Deep Sleeping Tips

How to Sleep Well Naturally

Statistics show that only about a third of all people are getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. The quality of sleep, and ultimately the quality of life, of many people, are compromised due to not being well rested. I fully understand busy weeks or months, but if this becomes a trend in your life, it’s something worth taking a look at. So, what should you do to boost the amount of rest you get, naturally and effectively?

Here are a few of my favorite ways to do just that:

1. Turn off the phone
Light tells our brains that it is time to get up and move, and halts melatonin production. Therefore, when you are trying to get some sleep, doing things like regularly checking your phone, watching TV, etc., can prevent you from getting any restful sleep once you do close your eyes. About an hour before bed, turn off your phone, and keep it away from your bed, so you are not tempted to check it at night. Believe me, after the initial uncomfortable feeling of not having your phone nearby, you’ll absolutely love the feeling of being disconnected for a short while.

2. Exercise during the day
Sometimes, the reason why we can’t get any sleep is that we have built up energy. One way to release that is by going for a walk, a long jog around your favorite park, or some cardio activity for 30 minutes to an hour every day. Doing so will cause you to expend that energy, and get to sleep much faster.

3. Use your bed only for sleeping
A lot of people like to use their bed as a kind of workstation. They will do work on their bed, talk to people on the phone while on it, and even eat while on their beds sometimes. This habit can cause your mind to stop associating the bed with sleep, and start associating it with activity. When this happens, it can prevent you from getting restful sleep and can affect your quality of sleep in the long run. So keep your bed as a sacred spot for relaxation and rest, and you’ll be well on your way to a good nights sleep.

4. Develop a routine
When it comes to getting to bed, a lot of people don’t or can’t develop a regular sleep schedule. Not having a schedule you follow can become an issue if you have a flexible work schedule, for instance. When no boundaries are in place, it’s much easier to fall off track. Set some bedtime boundaries and follow them as closely as possible, and you’ll quickly notice what a difference it makes.

Having a good routine and healthy sleeping habits will increase both your quality of sleep and your quality of life in the long run. It is imperative to prevent doing things that can negatively affect your sleep schedule, and work to get your circadian rhythm into balance naturally.

What’s the hardest part of eating healthy for you?

There’s always that hang up that veers us off track from our sincerest efforts at a healthy lifestyle. For many, it’s sugar cravings, junk food, or even the inability to cook well. We all have at least one little pesky reason we veer off-road and back on often — what is yours?

Are you a snacker?

I’ve found that some people are snackers, and some are not.  With different levels of metabolism, some may not feel hungry in between meals, and some may need that snack to hold them over.

So, I’m so interested – are you a snacker or do you wait?

I am a snacker 🙂

What’s your favorite snack to keep on hand for when the hunger strikes?

How many days per week do you eat out?

Eating out is usually looked at as a break from the kitchen and a treat to be enjoyed with friends or loved ones.  Celebrations typically take place around a table at your favorite local restaurant— but some nights, you simply don’t have it in you to whip dinner up yourself. I get it, we all get it.

I’m curious, how many nights per week do you eat out?  Do you hit the same spots over and over, or branch out each time to keep a variety?

Natural Summer Tips

Those steamy summer nights are here. The ones filled with outdoor fun with your neighborhood friends, lit by fireflies and filled with laughter. It’s such a special time of year, and everyone looks forward to it all year long. With all of the beautiful things that come with this season, there are also some not so delightful aspects of it, too. The bugs are swarming, the sun is as hot as ever, and we’re so used to grabbing for the bug spray and sunblock on a regular basis. There are a lot of extra chemicals floating around us this summer.

Staying inside to avoid the sun and insect bites is undoubtedly out of the question — there is too much fun to be had — so I just had to share a few of my tried-and-true tips to enjoy summer in the most natural way possible, sans the chemical extras so many slathers on their skin this season.

While I go through a few of my personal tips on how to avoid as many chemicals as possible this year, I’d love for you to tell me in the comments below what your absolute favorite part of summer is and share your tips for avoiding chemicals.

Sunscreen alternatives: If at all possible, choosing to stay covered with clothing and in a shaded area can help you to avoid overusing sunscreen. Wearing white clothing helps to reflect the sun, which can also help keep you cooler in the heat. Many oils have a natural SPF, such as coconut oil, sesame oil, and carrot seed oil, to name a few. Look this up when you have some free time, it’s so interesting, and you may find a great alternative that you already have in your cupboard.

