My Recipe for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is so important, much more so than ever thought possible. A time to heal, process information, and deeply relax. A bedroom should be a calm, neutral and most importantly, a safe space. I have dedicated the last couple to years to really nailing down exactly what makes a good night’s sleep for me, and decided it was time to share a few products and rituals which have made all the difference to my anxiety ridden mind.

Bed & Bedding

We spend approximately one third of our lives asleep, so a good mattress is extremely important, as is decent sheets. I’ve always used cotton, not necessarily the highest percale (which is a term for the density of threads) but at least 200, and feather pillows…ethically sourced down, for preference. My duvet is from Casper and although not available in the UK currently, it’s a hybrid filled with down and lamb’s wool which makes it exceptionally breathable and lightweight. It really is warm in winter and cool in summer. Similar can be found here.

My sheets, pillowcases and duvets are by French manufacturer Yves Delorme and were a bit of a luxury, but they are so soft and should last me for years. I also recommend The White Company and Piglet in Bed. A cosy blanket is always a must on the bed. I have lots of vintage Welsh blankets and some lovely modern woolen throws and cushions from the fabulous Melin Tregwynt.

Evening Rituals

A warm bubble bath, candlelit, is a little indulgent moment we can all enjoy. I really like the This Works range of sleep products (as you will see) and their Lavender and Vetiver candle smells amazing, as does their Deep Sleep shower gel and the complementary Deep Sleep body cocoon which wraps you in a haze of lavender and chamomile, and leaves your skin deliciously soft. This Works is a company which has been on my radar for some years now, they have a natural, ethical approach to their products which are vegan friendly, and made without chemicals. I have very sensitive skin and have never had any problems with them at all.

Nightwear is another area which I feel needs addressing. I like natural fibres; linen, cotton, silk – in winter you can’t beat soft, combed cotton and in summer cool crisp linen is just perfect. I buy my linen nightwear from Piglet in Bed and cotton from Toast or Jigsaw but I also have some french linen shifts picked up from antiques’ fairs on my travels.

Finally, in nightwear terms, I love a bed sock. Recently I’ve discovered Pairs of Scotland which make exceptionally delightful socks in alpaca, mohair and lambs wool…their bed socks are so comfy and the company promotes the Made in Britain badge admirably. I can’t abide having cold feet in bed – the socks sometimes make it through the whole night on my feet, but more often than not they disappear halfway though.

Last year I invested in an Oura ring, this nifty device is a small lightweight health ring which you wear 24/7, which tracks your sleep, heart rate and activity burn, amongst other things and really allows you see how you sleep, how much deep sleep and REM sleep you get, and how active you should be every day according to your readiness score. I’ve discovered some rather interesting things about my sleep, mainly that my heart rate stays high if I drink any alcohol before bed, or if I’ve eaten too late. This in turn impacts negatively on my entire readiness score.

Just before heading to bed I always made a ‘sleepy’ tea, as I call it. I favour Snore and Peace by Clipper or one of Pukka’s nighttime offerings. I spray my pillow with the This Works pillow mist and have recently started using their No Wrinkles Midnight Moisture cream just before I turn in, which again smells fantastic and really seems to do the trick, as my skin feels beautifully soft the following morning. I also try not to use technology before I go to sleep and have invested in some blue light-blocking glasses so I can enjoy my kindle and lose myself in a book for a half hour or so. I am also a big fan of meditation. The Calm app has been exceptionally useful, not only are the sleep stories delightful, there are plenty of short exercises to help you return to sleep and beat anxiety should it descend upon you during the night. Another trick I have to relieve anxiety is journaling – just jotting down a few thoughts from the day, things I’ve been grateful for (a special notebook and nice pen makes this a real pleasure).

I’ve noticed a huge difference in both my energy levels and my blood sugar levels after getting consecutive nights of good sleep. We all know how much sleep deprivation impacts upon us, sleep is as important as water and food and sunlight! My family often laugh at my nightly routine, but I can feel and see the difference and as long as it works, I’m not looking to change it.

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