I always wondered why people got so stressed out around Christmas time, but I get it this year. Tying up loose ends at work, creating timely holiday content for the blog, purchasing gifts for family members and planning our upcoming travel take up most of each day. By the time I get to bed, I am wiped – yet I also feel like I’ve barely paid attention to my spouse, my pets, and my home. Anxiety rises. Guilt sets in. Sleep suffers. Who else is with me?
The struggle to juggle is real for us as women, and it’s exhausting isn’t it? Let me tell you though, limited sleep is the number one thing that will send you over the edge into a downward spiral when you feel overwhelmed. When life is jam-packed, now is NOT the time to compromise on rest.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION DOWNWARD SPIRAL
Any of this sound familiar when you’re sleep-deprived? Sallow, ruddy skin. Sunken, dark eyes. You are the CRANKIEST human alive. Your ability to form rational thoughts and be friendly even suffer. You lose motivation to exercise and to eat well. You can’t concentrate at work or get anything done.
Lack of sleep literally sets off a domino effect with negative and lasting impact. I read an article once explaining that sleep was the time your brain literally washes itself. If you don’t sleep, it gets and stays dirty, so to speak – and the dirt/chemicals build up and actually degrade your thinking and ability to do so rationally. That’s a massive paraphrase, but you get the idea.
BETTER BEAUTY SLEEP
I started focusing on improving the quality of my rest about a year ago (see the Changing My Life post here!). Since then, I have a lot less meltdowns when things get rough. I started one night at a time – yes, baby steps are key to success – and really began to hone in on what works for me. Actually, a lot of things do depending on where I am or the type of stress I’m under.
This is my comprehensive tried-and-true list of recommendations for better ‘beauty’ sleep. Because none of us want premature aging up in here now do we? It may seem WAY OVER THE TOP. And it is – and yes, sometimes I use ALL of these.
- Sleep Time App – This is a great sleep app that measures when you are awake, in deep sleep and in light sleep. It wakes you up within a 30 minute window of your alarm time based on when will be the easiest for you to come out of sleep so that you are least exhausted.
- Limit Screen Time Before Bed – This is the hardest one but the number one thing I’ve seen recommended for better sleep. I’m still working on it but I agree with the experts that I’m less restless when I read an actual book.
- Bed Time Yoga – When sleep has been really hard for me, I’ve done a few restorative yoga poses before bed to calm down and let my body stretch and settle.
- Calming Spray – Evan thinks this is a bunch of hooey, but magnesium spray is really calming, and it’s a nutrient we don’t get enough of. I like to spray a little on my pillow and me before bed.
- White Noise Machine – Can’t sleep without it. This Homedics machine is my number one – I will even travel with it! If I forget it at home, I’ll run the fan in a hotel room all night for the noise, or…
- Ear Plugs – These definitely work when you’re in a house you don’t know – like at a relative’s home for Christmas and there are noises you don’t recognize. I don’t wear these all the time at home because I get a little anxious that I wouldn’t be able to hear fire alarms – and anxiety messes up your sleep so that’s to be avoided!
- Journal your late-night anxieties – If you do wake up at 3am thinking about all the things you can do absolutely nothing about, write them down. I’ve found that getting them out of my head and onto paper allows me to lay down that burden until morning. My Ink & Volt planner is my lifeline and has journal pages in the back.
- Socks – Warm feet are the ticket, especially in winter! Waking up in the middle of the night because you are cold could be linked to warmth escaping from feet. Try sleeping with cozy socks (just got these at H&M) for a few nights – you’ll probably kick them off at first but I notice a difference when I don’t sleep with them.
- Crystal – Himalayan Salt crystal lamps are known to improve air quality. It could be a bunch of hooey but it’s a pretty lamp!
- Sleep Mask – I never thought I’d be able to wear one of these but after a couple nights, I got used to it, and now I really need it to sleep. I prefer satin masks with soft fleece on the inside – foamy fabrics scratch your precious facial skin – not good.
- Meditation – I mean how many times do we have to read that meditation has a million great benefits. Better sleep is one of them. I love the Calm app for its short sessions – you can choose calming, anxiety, gratitude, forgiveness. I’ve done them all and also love the background sound options too!
- Relax by the Tree – Ha – isn’t this just the obvious one. But at this time of year, what if you just turned off all the lights and sat by the Christmas tree staring into space before bed. It’s pretty magical.
- Special PJs – Soft fabrics feel good! Feeling good helps you relax and it makes going to sleep a little special. If you’re a gal who likes outfits, why not spread that love to your night clothes? Target has the cutest pjs at good prices!
- Wind-down Skincare Ritual – Each night, make a special ceremony out of cleaning your face and applying all the many creams and serums and tonics and such. Rituals can help you relax, and self-care gives you just a little more satisfaction and a little less anxiety. My current pre-bed skincream obsession is the LXMI Pure Nilotica Melt. I put it on my face, hands, feet, elbows, knees and nails before bed!
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you choose to buy anything from these links I may get a small commission, which helps keep Belle Meets World up and running… so thank you!