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Stop Reading This and Go To Sleep! – A Guest Post by Jess Witkins

Hey, everyone! Welcome back for Life List Club Friday!

Please welcome back my amazing LLC friend and co-founder, Jess Witkins! Jess is one of my favorite people…she’s funny, upbeat, and, of course, sexy, smart and lives from the heart. If you want to know more about the sexy and smart person she is, click here.

I’m getting ready to head over to Sonia Medeiros’ blog to guest post for her and Lara Schiffbauer is over at Jess’ entertaining the troops there! When you’ve finished here, get yourselves on over to Sonia’s and Jess’ and all the other writers’ blogs to see what were all buzzin’ about! You can find them listed down there in my sidebar.

Now get comfy and read what Jess has to tell you about getting your Zzzz’s.

Wake up, Jess!!! You’re on!!!

Hello Readers!  Those of you who regularly read Marcia’s blog know what a phenomenal woman she is.  And for those of you that are new, welcome and let me tell ya, Marcia’s amazing!  It seems there is little she couldn’t accomplish if she put her mind to it, right? 

 One of those spectacular ideas that Marcia had was the brain baby that became the Life List Club.  She read a post I wrote about some goals I wanted to accomplish before my birthday and soon after sent me an email that, in short, said this, “Hey Jess, let’s create something wonderful!”   

 A few more emails in the inbox and this group was formed, launched, and continues to move on to bigger and better dreams.  (Thanks LARGELY in part to all our readers!!!  You make it worthwhile and inspire us everyday with your comments and stories!) 

 I’m here today to share a little known fact about people who found new organizations though:  We Rarely Sleep. 

 It could be the vicious villain called Daylight Savings Time that led me to believe I was so productive last summer.  However, with the onset of winter and its kidnapping of the Wisconsin sun, I’ve become a cave dwelling zombie couch potato. 

AMC-Zombie-Grass

Must Find Remote…

 If I’m going to get back on track with my goal list, I needed to make a big change.  Thankfully, I just read an article in NaturalHealthMagazine all about the sneaky things we think we should do before bed that actually hinder our Zzz’s.  I’d like to share some of my favorite tips with you.  I plan on implementing a new sleep regimen for the rest of the month to see if I can sleep sounder and wake up more refreshed. 

Shirley Temple

You know, like this!

●        No Yoga Before Bedtime – It turns out that they call ‘em Sun Salutations for a reason.  The stretching you do after a late night work out or before bed is a stimulus.  If it’s relaxation you’re looking for, Natural Health Mag recommends lying on the floor with your lower legs up on the couch so your knees form a 90-degree angle.  Put a pillow under your head and take slow, deep breaths, focusing on your breathing to clear your mind.

●        Munchie Monsters Under the Bed – Late night snacks and meals can not only cause heartburn but keep you up digesting, which makes your cells focus on the food breakdown rather than spend their time regenerating and detoxifying your body naturally.  And hello, it’s beauty sleep, not beauty gestation cycle!

●        Forget Sheep, It’s Fish You Want – Oil, that is.  What you eat does matter, and if you consume more trans fats  – like the ones in those delicious cheeseburgers and fries we all crave – your brain cells have a tougher time controlling whether we’re asleep or awake.  Hence the drowsiness during the day and restlessness at night!  I take an Omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil capsule) before bed to give my body the good trans fat it needs to feed my neurotransmitters.  Plus, taking it before bed allows routine so you don’t forget to take your vitamins!  (And no fishy aftertaste to deal with!)

●        If you Whistle while you Work, Relax while you Sleep – Worrying too much causes stress, and stress messes with your cortisol levels which directly impact your norepinephrine (the happiness hormone).  Studies show a little focused journaling before bed can clear your mind and reduce the risk of waking up with that constant “to do” list going off all night.  I also suggest ending your journaling with a gratitude list.  Finishing your day with at least 5 positive things helps to promote relaxation before bedtime.

●        You’re Too Sexy for Your PJs – If you’re like me, always cold, you like to crank the space heater before bed, wear socks, and snuggle up to your honey and steal all his heat.  But, you’ll sleep better in a cooler environment because your body naturally drops temperature while in slumber.  The National Sleep Foundation says temps above 75 degrees are disruptive to sleep, it’s best to be around 68 degrees. 

●        Unplug and Unwind – Just like stretching, eating and worrying, using your laptop, watching TV, and playing with your smart phone is just more stimulus that will make falling asleep difficult.  The magazine referred to our society as “wake-centric” and suggested thinking of sleep instead as a getaway where something is happening, which will allow you to be more productive and present when you do awake. 

 

So that’s what I’m working on.  What keeps you up at night?  What helps you sleep?  Are you doing any of these activities already?

 

 Jess WitkinsJess Witkins claims the title Perseverance Expert. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town as the much younger youngest sibling of four, she’s witnessed the paranormal, jumped out of a plane, worked in retail, traveled to exotic locations like Italy, Ireland, and Shipshewana, Indiana, and she’s eaten bologna and lived to tell about it! She deals with it all and writes about it! Come along on her midwest adventures; Witkins promises to keep it honest and entertaining. Go ahead, SUBSCRIBE, you know you want to.

