Ever since high school, I’ve felt guilty about how much I prioritize sleep. While my friends were pulling all-nighters or staying up until 3am, exploring the cyber world and flirting on IM, I was tucked away in bed by 10pm watching Disney movies with my eyes practically closed. I remember one torturous time in my AP Psych class when we had to record how many hours of sleep we got per week. Everyone gasped when my number — 60 hours — was written on the chalkboard. Despite that (traumatizing!) developmental experience, I have always tried to embrace going to sleep when I’m tired.
Though I understand how lucky I am to have never truly dealt with insomnia, so many people lie awake with anxiety until the wee hours of dawn. This can be a struggle for anyone — especially throughout our teens and twenties when we experience so many stressful moments but our bodies need the most rest. Sleep is so important for our development, mind and mental health, and overall happiness.
For us to thrive, we need at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night — and it’s all about setting up the right environment. Creating a comfortable atmosphere with soft, linen sheets (I’m looking at you, Parachute ), a candle, a book, a cozy blanket; no phones (with that blue light), no overly loud TV or music, no distractions. The right setting for bedtime allows you to be mentally in the right space, and kick that insomnia bug.
It shouldn’t be, but it’s surprising how much the state of your room can impact your sleep. During Fashion Week, I had bags and bags of clothes in my room and it left me sleepless because all I could think about was the meetings and shows I had the next day. It was suffocating, my room no longer a sanctuary.
Coming home to a clean bedroom with luxurious linen sheets and a well-made bed inspires me to do a face mask and wind down. Your bed should always be a space separate to where you eat or work. We all want to cuddle up with a pizza every now and then, but keeping sheets free from crumbs and crumpled sheets of work notes ensures a more regenerative sleep. Try to keep your sleep space just for that — sleep.
I am in love with the new linen sheets from Parachute, and I swear I get a better sleep because of them. They’re so comfortable, clean and white, the best ending to a perfected sleep routine. Getting rid of old sheets in favor of the ones you’ve always wanted is a great way to reset your sleep routine. When I got these, I couldn’t stop looking at my new fluffy bed — and couldn’t wait for night to come. It is worth it to spend a little extra on sheets, pillows, and comforters that are soft, sustainable, and will ultimately change your sleeping experience for the better.
I also feel so good when I take all my makeup off, apply some night serums and moisturizer, maybe some eye cream, too, and snuggle into bed to read a book or be with my man. I try to play relaxing, quiet music or write down my thoughts, as this helps my mind to slow down and focus on positivity rather than anxiety. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I remind myself of these thoughts and try turning on a soft light to lull me back into comfort.
Focus on the quiet space that you have made and perfected. The importance of sleep will never seize to amaze me and, as I grow older, I’m still never ashamed to go to bed at 10pm when my body tells me that’s what it needs. When you’re tired, you’re tired, and that isn’t something worth fighting. Trust me, a great night’s sleep will only make for a more successful, more productive you. You might even say that a good night’s sleep is the ultimate beauty luxury.
Words, Christie Tyler @nycbambi. Pictures, Christie Tyler. Bed linen, thanks to Parachute.