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Duke sleeps better than any other being I know.

Whenever I’m feeling anxious I don’t sleep. The wheels in my mind, they keep a-spinnin’.  Sometimes I need to write lists so my brain knows I won’t forget about all of the important (and not so important) things I need to do. Unfortunately, lists sometimes aggravate my anxiety because I now have a tangible article of ALL I have to do and it overwhelms me. Many times I avoid the list writing and get up and turn on the TV. Sometimes the drone of the noise and light will distract my brain enough to let me slumber. But after a few night of this I become irritable, forgetful, and downright exhausted. It is certainly not the best version of me. Random factoid: I’m the best me with 9 hours of sleep.

How much sleep do we need? The CDC posted a nifty article about sleep several years ago, the Mayo Clinic has done their studies, and associations such as the American Massage Therapy Association have weighed in as well. The CDC article suggests the amount of sleep we need varies by age: school-age children need at least 10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours (yes I DO realize that I’m a forty-something year old woman who needs as much sleep as a teenager). The Mayo Clinic article on Insomnia has a pretty thorough list of causes. One of the risk factors? Being a woman. I kid you not. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

So what helps you sleep?

Seemingly easy things like going to bed and rising at the same time every day; avoiding large meals late at night, avoiding nicotine, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. But what else?

The Sleep Foundation posts a quick one page sheet on making your room an optimal sleep zone: 1) Dim the lights an hour before bedtime; 2) Your room should make you feel relaxed and peaceful (think calming colors, no clutter); 3) Make your room cool: 60-67 degrees (OK I say this is FREEZING and I can’t imagine sleeping in a room this cold – but I’ve read it over and over and over – so maybe there’s something to it); 4) Choose comfortable mattresses, pillows, and sheets; 5) Reduce noise (and add a “sound conditioner”); 6) Surround yourself with scents you like.

Here’s how I can help:

Comphy Sheets: The softest sheets ever. They wash beautifully and dry quickly (saving energy). They are simply a joy to crawl into. Comphy actually conducted a 6-week study and at the end ALL of the participants reported better sleep using Comphy linens. Because I love my readers, use the code “comphyadventures” to receive FREE SHIPPING on all Comphy orders placed through my site: www.SimplyMassageFL.com. I use these linens on my massage tables AND on my own bed. Simply Heaven.

Lemongrass Spa offers a line wonderful essential oil diffusers and essential oils to aid sleep: If you’re a purist, we have Lavender – there’s a reason it’s the go-to for massage therapists around the world. If you like to change it up, we offer amazing blends like my personal favorite: Balancing Act which helps reduce hormonal imbalances and stabilizes mood (remember that little Mayo Clinic study ladies??). It’s a divine blend of rose geranium, clary sage, rose absolute, and jasmine absolute.

Simply. Massage. Yes, you knew it was coming. It could be an entire blog all on its own. The short version? Massage can increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin plays a part in the production of melatonin – the hormone which regulates sleep. Massage = Serotonin = Melatonin = SLEEP.  Since I am not the FIRST to make these claims, I’m providing my loyal followers with a Sleep Review article that provides more of the dirty details: Massage Therapy for a Better Night’s Sleep.

As always, I love your comments and feedback. What I’m kind of obsessing about is the 60 degree sleeping room – does anyone out there really sleep in a 60 degree room?? I need to know!

Sweet dreams,

Erin