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Tag Archives: sleep quality
Few things will snap you out of a glorious slumber than the feeling of tiny fingers prying your eyelids open and a small voice uttering “Mommy are you awake?” It’s a moment where your heart melts and you want to commit a crime at the same time. Little does this tiny human know that despite the fact that you are in fact awake (now), that you have already been awake several times throughout the night. Was that a cough? Better go check. What was that sound? Better go check. Is she too hot? Too cold? Better go check? Did I finish my wine? Better go check.
In order to be a mom, or a functioning person for that matter, getting good sleep is totally necessary. And I don’t mean good sleep as in “I got a full 40 minutes, Buddy-the-Elf” style of sleep, I’m talking 8 hours of sleep, the type where you actually haven’t had caffeine since 4 pm, didn’t drink too much wine, and you got off of your screen at a reasonable time before you went to bed. Will the stars ever align for those things to actually happen? Not while Netflix keeps putting out new releases. However, one thing that actual experts agree on is that sleep is crucial to holistic health and for some insane reason, sleep seems to be the one thing we all compromise on, because one more episode won’t hurt, will it?
On my search for this mystical thing called sleep, I wanted to reach out to my friends and co-workers and see if they feel like they are getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep (I had to look up how many hours of sleep we actually need to get) and it is no shock that 99% of them agreed that they sacrifice their sleep because of their addiction to Netflix, video games, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and cat videos on YouTube. Okay, that last one is me. Here’s what the staff of pillows.com (you know, the “experts”) had to say about their own personal quests for quality sleep.
Question: How many hours of sleep per night do you average?
Jordan: “On average, I sleep 6 hours a night.”
Chelsea: “I try my best to get 8-9 hours. I always make sure that I turn off the lights by 10:30 pm AT THE LATEST!”
Q: What is your ideal sleep environment?
Faydra: “Dark and quiet, squishy supportive pillow for my head and two body pillows for optimal pillow nesting.”
Toni: “Next to the ocean, listening to the waves.”
Q: Would you say you need more sleep?
Omar: “I think I need uninterrupted sleep more than more hours of sleep. I’ve tested it and 6-7 hours seems to be a good number for my body. But, unintentionally, I always seem to drink a lot of water before bed so I sometimes get up multiple times during the night.”
Chelsea: “I think I could invest more time for sleeps on the weekends. I tend to let go of my strict sleep schedule on Saturday nights. However, during the work week’s I’m very good at getting enough sleep.”
Q: Do you think technology gets in the way of your sleep?
Chris: “I do think that technology can get in the way of a normal sleep routine if you are trying to go to sleep at a decent time. Having a phone or laptop near the bed might lead to staying up much later than needed. Although I do have insomnia and sometimes staring at a screen watching a video or reading can make my eyes heavy enough that I am forced to close them long enough to doze off.”
Toni: “Yes! I sleep with the phone by my side and any text or noise letting me know I have a new email wakes me up.”
Q: Do you need white noise to sleep?
Chelsea: “I love white noise and absolutely need it. Sometimes when I can’t go to sleep, I’ll put on a show like “The Office” and fall asleep to the sound of Michael Scott whispering in my ear.”
Q: If you could give yourself one sleep goal to achieve this year what would it be?
Chris: “My one sleep goal for this year is to start meditating again when trying to sleep. Meditation relaxes my very active mind and can sometimes calm it enough to allow me to get some sleep. I used to meditate often before bed, but I have not done it in a while. It has helped before and I am sure that it will help again.”
Dana: “Spend time reading more before bed rather than being on my phone wasting time.”
Q: Do you have bad habits that interfere with your sleep?
Faydra: “Other than video games and my Instagram addiction, I would say no.”
Jordan: “The only bad habits I’d say I have are staying up to catch the last seconds of a TV show/movie and not going to bed at a more reasonable time.”
Can any of you relate to our staff? We all want more sleep but also want to finish that last episode or beat one more level. So, where do we go from here to make sleep a priority in 2018? Of course, my first spot to find all the answers would be Pinterest! Here is a list of 21 tips for better sleep but I have to warn you that I’m pretty sure that #2 is contestable.
We at pillows.com are going to commit to sleeping better together! Wait! You know what I mean! We’re going to hold each other accountable to getting quality sleep. In our own beds, separately. Oh man, I need more sleep.
What if there was a way to completely and momentarily escape the world around us? What if there was a way to only hear what is going in our head and experience nothing else? And, if there was a way to encounter all of this, what would it be like? Would it be relaxing? Would it mend mental wounds that prevent rest? Well, perhaps we might not need to ask further. Perhaps we might have a way to experience it first hand and find another way to help us sleep at night. However, the method to experience this potential phenomenon is straight out of a Sci-Fi thriller. Your best night’s sleep might be waiting inside of a Isolation Tank.
