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Funeral Planning 101: How to Plan and Pay for Your Final Farewell

There’s nothing easy about planning a funeral when you’re in the fog of grief. Families don’t have much time to process a loss before they have to pick out caskets and order flower arrangements. Considering these profoundly difficult circumstances, it’s not shocking to learn that many families overpay for funerals, driven by emotional overspending and a lack of price transparency. Pre-planning your funeral is the best way to honor your wishes and your budget, and avoid leaving your family scrambling to find a spare $10,000 after your death.

Funerals: Your Rights as a Consumer

The funeral industry is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC mandates funeral homes provide itemized price lists, allow consumers to purchase their own caskets, and make additional services like embalming optional. These protections let you comparison shop for funeral homes and services. Finding a funeral home that has lower prices and no high-pressure tactics could save thousands on final costs.

Paying for a Funeral

Even with smart shopping, a funeral is a large expense. If you experience an extended illness before death, your estate might not have the funds to pay for the funeral you want. Assets held in an estate also must go through probate, leaving families to pay funeral costs up front before being reimbursed. If your family doesn’t have large sums of cash on hand, you need a way to pay for the funeral without going through probate or taking on debt.

Payable-on-Death Accounts

Payable-on-death accounts provide a beneficiary immediate access to funds in the bank account upon your death. POD accounts are also known as Totten Trusts.

Life, Burial, and Funeral Insurance

Life insurance is a common way to pay for funerals, but if you’re not holding onto a whole life policy, consider a lower cost burial insurance policy. Burial insurance provides smaller payouts, typically $5,000 to $20,000, for the purpose of funding a funeral. If you go this route, choose a policy with enough coverage for your desired funeral arrangements and consider a little extra to pay other outstanding bills. Avoid pre-need funeral insurance, which pays the death benefit to a funeral home rather than to your beneficiaries.

Prepaid Funeral Plans

It’s widely agreed that prepaid funeral plans, in which you purchase a funeral package in advance from a funeral home, are a bad idea.

Saving Money on Funeral Costs

Funeral costs start around $7,000 and can rise rapidly depending on the type of send-off you want. However, there are several ways to save on funeral costs.

Cremation vs. Burial

A burial is the default option for many families, but cremation can lower costs by more than half. Cremation doesn’t have to mean missing out on the traditional funeral experience. Families can still schedule a viewing or wake before the cremation and have remains interred in a cemetery.

Types of Services

A traditional funeral includes a viewing or wake followed by a funeral service. However, many families are opting for memorial services for an informal alternative to traditional services.

No matter which type of service you choose, you’ll need to make decisions about many details.

  • Whether the service should be public or private.
  • Whether to hold open-casket or closed-casket services.
  • What type of clothing and mementos you’d like to be buried or cremated with.
  • Who should speak, read, or play at the service.
  • Who should serve as pallbearers.
  • Which pictures and mementos you want on display.

Caskets and Urns

Caskets and urns purchased directly from the funeral home are likely to cost more than if you buy elsewhere. Consider buying your casket or urn online instead. Funeral homes can’t deny you the ability to use an outside casket or charge more for supplying your own casket.

Once you’ve decided what type of funeral you want and how you’ll pay for it, share your wishes with your family. Talk about your hopes for your final months and days, the legal and financial aspects of your passing, and how you want your life celebrated. As difficult as it is to have this conversation, it’s the first step toward a final farewell that leaves everyone at peace.

Image via Rawpixel

Written by: Lucille Rosetti 💚
lucy@thebereaved.orgThe Bereaved

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Honoring Your Loss, Grief Management, and the Importance of Self-Care

Losing someone you love can bring on a wide range of emotions.  Some days you may feel you can barely breathe, and other days you may not even feel like it’s real.  It’s important to find ways to manage your grief.  Here are some strategies to help you through the process.

