Top Reasons For Sleep Issues + How to Fix Them

sleep tips

Top Reasons For Sleep Issues + How to Fix Them

It’s no secret that millions of Americans find it difficult to stay asleep or even fall asleep. What’s even more concerning is the fact that sleep deprivation can lead to even bigger problems. Diabetes, kidney disease, and colds have all been linked back to sleep, or the lack thereof. In 2019, 103 million people Google searched sleep-related problems. Below I have outlined some tips to help with this widespread sleeping struggle.

1. Pinpoint the exact cause.

This step can be difficult but try to approach it through the process of elimination. I do this by analyzing my personal schedule:  is my dog waking me up in the middle of the night? Did I forget to turn my phone on “do not disturb”? Is it recurring body aches or just discomfort from throwing the frisbee around today? The list goes on. 

Pro Tip: Try to rule out one-offs and focus on what is in your daily routine.

2. Diet. Yes, you’ve seen this before.

Your diet and what you’re putting into your body… it matters! Candidly speaking, if you drink a ton of caffeine in the afternoon you’re going to toss and turn. Granted everyone’s body is different, but a general rule of thumb is to stay clear of foods and beverages that put your body into “go” mode. Chocolate is one of those sneaky foods that has naturally occurring caffeine, so pay attention to what you’re having for dessert or before bedtime.

3. Have a daily routine. And I mean 7 days a week, weekends included!

Having a routine is one way to not only pinpoint your sleeplessness, but also: it can actually help reduce it. Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. The first week of this will be rough, we know, so here’s another blog post on non-habit forming sleep aids to help you get over the initial hump. Try to stick to a sleep schedule that works every day, realistically give or take an hour.  Once you seriously commit to your routine, you will begin to form a new habit.

4. Exercise can help balance your hormone levels.

A tired body makes for a good night’s rest. This can be especially hard if you live somewhere with long winters. Take it from us, northern winters can be horrible! I Though, if you can do  30 minutes of indoor cardio or even go for a short  walk, you’re increasing your  dopamine levels so your body is tired later. Exercise helps regulate your bodily rhythms throughout the day and night. The time of day you exercise also makes a difference. I recommend exercising in  the morning as opposed to nighttime since the initial effects of working out create an energetic feeling.

5. Stop the endless scrolling.

Most Americans spend their minutes or hours before shut-eye not shutting down their electronics. The blue light from your computer and cell strains your eyes and keeps your brain cells moving. That restlessness and inability to quiet the mind aren’t that far off from this one. If this step is difficult for you, start by setting a small goal of no electronics 15 minutes before bed.  Then gradually increase to an hour as doctors recommended. Read more about the doctor’s suggested screen time usage here

6. Your body might be trying to tell you something.

Lack of sleep and trouble sleeping (as a symptom) is rarely a nice way to find out something is wrong with your body, but it could be a symptom of something other than lifestyle habits. If trouble sleeping continues, you may need to seek professional help. There’s no shame in doing what is best for your body and ultimately feeling better long-term. Improved sleep can help you to take on the day, have higher energy levels, and enable you to be more present for others you love in your life. And let’s be honest, it’d be nice to  stop complaining about how little sleep we got last night. If you are still looking for something to help kickstart the process, our team recommended the BATCH Dream Tincture. It helped one of our editors drift off and kickstart better sleep habits quicker.



Skincare Routine Order: Perfect Order to Perfect Skin

Skincare Routine: The Perfect Order for Perfect Skin

Creating a skincare routine that is perfect for your needs can be frustrating work. After some simple research your brain may be whirling with all the different advice: “do I put the toner on after or before? Moisturize in the morning or at night? Both? Morning cream vs. night cream? This YouTuber told me something else… Do I even need toner?” In this article I will lay out a reliable order to your skincare routine so you don’t get lost in the weeds of the internet. 

For myself, I’ve been in and out of a dermatologists office about a hundred times. From acne to dry-skin, I have tried so many products to help with these symptoms and irritations. After countless trial and error, I have learned that the most important aspect is sticking to a routine. Consistency is key and a surefire way to get the results you want.

Morning Routine in 7 Steps

Cleanser.

