Sleep is an integral part of my life. During my days of being a competitive figure skater, I needed it to help my body recover and be ready to train the next day. When I was in Nebraska working full-time as a reporter and fulfilling my duties as Miss Nebraska USA, my busy schedule did not allow for much sleep. Whatever amount I got needed to be quality hours. Now, I still lead a busy lifestyle, but living in a bigger city means I need to wake up refreshed and sharp – ready to tackle the day ahead as a reporter, anchor and blogger. All of us have a seizure threshold and when we don’t take time to properly rest, we move closer and closer to it, according to Arianna Huffington in her book. Not to mention, the possibility of collapsing from exhaustion.
I’m partnering with Leesa to share how I get a good night’s sleep and why sleep is the pathway to a better life. Johnny and I love supporting entrepreneurs and startups and Leesa is an innovative direct-to-consumer mattress brand disrupting the mattress industry. They are based in Virginia Beach a block from the beach and their office is slick! Think beautiful open-concept space with a workout room and of course, a designated nap zone! The mattresses are made in America, ships free and come with a 100-night risk-free trial. So I couldn’t wait for mine to arrive! Use code COLORCHIC75 to get $75 off your mattress.
Can you believe a queen-size mattress is in that box?
The mattress is securely in the box, so this part was a bit of a struggle haha! If you follow me on Snapchat (@HKCung) and Instagram stories, you probably saw me unboxing this!
The mattress comes rolled up in plastic wrap. Once you cut the plastic the mattress immediately starts inflating. It’s so cool to watch!
I prefer getting lots of sleep – so I aim for eight and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. A mattress that works for you is crucial. Leesa mattresses are created with three premium foam layers. The first layer is a 2-inch Avena foam top, keeping you cool and giving you that nice bit of bounce. The next two inches of memory foam contour to your body and give you that ultra comfy cocoon-feel while providing support. More than 11 years of figure skating created quite the wear and tear on my body. Think permanent tailbone and back problems and more. The Leesa mattress really makes my whole body feel supported, unlike others where I’d wake up with back pain needing to stretch and realign. Finally, the bottom 6-inch dense core support foam provides support and edge durability.
After a lot of trial, error and reading about sleep, I truly have learned a lot. While we sleep our brains run checks on itself to make sure hormones are all set. Cleaners then sweep out toxins the brain doesn’t need. Without good sleep, our bones and muscles cannot heal. Plus, we are less able to break down sugars in our diet. Not to mention beauty rest is a real thing. Cells are churning out growth factors to repair damage and maintain elasticity in our skin. Here are my tricks for sleeping well and having a better life:
- Reserve your bed for sleep only – This can be really hard, but makes all the difference. I cut out laptop use and watching TV in my bed. I only do a dash of screentime with my phone. At night, I enable night mode, so the bright blue light does not stimulate my brain. If you like to read before bed, opt for paper back.
- Stop with the snooze button – I am a big proponent of getting up when the alarm goes off. I know many of us fall victim to hitting the snooze button multiple times thinking an extra five to 10 minutes can do more good than harm. However, that’s not further than the truth. You could fall into a new sleep cycle and when you wake up you’ll feel groggy, also known as sleep inertia. This impairs your ability to be alert, your memory, reaction time and makes you feel like you got a lot less sleep than you did.
- Use natural light to cue your body – Letting the sun help you with your circadian rhythm can do wonders for how you feel when you wake up. Play around with curtains and blinds to get the perfect mix of darkness at night, but enough light in the morning. The ultimate goal is to wake up on time on your own. I try to be in bed by midnight or 30 minutes after. I wake up around 9:00 to 9:10 a.m. every single day without an alarm.
- Have a nighttime routine and stick to it – The human body responds well to habit, so it’s important to have a routine. Since I work until 11:30 p.m., mine is very quick. I come home, prepare a cup of tea, take off my makeup, change clothes and get in bed. Before falling asleep, I do a quick nighttime meditation. I do this every night and pretty much by the time I get in bed, I’m feeling sleepy. Find what works for you, whether it’s yoga to wind down or a good book. You should also avoid that glass of wine because it messes with your sleep cycles.
I have been sleeping on my Leesa mattress for two weeks now and I absolutely love it! The support is incredible and it feels so comfy. I have been getting uninterrupted sleep for about eight to nine hours, which is incredible. Now, I wake up feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle the day. I pretty much have been jumping out of bed lately since I feel so alert. Another reason I love Leesa is their dedication to a better purpose. For every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one. Since launching in 2015, they have donated more than 5,000 mattresses to organizations working toward solving problems relating to homelessness. Also, Leesa plants a tree for every single mattress sold. Leesa also donates to the NAVY SEAL Foundation.
PJs, White Quilt, Euro Shams and Shams
Photography by: Mae Small
*This post is in partnership with Leesa