I love sleep. I love the act of getting into bed, pulling my cozy blankets over me, and finding the prefect spot on my pillow. I love waking up feeling the deliciousness of a good nights rest. It's truly a romance.
Many of us struggle to get a great nights sleep. For me it was a long road of sleepless nights for a couple of years. Sleep aids like melatonin gave me a break from this cycle, but not until I made two huge lifestyle changes did my sleep patterns and my body change for the better. Sleep for me is now peaceful and easy to come by the majority of the time, and my brain and body can feel the difference. The first change I made was my mattress easy enough, the second resetting my circadian rhythm…”but I want to read one more article, it’s only 11pm, I can stay up till 11:15, I’m an adult now!” shouts my brain. This change not so easy. First -
When I bought my first mattress in my early 20’s I was convinced a pillow top was the way to go, I couldn’t wait to sleep on that cloud like bed. I had it for five years and then when I was pregnant my bed became a source of anxiety. The first anxiety was how I couldn't get comfortable even in the early months of pregnancy, it was impossible. I couldn't sleep through the night. We tried a topper, massages before bed, in my sleep deprived state I even tried the floor for a night, hoping it would make a difference. Nope.
I had researched natural mattress options for some time, and after my experimentation with a soft cushy standard sleep system - (box spring and mattress) I went the opposite direction to firm. USA made was important to me for quality and sustainability reasons, so I went with White Lotus Home. A natural mattress company based on New Jersey, that makes their mattresses with high quality varieties including green and organic cotton, wool, evergreen foam, and latex cores. We ordered the Green Cotton Dreamton for our first natural bed. We made a custom sofa for our home and they made custom sized cushions for us, and we could order bulk Kapok from them(a natural tree fiber) for the back cushions.
Sleeping on a firmer mattress made a wonderful difference for me by supporting my expanding body, and loosening joints from pregnancy. The cotton and wool which is breathable material helped regulate my temperatures.
We kind of fell in love with white Lotus Home and have since bought the following -Links Provided
*The baby/toddler bed with the puddle pad (perfectly supportive yet cozy ( I know this from snuggling my baby on it many times) -
(Softer support without the bounce)
*Buckwool Pillow - A pillow filled with half wool and half buckwheat hulls for a firm support.
*Kapok Pillows - Made from the Kapok tree. Very fluffy soft fiber. My favorite!
* Twin Sized Green Cotton and Latex Mattress without flame retardant (Dr.’s prescription required) -
Second - Resetting my Circadian Rhythm
As I mentioned at the beginning, our adult brains have so many things we believe we need to accomplish before bed, tasks to accomplish on the computer, shows to catch up on, Facebook to scour. We remember longing as a child to stay up later with the adults and “have fun”. Most of us adults aren’t staying up late having fun, we are killing time watching media, and staying on the screen. An aim for 9:30pm stop to screen time takes discipline. (As I write this at 9:45pm…) But by powering down by then I offer my body a gift. Sleep.
Studies have shown that our screen time doesn’t allow our melatonin to kick in to signal our brain that it’s time to wind down, when we spend time in front of the screen with their blue light. So by shutting down early, I can allow my body time to generate enough melatonin to move into sleep without the tossing and turning. Getting up early is no problem whenever I stick to this because my body is signaling it's rested. If my teenager brain kicks in and wants me to stay in bed and I sleep longer, I end up more sleepy and rushed feeling the whole morning. My body and mind reward me for being disciplined by making decisions to allow my brain to get the sleep I need rather than catching the late night shows. It performs better with a clear mind, and a more energized productive day.