AD* Post written in collaboration with Christy Home Sara Miller London, Kiss The Moon & Sofia Latif. Products have been gifted to me for the purposes of this post. Eye mask gifted by Sara Miller London, Bath Oil kindly by Kiss The Moon & Face and Eye Oils gifted by Sofia Latif.
"A full eight hours sleep contributes to a healthier and less fatigued appearance with fewer wrinkles, sleep is as important as the air we breathe and is responsible for preserving and repairing every cell in our bodies. It improves every aspect of our physical and mental health." (Source, Bed Guru)
Rules Of Good Sleep:
To ensure a wonderful night's sleep there are a few simple rules to follow:
Consume caffeine and alcohol earlier than later (I always find that if I have coffee/tea after say 2PM I'll have trouble sleeping but I'm yet to give up my 6PM wine for the same reason!)
Don't eat or exercise right before bedtime ( When I work a late shift I may not eat until 9PM some nights which obviously plays havoc with my digestion and as a result my sleeping pattern.)
Create a cool, dark bedroom free of distractions (I am a big advocate for ensuring my room is pitch black and cool enough for me to sleep, an eye mask and an open window sorts this out)
When buying a mattress think big, natural and supportive (Since I upgraded to a King size bed I've found that I have more room to spread out and get comfortable.)
My Sleep History:
I've been trying to understand my sleep deficiency and what to do to get my routine back under control for a while, but back in 2018 I was working all of the time and doing a large number of night shifts, which just led to me being a shadow of my former self.
I felt like I couldn't function properly because I wasn't giving my body the time it needed to sleep and do all of the necessary functions which are vital to life.
Since then I have taken back control and am sleeping better than I was in comparison, it's definitely not as good as it could be. I'm working on ensuring that sleep is of the highest priority now as I've learnt how crucial it is to being able to function both physcially and mentally.
Changing from working a normal-ish day to working shifts has completely wrecked what was previously a good sleeping routine.
Having read a lot about how much sleep can affect you and your body, and the fact I'm not getting any younger (*ahem*) I am now working on making sleep a priority and ensuring that I have the right environment in which to do so.
This starts right at the beginning of the day, because if I haven't had a good night, I know need to manage my activities to ensure that it isn't completely ruined and that I can have a good sleep that night.
My Night Time Self-Care Routine
My night time routine when I'm not coming home at midnight after a late shift - where I just hop into a hot shower, put my pjs on and collapse into bed! - always starts with a relaxing bubble bath. This beautiful bath oil from Kiss The Moon. Its restorative Orange and Geranium oils alongside Coconut & Jojoba to leave me relaxed, moisturised from top to toe and help me drift off to sleep. Just a few drops of this gorgeous oil in my bath fills the whole bathroom with scent.
This bath oil definitely makes bath time more indulgent and definitely helps set the scene for relaxing. It's like an act of self-care, allowing myself to take the time necessary to recharge and relax, which is so necessary when life seems too tough and difficult to navigate.
I have found, now more than ever, just how much taking the time to fully immerse myself in a hot bath full of bubbles really relaxes me.
My body always feels so much better afterwards, all the stresses will disappear leaving me naturally tired, making it the perfect way to start my night time routine.
Coming out of the bath, I wrap myself up in my gorgeous Christy robe, I find them to be so snuggly and perfectly designed to be put on straight out of the bath.
This robe in particular has a towelling interior making it perfect for this, along with it being 100% cotton, it helps to create a spa like ambiance in your own bathroom.
Just putting it on instantly makes me feel relaxed, nothing quite like having that spa like feel at home for a fraction of the price.
Throw in some slippers and you've got the whole package. Once wrapped up in my gorgeous robe, I slather myself in body lotion as I find the hot water in bath strips my body of any moisture.
I'll use a lavender body lotion to help me drift off to sleep. For my facial skincare I like to keep it simple and use 4-5 products which work well for my skin.
I find this is the perfect routine which keeps my skin happy, I don't like to overload it with too many unnecessary products, but I will switch them up from time to time to prevent my skin becoming too used to them!
Recently I've been using two new oils from Sofia Latif - vegan, clean skincare, 100% pure plant oils and nothing else. Perfect.
The face oil is versatile and non-greasy oil with Jasmine, Rose and Almond essential oils which combine together to hydrate, nourish and support the regeneration of your skin.
The eye oil is nourishing and moisturising, which is easily absorbed into the skin to create a healthy and strengthened under eye area.
Meadow farm seed, Argan, Marula, Rosehip and Pomegranate all work together to regenerate skin, increase collagen, elasticity and firmness. Omegas from Lemon, Camellia and Grapeseed oils hydrate and smooth.
The Benefit Of A Good Routine
I find this routine really good for my mental health, just taking time away from life's stresses and strains to look after myself and not worry about anything.
This is definitely something I need to do more of and learn to really switch off, I know that for me, I have to have no distractions whilst winding down on a night.
Some people say that reading helps them to switch off but actually I've found the opposite to be true. Whenever I read a chapter or two of my book whilst in bed, I have found that my brain doesn't actually switch off completely, I just lie awake instead of drifting off.
With this being said, I could have my bath earlier and read instead of watching Youtube videos on my phone but for me, I can't do that! I much prefer to relax with a glass of wine, hot bubbles and my favourites on Youtube.
It's just what I do afterwards that determines whether I sleep well or not! I know some people have said that writing things down also helps them to switch off on a night but this is something that I haven't yet taken to doing.
I can see how it could work as there are times I'm kept awake by over thinking, so perhaps it's something I need to take up to stop the unnecessary overthinking.
Setting Up My Bedroom For Sleep
I've found that keeping my bedroom clean, tidy and free of clutter really helps my mind to feel ready for sleep. I can't sleep if there are clothes on the bed, bags everywhere and my bed isn't made up.
One thing I always, always do in the morning is make my bed. Having only a duvet makes this super easy and literally takes about 30 seconds to straighten everything up and make it inviting for when I come to get into it on a night.
Sleep hygiene very important to a restful night's sleep, it's a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good night-time sleep quality and full daytime alertness.
The Power Of Sleep
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health, it also improves productivity and overall quality of life.
Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practising good sleep habits.
One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive.
Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.
However, there are recommendations that can provide guidance on how much sleep you need generally. other good sleep hygiene practices include:
Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes.
Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.
Exercising to promote good quality sleep.
Steering clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep.
Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light.
Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine.
Making sure that the sleep environment is pleasant.
Frequent sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene.
In addition, I know that taking too long to fall asleep means I need to re-evaluate my sleep routine and perhaps revise my bedtime habits.
This I believe, more than anything else, will be the key to prevent me spending the majority of the night tossing and turning as I try in vain to fall asleep!