Your Health in Action: 5 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Sleep Hygiene

5 Tips for Better SleepWhen it comes to sleep, it often feels like we just don’t get enough of it. When I first started wearing a FitBit, I was astonished to learn how restless I can be at night and how little sleep I tend to get on average. Lack of sleep affects every aspect of my world, from my productivity at work to my concentration in grad school (which is difficult enough after a traditional 8-hour day!), and even plays a major role in weight loss and food choices. One of my resolutions for 2017 has been to clean up my sleep hygiene, and while this is an ongoing process, I’m excited to see how much better I feel as I incorporate more of these healthy habits into my routine!

Check out these five tips for better sleep hygiene, and share your own in the comments section below!

1. Incorporate essential oils into your bedtime routine.
I fell in love with essential oils last year, when I attended an aromatherapy workshop at East End Market, and not long after that, I began using them at home. (After all, when you’re cooking alotof cauliflower, diffusing peppermint oil in your kitchen can be the perfect way to mask the smell.) I used the oils to help with headaches, immune health, and cravings. What I didn’t realize was that oils like lavender can actually help with relaxation, so I have now begun diffusing lavender in my bedroom about a half hour before I go to bed. The scent does provide a sense of calm, but it also makes my room smell amazing!

2. Keep work out of your bedroom.
Save work and school assignments for another area of your home. It can be tempting to work from your laptop in bed, but it will also cause you to associate your bedroom with actual work, which can keep your mind racing after your head hits the pillow.  Find another place to get your work done, whether it’s in another room or out of the house.

3. Eat clean.
Did you know that certain vitamin and nutrient deficiencies can be linked to shorter sleep duration? Lack of sleep is also correlated to overeating and junk food cravings, so this can become a vicious cycle. Break it by sticking to a more balanced diet and including a lot of variety in the carbs and proteins you consume. Avoid the processed frankenfoods out there and save them for special occasions only – not only can they disturb your sleep patterns, but they can also be bad for your skin, digestion, heart, and waistline. (Also, does anyone else remember that time on Hey Arnoldwhen Helga ate pork rinds before bed and ended up sleepwalking to Arnold’s house? Please don’t eat pork rinds before bed… or ever.)

4. Get some exercise.
Research shows that even 10 minutes of exercise each day can improve your sleep and overall stress levels. Whether you decide to hit the gym hard or simply go for a short walk, incorporating more physical activity into your routine can be a major game changer when it comes to the quality of your sleep.

5. Stay away from electronics.
If you’re anything like me, you’re still glued to your phone when it’s time for bed. Often I’ll lie awake, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, guided by the nearly blinding glow of my screen in the dark. Common sense alone will tell you this is not good for your sleep quality or for your eyes. Try to shut off electronics about a half hour before you go to sleep if you can, but at the very least, refrain from using your phone in bed – this will help your brain to shut off as well.

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Following these tips will help you to create the perfect sleep environment for you. Another way to improve your overall sleep environment? Making sure you have the right mattress! It’s important to change out your mattress every 7-10 years. If you’re in the market, check out Leesa and learn about their luxury mattresses.

Looking for more tips for excellent sleep hygiene? Check out this awesome infographic from Leesa and read more about their mattresses here.


What are some of your tips for better sleep? Share in the comments section below!

Link Love Wednesday: London Landmarks

imageHappy Wednesday, readers! November is here, but I’m still not entirely convinced that it’s time to take down the Halloween decorations. Pumpkins are relevant until at least December, right? 🙂 I’m going to go with yes. I hope everyone had a magical Halloween filled with crazy costumes, exciting festivities and more chocolate than you’d care to admit to eating. It’s my favorite time of year, and with Thanksgiving and the holidays around the corner, the fun is only just beginning.

Wind down from your sugar highs with this week’s batch of link love, and be sure to share your favorite recent articles in the comments section!

Things I’m Loving Lately

What are your favorite links from the week? Sound off in the comments below!

