Queens, I slept good last night. Like really good. So, good that I could barely get out of bed this morning. I missed my alarm. Instead of waking up at my usual 4am, I was up at 5:15.
Come to think of it, I have been sleeping like a baby all 2020. Through all the struggles of Ms. Rona and all the racism. How? This year, I have been more intentional about taking care of myself and focusing on healing my trauma and loving myself. I've coined this year, #MySelfish2020. I spent the majority of last year depressed and ended the year, basically losing everything. I vowed that this year, and every year moving forward, would be different. So far, that has been the case. I have been making money moves, fitness moves, career moves and most importantly, self love moves. I have made myself a priority and through all of that, have found deep, comforting, sleep.
So, what changes have I made to get all this good sleep I've been getting? Check out my tips below for the best sleep of your life!
Queen Maree's 10 Tips for Great Sleep
1. Make Sleep a Priority
The most important change I've made, this year, is I've made myself my highest priority.
With that, taking care of myself and both my physical and mental health is of the utmost importance. Before, especially last year, I barely slept. I was a full time rideshare driver. Most days, I was waking up at 1:30am to begin driving at 2am. Thursday night through Sunday morning, I would work all night and day with quick 2-4 hour breaks, for a nap, here and there. Because of this, I was ALWAYS drained. I would try to catch up on my sleep, but that would never help and would just make me even more tired than before. When I did get some sleep, it was never good. I would wake up every couple of hours.
I stopped rideshare driving mid December 2019. On January 20th, I started a full time job as an Executive Assistant. I realized that my life needed more structure, more routine. The fast touch and go pace of ridesharing was no longer working for me. I also realized that when I allow myself to rest and get at least 6 hours of sleep, I am truly, at my best.
So, with all of that in mind, I set a curfew for myself for 10pm every night. That gives me 6 hours of sleep so that I can wake up to complete my morning routine at 4am. Now this is what works for me. I am and will always be a fast paced Queen who prioritizes using all of my time to the best of my ability. I am reaching for success and many different goals. It's not practical for me to sleep 7 or 8 hours unless it's the weekend. However, Monday-Friday, I am putting those extra two hours to use. We have as many hours in the day as Beyonce and I plan to put all those hours to productive use.
You, Queen, may be different. You'll never truly know until you try. You know what time you need to wake up every morning. Take a week, to set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up. Do you press the snooze button? Are you irritable until the coffee kicks in? Pay attention to your energy throughout the day. If you need more or less time, adjust your bedtime and stick to it.
2. Put in the Work throughout the Day
The Rock has always said it's important to be the hardest worker in the room so that when your head hits the pillow at night, you can rest comfortably; knowing you're so much closer to reaching your goals than when you woke up. Queens, this is me every night. I'm out as soon as my head hits the pillow.
The road to success is a workout Queens. I am thoroughly exhausted at the end of each day. I wake up at 4am to complete my morning routine. When I'm feeling really good, I do some yoga for my first workout of the day. Then I work for 8 hours, using my lunch break to complete another workout, HIIT training. I'm in the process of trying to learn how to do a pull-up. When I get off at 5pm, I put in a third workout of walking/running to train for the 2012 OC Marathon. My evenings are dedicated to working on my other streams of income. I recently started a coaching and consulting business, I've started investing in stocks, and I'm working to increase Phorbe's audience. When I finally get home, I have about an hour to chill out and watch a movie before getting ready for bed.
Queens, I promise you. If you stay consistent and disciplined throughout the day, your body will reward you at night with a well deserved good night's rest.
3. Be Conscious of What you Eat
I know. This is a cliche. But Queen, it's so true. I started #MyFitnessJourney on September 19, 2020. So far I have lost a ton of weight. (Look out for this week's #ThrowbackThursday post to catch my progress). I have been yo-yoing back and forth between 35lbs lost to 50lbs lost for the last couple of months. Why? Because no matter how much you workout, if you're not eating right, it just won't work.
Losing weight is 80% what you eat and 20% putting in that work at the gym. I am a thousand times better than I was before I started my journey. Before I was so busy that I would forget to eat. I would eat like, one meal a day and snack the other 23 hours of the day. I wasn't drinking water and I was constantly knocking back Mountain Dew. The big no no, was that I was eating this 1 meal and knocking back half a 2-liter of mountain dew right before going to bed. So, of course I wasn't sleeping. My digestive system was putting in overtime trying to process all that I had just stuffed into my body. Not to mention, my nervous system was probably trying to figure out what to do with all the sugar and caffeine I had just consumed.
