in pursuit of a better night’s sleep…
The lifetime journey of sleep is a funny thing isn’t it? As a kid you never want to go to bed – any delaying tactic is worth a try when it comes to bedding down for the night. As a teen, pretty much the same applies, except for when it comes to the morning and getting up. Nope. Not happening.
Then you become an adult with no one telling you when to go to bed or when to get up so you make your own (some good, but mostly bad) decisions. Have kids and those decisions about how much sleep you get are whipped away quicker than you can utter the words “Seven hours?!? Pah!”
Then, in many cases, at the point your kids become teens/young adults and the sleeping/waking thing starts to pan out quite nicely thank you, as a woman you hit menopause and Bam!, you’re back to those sleepless nights all over again!
Let’s not even get onto the part where I’ll be sat up in bed awaiting the return of the daughter out at the weekend with her friends…
T H E S E A S O N O F W I N T E R
S L U M B E R H A S F I N A L L Y P A S S E D…
Since beginning a new chapter in self-care this year, I find my thoughts centring so much around rest and sleep, which considering how central it is to wellbeing, should come as no surprise.
It definitely feels like I’m on a bit of a quest – last year I acquired this little piece of kit which makes waking up a lot more pleasant. And you may have seen from my Instagram last week that I’ve been trying out a Sleep Sounds programme courtesy of Alexa on the Echo Dot. The irony of using tech devices in order to feel rested and get a good night’s sleep is not lost on me!
The season of winter slumber may have (finally) passed but catching the right amount of quality Zzz’s is always at the top of my list.
So here are a few other things I’ve been trying recently in the never-ending pursuit of getting a better night’s sleep…
In the hazy baby days, I have vague recollections of quickly removing my makeup, cleaning my teeth and falling into bed as fast as humanly possible – less time faffing equaled more time snoozing.
These days (and maybe this comes from the trials of this particular life stage and having a mind that finds it hard to unplug from it’s Blogging Brain mode), I find I need a decent amount of wind-down time first.
A cleansing routine is a great ritual to start a bedtime ritual with and can soon become a habit that signals it’s time to switch off and just be in the moment. My nightly routine of late has been to cleanse with Neom Organics Cleansing Balm + Cloth that I mentioned here and then follow that up with an application of their Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil.
Both of these are infused with their sleep-inducing Tranquility scents of English lavender, chamomile and patchouli and I highly recommend following their suggestion of taking some deep, slow inhalations whilst using. It’s a blissful way to unwind!
Dressing for bed before bed
We have a saying in our house – “It’s time to get into Slummies”. For most of her younger years, H thought this was “Slammies” so that kind of stuck!
But it just means getting dressed for bed long before bedtime and for me it usually consists of putting on some super-soft PJs and on colder days, a pair of cashmere socks. Please tell me I’m not the only person who suffers from cold feet in the summer time?
I’m sure it’s the power of suggestion but… put on PJs, feel sleepy. I say go with whatever works!
The older I get, the more nights I need off the wine. I’ll never be one to go completely sober – a glass or two of wine/Champagne/Rosé is one my favourite #ElevateTheEvery rituals.
But the more you consume, the less quality sleep you get. Those nights when you polish off a bottle of red between you will inevitably result in the 4:00am wake up followed by a head full of cotton wool and a very sluggish morning.
I’ve been delving into the fabulous Helen McGinn’s book – Teetotal Tipples more often lately and have grown to love a good Nohito! Soda water, fresh lime juice, muddled mint leaves, crushed ice and a splash of sugar syrup. All the fun and ceremony of a zingy cocktail without the fuzziness to follow.
Lots of people have been singing the praises of a magnesium supplement when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep. Right at the point where I was at my most sleepless (alas, not in Seattle), and about to cave in and give it a go, Utmost Me reached out regarding one of their supplements.
Did I want to try Neuro Rest? Well yes please and thank you, I did! I took my course of 60 capsules, starting with one per night the first week and then increasing to two, and am happy to report that the effects I experienced were all very positive.
I had less middle of the night wake-ups (if hardly any at all) and felt much more rested when I woke in the mornings. Admittedly this was around the time I decreased my wine intake so I know that brings it’s own benefits too.
In my view, trying some kind of natural supplement to help with sleep is a sensible thing to do if you’re suffering from insomnia. It goes without saying that if you’re not sure, consult with a physician first and be sure that the brand you buy from is legit and comes well recommended.
Would I try a supplement again if needed? Most definitely yes.
No TV nights
We don’t watch a lot of TV Chez Online Stylist. When we do it mostly tends to be box sets or episodes of a favourite series downloaded and saved up for later.
That said, switching on the TV can become a habit and before you know it, you’re zoned out in front of some nonsense that you really wouldn’t choose to watch if someone told you that you only had one spare hour today.
I’m happy to report that 2018 is turning out to be my year of reading more. In the last four months, I’ve read more books than I have in the last three years put together. And this fills me with pure joy!
T H I S B O O K W I L L F I L L U P
Y O U R S O U L O N S O M A N Y L E V E L S…
I’ve taken advantage of the fact that, at this age, if I sit down with a book, all I then want to do is fall asleep… for the most part. A couple of books have been the exception to that rule this year – I stayed up until 11:30pm (Get Me!) to finish reading Dolly Alderton’s book one night this week. If you haven’t yet read Everything I Know About Love, do so now. It will fill up your soul on so many levels.
Anyhoo – I digress. Some nights now get designated as No TV nights for the whole family. Once dinner is done, we sprawl on the sofa with books (and the dog) and only have music on in the background. And definitely no device or screen time.
For something so simple, it feels like a complete luxury.
How have you been sleeping lately? And are you finding that it changes dramatically as you enter each new life phase?
Wishing you some quality Zzz’s tonight… sleep well!
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S T Y L E C R E D I T S : Jungle Leaf Duvet Cover – Elizabeth Scarlett | Tray – one of set of three at The White Company | Belgravia Tumbler – The White Company c/o | Wellbeing by Danielle Copperman | Prescription Glasses Frames by Superdry | Small Pleasures To Save Your Life by Maeve Haran | Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil – Neom Organics c/o | Eye Mask (Part of gift from Neom Organics) – Desmond & Dempsey | DKNY Jersey PJs – Figleaves c/o | Quilted Throw (old) Zara : similar here | Vetiver Hand Balm – Arket | Neuro Rest Supplements – Utmost Me c/o