When we’ve got a lot going on in our minds, the mental chatter can be hard to switch off from, so here are my tried and tested tips for getting into a restful state prior to sleep-time, settling into a good relaxation ritual.
In general, we need 7-8 hours of sleep to allow our mind & body to recover and cells to renew.
So my first tip is to invest in the best pillows you can afford and if you can’t budget for a new bed right now, an old one can be spruced up with egg crate mattress topper.
Second, keep a sleep spray by your bed. Try our QUIETUDE, it’s the most beautiful relaxing spray that can be spritzed on your pillow or in the space around you to induce a sense of calm.
My third tip (ok it’s more than just the one) is creating a ritual. This is my own personal, tried and tested ritual;
1. Draw an aromatherapy bath. DRIFT AWAY is my all-time favourite bathing & massage oil and fills the bathroom with aromatic steam. Epsom salts or magnesium powder is sometimes sprinkled in too, great for aches & pains.
2. Whilst the bath is pouring, I pop my clothes away or in the laundry basket. My natural trait would be to leave them hanging on the back of chairs or even on the floor! However, I know a messy bedroom plays with my psyche, so I force myself to keep things tidy.
3. If it’s a meeting next day, I set out my clothes, so I don’t have that decision in the morning.
4. Pull the drapes to lock out all light and leave just the bedside lamps on. The temperature is around 19 degrees, it’s not good to have a too warm room
5. My trusty Roberts Radio is switched to JazzFM or ABC Lounge a great chillout channel.
6. An oversized bath towel is put on the radiator to warm up (it even has my name on it, so no-one steals it!)
7. A deep cleanse with, IN THE BEGINNING removes the daily grime, make up and debris and a hot flannel leaves my skin feeling soft and clean.
8. I brush my teeth, then my hair, letting the bristles massage my scalp helping circulation.
9. Light a candle, I love SIESTA FOREVER, remember to snuff out when you leave the bathroom!
10. I spritz some QUIETUDE over the steamy water to accentuate the relaxing fragrance and then sink into the delicious bathtub and purposely drift away... Even if you only have 5 minutes, this is the best antidote to muscle fatigue and stress, leaving the skin spa fragrant.
11. After drying off, I apply some AAAHHH! soothing gel-balm on my legs and feet before getting into bed, the ease comes immediately to my limbs.
12. The things that live beside my bed are a note pad for jotting down any ideas, thoughts or jobs, maybe a book or magazine I’m reading but nothing too serious or stimulating; we rarely watch TV after 10pm, I switch off my phone and I-Pad and we also have a ‘moan curfew’ after 9pm too!
13. A camomile & mint tea and a large glass of water are on my bedside table. It is vital to re-hydrate, we can lose up to 3 pints of water during the night and because the skin is the body’s largest organ, when we’re de-hydrated the body will take it from wherever it can.
14. Speaking of de-hydration, this brings me onto REPOSE. My all-time desert island product. REPOSE is a multi-vitamin rich, aromatherapy night cream loaded with relaxing essential oils, we call it a “Good Night’s Sleep in a Jar”.
15. Once I’ve warmed REPOSE up in my hands, I breathe in the beautiful aroma and speak my mantra 3 times. It is quite simply, ‘THANK YOU’. And in this state of gratitude I do some deep breathing from the diaphragm; in through the nose for 3, hold for 4 and breathe out through the mouth slowly to 5, I repeat this also 3 times. Once I apply the product to my face and chest, I’m starting to feel tranquil.
16. My final relaxation technique, a brilliant mindfulness exercise, once lying down is to intentionally relax my body, a bit at a time. Starting with the feet, concentrate on letting them ‘go to sleep’ moving up the body ending with the face, ensuring your tongue is dropped into the bottom of your mouth, jaw relaxed and every part of you still.