annie kip

coaching & strategy

Style with intention

A podcast and blog hosted

#6: How To Get The Good Sleep You Need

We all seem to complain about not getting good sleep. By the end of the day, we’re tired, achy, worn out and just need to rest – but we can’t sleep. Here are some ideas to help!

Here are the biggest takeaways from this episode:

  • Why sleep is EXTREMELY important to your happiness
  • What happens if you don’t get the sleep your body desperately needs
  • The most important questions to ask yourself if you want a good night of sleep.
  • My personal tips to help you find more restful nights (Spoiler Alert: you have to stop fighting and “make friends” with sleep).
Hey there! Thanks for listening today!  Today’s topic is something many people struggle with but it’s vital to happiness – SLEEP.   It’s such a simple thing and something that I’ve struggled with in recent years. I know a lot of my friends are frustrated with not sleeping well too!  I know we have a lot more on our minds now than ever before, not to mention changing hormones, new jobs, etc. – so getting good sleep can make a big difference in our lives! There is no way around it. If you’re tired of not getting enough good, solid sleep, then I have some ideas that will be very interesting to you.   In this episode I share my personal tips to help you find your way back to restful, REM-filled nights.  This guide also provides some tools to help you set yourself up for a successful night of deep, luxurious sleep! I recommend you download it right now and use it to follow along as you listen to the episode. As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!   Enjoy the show! This week’s episode is EPIC! We’ve pulled together all of our best tips and tricks for getting to sleep – and staying asleep! Wishing you sweet dreams!

Trusting Yourself

The Sober Witch talks about trusting yourself and the power of being vulnerable and all of the wonderful things that have fallen into place since she decided to share her real self. This episode also talks about how you can Create A Magnetic Personal Brand By Being Yourself. If you’re looking for a way to explore your own path to trusting yourself, these journal prompts are a great way to coach yourself. Click below to download your Self-Coaching Journal Prompts:



Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast, where we talk about how to use your personal style as a tool to create a life you love. We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really, good! Welcome to the show! I’m your host, Annie Kip and today we’re talking about sleep – because if you don’t get good sleep, the quality of your life is going to be compromised. Period. This is a subject that has comes up again and again whenever I talk with people. SLEEP! It’s a simple thing that makes a big difference in our lives – and is really frustrating when it doesn’t come to us as easily as it used to.

If you’re tired of not getting enough good, solid sleep, then I have some ideas that will be very interesting to you. And the freebie I created for this episode is really worth getting – you might even want to download it and look at it while you’re listening today, so I’m telling you about it right now. Even if you don’t look at it right now, download it so you will have it when you’re ready.

