Sharing my Night Routine Tips + Why Sleep is SO Important to Me!

This blog post is sponsored by CVS Pharmacy, and all opinions are my own


If someone were to ask me what I prioritize when it comes to my health, I would say that sleep is definitely in my top three. I knew Kyle was my soulmate when I learned he loved falling asleep at 9 pm and rising before the sun. Sleep is everything to me, and it’s so essential for overall health. If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I find myself hungrier, crankier, and less motivated the next day. I’m so happy to be partnering with CVS Pharmacy, one of my favorite companies, to help bring awareness to the importance of sleep by joining their sleep campaign, #DontSleepOnSelfCare! Do you remember when Daylight Savings Time happened last week? I’m sure you heard so many people complaining about losing that hour of sleep, and how it affected them, well they weren’t wrong! Even one hour of sleep can throw you off, so making sleep a part of your self-care routine can benefit you in so many ways!

I’ve made a lot of changes to my sleep schedule this past year. I go through a vigorous routine each evening to make sure I get my best night’s sleep, and I’m excited to share those tips with you today. I hope it inspires you to step up your sleeping routine and work towards those 7-9 hours of sleep per night that you deserve. The tiniest habits can contribute to a better night’s sleep! This week, I’m going to up my sleeping game even more by turning out the lights 45-minutes earlier each evening. I will document how that goes for the next week and share what I experienced in my next Monday recap blog! 

Seven to nine hours of sleep is my ideal range. The reason I’m so proactive in making sure I get a good night’s sleep is that I’m not naturally a “good sleeper.” My body likes to fall asleep a bit later and wake up super duper early (usually getting around 6 hours of sleep.) When I practice better self-care sleeping habits, I easily get that 7-9 hour sleep.

I start these habits in the morning. The first thing I do is make the bed! I know it may seem silly but diving into a made bed at the end of the day makes things more comfortable and cozy. After making the bed, I start drinking my daily water intake. I’d rather stay hydrated throughout the day to help me from waking up in the middle of the night thirsty or having to rush to the bathroom because I drank water too late in the evening. See, even your morning routine can affect your sleeping routine! 😉 And since I’m a coffee drinker, I make sure to have my two cups in the morning and cut off any caffeine after noon! If I have coffee late in the afternoon, I can kiss my Rem cycle goodbye.

I created a goal chart filled with healthy habits that help me obtain a better night’s sleep. When I don’t stick to them, I get stressed, overwhelmed, and those two feelings keep me lying in bed at night, staring at the ceiling. Taking my daily vitamins, eating vegetables, and staying hydrated keep me healthy enough to get out on more walks, and reading books give my mind a break from what’s going on in the social media world. These goals were easy for me to obtain, and I love sticking to realistic habits. For me, more vegetables, water, light exercise, vitamins, reading books, and warm bubble baths = fantastic sleep.

CVS Pharmacy has some of my favorite products that encourage better sleep!

One of my biggest tips for sleeping is raising your body temperature with a bubble bath, hot shower, or Warmies. The hot baths relax my body and helps it go into sleep mode. I find that adding Epsom salts to the bath helps me sleep better through the night, too! The Warmies are my latest obsession right now. I struggle with having the coldest feet at night, and sometimes I try to tuck them under Kyle’s body heat to get them to warm up (he jumps up from teh shock of cold!) Whoever invented Warmies deserves the biggest recognition! You microwave the slippers for one minute, put them on your feet, and that warmth goes all the way up your body. I’m adding these to the list of “things I can’t live without.” Some people like to have the air cranked and fan going at night to fall asleep, but I simply need my noise machine, and all the blankets to keep me sleeping at night. I call it “cozy” mode.

Melatonin is a sleeping aid that can help you fall asleep a little faster at night. I only use it if I’m struggling to fall asleep after a long trip, jetlag, or a stressful day. CVS carries a lot of great melatonin options, and a few of my favorite are Nature’s Bounty Goodnight Lovely Softgels, Good Day Chocolates, SleepDream Water, zzQuill Pure Zzzs Melatonin, and Nature’s Bounty Sleep 3.

