2022 is the year of self-care. After the stress of the last few years, many of us have chosen to prioritise ourselves, incorporating little moments of self-care into our daily routine to improve overall well being.
But what if instead of simply luxuriating in an Epsom salt bath of an evening, or booking a monthly massage, you turned your attention to an often overlooked part of your day, one which plays a huge role in your mental and physical health?
By making some small tweaks, you could optimise your sleep care and elevate your self-care efforts exponentially.
Why sleep care? Because sleep is the third pillar of wellness after exercise and nutrition. A good day starts the night before, but falling asleep can be an incredibly stressful process, especially if you overthink it. And if you can’t shut your mind down, the rest of you is going to suffer.
Today marks World Sleep Day, a day intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep. And with 30% of us experiencing sleep problems, we wanted to share with you 5 simple ways to transform your sleep experience, maximising the holistic benefits of sleep for both the body and mind, leaving you rested and restored and ready for whatever the day brings.
1. Curate a sleep idyl
Build a soothing sanctuary and sleep will come. To do that, first of all, make sure your bedroom is a relaxing space, somewhere that naturally induces sleep. If you need to, clean and tidy up your room. An untidy environment can’t possibly calm a restless mind.
If you haven’t had a bedroom makeover in a while, consider redecorating and painting the walls with soothing, muted tones.
Block out unwanted light with a blackout blind, or invest in a silk eye mask. Drown out noise with earplugs or a white noise machine.
Spritz your pillows and your room with a spray of sleep-inducing essential oils to help you fall asleep – choose a pillow mist containing lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot or sandalwood.
2. Opt for silk
Choose to sleep in silk for the ultimate good night. If you don’t want all silk bedding then simply opt for a silk pillowcase. In fact, a silk pillowcase should be considered an essential element of bedtime.
Silk is not only luxurious, but it’s a guaranteed win for a great night’s sleep. Why? Because silk is a natural temperature regulator, meaning it wicks away moisture, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Silk is also the darling of dermatologists, frequently espoused as the dream anti-ageing material for its ability to keep your skin hydrated while you slumber. Its naturally smooth surface absorbs less moisture from our skin than traditional cotton pillowcases, resulting in plumper, refreshed skin cells and a dewy complexion the next morning.
For less than the cost of a premium moisturiser, you could transform your skin in one easy switch. Sleep on silk and wake up a glowing goddess the next day, rested and restored with radiant, wrinkle-free skin and shiny locks.
3. Lower the temperature
Science says that the optimum bedroom temperature for the best night’s sleep is between 16-18oC. If you can, turn off your heating an hour before bed and let the temperature drop in your room, or simply lower the setting on your radiator.
Don’t worry about the room being cold when you first go in, you’ll quickly warm as you snuggle under your duvet. If you do find you’re uncomfortably cold, pull on a pair of socks to warm you up.
Our feet are the thermostat for the rest of our body – if they’re cold, we’re cold, if they’re warm, the rest of us are warm. Just don’t pick a pair of socks that are too thick or you risk overheating and waking up in the wee small hours.
4. Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine
Just as we prepare babies and small children for bed with a bedtime routine, we should parent ourselves in the same way. Create a pre-bedtime routine that allows your body and mind to wind down while preparing you for a great night’s sleep.
A pre-bedtime routine can be as simple as lowering the lights half an hour before bed – dimmed lighting isn’t just calming, it also aids in the production of melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone.
Or, you could run a warm bath and indulge with a handful of Epsom salts to relax tired muscles. Your body temperature naturally drops when you sleep, so by raising it a few degrees beforehand with a warm (not hot) bath, you’re giving yourself a helping hand to drift off, quicker.
5. Relax your mind and your body will follow
If you struggle to switch your mind off when you turn out the lights, consider meditation or journaling to slow your brain.
Whether you read a few chapters of your book, or you practice mindfulness for better sleep, or even listen to some calming music, doing something to distract your brain from its whirring, will help it calm down allowing you to fall asleep.
Just don’t use your phone to help. The blue light emitted by the screen actually acts as a melatonin blocker, reducing your ability to fall asleep.
If mediation isn’t your thing, consider journaling. This is an easy way to free your thoughts from the vortex inside your head. Rather than ignore thoughts or try to suppress them, give your thoughts freedom at the end of the day to tumble onto the page.
By writing down whatever’s bothering you, frees the thought from your head, helping your mind become calmer. Letting you slip into blissful slumber.
Co-founder sleep dream doze