Favorite Things That Help Me Stay Asleep

Favorite Things That Help Me Stay Asleep

My Best Tips For the Most Restful Sleep

Beauty Sleep is a thing, and we all love to feel beautiful. I just got back from the salon, I have on my makeup, I’m dressed and those things all make me feel beautiful. But when I don’t get good sleep, my eyes and face are puffy, I get circles under my eyes and I just look tired because I am so tired.

Everything is so much better when you get some sleep, and that is the truth. Last week I shared things that help me go to sleep and not wake up early, but even then, no matter how much sleep I got, I woke up feeling like I needed a nap.

And that’s been true my whole life, even since I was a little girl. I used to think that everybody just wakes up happy and perky and bouncing out of bed. That didn’t happen for me, so today I’m going to share things that have improved the quality of my sleep and help me wake up feeling so much more rested.

This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.

Medical Tape

I recently read (and re-read and read again, and then one more time for good measure) a book called Breath, by James Nestor, and it has changed my life. There are so many things that I was able to easily incorporate from this book.  The simplest thing that made the biggest impact is I started taping my mouth shut at night. Apparently, I mouth breathe at night, probably because my retainer is so big it’s hard to close my lips over it.

According to Nestor,

"Mouth breathing causes the body to lose 40 percent more water. I felt this all night, every night, waking up constantly parched and dry. You’d think this moisture loss would decrease the need to urinate, but the opposite was true.

During the deepest, most restful stages of sleep, the pituitary gland secretes hormones that control the release of adrenaline, endorphins, growth hormones and other substances like vasopressin, which communicates with cells to store more water. This is how animals can sleep through the night without feeling thirsty or needing to relieve themselves.

But if the body has inadequate time in deep sleep, as it does when it experiences chronic sleep apnea, vasopressin won’t be secreted normally. The kidneys will release water, which triggers the need to urinate and signals to our brains that we should consume more liquid. We get thirsty, and we need to pee more. A lack of vasopressin explains not only an irritable bladder, but the constant, seemingly unquenchable thirst every night."

Before I taped my mouth shut, I got up to pee as few as three times and as many as ten times a night. It was my full-time night job, but I already had a day job, so it wasn’t working out. Now I rarely get up to pee, and if I do, it’s only once, and it’s because I drank a bunch of water at bedtime.

The medical tape that I use is very gentle. It’s meant to go on the skin, and what I like about this particular brand is it rips off really easily and I don’t have to cut it with scissors. I just put it over my lips, leaving a corner open on each side, and it stays on all night long. It only took me a couple of nights to get used to it, and now I don’t even notice or feel it. Some of my kids are doing this now, too and their sleep has improved dramatically.

So this has been a game changer for me and I have been telling everybody I know to read this book. I listened to it on an audio book first, it’s a very well-done audio book. But I wanted to make notes and mark it up, so I bought the physical copy and I’ve been going through that and it’s life changing, I’m telling you. And it’s fascinating, it’s such a good read.

Reduce Your Stress

All of the stress we cope with can certainly impact our quality of sleep, and if you’re like many women out there, struggling to feel beautiful can emotionally weigh you down or even keep you up at night. Stress shows in your face and it also just makes us feel bad. And when we feel bad, we don’t look our best. It’s a viscous cycle that I want to help you escape from. 

I have a question for you. Does your typical shopping experience go like this? You see something you love, you find it in your size, you try it on and you look in the mirror and it doesn’t look the same on you as it does on Instagram. You leave the store disappointed and berating your body. Then you move on to the next store and it starts all over again. Sometimes you spend hours doing this and never buy a single thing, or worse, you buy anything just to go home with something and feel like you didn’t waste your time. But, you don’t like it and it doesn’t really fill the hole that you were trying to fill. You tell yourself, “it shouldn’t be so hard for me to find clothes that make me feel beautiful. Something must be wrong with me.” Or you spend too much time trying to change your body to match the current trends and styles instead of finding clothes that are meant to fit your body. And the results are crash diets, punishing workouts and honestly, worse.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, I’m so sorry you have felt that way, and unfortunately you’re not alone. Stories like this are all too common, and it’s heartbreaking because it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not you. It’s the clothes. And once you understand how that works, you’ll know how to build a wardrobe you love and find clothes that match your beautiful body shape. And it really is beautiful!

Putting together beautiful outfits and going shopping become a breeze, and that whole level of stress disappears. Stories like these are why I created Perfectly Put Together and Style Your Silhouette to help you have a different story, a better story, a happy story.

I’ve been in your shoes and I hated my body growing up. I was too thin because I had no curves, but then I got the wrong curves and I was told I needed to take care of that. After having babies, there was a lot of pressure from society and the media to look like I did before I had children.

Once the light bulb went off for me that my body has been perfect in every incarnation, it’s always been perfect, my life changed forever. And it can happen for you, too. You don’t have to feel this way anymore, and you can change your story that’s going through your head. When you take the Perfectly Put Together and Style Your Silhouette courses,  you can be more confident in your style and learn to love and dress the body you have today just like the of thousands of women who have taken these courses.

That adds up to more confidence and less stress in every aspect of your life. See what Kay had to say about her experience, because I think you’ll understand and relate to it. 

When I get messages like that from my students, it fills my heart. So I want you to understand me. You are perfect exactly the way you are. And I want you to see it too, and shine through your style. You can learn more about both of these courses at StunningStyle.com/LastChance. Why is it last chance? Because the prices of these courses are dramatically going up on October 1st, and I want you to be able to get the best deal possible and have the opportunity to purchase before the price increases. And not only that, when you bundle both courses together, you’ll get an additional 10% off. I’ve never bundled these courses like this and offered this kind of discount, so I want you to know you can do this and I want to help you be the best you possible.