After my bubble bath (or sometimes during), I’ll have a cup of Be Well Teas – Get Some Zzzs. I’ve been a fan of this tea for a long time, especially when I’m going through the monthly cramps. There’s nothing better than getting in a relaxing mood before bed with a hot cup of tea, an aromatherapy candle, some roll-on Good Nite Essential Oil, and Asutra Mist Your Mood Spray while reading a good book. It’s also helpful to spray some of the Calm Sleep Mist Pillow Spray into the bubble bath. I look forward to my nightly routine every day, and sometimes I’ll eat dinner early so that I can jump to it. And with all the hot water, it’s important to use a nightly cream to prevent dryness! I love the Aveeno Nourish Night Cream. It makes my face feel so smooth and not greasy like a lot of other night creams.
CVS shared an informative Myth or Fact sheet with me that I thought would be fun to share and quiz you all on. I was surprised at how wrong I was with some of the myths! Let me know in the comments if you were surprised at any of these!
You can “cheat” on the amount of sleep you get each night. According to SleepFoundation.org, sleep experts say most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health and safety. When we don’t get adequate sleep, we accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to “pay back” if it becomes too big. The resulting sleep deprivation has been linked to health problems such as obesity and high blood pressure, negative mood and behavior, decreased productivity, and safety issues in the home, on the job, and on the road.
Health problems such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and depression are unrelated to the amount and quality of a person’s sleep.
More and more scientific studies, according to the Cleveland Clinic, have shown a direct correlation between quantity and quality of a person’s sleep and many health problems. For example, insufficient sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity; as the amount of hormone secretion decreases, the chance for weight gain increases. Blood pressure usually falls during the sleep cycle, however, interrupted sleep can adversely affect this normal decline, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Research has also shown that insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes.
More sleep is always better!
It’s recommended that people stick to the 7-9 hour sleep timeline when it comes to their nightly sleep schedule. For the folks who tend to get more than this shouldn’t necessarily be considered lucky, as oversleeping has also been linked to some major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and depression, according to WebMD’s Medical Reference. It also tends to give people more headaches during the day and can put you at risk for becoming overweight.
The older you get, the less sleep you need.
National Sleep Foundation sleep experts stand firm in their recommendation to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The older people get and patterns in life change, sleep should remain a constant to help maintain a healthy body and mind, even if that means catching some Zzzs during a mid-day nap.
Working out at night will make it harder to fall asleep.
In general, people who get more exercise are known to sleep better than those who don’t. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll, only 3% of surveyed adults said they had difficulty sleeping after an intense evening workout whereas the majority who went to sleep an hour and a half after a late workout slept more deeply and awoke fewer times than moderate exercisers.

During sleep, your brain rests!

While the brain certainly is re-charged during a restful night’s sleep, the brain is very much still active during this time, as it’s still controlling multiple body functions including breathing. As most people know, when we sleep we drift between two states of sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM, in 90-minute cycles. According to SleepFoundation.org, non-REM sleep has four stages with distinct features, ranging from stage one drowsiness, when one can be easily awakened, to “deep sleep” stages three and four, when awakenings are more difficult and where the most positive and restorative effects of sleep occur. However, even in the deepest non-REM sleep, our minds can still process information. REM sleep is an active sleep where dreams occur, breathing and heart rate increase and become irregular, muscles relax and eyes move back and forth under the eyelids.
If you can’t sleep in the middle of the night, try relaxing in bed and counting sheep until your doze back into your nightly sleep.Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep is a symptom of insomnia. While counting sheep can be a relaxing exercise for some, some research shows this practice is actually distracting and could be more harmful than helpful. Most sleep experts, confirmed by the National Sleep Foundation, agree that if you cannot fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of waking up, getting out of bed and engaging in a relaxing activity like reading until you feel sleepy is the best approach to getting a more restful night’s sleep if you’re having trouble.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulties falling asleep.
While it’s one of the characteristics of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep is only one of many signs of insomnia. The others include waking up too early and not being able to fall back asleep, frequent awakenings, and waking up feeling unrefreshed. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2002 Sleep in America poll, 58 percent of adults reported at least one symptom of insomnia within a calendar year.


Let me know which ones you got right and which ones you got wrong!

Since sleep is such an important part of health, I encourage you to join me by going to bed 45-minutes earlier! It is such an essential foundation for overall health and wellness and can affect everything from your physical health, mood, stress, cognitive function, energy, mental wellbeing, and more, so what do you have to lose?? I’d love to hear feedback on how you felt after adding in more sleep! I love that CVS Pharmacy is encouraging better sleeping habits, and I’m excited to get some zzz’s! Anyone else craving a bubble bath and a nap after reading this?

