8 Simple Steps To Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene represents one of the most important aspects of your health.

Did you know that sleep deprivation can impair your immune system, lower your cognitive abilities, and increase anxiety? Who knew losing sleep could wreak such havoc on our bodies!

The good news is that improving your sleep hygiene can help turn these negative effects around! Read on for 8 steps to improve your sleep hygiene in order to get the restful night’s rest you deserve.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

We see the word hygiene and think of body odor and gum disease, right? So, what exactly is sleep hygiene? And how do we know if it’s good or bad?

Simply put, sleep hygiene means creating a sleep-friendly environment. This means taking care of your bedroom, using it for sleep only, and adhering to a few basic rules.

What is A Sleep-Friendly Environment?

A sleep-friendly environment has three main components: dark, cool, and quiet! If you’re exposing yourself to any light while sleeping (aka your phone screen), it’s likely your room isn’t completely blacked out.

And if there are disruptions in the room, like a heater or noise from outside, you won’t be able to get the best sleep. Your room needs to have darkness and quiet for your body clock to wind down at night!

How Can I Create A Sleep-Friendly Environment?

It’s easy! You can make a few small changes, such as:

  • Shutting your bedroom door.
  • Using a fan or white noise machine to block out outside noises.
  • Turning off your phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

What Can I Do If My Sleep Friendly Environment Isn’t Working?

Do you have trouble falling asleep because of stress or anxiety? Do you wake up frequently during the night? These are signs that your sleep hygiene may need a little work.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try practicing mindfulness techniques before bedtime to help calm your mind and body down for the night. Also, be sure to give yourself at least 20 minutes of relaxation time to wind down from a busy day!

Steps To Improve Your Sleep Hygiene:

  1. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption at least six hours before bed.
  2. Create a relaxing environment that is dark, quiet, and cool to promote optimal sleep quality.
  3. Exercise during the day but not too close to bedtime as this can actually have stimulating effects on your body.
  4. Don’t eat heavy meals right before bed; if you do, focus on foods that are high in tryptophan (i.e., eggs) which can help promote sleepiness while avoiding sugary and starchy carbs like pasta or bagels because these will simply leave you feeling more awake after eating them.
  5. Limit your screen time (TV, laptops) at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  6. Be sure to give yourself 20 minutes of relaxation time before bed.
  7. Remember to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation to calm your mind and body down for the night.
  8. If the above steps aren’t enough, your doctor may recommend taking melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep) or practicing cognitive behavioral therapy.

Remember that every person is different so not all of these suggestions will work for everyone. Only take what works for you and your body to get the restful night’s sleep you deserve!

Why You Need Better Friends

You need better friends

We all need friends, but it’s possible you need better friends.

Social status and popularity influence who we choose as our friends. However, if you want to live a long life with lots of happiness and satisfaction, you should make sure your friends are worth your time and effort.

The old saying “you are the company you keep” remains as true now as it was when this proverb came into existence. Your friends will either help or hinder your success. So, if you’re looking for a way to improve yourself, you may need to find better people to associate with.

How Do You Know You Need Better Friends?

Toxic relationships come in as many forms as there are people. Generally, a toxic friendship is one where the other person puts you down or makes your life more difficult. If you feel someone regularly criticizes, judges, shames, and/or blames the decisions you make, then they are toxic to your well-being.

In addition to being hurtful emotionally, these kinds of friendships can often lead to you making poor decisions and even doing things that will harm your health. If a person is constantly causing drama, this can be just as bad for someone’s mental well-being and cause unnecessary drama.

How Do I End a Toxic Friendship?

It can be difficult to end a friendship with someone who has been in your life for a long time. Remind yourself that friends should make each other better people and help them achieve their dreams, not prevent those from happening!

Before ending the relationship, talk about what is going on between you two and why they are causing you so much stress. If they are willing to change their ways, it could be an indication that the friendship can be saved. There might be hope for a better future together.

If your friend is not open to changing or has already made up their mind about how things will play out between the two of you, then you may need to sever ties. It’s never easy to end a friendship, but it can be done if you remember to consider your goals and dreams. A toxic person’s behavior won’t help them come true anytime soon!

