Aside from a slight nervous disposition and struggling through art A-level, the main cause for my teenage sleeplessness was a bad bedtime routine. I didn’t know the meaning of switching off and, by the time I got to uni, my hyperactive habits had developed into full-blown insomnia. Sound familiar? The fact is that with smartphones giving us the world at our fingertips – literally – the ‘always on’ mentality is bound to prevail, and good old-fashioned R&R goes out the window. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, getting your sleep cycle back on track is aaaall about a healthy routine and, after a lot of trial and error, I’m ready to share what’s worked for me.
Pamper your way to paradise
Soak your way to sleep by slipping into a soothing tub of bubbles and warmth. I’m OBSESSED with the Sanctuary Sleep Range. It’s lavender scented – my fave – but for those of you who hear lavender and think nan’s soap, think again… the floral hint in this collection is subtle and addictive. Pour the Bath Soak under running water for frothy bubbles and sink into them while you listen to a podcast or enjoy a good page-turner. Follow up with Relaxing Night Body Butter. This stuff is seriously soothing, and I find it a deeply relaxing part of my night routine. Take the time to massage the cream into your skin and savour the scent. Can’t get enough of it? Keep the dreamy vibes going by spritzing your bed with Dream Easy Pillow Mist.
An extra something
Not being able to switch off is one of the main reasons I, and many other millennials, can’t seem to get to sleep. Taking time out, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes, can make aaaall the difference. I’m talkin’ no phone, no telly – nothing – just you, some nature noises and perhaps a face mask to up the zen factor. I love the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask. It’s infused with lavender essential oil, which sends me straight into sleep mode. And as it’s a sheet mask, it’s mess free and easy to remove – just right for before bed.
When I found out about the Free Soul Teas, I couldn’t wait to give ’em a go. One of my main reasons for staying up late at night is that I haven’t managed to get everything I need to get done checked off my to-do list – either that or I can only seem to find an ounce of productivity at 3am… The Wake Tea is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre to help boost your focus and energy. Having these by my desk has been a godsend in the mornings. I get more done in the day, which means that, at night, I can take my foot off the gas and wind down. That’s when I whack out a cup of the Sleep Tea – and when I say sweet dreams are made of these, I mean it. Soothing liquorice root adds a sweetness that helps calm anxieties – perfect for any nervous Nellies out there (like me).
If an anxiety attack ever hit in the evening, I used to write off the entire night as a heart-thumping countdown to sunrise. However, my mum introduced me to Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules and I can’t stop shouting about how effective they are. Yes, I know it’s yet more lavender, but the oil of this magic flower has not been used in relaxation remedies for centuries for no reason – it works. If I find my anxiety is particularly bad, I’ll take one before bed. It stops my mind racing and givess me a warm fuzzy feeling, which, with the help of a dreamy podcast, helps me drift off.