Grief is individual.  Everyone grieves differently.  According to Psychology Today, we all experience four basic aspects of grief, but they arise at different times and in different forms in accordance with circumstances.  Those aspects include:

  • Separation distress.  This is a murky conglomeration of bad feelings, like anxiety, pain, sadness, despair, shame, and anger.
  • Traumatic distress and feelings of shock and unbelief. 
  • Regrets, guilt, and attrition.
  • Isolation and social withdrawal.

Honor your loved one.  One of the most healing things you can do is to find a way to honor the memory of your loved one.  You may not be able to move forward from your loss until you honor your loved one in a way that feels right to you.  For some, this may be a simple act of laying a rose at a graveside.  For others, a special service celebrating the loved one’s life is needed to say goodbye. 

Contemplate what will best express what you are feeling.  Do you want to honor your loved one through a charitable act?  Your loved one’s favorite charity may be the right outlet.  Would blogging about your loss bring closure?  Maybe journaling or sharing notes in a few posts will be right for you.  Is there a special place you shared together you want to revisit and share together again in your heart?  Maybe that restaurant booth where you enjoyed Saturday-morning breakfasts should be your destination. You could even honor your loved one with a memorial garden in your backyard. If you decide on a memorial garden, it may be best to hire a professional landscapers for the job; in Martinez, CA, you’ll likely spend $3,934 – $14,300 for these services.

Self-care.  Now is not the time to neglect yourself.  Losing someone you love is mentally and physically exhausting, and as some professionals point out, it’s vital to engage in self-care while grieving.  Ensure you are resting enough, eating properly, and spending some time connecting with others.  Don’t become isolated, and continue to engage in healthy activities that promote your well-being. If you’re struggling with finding ways to make self-care part of your lifestyle, here are some ideas:

  • Make notes on small pieces of paper with self-care activities that bring you peace and relaxation.  Opt for items that take 20 minutes or less.  Each note could include suggestions such as playing music you enjoy, walking in the fresh air, or playing with your dog.  Put them in a jar and select one every day to do.
  • Do some journaling, expressing your feelings and restoring positive energy.  This could be a love letter to yourself or a list of encouraging words. 
  • Talk with someone you love.  Connecting with someone you care about is an opportunity to share how things are going.
  • Rest.  Take a nap or spend some time lounging.  Grief is taxing, so find some time for recuperating.
  • Bake something delicious.  Make cookies, muffins, or another indulgence, then share it with friends, neighbors or your coworkers.
  • Get a massage. A massage can help you relax and relieve stress (the average cost of a 60-minute massage is $60).

Loss, honor, and self-care.  When you’ve lost someone you love, your emotional experience is a mixed and personal journey.  Find a way to honor your loved one’s life, and engage in a self-care program.  Eventually things will get better, and with these basic steps, you can begin to heal.

Lucille Rosetti 💚

lucy@thebereaved.orgThe Bereaved

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Will Cutting the Cord to Cable Really Make You Happier

This month, I share with you an interesting twist to bring more happiness into your life by putting money back in your pocket.  To me, lightening the load on financial pressure, is a great strategy for bringing more joy your way.

Last year, my good friend Colleen shared that her husband recently cut the cord to their cable television.  They were now streaming all their television entertainment via their internet connection and it was working out seamlessly. 

“No way!” I said.  “I want to do that, too!” 

I had heard the buzz that many millennials were forgoing the high cost of cable and going for this thing called “streaming”.   Feeling like I may be missing out, I set out to learn more. 

Colleen’s husband was kind enough to teach me the “streaming” ropes.  When all was said and done, I saved our family over $160/month.  Amazing…right?  Now I want to share these cost saving tips with you. 

  1. First, write down every channel you enjoy watching.  This should include all your live channels, as well as your cable channels.  
  • Next, buy something that’ll let you watch streaming services on your TV. If you have a smart TV, then you’re probably set.  If your TV isn’t smart, you’ll need to make sure your TV has a HDMI port so you can attach a streaming media device like a Roku Media Player, Apple TV, PS4 or Amazon Fire TV Stick, for example.    Do your research here and determine which option is best for you. 