Link Love Wednesday: Pineapple Edition

GarlandI don’t know about you, but this Wednesday really felt like a Wednesday. Did anyone else feel the drag of Hump Day today? Life has been rather busy lately — mostly good things — and despite my sleep deprivation and sudden aversion to exercise, I’m looking forward to the opportunities to come. What have you been up to in the last week?

Wind down from a long week with this week’s fabulous link love, and as always, share your own favorite recent finds in the comments section below!

Things I’m Loving Lately

  • The show Quantico on ABC. It’s addictive! Who else is watching?
  • Devonta Freeman, running back for the Atlanta Falcons. I picked him up on a waiver for Fantasy Football and played him for the first time last week. He surpassed 30 Fantasy points that week and I was not disappointed!
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. It’s a great take on dating patterns in today’s generation and incredibly eye opening.
  • This incredibly cool tank top I bought for Halloween. I’ve been secretly living in this shirt. (Shhhh.)
  • Colbie Caillat’s cover of The Script’s song, Breakeven. I think I like it better than the original!
  • Scream Queens on FOX. It’s the perfect dark comedy and filled with familiar faces.

What are you loving this week? Share in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Awesome Things That Happened Last Week

funny-dinosaurUnless you were living under a rock for the last week, you probably saw the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover reveal on social media. Caitlyn’s very public transition has been extremely educational for many who have never met someone in the transgender community before, and in turn, I feel that this will inspire more widespread kindness and acceptance in the future.

However, amidst all the latest media coverage of Caitlyn’s transition (both positive and negative), many of us have missed out on other important events in the news lately. This edition of The Weekend Five will bring you up to speed on some of the other awesome things happening in the world in the last week or so.

The Weekend Five: Awesome Things That Happened Last Week

1. A brand new dinosaur was discovered.
The “Hellboy” dinosaur, as scientists have nicknamed it, was recently discovered and is related to the triceratops we all know and love. What is especially cool about this discovery is that, according to researchers, “it’s the first example of evolutionary convergence in horned dinosaurs.” On a romantic note, one of the lead researchers actually proposed to his girlfriend in the paper he published about the dinosaur. How sweet!

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DNA Analysis.

DNA Analysis.

2. A new DNA test has been developed to determine the history of viruses in a patient.
This test, called VirScan, will tell you what viruses you have had throughout your lifetime and could lead to early detection of other medical conditions. Scientists also believe that this could give us better insight into what triggers other diseases, such as cancer.

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3. Guam became the first U.S. territory to legalize gay marriage.
I honestly don’t understand why this isn’t legal everywhere, but this is still an important step toward equality.

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4. Orange County, NY signed an animal abuse registry into law.
What this means is that convicted animal abusers will be logged into an animal abuse registry, which will prevent them from being able to own animals. As an animal lover and member of a dog-rescuing family, I think this needs to happen everywhere! The law is very tough, especially on two-time offenders, and hopefully will protect a lot of animals from abuse and neglect in the future.

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5. Researchers were able to restore lost memories in mice.
This is a huge breakthrough because it could ultimately help to treat patients with amnesia. Researchers are hopeful that this treatment could restore memories for patients with early stage Alzheimer’s, head trauma and other brain disorders.

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What are some awesome news stories you picked up throughout the week? Share your favorites in the comments section below!

Link Love Wednesday: Happy Graduation!

Happy Wednesday, readers! I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by. For many of you, it’s graduation season – in other words, time to bedazzle those graduation caps and change your profile picture to something nostalgic. Monday marked the two-year anniversary of my own college graduation, and while I miss that time of my life so dearly, some of it has begun to feel like a distant memory. My advice to grads: Enjoy every moment. Spend time with your friends while everyone is still in the same place. Take way too many pictures. And if you get bored, feel free to stop over here for some Link Love! 🙂

 What are your favorite links from the week? Share them in the comments section below!

