20 Tips to Get More Sleep


Getting enough sleep…probably the number one thing I struggle with in my life! Between severe insomnia, work stress, family stress, and chronic pain, it seems like I’m never rested. (Probably every lady reading this is nodding in agreement!)

For a long time, I treated sleep as a want instead of a need. There was always something that seemed more important: cooking, cleaning, watching movies, reading, blogging, etc. Of course, by skimping I only ended up feeling worse. I need sleep to function and if I don’t, everything will end up out of balance. Here are 20 specific things that have made a world of difference in my quest for rest:

  1. Make it a priority – Until this truly matters, you will always find an excuse to stay up.
  2. Sunshine – Many of us are Vitamin D & light deficient. 15 mins daily is the minimum needed.
  3. Moderate caffeine – I try not to have any coffee after 1:00pm.
  4. Have a nightly routine – It takes time to wind down, after all.
  5. Set a bed time – Same as the kids, pick a specific time and stick with it.
  6. Power off electronics – Do this at least an hour beforehand.
  7. Don’t fight the urge – Ever feel sleepy but stay up so long a second wind takes over? Yeah, me too. It’s never good.
  8. Water therapy – Try a bubble bath or shower before bed. Water can be very soothing.
  9. Sleeptime tea – I love a cup mixed with lemon and honey.
  10. Essential oils – Rubbing a drop of lavender oil on temples or feet can help. If the oil bothers you, try a pillow spray instead.
  11. Journal – Many nights I have tossed and turned as my mind races. Write it down, then let it go.
  12. Adjust the room – Is it cool? Is it dark? Is it quiet?
  13. Earplugs – Family members, street traffic, and barking dogs are all noisy!
  14. Eye shades – Even miniscule amounts of light from clocks, TV’s, and outside can severely impact sleep.
  15. Regular exercise – If you’re sedentary most of the day, you may never feel tired. A moderate amount of movement, preferably early on, is best.
  16. White noise – Some folks feel nervous in total silence. Try using a sleep app, leaving on a fan, or playing soft music.
  17. Limit liquids – Too much and you’ll be in the bathroom multiple times during the night.
  18. Secure the house – Close the windows, lock the doors, check the kids. Needless worrying be gone!
  19. Prepare for morning – Set out clothes, set the breakfast table, wash hair—anything to streamline for the following day.
  20. Hugs & kisses – Make a point to give every member of the family some love before bed. This is a quick and easy way to connect that has lasting impact.


How much sleep do you average nightly? Is it ever enough?


Making Simchat Torah Fully Inclusive


Whose Torah is it, anyway?” Author Laura Ben-David asks this pointed question in her article about Simchat Torah. (The obvious response would be that the Torah is everyone’s, right?) If you’re Orthodox, the answer may not be clear. Some members of that community do not allow women to dance with the Torah, even though it’s customary for the other branches of Judaism to do so.

Coming from a Reform background, exclusions like this not only mystify me, they make me sad. I respect tradition and I think it’s fine that each synagogue observes in its own way. I’m not against Orthodoxy; I’m for progress—and there is a difference. Denying women the right to observe a holiday the same way that men do, with no Halachic reason, is just plain wrong!

Simchat Torah is about rejoicing. How can women rejoice if we can’t dance, sing, or be called up for an Aliyah? It would be impossible. That’s why I believe this holiday, and all the others, needs to be fully inclusive—for men, women, and children. If the Orthodox wish to worship separately, that’s their right, but don’t deny women a critical part of the celebration.


Share your opinion. Do you think women should dance with the Torah? Why or why not?

Many New Items at Gehman’s Country Fabrics

Gehman’s Country Fabrics—my favorite place for modest clothing—has many new items available. With a huge selection of delights for Women and Girls, there is so much to choose from. Everything is carefully selected to meet high standards of quality, durability, and beauty. 


Most of my readers know that I am not the world’s greatest seamstress. Anything complicated frustrates me, but easy stuff like pillows are doable. Instead of buying new ones to decorate the guest bedroom, I’ll be making them (well, trying anyway)! My nieces will go crazy for these cupcakes. The flannel fabric is incredibly soft, washable, and fade resistant.

With the crisp fall weather, I really wanted a new sweater for myself. This Braided cable design has a substantial weight, two pockets, a round neck, and front buttons. The charcoal color will be so easy to mix and match with my existing wardrobe.


Those of us who have a little girl to shop for constantly struggle to find age appropriate clothing. Unlike the wild stuff at the mall, I never have to worry about Gehman’s. Isn’t this yellow dress adorable? A pastel shade, butterflies, and roses…the hallmark of femininity. It zips up the back for easier dressing and the poly/cotton fabric requires no ironing!


Another thing on my shopping list is a kitchen apron. I love this aqua floral print for my little helper. She always wants to wear aprons just like Mommy. Lots of other sizes/styles available, perfect for experienced cooks and those in training.


Ordering is very easy and can be done by catalog or on the website. Their customer service is top notch and their attention to detail is incredible. Check out everything Gehman’s has to offer.