I purchased an Amazon Fire TV Stick for each of our TVs ($39.99/each).  In order to use this option, I needed an Amazon account first, which I had, so from purchase to installation, the process was extremely (and I do mean extremely) easy.

  • The next step in the process is to equip your home with internet service.  Although most homes have the internet, the speed of your service is very important.  Many of the streaming apps require minimum speeds of 0.5 Mbps; however, speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps or higher are optimal.  For the highest image quality, you may be looking for speeds as high as 12 Mbps. 

When I called to increase my internet speed, my service provider had a promotion running.  I was able to up my speed significantly and went from paying $57/month to $30/month!  I hope this happens for you as well. 

  • Finally, reference the list you created in Step #1.    If you had live TV channels on your list, your list of streaming options, as of this writing, will be narrowed down to Hulu Live, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV.  Again, do the research with each of these apps to confirm they offer your “must have” channels.   (A television app works exactly like a smartphone app; similarly, there are free and monthly subscription options.)

Take advantage of the 7-day free trial period offered by each app.  It’s a great way to experience what each has to offer and it’s a wonderful way to win over the skeptics in the household.  In my case, it was proving to my husband that he could still watch the Warriors live!

Habits to happiness come in many different forms.  This month it comes by way of putting money back in your pocket.  Enjoy!

Dena Betti is a graduate from the University of San Francisco, Executive Director of #hersmile Nonprofit and Certified Life Coach. Limited personal coaching slots available or sign-up for a Habits to Happiness workshop, visit

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What’s Your Love Language

There are many ways we can feel loved. While a quick search on the internet will quickly outline Gary Chapman’s five most common love languages i.e. words of affirmation, being of service, receiving gifts, quality time spent together and physical touch, how good is the information if we’re unable to utilize it in our own relationships? Think about it. Wouldn’t you love to be cared for in a way that felt complete? Absolutely!

By-and-large, my love language is words of affirmation. To me this means we listen to understand and affirm one another. We ask questions about each other’s lives and this allows us to weave ourselves into a deeper and richer relationship with one another. But the big shocker came to me recently with the realization that my love language just might be different than many of the people close to me. Shocker!

Yep! I’ve been spending years expecting certain people to ask me how I was doing, how work was going and how the family was. As close as these people are to me, I thought they would also ask about our challenges and how we were fairing. But with each interaction and milestone, more disappointment grew. Certain their lack of inquiry meant they didn’t care, I began to pull away.

And this, I’m convinced, is one of the biggest reasons relationships, of any kind, are so difficult. Perhaps we all speak different love languages, and so we complain that people close to us are unable to give us what we need.
So what happens when you speak a different love language from your partner, child, friend, parent or family member? First off, you’ll feel it. It might be difficult to detect at first, but it can lead to heightened emotions, misunderstandings and feelings of emptiness. It’s at this point that we start to pull back and stop trying.

We compare this to one person speaking English while the other person is speaking Cantonese. They may try to communicate with one another with the theatrics of a mime, but the fact of the matter is they do not understand a lick of what the other person is saying. This, ultimately, is how love languages work. If I’m showing you love in a way that does not compute with you, I am not only wasting my time but I’m also wasting yours and in the end we both feel empty and not understood.

So if you face relationships like this, then it’s time to start playing detective. Ask yourself how the person expresses any or all the five love languages to you? What expression of love do they use the most? Which of the five love languages do you express the most and which one does the person show most appreciation for?
Next, consider reinforcing your appreciation when love is expressed to you in your preferred love language. Do your best to help those close to you understand what makes you tick.

Finally, be bold and ask what language a person prefers. You may find after time that you start to fluently dance to each other’s love languages. And speaking of dancing, be patient with the process. Us humans can be a hard-headed bunch. I applaud you for working on this life changing habit to happiness.

