Erna is #TeamChinchilla!
In our “Meet the Lagoon Community” series, we’re aiming to learn more about our community, their life and how they sleep. Erna bought her Chinchilla pillow 8 months ago, so we sat down to talk to her more about her life, routines, sleep habits and what she likes to get out of a good night’s sleep.
What are you most excited about right now in your life?
I think living my life because I've invested so much time into getting my career where it currently is, as well as building a family. We are all at a stage where, kids are growing up and we can do everything together. What we really love is traveling as a family. So I'm excited about all the plans that we're building on traveling, now that all my kids can join me on all those active kinds of experiences.
What position do you sleep in?
I normally sleep on my left side and end up closer toward the face some time during the night. I normally wake up with pillow creases on my face on a regular basis. So it would be important for me to have neck support, and I used to feel like during the night I have to adjust myself to kind of fill the gap between the shoulder and the head.
How would you describe your relationship with sleep?
I would say I'm needy, can’t seem to ever get enough. But it's because of my habits, I have to create better ones. What helps me is the visibility into how I sleep throughout the night – if I got a certain amount of REM or deep sleep, but then sometimes in my review of my Aura account I see that in the middle of the night I'll wake up, so it helps me analyze what's going on. Maybe this particular day I used a different pillow or maybe one of my kids was sick and that's what kept me up. Maybe I had a stressful day and I kind of took that to bed with me and didn't have my decompress time.
Tell us a little bit about what your day-to-day looks like right now.
So, it's pretty busy, and it might sound pretty mundane, but I think it's pretty relatable to many that have young families. I get up early, as early as probably 6:15, get myself ready to go to work, get the kids ready to go to school, and of course, I have, thankfully, some help to get them to school. But in the morning, it's a whirlpool. I get through my day, whether it's at home or in the office, get home in the evening and then it's the after-school activities, the homework, getting the kids some place, and sometimes you have some appointments for yourself, and then figuring out dinner, and then rush, rush, rush to get everyone to bed.
After that I tend to get a second wind and I do either a little bit of household work, or maybe I review some personal investments or opportunities or just go through personal emails and other things. As a result I always go to bed late, which is bringing me to my next point of how important sleep is for me. I get little sleep. Sometimes I go to bed 12:00, 12:30 so my six to six and a half hours of sleep have to be quality sleep.
"If I don't get that quality sleep, it affects [me] and it accumulates. So if you are not ready to take on your next day with your good sleep and good rest, then the following day you're not as productive, things accumulate and you are just playing the losing game of trying to catch up."
So do you have a set time you go to sleep? Are you guilty of scrolling on your phone in bed?
It just sucks you in. You might say, “Oh, let me just space out a little bit.” So you start browsing social media or watching some videos and that's like a black hole that just sucks you in. My husband and I are constantly acknowledging we should be going to bed earlier, so say 10:30, so you can get an extra hour, hour and a half of sleep, but it's a consistent challenge.
Browsing the phone is also about decompressing where I just want to space out, I don't want to read anything serious, or actively socialize with anyone. I just want to pull up my phone and space out on mindless things.
I get the best night's sleep when …
I get a break from technology before I go to bed.
What are three things you'd like to accomplish each day?
- I'd like to make sure I meaningfully connect with each of the family members. Because sometimes my life is so so busy I’m just focused on getting the tasks out of the way. It’s surprising how you can go for a few days without checking in with everyone in your household in a meaningful way.
- I want to make sure that I am continuing to talk with my parents because I feel like oftentimes that's a generation that gets left behind. You focus on your career and being a parent and sometimes I get a voicemail from mom saying, “I haven’t heard from you for a few days, so I hope everything is okay”. I feel bad, makes me think of approaching midpoint in my life, realizing that it's very soon going to be me, as my first kid is about to go to college. And realizing I don't want to be regretful and wish that “I spent more time with them.” So I try to figure out active ways to invest that time.
- I think investing in thinking about the subject of what I really want to do with my life. Because oftentimes you feel like you're in a tunnel and you keep running because everyone else is running in the same direction — everyone's joined the company as an analyst, and then they're getting promotions, and so on. I'm just running year after year, but is this the way that you see yourself?
I started realizing that I don't allow myself time to take a step back and plan what I want to do. What am I interested in? In the next 5-10 years is this what I want to continue doing or not? And it takes time to think, contemplate, evaluate the idea, and run it by some people, sleep on it, and I feel like I have not allowed that. So I'm excited I've made a commitment to start investing that time into me.
What have you changed recently in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle?
So I'm a very emotional person, and when something doesn't go right it bothers me as a perfectionist. So I started to take a step back to really look at things holistically and not stress about the small stuff. Because that puts me into an emotional spin, and that affects my sleep. So yeah, mental stability and evaluating what's important and what's not is the commitment that I've made. What I should be making [is a commitment to] figuring out how to work out, which I always avoid and that never fits into my plan.
Where you've had less than ideal sleeping conditions …
When I visit my in laws [they have] the worst mattress and their pillows are natural down pillows - very old fashioned and they're pretty stuffed and high which is tough on my neck.
Share a story of when you've gotten some of the best sleep of your life …
This is funny, during the business school program, I stayed in the W hotel [in downtown New York City] since I was traveling to NYC and they had the most comfortable beds and pillows. I actually looked up what kind they had and I bought the pillow. But somehow it wasn’t the same experience at home.
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