Thursday Touchbase & Tips for Sleep

View from the TWC Center where the HPLS conference was held.

View from the TWC Center where the HPLS conference was held.

Hi guys- hope all of your weeks are going well so far! For you guys that read my post on being present, have you discovered any shifts in your mindset and/or being in the moment a bit more?

Cutting back on posting frequency to 2-3x a week was a necessary move with the chaos of my schedule and commitments at the moment, but I definitely miss posting so frequently. That being said, I have some really exciting posts coming up for you guys because last weekend I went to the best training & health conference I've ever been to, the Equinox High Performance Living Symposium.

There were some of the biggest people in the training and health industries presenting on topics that ranged from practical training for fascial fitness, brain nutrition and mitochondrial health, the psychology of behavioral change, the science of sleep, and even more. Have I lost you with nerdy jargon yet? I came away from the conference so inspired, and I learned so much.

I'm jumping now!

I'm jumping now!

As much as we know how important working out and being active is to our health, it is equally important to take care of yourself through what you eat and how you recover- sleep. 

So for this post, I want to leave you with two great tips on sleep I learned from Dr. Jennifer Martin from UCLA School of Medicine. I will be putting up a dedicated post to this topic in upcoming weeks, but for now I want to share a sneak preview with you.

While I have become a professional at "fall asleep anywhere anytime," I suffer from insomniac phases sometimes and find it extremely difficult to fall asleep sometimes, especially when I have a lot on my mind. So here are two of my favorite sleep tips that I have been practicing for several years now, and it was nice to get these affirmed by a clinical sleep specialist!

1. Create a Sleep-Only Haven

How many times have you dragged your laptop onto your bed with you? Watching Netflix, browsing through Facebook? Just like having your phone around during bedtime, it keeps your brain wired and makes it difficult to fall asleep. 

Solution: Create a sleeping-only space for yourself and your bed. No, you don't need 100 fluffy pillows (although that'd be nice), but you should remove all distractions away from your bed. Don't eat on it (shudder.. crumbs!), and especially don't bring any type of work with you to bed, even if you think it's lighter reading. By creating a sleeping-only space, your brain creates a sort of Pavlovian response, and understands what that space is meant for, leaving you fully ready to dive headfirst into your pillows and drift off peacefully.

2. Distracted? Keep a pen and paper on your nightstand table

Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because my brain is just exploding with thoughts and things I have to get done. This will make me anxious and unable to relax. I actually started doing this trick back when I was skating.

Solution: Keep a single sheet of paper (no journals, otherwise that turns into a full on distracting affair) and a pen/pencil on your nightstand. Every time you have a distracting thought you cannot get rid of, scribble it down on the paper. You shouldn't have to really get up to do this. I got so comfortable with it that I could reach over and scribble with one hand with all the lights off and not having to budge an inch in my bed. This activity helps you free your mind of any lingering thoughts that might push sleep away.

Lastly, since I have been posting a bit less, I wanted to share two of my favorite fellow blogger links I've been loving right now:

A yummy fall breakfast recipe from a blogger friend I met on the Instagram world, the lovely Joscelyn Abreu of wifemamafoodie:

Joscelyn created these adorable Autumn Squash Breakfast Cups. I love winter squash, and I made a Delicata Squash egg-in-a-hole, but Joscelyn took it to a way better next level with Turkey Bacon! Anyone looking for a better, healthier option of a bacon egg and cheese sandwich, this is definitely body-friendly than the alternative.

In the spirit of the holidays, my friend Annie Reeves (who I finally met in person when she visited NYC!) created the first of her many gift guides for her website, featuring Open Door Shop's stuff. 

I turn into a little holiday elf around the holidays, and I can't wait until the Union Square holiday market opens up. This gift guide is perfect for little ornaments and holiday stocking stuffers. Anyone else excited about the holidays this early like me?