Dena Betti is a monthly writer for the Community Focus. She is a graduate from the University of San Francisco, Executive Director of #hersmile Nonprofit and Certified Life Coach. Limited personal coaching slots available or sign-up for a Habits to Happiness workshop, visit

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The Case for Moving After a Tragic Loss

After the loss of a close loved one—in particular, a spouse, child, or parent—your entire world is different. The home you shared that once brought you joy is suddenly an echo chamber of memories that make it harder for you to move on. Or maybe it’s on a much larger scale than that. Maybe the town where you built a life together suddenly doesn’t feel like home anymore.

It’s a good idea to wait until there’s been an appropriate amount of time after the loss to make any major decisions like selling your house or moving to a new city. Remember that moving is not a simple decision. It takes loads of planning plus the funds to see it through. You may have to find a new job on top of a place to live and resources such as medical care, and rebuild your entire support system and social circle. That’s why the decision to relocate cannot be made lightly—you must take time. Waiting at least six months to a year is a safe way to ensure you are not making an illogical and rash choice while your decision-making capabilities are clouded by grief.

If you’ve waited a fair amount of time, have the resources to make it happen, and finally decide that moving is the right choice for you, take the process slowly and carefully. Doing so will help reduce the amount of moving-related stress you experience. As you are still likely grieving, you want to reduce anxieties so you can focus on the positive aspects of this major life change.

Going Through Your Belongings

If you are going to move, you don’t want to haul a bunch of unnecessary things with you, especially if you’re moving into a smaller home. As tempting as it is to hold on to as many of your deceased loved one’s belongings as you can, it’s healthier to let many of them go. You can still keep some special mementos and items, of course. Here are some tips for going through your loved one’s belongings: 

  • Set a definite amount of space that will hold the things you intend to keep.

  • Create a time frame in which you must start and complete your cleaning.

  • If it’s not immediately useful or of important sentimental value, it goes.

  • Clearly label the bags and boxes you plan to donate to make sure you don’t mix up items.

  • Choose to donate to nonprofits and charities that meant something to your loved one.

Finding Your New Place

If you are looking for a new home to live in, you may be tempted to find something that is basically the same, simply relocated. While there is nothing wrong with seeking comfort in the familiar, remember that you are choosing to leave the familiar for a reason. What worked for your old life may not be best for this new chapter. Maybe you should look for somewhere smaller, or perhaps you’d be better off renting than paying for insurance and taxes on a new house. Before making any concrete decisions about where you want live or what kind of home you want to live in, ask yourself:

  • Do I need or even want as much space as I used to have?

  • Would I benefit from living closer to particular amenities or attractions? What kind of properties exist in that area?

  • What can I afford? How much time and money do I want to put into upkeep of a property?

  • Do I want extra rooms or space for company?

  • What do I see my new life looking like?

Moving Day Essentials

If you want moving to be as stress free as possible, you need the help of experienced professional movers. Not only will they be able to help you organize and pack your belongings safely, but they also do the heavy lifting for you. Remember that grief actually weakens the body and immune system. You have to ensure your health and safety by getting help when you need it, especially in risky scenarios like moving.


Moving after a major loss is not a choice to be made lightly, but for many, it is the right choice. When getting rid of a loved one’s belongings, place boundaries for yourself and don’t keep more than you need. If you look for a new place, consider the changes you want to see in your new life post-loss. Finally, hire professionals to help you move during this time when your body is most vulnerable.

Lucille Rosetti │The Bereaved

Image via Pixabay

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What Is Your Superpower

Are You Wasting Your Superpower?

Ask anyone on the street what superhero’s superpower they wish they had and I’m sure we’d hear things like mind-reading, being invisible, super strength, lightning speed, the ability to fly or, perhaps, the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Above all, it’s fun to think about what life would be like if adventure and triumph were around every corner.

The most interesting thing to me is what we choose to do with the powers given to us as our birthright.  Think about it, many of our powers look the same from the outside, but from the inside we possess superpowers that are uniquely ours.

So with all the potential superpower that lies within us, why do so many of us squander it away?