 Follow on Twitter:  @jesswitkins

 

Wow! I learned a lot from this post. I eat late, am on the computer late, and I’m always too warm (turn down the heat, honey!). However, I do relax and clear my head by reading for a short time before sleep and I do take fish oil capsules. I guess these are the reasons I sleep well only half the time. Thanks, Jess, for these tips!

Share the comment luv with Jess, my friends, and I’ll see you on the blog hop!


 

 

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Discussion

  1. Marcia  March 9, 2012

    So sorry I’m late, but was out of town all day.
    Fantastic post, Jess! It was great having you here, little buddy, as always! Look at these awesome comments! Aren’t you loving this?!
    I do the cool room (when i can get hubs to agree to turn down the heat), I have to read before sleep or I’ll never fall asleep (I have the those voices in my head too but it usually involves thoughts about my grown kids. I don’t have to get into all their issues-they’re grown up, but in my head I do it anyway. *face in palm*), no exercise before bed, and fish oil. I sleep better, unless my sinusitis keeps me awake.
    Hi everyone!! Thanks for coming over to talk to Jess today!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 12, 2012

      Yes, yes, Thank you to everyone who stopped over today!! Having lots of fun chatting with you all and learning I’m not the only one that’s tossing and turning a lot. I hope making some changes with my sleep schedule helps me rest better and I hope everyone shares the tips that work for them! Sweet dreams!

      (reply)
  2. katewoodauthor  March 9, 2012

    Ugh…I WISH I could fall asleep! I’m either so exhausted, I can’t fall asleep, which is ridiculous, OR I’m ready to fall…and all of a sudden I start imagining that noise I just heard wasn’t the house settling, but is in fact someone breaking in the house to murder us all.

    It’s a recurring awake-nightmare that I cannot shake. I’m sure it has something to do with some fear I’m not facing, and could very well be a deep-rooted issue from my childhood…So that’s what I deal with :P

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 12, 2012

      I always think the noises I hear are a ghost, so then I lay in bed staring at every shadow wondering where they came from. LOL. Joe thinks I’m mad.

      But if the noise keeps you up, that’s when I do cheat and turn the TV on low, to drown out other noises or those to do lists going on in our heads. That helps.

      (reply)
  3. Darlene Steelman  March 9, 2012

    Wow this is great! I have a bad habit of cranking the heat while wearing two layers of clothes and getting under three blankets when I sleep… UGH!!! I pretty much break a lot of these rules..
    I can do better!! Thanks for the great tips, gals!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 12, 2012

      Let me know how it goes, Darlene! Hopefully any changes you make will help you sleep sounder!

      (reply)
  4. Sherry Isaac  March 9, 2012

    Sleep was never much of an issue pre-menopause, but now it is sometimes a problem. Fave remedy is cup of herbal tea and a warm, relaxing candlelight tubby. Ahhhh. But, I usually start to nod off in bed with a book in my hand. Hubby is on stand by to mark my page and turn out the light. What a guy!

    (reply)
  5. Lara Schiffbauer  March 9, 2012

    You are not alone with becoming a zombie couch potato! I have had a really hard time over the last couple months with getting any work done, mostly because I fall asleep when my kids do, and then can’t go back to sleep after I’ve woken up to do some (very groggy) work. I definitely will be hitting the fish oil! Now if I could keep the kids in their beds…

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 12, 2012

      Oh I get that one! There were two date nights with my guy where I fell asleep right after dinner. LOL. Guess we’ll have to plan walks instead of movies.

      (reply)
  6. Ali Dent  March 9, 2012

    These are great, Jess. Years ago I discovered that sleeping in a cold room produces the soundest sleep. I love it!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 12, 2012

      Still working on that one. I’m always the one with the covers right up under my chin. Mmm toasty!

      (reply)
  7. August McLaughlin  March 9, 2012

    Great post on an important topic, Jess! I’ve had loads of sleep issues since, well…birth. I’ve come along way, much because of lifestyle changes like the ones you suggested. Some foods actually promote sleep, so a healthy, balanced snack often helps me. Plus, hunger during the night is a sleep-breaker. (But you’re SO right about not overeating, avoiding heartburn foods if you’re sensitive, etc.)

    If I work in the evening, my brain won’t stop. At all. So I’ve learned to set boundaries. I also incorporate active rest into my daily routine and try to set aside quiet, calm time just before turning in. If I leave work hanging, that also keeps me up. There’s a technique called the “day is done” where you use mind control to detach from the work day. If there’s work you must do, do it. Otherwise, you jot schedule it for another time. Stay well, lady! Thanks for this. :)

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      Ok, work is a hold up for me. The issue I have is working in an environment where EVERYTHING is a do it now crisis. I will try to implement that “day is done” idea though and see if it helps me at the end of the day with wrapping things up. And since I do work a different schedule every week, sometimes I don’t get to eat dinner until 9pm, and I’m usually starving. My honey is better than I am at rationing. I’m a total guilty pleasure nut with my foods! I started keeping a food diary with my gratitude journal so I could watch what I was eating better. It helps to be more accountable that way.