There are also some natural sunscreens you can find at your local health food store, or even online. Staying safe in the sun is incredibly important, so discover an option that works best for you, and enjoy those outdoor summer days safely.

Bug repellent for around house: Did you know that there are loads of plants that naturally repel bugs? For example, lavender is beautiful, smells fantastic and repels insects. Basil is another bug repelling plant that you can also use to make your dinner dishes more flavorful. Mint and Rosemary are among other herbs that also double as bug repellants.

There are countless options just like these to plant around your yard, have hanging on your porch and adorning your entryways to keep the bugs outside and away from your space.

These outdoor adventures are what memories are made of, and with these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying them most comfortably and naturally as possible.

What’s that one veggie you absolutely love?

I’m so eager to hear what your FAVORITE veggie is.  That one you’d pick if someone gave you one of those ultimatums like you’re moving to a deserted island, and you can only take one veggie to harvest there.

What is it?

Mine is asparagus and my favorite way to cook it is roasted with a bit of salt and pepper.

Let me know below what your favorite veggie is and your favorite way to cook it.  Always looking for new ideas!

 

Everybody loves breakfast, but so few make the time to enjoy it — wouldn’t you agree?  Mornings can be a blur of scrambling to get out the door, leaving little time for those delectable breakfast items we long for. There are plenty of quick breakfast ideas that are healthy and portable, and even ones you can make ahead, so there’s no extra time out of your morning.

Of course, I absolutely suggest pulling as many strings as possible to make a healthy breakfast a priority in the mornings, but I fully understand that’s not always possible.  If this is a problem you’re struggling with, I suggest you take a small chunk of time out of your day today to search for quick, easy, and healthy breakfast ideas.  Try one or two out this week and see how it works for you.

Need some ideas to get you started – check out these resources: Breakfast Recipes and Breakfast in a Pinch.

What’s your favorite breakfast?

When’s the last time you disconnected from your phone for a bit?

It can feel like an impossibility — what if someone needs you? What if you get an important phone call? They’re all valid questions, but the answer is — life will go on, and you’ll find out soon enough. You likely don’t even know what it feels like to not have your phone within reach if you’re anything like me.  It’s become such an integrated part of our lives that we don’t even consider going without it.

Starting to break the invisible chain between you and your phone can feel awkward, uneasy and uncomfortable at first… but the rewards are amazing.

Start small today by taking a walk outside without your phone. Notice how you feel, how you notice things differently, and what your mind is thinking about.

Come back and let me know how it went, I want to know!

 

5 of My Favorite Uses for Lemons

What’s summertime without a cold glass of fresh lemonade? Lemons are abundant this time of year and are often used for that picturesque glass of lemonade to conquer a hot summer day. But did you know there are other uses that you can get out of lemons that go far beyond the delightful summer beverage?

Today, I wanted to share with you five other ways that you can use lemons:

1. Deodorizing your garbage disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in your sink, you may notice that over time, it starts to smell. This scent is because any food that sticks to the side of the disposal will begin to mold and emit an odor. Adding some lemon rinds in the garbage disposal and turning it on will allow the great scent of citrus to flow through the air as it cleans out any stuck residue in your disposal.

2. Excellent for soothing a sore throat
You may have heard of this recipe from your grandmother, but tea made with honey, and freshly squeezed lemon juice does miracles for your sore throat. This is especially true if you mix it with some chamomile tea, this can help you feel much better in the long run. Even when you aren’t feeling under the weather, this concoction is great to drink on a regular basis to keep your immune system working in top notch.

3. Cooking
Lemons can add a fabulous taste to a variety of dishes and help them taste incredibly fresh. For instance, adding it to fish or a salad works wonders in giving them a much cleaner taste. You can zest some of the lemon rinds that are left over and add lemon zest to many recipes, too.

4. Insect Repellent
Citrusy scents drive bugs away — since lemons are acidic and have such a strong flavor, bugs cannot handle the smell. Mopping your floor with a lemon juice concoction, or cutting up some lemon and leaving slices on the counter will help to drive off flies and ants.

5. Cleaning
Adding some lemon to a water and soap solution can help make your counters smell nice and fresh. And since you are creating your cleaning solution, you know it’s a greener option and not filled with all of those chemicals we’re trying to avoid. So spray some cleaner with lemon on a counter and clean as usual, and then relish in the pleasant fresh scent.

So those are a few of MY favorite ways to use lemons in my everyday life, aside from enjoying a tall glass of fresh lemonade. Do you have another way you love to use lemons that isn’t listed here? Let me know in the comments below.