By:  Amanda Gates
                                                                                                AB Home Design
                                                                                                abhomeinteriors.com

How many sleepless nights does it take to make you realize that there may be things you should be doing to get a better nights sleep? I have so many clients who average 5 or less hours of sleep a night. 5? How on earth can you operate on such little sleep? How can you make big decisions and have great insight on such little sleep? My greatest creativity peaks right after a nap…..on a day when I had plenty of sleep the night before. Honestly. Too many people feel guilty for taking too much time for themselves. As if taking a nap is too decadent for their over busy lives. One of my favorite saying is ” stop glamorizing busy”. And it is true. Why do Americans feel unproductive if they are not busy? The bigger question…busy doing what? Early in my career I felt guilty if I wasn’t on the go from the moment I got up. Literally passing out from exhaustion by 10pm because I had ran myself silly. Is this productive? No, my friends it is not. Be decadent, over indulge and treat your body right. Get plenty of rest, don’t over do it or over schedule. If you don’t get it done, well you don’t get it done. Plain and simple. Here are my best tips for a better nights sleep:

clock1) Start winding down at a certain time every single night. This may seem obvious but no one does it…except me! At 9pm every night I shut down all electronics, including the TV, and go through a usual routine of turning lights down, taking a warm shower and grabbing a good book. I’ve even started making it a mantra to learn one new thing a week. A great challenge for my mind to think on while I sleep!

2) Linens. Always, always buy the best linens you can afford. It makes all the difference in the world to sleep on good cotton linens. Not polyester. And it isn’t necessary to buy the highest thread count. They can actually make you hotter! Just buy good quality 300-400 TC sheets that feel great and help you sleep better.

3) Indulge in the little things because they make a BIG difference. Candles in the evening create a wonderful ambience and help slow things down. Fresh flowers are always a lovely touch, fresh scents of chamomile or lavender on the sheets and plenty of good reading. Create a ritual that you do every night. This helps your body wind down and prepare for sleep. It also helps slow your brain activity.

As an added bonus always leave a note pad by your bed. I’ve heard many gurus, and coaches over the years state the importance of writing things down the night before. This gets things out of your head and onto paper without worry.

What are some of your favorite rituals before bed?

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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.