Essentials for a Sweet Beauty Sleep*


I admit that I am horrible about getting a good night's rest. Old habits die hard, and I can recall endless nights of sleeping until past midnight to play video games when I was 8 (and waiting for my dad to come home from work to play with me). Fast forward a few years later turned into staying up late to chat with friends on AIM or the phone (oh, there was texting, but these were the days when you had to worry about using up data and this was way before IG, Facebook messaging, or Snapchat). Then came the all-nighter hours of studying, projects, and homework for my years of community college and university.


These days, I still struggle but I am doing my best to get shut eye at 12 am or earlier (and yes, I consider that early for myself). It helps that Cecilio tries to go to bed as early as possible (10–11 pm) so that he can wake up early to go to work at 6 am. Yes, he has a pretty brutal schedule but he is able to get off work early and come home and take a long nap. I try to follow suit to join him in bed for affection, cuddles and conversation. By doing that, I try to get myself psyched for bedtime by pampering myself. Here are some of the best factors that come to play when I'm trying to get some shut eye:

Evening showers and The Righteous Butter
I like taking warm showers, even in the summer (though it's been super hot here right now: next week, it's going to be between 100–109 degrees! I move the needle a bit to make it cooler). But with heat comes with dry skin, and ever since Cecilio and I moved into our apartment, I've noticed how extra parched my skin is after stepping out of the shower. Out of all of the places I have lived in, my skin has been the driest in this apartment. Which is why I purchased the Soap and Glory The Righteous Butter, and use it after every shower. It's a body butter: thicker than lotion, and keeps my skin soft and smooth. It smells delicious too, with a hint of fruit and florals. The showers here force me to apply this for softer skin, especially because I had a bad habit of not putting lotion on regularly.

Face Masks
I've been getting more into face masks lately, especially after a day's worth of full on makeup and I just need that extra "cleanse" for my skin. My favorite right now is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: it smells like fall (I'm looking forward to all of the delicious pumpkin treats!), doubles as an exfoliator and makes my face feeling extra clean before bed, because goodness knows that I do not want a residue of foundation still on my face. My skin feels fresh and extra hydrated for the morning.

Tea Time
When I used to get insomnia a few years ago (or even when I still suffer from it once in a while), the only thing that would help was drinking chamomile tea. Even then, I would have to drink it twice before dozing off. Sometimes I would have to resort to taking a melatonin supplement. Still though, when I have problems falling asleep, I brew myself some chamomile (and sometimes mixed with peppermint too for extra flavor) to calm my mind.

Breathing exercises
My sister swore by this breathing exercise that helped her fall asleep within minutes, if not seconds. It's super simple: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds (all give or take). That's it! Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping and don't want to get up and make tea, I just do this exercise and it seriously calms me down, and it doesn't take me long to doze off.

Prayer
I'm not as consistent in my prayer and spiritual life, and I would like to change that. But I know that I am a huge worrier and there are (or were) some things going on in my life that plague me and keep me up at night. To me, as a Christian, prayer is simply talking to God. Or if I don't know what to say, I also use the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) as guidance on what to pray about. I go to an Episcopal Church, and the BCP is used for services, weddings, funerals, ordinations, or even to pray for things like nature, our military, families, and unemployment. When something is troubling me, I pray. God doesn't always give me the answer I want right away (but when He does, it's awesome), but He gives me the strength to go through it and reassures me that I don't have to go through it alone.

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer (1979)

A great mattress
Our queen mattress was gifted to us by my stepdad. It was originally his, and brought it with him during his move from Milwaukee to Sacramento. Cecilio and I agree that this is the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in, and we end up sleeping in a lot later than we should on the weekends! The memory foam contours to our body and feels like second skin. We honestly don't know where my stepdad got it, but we know that Leesa* offers ultra-comfortable memory foam mattresses. The cooling foam is the top layer that makes the bed cool and relaxing: if you get hot easily sleeping (and have to sleep naked), you know that this is an extra perk. It is not too soft, but not too firm: the bottom layer, the core support complements the softness of the memory foam by providing the support. It is not at all expensive too: at $840, that is peanuts compared to the Tempurpedic beds that start at $1000.

Anatomy of the Leesa Mattress

Doesn't Michael Phelps look comfy and excited for dreamland in the Leesa mattress?

If that doesn't convince you, Leesa is also very big on philanthropy and giving back to the community: they donate one mattress for every ten they sell, partner with Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for every mattress sold, and work with various national organizations. 

Right now, Cecilio and I are happy with our current mattress. We only have 1 bedroom, but once we think about buying a house in a few years, I may convince him to have us upgrade to the Leesa mattress, and use our current mattress for the guest room.

Is your mattress comfortable? Does it help you sleep well? What are your rituals for a better night sleep?


*In Partnership with Leesa

5 comments :

  1. A good mattress is the most important thing, ours is nice but I would prefer one that is not that soft as it is, but not firm either but something in between. I think we will need a new one next year!! Great post Hannah! x

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

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  2. A face mask before bed always helps me get a good nights sleep as well as watching some comedy reruns like modern family or friends always helps me unwind before bed.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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  3. Such a lovely post!! Nothing better than a good night sleep- a good mattress is definitely key!

    Paula
    Thirteen Thoughts

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  4. I'm the opposite, I can sleep A LOT! Recently, it can take me a while to fall to sleep, but I find it so hard to wake up in the morning, I keep falling back to sleep haha :) xx

    Velvet Blush

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  5. Such amazing tips here, hun! :) The current mattress we use is from eBay and I think we paid about £80 for it... :P But it's actually pretty good! I agree with you entirely hun, a great night's sleep is essential to a good day! Thanks for sharing these fab tips :) xoxo

    Kay
    http://www.shoesandglitter.com/

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