Get Better Sleep with these Tips to Help you Unwind
By: Heather Bien
Who’s getting 8 hours of sleep? And, who would like to get 8 hours of sleep? With busy schedules, demanding jobs, families, friends, and the constant call of social media, many of us have trouble turning off your brains at night. But, we know we should be getting more sleep and we’re eager to figure out how.
Develop a Bedtime Routine For Better Sleep
When you’re little, you have a bedtime routine. You finish dinner, take a bath, put on your pajamas, brush your teeth, read a bedtime story or two, and get into bed. Every night, night after night, it’s the same routine.
Well, we can learn something from the kids! A bedtime routine lets your brain know that okay, now it’s time to start winding down and getting ready to go to sleep. And, the key to better sleep is developing a bedtime routine that works with your lifestyle.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our favorite tips to incorporate into your bedtime routine to help you relax, unwind, and shift into sleep mode.
Many of us change into stretchy pants and a sweatshirt the minute we get home from work and that’s a step in the right direction Get comfortable and put on your bamboo pajamas or favorite loungewear so that you’re ready to slip right into bed when the clock strikes bedtime.
And, if you’re in need of new comfy clothes, check out Boody’s new Lounge line. We always feel more relaxed when we look both cozy and pulled together. Our current favorite bedtime look is the Goodnight Raglan Sleep Top, the Goodnight Sleep Top, and the Cozy Knit Shoulder Wrap.
Write Down a Brain Dump
Stressful thoughts and lingering to-dos running around in your brain can keep you up at night, so put pen to paper and get them out before bed. Take a few minutes to write down everything that’s on your mind.
Format it journal-style if it’s anxieties that are bugging you or jot down a to-do list if you’re worried about what’s waiting for you in the morning.
Turn Off Devices
You probably know that you should turn off devices before bed, but are you actually doing it? A neverending Instagram scroll can easily go from a 2-minute check-in to a wasted hour that could be spent counting sheep.
Plus, the light from your phone prevents your brain from shifting into sleep mode. So, turn it off or put it in the other room before bed. If you use your phone for your alarm (as most of us do!), put it in Do Not Disturb night mode an hour or so before bed.
Make a Cup of Herbal Tea
Brewing a pot of chamomile or mint tea at the end of the day is akin to starting your day by brewing a cup of energizing coffee. It’s a routine that triggers your brain into a particular mode –– and that mode is hey, it’s time to unwind.
A hint: remember to drink it with plenty of time before you actually get into bed! You don’t want to interrupt your sleep by waking up to run to the restroom not long after dozing off.
Practice Deep Breathing or Meditation
If you have a meditation practice that involves guided relaxation or even guided sleep, that is, of course, a wonderful part of a bedtime routine. But, if meditation isn’t something that works for you at this point, you can still use deep breathing techniques to still your mind and body.
Exhale completely. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 4 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 4 seconds. Repeat.
Essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, are known for encouraging relaxation and sleep. Use a diffuser to spread the aroma throughout your bedroom or dab a few drops of oil on your palms and rub together –– place your hands over your face and inhale deeply. Let the scent wash over you and enjoy its calming properties.
Lastly, Declutter Your Bedroom!
Think about what you really need in your bedroom: a bed, cozy sheets, comfortable pillows. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary that puts you into sleep mode, so remove the TV, the nagging paperwork, and the neverending stack of to-dos. Keep it minimal, serene, and sleep-focused.
With a consistent bedtime routine in place, we can take back the 8 hours of sleep that we need to get every night to stay healthy and happy. We know life gets busy, schedules get crazy, and obligations get in the way, but a routine can remind us that taking care of ourselves is essential.
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What is Organic Cotton?
