(If you’re just now popping over from yesterday’s P31 devotion – welcome! – and be sure to read the post below this one for my top 6 tips to better rest.)
Several years ago I made a big investment in better rest, and it's been one of the best decisions I’ve made. Our mattress needed replacing. After weeks of research I bought a mattress made entirely of latex rubber from an online company on the other side of the country. My mattress arrived via Fed Ex in 3 boxes about the size (length and width) of a baseball bat. The boxes were small but very heavy - I drug them up the stairs.
The company warned me not to open the boxes anywhere except where I wanted the mattress to go. Once I cut those boxes open I realized why … my vacuum-packed rubber mattress came out like a jack-in-the-box, instantly reaching full size! It was wild, but oh so comfortable. Before buying I read testimonials from customers saying they had cut their vacations short because they missed their latex mattress so much. As a fun-loving, travel-going girl, I couldn’t fathom that. I’m still not cutting my vacations short, but now I know what they mean.
Of course you probably can’t buy a new mattress today (and I bet you’re not so sure you’d buy a rubber mattress online if you could) so what are some simple things you can incorporate in your routine tonight to invite rest? Many were mentioned in yesterday’s comments. I’ll share & link some of my favorites.
Liquid Warmth. Sip something warm – milk, tea, hot cocoa – as long as it’s caffeine free. Try an herbal tea. Many, like mints and chamomile, have a mild relaxing effect. I like Sleepytime tea. On this same note, there are natural herbs you can take to help you unwind for sleep as well.
Bubble bath. Or a mineral salts soak. It relaxes muscles. It also raises your body temperature, inducing sleep as it drops when you get out. A hot shower can do the same. Throw some aromatherapy in for extra relaxation. Here’s a couple inexpensive bath soaks I like, available at most drug stores. Want a custom-scented bath product? Try an e-tailer like Cleanse Your Soul. Want to know my latest obsession? This Coconut & Papaya Body Wash.
Dim lighting. Our bodies are designed to respond to the setting sun by slowing down and resting. Instead we turn on lights and stare into bright screens! Put the computer away before bed. Turn off the TV. If you read before bed, use a small book light. I put many of the lights in my home on dimmer switches. You can even put a lamp on a dimmer with one of these from Home Depot. Candle light is especially relaxing, why do we use it so rarely?
Soothing Sounds. I play instrumental music frequently once I’m ready for bed. I have a small stereo in my bedroom that holds 2 CDs. It will play one, the other, or both back to back. I switch out the CDs every few weeks. I have lots but some of my favorite sleep CDs are an Ocean waves CD I’ve had for years, a thunderstorm one, and Santorini Splendor. I also have this one that is supposedly scientifically based. Lots of people sleep with a fan on for white noise to quiet their mind –I have a ceiling fan. There are even online places to find soothing sounds like simplynoise.com or pzizz.
Bottom line is between this list and yesterday’s you can make some major strides towards better rest. You’ve just got to make it a priority. Stop treating it as a nuisance – giving it last place on your list. And recognize that rest is God’s gift to us – one with which we can give honor back to Him. Need more convincing? Try this article.
As for who will be settling in with a cup of herbal tea and my book after a relaxing bath …. the winner is Maria S. Maria, email me your address so I can put the book in the mail for you. If you didn’t win, I trust you will receive the gift of better sleep. And the book is on sale this week at P31 if you’d like to read it. I’d be honored if you’d spend a few of your evenings with me via It’s No Secret. :)
Did you declutter or make any changes last night?