Raise your hand if you slept for more than 8 hours last night? 7 hours? How about 6? If your answer is any less, step away from the computer & find a spot to rest. Like pronto.

If you're on a regular sleeping schedule of 7-9 hours, cheers to you!! For those of us who may be struggling to get enough sleep, only to start to doze off at our desk, or during a movie, or a meeting, or during date night - I've been there.

Confession from my childhood: During my teenage years, when my body could somehow survive on less sleep during the week & make up for it on the weekend, my mom & I would bond by staying up into the wee hours in the morning, working on different projects, reading & talking. While I so cherish those times we had together, it set the stage for some baaad sleep habits that I'm still facing today.

Up until last year, I'd look at the clock & see that it was 11 pm (PM!) during the week, & think, "Oh awesome, I still have 2 (or more) hours til I should go to bed." It was around the time Deano & I got engaged that the not-getting-enough-sleep thing really became an issue. In the course of a month, I started LMP, began a new job & kick off wedding planning. Talk about a lot to do, too little time to sleep!

Or so I thought. Y'all, have you had the eye twitch? You know, when all of a sudden, your eye starts to move on it's own? Totally freaked me out when it started to happen & when I looked it up, research studies show that eye twitching "can be associated with lack of sleep, stress, or excess caffeine." Or a big, huge combo of all 3?!

Most week nights, I woke up with my face on my laptop, when I had dozed off trying to edit/blog/search for bridesmaid dresses. At work, I was downing tons of coffee & yet would make silly typos & other mistakes that, had I been rested, wouldn't have happened.


Here are a few stats from The Sleep Better's Council's 2013 survey of US adults :

> Half of Americans (48%) say they don’t get enough sleep, but less than half of them take any one specific action to help them get better sleep.

> Close to one-third of adults (31%) always turn to coffee or caffeinated beverages as their way to make up for lost sleep.

> More women feel that they are not getting enough sleep (53%) than men (44%).

The Council went on to say to declare insufficient sleep "a public health epidemic" that contributes to depression, unattractiveness, skin aging & weight gain. Yuck, who wants to experience any of that?

Add driving to or from work - or anywhere - when you're sleep deprived, & it can get even worse. According to the CDC, it's like being intoxicated - with a BAC or 0.05% or higher.  There were times when I felt *that tired* while driving & I realized it was NOT OK to continue down that path. If you were like me & struggling to get enough sleep, here are a few tips:

Set a goal for yourself - For me, it was 7 hours of sleep each night. It was hard at first but eventually my body got used to it & I was so tired that I could fall asleep easily.

Take a nap - I know, people have different opinions on this but many studies show that snoozing for 30 minutes or less is a good, healthy timeframe.

Get into a routine - Going to sleep & waking up at the same time during the week & on the weekend definitely helped me get consistent with my Zzz's. Now, almost a year later, I am regularly getting into bed by 11 pm & up by 7 am.

Use your mornings - Once I started going to bed earlier, I realized I could wake up a little earlier & work on things then. Pinterest, wedding blogs & emails will still be there in the AM :)

If you're feeling a lack of sleep getting to you today, lunchtime = naptime! Happy Friday!

Advice for Brides: The Top 5

Advice for Brides: Seeing your groom

Advice for Brides: Your bridal party

Advice for Brides: Creating your registry

Advice for Brides: Putting the wed in wedding