Wellness begins in the Bedroom!

YOU GUYS…. I started August with this whole Wellness thing and I didn’t even know August is National Wellness Month. Crazy coincidence or perhaps there's a natural inclination this time of year to "tune up" our bodies. I'm planning on finishing the month strong: physically and spiritually (read all the way to the bottom for that part). Disclaimer: I'm slowly decorating the room, bear with me on that one. We're starting with the foundation of the bedroom: the bed.

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Today, I wanna talk about sleep. Sleep is a huge part of our health and wellness at every age. I just read that up to 75% of most children don’t get enough sleep. (1) New moms (on average) lose 700 hours of sleep the first year of their baby’s life. 

This is an interesting report about sleep habits in America and how badly they need to improve. Are we listening to our bodies? If our kids get better sleep, would that in turn help us? The National Sleep Foundation sleep released new standards increasing the number of hours most of us should be getting a night. 

Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
— Vince Lombardi, Football Player, Coach (Three time NFL championship)

What is your ideal bedtime routine? I like a bath with relaxing soft classical music, dim lights and lavender candle. Then, I moisturize, put on cozy jammies, crawl into a fluffy bed, lift my adjustable bed frame to reading height, grab my gratitude journal to jot a few thoughts down, as well as my One Line a Day for moms. Next, I grab a book and read. Finally, I turn on the fan, turn off the lights, kiss my husband good night and fall into a slumber. Now, does this actually happen?  Almost never…HA! Occasionally, but so rarely. Life is hectic and that is all a serious commitment. After the boys fall asleep, Joel and I are usually rushing to get work done, clean the kitchen, finish laundry and get to bed at a decent time. Hayden is up earlier and earlier these days. 

However, there’s many things we can do to improve our sleep. Some people have health issues that interfere (and I feel for you- this is very hard), but some of us can take measures in our own hands. I’m breaking it down to HOW, WHAT, WHERE.

HOW do you get ready for bed? Hours before?  Less caffeine after lunch, finish liquids earlier so you don’t get interrupted to go the bathroom, no phones or computers an hour before bedtime, wind our minds down, etc. Some of this falls under time management and planning. I started treating myself to two melatonin Good Day Chocolates for sweet treat after dinner. There’s also Pure Rest from Usana that dissolves under your tongue. Of course, with all supplements, please contact your doctor. I’m just sharing my ideas. 

Good Day Chocolate makes sleepy time chocolates for kids. 1 mg. of melatonin per chocolate. This could be something to bring up with your pediatrician if you have school aged kids not getting enough sleep. Please consult your doctor first. 

WHERE you sleep. Your bedroom!! What is the temperature? Can you dim the lights the hour before bedtime? Are you creating an environment conducive for sleeping? Noise maker? Black out curtains? (We don’t have these, but I’m looking into it). A while ago, I discussed getting an Awair in your bedroom to take note of dust, potential toxins, temperature, etc. Joel uses a decent size air filter that doubles as a noise maker. I like a fan on, too. In the kids' rooms, we use the Dome. I also started setting the "bedtime alarm" on my iPhone. It reminds me at 9:45 that I need to wind down. 

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WHAT are you sleeping on? My husband and I both have had issues with our backs. He was convinced the mattress was not helping his condition.  The experts recommend replacing your mattress every 7-10 years. I researched and researched different mattress and bed frames. I looked at reviews and pinterest for ideas. I visited sleep stores and tried a few out. I found Leesa and we went with it! But, lemme tell you what else we did… we got an adjustable bed frame! It’s like the updated, luxury version of hospital beds. And I CANNOT tell you how happy we are. My husband fully attributes getting more sleep to this bed. They kindly gifted us the Sapira California King Mattress. And we got two twin adjustable frames that connect. Check out my instagram post with a quick video. I LOVE reading in bed, writing, or watching tv (I know, some people disagree with this), while my back is supported and my legs are elevated. 

 

We are trying to implement some of the other above factors, too. It’s all a commitment and investment. Some investments are time, some are financial. But, if you have issues sleeping, your well-being is greatly affected. It’s worth taking the time to make it better. Leesa offers financial plans, too. And right now, there’s a significant discount being offered for Labor Day. NOTE: I’m not getting paid to talk about them, I’m just sleeping better! 

ps- as an added bonus, Leesa donates one mattress to every 10 sold; the company also plants one tree for every mattress sold. I just really appreciate that. 