A lot of people I know complain about not being able to sleep. Especially people who are in midlife, we have a lot on their minds, changing hormones, busy lives, and not enough time for everything that matters to us. By the end of the day, we’re tired, achy, worn out from doing hard things – like dealing with teenagers and aging parents and jobs we may or may not like – and adapting to new technology on our phones and in our cars. I know I’m not the only one who puts off those new iPhone updates. Sometimes, I feel like I just can’t handle another change and everything that could go wrong if it doesn’t go smoothly. Maybe you’re better at this stuff than I am, but it’s a lot for my middle-aged brain to take in. On top of all the regular ups and downs that we deal with everyday. By the end of the day the one thing I want to do is to rest and escape – but, like many of you, when I finally get to bed and lie down to sleep, I found I couldn’t. And when I did fall asleep, from sheer exhaustion, I was awake in the middle of the night. I was starting to wonder if a solid night of sleep was a luxury only kids got to have. So many people tell me they have the same problems I do: Can’t fall asleep Can’t stay asleep Worrying or thinking circular thoughts all night Waking up too early and watching to sun come up wondering why I can’t just sleep Then we’re exhausted all day, thinking about why we can’t sleep, talking about not sleeping – and dreading having to do it all over again. Whether you need a lot of sleep or not very much sleep, you want those hours to count – to be restful and restorative. You want to look and feel fresh and rested – without those dark circles under your eyes all day You want a break between busy days – not busy days as well as busy nights full of worrying and thinking Maybe you’ve tried sleep medicine, like I have. I hate the idea of being knocked out, and it didn’t always work for me all night anyway. I didn’t always feel great the next day either. So, what happens if we just keep on doing what we’ve always done, hoping for better sleep every night and not getting it? Well, it’s not just highly frustrating, but it affects the bigger picture as well –
  • Sleep supports your Brain function – during deep sleep, new pathways to learn and remember new info – which is super important for those of us trying to learn and keep up with new technology.
  • Sleep also helps to moderate moods and emotion – which we know can get a little wonky at midlife.
  • And while you sleep, your body does it’s healing and repair  — specifically your heart and blood vessels, your blood sugar regulation, your immune system functioning, and your cellular repair – which, my friends, is the difference between having more or fewer new wrinkles!
If you don’t get good sleep, your health and your ability to think are going to be compromised – and you’re going to age faster. But you know what the kicker was for me? Weight gain related to sleep deprivation – I read an article, which I will link to in the show notes that said when you don’t get good sleep, your hormones become wildly dysregulated – which gives you higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases your appetite and gives you cravings, even if you’re not hungry:
  • Hormones that control metabolism get out of whack
  • You get more of that hormone that tells you when to eat and less of the hormone that tells you when to stop eating – which means we’re eating more often and not stopping eating.
So all this midlife weight gain, might be related to our sleep problems! The bottom line is that sleep matters – now more than ever. Feeling overwhelmed  AND foggy and not looking your best can really affect your self-esteem, which can damage your ability to stand up for yourself, get ahead at your job, and intentionally create the happy life you want to live.
  • This is a time in your life of change – relationships, jobs – you need to be able to think
  • Your kids might be difficult – teens think they’re adults and college kids come home trying to live like their still at college
  • Our parents need help – sometimes they’re far away and difficult to manage, it’s a lot of work taking care of things
  • Not to mention – at least for people my age, midlife time of new beginnings – Maybe you need to think about what’s next for you?
  • It’s really important to decide what you want for yourself, so you don’t just drift along and find yourself unhappy with where you end up
When you get good sleep, fresh ideas pop up more easily – new solutions come to you – you can see what can be delegate, eliminate more clearly, and you feel less overwhelmed
  • You’re more easy-going, flexible, open
  • You have a clear head for making good decisions
  • It’s also easier to take care of yourself – because it’s easier to find the self-discipline and motivation to eat well, exercise, and manage your health.
Sleep gives us the basic energy we need to deal with everyday life. When I took a look at how not sleeping was affecting my life and how all of this fits together, I caught a glimpse of where this was taking me:
  • I saw a stereotype of middle-aged women – spacey, out of it, confused, forgetful, and looking tired and a bit run down.
  • I saw myself shying away from new things.
  • I saw my new projects, never getting off the ground – I saw myself staying the same and being stuck. I saw that my personal work was put on the back burner – not having the energy to be self-reflective, not growing, not having new ideas and new experiences.
  • I saw how I was feeling disempowered – I was a little grumpy and resentful – and I was feeling irrelevant.