What’s HOT/What’s NOT: August 2010

As we delve into the month of August, we enter that transitionary period between a fun, carefree summer and a rigorous, no-nonsense academic year. With back-to-school shopping and first impressions to look forward to, we must keep up with the latest trends and tomorrow’s do’s/don’ts. Read more to find out what’s hot and what’s not this fall, and don’t forget to comment with your own ideas of what’s in style! 🙂

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What’s HOT
Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest hit film, Inception, and pretty much all of the dreamy men who co-star.

What’s NOT
Sleeping the entire summer away!

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What’s HOT
Becoming well known for something you’re good at and inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

What’s NOT
Following in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps by making a sex tape in order to become famous. (Good call, Montana Fishburne?)

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What’s HOT
The fact that the mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars airs on Tuesday, August 10, at 8pm on ABC Family.

What’s NOT
Not knowing how to spend the subsequent Tuesday nights.

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What’s NOT
Eminem’s latest work off of his Recovery album, most notably “Love the Way You Lie” (ft. Rihanna).

What’s NOT
All of the backlash his music video has since received.

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What’s HOT
The beautiful city of Miami, Florida.

What’s NOT
The crowd that reality TV shows (ie. Jersey Shore) have drawn to its oasis.

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What’s HOT
The latest tweets from Lord Voldemort’s unofficial Twitter account.

What’s NOT
Having to wait until November for the next Harry Potter movie.

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What’s HOT
The end of a difficult semester.

What’s NOT
The onslaught of exams one must face first.

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What’s HOT
Steve Carrell as a not-so-smart but well-meaning taxidermist/IRS worker with a heart of gold in the surprisingly enjoyable film Dinner for Schmucks.

What’s NOT
The strong possibility of Steve Carrell leaving the cast of The Office after next season. 😦

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What’s HOT
The beachy summer hairstyle of the braided headband. (Click here for an easy-to-follow video tutorial!)

What’s NOT
These top ten mustache styles that must be stopped.

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What’s HOT
The return of favorite old bands in time for brand new tours (Something Corporate!).

What’s NOT
Not being in town to watch them perform!


What’s HOT/What’s NOT: July 2010

After a wonderful long vacation with friends, I realized that this blog has remained untouched for a week! In order to rectify this, I would like to introduce What’s HOT/What’s NOT to my new readers. 🙂 This monthly segment was something I originally planned to keep going on my old blog, but now that I’ve switched to WordPress, I decided to resurrect this feature here, starting with the month of July! Take a peek at some of the latest trends and faux pas, and comment below with your own!

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What’s HOT
The new ABC Family hit show Pretty Little Liars, where two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.

What’s NOT
Lying about your SCRAM bracelet activity and ending up in jail.

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What’s HOT
The opening of the brand new HP theme park!

What’s NOT
The continuation of the no-longer-brand-new BP oil spill.

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What’s HOT
The cute new summer fashions making their way into our wardrobes!

What’s NOT
The bizarre and often unflattering couture of many Walmart shoppers.

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What’s HOT
Attending barbecues and watching fireworks with friends on the beach.

What’s NOT
The onset of rain as soon as you get there.

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What’s HOT
Using the summer holiday to boost your energy and stay refreshed.

What’s NOT
Taking so many summer classes that you hardly have time to breathe.

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What’s HOT
Those so-bad-they’re-good cult classic “dark comedy” movies.

What’s NOT
The Last Airbender. Need I say more?

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What’s HOT
Working toward a healthier beach bod!

What’s NOT
The bad habits we’ve perpetuated for years.

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What’s HOT
Glozell’s YouTube analysis of the Sean Kingston / Justin Bieber song Eenie Meenie.

What’s NOT
The actual song!

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What’s HOT
Charlie the Cavalier King Charles puppy! (He’s mine. I had to.)

What’s NOT
Charlie the Unicorn and the viral video “Charlie Bit Me.”

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What’s HOT
Celebrating your American pride and saluting your country.

What’s NOT
Listening to country music as part of that salute! 😛