I never knew the true definition of exhaustion until I became a mom. Even when my kids started sleeping through the night, I still found myself struggling to get the proper amount of rest. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that sleep is a priority--no matter who you are.
The key is to not let yourself get to the point of exhaustion before crawling into bed. It's all about finding soothing routines and habits to prepare for sleep. If possible, let yourself wind down up to an before you plan on calling it a day.
Here are some tips and tricks I've learned to help myself look and feel more well-rested:
TIP #1: Create Your Calming Space
We are the product of our surroundings. To drift off into a soothing sleep, create your room to mimic that. Turn off the harsh lights, burn a candle, and designate that space as your quiet time. For those who catch up on work in bed, don't. Keep those stressors away from your bedroom as much as possible. A reminder of your chaotic schedule for the next day is a surefire way to lose some sleep.
TIP #2: Don't Leave Your Messes Until The Morning
On the same note of creating a calm space, don't leave the housework for the next day. Just do it. Even if it requires staying up a little longer after you put the kids to bed, it pays off. I can't even tell you how many times I've been trying to doze off and I start dreading the dishes I have to conquer in the morning. Once I realized how much that affected my overall sleep quality, I stopped procrastinating.
Repeat after me: a clean house is a natural form of Ambien.
TIP #3: Treat Yourself To Essential Oils
I've been using essential oils to naturally calm and de-stress for years. Not only does it help mentally but it feels amazing on your skin. Scents like lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and cedarwood are all great for sleep specifically.
If you're looking for something truly luxurious, the Pure Rest Wellness Oil from UMA Oils is a great option. It's natural, organic, and feels like heaven before climbing into your sheets. To get the full effect, I like to take a few minutes to massage and let it completely sink in. You can even use on your fussy child or your husband.
1. Begin by gently rubbing the skin between your toes to create warmth in the area. Once the area is warm, take 4-5 drops of your favorite essential oil and massage between your toes, spending around 3-5 seconds between each toe.
2. With the oil still on your fingers and palms, massage the bottoms of your feet, spending about 30 seconds on each foot.
3. Move up your wrists and gently massage the area using your thumb, spending about 10-15 seconds on each wrist.
4. Next, massage the area behind your ears using your forefingers in a circular motion for 10 seconds.
5. Finally, cup your palms over your nose and mouth and take five deep inhales. This final step triggers the olfactory therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
TIP #4: Turn Off Your Electronics
This may sound insane but it seriously helps. After a day of activity (and sometimes chaos), the last thing you need is a show keeping you up. Yep, I'm talking to you binge watchers! It's not just the show that can cause you to lose shut-eye--it's also the light from your TV or iPad. They've actually done studies that have shown that the LED blue light of the electronics can slow the hormone that signals our brains that it's time to go to bed.
Instead, find a "winding-down" ritual like journaling or reading. I've noticed that reading makes me fall asleep faster and also gives me a higher quality of sleep throughout the night. If you need some book recommendations, click here for some of my fall favorites!
TIP #5: Invest In A Silk Eye Mask
A silk eye mask is the epitome of beauty sleep. Not only does it keep the light out to make you feel more well-rested...it also can help make you look well-rested.
The skin around our eyes is extremely delicate. The more you toss and turn in the middle of the night, the more you risk that delicate skin becoming irritated. This can result in premature aging and dull skin. Let's be honest--there's nothing like a fresh set of dark circles to ruin a morning.
Silk also helps skin keep the moisture in. A normal cotton or synthetic sleep mask is more absorbent which draws away the moisture. The more your skin is moisturized, the more bright-eyed and less exhausted you'll look. And when you look good, you feel good. Am I right!?
FYI: If you're not an eye mask person, a silk pillow works, too. The brand, Slip, has great options for both. Shop them here.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.