If you think about it, the light bulb is a relatively recent invention, only from 1879. Before that, we were forced to live by the naturals rhythms of light and dark. Recently I was reading about how to get better sleep today by creating a sleep cave.
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Don’t get me wrong, I greatly appreciate electricity and all of its luxuries, but I part of me wishes I lived back in the day when we only used candles in the evening. When I was single and lived by myself I would often live only by candlelight at night. (It certainly saved on the electric bill!) Plus, it’s super calming for highly sensitive people.
But, once you’re married and living with a family, this gets much harder to do. You can sneak in a shower by candle light or a short daily self care ritual, but creating a sleep cave is another great way to pamper yourself. Just like fasting from food or noise can be refreshing, so can a vacation from all the lights. Not just natural light, but lights from tv’s, cell phones, and even little things like alarm clocks and digital cable boxes. Here are 10 ways to make a sleep cave:
1. Ideally, a bedroom with no windows is perfect. Or, even better, an attic or basement room. Otherwise, consider investing in some eclipse curtains or layering some heavy blankets over the window.
When we first moved into our house, we couldn’t afford to replace the custom blinds to match our new bedroom color so we spray painted the blind instead. It took so many layers of spray paint to cover the old ugly peach color that no light gets through that baby! I love it. (I wouldn’t recommend this now that I’m more aware of the toxic fumes of spray paint and how long they continue to hang around, even after you can’t smell it anymore.)
2. Keep the room clean and uncluttered.
You don’t want to be thinking about doing anything else in that room other than sleeping. If it’s cluttered you’ll be feeling like you need to clean.
3. Keep the room slightly cool.
Studies show that we sleep better in cooler temperatures. If you’re a person who is always cold, keep lots of cozy blankets in your room.
4. If you have a busy family and its impossible to keep the noise out, try using a sound machine or a fan to create white noise.
5. Keep your bedding clean and fresh.
6. Take the time to find just the right pillow and buy several, trust me, its worth it. A bed full of perfect pillows is heaven.
I’ve gone from cheap flat pillows to plush down ones and it makes all the difference. Watch for bargains at stores like Kohl’s, especially during the holidays.
7. While we’re on the subject of bedding, have you ever tried a weighted blanket?
This has been on my wishlist for a long time. They are great for highly sensitive people, as well as anyone on the autistic spectrum or those suffering from sensory disorders, restless sleep, anxiety or depression. My mother-in-law is making me one and I absolutely can’t wait until she’s done.
8. Try an eye mask. (It’s like a little weighted blanket for your eyes!)
I got mine from my yoga teacher. It’s made of deep blue, cool, silky material.
9. Need a little help relaxing and falling asleep at the end of the day? If you’re like me, then you do! I’m totally in love with the magnesium lotion from Earthly.
In fact, I love it show much I’m an Earthly ambassador and have added it to the Self Care Shop. I’m a huge fan of magnesium. About 70% of us don’t consume enough magnesium on a daily basis. It draws water into the bowels to help prevent constipation, is a natural muscle relaxer, and a sleep aid. If you have fibromyalgia or other similar health condition where your body aches, you have to try magnesium. It really takes the pain away. Our skin is our largest organ and the fastest way to get anything into our bodies so a magnesium lotion makes total sense. Best of all, it’s safe for kids.
(It is scented with lavender, but if you don’t like lavender, you can buy an unscented version called Mama’s Magnesium Dream Cream.) I love that all of the products are handmade by a mama!
10. Do you still wake up feeling tired? You may be suffering from adrenal burnout. Another product I’m totally in love with is Phosphatidylserine by Designs for Health.
It’s amazing for getting your adrenals back on track quickly.
Try downloading this the Sleep Better app to track the quality of your sleep and see if you notice a difference when you use your new sleep cave.