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The HAUTE Guide — To Resetting Your Sleep Schedule

After two years of facing the reality that time is actually a construct; none of us have been sleeping well. Personally I spent all of 2020 staying up until the wee hours of the morning because it was the only time peace and I could meet one another. Whether I was binging addictive TV series; hello Younger, or enjoying hours long Zoom happy hours with college friends; sleep was a distant memory. Now in 2022, I’m finally ready to get back to bed. Collectively I think we’re all exhausted. If you’re nodding your head, then this post is for you. My HAUTE guide to resetting your sleep schedule, because it’s time to get some sleep. We need it.

I’ve never been a great sleeper. Or rather since I became an adolescent who moved out of my mother’s house I haven’t been a great sleeper. Naps were never really my thing. I’m the person who suddenly falls asleep and didn’t even realize they were tired. And after becoming a mom, well, I haven’t slept a full eight hours in almost fourteen years. In 2020 any semblance of a sleep schedule went flying out of the window completely but now I’m finally ready to prioritize rest again. For over a year I have been committing myself to getting in shape and been disappointed and kind of jaded by the lack of progress I’ve made. Feeling like the needle, or numbers, weren’t moving. That led me to look past just exercise and what I was eating into other habits that were affecting my overall health.

Enter our good friend, Sleep.

As I said it has been years since I have gone to bed at a relatively reasonable hour consistently. Whether because I was up nursing newborns, tending to toddlers, or simply trying to build my career, it meant my brain is always on. Which means sleep has evaded me. By the time I get ready to lie down at night it’s the next day and I have be up again in five or so hours. This year I recognized that my poor sleep habits are probably the culprit behind my stagnant weight. So I finally decided to do something about it. Here are a few tips on how I’ve reset my sleep schedule.

1. Realign your thoughts on rest.

I’m a mover. A shaker. A goer and a doer. Sitting still makes me feel like I’m being idle and thus unproductive. That mindset has made it very difficult for me to understand that the body and mind require rest. Require. In order for anything to function at its full capacity it has to turn off, recharge, or restart from time to time. Humans are the same way. We’ve become so accustom to the hustle lifestyle that we now think sleep is for the lazy. What a complete and utter lie. Rest is necessary for our bodies to function. Sleep deprivation leads to brain fog, body malfunction, and burnout. All of which I was experiencing. What I’ve begun telling myself is that taking the time to do nothing or rest is just as valuable as working. My best work can only come if my mind and body are fully recharged. That comes from giving it the chance to take off.

2. Set a bedtime.

Okay, we may think bedtimes are just for kids but there are a ton of things that people think are just for children and are completely wrong about. Things like play, toys, and wipes are a few examples. The latter being something I can’t understand AT ALL. How do we wipe baby butts with moistened wipes but think adult asses don’t need them?! But that’s a lesson for another day so I’ll digress.  (If you’re looking though, use these, they’re my fav right now.) Back to sleep. Bedtime is one of the easiest ways I was able to reset my sleep schedule. By telling myself I need to be in bed by certain time every night I’ve now trained my body to get tired. Whereas before I would watch television or hang out until my eyes could hardly stay open, now have to be in bed by 11pm. I do give myself a little wiggle room on vacation or weekends but largely I am aiming to stay on that schedule. This makes it easier to get up earlier and actually feel rested when I do. Now no matter where I am in a show or how good a book is; at 11? It’s head in bed for me.

3. Better linens.

You may be thinking Leslie, what do my sheets have anything to do with my sleep schedule? I’ll tell you. If your bed isn’t comfortable — neither is your sleep. I run hot at night. Many people do, which is why temperature adjusting sheets are a thing. It’s also why so many people sleep with fans on or windows open in the dead of winter. I’m people, people is me. And while I love the cool breeze from the window or the fan I also like a heavily blanketed bed. For a long while I was waking up multiple times in full blown night sweats thus interrupting my already short sleep. I was tired of having to disrobe in the cloak of night and laying on sweaty sheets. So I did something about it. Bought better ones. Find the sheets that work for you. For some it’s linen, others it’s jersey or flannel, perhaps sateen. For me it’s these Casaluna sheets from Target. Cool bed? Great sleep.

4. Find something that quiets your mind.

There are some extreme versions of this idea that say you should keep your phone on the other side of your room or not look at any electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Listen I’m not going to tell you that because I like watching TV until my bedtime and I keep a charging station on my nightstand. What I will say is that once you’re in bed I don’t recommend scrolling yourself into a slumber. Because scrolling requires you to be active. Either replying, double tapping, reading captions, or listening to videos. It’s all too much for the old brain right before you’re trying to let it chill. My quiet something? Reading. I am a sucker for great novels so once I’ve brushed and flossed, done my skincare routine, I curl up with my book. It is a Kindle but the brightness lives on low and it does the trick every time.

Sleep is vital to good health. There is no if ands or buts about it. In the short two months that I’ve decided to prioritize my sleep I’ve already lost three pounds, I feel more spry, and honestly I feel the creative cogs starting to turn once more. Enough of the stigmatized notion that you’ll sleep when you’re dead. No more of this sleep is the cousin of death. What you’re going to find is that death will come sooner if you don’t lay your ass down. Resting is not a sign of weakness. It is not an indication that you are nothing and that you won’t amount to anything. It is the awareness of your body and your mind’s needs. The essence of doing nothing is the understanding that rest is everything.

here’s to you getting the best rest of your life in 2022.

be well,

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  1. […] yourself in, time to go night night. There is it again that damn sleep. I know, I just talked about sleep the last time you were here but that means you should probably listen. Good skin = good sleep. Have […]

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