Shakti Mat and Pillow

The bed of spikes is an ancient healing practice that has been used in India for over 3,000 years. 20 minutes is all it takes. Common uses are for pain and stress relief, muscle tension, soothing headaches and deeper sleep. The premium acupressure pillow provides additional relief and targeted stimulation to the neck, shoulders and upper back. Born out of extensive research in the Himalayas by a yogi studying the ancient nail bed.

Mr. Stunning ordered a Shakti Mat for himself and he loved it from day one, so I decided to try it. And I HATED IT. I lay on it for the full 20 minutes and couldn’t WAIT to get off. My back looked like an orange peel. After a hiatus, I decided to try again with a t-shirt on, which they recommend if it’s too strong. That was pretty good. I was concerned it would damage my tee, but it didn’t. Different t-shirts allow more or less intensity through them.

Once I found myself pressing as hard as I could to get a deeper experience, I knew it was time to try bare-skinned again. The first five minutes it was uncomfortable, but after that it felt good. Now I lay on it a minimum of 20 minutes, and as much as 40 or 50 minutes, and last night I was wishing I could sleep on it all night! Some people fall asleep for several hours, which is fine, but it’s not recommended to stay on it all night.

What benefits have I seen? From the very first night I got more restful sleep, and because I track my sleep with a device, I knew I was previously getting only 45 minutes of deep sleep a night, and that first night I got 1.5 hours of deep sleep. Now I get anywhere from 2.5 to 3 hours of deep sleep a night.

According to goodtoknow.com

Deep Sleep is a period of sleep that takes place before dreaming. It is called deep sleep as this is when we are least likely to wake up early and are often enjoying our deepest slumber.

“Deep Sleep is a stage of sleep that we move into after about 20-25 minutes of falling asleep and it is very important to our physical recovery. It is when growth hormone is released and where our organs, muscles and cells repair,” he adds. “And it’s where the process of consolidating memory starts and where our body releases chemicals that boost your immune system. It is advisable for an adult to get 1 to 3 hours of deep sleep per 8 hours of nightly sleep each night,” says Sleep Geek James.

This amount is key to feeling rested, staying healthy and waking up happy.

Using the mat also helps me feel sleepy and go to sleep more quickly, but if I get up and do things, it goes away. So I recommend being 100% ready for bed so that all you have to do is roll off and put it down. I fold it in thirds and tuck it between my nightstand and bed until morning when I put it away in the nightstand drawer. I don’t want to step on it in the morning.

The sleep changes are enough to make this more than worth it, and I’ve sung their praises to everyone I know. The next benefit I’ve received is pain relief in my neck and back. I had a chronic case of coat hanger pain, which means my upper back and neck always hurt, which meant tension headaches.

I had painful knots in my muscles, and constant neck pain. My neck range of motion was terrible, and I usually turned my entire torso if I needed to look too far to the side, like when changing lanes. While massages helped temporarily, they didn’t resolve it, but the Shakti Pillow did.

Now my neck and shoulder pain is gone, the tension headaches are history, and I feel so much better. Last week when I was traveling, I took the mat but not the pillow because of space constraints in my suitcase, and the neck and shoulder pain were back. After one night of using it again, they are gone!

Next step is to try it on some other body parts like my knees and elbows, which are inflamed from rowing, but I need to figure out the logistics. We both love the Shakti mat so much that we quickly decided to get his and hers. We use it right before bedtime, so one of us was staying up later to have a turn. Getting the Shakti Mat and Pillow set saves 22% off buying them separately.

Proudly handcrafted in India using organically certified cotton and dyes that meet the leading processing standard for organic fibers and social criteria. Backed by fair wage employment and charity donations, made by people, for people - Shakti is an acupuncture mat you'll feel good on and good about.

After Dinner Snack

I used to struggle with waking up in the night, around three in the morning like clockwork, and then I would struggle to go back to sleep. I mean, like I was awake awake, not just slightly awake. I’d be awake for a while, and then sometimes I’d wake up at five again and then I couldn’t go back to sleep. 

One of my doctors told me it’s because my blood sugar was crashing. My kids were younger at the time, and so we ate dinner around 5:30pm because they went to bed at seven. I’m just not a snacker, largely out of laziness. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to have to decide what to snack. I don’t want to get it out, clean it up and put it away. I just never have been a snacker. So once we finished dinner at 5:30, I was done eating for the day and that’s a long stretch to go before eating again. And he said, my blood sugar was crashing, my body thought it was an emergency and I needed to wake up and get some food. And so that’s why I was waking up.

He told me to start eating a snack around 9:00pm. Even though eating too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep, this was disrupting my sleep much more. So I started eating apple slices with almond butter or sun butter and then I put pretzels on top. It’s a creamy, crunchy, delicious combo of fat, protein and carbs. And so I would eat one of those before bedtime and it stopped immediately. Another option is to drink casein protein powder, just making a quick it mixes up really well in a shaker bottle. You don’t really have to use the blender for it. Casein is a very slow digesting protein, so it also helps you feel full through the night.

It doesn’t have to be those snacks, but just eating something a little later in the evening, if you’re waking up in that 3 to 4:00 range, might help. Always talk to your doctor first.

I really hope that these tips and the one’s I shared last week help you with improving your sleep. Waking up and feeling exhausted has been a lifetime issue for me, not only getting enough deep sleep, but going to sleep and staying asleep. This has been a long journey of over a decade for me, so I’m thrilled that I have found things that help me.

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