Zzzzzzz…..

I’ve always believed the most important part of your day is the sleep you got the night before. Sleep determines everything. I know because I am blessed with the gift of good sleep. I go hard every day until the time comes that I can’t go any longer. I get into bed and usually within about five minutes, I’m out cold. 99% of the time I have peaceful, uninterrupted sleep for eight to nine hours. Pretty incredible, right? I don’t share this to evoke feelings of envy. I share because sleep is critical to health. I know because this last sleep didn’t come easy, and the difference was unbelievable. We have to get more (and better) hours of sleep!

Things that guarantee you WON’T get 8 hours of peaceful sleep:

1) Noise- The neighbor’s barking dog, the TV that is still on, the list goes on and on. Some are out of your control but others aren’t. Turn the TV off! After you’ve done that, there’s a simple device that needs to be turned ON.

2) Bright lights- Streetlights, nightlights, alarm clock lights, charger lights, spouse’s reading light. Lights need to be addressed ASAP. This is easier than you think.

3) Technology overload- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and these are just the ones I know about)! It’s hard not to check every email account and every social media outlet one last time before shutting it all down. We need to try.

4) Dogs (and, I would presume, babies) in the bed with you- They squirm, they scratch, they lick, they kick. Dog and babies who don’t have to work in the morning are disruptive.

Of course there are other factors that contribute to poor sleep like stress, diet and exercise, but we’ll explore those later. For now, I’d love to share some simple secrets I have found that work wonders when you’re hoping to catch more shut-eye.

Lowe's has a great selection of fans, including standing ones.

Lowe’s has a great selection of fans, including standing ones.

Buy a fan today! Do not go home without one. This one simple purchase will change your life. Drown out the noises you can’t control. It’s hard to count the number of thunderstorms we’ve slept through, the kind that everyone talks about the next day. And who knows what may have woken up the puppies if we didn’t override it with the peaceful buzz of our fan.

Look! Our fan fits behind a chair. You can't see it at all, no unsightly sleep equipment here!

Look! Our fan fits behind a chair. You can’t see it at all, no unsightly sleep equipment here!

It’s not pretty, it’s not fancy, but my next tip is ingenious.

$0.69 for electrical tape at Lowes. This is a no brainer!

$0.69 for electrical tape at Lowes. This is a no brainer!

Cut small pieces and place them over EVERYTHING that has even the faintest light.

Then, purchase some heavy dark drapes for your bedroom, likes these I found at Ikea. If you already have drapes you love, consider having blackout fabric sewn into them. It won’t change the look, but it’ll change the game. Ask me about my seamstress in Charlotte who will help you with this task if you, like me, don’t own a needle and thread!

These simple chocolate brown velvet drapes have done wonders for our sleep. You could always customize yours with a tassel trim or a border.

These simple chocolate brown velvet drapes have done wonders for our sleep. You could always customize yours with a tassel trim or a border.

When you travel, take along some safety pins in case the drapes in your hotel room don’t close completely. Hotel rooms can be the most challenging of all places to make dark.

Technology overload! All day long we are handcuffed to our media.

Technology overload! All day long we are handcuffed to our media.

Apparently there’s science to prove that the light from electronic devices suppresses the production of melatonin, which is a hormone needed for sleep. Experts recommend disconnecting from technology at least half an hour before bedtime if possible. Should we give it a try? I think so!

henry bed

The hardest thing I’ve ever done to enhance my sleep health is get this one out of the bed.

No one could love their fur babies any more than I do. Henry, my precious and perfect 10 year old Scottie, slept in the bed with me from the time he was six months old until about six months ago. He had a back injury and couldn’t jump up into bed. Since we were afraid he’d jump OFF the bed without our help, we didn’t put him in the bed with us. I was so sad at first, but after a couple of nights, I couldn’t deny that there were less interruptions in my sleep.

Give the fan, the tape, and the drapes a try. I realize the pups and the  kiddos will be harder to address. But make the changes that are simple, and see if you don’t enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. Your tomorrow will thank you.

Haven't been to Lowe's in forever but I went recently to stock up on electrical tape. I've decided to take it with me when I travel!

Haven’t been to Lowe’s in forever but I went recently to stock up on electrical tape. I’ve decided to take it with me when I travel!

4 Comments
  • Beth Algar
    February 17, 2016

    Love my retro vornado fan that goes with me where ever we move!!!
    And my two most favorite sleepy time things of all… #1 My silk eye mask. I have several at all times and never travel without one. Helps with light issues wherever you may be.
    #2 essential lavender oil to dab on pressure points before bed or nap

    • Ashley
      February 22, 2016

      Beth, thanks for sharing your sleeping tips! You’ve taken it to a whole new level! I love it!

  • Kelli Pernell King
    July 23, 2014

    I actually have used the fan idea for many years, and I am addicted! I will totally have to try the electrical tape tip. I love cheap and easy fixes! And for the record, that is the CUTEST picture EVER of a dog…..he looks like the big, bad wolf from Red Riding Hood (except he looks more like a little, nice wolf:). Please don’t look at the time that I am posting this, because you would not approve this for good sleep–signing off now!

    • prescription4change
      October 12, 2014

      Did you get your electrical tape Kel? We brought a roll with us to St John! Miss and love you!

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