I Woke Up Like This

To sum it up, everyone needs tips and tricks to wake up, flawless. 

Let's all be real here, if you don't get a good night's sleep you're just not, well, you. No matter how many venti Starbucks vanilla lattes you drink and no matter how many Luna bars you eat, nothing compares to being well-rested.

Thanks to Netflix, Instagram and of course, college, being well-rested is a special treat in my world. Here's some of my favorite tips and tricks to getting some quality rest and more importantly, what to do if you don't. 

1. Invest in a Coconut Bliss pillow. These things are awesome. Bible. Back in summer my friend brought hers when she came to visit for a few days, I figured it was because she was sketched out by Little Mermaid DIY pillows, but she swore it was because she "couldn't sleep without it." I was like "sure girl, just tell me the truth about my weird mermaid pillows," but then she let me touch it. And then  my world changed. And then I just HAD TO HAVE ONE. The cool things about these pillows is that not only are they super cuddly with memory foam, but they are infused with coconut oil which is great for your skin. Plus, it allows for three times more circulation than most memory foams. I gave mine a silk pillow cover to make it super-chic, but this soft plush pillow doesn't even need a cover at all. These can be found at matressfirm.com, and while they're more expensive than most pillows at $90, it's the Cadillac of luring you into a peaceful rest. 

2. Get some "sleepytime" tea. These work like a charm for nights that I'm having some trouble winding down around bed time. Celestial Seasonings offers a great "sleepytime" tea with infusions of vanilla and chamomile, but my absolute favorite is a recent discovery: Get Some Zzzs Herb Tea for Rest by The Republic of Tea. This tea noticeably relaxes you and makes you sleepy without feeling like you've been drugged. This mellow blend of chamomile, passionflower and organic rooibos doesn't interfere with your REM patterns like most sleep aids do, which allows you to wake up without feeling groggy the next morning. 

3. If you're not a tea fan, try out some Melatonin. Not a fan of tea? Or maybe you're just not thirsty tonight. Melatonin is my best friend. Melatonin tablets can be found in the Vitamins section of your local store, my preference is the NatureMade brand. The cool thing about these little sleep aid tablets is that they are natural. Melatonin is a hormone that is made in the pineal gland of the brain and helps regulate your sleep patterns. Beware though- once these babies kick in there's no turning back. The effects can be somewhat drowsy and trippy if you fight the urge to sleep and while most times it does not make you groggy in the morning, taking it multiple nights in a row can leave you dependent and sleepy throughout the day. I like to save these for cases of emergency to avoid dependency. 

4. Lavender scents. It's like the oldest trick in the book: lavender scents relax you. These scents have been known to lower blood pressure and reduce stress, which helps you have a deeper and calmer sleep throughout the night. I like to mix mine with some vanilla scents and spray it on my pillow before bedtime when I'm at home, but while at school Febreeze makes a small scent fresh releaser that releases the lavender scent throughout the night. 

5. A furry blanket. This is such an essential to me. I carry a fuzzy blanket with me everywhere because it simply makes me feel happy. Feeling something soft can have a calming, relaxing effect and it makes the perfect cuddle buddy for any occasion. And it will keep you warm without snoring all night. 

6. A good book. If ever I am having trouble winding down or calming my mind before bed I read for at least 30 minutes. This will unplug you from your phone, the TV and your computer, which we all know are just rabbit holes into endless hours of Internet "research" and before you know it you now have seen 86 kitten videos and collected 5 different recipes for the "perfect chocolate chip cookie in a mug." I like this method because it is perfect while drinking that relaxing tea or waiting for that melatonin to kick in. It feels like there is never enough time in the day to read a book, so make it part of your evening ritual. 

So what happens if you failed to get your recommended eight hours? Well there's not much you can do except slump through your day with an attitude problem. Here's some tips to take the edge off: 

7. Eat before you start your day. My favorite breakfasts for when I have time are some form of eggs- preferably an omelette with lots of veggies or a bagel and lox which contains tons of healthy omega-3s. However, if you hit the snooze a little more than you planned to grab a Naked Juice. One with that's high in B vitamins is ideal as B vitamins give you energy. Other cool alternatives include synergy chia seed drinks and Sambazon Acai juices in breakfast blend, but these are a little harder to find. 

8. If you need caffeine, try an energy tea. Unfortunately, there's no way you're gonna make it through your dreary day without a little bit of caffeine- not sanely anyway. Coffee is the easiest option, but if you're anything like me you end up adding tons of Coffeemate and sugar into your morning cup which not only ups the calories, but can give you a little bit of a crash later as well. Beware of coffee shops such as Starbucks that often add lots of flavored syrups and creams into their drinks to make them as tasty as they are. One alternative that I found is the "Get Charged" tea from the Republic of Teas. This caffeinated blend of Chinese ginseng and Eleuthero help wake you up while increasing mental stamina for at least a few hours. The added bonus of natural herbs. 

9. Eyes De-Puff products. If you're lucky, you can make your sleepless night look like a sleep-filled night with a little bit of under eye makeup. If you're anything like me, you're not lucky. Try EYES by ToGoSpa 15-minute treatments to hydrate and de-puff your under eye bags. These treatments come in 3 per pack in Green Tea or Ice Water. I can't tell the difference between the two, but they are both activated by body temperature and use collagen, amino acids and marine minerals to nourish and replenish your under eyes. Note: these are also great after a long night out, and fit right in your purse. ;) 

10. Make a morning playlist. Lastly while you're getting ready for your day, put on some jams that will lift your mood and might even make you dance a little bit. Don't make this your "RAGE" playlist or your "Study Tyme Jamz" playlist, make one that you are excited to listen to and really gets you ready for the day. Each playlist should be about as long as your morning routine- think about 7 to 10 songs depending on what you like. This playlist should energize you, de-stress you, put you in a good mood and give you some confidence all in one. If you have a bit of extra cash, try investing in a couple bluetooth speakers so you can put one in your bedroom and one in your bathroom so you can go hands free from room to room and you won't be slowed down by turning up/turning down your music. Plus, you can't spill that energy tea on your phone if that's what you're using as your speaker. I know this can happen because I've done it. Don't ask. If you're having trouble putting together your first morning playlist here's mine:

1. The Wire - HAIM 
2. Wake Me Up (Aviici Cover) - Dia Frampton 
3. Team - Lorde
4. Who We Are - Imagine Dragons
5. On My Own - Miley Cyrus 
6. Tell Me a Lie - The Fratellis 
7. Warrior - Ke$ha
8. ***Flawless - Beyonce 

"I woke up like this, flawless."- Beyonce 

Go get 'em tiger. Go get some sleep. Xo. 


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