For instance, I recently had a discussion in one of my workshops about a woman’s desire to lose weight.  She explained to me that she really wanted to lose the weight because it would help her feel better about herself.  Not to mention, she’d be setting a better example for her kids.  We talked about what she believed was holding her back.  It was clear to me that there wasn’t enough tension around her desire to lose weight that would catapult her into action. Meaning, she really didn’t want it bad enough, which ties right back into my point about our superpowers.

Think of every superhero’s tale.    They only bolt into action when chaos and stress magnify the tension on the lever within them.  Like when innocent people are being tormented by the hair-raising villain whose destruction upon Metropolis seems imminent.   This is when Clark Kent rips open his white pressed dress shirt and before the buttons have time to hit the ground, he morphs into Superman ready to save the day. 

Now I’m not trying to be funny here…okay…maybe just a little bit, but we work the exact same way.  We make a lot of excuses, get mildly comfortable and we get stuck. Bam! That’s the real reason we’re not living our best lives. When we finally become sick and tired of being sick and tired that’s when we use our superpowers.  When we feel broken, that’s when we use our superpowers. When we don’t have enough money to make ends meet, that’s when we use our superpowers.  When our pants no longer fit, that’s when we use our superpowers and on and on. 

So instead of waiting for tension to be thrust upon you in order to utilize the superpowers that lie within you, imagine yourself at the end of your life.  Ask yourself if you put your superpowers to good use during your lifetime.  If you think you could have used your superpowers more, then start learning how to tap into those powers right now.  

But how?

One of the best ways to create villainous tension in your life is to imagine if you ‘don’t’ do something what that may look like in your life moving forward. For example, imagine if you don’t get a grip on your expanding waistline.  Will you soon look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that was destroying New York City in the Ghostbusters (1984) motion picture? Will you have to lay flat on the ground to get your pants buttoned or be subject to elastic waistbands the rest of your days?   By stimulating your imagination through your brain’s visual cortex you also stimulate your brain’s amygdala and the amygdala means business.  This is the fight or flight center of your brain…call it __________________(Fill in your superhero name here).  This simple act of creating tension through using your imagination will quickly have you leaping tall buildings in a single bound!

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The Life of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán…My Thoughts

My husband and I recently finished watching the Netflix series El Chapo, about the life of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a Mexican drug lord who started trafficking as far back as the 1980s. 

I must admit that I’m not a huge T.V. buff; however, this series had me hook, line and sinker.  Don’t get me wrong, Guzmán is shear evil in my eyes but the psychology behind the man and the world he immersed himself, fascinates me.  Guzmán has admitted to killing somewhere between 2,000 to 3,000 people all for his own personal gain and power. 

And furthermore, he easily corrupted large portions of local police municipalities, U.S. DEA Agents, government officials and Mexico’s president with millions and millions of dollars in hush money.  It came out in the news this week that the president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto may have received up to $100 million dollars from Guzmán, which bought him his freedom and continued operations. 

Now let’s consider the destruction his products have had on the United States and our vulnerability to fall victim to the destruction of drugs like cocaine, heroine and methamphetamine.  Illicit drugs have been on a steady increase in our country since the early 2000s and having witnessed an uncle’s life on drugs, it’s a self-sabotaging, destructive life to live.  I’m betting we all know someone who has been negatively affected by the desolation of drugs.

We are losing the war on drugs because we’re focused on the wrong part of the funnel.  We need to focus more on the top of the funnel…meaning a drug lord only has a business if he has customers.  It’s impossible to continually fill the top of the funnel when you focus on wellness in a society. Why take drugs if you already feel good?   If we fail to teach social and emotional wellness, what is going to change?  Nothing! 

We turn to drugs so that we can easily change our state and, for many, numb our emotional pain.  Our youth often take drugs to gain status and power amongst their peers.  If we don’t know, as a culture, how create wellness from the inside out and if we do not teach our children from young ages the social and emotional skills associated with wellness, then how in the world do we expect our children, friends, family members and co-workers to stop jumping into the top of the funnel?

