Welcome, my dears to part 1 of #TheSizzleSeries. During each segment, I’ll attempt to give you tips, tricks and lovely tidbits regarding each subject. In our first segment, I’ll be covering something that you can’t live without, you can never have too much of (IMO) and something that I think I’m safe in saying we’re all short of after the post-holiday hustle and bustle. That, my amigos, is SLEEP.
Let’s be honest. I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of us sit in front of a computer most of the day for work. And then we come home and look at our cellies, checking Instagram, FB, etc. etc. Then after a thorough social media check-in, we probably settle on the couch for some “Making a Murderer” or general Netflix/Hulu/HBO. AmIright?
All of our time spent in front of screens leads to bad posture; bad gossip and our eyes get worse and worse. I had 20/15 vision till I went to grad school and spent hours and hours writing papers and squinting at my laptop through my sleep deprived bloodshot eyes. I also never owned a TV or had a TV in my room until my Junior year of college when my friend studied abroad and asked me to keep her TV in my room. I know. #nerd
A few years ago I did a total BRAVO cleanse. I cut out any and all reality TV from my life, and I have to say that I really think it’s a great thing to do. All the housewife drama, bachelorette insanity and millionaire matchmaking left my head spinning, claws out and unnecessary stress always ensued.
Ok so why am I babbling on about BRAVO Tv when the topic is sleep?
Our bodies are led by our Circadian rhythm, which was very easily done when we were cavemen and we were up with the sun and down with the sunset. Nowadays, we have all kinds of lights flashing in our face and unnatural lighting throwing off our natural body rhythms and then there’s coffee, sugar and all the other delights we indulge in. All of our devices emit blue light which can interfere with our body’s natural ability to produce Melatonin.
So here are my 2 cents. I’m a very VERY light sleeper, and my sleep patterns vary a ton depending on my stress and activity levels, and also by what I eat on a regular basis. Sadly, the older I get, the more my gut protests after a night of El Tiempo fajitas and queso (but I mean it’s worth it every once in a while).
If you’re a creature of habit, having a night time routine is very helpful.
Mine, (when I’m being good) consists of:
-Get home from work
-Put on workout clothes
-Run/Nike Plus workout
-Small, light dinner
-Hot herbal tea (this is important, try and stay away from anything caffeinated)
-Reading a book or magazine, no screens here.
Nowadays, we have a big dog, demanding jobs, a house to clean, friends to meet for happy hour, workouts to squeeze in and general stress from life. I’m lucky if the above routine happens once a week.
Since we’re all crazy busy, here are some things you can at least try to incorporate no matter what.
-Working out, even if it’s a 15 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood. The Nike Training app is also great because you can pick length, intensity and type of workout. There’s something for everyone, and it’s free!
-Try to stay away from electronics/TV/bright screens at least 30 min before bed. I know, I know. But it really helps.
-Alcohol, believe it or not can affect your sleep. Even though wine makes you sleepy, it often leads to restless sleep, disruptions in REM sleep or poor quality sleep. I try (TRY) to stay away from alcohol 4 days a week (usually Mon-Thurs). But sometimes Thursdays are hard, ok?
-Try to make your habitat as dark and cool as you can. I tend to be of the species that still thinks there are Babadooks and monsters, so total darkness is scary for me. Just try it.
-My new favorite thing is my essential oil diffuser. It puts off a teeny amount of light (which can change color if you’d like it to or no light at all) and I use Lavender Oil. I honestly think it works. The first few nights I really noticed a difference in my sleep and of course it’s nice to have a delicious smelling bedroom. You can buy the diffuser here.
Mr. Sizzle has no problem sleeping anywhere, under any circumstance, no matter what. This makes me very very jealous. However, on the rare occasion that he’s stressed out, or I’ve tossed and turned too much and woken him up, his favorite way to fall asleep is by listening to a podcast. I too have adopted this habit and it really helps! Some of our favorites are:
So there you have it my friends, a rundown of TheSizzle’s Sleep habits and favorite sleepy time products. While it may seem obvious to you to sleep in a dark room, stay away from caffeine, eat something not covered in grease and sugar; we all need little reminders every now and again to help reset our systems.
If you're still not convinced and want to read more about the benefit of sleep, the bad side of blue light and what technology is doing to our bodies; here are some interesting articles that I read and enjoyed. You can read them here, here and here.
That's it for now, stay tuned for part two of #TheSizzleSeries!