Does this bring to mind a picture of an old hag for you? That’s what I saw in the mirror! That is the opposite of what I want. No one wants that. I wanted to be the chic gray-haired lady doing interesting things who is interested in life and ready for new adventure. I don’t need to look young and I’m okay with my gray hair, but I want to look and feel lively and be filled with passion and purpose. If bad sleep was keeping me from having that – then, dang it, I was going to get the sleep I needed. If this sounds like where you are too, having tried the frustrating, futile, “I really hope I can finally sleep tonight” method, then I would like to share some ideas that worked for me. Having Style With Intention is all about using your choices to help you live the life you want to live – which means you set up your life and make choices which will help you feel the way you want to feel, so you can have the experiences you want to have. We can apply this to getting a good night of sleep. In its most basic sense, this is how it works: when your genuine emotions match what you want, it becomes your reality. For instance, for get about sleep for a minute and think about how it feels when you really want something else – for instance, when you were dating. You really wanted to find a partner, hoping it’s a soul mate, stressing about what to wear, thinking about what someone might like about you, going out when just to meet someone, wishing and hoping and praying it will happen. Your Emotions are invested heavily in the wanting and longing for it – and the hope of being happy when you have it. Longing for something will never get you there – it will only keep you in longing When you’ve given up the frantic dating and finally just happy with yourself, you find that you’re content with being on your own and you’re genuinely happy with your life, just as it is – that’s when your emotions are a match for finding love – and someone special finally comes along. The same thing sometimes happens to people when they stress about getting pregnant. As soon as they stop trying, and they’re happy just as a couple, they often conceive. So the stress you’re feeling about getting sleep and the act of focusing on your frustration, is actually putting you in a state of mind that is the opposite of the calm, peaceful emotions of actually sleeping well. We have much of this same anxiety around sleep:
  • we worry about it whether we’re going to get sleep tonight
  • we stress over what we’re eating in case it might affect our sleep
  • we try to go to bed early or later
  • we think about sleep
  • we talk about our sleep problems with each other
Our focus and feelings are more invested in the hoping sleep will come and the reality of NOT sleeping. You need to find a way to make friends with what you want – sleep. Let go of the fight.
  • Make it something that you are excited about
  • Transform it into something you get to do – not something we dread
  • Look forward to it with all your heart – but not be anxious about it
  • Be happy and peaceful and confident – ready for sleep, not thinking about it too hard
That’s when your emotions are a match for sleep – when you let of of the longing for it. In order to get into this state of happy and peaceful and readiness for sleep, you need to do some preparation ahead of time. I’m going to walk you through the most important question you can ask yourself to get yourself closer to getting a good night of sleep, as well as some follow up questions which will help you identify the details that matter to you. This will be different for everyone and you will have to experiment and find the combination of circumstances that work best for you. As always, my life’s one big construction zone – but I’m happy to share what’s working for me in case it might be of use to you. YOU CAN DO this RIGHT NOW This is what having “Style With Intention” is all about – making the ordinary style choices which will allow you to have the experience you want to have – in this case, a good night of sleep. Take the following question and the 3 follow up questions and start making small changes.
  • You can use your waking hours to think, prepare, and set the stage so you can bring your choices into alignment with the reality of getting a good night’s sleep. This will help you feel how it feels now, in your bones, so you will be an emotional match to a good night of sleep
  • You will teach your body and brain the experience of falling into a solid, deep sleep, so it will let go of the longing and begin to expect and look forward to good sleep
Start with this question: How Do You Feel When You Are Falling Into A Heavy, Solid Sleep? I don’t want you to answer with words yet – I want you to feel it – in your bones. Get deep into the feeling of what it feels like – not what you want or how it is right now when you try to sleep – just conjure up how it really feels when it happens easily and effortlessly.
  • Feel the relief and peace of drifting off into a solid night of sleep
  • Let that feeling expand and grow and feel all the details if you can – the way it looks, the way it smells, the way it sounds, the way it looks and feels
  • The more details the better – use all of your senses
If you have trouble with this, it might help to imagine yourself as a child, at a time when you sleep easily For example, I know I love cool, crisp sheets. I love the feeling of a fluffy, squishy comforter, but also the weight of a coverlet on me. I love the feeling of cool air in the room, when I am snuggled into the warm covers. I like total darkness and quiet. I love how heavy my body feels when I finally lie down. Once you’ve painted a really detailed picture for yourself,  We need to figure out what you need to get that feeling. Think through all the details and decide which choices will support what you want to feel.
  • Start with your perfect sleeping bed and bedroom – How does that feel?
  • Hot or cold?
  • Sheets? De you prefer Cool? warm?
  • Pillows hard or soft?
  • Cover weight?
  • Dark or light?
  • Clock? Does the light catch your eye through your eyelids?
  • Door closed?
