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Oct 12, 2021

Sweet Dreams

“I don’t need a hairstylist. My pillow gives me a different hairstyle every morning.” – Unknown

Experts estimate the global sleep economy, (yes, that’s a thing) will be worth 585 billion dollars by 2024. The sleep economy consists of products, services, and applications connected to sleep. For reference, in 2019, it was valued at 432 billion.

Uninterrupted, restful sleep used to come easy for me. I could have a cup of coffee late afternoon and have no problem falling asleep at bedtime the minute my head hit the pillow. Now, getting a good night’s sleep is a concerted effort. When I think about all I do to ensure a restful sleep, I guess you can say I’ve contributed my fair share to the more than 400-billion-dollar industry.

Just call me Goldilocks as far as pillows are concerned. I bought a $10 pillow advertised never to go flat. Spoiler alert, the pillow went flat. I flat out refused to keep it, so I returned it. In its place, I bought an antimicrobial, alternative down pillow. I returned that one too. I just wasn’t down with it.

Then, I got suckered into ordering a set of pillows from an infomercial. The pillows are constructed with an open-cell, poly-foam design. Poly-lies! Those open cells kept my eyes open wide. When trying to sleep on the pillow, I felt like my head was lying on soft bricks.

Thankfully, my current pillow has survived well past the return policy. I’m only ever so slightly embarrassed to say it cost more than the last four combined. But I love it, and I think Goldilocks would love it, too.

On the floor by my bed, I have a white noise machine. On my bedside table, I have two different essential oil blends to lull me to sleep. Just before bed, I pour a few drops into my hands and inhale deeply. I put a drop behind each ear as if I’m putting on perfume. I also place a few drops on my temples, forehead, and the soles of my feet. Within minutes, I’m off to la-la land.

I have an array of sleep aids in my medicine cabinet, including melatonin, a natural sleep aid in various forms, and a pack of earplugs, just in case the neighbors decide to party like it’s 1999.

We all know why sleep is essential. Among the many reasons, better sleep equals a better mood, better sleep can boost your immune system, and getting a good night’s sleep can increase exercise performance. However, the verdict is still out on precisely what constitutes a good night’s sleep. For example, how many hours of sleep do we really need?

How much sleep we need changes as we age, but The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend adults (18-60) get at least seven hours of sleep each night, though only 1 in 3 of us do.

If achieving a restful night’s sleep is only in your dreams, try some or all these fail-safe methods.

  1. Be consistent. Try to go to bed at the same time each night.
  2. Get physical! Going for a walk or run during the day can help you fall asleep easier at night.
  3. Avoid large meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bedtime.
  4. The blue light emitted from your device can interrupt your natural sleep pattern, circadian rhythm. So remove your devices to another room or, at the very least, to the other side of the bedroom.
  5. Buy a good pillow!

Sweet dreams!

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

By: Danielle Barnes – @dannibsays (IG) @dannib413 (Twitter)

Danielle Barnes is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University. Her superpower is her ability to captivate audiences with her words whether it’s in person or on paper. Danielle enjoys devouring a good book, volunteering for causes she’s passionate about, staying active, and traveling the globe to see the world in all its glory.