The last year as a midwife has convinced me of just how important sleep is for our physical body, our mental capacity, our emotional stability and honestly just our overall well being. I'm now even more convinced in the last 2 months after investing in a Whoop and receiving biofeedback every morning on the quality of sleep I'm getting. See, all sleep is not created equally. And I didn't know that prior to getting the Whoop... eight hours was eight hours right? Wrong.


To put it simply, there are three main categories of sleep. Light sleep, Deep sleep, and REM sleep. Light sleep is the phase of sleep where you can be easily woken up and for the majority of people, it takes up nearly half your night's slumber. Deep sleep is the portion of sleep where your physical body is repaired. Cellular repair occurs and hormones are regulated during this time. REM sleep, also called rapid eye movement sleep is the stage of sleep when your brain is repaired and ideas and skills are put into memory.





Here's a healthy breakdown of the percentage of each category of sleep you should be aiming for:


Graphics taken from Whoop website


For obvious reasons, it's important that our body receives adequate amounts of all three of the levels of sleep and not simply just a certain amount of hours. So how do you go about maximizing the quality of your sleep? It starts with the actions you do in the day and hours leading up to bedtime.




Get links to my nightstand decor here


My 10 Tips for improving the quality of your sleep


1. Conscience Caffeine Intake

By no means am I saying cut caffeine out of your diet completely. (Trust me, ya girl loves her iced coffee!) But become more conscience of the time of the day your're consuming caffeine because it affects the body in a stimulating way through the sympathetic nervous system. The exact opposite way your body is able to sleep and repair through the parasympathetic nervous system. As a rule of thumb, I cut myself off from caffeine after noon, but you know your body best!


2. Establish Sleep Consistency

If your job is anything like mine, this aspect is a little challenging. However, if you have a predictable schedule, sleep consistency -meaning going to sleep and waking up at the same time- has been proven to be very beneficial in the quality of sleep you get.


3. Establish a Nighttime Routine

A night time routine is helpful to signal your body it's time for sleep. It's even more helpful if it's one that facilitates sleep. Incorporate some of the tips below into your bed time routine every night to help facilitate and ease the process of falling asleep.


4. Stop Screen Time 30 Minutes Prior to Bed

Blue light that's emitted from our phones and computers isn't only unhealthy for our eyes (its been shown to lead to macular degeneration), it also suppresses levels of melatonin in our brain (the naturally occurring chemical that is released at night that calms our bodies and helps us fall asleep). *P.s. This is why melatonin supplements can be beneficial for those of you who struggle with insomnia.


If you are a person who has to look at their phone/computer all day long for work, I highly recommend investing in blue-light blocking glasses. These will not only protect your eyes but also prevent you from developing migraines and insomnia when it's time to get to sleep.

My favorite are Felix Greys but I have an amazon Dupe that work just as well!




5. Reserve your bed for sleeping

This may seem obvious but reserving your bed for sleep helps your body to recognize what it's responsible for when it gets there. I often times used to study/do work in my bed and then I couldn't fall asleep because I wasn't able to shut my mind off when trying to fall asleep after just having been in a working mindset in the same exact spot. Additionally, invest in sheets and bedding that you enjoy. My Slip pillowcase is by far my favorite thing not only for the benefits it has on my skin and hair but the fact that it always remains cool and helps me to sleep better.


Get my pillowcase and the rest of our bedding here:




6. Stretch + Meditate prior to bed

I cannot recommend these two practices enough. Stretching, especially your back, hamstrings, and side body is so restorative for your body's muscles and also helps to release any tension that has built up during the day. It's a great precedent for relaxing the muscles in the same way you want to relax your mind through meditation. My husband and I listen to the Headspace App quite often before going to bed to achieve relaxation of the mind.


*P.s. for any fellow nurse practitioners you can enter your NPI number for a free year's worth of the subscription!


7. Use a weighted blanket

I didn't necessarily see the benefit of this until I got one and experienced it for myself. The science behind the benefits of a weight blanket are as follows. The weight of the blanket pushes on touch receptors creating a feeling of being held down in a secure way (known as deep touch pressure). This feeling stimulates serotonin to be released within the brain which is a chemical that has pleasure and calming effects and is also necessary for the regulation of sleep. I didn't even necessarily buy a blanket that was marketed for this use but I use this Pottery Barn blanket that does the trick.



8. Make use of a sleeping mask

If you're unable to create a completely dark environment, the use of a sleep mask can be helpful to close out any lights. In our room, we have black out curtains and also utilize sleep masks. My husband jokes that he's going into the cockpit overnight because it definitely looks like he's wearing a fighter pilot helmet, but it gets the job done. You can get his rendition or mine which is way cuter, here:




9. Use a white noise machine if all else fails

These aren't just for kids! If you live in a busy city or have loud neighbors, you may want to get a white noise machine. You don't even necessarily have to get one as they have apps on your phone that supply the same noise but it can be distracting if text messages or alerts are coming through at the same time. For all of you who also work wonky hours, a sleep machine can be beneficial when trying to fall asleep when the rest of the world is awake (and loud!)



10. Get moving during the day

Your body will sleep on a 24 hour cycle because it needs it and we all have circadian rhythms within us, but it will sleep even better if you have given it a reason to be tired. Moving at least 30 minutes a day is great for your body, mind and your sleep.