For instance, I don’t have a clock in my room, which the beau thinks is really weird – but I don’t want to stress about the time when I wake up in the night – I know my alarm will make me up when it’s time to get up and it’s not my job to think about the time until then.
  1. Think about what you do during the day that supports or doesn’t support the way you want to feel going to sleep?
  • Do you exercise during the day? Does that get you more revved up or calmed down? Early or late? What kind of exercise feels best?
  • Eating – how does the food you eat make you feel and when does it feel best to stop eating before bed
  • Drinking alcohol – which is widely known to disrupt sleep
I really wanted to deny it, but I found that wine was disrupting my sleep, so I’ve really cut back on it. I’m not perfect with this – and every so often, I have some and almost always regret it. I’ve had to come to terms with choosing what’s more important to me. Even if I’m not hungover, I don’t get good sleep and I don’t feel the way I want to feel the day after I have wine, so I am doing without it more often than not. I also make my bed first thing in the morning – because I really love the feeling of getting into a clean, crisp, made bed at night.
  1. What about during the evening?
  • How do you end your workday and plan for the next day so you can leave with a clear head?
  • How about television/computer time?  Studies show that the blue light from the screens disrupts sleep and people get better sleep when they have turned off their screens an hour before bed
  • Phone calls? Is there a time when you no longer take calls?
  • Do you need alone time?
  • How do you catch up with your partner?
I have to admit, I am terrible at the whole “stopping work” at the end of the day thing – I’m often at my desk long after dark. I like what I do and I’m always trying to sneak in more time getting stuff done. My nightly bedtime routine helps a lot to counterbalance this bad habit. If you want to learn more about how to set up routines that “bookend” your day and learn what I do specifically, it’s all on episode #5. As I mentioned just now and in Episode 5, I find that it really helps to have a bedtime routine that moves you from the day into time for sleeping. When I skip it, I really can tell the difference. I take my sleepy tea into the living room, light a candle, and I often journal or just quiet reflection and meditation. I also take a hot bath right before bed – because I love the feeling of being warm and getting into cool sheets. This is my favorite. Be very intentional about your choices and your routine. Routines are a big part of getting into this emotional alignment – routines allow you to take the thought out of it and just feel the way you want to feel. Which is how you want sleeping to be – effortless and easy. Think about it now, ahead of time, during the day – to set up your bed, your bedroom, and your day to create the circumstances which will help you get into alignment with a good night of sleep. Honor what you need and make everything ready for when bedtime comes, so you don’t have to think about it. This is the art of using your style choices with intention – making lots of ordinary choices to set up your reality so can feel the way you want to feel, and then so you can have the experience you want to have. And remember, this is a process. Our whole lives are a series of having the experiences we want to have, and then having experiences we don’t want to have – and then making adjustments so we can get back to having the experiences we want to have. Don’t stress when it doesn’t work perfectly, it won’t work perfectly at first – just begin to set up your systems. You can add things or take away things after you have a chance to see if they feel right to you. If you aren’t getting the results you want, you can make adjustments. Go back to the questions and conjure up the feeling you want to have – and decide to try a few things that make sense to you for a week or two – and then don’t put a lot more thought into it. This is not meant to be something you put effort and thought into everyday. Give it some time and try to relax. I’m still working on consistency for my own perfect sleep – but I’ve had enough success with this – nights of really solid, restful sleep and waking up refreshed and bright, to be able to relax a little and trust that I am on the right path. Give yourself some grace as you learn what you need. Don’t think or wonder about whether sleep will or won’t happen and avoid talking about how hard it is to sleep – rather focus on all of the delicious sensory experiences that you have identified as your perfect sleep situation. Really enjoy them. Anticipate how good they will feel. Amplify the goodness and soak it in, so that you feel it, even before bedtime comes. Style With Intention gives you the power to make things happen for yourself. It’s a whole new way to think about self-determination. You can make this happen. You don’t have to hope and long for what you want – you’re in charge of yourself and can have the experiences you want to have. Thanks for listening today! Be sure you’re subscribed to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode – and if you think this sleep info would be helpful for a friend, go ahead and share this with them on Facebook  or Instagram by clicking the link on the site, or directly right now, by clicking on the share button right there on your iPhone – it’s those three little dots you see in the bottom right corner. When you share or give us friendly review on iTunes, it helps boost our ranking and it’s just nice of you to share this great info with your friends! Thanks for listening and until next week, keep on making your life look the way you want it to feel! If you’re looking for a way to explore your own path to trusting yourself, these journal prompts are a great way to coach yourself. Click below to download your Self-Coaching Journal Prompts:


Header image by: Hs Lee
getting good sleep