Why I Started to Prioritize Sleep

We all know that we're supposed to prioritize sleep but it's easier said than done. I finally began to prioritize sleep and I've seen a ton of benefits!

Ever since Brandon and I moved to Atlanta I’ve been slowly working on building our home but one of the rooms it seems I was constantly putting off was our master bedroom. It was just this hodgepodge of furniture with nowhere else to go so it ended up in our bedroom (for some reason). With the start of the new year I committed to being more mindful of our resting space and finally completing our master bedroom.

I reached out to Lush Decor who kindly sent a new bedding set and curtains, and to Skyway Walls who sent a new wall decal for me to display above my bed in sponsorship of my new bedroom makeover. It is starting to look beautiful in there and I can’t wait to share it with you all soon. I’m just waiting to add a few final finishing touches (like that cabinet I’m refinishing in a bright white).

I will tell you that when my new bedding arrived I was so excited I immediately ran to the store and spent more than I’m willing to admit on a brand-new set of sheets. Friends, I’ve never slept so good in my life! It was those first few mornings when I woke up actually feeling rested that made me finally realize how sleep-deprived I’ve been. I’ve been sleeping a solid 7 – 8 hours each night but there was no way that it was restful sleep.

Finally get a good night's rest!

Ever since I’ve started sleeping better I’ve noticed so many positive changes in my life, changes like:

  • Feeling less irritable / more patient
  • Brighter eyes / skin
  • Improved memory / focus
  • More energy / less reliant on caffeine

I didn’t even have to adjust my schedule to start feeling more rested which made me happy because I’m a night owl and I’m tired of hearing that the best sleep advice is to merely go to bed earlier. Some of us can’t just do that, you know? So, I discovered that getting better sleep really didn’t require that I go to bed earlier at all it just required that I make a few simple changes to my lifestyle and be more intentional about my home and my habits.

Lifestyle changes to help you prioritize sleep

These are just a few of the changes I made to help me start prioritizing sleep and feeling like I actually got enough rest during the night. This is not inclusive of every change I made but I feel like these are the ones that made the biggest difference.

Upgrade your bed

I don’t necessarily even mean the mattress (although if you haven’t replaced it in the last 10 years then you definitely should). I didn’t buy a new mattress but I did invest in high quality sheets and pillows as well as replace my old quilt with a brand new bedding set from Lush Decor. The soft new sheets, the firm new pillows, and the warm new bedding has created such a comfortable environment that my quality of sleep went up immediately.

Plan tomorrow, tonight

I shower in the evening (thank God for dry shampoo)I have started to really plan things out the night before. Planning my wardrobe, preparing my lunch, and reviewing my planner helps quiet my mind as I know exactly how I’ll begin my day and I know exactly what my day is going to entail. A quieter mind leads to higher quality sleep.

Change your alarm

I hate waking up to a loud, annoying, beeping sound. I tried waking up to music for a while but I found that my mind tends to incorporate the music into my dream and I never wake up on time. I’ve tried to adjust my alarm to different sounds but I find them all jarring. A few months ago I discovered these “sunrise” alarm clocks or wake-up lights which are absolutely incredible. Rather than waking up a loud annoying sound you wake up naturally as the light in your room slowly gets brighter and brighter. It feels so much more natural and your sleep feels so much more restful.

Top tips for a better night's rest. Develop better lifestyle habits and finally learn to sleep well.

I can’t say for sure if those extra tips from Leesa are going to turn you into a morning person or not because I don’t think I’ll ever be a morning person no matter how hard I try. I will say that it only took a few nights of new habits for me to realize how poorly I had truly been sleeping before. 

BTW…if you’re looking for more tips about a quiet mind, my blogging friend Kelly from Primarily Inspired has been sharing a lot about this minimalism challenge to help you focus and quiet your life. It’s been really great!

Do you feel like you get a good night’s sleep? Have any other sleep habits you’d care to share?

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl
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