How Can I Make Better Friends?

If you’re looking for better friends as an adult or adolescent, consider the different things you can do to help you achieve your goal. First, be a better person and show people that you are worth getting to know by being more social and open with others.

Secondly, research what type of activities the friends you want might enjoy doing together. These might volunteering, going on hikes, or playing sports. Venturing out will help you find common ground where everyone feels comfortable.

Start With Your Sense of Self

Sometimes we think we deserve harmful relationships because that’s what we’re used to. However, just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for you. In my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, I talk about how a negative low self-image can affect your ability to form healthy relationships.

Even if you’ve got enough self-confidence to spare, check it out and let me know what you think!

5 Reasons People Love Drama

People love drama

People love drama. It’s the spice of life, but it can be really difficult to understand what makes it so alluring.

There are quite a few reasons for this, some of them psychological and others just based on human nature. What does drama do? Why do we love it? And what about the people who don’t like it at all? Let’s explore these questions and provide answers!

People Love Drama Because It’s Exciting

Come on, admit it. You love drama, too. Whether you’re watching a TV show or reading a book, there’s something about the tension and suspense of an argument that gets your adrenaline pumping.

We’re pretty much trained by the media to sensationalize everything. News stories quickly get exaggerated into life-threatening events only to sizzle into oblivion by that same evening. Reality shows and talk shows also do this quite often, creating a story out of nothing so that they can keep their viewers tuned in until the next big thing happens.

Even fictional stories often have the main character go through a lot of drama so that they can be seen as “interesting” or even stay the same. Generally speaking, we think that the more intense a story is, the better it will be, and so drama gives us what we want.

People Love To Watch Others Experience Drama

We all love a good story, and we’re always waiting to see what happens next. Watching or reading about drama is a way to experience something exciting without actually being there. We feel like we’re living through an adventure even if things aren’t too intense in our own lives.

It’s like having an adrenaline rush without getting hurt! However, just because we don’t act on some of these feelings doesn’t mean we don’t have them. Sometimes, people just want to see what it would be like if they were in a similar situation instead of actually doing it.

Drama Can Be A Way To See Ourselves In Others

Some people just love drama for the sake of loving it. However, for many others, drama can be a way to see themselves in another person. It’s like saying “I’ve been there before”, and we’re able to relate and connect with other people through this feeling.

Seeing someone else go through something similar can be a way of letting us know that we’re not alone and that things can get better. However, this doesn’t mean that every time someone has a problem, we will immediately want to jump in and help them! Sometimes, we just enjoy the fact that someone else is experiencing something similar to what we’ve experienced (and would like to forget) ourselves.

People Mistake Drama For “Real Life”

Many people think that drama is real life, and their lives are boring without it. When you watch a TV show or read a book, there’s always something going on. However, this doesn’t mean that people are like that in real life. Just because things are more interesting on TV doesn’t mean that people have lots of drama all the time!

Your life doesn’t have to be filled with action 24/7 to be meaningful. People make drama seem more interesting than what it really is because they don’t know how to enjoy real life without all of the action.

People Love To Be In The Know

Drama provides a way for people to feel included and involved without actually having to do anything. They want all the gossip and want to know all that’s going on. It gives them something interesting to talk about, as well as a way of sharing experiences with people who might be going through the same thing.

However, gossip can be toxic and hurtful. Once a story gets twisted, it can be difficult to go back and fix the problem because people’s opinions have already been made! This can affect someone’s life, whether they’re the person everyone is talking about or just someone who happens to know one of them.

Why Drama Can Be Harmful

Drama can be harmful to some people for several reasons. Sometimes, they might get swept up in the moment and start participating without thinking first. This can end up getting them into a lot of trouble or exhausting themselves from doing too much.

Sometimes, it’s not the best idea to make a big deal out of something, especially if the situation is not that serious. While drama can be fun and exciting for some people, it can be exhausting and harmful for others. After a while, people get tired of hearing about crisis after crisis from an individual.

It’s important to know how it affects you before getting yourself involved in something that may not end up being worth it.

Does It Mean You’re Attention-Seeking?