Sleep can help you keep your immune system strong, and with everything going on right now in the world, it’s crucial to stay as healthy as possible. I also wanted to share with you that as the “COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, to help provide increased access to medication, CVS is currently waiving the fee for 1-2 day home delivery of prescription medications. During this time, anyone working from home or just looking to make less frequent visits to busy, public places can get their medications delivered from CVS, free of charge.” I hope you stay safe, wash those hands, and be careful!


Questions for you!

  1. Were you shocked by any of the sleeping myths?
  2. What helps you fall asleep at night?
  3. Do you make sleep a priority?

 

Comments

  • Kate

    I love your sleeping tip!

    Reply to Kate
  • Jen

    Thank you for posting this. Between the Coronavirus and hurting my lower back – I need this post and will definately be checking out the products you recommended. Stay Well!

    Reply to Jen
  • Manda

    Sleep has been a goal of mine for awhile and even more so with everything that’s going on! I find that reading a few pages of a book or soothing yoga positions help me to go to sleep. I’ll try to get to bed an extra 45 minutes early-great idea!

    Reply to Manda
  • Susie

    We live in a society that praises ‘the grind’ and unrelenting work and pulling 20 hours days… but sleep is SO IMPORTANT to our mental/emotional/physical health!

    Not to mention, we’ve become pretty obsessed with fitness lately and the vast majority of muscle repair happens when you’re sleeping because this is when you get the biggest surge of the hormone that promotes muscle growth/repair.

    I definitely make sleep a priority and I’m 100% a better person and teacher the next morning because of it!

    Before I go to sleep I try to pray and list of things I”m grateful for, and that helps ease any anxiety I might have.

    Ben puts his legs up the wall for 10 min (I guess it’s a yoga pose?) and he SWEARS by it!

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re so right about that Susie!

      I love that you pray before bed. I often do that as well 😊 HAHA I’ve actually heard that the leg against the wall pose helps you so much with your hamstrings too!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah Miracle

    This has been a goal of mine this year, get more sleep! Almost as a self care thing! I turn off all electronics at 9pm, and read a book. I’ve been spraying my pillow with a sleep mist! I wish more than anything that I had a bathtub, a bath before bed sounds heavenly! I’m going to have to check out those Warmies!!!

    Reply to Hannah Miracle
  • Katie

    Hi, Taralynn!

    I’ve always been inspired by your sleeping habits and was wondering if your dogs ever wake you up? I think my dogs are the reason I get poor sleep.

    Katie

    Reply to Katie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Katie!

      Yes, sometimes Leo wakes me up because he does sleep with us and he can be wiggle worm, but most of the time I sleep through it. Grumples always sleeps on the floor, but maybe try training your dogs to sleep on the floor? We’ve tried that with Leo and had no luck, but it may work for you lol

      ♥️

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Some of them, yes! My boyfriend works nights, and I’ve noticed that when he sleeps 12 hours straight on his days off, that he can wake up for a couple hours and go back to sleep because he’s “so tired”. It totally makes sense why your body is still “tired” even after so much sleep! I always strive for 7-9 as well, and rarely sleep more or less.

    Yes – sleep is a priority! Some nights when I have a big assignment for my Masters program I stay up a bit later than normal, however I don’t work until 9 AM so it gives me a chance to sleep in if I need it.

    One thing I told myself when I graduated college was that when I had my own place I would make my room a “sanctuary”. No TV in my room, and leave the bed for sleeping. Limit any computer use in bed (I have a chair in my room that I use instead), no eating, etc. Just reading/sleeping! I will say this made a massive impact in my ability to fall asleep at night over the past 5 years. The second my head hits the pillow I’m out!

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Mechela

    I love my 7-9 hours as well. I feel so out of it if I don’t get it! It affects my mood and anxiety so easily.

    I can’t take melatonin. I would always wake up in a panic each night. I was upset for awhile because I couldn’t figure out anything else to help me stay asleep. My mom recommended pure CBD oil. So far so good *knock on wood*!

    Reply to Mechela
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Thanks for sorting out the facts from the myths! Loved this post! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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