Top Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

IMG_0315I am a sleeping machine – I function at my best when I have at least eight hours of sleep. If I can sneak an extra hour or hour and a half more in, I would. Usually, I’ll start to wind down around 9:00 PM, with the hopes of falling asleep by 9:30–10:00. I wake up between 6-6:30 AM, but some mornings I sleep in a little later, not getting out of bed until 7:00 AM (something that I’m drastically trying to change, #sunrises right?).

I’m generally a pretty good sleeper, but some nights it’s hard for me to get to sleep and I toss and turn, eventually passing out hours after I initially intended to. Our bedroom is right above a pretty major highway in the city, so it can get loud at times. Not to mention the fact that we have huge windows that span an entire wall in the bedroom and while the view is breathtaking, it also means that tons of light pollution invades our sanctuary at night. All of the skyscrapers and skyline buildings have lights on them, and some even have rotating pictures that create flashes at night. Because of this, it’s never truly dark in our room.

I’ve found some really amazing tips and lifestyle changes that have helped me fall asleep, stay asleep and feel more energized the next morning. I hope that they help you get the rest that your body needs!

  1. WAKE UP WHEN YOUR ALARM GOES OFF.
    I know, I know. It’s hard to leave your warm bed, so you hit snooze when your alarm buzzes at the crack of dawn. But now it’s an hour later, your alarm has gone off 5 times by now, and you’re almost late to work. I’ve fallen into this cycle more times than not, wanting to sneak a few more Zzzz’s in before I start my day. But the fact of the matter is, the quality of sleep that you think you’re getting by hitting the snooze button isn’t that good, at all! Think about it as if you’re taking consecutive little naps, being woken up every 10 minutes or so. I’ve found that this actually makes me more tired and groggy throughout the day. My logic here is: the earlier that you wake up, the earlier you’ll be ready for sleep at night. If I wake up at 5:00 AM, by 9:00 PM I’m exhausted and ready to get a good nights sleep. But if I don’t wake up until 8:30 AM, by 9:00 PM I’ve barely been awake for 12 hours – so I won’t fall asleep until 11:00 or 12:00 AM.
  2. WORK OUT, FIRST THING.
    Trust me, this is much easier to say than do. Not only is this good for your health, but it helps you burn more energy (and raise your metabolism, #winning). For me, I find that working out in the morning energizes me throughout my day. The chemicals that your body releases when you start to move your body help you feel more awake and alert. Some people complain about the mid-day crash that happens when you work out first thing in the morning. However, I’m here to tell you that that eventually fades away. Your body becomes more accustom to your rhythms and habits, stabilizing over time. Think about it, do you really want to work out at night when you get home from work? You’re going to energize your mind and body just hours before you’re supposed to be resting.

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3. ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER.
I actually got this for my boyfriend for Christmas, but it turns out that we equally love it! Each night, we’ll put it on about an hour before we’re ready to go to sleep, and then we’ll keep it on throughout the night. This thing may be small, but it is mighty. It smells the whole room up, filling it with whatever essential oil we fill it with it. I got this on Amazon – it’s the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Ultrasonic Humidifer. It’s seriously amazing – there are two buttons one for light, and one for mist. There are 7 different mood lights, with two variations (bright/dim), so 14 different colors altogether. The mist has two different settings, continuous and intermittent. The continuous mode last for 7-9 hours if you fill it up all of the way, intermittent will last you about 9-11 hours if you fill it up all of the way. Pouring water into here is easy, this oil diffuser comes with a transportable measuring cup so that you don’t have to plug and unplug the unit.

4. PICK THE RIGHT ESSENTIAL OILS.
The pack of essential oils that we have comes with 14 different oils – it’s called the Artizen Aromatherapy Top 14 Essential Oil Set. Each bottle is a different oil and is 5ml, considering you only need around 6-10 drops of oil per diffusing session, this pack will last you a very long time. For night time use, our favorite oils to diffuse are the “Stress Relief”, “Muscle Relief”, and of course “Good Night” scents. However, for the day time, I love mixing Peppermint and Lavender. If I want the room to just all-around smell nice, I’ll diffuse the Sweet Orange or Lemon scents. I love diffusing before bed because it helps relax your mind and body through aromatherapy, putting you in the perfect mindset to get a full nights rest.

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5. NO BLUE LIGHT BEFORE BED – USE APPLE’S NIGHT MODE.
THIS IS SO HUGE! If you’re not already utilizing Night Mode on your iPhone, please implement this right away. Our phones naturally give off a blue light, a type of light that has been linked to directly affecting sleep patterns. The blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that is produced by our bodies that regulates sleep. Our phones, TV’s and computers all emit blue light – I know how much we all love to scroll through our phones at night right before we’re about to fall asleep. I’m not saying don’t do it, all I’m saying is to do it carefully. Apple created Night Mode that alters your phones settings to emit warmer toned light, helping to not disrupt your sleep schedule. You can schedule your phone to automatically turn on Night Mode, I have mine activated between 7:30 PM – 6:00 AM. You can easily find this by going to Settings, and typing Night Mode into the search bar. 