Some people love drama because it means they’re the center of attention. Unfortunately, this can have negative consequences for them in other areas of their life. For example, this could mean they’re constantly asking for help even if they don’t actually need it.

When you have a hard time focusing on your own life and what you want, you may struggle to get where you need or want to be. This can affect your career or relationships in a negative way if you’re constantly looking to others to fix your problems.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting attention, but it should only be from people who are giving it to you in a healthy way.

Drama Can Be Healthy in Small Doses

Some drama can be good for people. For example, if they’re dealing with a problem that needs to be fixed or worked on, having lots of people around them who want to help can be a good thing. It’s also nice to have something interesting and exciting going on in your life every once in a while!

However, it’s important to know how much drama is too much. If you find yourself constantly getting wrapped up in other people’s problems, it might be a good idea to step back and focus on yourself for a while.

It’s important to find the right balance of drama in your life so that you can enjoy it, but also protect yourself from the negative effects of too much.

Remember Your Sense of Self

I, myself, struggle with my love of being dramatic. Often, it stems from a place of low self-esteem and self-worth. In my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, I cover ways to overcome negative self-talk and practice gratitude. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Which Sleep Style is Right for You?

Sleep Style

Have you ever wondered what your sleep style says about you?

Sleep often determines the quality of your physical and mental health. It also affects how you feel, which can affect your mood the next day. There are many different sleep styles to choose from, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you.!

So, if you’re feeling sleepy, here are some common sleep styles.

Why Do People Sleep on Their Back?

Sleeping on your back is linked with a lower risk of heart disease. People tend to sleep on their back because it’s a comfortable position, but it is also linked with an increased risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Some people may not be able to get good sleep this way because their airways are obstructed during the night. If you suffer from sleep apnea or find yourself snoring, consider sleeping on your side instead.

Why Do People Sleep on Their Stomach?

Fun fact: people who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to be extroverts. This may be because they’re out-going and like meeting new people, or it might just be that this is the most comfortable position for them!

This sleep style can make snoring an issue due to the position of the tongue and airway. Some people sleep on their stomach to feel secure, which is totally fine if it helps them get a better night’s sleep.

Why Do People Sleep On Their Sides?

People who sleep on their sides tend to be more social and outgoing. They may also be less likely to snore than people who sleep on their backs or stomachs because this position makes it harder for your airways to collapse, so you can get a good night’s rest!

What’s the Best Sleeping Position for Me?

The best sleeping position for you is the one that makes you feel rested in the morning!

There are many different sleep styles to choose from, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you. Proper sleep hygiene looks different for everyone, and it’s important to take your own sleep preferences into account when making changes.

Erase Toxicity: How to Stop Being Toxic

how to stop being toxic

Toxicity seems to surround us lately. That’s why it can be hard to figure out how to stop being toxic.

Sometimes, it seems like you’re the only one who even wants to figure it all out. Toxic behavior can be a hard thing to stop when it’s hard to identify the toxic habits you have. However, if you want to stop being toxic and become more positive in your life, these tips will help!

What is Considered Toxic Behavior?

There are many ways to be toxic, whether it is through gossiping or negative thinking. Generally, toxic behavior can be defined as anything that spreads negativity and is harmful to your wellbeing.

When someone comes into your life that has a lot of toxicity there will be moments where this person tears down all the positivity around them. When you feel like you need positivity, be mindful of the people you surround yourself with.

Despite circumstances where one may be tempted to engage in negative behaviors with others, practice mindfulness. Even with a close friend, you don’t have to give in to their negative actions. While this may be difficult at times, it’s necessary for personal growth and a more positive outlook on life.

What Are Some Examples of Toxic Behavior?

There are many different types of toxicity, such as:

• Negative thinking and pessimistic attitudes. When you notice yourself feeling negative, stop and think about why you’re feeling this way before reacting negatively.

• Gossiping. You’ll always be tempted to talk about other people, but gossip creates a negative environment for everyone involved. Instead of talking bad about other people, focus on how you can improve your own life.

• Complaining and focusing too much on the negative. Instead of complaining about how bad your life is, focus on the things you are grateful for.

• Putting others down or being mean to other people. You don’t need to be mean or negative towards others.