      (reply)
  8. hawleywood40  March 9, 2012

    I LOVE to be chilly when I sleep. I get my best zzz’s if the room is cool enough that I want to crawl under the blankets. Glad I’ve got that part down – but my big one to conquer is to make the to-do lists stop haunting my dreams!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      You’ll get a kick out of this one then. How about when books haunt your dreams? I’m reading Into Thin Air and I’ve had multiple dreams I’m trapped on Mt. Everest with a very low oxygen tank about to die!

      While I REALLY ENJOY this book, I do better reading my other title, Loving Frank, before bed. It’s calmer. :D

      (reply)
  9. Jenny Hansen  March 9, 2012

    Uh-oh…I do most of my writing at night so it’s an often thing that I’ll have some cheese and crackers or soy milk before bedtime. Night eating usually makes sure there’s no morning headaches from low blood sugar. Hmmm…that’s a rough trade-off, cause I am sleep challenged.

    My standard trick, if nothing else works is to play cards on my phone until I get sleepy.

    Great post, Jess!!

    (reply)
    • August McLaughlin  March 9, 2012

      *August butts in cuz she can’t help it* ;) Soy milk and cheese have tryptophan and crackers (carbs) help your brain make it into serotonin. So that’s actually a great calming snack, Jenny!

      (reply)
      • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

        I was gonna agree that cheese and crackers sounded like a great simple night time snack! I do that a lot for dinner, with a glass of wine of course. (Though the wine part was not a good sleep aid, even if it makes you sleepy initially, it’s effects are not long lasting.)

        My naughty habit comes when I can’t sleep cause I just can’t turn my head off. I will put the TV on low then simply cause that “white noise” will drown out my own voices. Oy! I gots problems! LOL

        (reply)
  10. Gary Gauthier  March 9, 2012

    Hi Jess, Those are all excellent bits of advice. The only item I’m surprised about is the “no yoga before bed” admonition. On the other hand, it may depend on the positions. Some positions require you to be a contortionist. That would definitely be stress-inducing (even thinking about them). When I think of yoga, I think of lying flat on my back and doing breathing exercises with my eyes closed. :)

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      That’s EXACTLY the kind you can do! Is it called sleeping child? I thought so. The example up above adds the folded legs placed up which also helps cool your body down as the blood flows, and that temperature naturally helps the body relax.

      (reply)
  11. Natalie Hartford  March 9, 2012

    Fab post you two! Great tips Jess. Thanks so much. I follow most of them already (although just gave up snacking before bed in January) and am sleeping much better. I didn’t realize about the Omega 3s and will add them to my bedtime supplement regime – woot woot! Thanks for the great tips and here’s to sweet dreams for all!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      Aw, I love your well wishing! Sweet dreams for everyone! :)

      Who doesn’t snack a little before bed?! LOL. That’s why we’re all in this mess. Good for you for cutting back!

      (reply)
  12. Sonia G Medeiros  March 9, 2012

    I’m definitely guilty of snacking for bed and staying up late on the computer or Netflix. I need to establish a better bedtime routine because I’m just not sleeping that well…even though my body still gets me right up on time. I do take Omega-3s everyday though. They’re good for all sorts of stuff. :D

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      The fish oil, while gross, is very healthy! It’s one of the ways I try to protect my heart. That, and telling my boyfriend when he’s being a total a$!, but you’re married, so you know how to do that too. ;)

      I used to still wake up and rock and roll, but not so much lately. I’m having a really hard time getting up in the mornings (I think largely attributed to no sunshine), so I’m hoping some of these changes will help me through the night to wake up more energized!

      (reply)
  13. K.B. Owen  March 9, 2012

    Hi, Jess! *waves*

    Thanks so much for the tips. I definitely like to be cool when going to sleep. Of course, when you’ve hit menopause (like me), you don’t always have control over that. Those “power surges” like to hit at very inconvenient times, LOL.

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      LOL. Hi Kathy! *waves back*

      Is it wrong of me to envy you? I’m ALWAYS cold. My boyfriend told me to wear socks and mittens to bed!

      (reply)
  14. patriciasands  March 9, 2012

    Good information, Jess, and accompanied by good chuckles as usual. I’ve got to pay attention to more of those tips. I’m on the computer most nights until I fall into bed but I find picking up my book then to squeeze in a few minutes of wonderful reading guarantees I’ll be asleep in minutes!

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      Oh guess who was guilty of that last night? You know, it would help me out if ya’ll stopped writing such interesting blog posts! LOL

      I think the best thing I started doing is that even if I am on the computer or watching TV, I don’t try to go to bed right away. I lay down and read or journal for a little bit first and then my mind relaxes easier. Even 10 minutes of reading is more calming than a laptop screen light. :)

      (reply)
  15. David N. Walker  March 9, 2012

    ZZZZZZZZ . . .

    (reply)
    • Jess Witkins  March 9, 2012

      Everybody Shhhhh. David’s sleeping. *pulls the blinds down and the blanket up* Sweet dreams!

      (reply)

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