A recent CDC study revealed that one in four people are not getting a proper night’s sleep. TGATP was one of them! The combination of the normal hectic pace of New York City Life, the passing of my beloved Mother and the accompanying grief that followed, the sheer magnitude of running a growing Internet magazine and a marketing business while developing other internet concepts and still developing and producing TV shows, my charity work, trying and failing miserably to have an orderly house, trying and also failing equally miserably to eat right and take better care of myself, maintaining sobriety, and the quest for a good man, has completely disrupted my sleep pattern. Most nights, I am up till the wee hours still working then only get about 4-5 hours of , less than restorative, sleep. Thus, I have decided to really work on getting a proper and restful eight hours. To that end, I was blessed to be given a number of excellent sleep aids and advice that I would love to recommend to you, dear TGATP readers.
First up, actually prepare yourself for sleep. Allocate up to an hour and a half for proper sleep prep. This may seem like a long time to those of you, who like me, work till the minute you drop exhausted into bed. But you have to start taking the time now in order to reap the health rewards. I used to think I had a good routine – Clarisonic the face, serum then eye and face cream, brush teeth then Sonicare Air Floss, Morocconoil hair, Revitalash the lashes, etc…. Yet a few nights ago, I realized that I was not actually present while pampering myself. Instead everything was done in a flurry. I was thinking over the day then planning the next, rather than, enjoying the sensations of the moment. Furthermore, I did all this while keeping the TV on in the background for noise. The routine had become a routine. This is no way to wind the body down for sleep and is not relaxing. Because I was not adequately relaxed before sleep, I was waking up still carrying the exhaustion from the day before.
So for the last few nights, I have altered my nightly ritual to include a relaxing bath with One Bath Fizzers, which are a new, eco-friendly line of bath products. Infused with essential oils instead of harmful artificial chemicals and housed in recyclable, biodegradable cardboard cartons, the fizzers offer a luxurious, cooling soak without sending harmful ingredients into the sea.
I follow my bath with ten minutes of head and shoulders massage on my Homedics Shiatsu Massage pillow. Then I tried out a new product that I recently discovered called a Spoonk. Coined after the Pippi Longstocking phrase for “spunk,” the Spoonk is a acupressure pillow with over 6,000 points. These points increase circulation to the tense areas of your body and muscles. The instructions say to start the treatment 10-40 minutes before you want to sleep, so I did. While at first it is a bit weird as you have all these sharp things applying pressure to your body (I lay on my back on it), it does indeed work all the tension out! The first night, I fell asleep on it and the second night, I got the best night sleep I have had in months. I now plan to follow the new routine of a bath, then a Shiatsu massage, capped off with a Spoonk sesson every night! I highly recommend you do the same.
Another key to proper sleep is a supportive pillow. Try the Sleep Innovations Rejuvenation Pillow. Since I suffer from allergies, I love this pillow. It is made of memory foam and contoured into an ideal angle that positions your head and neck so that your airways remain open.
Next, no TV or computer or gaming for at least a half hour to hour before bed. Soft music is fine and music and mediation is even better. This is still a hard one for me ’cause I love Jimmy Fallon and Carson Daly. And I am always techno multi-tasking – working while watching TV or playing on the Nintendo DSi while surfing the net. But these habits are jacking with my sleep so will have to start DVRing Jimmy and Carson and shutting down the other multiple devices. If you are someone, who like me, is used to some background sounds while getting ready for bed, I recommend the Andrew Weil Music for Self Healing CDs followed by a session of natural sounds. I use the Homedics Sound Spa, which emits six nature sounds including crickets, and my two favorites rain and ocean waves.
Next make sure to have a big glass of water before you sleep. The body needs rehydrating every two hours and since you will presumably be sleep for 6 to 8 hrs, you need to compensate for those hours. I add Pure Tranquility drops to my water for extra sleep assistance.
And finally, if you’ve got a companion, try to get in some cuddle and snog time. This will also help you sleep better. Or at the very least, you won’t mind so much that you are a little tired if your body got a nice workout and release.