The Land of Nod.

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:

Products:

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.

Good Habits:

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.

Katie.
x

The month of sleep and leftover Christmas chocolate.

Finally, here is my January post! I’ve been so slow to get this post up! What is it with January and needing to sleep 2 hours more than usual and not having the motivation to do anything except eat leftover Christmas chocolate?

January often gets called the most depressing month but I think that’s selling it short a little. The cold and the dark and the Christmas comedown is pretty hard but it’s also a great month for planning, starting new routines and good habits and getting your life in order (a bit).

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions really, I don’t want to give up drinking and I don’t want to think about a summer body until about April but I did have some ideas of things I’d like to work on in 2018:

1. Up the blogging. More posts, better pictures and maybe, just maybe, getting the confidence to do a speaking Instagram story. For months it’s been something I’ve thought about doing and thought it would be so easy but as soon as I turn the front camera on I just can’t.

2. Bedtime routine. I am far from a night owl, often can barely keep my eyes open past 9pm but never really feeling like I’d had a great quality sleep the next morning and often waking up in the night and trying to fall back to sleep for hours with my brain going in overdrive. So this has been my main thing to get sorted, I’d like to be a bit more productive and a little less sleepy. For Christmas I got a set of tester sized deep sleep products from This Works and they are living up to their name! I love the smell of lavender and camomile and a spritz of the pillow spray every night is really improving my quality of sleep. Another thing I’m trying to add to my night time routine is reading. When it’s been a long day and your brain is frazzled it can be hard to get it going again and concentrate on a book so I’ve kept my bedtime reading books quite simple, saving the intense page-turners for the Summer. I’ve also got into the habit of always taking a camomile tea to bed and trying to not check my phone for the last half hour of the day which is a lot easier typed than done! My Neom scent to sleep candle has become my Sunday night treat along with a Space Mask. If you haven’t tried Space Masks I really advice you should! You can buy them in boxes of 5 from the space masks website and for a special occasion (like a Sunday bed time they’re absolutely delightful. They are eye masks that heat up on your eyes, they’re so relaxing and really help you to drift off to sleep. To get going on a morning and start the day on a good foot I’ve been using Neom Mood lifting on the go mist. From previous posts you may have realised I’m quite into my scents and I’m a big believer in scents affecting your mood. This little spray is really working for me, it’s an instant pick me up and even makes the coldest, darkest walks the bus stop a bit brighter.

3. Get my sewing mojo back. There was a time I was on fire and full of ideas of new projects and designs. I was never off the sewing machine and making embroidery hoops like my life depended on it. But as much as I do still love it but it’s hard to fit it in sometimes and when I do I don’t waste time experimenting, I stick to what I know and do it well and with purpose with a customer or an occasion already lined up for it. My half term is just a week away and I’m determined to have a day where I get out all my stuff and get crafting and come up with a plan for the next few months. My poor Etsy shop has been closed since before I went to Australia at the end of 2016 and it’s about time it was brought back to life. Plus I’ve been lucky enough to inherit the dreamiest stash of vintage Liberty fabric which needs some loving!

That’s all for now, it’s getting towards bed time so best get the kettle on for a camomile tea!

Katie x

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