Hey there! Would you like the secret to a decent night’s sleep? Yes, me too! I’ve struggle with the big ZZZZ for most of my life. That’s why, over the years, I’ve picked up tips and tricks to help me snooze my way through the night. If you’re seeking the perfect nights sleep, then let me walk you through my ultimate bedtime routine.
For me, the key to a good nights rest is all about setting a personal routine that I stick to. That is why I try to do the following most nights when I can. I really notice the difference when I follow my own little rituals. I’ll be honest, I don’t do all of this ALL the time, but I do at least one or two of these a night and I do find it helps.
7.30 pm – Time To Get Clean
Well, for me it’s about my hands. After a long day at work, my hands feel dirty, neglected and very try. Giving them a quick wash and moisturise makes them feel clean enough to start my beauty routine. And who doesn’t like clean hands? I keep this cleansing hand gel which has a fresh citrus small which always smells fresh and clean, then as I have the driest hands in the world, I lather up my paws (and arms and legs and body…) with the matching lotion. The bottles look so smart on my new bathroom basin too.
I’ve become an addict (or a #lushie as we are known) for Lush’s Angels On Bear Skin face wash/scrub which has flecks of real lavender in it. My skin feels so smooth after and so calming. I’m prone to red skin which Lavender is a godsend for! My #lushie crush was kicked started off with my holiday packing guide and I have continued it through the summer.
8pm – Relax + Soak
When I’ve had a few nights with little or no sleep. then I add a bath into the mix. I suffer from dry skin – most likely caused by my stress head – which brings out my eczema. This drives me nuts at nighttime and keeps me awake during the small hours. I find the best cure is to seep my skin with a bath oil. I’ve tried lots and lots over the years, and my must have is this almond scented one by L’Occitane. It foams on my skin and leaves it feeling really soft and moisturised.
As I like to mix it up a bit, I splash a few drop of lavender essential oil into my bath as well. I’ve got the best bath to lounge in (sorry if it sounds like bragging, but I love it!) it’s a deep roll top from Bathroom Takeaway. It’s mega deep so I feel like I’m almost in bed when I’m lounging away in it. Having a bath forces me to switch off.
When in the bath, I turn down the lights (I have a dimmer switch installed) which was one of my best ideas ever. I turn it down to my lowest setting, and then light a candle – I know, car crash when it comes to my energy bill bit but needs must!
I burn candles all day as I work at my desk at home. I tend to pick scents that lift my energy during the day and then others that calm me at night. I cannot get enough of lavender so this one above hits the spot. I start bringing it after dinner (to banish cooking smells) then take it upstairs ready for my bath.
Once I’m all dried off, I pad my way into the bedroom. Taking my candle with me. Taking pride of place in my boudoir is my vintage french bed. Ooh Laa Laa!
Now, we all know that picking the perfect bed/mattress/pillow combo is the key to a decent night’s kip. I started with my dream vintage silk upholstered bed picked up on eBay for just £150. Bargain!
With the money I saved on my bed, I spent more on my mattress. I’ve become a big fan of memory foam recently so I treated my back and neck to 5G Ergoflex Mattress. I find memory foam stops me tossing and turning at night because it moulds to my body. It’s also anti-allergic which is good for my skin again.
When it comes to pillows, I’ve got a great tip – don’t buy two the same. Mix them up to suit how you are feeling. So for example, I have one memory foam one which gives me more support when my neck is sore, a then a feather one which I find cooler when the weather is hot, and then two large feather Oxford ones which I use to support me when I’m reading in bed – maximum comfort.
Yes, that is a hell of a lot of pillows! But trust me, once you start piling them up – you will not look back. So forget the scatter cushions – and go for pillows instead.
10pm – Hit The Sack
Okay, so we have covered the basics when it comes to choosing your bed. Next, it’s all the fun and pretty stuff – the bed linens.
I love crisp white sheets (when I have too much time on my hands I try to iron them). I used to have this mega fun colour pop bed linen by Marimekko but I found it so loud, I couldn’t relax in it. I swapped it for white linen and I haven’t looked back.
If I had all the money in the world, I would have reams and reams of 100% pure linen from the White Company. But as I don’t, I shop around at discount stores like HomeSense and pick up expensive, good quality sheets – sometimes, designer ones – for a fraction of the cost. I look for sheets with details like hem stitching or embroidered flowers and designer labels. My latest find was DKNY cotton linens for just £30.
Okay – now hold with me here as I know you might think this is a bit over the top – but when I make my bed I spray my sheets with linen spray. Right, I’ve said it. That’s right, I spray my sheet with linen spray. Yep, my friends think I’m crazy too. My current fav is one is White Jasmine from Zara Home. If I spray my sheet, they feel fresh each time – which saves me having to wash them so much….and they smell lush, and lovely, and make me want to dive into my sheets at night.
I’ve been swotting up on my nighttime skin care – I’m on ‘wrinkle watch’ as I have the big 40 creeping around the corner. Now, I know you’re supposed to wear night oils but I just don’t get on with them. I always have greasy hair and spotty skin, I mustn’t be picking the right ones or applying them wrong. That’s why I love the Erborian BB Sleep Mask. I discovered this brand from blogger Kate La Vie (who is my go-to for beauty product reviews) when I tried out their BB Creme au Gngseng which I could rave on and on about. I put on the mask once or twice a week and it soaks in straight away – no oily hair, no spots and my skin feels really good.
On other nights, I use Melvita rose scented night cream. Did you know, Rose is another great aid to sleep so it’s a win-win on all sides for me.
11pm – Lights Out
I’ve got a Kindle for my holibops and now I read far more now. I actually look forward to bed and snuggling in and getting stuck into a good book. And let me tell you that’s a rare thing. For years I dreaded go upstairs as I knew I would be lying awake all night with my eyes wide open. Now, I read a book to help me chill out or listen to a meditation podcast on my Sonos speakers before I drift off.
Obviously, with my rose scented skin, my almond-scented skin, with my fresh crisp white bed sheets that waft of jasmine – I sleep like a baby: deep, calm and wake-up refreshed. It’s a lot of effort and I don’t stick to this routine every night, but when I do – I feel so much more alive in the mornings.
If you are a bad sleeper like me, then I really hope you are able to take away one or two of my tips to help you ease easily into the night. I’m trying to re-brand myself as a #sleepguru. Well as someone who has struggle so much to switch off, I really want to share what I have discovered. And, finally – if all else fails, just pop on the kettle and make yourself a hot chocolate and dive back into your book.
•• Disclaimer, some of the products above were sent to me for review. As always, these are my opinions, my photos and my thoughts.