I spend a lot of money on sleep, which is weird because I think it’s meant to be a free activity. But I’m proud to say, I think I’m an excellent sleeper and 90% of the time I do bounce up on a morning. However, it hasn’t always been like this, I really struggled to sleep through University (apart from hungover naps) and at times of anxiousness and big change, mainly in the months after travelling, it’s like the adrenaline stayed and kept me going even when I was home and settled down. So I guess it’s through these times that I really began to invest in good quality sleep and down time and picked up good habits and products to help which I now struggle to sleep without. I do spend a lot of the day thinking about bed time and the down time before and find it’s so important to keep me feeling balanced and focused and in control of things. Even on nights I’m out till late I’ll still take some time when I get home going through my pre-sleep routine as without it my sleep really isn’t as good and I feel it the next day. I think I’m essentially a high-maintenance toddler with expensive taste.
SO here’s my list of tips for a good nights sleep:
This Works, Deep Sleep Spray: There’s 3 people in my relationship. Me, Max and my Sleep Spray. I stock-pile it and have travel size bottles for holiday. It really is the product I use the most religiously and can’t live without. I spray into onto my pillows just before putting my head down and it helps to put me into a good quality sleep really quickly. I also have the roll-on version that I put onto my wrists but I do find the pillow spray more effective.
Neom, Scent to Sleep, Scent to Calm and Scent to Destress Range: I count myself as one of Neom’s biggest fans. I use their products throughout the day and use the different scents for different situations, but it’s always the Scent to Sleep, Scent to Destress and Scent to Calm products that are always on my bedside table. I currently have the Destress hand cream, Sleep body oil and the Calm candle on the go. I really swear by them to relax, and although quite spenny they last a while and are worth their money in gold if they work for you and change your mood!
Aromatherapy Diffuser and Essential Oils: This is a new product I’ve thrown into my bedtime ritual but now don’t think I’d be without it! I bought the VicTsing 150ml Diffuser from Amazon for less than £20 and have been very impressed with it! I use a mix of lavender and camomile and clary sage oils on an evening and it makes our room smell like a Spa, it’s a dream! This diffuser has a sleep timer so I leave it going as I fall asleep, its really quiet and releases a cool mist of aroma. This diffuser also has a changing colour light which really adds to the ambience of our bedroom on an evening. (I do always get an eye roll from Max when he walks into our room mid my bedtime ritual- honestly men don’t understand).
Camomile Tea: For a long time I bought very expensive Sleep teabags from expensive brands- I still occasionally do if I’m feeling fancy- but plain old cheap as chips camomile tea does have the save effect. I can’t explain the science behind it but it really works. I think this is the first tip I tried when my mum bought me a box when I was struggling to sleep in my final year of uni and my sleepy tea quickly became s joke in my student house.
Space Masks: Back last autumn when I was going through the anxiety of job applications and interviews I got a little addicted to Spacemasks. I can’t even tell you how amazing they feel and it’s the nicest way to fall to sleep. Spacemasks are single-use eye masks that heat up on your face and release a subtle scent of jasmine, so so lovely. They’re an expensive habit but amazing as a treat, a gift or for people going through a period of insomnia.
Avoid screen time in the half hour before: This is an obvious one that’s gets repeated so much but It’s true, of course I’m guilty of falling asleep in front of a screen showing netflix but it feels so much better to fall asleep right after reading for half an hour or listening to an audiobook.
Water or Camomile Tea Only: With the exception of weekends I do only drink water or camomile tea in the evening, that way there’s no sugar or caffeine in my system when it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. It seems a bit patronising to even type it but I’ve heard so many people complain of restless sleeping after having a proper brew right before bed.
Positive Thinking and Writing it Down: This might sound a bit too cheesy for some people but honestly give it a go. I have done various forms of this for years and really enjoy doing it right before bed. I have journals I fill out with positive thoughts, I tend to use focus journals with questions for me to answer or bullet points to write lists. It’s just a nice reflective thing to do at the end of the day and leave it on a good note.
Bed for Bed Time: When I was at uni I feel like my life just resolved around my bed, it’s where I spent the day typing assignments, watching netflix and eating snacks and was then struggling to sleep in there on a night. It really was my pit and the centre of my world. It’s gross now to think about it. Now I don’t go to bed, or really even the bedroom, until it’s bed time and feel so much better and sleep so much better because of it. I spend all day looking forward to the moment I get in to bed. Distance really does make the heart grow stronger.
Hunger Games: It’s never good to go to sleep really full and full of carbs, it can make you feel so restless. I try to always eat atleast a couple of hours before I plan to go to sleep so that I am a little bit hungry a bed time. I have occasionally taken it too far and gone to bed starving to the point I don’t sleep at all and end up getting up in the early hours for some cereal, I wouldn’t recommend that. But it is good to wake up in the morning hungry for breakfast and restart your metabolism. (I did study nutrition but this is obviously not official medical advice, just based on things I’ve read and my own experiences!)
Wash that Linen: There’s nothing better in the world than fresh sheets, I tend to do the whole lot every 3 weeks but do wash the pillow cases every weekend (I love the Dream Unstoppables to add to a wash for a lovely lavender scent boost!). I changed our linens around a lot too, we have cotton for spring/summer and heavy brushed cotton for autumn/winter. Sometimes I think how good our bed sheets are is a bad thing, it can make it so hard to get out!
I hope these products and tips prove useful for anyone struggling to settle down on an evening and join the land of nod! Life is hard enough as it without being tired.