southboston
Self-care

Healthy Living in a City+How to Sleep Soundly

Calling anyone who has moved out from the suburbs into a city and it is amazing, exciting, vibrant- and loud.

This past March, I finally made the move out of my parents house, located in a small suburb area of Massachusetts, into the city of Boston. This was very exciting as you can imagine- for the first time, I was paying rent, living on my own, and having a larger list of responsibilties. My mother was no longer going to do my laundry if I forgot to, my room was not going to be cleaned for me, and dishes will not be done on their own. Moving out has taught me a lot of lessons about personal responsiblity and orderliness, but that is not what this post is about. If you live in a city environment, you are going to be subject to conditions you may not be used to- especially if you come from a quiet town or suburb. Some of those conditions may include but are not limited too; reduced air quality, noise at night, more people around you, more walking and less driving. Due to this shift in my space I thought I would create a post that details the ways in which I stick to my routine of trying to live my healthiest life and still get high quality sleep despite a noisier atmosphere. I have talked to several friends who have experienced similar shifts, but a big key is doing small things that add up and are able to allow you to call your new space your little sanctuary- even if it is a home away from home. Here are my tips- sleeping and living into two different sections of tips.

Sleeping

White noise or a fan

I have trouble sleeping without the sound of white noise or a fan going in the background. If you live in a city, you are more likely to hear sirens, trucks, car honks, parties, etc. White noise can be more powerful than you think! It helps create a masking effect where sudden changes in noise can disrupt the process of trying to fall asleep. If you do not want a fan, there are plenty of awesome white noise machineson the market or even an app you can get on your phone. Plug in headphones and drift off easily.

Silk pillowcases and a cozy mattress

Investing in your bed is important, because it means you are ultimately investing in your sleep and in your health. I highly recommend using Silk pillowcases as they are actually better for your skin and hair to ensure you really do get that beauty rest. In regards to mattresses, I love my Nectar mattress, and I also have this foam topper by Lucid on it as well. I like a really soft bed, if you like a firmer mattress, you will be good wtih Nectar. If you are also in the market for new sheets, I highly recommend Sijo Home. The sheets feel luxurious and you will be excited to get into bed at the end of a long day, I promise.

Red light and Himalayan salt lamps

If you replace your bulbs in your room with red lamp lights, it actually has an amazing impact on your sleep quality. It will help you get sleepier, relax you, and ensure that your circadian rhythm is not disrupted by bright, harsh light. I also have this Himalayan salt lamp plugin which is a great little night light. Himalayan salt lamps are great because they have this powerful ability to make any room more relaxing, and they also can purify the air.

Acoustic panels+ Black out curtains

I got these acoustic panels from Amazon that are adorable, and actually do a pretty good job of dampening any sound that may come through your walls. They are super easy to stick on too, you just need some double sided tape and a measuring ruler and ta-da! I have those in my room and I also have blackout curtains which you can from Amazon to match the color schema of your room. Blackout curtains are a must because not only do they reduce sound, but they also are going to block out light, and it is much better for your sleep to go to bed in a pitch-black environemnt versus being disturbed by light.

Ear plugs and a sleep mask

These earplugs by CVS are very good and comfortable for blocking out noise, and if you put on a sleep mask as well (this one by Lunya is incredible) then you are truly in a quiet and dark space that should lead to restful sleep. I am very sensitive to sound at night, so this works best for me, but if you are less sensitive then the black out curtains and white noise should be perfect!

Living

Air purifier

You should invest in an Air Purifier in your space- it is worth it to know that you are breathing cleaner air as you sleep and work in your space. You can get a small one and place it in your room to ensure the air you breathe while sleeping is purified. You can also place this in your kitchen, shut the windows and let it run at night. You can get larger and more expensive air purifiers as well for bigger spaces, but the smaller one seems to be helping me for now. You should notice that you are able to breathe easier and feel better overall.

Greenery

Plants are your friends! I have a large house plant in the kitchen and I also have a smaller plant by my bedisde table. Certain types of plants only require a little bit of indirect sunlight and water to stay alive. Plants are wonderful in reducing carbon dioxidide in the air, and adding a bit of green to your space is always a good thing in my opinion. If you live in Boston, check out MicroPlantStudio as they have wonderful plants in all shapes and sizes+the owner is awesome.

Walks and fresh air

Get outside and go for a walk! I am working remotely Monday through Friday, so reminding myself to get outside, go on a walk around the neighborhood, get some fresh air is crucial for my mental space. I am also lucky enough to be close to the ocean so taking a walk down there and back gives me a beautiful view of some water, and a good 1-1.5 mile walk in the middle of the day.

Movement and stretching

Your body deserves to move and stretch. It is a great idea to do some stretching in the beginning of the day and towards the end of the day. There are so many free youtube workouts you can do to encourage your body to get moving and stretch. MadFit’s Stretching videos are wonderful and effective, and I also love TashaFranken because she often incorporates stretching and mobility into her fiery Pilates workouts.

Morning routine and daily gratitude

If you can sit on a yoga mat, put your hands in prayer, and do some reflection, gratitude, then I guarantee your morning will start on a better note. Whether it be meditating, breathing slowly, writing down some reasons why you are grateful it will instantly frame your day and set it to a better start. If you want to put your intentions to paper, I recommend the Five Minute Journal to start a better mourning routine, and this is a 5 minute Youtube video that will guide you through a wonderful five minute meditation for free.

I hope these tips were helpful, regardless of where you are located today! Remember that the little things can add up all the time and have a bigger impact. I wish you all an amazing day!

Let me know what you think!