By: Heather Bien We’re all trying to be better stewards of Mother Earth. From recycling to upcycling and eating conscientiously to dressing mindfully, our choices affect the planet. So choosing organic cotton clothing seems like an easy decision, right? Not so fast! As with all sustainable choices, it’s important to take a moment to learn a bit more about why organic cotton might win over conventional cotton—and what makes these two materials different in the first place. Read on if you’re interested in learning about organic cotton and whether it’s the best choice for you and the environment. Conventional cotton Before we get into debating modern cotton farming techniques, let’s get familiar with the plant we’re talking about: cotton. It’s soft, durable, and probably on your body right now. But what else do you really know about cotton? Here are the basics: Cotton comes from the cotton plant – The cotton plant is a warm-season woody perennial shrub from the genus Gossypium and the family Malvaceae. Cotton fabric is made from the plant’s fibrous seed-hair (which is also called a cotton boll). Cotton is one of the top agricultural crops – Traditional cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world. Although the plant is capable of growing in any warm-weather climate, India and China are now the top producers of cotton globally. Cotton is thirsty – A normal cotton plant requires 10 gallons of water to reach peak potential. That doesn’t sound so bad, but multiplying it outward, that means it takes about 5,000 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of cotton fabric. Pests think it’s delicious – Not only is cotton thirsty, but it’s prone to pest infestations from bollworms, weevils, aphids, stink bugs, thrips, and spider mites. In order to combat these common pests, conventional cotton is routinely sprayed with a veritable salad-dressing of pesticides, many of which can remain in the soil and water supply for years afterward. Cotton harvesting requires defoliation – In order to quickly and efficiently harvest cotton, many commercial growers use chemical defoliants to strip the leaves from the cotton plant prior to harvesting the bolls. Like pesticides, these chemicals remain in the environment and on the cotton itself. Is organic cotton better? All of those cotton factoids point pretty compellingly to buying and wearing organic cotton fabric. But first, it’s important to understand what sets this organic alternative apart. Why exactly is “organic” cotton anyway? You might associate the word organic with your healthy fruits and veggies, but it’s not always clear what this term means when it comes to cotton. For many years, there was not a standard definition, but today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) require that any cotton product labeled “organic” meet the following criteria: Made with fibers from USDA-certified organic crops Third-party certified (ie., through the Global Organic Textile Standard) under the National Organic Program standards Has a specific percentage of organic material (depending on the crop) But this definition is a little circular, so we need also to define USDA-certified organic crops. According to the USDA, organic crop standards are defined as follows: Land must have had no prohibited substances applied to it for at least three years before the harvest of an organic crop. Soil fertility and crop nutrients will be managed through tillage and cultivation practices, crop rotations, and cover crops. These can be supplemented with animal and crop waste materials and allowed synthetic materials. Crop pests, weeds, and diseases will be controlled primarily through management practices, including physical, mechanical, and biological controls. When these practices are not sufficient, a biological, botanical, or synthetic substance approved for use on the National List may be used. Operations must use organic seeds and other planting stock when available. The use of genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, and sewage sludge is prohibited. What is organic cotton? In short, it’s cotton that is farmed according to these practices and certified organic by the USDA. Why should you choose organic cotton? With fewer pesticides, fewer synthetic chemicals, and more thoughtful cultivation practices, organic cotton can certainly offer a more environmentally friendly choice when compared to regular cotton. Is organic cotton sustainable? Here are a few other reasons why organic cotton can be a better alternative for you and the earth: It’s better for our water resources – According to an analysis by the Textile Exchange, producing an organic cotton T-shirt requires 1,982 fewer gallons of water compared to a regular cotton T-shirt. Because organic cotton uses less chemicals, its production also releases fewer toxins into our aquatic ecosystems. It’s good for the soil (and our carbon footprint) – According to the Soil Association, the more natural cultivation practices and fewer pesticides used by organic cotton farmers can support healthier soil. That soil, in turn, can absorb more carbon from our atmosphere and help keep the planet healthy. It encourages biodiversity – Multiple studies have shown that organic farming practices can encourage more diversity among the animal species of our planet. Sustainability is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to plant-derived textiles, the ones which help us create a healthier world are always a better alternative. Explore the benefits of bamboo with Boody Whether you choose to purchase conventional or organic cotton clothing, the fact that you are shopping mindfully for yourself is a win for the environment. At Boody, we believe in bringing you quality, comfy, sustainable clothing basics that keep you feeling good about yourself and your personal impact on Mother Earth. From our sleepwear to our loungewear, women’s bamboo shirts to our underwear, sustainable and ethical are our touchstones. Our clothing is made of bamboo viscose, requiring less water than cotton while putting precious oxygen back into the environment. That just feels good, doesn’t it? Explore the bamboo benefits today, with Boody. Sources: Britannica. Cotton. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant Cotton. The Story of Cotton - Where Cotton Grows. https://www.cotton.org/pubs/cottoncounts/story/where.cfm World Wildlife Federation. Cotton. https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/cotton Textile Exchange. Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. https://textileexchange.org/quick-guide-to-organic-cotton Soil Association. What is organic cotton? https://www.soilassociation.org/take-action/organic-living/fashion-textiles/organic-cotton/ USDA. Conservation and Biological Diversity in Organic Production. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/02/29/conservation-and-biological-diversity-organic-production About the Author: Heather Bien is a copywriter and writer based in Washington, DC. She works with retail, ecommerce, and creative brands on their website copy and digital presence, and her freelance writing has appeared on MyDomaine, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, and more. When she's not with laptop and coffee in hand, you'll find her planning her next weekend getaway, working on her budding green thumb, or scouting for her next great vintage find.