The way I see it is focus on more drugs and you get more drugs, focus on teaching wellness and self-advocacy and we have a much better chance to put people like Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán out of business.

Agree?  Please share… 

#ElChapo #Guzmán #Drugs #wellness #SEL

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Why Starting Fresh This New Year May Be Harder than it Sounds

For most of us the New Year brings hope for a brighter tomorrow. Deep in our core we are all striving to improve our personal story. We want to look great, feel great emotionally and have enough money to experience all the things we dream of. It’s a pretty simple formula…right? And I’d be the first one to champion you to reach for the stars this new year, but the bitter fact of the matter is, for most of us, not much will change unless we learn to create new patterns and habits in our lives. I’m guessing that last sentence may not sound that encouraging but hear me out because there is a simple solution…

I read once that habits are both a blessing and a curse. I completely agree and let me tell you why. Our daily habits make life predictable, which in turn gives us daily direction and, for the vast majority of us, keeps us alive another day. That’s a blessing. But the primitive ‘fight or flight’ part of our brain loves predictability and absolutely disdains change and that can be a curse. But why?

The simple reason our brains find change so uncomfortable is because our brains do not have to work hard when daily routines are predictable. Think back a million years ago when our survival depended on our ability to avoid being eaten for dinner by a saber-toothed tiger. Our brains had to work on over drive. But we are not designed to sustain this degree of heightened response for long periods of time. Thus, the reason our brains love habits and predictability. They allow our brain to relax. And one last point…although the saber-toothed tiger is long gone from being an ongoing human threat, we still are driven by this primitive part of our brains which makes change and personal development very challenging. Predictability equals survival but it does not necessarily equal quality of life.

So how do we create lasting change and improve the quality of our lives when the primitive part of our brain stubbornly does not want us to change? 
Well the answer may be easier than we think. Knowing that this part of our brain loves predictability and hates change, the number one way to respect the role it plays in our survival is to work with it…not against it. That means slowing into the change you desire little by little by doing very small motivated task daily. Let me put some context around this so it makes this lesson come to life.

Ten months ago, a client of mine, who struggled terribly with procrastination and felt very stuck in her life, took on a very simple challenge I helped her create. She was tasked with caring for one procrastinated item a day. They were very small task that took only minutes to complete. Before long she painlessly found herself doing more and more towards her desired goal. Ten months later her life has transformed. By taking small, manageable daily steps towards her larger goal, she tricked the primitive part of her brain and is continuing to win it over.

And what’s great is we can all do the same thing. So remember, if the predictability of your life is not serving you, then there is a solution. Start taking small, consistent daily inspired action and watch your life transform in 2019.

By: Dena Betti
(Please share)

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My Thoughts About 2018

As I sit here to write to you, I find myself having one of those moments. You know the moment when gratitude is not at the forefront of your thoughts. Look…I’m not proud of these feelings but I need to be honest with you. I’m flooded by thoughts of the emotional challenges I’ve faced throughout this year, relationships that disappointed and, at times, resenting the fact that I am called to, once again, rise beyond my circumstances. Seriously, life seems so personal at times. All these feelings coming from a person who works everyday to find joy and happiness in her life. So, yes, I feel vulnerable sharing this with you, but you deserve my honesty.

So as 2018 comes to a close and I reflect back on the challenges, victories and lessons of the year, my feelings begin to shift, and gratitude begins to take over. For if it wasn’t for the hardships and disappointments I’ve faced throughout this year, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m proud of that person.

As you reflect on your year, may you too, begin to appreciate and have gratitude for your life’s challenges. It’s easy to be grateful for what’s working in your favor. The real test; however, is to be grateful for what rocks you, provokes you and defies you. For what I know is that we typically do not choose growth unless the need for it is thrust upon us.

The true beauty in life, I have found, is being able to create the life you want around the circumstances and challenges that surround you. Remember, too, that you are never alone. We come to this life and this physical space so our souls have the ability to grow, learn and expand. Many of us fail because the circumstances we are faced with are just too difficult but those who, somehow…someway, find a way to tap into their personal power expand beyond measure and they are forever changed for the better.

