Tips to Get Better Sleep

It’s a common theme- getting too little sleep. People joke about living on coffee and we are all familiar with the groggy feelings on first waking up, the 2:00 crash and other problems that come from getting bad sleep or lacking sleep.

If you have no medical problems like Sleep Apnea, insomnia or other disorders, you should get enough sleep to wake feeling refreshed despite lack of caffeine.

If you feel like no matter how much sleep you get is never enough and medical testing has ruled out any medical option, here are some tips on getting better- real sleep.

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  1. Set a sleep routine. Try to create the same routine every night before you go to bed. It could be as simple as reading for a little bit before you turn in or it could be something more detailed. Whatever you decide, make sure you stick with it so your body will notice that you do it, then you sleep.
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  2. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time. It isn’t always easy. If you work shift work, retail, food service or any other area that involves an unstable schedule, you may try to get in bed by 10 every night but have random 11PM, midnight or even overnight shifts tossed in.
    It has actually been found that shift work (different hours by the shift) is bad for employees’ health. In fact, there is a term for it “Shift Work Disorder” and it’s found to be linked to various medical conditions like obesity, heart disease and other related diseases.
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  3. Turn off your phone, TV, computer and other electronics an hour early. Do some gentle stretches, and unwind without electronic (blue light) interference. Same with bright, overhead lighting. Keep a gentle lamp turned on instead. Blue light from screens has been found to keep your brain awake and bright overhead lights also trick your brain into thinking it’s daylight instead of night. That’s good for morning but bad for bedtime.
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  4. Make some hot, decaffeinated tea- I personally use peppermint or earl grey. Pick a blend to help you relax and settle on your couch or bed with a good book.
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  5. Do some gentle stretches and read a good book right before bed.
  6. Make sure to have an easy to follow routine you can do nightly. The routine will start triggering your brain to know when it’s going to be time to wind down.
  7. Avoid caffeine after 12. A lot of people will go to 3, but I found it gives me insomnia unless I stop around noon.
  8. Avoid nicotine before bed.
  9. Avoid alcohol. It may make you “pass out” but it also has a bad affect on your REM sleep- which is the type of sleep you need to truly feel rested.
  10. Try to only take 30 minute “power” naps instead of long naps and don’t nap too late in the day.

There are many other things you can do, but these are the tips I found best help me get full nights of sleep.

Anyone have any other tips they follow?

 

 

New Years is Coming Up

I’ve been extremely busy. Every year I do resolutions, just for fun but most of the time I keep them to some degree.

I have been extremely busy with my Etsy, working retail- the holidays had me slammed with hours at work and orders on Etsy. I’m still catching up but I’m manageable now.

I’ve been thinking (and my main listing on Etsy is astrology, so I have a large idea of how the astrological energies are going to be this coming year)

I have some major plans coming up- so I have financial goals set. Hobby Lobby just opened right down the street, so I have more options in person for candle supplies- I have a line I’m going to be working on and adding to Etsy in January but I never talk financial goals publicly. (or with other people, they stay between me and my husband)

I have been working overtime now that hours are cut on organizing and minimizing my stuff at home. I finally have my closet pared down- 5 jackets (I wear jackets almost daily, I wear them until they are filled with holes and destroyed), 1 winter coat (here in my state, we may get a month of hard winter weather- but winters have been mild lately), 3 bathing suits, 4 covers (all different styles, lengths and I wear all 4 even while swimming), 3 sweaters, 3 hoodies.

I now have 1 drawer of band/sports and volunteer graphic tees, 1 drawer of regular screen tees and other causal shirts and 1 drawer of work shirts, 4 good pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of leggings and 2 or 3 pairs of black or khaki pants.

Now that I’m down to those, and about 6 or 7 comfy pairs of PJs, I feel I’m finally down to what I normally wear and really like.

Now that I have my closet cleared out and somewhat organized, I’m planning on keeping it like that, get rid of shoes and I’m also working on being strict with myself and only buying what I really want/like/need.

This year, my goals are

 

  1. Move closer to living a minimalist lifestyle

    It’s appealed to me for years. I love the concept and I would much rather have less clutter and more space. We bought a home and downsized pretty major- 40 feet. At first I didn’t think 40 feet would be much, but we lost a spare bedroom, several walk in closets and a whole storage room. We didn’t really downsize our stuff when we moved, we didn’t have tons of time between both of us working and the time our lease was up, so now, I’m trying to get stuff out.
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  2. Change my diet

    In the past 2 months, I had a weird cancer screening that resulted in an ultrasound. The ultrasound came up with 2 different conditions- so in the middle of January, I’m getting a minor surgery. I should be functional again by a few days after the surgery (they are doing a laparoscopic). One of the conditions will be cured, the other one I likely had since I was a teen and it’s tied to blood sugar problems. I’ve had Reactive Hypo since I was a teen. Now, I am autoimmune and have issues with dairy and gluten so I’m looking at something that would go with bloodsugar, gluten and dairy free. I’ve been looking at the Keto and seeing if that helps. I’m also debating whether I want to do a sugar fast or Whole30 again on January 1. I’m thinking start with a sugar fast

  3. The others are mainly for my business/Etsy. I also have the goal of getting one book published and 1 edited and ready to publish. I’m putting an end to starting new for a while, until I get some of my drafts finished.

What are your goals? Do you set them? I always do it just for fun but this year is a massive milestone for me. January 2nd will be one full decade clean. 10 years ago, I told people I would be high til I died, and on January 2nd, I woke up and realized I was wasting time, money and resources, put it down and never looked back. I’m hoping I can use this milestone to quit my final vice- Nicotine. I did quit for a while last month but started up due to the stress from Black Friday with the intent to quit again after the holidays. With my upcoming surgery and goal to get back on a workout regime and back to a decent weight, I’m hoping I can use the diagnosis’s to get the final kick of motivation to fully quit- for good.

