My favorite thing to do is...

“Sleep is the best meditation.” 
Dalai Lama
  I love sleep. Let me repeat that for emphasis: I LOVE SLEEP! For years, whenever I was asked what my favorite thing to do was, I answered sleep. When we were kids, my sister and I used to make up songs about how much we loved to sleep. As teenagers, the two of us would often sleep well into the afternoon on the weekends...and then high five each other. I’ve often said that if everyone on the planet got 8 hours of sleep a night, there would be world peace. CLICK TO TWEET Why do I love sleeping so much? Well, what’s not to like? Studies have shown that adequate sleep increases memory and creativity, curbs inflammation and stress, and actually contributes to a longer lifespan.
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Oh yeah, get some!!!
  For years, I was like the majority of people who did not get enough sleep. Today, the average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep, which is well below the doctor-recommended 8-9 hours. No wonder people are cranky, overweight and crave sugary foods - they’re exhausted!So, since I shared my morning routine with you a few weeks back, today I thought I’d share my nighttime one…
1) Stop Staring At The Screen! I do my best to shut off all electronic devices at least one hour before I go to bed, ideally two. This goes double if you own a TV. Instead, I connect with my roommate to see how her day has been, play with her dog, or or do a few yoga poses. This signals to my body that it is time to start to wind down. (And if I have to be on the computer for some reason late at night, I installed f.lux, a free software that removes the blue light - the main culprit of screen-generated sleep disruption - from your screen). I also make sure my bedroom is as pitch black as possible and there are no electric clock faces on.

2) Pop Some Probiotics -Studies show that taking probiotics on an empty stomach before bed can help the good bacteria latch onto your intestinal wall better. That’s because they don’t have to compete with stomach acid that is present when you are digesting food. Morning works just as well, but it’s my habit to take mine right before I go to sleep.3) Floss It Up - I’ve always known flossing was good for me, but never was consistent with it. That is, until a few years ago, when I read that flossing actually adds years to your life! Now I do it every night before I go to bed, and feel like I’m giving myself a gold star every time :)
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It might not be sexy, but it works!

4) Skip The Wash - I used to wash my face twice a day. I also used to wear make-up. Now I usually skip the make-up and only wash my face after my morning workout. When I stopped washing my face at night, I thought it was only a matter of time before my skin broke out and I looked like a pizza-eating teenager - but that never happened. My skin looks better than ever and is as clear as can be. (My only exception to this is rule is if I go out and wear eye make-up. Then I make sure to wash it off with an all-natural eye make-up remover, and apply some healthy eye cream before going to bed.)
5) Bedtime Story -
I always read a bit while in bed before going to sleep. I make sure I read fiction only, which engages the imagination and demands present-state attention. Reading non-fiction before bed has been shown to encourage a mental state of projection into the future and preoccupation/planning, which keeps you awake.
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Make that "Dog with the Wind" and you're all set, Fido!

6) Hypnotize Me - I have a very active mind (maybe you can relate?). So most nights, it takes a little while for things to calm down up there. To help, I listen to hypnosis tracks on my iPod. My favorites are Holosync and Steve Jones, but there are many that can help you drift off (and many of them are loaded with positive subliminal message that help to upgrade your belief belief patterns at the same time. That’s what I call a win-win).7) Get regular- When I started working for myself, I gave myself the gift of throwing away my alarm clock. At first, I was scared I would sleep 12 hours a night and miss important morning meetings. But I was surprised at how quickly my body recalibrated to a regular sleep schedule. Now, I go to bed between 10-11PM and am always up between 7-8AM, sometimes earlier. It’s all about regulating your sleep schedule. I hoped these tips help you. Are there any that stood out as ones you’d like to try? Any that just wouldn’t work for you and your lifestyle? Tell me about it over on our Facebook page. Any if you have any tried-and-true sleep hacks, please share those, too. Anything that can get me a few extra winks is highly appreciated! Nighty night, Emily