We have to admit, we’re awfully excited for spring to finally, well, spring. Until then, we’re doing our best to stay cozy and comfortable during this awkward, transitional time of year, when it’s easy to go from freezing to sticky-sweaty in just a couple of hours, and nighttime wake-ups seem to be the rule rather than the exception. To get your seasonal snooze on, try these tips from Annie:
- Dim the lights. Light in any form can confuse the body into thinking it should still be awake, so start turning down the wattage an hour or two before you plan to tuck yourself in. Put away anything backlit—like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop—at least a half hour beforehand, and switch to a magazine or book if you like to read prior to nodding off.
- Stick to herbal tea, not caffeinated teas, coffees, or sugary drinks, before bed. For some, this is a hard habit to kick. But do yourself this favor, and you’ll see a difference in drop-off time pretty quickly.
- Take a warm (not hot!) bath. Water that’s too hot actually causes the muscles to tense and may prevent you from falling asleep. Instead, keep the temperature comfortably warm, and add a few drops of essential oil—Annie’s favorites are lavender, sweet orange, and eucalyptus (for extra sinus-clearing power). Then sink in and relax for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Dress in layers. At this time of year, it’s pretty safe to put the flannels away in favor of lighter-weight cottons. Annie usually opts for a lightweight tank top, like this cute little ribbed number from Three Dots, with a loose-fitting pajama shirt and pants on top that can easily unbuttoned or peeled off during a nighttime warm-up. To stay cozy while lounging prior to bed, top it all off with a robe.
- Pile on the lightweight luxury. Pack those heavy comforters and blankets into storage, and smooth on more layers in lighter fabrics. Over her favorite 400-thread-count sheets, Annie likes to tuck a soft cotton duvet and a cozy velvet quilt. For chillier nights—or when her dogs decide to join her for some quality nap time—she adds a matelassé coverlet. It’s just the right weight for a bit of extra warmth, and is easy to wash free of any dog hair or slobber.
- About 30 minutes before bedtime, spritz your pillow with a small bottle filled with distilled water and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender promotes restful sleep—and may even encourage dreaming.
- Fire up the humidifier. The rapid changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure common during the seasonal switch can cause drying of the mucous membranes. Add some much-needed humidity to the air, and your nose, throat, and lungs will thank you.
- If the weather is cool but not freezing cold, crack a window. An infusion of cooler air in the bedroom will help you breathe easier and get a deeper, more restorative sleep.