6. PUT DOWN THE PHONE, PICK UP A BOOK.
Elaborating on my prior tip, I think that it’s important to put our phones down before bed. I know how addicting the cyber world can get, it swallows you whole and then spits you back out 2 hours later. Something that I’ve been trying to do recently is to not look at my phone 1 hour before bed. I’ll pick up a book and read, which helps me fall asleep at night. I think a large reason why so many people can’t fall asleep at night is because we’re so wrapped up in our cyber, social media worlds. We compare ourselves to each other, to celebrities, to random people we see online. These thoughts turn into us feeling sorry for ourselves, or pity and send us into overthinking mode. I think it’s healthy for everyone to detach from social media at some point throughout the day.

 

I hope these tips helped you guys! Let me know your thoughts and routines on how to achieve the best night sleep possible!

 

It’s Time To Have A Talk With The Person Staring Back At You In The Mirror.

I’ve always been my own harshest critic – talking myself out of or down from things before I even start them. This year, I made a vow to myself to work on that. I needed to become more aware of how hard I was being on myself without even knowing it. That little voice inside of my head? Yeah, well it was no longer serving me to say the least.

You know, that voice that beats you up when you make a mistake. The same one who is overly critical of your actions or in-actions. The same one who’s always talking the loudest, yet producing the least amount of action.

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I don’t know why I’m always so hard on myself – is it a habit that I formed, or is it a natural human behavior that’s been ingrained in our DNA for ages. Sometimes I think, “Wow, is everyone this hard on themselves?” And to be completely honest… yeah, I do think that we’re all our own harshest critics. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things that we do right AND wrong. We harp on the tiniest of things for days, yet don’t take time to celebrate those little wins we gain daily.

Not only are we too worried of what others will think of us, but we’re even more worried of what we’ll think about ourselves. How many people have taken a good hard look at themselves in the mirror and thought, “Am I a good person?” Am I acting each day in a way that serves others. Am I being a good friend, a good lover, a good partner, a good teammate? Am I spreading joy, or poisoning my sphere with negativity.

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I’m not saying let’s get all mushy-gushy. What I am saying saying is, let’s get honest. Let’s get authentic. Let’s get real. With ourselves first, and then with others second.

Please believe me when I say that I believe positivity is a learned behavior. Some people are more genetically predisposed to be positive than others. But it’s our duty to become hyperaware of this, and be consciously positive. We owe it not only to others, but more importantly to ourselves.

So, let’s continue to confront that little voice in our heads together. The one that prevents us from feeling the greatest happinessjoy, love and connection. Negative self-talk is one of the few things that stands in the way between us and truly connecting with others.

After all, life is about connection – it’s one of our basic, primal needs. We want to feel like we belong and that we’re connected to one another. But that can only start when we become more aware of that little voice inside of our heads that wants to prevent us from doing so.

2017.

Wow, what a year it has been—I feel like I’ve lived 10 years in these past 12 months, growing and changing every single day.

I thought that I would wrap this year up by looking into the future—not the past. Here are some things that I want to take into the new year with me.

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1. MORE Self Love
I feel like this is on my list every year, and there’s a reason for that. It’s because it’s so damn important. We live in a society where the standard is “not enough”. We’re never making enough money, we don’t have enough time, we’re not pretty enough, we’re not smart enough, we don’t have it all together so we’re not enough. These are all things that we’ve heard adults say our whole lives, and then we grow up and we start saying them ourselves.

To me, this way of thinking is literally poison and believing these things because everyone else does is just aiding to the problem, not solving it. I know that we all have our moments where we want to feel pity for ourselves. It’s easier to complain than it is to be positive and change your thought patterns. But I say SCREW THAT—YOU are enough. I am enough. WE are enough. We need to shift our society’s belief pattern, and that starts with ourselves. I am going to continue on my path to ultimate self-love: being kind to myself, pushing myself just as much as I push others, being bold, being brave and most importantly putting myself first. What use are you to those around you when you’re not living your best life and being your best self.

2. Be More Conscious of Unconscious Stressors
Traffic, bad sleeping habits, bad eating habits, not taking enough alone time, other people’s problemsnegativity that lives in our spheres. All of these things are stressors that surround us daily—it’s our job to acknowledge them, and then live consciouslyOne of the biggest lessons that my boyfriend taught me this year is to set intentions around your actions: have purpose behind what you say and what you do. Other people’s demands and expectations are actually the monsters that live under your bed—they will consume your life if you live unconsciously. Please be more aware of this, I know that I certainly will be.

