I find that one of the biggest problems I face on a daily basis is being able to sleep well. Nothing frustrates me more than staring at the ceiling for 6 hours before dozing off an hour before my alarm sounds. I’ve suffered with sleep problems for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I’d just sit under my duvet with my Golden Snitch book lamp reading Harry Potter cover to cover. Unfortunately, now that I’m an adult with responsibilities and shit, a good night’s sleep is something I CRAVE.
According to ~science~, the ideal sleep should be around 8 hours, and between 7 and 8 is definitely the ideal amount for me. Having a rubbish night’s sleep may make you feel a little bit snoozy the next day, but a continuously crappy sleeping pattern can wreak havoc with your health: the risk of heart disease, diabetes and depression, among other serious conditions, are far greater when we consistently don’t catch enough Zs.
I’ve tried all sorts of sleep remedies, from meditation and yoga to super strength prescription-only sleeping tablets. The yoga sent me off to sleep, but not for a full night, and all the tablets I’ve used either gave me a really restless sleep or ended up making me feel wired (no, I don’t get it either, and neither does my GP!). After nearly a month with no more than 4 hours sleep a night at the most, I became a monster, and took to the internet to find the perfect remedy. After much trial and error, these are the things that actually give me a better night’s sleep than any sleeping tablet ever has.
The first thing I do every evening is put my phone onto night shift. I am a digital marketer, so I spend a lot of time on social media and various websites, and of course, being passionate about my trade, I often find myself reading the latest algorithm updates and new releases. The blue light that smartphones, laptops and tablets emit tells our brain to stop producing melatonin at that point, which we need for a decent sleep.
Lush has recently launched their Autumn/Winter products, and while my train was delayed one evening, I popped into the Liverpool Street store and picked up their Sleepy body lotion. This stuff smells like lavender and cocoa butter and is a gorgeous lavender in colour. My skin always feels super smooth and I can still smell it the next morning! Lather this on straight after a hot bath and jump into your jammies and into bed immediately.
I always try to drink a calming hot drink, whether that be a hot chocolate or a herbal tea. My two favourites at the moment are the Twinnings Sleep tea bags or a lovely camomile tea. A hot drink has soothing effects, and paired with herbal remedies, it’s an all-natural, caffeine-free opiate!
Something has recently CHANGED THE GAME when it comes to my bedtime routine. This Works are known for their interesting, apothecary-like concoctions, and their Deep Sleep and Sleep Plus range are held to high esteem across the world. The first product I use is the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. I spritz this on all of our pillows and across the top end of our duvet cover and bed sheets. Then I apply the balm to my wrists, elbow crease, temples and on either side of my neck (basically most of the pulse points). Both of these are made up with a concoction of essential oils – lavender, patchouli, ho wood, vetivert and chamomile. All of these oils are known to relax and ground you, leaving you feeling relived from anxieties and worry. After sitting for around a minute and taking long breaths in and out, I feel ready to put my head down and get a good night’s sleep. This sounds like a gimmick, I know, but trust me, I’ve never found something so effective. I’ve recently discovered that the best sleep aids which leave you feeling awake and full of life the next day are pretty much all natural.
It’s nearly Christmas, so why not pop a good night’s sleep on your list to Santa?