Monday, June 10, 2019

Bedtime Essentials for Better Sleep

As a lifelong insomniac, I have always had trouble with my sleep. Whether it was falling asleep or staying asleep, I struggled to get enough sleep on a daily basis. This along with the fact that I was a graduate student trying to manage internships, classes, work, and somewhat of a social life was a recipe for a disaster. I was constantly tired, but when it came to actually sleeping, I found myself tossing and turning as soon as I laid down. It wasn't unusual for me to sleep 3-4 hour nights before going into my internship placement. I know this wasn't the healthiest, and trust me when I say I suffered both physically and mentally because of this.

Now that I have graduated from school, I have found more time to focus on myself and my well-being. And, sleep is one of those things that I am making a priority. I'm still working on managing internal things that affect my sleep, such as stress, but I have found some things that I could do externally to help me with my sleep. I've tried many different items, from pills to special scents, to help me with my sleep throughout college, and these are a few of the items that I have found to have had the best effect on my quality of sleep.

Eyemask Bedtime Essentials for Better Sleep
Cat Eye mask

One of the most important items for me when I want to get a better sleep at night is an eye mask. As a light sleeper, any amount of sunlight wakes me up. Light often came into my room early in the morning due to the location of my room. My room windows faced the side where the sun would come up. This eye mask solves those issues as it protects my eyes from the sun. In addition, this eye mask blocks my eyes from any other sources of light that might come into my room at night, such as through the cracks of my door.

For eye mask recommendations, I suggest you look for an eye mask that has an adjustable strap in the back. This is important so that you can make the mask fit you comfortably. In the past, I made this mistake and often had eye mask that were too loose or too tight for my head, creating an uncomfortable experience. If possible, I also recommend trying the eye mask on before buying. I know this isn't always going to be possible, but I have had issues where light would seep in from my nose area. If I had tried the mask on, this would be known prior to buying. My current eye mask now is my absolute favorite as it features and adorable design and a cooling feature for my eyes. 

Earplugs Bedtime Essentials for Better Sleep
Sleep Pretty in Pink Earplugs

The next item on my list is earplugs! These have been a personal life saver for me and are probably one of the biggest aids in me being able to fall and stay asleep. As a light sleeper, any sudden noise tends to wake me up or cause me not to fall asleep. The noises could be as simple as footsteps or someone cooking to people talking, but they all affect my ability to sleep. Using earplugs helps solve this issue since they block out the majority of everyday noises so that I am able to sleep.

When it comes to earplugs, I know some people may be worried about missing their alarm because earplugs drown out noise right? I had the same fear when I started using earplugs, but I was desperate to drown out sleep, so I tested things out over the weekend. To my surprise, I really didn't have an issue with this at all like I had thought. Earplugs are meant to drown out noise, but your phone alarm is next to you (usually) and loud enough that it won't be drowned out. Plus, a phone has vibration to it when it rings so that helps wake you up as well. My suggestion when it comes to this is to do a test run over a weekend and see how you react. 

Blackout Curtains Grommet Top Thermal Insulated
VEEYOO Blackout Thermal Insulated Curtains

Veeyoo Blackout Curtains Grommet Top Thermal Insulated Review
VEEYOO Blackout Thermal Insulated Curtains

Veeyoo Blackout Curtains Review
VEEYOO Blackout Thermal Insulated Curtains

The next item on my list are these blackout curtains from VeeYoo®. I was in the market for new curtains, and VeeYoo graciously offered to send me a set. I did some research prior to agreeing and found VeeYoo reviews on google to be overall positive, making me feel confident in this collaboration. I'm currently in the process of preparing for a move and my new room has this large beautiful window that lets me look outside during the day. While this is great in the summer, it also means that light comes in very easily once the sun rises. The curtains that are currently used at this apartment are sheer white. Again it's beautiful, but just not practical for a light sleeper like me, which is why I chose to purchase a set of these blackout curtains that not only block out light, but also keep my room cool. 

This particular set is in the color navy blue. It's pretty dark in person, but when I look closely, I can see the blue color pop out. What I love about this particular set of curtains is the fact that it is triple woven meaning light does not go through at all and heat is blocked. There are also ties that help keep the curtains closed preventing light from going through the cracks. Honestly, with these curtains, my room can be completely dark in the middle of the day which is so helpful for me when I am trying to fall asleep. I do recommend these curtains from VeeYoo if you want a dark room to help you sleep. In addition to curtains, the site also sells VeeYoo® table clothsVeeYoo® Bathrobes, and VeeYoo® table runners. After my move to my new apartment, I will definitely be looking into the site to help me purchase some of my home essentials! 

Bigelow Tea Sweet Dreams Better Sleep
Bigelow Sweet Dreams Herbal Tea

Finally, the last item on my bedtime essentials list is herbal tea. In the past, I've never believed in the power of tea, but this changed once I entered my graduate year. I think part of the reasons it works is because of the fact that it forces you to slow down, sit, and just focus on the moment. I know that I am always "Go, go, go" during the day, but when it comes to making and drinking my tea, I take a step back. The tea that I have been loving lately is from Bigelow and it's the Sweet Dreams blend. It's all natural and caffeine free. The caffeine free part is something to look out for with tea because you don't want extra caffeine in your system when you are trying to fall asleep!

Bedtime Essentials for Better Sleep
Bedtime Essentials for Better Sleep
Sleep is important. This is a message I have learned the hard way, and now that I am out of graduate school, I am putting my sleep on the top of my priority list. From learning to take care of my internal self to getting external items to help my sleep, I have been able to improve my sleep quality and quantity. It's taking time, but I am starting to experience the benefits of getting enough sleep. If you are currently struggling with getting quality sleep, give some of these bedtime essentials a try and see if it will help you get a better nights rest! 
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