you have to take care of your children, or even a noisy neighbor is hell bent on messing with your precious rest time. So, I want to equally emphasize to not beat yourself up—or the noisy neighbor—for not having the perfect sleep schedule and routine (do I sound like a therapist yet?). Nonetheless, there are some small and accessible changes we can suggest to help maintain a consistent healthy sleep schedule.
Now lighting can be a tough one because it’s not always a factor we can control, but thankfully I know somewhere you can buy a high-quality silk sleep mask to block out those pesky street lights! ;) Check out SleepSwag’s latest sleep masks here.
Noise can also be a tricky one. If you’ve ever lived in New York City you know a noisy street is almost inescapable. So, I highly recommend using brown noise (similar to white noise but much more soothing in my opinion) to help drown out any street noise—there’s tons of free app’s out there with brown noise available. If brown noise isn’t quite your thing, try a fan (also keeps you cool) or a humidifier (also helps that skin stay nice and dewy).
With all the wonderful TV shows available at our finger tips it can be really tough to put the screen’s down before bed. But, setting a curfew on our electronics helps maintain our body’s natural melatonin production, thus improving our overall sleeping experience. So, get yourself in the routine of turning off The Bachelorette (or whatever your ”poison” might be) an hour before bed so you can train your body to start winding down.
I get it, routines can be incredibly hard to start and maintain. But trust me, once you’re in the rhythm of a routine that you can literally feel nourishing your body and mind, you’ll thank yourself endlessly. For me, at night I’ll typically take a shower, brush my teeth, wash my face, slip into my pajamas, stretch for a little bit, and then slide into bed. Having gotten settled into this routine for a little over a year now, I can tell whenever I start this process my body knows its almost time for bed: my limbs get tired, my hyper-active brain starts to relax, and my eyelids get heavy. I’d also recommend incorporating some of SleepSwag’s Crystal Mists or Room Mists into your routine before bed! Our 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils have proven to calm the nervous system and relax your body before bed!