3. Let Go
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in the past year is learning to let go. I will be the absolute first to admit that this is hard for me. I’m in a constant battle with my mind to fight over-analyzing—playing out every scenario and writing my own irrational script. I am going to continue my pursuit of letting go of expectations, perfectionism, and wanting to have all of the answers before I make a leap. Letting go of the the past, letting go of what other people think about me, letting go of those things that no longer serve me.

4. Be Assertive
One of the greatest gifts that I was given in this lifetime is my compassion for others. I’m able to feel extreme depths of emotion not only for myself, but for the people in my life. However, that compassion has also led to a habit that doesn’t serve me at times—passivity. Some of the greatest changes and accomplishments that I have made in this past year were when I was asserting my values, standards and commanding the life that I want to live. In 2018, I am going to continue pushing past my passivity, speaking up and not being afraid to be vulnerable.

5. Take More Risks & Be Fearless
That comfort bubble is way too easy to stay inside—it’s safe, familiar and predictable. Some of the most empowering moments for me this past year came in those heart racing, sweaty palm moments. Mel Robbins lives by the 3-second rule, she says that you have 3 seconds to ACT and take action before your brain starts to talk you out of whatever you’re choosing to do. I want to thrive within those three seconds, continue to do the uncomfortable because what lies beyond those three seconds is worth it.

2017 was the year I needed. There were some huge lessons that I needed to learn. Better yet, there were even bigger issues lying in my closet—things that I needed to be faced with. 2017 was the year that I could no longer suppress those things, and the craziest part is that I didn’t even know that I was suppressing them. So many times I had to have really tough conversations with myself, be raw and truthful. But each time, I became an even closer version to my best self.

I’m so excited for what this new year has in store for all of us 🖤

Let’s Do The Awkward Small Talk

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I guess that it’s only fitting that I write my first blog post on why I’m even blogging in the first place! So let’s start out by getting to know each other—my name is Emily, I’m 22 years old + live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was born on the first day of spring + was once told that life progresses in seasons. So it’s only fitting that I was born on the first day of the season that’s supposed to renew and regrow our earth. I’m a Pisces, an ENFJ—shoutout to all of my ENFJ friends (figure out your personality type: here) + a starving creative looking for an outlet.

I recently graduated college, got my first “big girl” job—yes I’m currently “adulting” + I love it! There’s nothing better than getting your first real job, moving out on your own + becoming self sufficient for the first time, EVER. But this past year has been nothing short of a learning curve for me. From the confusion of graduating college, not knowing what the future was going to hold for me, to accepting my first job + being thrown into the real world.

I’ve always been that type of cliche “fall down seven times, stand up eight“. However, nothing compares to this past year.

Basically, I started blogging because regardless of how much I try to deny it, I’m a creative minded person by nature. I’ve always found solace in expressing my creativity through words—words that I hope move people. I’m definitely an emotional writer (see there’s that ENFJ coming out). I realized that there was something major lacking in my life + I had a scary ah-ha moment—I needed to express myself, for my own sanity.

I played tug of war with my emotions for a while, I was so scared to be vulnerable + put myself out there. Mostly because I was scared of myself—scared to confront those lingering fears I know that I have. I’ve always hid behind others, in the shadows of those I care about—pushing them to go after their dreams. All along, I realized that I was really just hiding behind them because I was afraid to step outside of my own comfort zone… which conflicts with EVERYTHING that I tell everyone else.

Me To Everyone Else
— “OMG, do it… You’re so captivating, you need to start a YouTube channel.”
— “Seriously, you’re so talented… You should open an ETSY shop!”
— “You’re applying to grad school? You’re 100% gonna get in, you’re so smart!”

Me To Myself
— 
“I’ll start a blog next year, by then I’ll have the perfect idea for one.”
— “I don’t have enough time to dedicate to a blog, maybe later.”
— “Well what am I even going to write about, will people even be interested?”

Need I go on? So it was about time that I took my own advice + here we are. I caught myself in a negative mindset trap of self-limiting beliefs. I would psyche myself up, + then talk myself out of it… seriously, it was more terrifying than the little kid rollercoasters at the Jersey shore. I decided that enough was enough—I had to listen to myself, give myself the true permission to be vulnerable + take a leap of faith.

Still reading? I hope so… or else my self-limiting beliefs will really come true (à la, law of attraction)… I’m only kidding (halfway). Anyways, that just about sums it up… You’ll find everything from the latest books that have inspired me, to fashion steals + beauty finds. Basically, this is kind of like that catch-all on your vanity—a little bit of everything, all of the small pieces that make up my life. I’m on a journey of self-discovery, + I hope that you’ll join me. My only wish is that you find a little bit more of your truth along the way.

Xo,
All My Best