health + wellness

How To Get To Sleep?

April 17, 2024

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I started off this year waking up to a houseful of flu-inflicted family was not what I anticipated, but that’s exactly how my year started. Everyone including me, my husband Ira, my 12-year-old nephew, and my 84-year-old father were ALL sick with the flu.

I can’t count the number of tissues, tea bags, cough drops and all else we went through battling this together (check out my go-to sickness remedies and my recipe for “Nature’s Gatorade”).

After an exhausting week, I had a great deal of time to pause and reflect on the importance of health and what you learn about your body when you are forced to slow down. Getting plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep isn’t just an old wives’ tale; it’s truly a necessity for mind, body, and spirit.

Did you know that 50 to 70 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder, and that 30% to 40% of adults in the US complain of insomnia symptoms? In fact, women are twice as likely to have insomnia as men.  

All this sleep talk reminded me of a chat I had with Dr. Shelby Harris, a clinical psychologist specializing in sleep health and author of A Women’s Guide to Overcoming Insomnia. We discussed how being a woman impacts your sleep and what you can do to help yourself get a better night’s sleep!

Factors include:

  1. Hormonal changes: Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone during menstruation, pregnancy, and perimenopause.
  2. Diet and exercise: What and when you eat and the type of workout you do or don’t do can have an impact on your zzz’s.
  3. Work-Life Balance: Increased stress from taking on multiple roles and responsibilities keeps many of us up at night.  
  4. Mental Health: Anxiety and depression are prevalent amongst women.

These are some ways you can help manage your sleep:

  1. Try to stick to a sleep schedule (as hard as it may be).
  2. Basic stretching, breathing exercises and meditation can help reduce stress and facilitate a better night’s sleep.
  3. Limit screen time or watch something light (i.e. reruns of comedies) before you close your eyes.
  4. Read a magazine or book (so you have a little escape rather than getting caught in an endless web wormhole!). Using blue light glasses helps reduce eye fatigue and makes getting shut-eye a bit easier.
  5. Make your bedroom a sanctuary (you deserve it!): Light a lavender candle. Treat yourself to linens you love, pajamas that feel like clouds, a silky, soothing eye mask, and anything that brings you a sense of calm. If you tend to get warm at night, cooling sheets and white noise from a machine or fan might just do the trick. Also, a cool mist humidifier creates a comfortable, zen-like atmosphere and will do wonders for your skin!
  6. Talk to your doctor about natural sleep aids and supplements as well as looking into therapy. Be an advocate for yourself!

Please reach out to me for any guidance I can give you to help you get a better night’s sleep, and if you have any tips or tricks, please share them with me! Find links to all my sleep hacks here.

Sleep well and always dream BIG!

XO, Tamsen

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