Clean, clean, clean. You want a fresh base without any dirt and oils blocking your treatments. Pro tip: use one that works with your skin type. Ex: If you have sensitive skin use something like this Neutrogena oil-free redness soothing acne face wash.

Toner.

There’s a lot of controversy over the effectiveness of toners, so I recommend making this decision based on your own results. If your skin is feeling oily after washing, try it out, and if you don’t see a difference, don’t use them. It’s up to you and your skin and what feels right. Looking for a toner? Try a natural witch hazel formula. Be weary of alcohols in toners which can actually dry out the skin.

Serums.

Serums will be the first thing to sink into your skin because they are  dense and usually nutrient-based.  Doing this after a nice wash ensures that your pores are ready to absorb the nutrients. 

Eye Cream. 

If you use eye cream, applying it before steps 5,6, and 7 is important in order to  . protect your eyes.  Eye cream can serve as an effective and soothing barrier and avoid any possible irritation. 

Acne spot treatment. 

Spot treatments use common chemicals like benzoyl peroxide to help dry out and clear acne spots. Any cream that comes in contact with the spot before this will probably inhibit the effectiveness of the spot treatment. 

Moisturizer.

Even for oily skin, a moisturizer can help to retain and protect the skin’s delicate barrier. Applying moisturizer daily helps  maintain a protective coating that  keeps out infections and harsh outside conditions. Also, your skin can  always use some extra hydration!  Apply your moisturizer  on damp skin. Most professionals believe that when the moisturizer absorbs into the skin, it pulls moisture from the water  into the skin with it. 

Sunscreen.

Using sunscreen is the  most important step for lifelong healthy skin! All dermatologists highly recommend daily application of sunscreen or makeup or moisturizer with SPF. This is a key step to prevent future skin problems and although it is the last step, it most certainly is not the least!

Night Routine in 7 Steps

Make-up remover. 

Removing any potential makeup is key to having a totally cleansed surface. Not all people wear heavy makeup products, but even  microbes from just mascara can be  difficult to remove completely. If you are looking for a reliable product, a personal favorite is Garnier’s gentle micellar water

Cleanser.

Clean, clean, clean. Get rid of the day’s dirt, grime, or any makeup residue left on the skin that could cause inflammation or bacteria growth overnight. This is a key step if you have acne-prone skin!

Toner. Essences. Boosters. 

Again, toner is a personal choice, but can help balance your skin’s PH. Toner always follows the cleansing step. Then,  use the essences and boosters as localized topicals to deliver a focused hydration treatment.  Be careful of alcohol-based toners. 

Eye Cream. 

Use eye cream before the next treatments to protect your eyes from potentially irritating products. If you’re focused on the anti-aging properties of skin care definitely look into this step of your routine. Protect your eyelids over time by using eye-specific creams

Acne spot treatment. 

Spot treatments use common chemicals like benzoyl peroxide to help dry out and clear those acne spots. Any cream that comes in contact with the spot before this will probably inhibit the effectiveness of the spot treatment.

Treatments, serums, and peels. 

Again, serums are nutrient-dense treatments in small molecules with heightened and concentrated benefits. Be sure to closely follow the product’s directions for optimal results. Anything that is going to seep into your skin at a prescription or strong level should be close to the skin.  Personally, my dermatologist recommends I use a prescription strength retinoid to pull in the added benefits deep below the surface of my skin. Any retinol, exfoliating treatments, anti-aging products, salicylic acid pads, etc should be in this step. 

Moisturizer.

Even for oily skin, a moisturizer can be essential to retain and protect the skin’s delicate barrier. As we sleep, the skin regenerates and repairs, so moisturizer application is key before bed.  If you use a heavier cream, the extra weight encourages more water retention as you sleep. Moisturizers create such a strong barrier so this is the perfect final step to protect and enhance your skin!

Your routine may not look like this, and that's okay.

Keep in mind that the routine I spelled out only includes topicals. This list does not include acne medications, facial masks, or ingestibles. Consult your doctor or dermatologist about your routine and what would be best for your skin. Not everybody has every product above in their routine, but if you begin to incorporate these products into your routine, follow the order above for ultimate absorption!