#beamazing In My Shoes

In My Shoes Monday With Michele: How I Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Step into the shoes of LimeLife co-CEO and co-Founder, Michele Gay.

I was a serious insomniac when I started working at LimeLife, then called Alcone. Within a few months, I lost my mother and started a full-time job where I was commuting to New York — on top of having three kids ages 4, 6, and 8. My anxiety was crazy. Even though I was exhausted, I had thoughts running in my head constantly: What needed to be done at work? At home? For the babysitter? I would pass out at 8pm but then wake up at 2am wide awake with worry that I was missing something. I knew it was unsustainable, so I started trying to figure out how to fix it.

At first, I was trying all the things people tell you to do, starting with working out and doing yoga. But the problems were so much bigger than that. I really needed to figure out how to quiet my mind and gain a better perspective. I knew this new job and my lifestyle would not be a sprint, it was a long-term journey so I had to learn how to manage my sleep. I used my time awake in the middle of the night to go on this exploration, and I started by reading different books.

One thing I really learned was that our minds are like super computers, and my loading pinwheel was just spinning for 10 different browsers. I wasn’t resetting it, though, I was trying so hard to get it to load. Luckily, I made a change. 

I have to give huge credit to Arianna Huffington’s book Thrive, which was pivotal for me because it reminded me that the fastest growing and best companies invest in meditation and rest for their employees. No emails exchanged after a certain time, places to take a cat nap, encouraging shorter work days with longer break times to give your mind time to reboot, and looking back, it was really laying a foundation to build LimeLife. I also read a book called 10% Happier about meditation, so those books and then working with meditation in practice started to work.

Now I have techniques that really help me quiet my mind and when I can’t sleep, I go to meditation. The thing that has stuck with me is this metaphor of your mind as this constant flow of electric circuits, like a waterfall of electricity so if you go behind the waterfall and sit there and watch the flow, it can be easier. I go to that space and it helps. Or I go straight to listening to my breath in and out, in and out. Sometimes I go to my kids’ rooms and mimic their breathing or I do the same with my husband, which is why I don’t sleep well when I’m not with him. 

But when I started to hit perimenopause, my hormonal imbalance changed things so I started working with a nutritionist and health coach who helped me readjust my diet to rebalance my gut health, which really helped. Everyone’s diet and nutrition needs are different, though, so talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your health.   

I use LimeLife’s Forty Cure Cream every night and the lavender in it really calms me. My husband and I read every night before bed, only light things, though, like When Life Gives You Lululemons. I only read in a hard book, not a Kindle, and I recently started wearing reading glasses. We don’t have a TV in the bedroom but we do have a propane fireplace, which we have on every night in the winter to cozy up with. I also splurge on Boll and Branch sheets and Marriott pillows, which are just dreamy.

Otherwise, my nighttime routine is very splurge-worthy. I am a big believer in investing in your sleep. After all, we spend a third of our lives asleep. And your sleep is an investment in your health and your business and your family. I’d rather splurge on my sleep than anything else. 

Have any awesome tips for being well-rested? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

9 comments

  1. My sleep has improved dramatically after starting natural, plant-based hormone replacement a couple of months ago! No more hot flashes, kicking, then pulling covers all night, or waking up exhausted the next morning! And an added benefit is that the awful vaginal dryness that had become a problem in my marriage has also resolved and our relationship is SO much better…which makes us both sleep better at night. 😜

  2. Great read and tips! My husband and I started Tai Chi this week and the coaches offered a great way to sleep well. Lay in bed flat and take 10 deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth and repeat in the morning before you get out of bed and again after your morning bathroom routine. Also, drink 8 oz of water just before bed and yes you will be up in the middle of the night visiting the washroom however, they assured that will lesson.

    Great products!

  3. I applaud you for discussing the p word! We prepare woman so well for all other life transitions but this hormone drought/storm is a silent derailer for so many women. I work as a nurse in hospital and sleep is critical to my health and to positive patient outcomes, yet nurses typically work “12” hr shifts that slide into 14 hrs. I am still searching for healthy ways to turn around quickly from high energy sprinting to restorative sleep. It’s easy to feel like a failure when you can’t exercise on your days off because of exhaustion.

  4. Menopause is the devil, and eating right is crucial. I refuse to take hormones but a pharmacist recommended estroven that’s plant based and it has really helped with my sweating and hot flashes. I love waterfalls, so I will think about those and I also take magnesium 1 hour before bed and that relaxes me greatly.

    Jeannine Byrd

  5. I think going to sleep at a reasonable time to get just enough sleep that’s recommended is a goal especially to waking up early for the next day. Being a mom, working, and going to school is a lot to juggle. On top of all the chores at home that need to be done when you get home cleaning and cooking. So waking up early and starting off at a good start will help you throughout the day for work and not be completely exhausted when you get home. I’ve finally got myself into a routine where I have assigned day to do laundry, deep clean bathrooms and mopping floors. Every day is just if you see something messy just quickly take the 10min to pick up. I agree other than self care in the AM and PM we need to take time out for ourselves & ease the mind. I try to work out once a day even I don’t make it to the gym then a good 20 minute walk with the kids is great to fit in. You are getting exercise and getting the kids out and active. At night I try to fit in 20 min of reading. It’s very little time but just that small amount relaxes you. I always make time once a month to make a “me day”. I will get my nails done and just in that hour I feel like a load has been lifted off and I’m ready to finish the day.

  6. I love that you and your husband snuggle up to read each night. My husband and I do the same! This practice sort of evolved from the nightly “bath, book, breastfeed, bed” when I was raising my two children. When my boy’s stopped breastfeeding it was shortened to just the three steps, allowing me a little extra “me time.” That’s when I began following this routine myself. Sunday night’s are my favorite since I usually head to bed earlier to indulge in a soak in the tub with an Epsom Salt essential oil infused Bath Bomb. That’s a real treat, something well worth investing in to set myself up for a peaceful dreamy sleep!

  7. I too am an insomniac! When I became a Beauty Guide I was wide awake all abuzz with ideas! I thought/talked and thought some more about how to work my business all day and all night! After attending Palooza in Austin I realized I could not keep this pace. My health had to be a priority. So now I set “Work Hours” for myself. Put my phone down as soon as I get home and really focus on being present with my family!
    Now I fall right to sleep at 10pm every night and wake up full of new ideas!! 😉

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