• Holding grudges and being resentful of others. It’s important to put your ego aside and move past the behavior of others.

• Not taking care of yourself or establishing healthy boundaries with other people. Being conscious of your thoughts and actions will help you to stop the toxicity before it starts.

What Can We Do to Stop Being Toxic?

Once you identify your toxic behaviors, you can start working towards improvement.

• Acknowledge your negative thoughts and work to replace them with positive ones. Make a list of the things you are grateful for. You can also write down positive thoughts onto sticky notes to remind yourself of the good things in life.

• Learn how to forgive, whether it be forgiving yourself or others. Holding onto negative feelings towards someone can cause mental illness and stress over time. Forgiveness is necessary for your own personal growth.

• Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and try new things! Taking risks can help you to change your perspective on life and give you a new outlook on your life.

• Stop worrying about what other people think of you and focus more on yourself!

• Spend time with positive people and make an effort to improve your relationships.

Remember Your Sense of Self

Sometimes, we take on a toxic mindset due to a low self-image. I wrote a book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, where I talked about my self-esteem struggles and how I overcame them. Check it out, and let me know how it helps you!

How to Choose a Pillow: Your Sleep Style

how to choose a pillow

A good night’s sleep makes all the difference. That’s why figuring out how to choose a pillow can become one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

A bed with old, saggy pillows won’t allow you to fall asleep comfortably and will lead to a restless night of tossing and turning. If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep problems, it may be time to get a new pillow that suits your individual needs.

How to Choose a Pillow

Pillows come in many different types, each one suited for a particular sleep style. If you’re a back sleeper, for instance, it’s best to choose a medium-firm pillow that will support your neck throughout the night. On the other hand, those who prefer sleeping on their stomachs should invest in soft or firm pillows that cradle their head while allowing sufficient airflow.

If you have a partner, consider buying two different kinds of pillows for yourself and let your sleeping companion choose the one they prefer. After all, no person is an island! Many couples sleep with separate pillows because each person has different needs when it comes to getting restful slumber.

Finally, if you suffer from allergies or asthma, choose a hypoallergenic pillow that won’t irritate your respiratory system. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recommends choosing one made with synthetic materials like polyester and cotton over down-filled pillows.

How Long Can I Use the Same Pillow?

As a general rule, you should replace your pillow at least once every year. If it begins to show signs of wear and tear such as flattening, sagging or fiber migration, then it’s time for a new one!

However, if you’re using the right type of pillow for your sleep style, it should only take about three months before you notice signs of wear. Prolonged sleep on a worn pillow can lead to muscle strain, stiff necks and even headaches.

When it comes time to invest in a new pillow, choose one that suits your individual needs. A good night’s sleep begins with the right support!

How to Keep Your Pillow Clean and Pest-Free

Cleaning pillows isn’t difficult. They only need regular washing like any other bedding. Start by removing the pillowcase and washing it in a standard or gentle cycle on cold water. Then, place your pillows into the dryer with three to five clean tennis balls for 20 minutes on low heat. Tennis balls help fluff up your pillows as they’re drying!

While many people choose not to wash their pillows very often, you can keep them fresh by placing an open fabric softener sheet inside the pillowcase before replacing it on your bed. You’ll never have to worry about that unpleasant musty smell again!

Start Enjoying Your Sleep Again

Sleep remains important for your health and productivity. Finding the right pillow can seem like more of a chore than what it’s worth, but the benefits outweigh the effort.

Without proper sleep, you can’t function at your best. That’s why choosing a pillow should be carefully thought out to make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be time for an upgrade. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Stop Being Hyper Sensitive: Gentle Reminders

stop being hyper sensitive

Before we get into how to stop being hyper sensitive, let’s start with a reminder. You don’t need to feel ashamed.

Some people are just more sensitive than others, and that’s okay! Everyone needs to be sensitive in some way, shape, or form. However, if you find yourself overreacting, being easily offended, or crying at the drop of a hat, you may consider making some adjustments.

So what is hypersensitivity? It can be used to describe someone who is overly emotional with a tendency to take things the wrong way. Being sensitive can be beneficial in some ways, but too much sensitivity can also be detrimental to your overall well-being.

Here are some tips on how you can stop being hyper-sensitive.