My wish for you is that 2019 allows you to spread your wings and to fly. Continue to create the life you want in every moment. You will fail at times but, remember, the next moment is coming. Continue to create. Live your life with intention. Be conscious. Work on awareness. Practice understanding another person’s perspective, practice forgiveness and release with love people and circumstances that do not serve you. Use this template as your guide and you will experience an amazing new year.

Happy New Year! Sending you much love ~ Dena Betti

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Healing Sleep…

How to Get Some Healing Sleep Despite Your Loss

It’s hard to recover from the death of a love done, especially since the grief makes you sick, both mentally and physically. Not only are you at increased risk of depression, but you also have a weakened immune system that leaves you vulnerable to infection — and it’s nearly impossible to carry on while bearing the heavy burden of illness along with your emotional troubles.

Something needs to be done. Although it may seem mundane, a few changes to your life could make a huge difference in becoming yourself again and regaining hope in the future, and a good night’s rest is one of them. When you wake up feeling refreshed, you make the best of the day, then you lay your head on the pillow in the evening in a state of calm and even satisfaction. That leads to another good night’s rest, and on it goes.

That’s progress, and it all starts with the following steps.

Kick Some Bad Habits

Getting rid of bad habits could include things such as no coffee, tea or soda in the evening — or even the afternoon — as caffeine can keep you awake for hours after you’ve hit the sheets. The same goes for alcohol, which interferes with a number of metabolic functions and the internal clock that tells you when to go to bed.

Improve Your Diet

Nutritious meals spaced evenly throughout the day keep you energized when you need to be and drowsy when it’s time for sleep.If you want to speed up that process, try an evening snack that’s rich in the sleep-inducing hormone tryptophan like walnuts. Just remember to say “no” to fatty foods like pizza for dinner around bedtime.

Start Exercising

Take it from the scientists: Moving your body does wonders for your sleeping habits as long as you don’t pump iron right before bed, as that raises your body temperature and heart rate when you’re supposed to be cooling down. Instead, engage in some aerobic activity in the morning and afternoon so that you’re mentally and physically tired later on.

Change the Mattress

There’s a huge psychological effect present when you buy a new mattress: It symbolizes moving on with your life. While you’re at it, get a model that suits your preferred sleeping position, whether that’s on your back, stomach, or side. It makes a huge difference.

Redo Your Bedroom

Make your sleep space the ideal environment by blocking out any intruding light or sound with blackout blinds and a white noise machine. You may also learn more about your sleep habits and what’s keeping you awake with an intelligent sleep mask.

Address Air Quality

Those efforts mean little if your home is filled with indoor air pollution, which not only keeps you awake by irritating your breathing passages but harms your well-being through the inhalation of a variety of contaminants. This problem is easily solved through regular vacuuming, cleaning air filters, installing an air purifier and aerating yourinterior. When purchasing a filter, it’s important to pay attention to MERV ratings; the higher the number, the more effective the filter.

Learn to Relax

For many people, relaxing means zoning out in front of the television, but that’s not optimal, as light from the screen keeps you awake for hours even though you’re tired. Yoga, writing, or your favorite hobby are much better options, according to a writer with Inc.

Drink an Infusion

Maybe it’s the warmth of what’s in the mug that sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to hit the hay, or it could be something in the ingredients themselves. Whatever the reason, millions swear by infusions made from chamomile, valerian or lavender to drift off a bit faster.

Make It a Routine

An evening snack rich in tryptophan along with a hot infusion while strumming your guitar or scribbling in your journal. — a relaxing evening ritual can send you off to dreamland every night as long as you stick with it. And a writer with Nuvanna insists on keeping regular hours or your sleep-wake cycle will be thrown off completely.

This should do the trick to send you off to the land of restful slumber. Refreshed the next day, you can begin your recovery with a full heart.

Image via Pexels.

Written By:  Sara Bailey,,