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I jotted down the above a few days ago, but at church this morning, Rick Warren, our preacher and author of THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, talked about the importance of rest and sleep. So much of the sermon spoke to me, I wanted to share a bit in case it even speaks to one of you. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 23. David says, "God makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides still waters and restores my soul."  It's difficult to be spiritually and emotionally full when you are physically exhausted.

Warren gave us "hints" to know that you are running on empty:

1) Fear creeps in.

2) You find yourself running from things.

3) You begin to back out of commitments.

4) You make poor choices and feel indecisive.

5) You push yourself passed your boundaries.

6) Work begins to seem pointless.

7) You want to quit. 

8) You feel isolated and attacked.

9) You begin to compare yourself to others and feel bad about yourself.

10) You have a constant desire to "give up."

Warren mentioned several passages in the Bible where God commands someone to sleep and eat before making any decisions. The best example is Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-7. I'm completely paraphrasing this fantastic sermon, but here are the three things to refill your emotional tank:

1) REST YOUR BODY

2) RELEASE FRUSTRATION. Find your small trusted group. Talk to God in prayer.

3) REMEMBER AND REFOCUS. GOD GIVES US HOPE.

Warren closed with an acronym for God's S.U.G.A.R.

"S" is for steadfast love.

"U" is for unfailing mercy.

"G" is for great faithfulness.

"A" is for always kind.

"R" is for Real Hope.

Lamentations 3:19-24

I know this is more in depth that usual, but I felt compelled to include it. Even if you are not a believer in the same sense, much of this is just practical information. If you are interested in hearing the sermon: watch here.

How seriously are you paying attention to your sleep habits? Are you emotionally depleted? What is your number one nighttime routine to help you sleep? Here's to a great rest and refilling our emotional tanks. 

xo

AAJ

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Daytime Girlfriends

All photos by Holly Brown  @hollymbp  for  Ographr.com

All photos by Holly Brown @hollymbp for Ographr.com

Do you guys remember the Facebook live with Joel and an Awair expert? It was my first live video like that and I didn't know how the live video all worked, but it was fun!! I loved seeing all your comments and questions. Thank you! 

All photos:  Holly Brown  for  @Ographr

All photos: Holly Brown for @Ographr

After the live video, I hosted some girlfriends with GoodCarmaStudio for good food (thanks to Lemonade), drinks and conversation. We even had a bling counter compliments of EmmaJCo. We chatted and learned how a little "awairness" can contribute to cleaner air for us and our children. I was also grateful that we brought in the Creative Coalition. I admire how they're fighting for arts in our children's daily lives. Since Huck started kindergarten in an excellent public school, I'm able to see their hard work come to fruition. I want every child in every school across the country to get the same opportunities. Some of you already saw the instastory on the hair tie bracelet by Maria Shireen. A portion of the proceeds are going toward the Creative Coalition. I'm happy to support people that are giving back! Some of you already have your bracelets. Know you helped a wonderful organization keep going!! Thanks, US Weekly for spreading the word. 

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Also, thank you to CelebrityBabyScoop for covering our day, too.

So--- now about the girlie day. I got to visit with friends I've known and worked with back when I was a teenager! I remember the scenes I was doing with Jennifer Garies and Sharon Case... I never had scenes with Tamara Clatterbuck (did I?), but we were friends. I can't help but smile when I think about it all. Especially my sister on Y&R, Sabryn Genet. Time seems to just fly by us. And I adore my B&B family (which also includes Jen!). Jacqueline Wood and Kelly Kruger are two ladies I could hang out with all day everyday. 

AshleyAJones.com
AshleyAJones.com

Sharon was the first to arrive (which doesn't surprise me... she was usually the first on set, too) so, we got a chance to catch up.  I admire that habit of hers. I can think of other friends that are like this- early or on time for almost everything.... wanna take a guess who they are?

It's the strange thing about being an actor. You get extremely close to these people on a show. So, these people really feel like family to you. They've seen you at your best and worst and everything in between. Then, business takes you to another project and you don't see each other as much. Luckily, we're all based in Los Angeles. One last little note- isn't it lovely when your worlds come together. I enjoyed seeing Ali and Amy chat with my other girlfriends!

AshleyAJones.com
AshleyAJones.com
AshleyAjones.com
AshleyAJones.com

We moved into this house not long ago...I still feel like it's not finished, but realized it doesn't matter if it's all ready or not. What does matter are the memories we are starting to create and this was a special day.