We like to believe the importance of sleep is becoming increasingly well known, as we're all desperately trying to focus on following healthier lifestyles. However, in the digital age we now live in, it seems like there are so many factors which are getting in the way of us and our 40 winks!
As many of you already know, sleep is an immensely important form of self-care as it is when our bodies and minds get the chance to rest, repair and recover from our busy lives.
We are by no means scientists, nor do we claim to have in depth scientific knowledge about the subject, but we wanted to share with you all our top tips from our own research into what constitutes a positive evening ritual, to prepare yourself for sleep...
Our pre-sleep rituals:
Have an early bath
1. Earlier in the evening have a dimly lit bath [I know we're biased but we love a bit of candle light!]. Better to do earlier rather than just before bed because, for best sleep hygiene, it's better to go to bed feeling on the cooler side rather than fresh out of a hot steamy bath. If you fancy going the extra mile, scattering a handful of all natural bath salts can help relieve an aching body from a long day's work.
Avoid 'blue light'
2. Try to avoid as much unnatural light as possible in the evening. Our modern, technology devices emit 'blue light rays' which are known to decrease the levels of the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin. Try to limit your screen time after dinner. Why not read a book instead? You may even find your concentration span increases upon quitting the nightly - slumped on the sofa - Instagram scroll [we all do it!!]. Replace the artificial light of a phone screen with a soothing and slightly hypnotising flicker of a candle flame. Choose a Rosemary, Lavender & Clary Sage Candle for that extra bonus of calming essential oils said to help sleep and relaxation.
Create a haven of calm
3. Create a calming atmosphere. Add relax-focused essential oils into mist diffuser and set the timer for an hour. We've found the best, soothing oils include the most well-known lavender & chamomile, clary sage, vetiver & ylang ylang.
4. Practise the art of breath-work. Focusing on long, slow breathing has been found to be beneficial in relaxing the nervous system as well as the mind in preparation for sleep. It's important to try to exhale for a longer period of time than your inhale. To begin this, try to count as you breathe: Count, slowly, to 4 when inhaling, hold your breathe for the same count of 4 and then slowly exhale for a count of 6.
Listen to a sleepcast or sleep based meditation
5. Listen to music or a sleep cast. We really recommend the sleep section on the 'Feel Better' app by Deliciously Ella. This also helps with reducing the intake of the previously noted 'blue light'.
If you know of a loved one that's currently struggling with sleep, why not gift them our Lavender, Vetiver & Clary Sage Pillow Spray to let them know you're thinking of them and ease their dread of night time.