 

What Type of Cleaning Do you Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly?

When you’re living on your own, owning or renting a home and especially after you have kids, you want your home to be a relaxing sanctuary. The last thing you want to worry about is waking up in the middle of the night, turning on the bathroom light and watching hundreds of roaches scattering. You definitely don’t want to wake up one day to hundreds of bite marks and realize it’s been way too long since you changed your sheets- then find a full bed bug infestation in your mattress.

You also don’t want to run your water bill sky high and spend all your time cleaning and doing laundry (not to mention wear and tear on certain fabrics)

What are the chores you should do daily? Weekly? Bi-Weekly or monthly? Here are what some sources are saying

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Chores that should be done daily

Never leave dishes in the sink or water around the sink or drain. Make sure to wipe up water around the tub, kitchen and bathroom sinks- roaches aren’t attracted to filth as much as they look for food and water. That’s also why it’s important to fix any leaky pipes- in the walls or under the sinks. Any moisture will attract not just roaches but other water and moisture loving pests (and molds love it too)

Dirty dishes are also a roach(or fly, gnat and other pests)s’ haven. Make sure to keep dishes cleaned and if you use a dish drain, try to make sure it’s wiped down and excess water is patted off.

Food on the floor and table is perfect for a colony of ants. Sweep or vacuum at least once a day, it never hurts to do it multiple times, especially if you have kids who leave behind a lot of crumbs.

If you have a large family or young kids, likely you will also find tossing in a load or two of laundry ends up being a normal daily thing.

People also recommend making the bed daily. It helps make the bedroom look nicer and can start your day making you feel more relaxed and productive. The Spruce lists 5 good reasons to start your day by making your bed.

At the end of each day, pick up items in the living room and kitchen, especially after kids have gone to bed and straighten your pillows on the couch.

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Chores that should be done Weekly

Some chores should be done weekly or twice a week.

Changing your sheets and washing the pillow cases should be done weekly.
Many people wait longer between changing sheets, but the oils from your skin can build up on the pillow case- and it can cause build up on your skin which will lead to acne.
On top of skin oils, not everyone showers before bed so the grime, dirt and dust can get on the sheets, even when you change into pajamas so depending on lifestyle, changing sheets sometimes should be done sooner

If you don’t have a top sheet or a comforter cover, it’s also best to wash your comforter weekly to monthly. Of course, wash every time you spill something on it, but you really don’t need to wash the comforter as much as you wash sheets.

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Chores that should be done Monthly

Dusting should be done at least once a month. Dusting electronics, table tops and shelves should be done more, but ceiling fans, tops of door frames and air vents/ducts should be done monthly.

Cleaning light fixtures, inside light covers and this includes dusting inside lamps and wiping down lampshades.

Walls should be wiped down(including baseboards) and clean window sills, dust blinds and wash curtains.

 

What are some of your must do chores? What are some things I missed?

This is a basic run down, there are more chores to do around the house, especially every 2-6 months and annual.

Gluten and dairy free pumpkin brownies

This is a recipe I created.I had some pumpkin and was wanting to make something other than pie but didn’t feel like searching online.

For this you’ll need

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup of veggie oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup of cocoa
2 cups of flour (I use Walmart’s gluten free All-purpose baking flour)
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Optional:
Walnuts
Chocolate chips

I added the sugar and cocoa to taste

Mix the sugar and vegetable oil until smooth, add in the cocoa, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Mix in the pumpkin puree until smooth then fold in chocolate chips or walnuts.

Pour into a greased pan and bake at 350 until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.

 

Work with me

I have decided to create advertising profiles for business blogs on this site

I’m charging one flat fee for one month and that will get you

1 feature interview on this site, shared across Twitter, Facebook (several groups, pages, my personal profile), Instagram and my main blog (newagedreamchick)
2 blog posts featuring products or services you’re offering
All three will link back to your site
1 month of regular posts on all three social networks and will share your posts as well.

Message me at dreamguru88@gmail.com if you’re interested, since the holiday season is coming up, I know how important advertising is this time of the year.

 

I also am always on the lookout for products to show on my “recommended products” category, so if you have something that relates to any of the topics covered on this site, message me.

Book Review: It Starts With Food

I have read “It Starts with Food” numerous times. It’s the book that kicks off starting the Whole30, written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig , the man and woman behind the Whole30 diet.

It details the reasons they created the diet, the symptoms you should expect to experience while “detoxing” from sugar and the other foods, why you need to be strict and start over if you slip and how to make the changes.

It’s a fairly long read, but worth reading and rereading each time you’re getting ready to start. It’s a very informative guide to Whole30 and was written to go along with your prep to start Whole30.

 

 

Book Review: The Year of Simple Living

The Year of Simple Living is written by Steph Parrell

She is the creator of ScaleitSimple.com. She wrote this book as a guide to living a more simple life over the course of one year.

The book starts off with the author listing the benefits beyond financial to living a more simple, back to nature lifestyle. She also goes into how her grandparents lived and how she started exploring their way of life a little more.

The concept of the book are working through 12 different areas in the span of 12 months. The challenge is to take the full month and do every part with an open mind, so I cannot tell you how much of an impact it has had already, I’m just getting started with month one but I will update over the course of the 12 months.

If you’re feeling stressed, frazzled and you’re wanting to live a less stressful, simpler and more natural life, this book is definitely worth the read. Remember, nothing happens literally overnight- so how this book is broken down month by month and all the aspects of your life are laid out, this makes it easier for beginners to the lifestyle to ease into the change.