Your Mood Matters

For highly sensitive people, moods can shift as quickly and often as the wind. However, when you find yourself consistently gravitating towards a negative mindset, it may be time to do some self-reflection.

It starts with honesty. How do you feel about yourself in general? What are you feeling right now? One of the most important steps in learning about your emotions involves expressing ALL of them, even the “icky” ones.

You may think what you’re feeling is silly or childish, but it’s still worth exploring. Sometimes what we feel doesn’t always match with reality, and that’s okay! But we can never learn that if we’re too ashamed to express ourselves and learn from our mistakes.

Prioritize Your Health

Speaking of mood, your overall health plays a large role in how you feel. Without good health, it’s nearly impossible to be happy in life.

When you don’t take care of your mental and physical well-being, your emotions tend to suffer. If you feel overwhelmed or tired all the time, you won’t have the energy needed to handle various situations, which may result in a negative reaction.

Everyone’s health needs are different. Generally, prioritizing your health involves:

  • Making sure you get enough sleep
  • Eating healthy balanced meals
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting your time in front of a screen
  • Getting social support from friends/family whenever necessary

Surround Yourself With Quality People

Highly sensitive people tend to connect with others easily. However, you need to make sure those people are high-quality.

What makes a person high-quality as opposed to toxic? Well, the best way to spot the difference is by how they make you feel. Do they encourage or discourage your emotional growth? Are they easy-going and understanding towards your sensitivities, or do they tend towards being dismissive? Can you feel free to express your feelings without feeling judged?

If you feel like the people around you are holding you back, it might be time for a change. There’s no shame in going against the crowd and making new friendships with more supportive individuals.

Recognize Control is an Illusion

If you tend to sweat the small stuff, remember this: You are not in control.

That sounds pretty New Age and trippy but stay with me. When you get in your car to start your engine, why does it start? Does it start because you MADE it start? Or does it start because every mechanical part of your vehicle aligned just right to make it possible?

What I’m getting at is there’s no point in getting upset about things that are out of our control. Because, technically, EVERYTHING is out of our control.

You may have just taken your car to get inspected and been told it’s fine. The next day? It completely falls apart. You can’t prepare for every possible bad scenario, so there’s no use stressing about what’s out of your control.

It Starts With a Sense of Self

I struggle with a low self-image and need reminders from time to time. I wrote a book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, where I discuss why it’s possible to overcome low self-esteem. Check it out, and let me know what you think!

7 Relaxation Ideas for the Holidays

7 relaxation ideas for the holidays

As the weather gets colder and darker approach, stress can reign supreme. Unsurprisingly, we need relaxation ideas for the holidays! Whether it’s shopping for gifts or dealing with family drama, the holidays can be a stressful time that leaves you in need of some relaxation.

Thankfully, you can find ways to relieve stress and relax this season, from aromatherapy to yoga! Let’s get into 6 relaxation ideas for the holidays.

  1. Set up a spa night at home with your friends or family. You can all get cozy together in robes and slippers, light some candles, eat snacks, and watch movies! Use this as a perfect way to bond with others during this holiday season.
  2. Go on a hike! The fresh air will help you feel more relaxed and refreshed.
  3. A nice long bubble bath helps to relax your mind and body. The holidays come with plenty of chaotic energy, especially the shopping and get togethers. Just don’t fall asleep in the tub!
  4. Try a yoga or dance class. These are excellent ways to relieve stress and release the holiday energy that’s trapped inside of you!
  5. Take some time to yourself during these holidays, whether it be for one hour or 24 hours. Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself by doing things like eating right and getting enough sleep.
  6. Get out of the house and go for a drive! This is an excellent way to get some fresh air, clear your mind, and release that holiday energy you’ve got stored up inside of you. You can even turn on some music if it helps put you in the mood!
  7. If all else fails, just take a nap. Sometimes you need to just take some time for yourself, recharge your batteries, and get ready to tackle the next holiday task at hand.


There are plenty of ways to relieve stress this holiday season. Whether it’s aromatherapy, yoga or another form of relaxation, your body will thank you for giving yourself some time off! Relaxation is not only good for the holidays. It can also be great year round.