Wednesday 9 March 2016

In pursuit of restful slumber...

Whenever I get excited about something, or in periods of stress, the first thing to suffer is the quality of my sleep. It doesn't really matter if the reason for a restless night is a happy occasion, if I don't get my 8 hours of slumber I turn into a gremlin (and not cute little fluffy Gismo, but the other version). Having a good night's rest influences a lot more than someones mood. It affects how well we function, physically and mentally, and of course it affects our appearance.

Due to my personality, I often go through periods when I struggle to fall asleep, or I am plagued by so many dreams that I feel more exhausted come morning then I did before going to bed. As much as I loathe the idea of having a bedtime routine, having some sort of structure really does help in this case.

Lock down on electronic devices.

Sometimes I forget that my phone is just a device and not an extension of my hand. It is very tempting to see what is going on Twitter or Instagram instead of counting sheep in my mind. The thing is, the blue light of the screen makes it even harder to fall asleep afterwords. So at least an hour before bed I lay all my electronic devices to rest. Mobile phone goes into a bedside draw (I will be able to hear an emergency phone call but it's out of sight). I do this before my usual skincare ritual, so once I'm back from the bathroom there are no distracting devices hovering about.

Time for feet.

On my bedside table I always keep a foot balm. Feet seem to have a connection with pretty much everything that goes on in the body, and they are always working so hard. I find that a good foot rub is not only relaxing but it really makes me feel so much better. At the moment I am using Bathing Beauty sock. I love the texture of this balm, it absorbs well but not too quickly, giving me plenty of time for a massage. The minty scent puts my mind at ease.


After a foot rub I normally like to read for a little, sipping on some chamomile tea. This really helps me to unwind and leave the working day behind. Once I feel like I am ready for some shut eye, I will use one of the two aromatherapy blends currently on rotation: Badger sleep balm or Bloom remedies serenity slumber. Both work really well for me, but I find with these things that they can be very effective in the beginning, and then once I get used to them they are not as helpful. Rotating between the two solves this problem as the scents are very different.

The big guns.

On those days when I just know my brain will be almost impossible to switch off, I bring out Mullein and Sparrow lavender body oil. While I am not always a fan of lavender in beauty products there is no denying that it really does help me relax. This particular body oil is a very simple blend of sunflower oil and lavender. I apply it to damp skin straight after a shower, and it works a treat. Sunflower is one of the less expensive oils but it still has a good deal of antioxidants, is high in vitamin E, and leaves skin super soft.

From time to time I get a little behind on the work, come back home late and the routine lapses. All it takes is a couple of bad nights, and I'm back on the waggon going through these steps. I would rather give up some spontaneity than be a gremlin.

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