Recently, I got pretty sick.
You’ll learn quite swiftly that one of my least favorite occurrences in the entire world is getting some case of the yuckies. I find them inconvenient, disturbing, annoying, and downright limiting. No [solidcore] sessions or fun walks
to Sephora and Erewhon outside?!
Fortunately, I was able to really tune in and discover that my need to catch up on rest was immense. Every night, I’d knock out just like that–hence, recovery came in no time.
- Candles: Recently, I’ve been geeking out on scents and candles like it’s my job. My preferences generally encompass clean, floral, more refreshing aromas that remind me of the outdoors in areas of nature as opposed to foods (i.e. blueberry pancakes or pumpkin spice lattes) or indoor environments, but there are countless that transport me to a beautiful place and time (or object). Listed below are my recommendations–fun fact: they’re all soy-based!–but this reel includes my all-time favorite candle! For a flame-free option, opt for an essential oil diffuser.
- Cherry Blossom (Asian-owned)
- Hello Darkness My Old Friend (Asian-owned, women-owned)
- Jardin De Paris (husband-wife owned)
- Midnight Moonflower (Latina-owned, women-owned)
- Roasted Sweet Potato (Asian-owned)
- Sheet Mask (Asian-owned, only available in custom sets)
- Soulful Sani (Black-owned, women-owned)
- Magnesium: this is positively perfect for letting your brain tap out for the evening in a more gentle, sustainable fashion. The reason why I’ve opted for magnesium versus melatonin is because the latter has only been substantially studied for short-term use. However, for either, less is more; there are adverse symptoms for excessive consumption of both. Personally, magnesium has posed less cases of drowsiness in which I don’t feel overly dependent on supplementation.
- Nighttime skincare: Nothing is worse than going to bed with a crusty face of makeup or neglecting to clean your face at all. I’ve made it a non-negotiable to remove all the ickies off my skin and prime it with all the nourishing creams and moisturizer I need. Unlike what many will tell you, no, you do not need 12 million oils, serums, toners, moisturizers, or 24-Karat gold eye masks on your face. Apply enough to ensure your skin is hydrated and protected from the dry air while you sleep.
- Loose, comfortable clothing: No athleisure to bed. I repeat: no athleisure to bed. Just from personal experience, I’m not into anything that really hugs the body too tightly for sleep due to hindering circulation and adding unnecessary tension. You don’t have to wear super baggy clothing, but you should move freely in your pajamas to bed.
- Slow, instrumental music: Depending on what makes you wind down, music to set the tone for a restful evening is a must! I love jazz or ballet music, sometimes natural ambiance to play for at least an hour before I sleep. It may help to loop a playlist overnight for starters, but personally, I fall asleep the most quickly with dead silence, so I turn it off a few minutes prior to sleeping.
- Off with the screens!: The one I have to work the most on. Such a cliche, but it’s true–even changing the temperature doesn’t negate the fact that you’re still looking and processing light instead of darkness. Sure, blue light is more strenuous on your eyes, but ideally, all screen time is deactivated at least an hour prior to going to bed.
- Noise-cancelling earphones: If you’re an extremely light sleeper who’s sensitive to noise, this one is for you. Wear small, tight earbuds at night to block out any outside noise in or out of the house, especially for those who live in the city or with night owls for neighbors and housemates.
- Warm water: Drinking water right before bed is generally a no-no, but if you are really thirsty, stick to room temperature or heated water instead of cold water, which is best for earlier in the day.
- Mouthguards (not proud of this one): Not very sexy, but mouthguards are a dental essential if you tend to have a hyperactive jaw in your sleep. It’s protective of your teeth and can make less noise and disruption at night.
- Books: Finally, a delicious read before bed is a gem! Now, if you tend to be a bookworm like myself, make sure you stick to a limit. Still, it’s easier to fall asleep while reading than it is to scroll through TikTok. Trust me on this one!
P.S. Don’t double on coffee like I did here if you want high-quality sleep (still worth it, though).
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