Now that I am working hard to get to a healthy weight, I am being more conscientious about what I put in my body. I won't lie and say I've given up Mountain Dew completely. But I've significantly cut down on my consumption of soda. I barely consume intentional sugar. And my last meal of the day is two hours before I go to sleep.
When you pay attention to what you eat and make an effort to improve your bad eating habits, your body will, again, reward you with a great night's sleep.
4. Take a Hot Shower at Night
This one is just simple and easy Queens. Take a shower at night to wash away the dirt and stress of the day. Make it as hot as you can take it and allow the water to sooth your aching muscles and the steam to purify your pores. Taking a shower before bed is a great way to signal to your body that it's time to rest.
Plus, your sheets stay clean and your room stays free of all the dirt and negative energy from the outside world.
Now I just know one of you is thinking, well you sweat while you sleep. Yes, you do. If you're really worried about this, you can take a quick two minute shower in the morning again. However, that's your water bill and your prerogative. If I do complete my morning yoga, I'll usually take a quick cold shower to get my body hyped and ready for the day.
5. Tea Tree & Rose Oils are the Truth
Something else, I've been working on this year is treating my skin better. I've been working to clear up my acne and my HS. HS or Hidradenitis suppurativa is a skin condition that cause painful ulcers and under skin abrasions. Most of which, pop and leave behind horrible, gnarly, grody looking scars. This is not contagious but there is no cure. The only thing I can do is improve my diet and work to minimize the breakouts.
Frequent exfoliating and using natural substances such as tumeric, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, or aloe vera help to keep my skin clearer and on the right track to healing. However, my favorite thing to do is use topical essential oils. Rose oil is a great night time moisturizer for your face and Tea Tree oil is a good body oil to use that hydrates your skin and helps with the impurities my HS leaves behind.
Every night I massage rose oil into my face and tea tree oil on my body and not only does the massage relax me, but the smell just reminds me of the spa and just puts me in the mood to rest. Try it out for yourself for great sleep and radiant skin! I purchased my rose oil from Amazon and my tea tree oil from Sally's Beauty Supply.
6. Infuser with Lavender Oil
My infuser was one of the best purchases I've made this year. Every night, before bed, I load up my infuser with water and lavender aromatherapy essential oils. The infuser works to release mist into the air, filling my room with the most relaxing and heavenly smell. Lavender is one of the best aromatherapy smells that triggers relaxation, calm, and peace around you. I purchased my infuser at Walmart for $12, the oil was $4. Just like that, you can improve your sleep with just $12.
7. Ambience App
I've spoken about this app before. It's completely free and offers you dozens of relaxing sounds to set the mood and ambience in your bedroom. Download it and play around with the sounds. I love the ocean waves sound, mixed with a camp fire, and seagulls. I know it sounds weird, but it reminds me of one my favorite places ever, the beach!
8. Practice Gratitude
Go to sleep with a smile and in a positive mood by practicing gratitude before bed. Every night, before you go to sleep, write down three things you're grateful for.
9. Sleep Meditation
Along with the ambience app and an infuser, using sleep meditations will definitely help you get the deep sleep that you deserve. They help set the mood in your room and provide you a relaxing and calming environment to completely let go. I use Power Thoughts Meditation Club videos on Youtube for all of my meditating. They have a great selection of videos for sleeping.
As with many things on this list, putting on a sleep meditation video before bed will help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but it also, gives your subconscious another great meditation while you're sleeping. There are sleep meditations for chakra work, manifesting, healing trauma and so much more.
10. There's No Such Thing as Too Many Pillows
I stayed in a hotel for a weekend at the beginning of the year. While I had booked a room with 1 King Size bed, I checked in so late, that all they had left was a double Queen room. I decided to make the best of the situation and moved the pillows from one bed to the bed I had chosen to sleep on. All in all, I slept with 8 pillows that night and it was heavenly.
I have since incorporated this into my home life. I am up to six pillows on my bed and every night it feels like I'm sleeping on a cloud. No matter which way I turn or where my body shifts, I'm comfortable. Try it out for the fluffiest night sleep ever.
It's a great day to conquer the world Queens. So, step into the Queen you're meant to be and SLAY!
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 28, 2020