I hope these tips help you fall asleep, stay asleep and improve the quality of your sleep! I share these tips from my own personal experience backed by scientific data. For me, I like knowing the why behind somethings efficacy and I hope that by sharing it with you, you can make informed decisions about your sleep and improve your overall wellbeing!




Sweet dreams,

WWCo.

Sharing the tricks that have improved the wellbeing of my skin and added a healthy benefit to shower time. It happens to feature a DIY shower scrub thats so easy to make!


The first tip is dry brushing my entire body before I get into the shower. Say what?! Yes, dry brushing. This means taking a brush like this one and brushing your entire body immediately before jumping in the shower. It's important you are brushing in conjunction with your lymphatic system* in order to get all the benefits dry brushing has!





*Lymphatic system: a system in our body that works to eliminate toxins and filter the fluid within us. You could think of it like a filtration system that carries water (lymph) throughout our bodies and meets at large filtration centers ( in our armpits, collarbone area, and groin area) to filter out the water and get rid of pollutants (toxins via our immune system)!


So when doing this, you will want to brush from your fingers and toes up towards the core of your body when focusing on your extremities and down the core of your body towards the floor. I would recommend brushing in that order, extremities and then core. The dry brush works to stimulate the lymphatic system and exfoliate your dead skin cells. In order to achieve these effects you may find that the brushing causes redness and slight irritation when done vigorously. Adjust to comfort level knowing this is normal.


Other benefits that can result from dry brushing include: increased circulation, elimination of toxins, redistribution of fat deposits aka a reduction in the appearance of cellulite, and brightened skin tone.


After dry brushing I get in the shower, rinse my entire body and then apply my DIY shower scrub. This step adds additional exfoliation to the skin but also allows the body to absorb magnesium sulfate (an ingredient in the scrub) calming the central nervous system and relaxing the body and mind!



This scrub lasts me about 1.5 months as a little goes a long way. All the ingredients are sold in bulk making the scrub itself super affordable and easily replaceable when you run low!


RECIPE:

1 cup epsom salt

1.5 tablespoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 drops citrus essential oil (or your choice of scent!)


INSTRUCTIONS:

Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container or mason jar

Keep in a cool temperature and use as needed!


This is such an easy way to incorporate a ton of health benefits into your everyday routine without breaking the bank or taking up too much time. For me, that's a win any day! I hope you all enjoy these tips as much as I have! If you're lacking any of the ingredients/supplies or just would prefer the products I use, you can get them here:








With the pandemic crisis of COVID-19 many of us have been asked to relocate our jobs from the traditional workspace to our homes. Additionally, children have been switched to homeschooling and virtual learning amidst our efforts to stop the spread of this deadly virus. So now, we aren't only working from home but multi-tasking to the max. These are just a few of the many changes that are occurring every single da as many of you know.


During this time, I want Well & Worthy Co. to be a place you find meaningful support and encouragement during this truly crazy time. So today, I'm offering the best tips I've gathered working from home.


But Skyler, you don't work from home?


You're right. I don't now, but girl that seven years of schooling amounted to a whole lot of working "from home".


During my time in school and my efforts to build my brand through Well & Worthy Co. I've learned that these simple steps increase my ability and my level of productivity.



1. Set up a designated working space

Theres something about a space that is defined for work that elicits a level of productivity that your couch just can't. For me this space has to be quiet, clean and include some essentials- a water bottle, great lighting, and a great pen. (This is actually a game changer for me). I always found a desk with a comfortable chair was great for me but if you're spending 8+ hours a day infront of your computer, it may be best to construct a stand-up desk/space. Additionally, it's important to protect your eyes! I'm linking my favorite blue light blocking glasses from Amazon below.


2. List out your tasks & goals for the day ahead

Writing down your tasks for the day ahead is a great way to stay on track and meet your goals for that day. If you want to take it a step farther, you can even write out how many minutes you plan to devote to each task if you're someone who can easily get off track. Don't forget to make these goals attainable and specific in order to achieve them and furthermore motivate yourself to keep it moving.


3. Schedule in your breaks

Scheduling in breaks can be a great way to avoid burnout and sustain mental clarity. If you feel yourself starting to get stuck in a block, wandering to other tasks or just having negative thoughts, take my advise and do some of the following: go for a walk outside for 10 minutes, participate in 10 minutes of meditation (HeadSpace is my favorite app), do what I like to call a "brain dump" and write down on a piece of paper all the "to-do's" that are taking up space in your head and preventing you from being productive. After doing one of these, return to your desk refreshed and ready to continue or take on the next task.


4. Don't let working from home be an excuse to work differently

Although your environment has changed, your career and job description probably haven't. Let the home environment be one that offers flexibility but not to the extent of distraction. Keeping a consistent schedule as far as wake up time, lunch, and logging off can be helpful to separate your work from the rest of your day and family.


5. Take advantage of your new opportunities

Have an hour lunch break? Get in a quick HIT workout or barre class and shower prior to logging back in. With a shower no more than 2 rooms away from your workspace, you're bound to be bale to squeeze in a workout during your lunch without having to worry about getting ready to head back to the office. You can also make your lunch as you please going for what you're in the mood for as opposed to packing ahead! This time can be one we see as a barrier or one we see as an opportunity, let it serve you in a positive way and make the most of your new setting.


I hope you find some helpful tips in this post to get you through what may be a big or small change in your working life! I've linked the products that have helpful for me including my favorite pair of joggers and blue light blocking glasses.





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