Overall, you want to wake up at the exact same time every single day. Apparently, that’s a more important factor for keeping your circadian rhythm in line than going to bed at the same time every day. Breus recommends using a sleep tracker, like the Oura Ring—which he says is the most accurate one on the market—to figure out the length of your sleep cycle. “If you really want to understand what beauty sleep is, it’s actually stages three and four of sleep, which is where we get the largest bolus of growth hormone, and that’s really what actually physically restores us,” he adds. Knowing that, I do not understand how Dolly Parton can be her amazing self while operating on only three to five hours of sleep, but I guess that really proves Breus is right when he says sleep is personal!
I believe that achieving optimal sleep is going to require a holistic overhaul of my entire life—eating foods that make me feel good (if you’ve ever gone to sleep with intense stomach aches, you know that’s the truth), meditating, getting enough exercise, and probably a whole lot of other things! But there are also things I can do with my home, like preparing my bedroom so it’s actually a haven for sleep and not turning my bed into a makeshift workplace where I sit with my laptop. While I plan on painting the walls so they aren’t blinding white and putting up better blackout curtains, the first thing I wanted to do was get a new bed. I asked Thomas Tozer, DC, a chiropractor at Imperium Chiropractic in Wisconsin, what someone should look for when choosing a mattress to help with their sleep hygiene. “The biggest thing that buyers should look for in a mattress is quality,” he says. “There are a large variety of choices out there, and trying to get by cheaply typically ends up being a bad choice. He also says to consider the many factors that come into play when choosing a mattress, like body type, health issues (arthritis, sleep apnea, circulatory issues, etc.), your partner’s needs, and price range. Tozer also recommends that people research the different types and firmness of mattresses. He says to consider getting a mattress that is on the firmer side because you can always make a mattress softer by adding a mattress topper (something I would end up learning later).
I’m thoroughly convinced better sleep habits will greatly improve my life in all aspects, but it hasn’t been easy getting to where I want to be. I tend to be able to write best late at night (like I am right now), there’s the phone/social media habit that we all have, and there’s the whole issue of “coronasomnia.” My stress and anxiety have been on one these past three years. Plus, I had to deal with the heartbreak of my family dog passing away last year, so I’d often find myself tossing and turning all night or laying awake. I’ve been slowly making changes and trying things out here and there, but I am dedicated to figuring this out. I want to be a sleep queen!
Ahead, you’ll find all the things I’m swearing by to get my beauty (and mental and physical health and everything else) sleep.