Behold! Today’s modern isolation tank! Not quite as intimidating as the movies portray, but almost as equally mysterious as they depict. The Isolation Tank was first invented in 1953 by neuroscientist John Lilly as a way to study response in the brain to a limited sensory output. “The tank immersed the user into a totally dark and silent environment in which sound and vision as well as other sensory inputs were virtually eliminated.” writer
With everyday life there is stress. Stress of work, stress of school, stress of exercise, etc. The main point is that stress is almost inherently in each and every aspect of our everyday. This stress weighs heavy on our minds and bodies and not exhausts us physically but also mentally. Prolonged exposure to these stresses without relief and recovery can lead to more serious problems. The Isolation Tank hails itself as a way to allow the mind to relax and, in a way, begin to heal itself or, at the very least, escape the stress for awhile. When floating in the tank, the water is the same temperature as our skin, the lights are completely off, and the capsule is sound proof. All these factors leave the active mind without the subconscious processing of the senses, and in other words, leaves the floater with their thoughts and nothing else. With just our thoughts and nothing else being registered, we may be able to peer into our minds and fix what is broken or calm what is hectic. At the very least, a user can calmly float and take a well-deserved nap.
Without actually trying one yet, I cannot say that the tank is a divine gift from above that has cured what keeps me up at night. Though I must admit, the list of what tank users have reported being relieved of makes me want to sign up immediately. The image of just floating carefree and detached from reality sounds like the goal of most vacations; even if it is for an hour or so. If you are stressed, exhausted, or just need a quick getaway, perhaps looking up your local float tank center and becoming a Psychonaut could be the perfect fit for you.
We all have our own unique bedtime routines, but some are more “out-of-the-ordinary” than others. Below we will explore how these techniques might help you relax and fall into a deep sleep.
Use A Weighted Blanket
As babies, our parents swaddled us tightly in blankets. This feeling helps babies sleep because it simulates the tight space of the womb. It also prevents babies from restless movement and twitching, promoting a deeper sleep. The same concept applies for adults. Weighted blankets are filled with a variety of things from rice to poly pellets. The weight that these blankets apply to your body simulates the feeling of being swaddled. It is especially good for adults who experience continuous restless nights.
Text Source: Reader’s Digest (http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/sleep-tricks)
Try To Stay Awake
This may seem counterproductive, but trying to force yourself to stay awake can trick your brain into getting drowsy. Sort of a reverse psychology on yourself. Studies have shown that keeping your eyes wide open and keeping your body completely still with no electronics or lights on can actually help you fall asleep faster. I tried this method a couple of times this last week, and sure enough, the longer I tried to stay “wide-awake” the faster I fell into a deep sleep.
Text Source: Life Hacker (http://lifehacker.com/you-may-actually-fall-asleep-faster-if-you-try-to-stay-1693693901)
Watch And Listen To ASMR
This is probably one of the most interesting relaxation techniques out there, but over the past few years, it has been gaining in popularity over social media. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and is defined as, “a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can come over someone when he or she watches certain videos or hears certain sounds” (Sleep.org) These responses can be triggered by very simple sounds that we hear every day such as the tapping of rain on a tin roof or the sound of writing with a pencil on paper. These sounds start a tingle at the top of your scalp, and as it travels down your body, your mind relaxes and you can drift to sleep. Now, this hasn’t been proven to work for everyone, but for those of us that it does, it is a great way to relax. If you are interested in listening to ASMR videos there are hundreds of them on YouTube. Below is an example of one of the popular ASMR videos by ASMR Darling.
Text Source: Sleep.org (https://sleep.org/articles/what-is-asmr/)
Video Source: YouTube (https://youtu.be/WX6SPJxurLo)
Roll Your Eyes
Research has shown that this simple trick can trigger the release of melatonin in your brain. All you need to do is close your eyes, and roll your eyes down and then back up. Do this a few times. Rolling your eyes like this mimics the beginnings of REM (Rapid Eye Movements).
Text Source: Restful Insomnia (http://www.restfulinsomnia.com/eye-roll/)
Text Source: Mirror (http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/unable-sleep-eleven-ways-you-2300449)
Make A To-Do List About Your Next Day’s Tasks
If you are like me, you worry about what needs to be done the next day. One way to ease your concerns a little is to write down your to-do list on a piece of paper. Writing each task down makes you feel like you are more in control of your day. So, you can rest easy at night knowing that you have a plan of attack for the next day.
Text Source: Huffington Post: (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-kushnick-psyd/5-rarely-seen-tricks-for-_b_10153342.html)