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5 steps for a better nights sleep

Apologies for how late this post is going up but I've been on nights the last couple of nights and sort of managed to get myself a bit confused with the days because when I woke up this afternoon I was shocked to realise it was Wednesday and that a post was due! Anyway, I was drawing a bit of a blank for what to write about seeing as you should "write about what you know" and all I've been doing the last couple of days is catching up on sleeping hence this post was drawn out of my mind!

Honestly I don't usually struggle with sleeping - as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm pretty much asleep! But ever since starting shift work (side note: I can't believe I've been on the grown up shift rota for a whole rotation already!) I've realised that the quality of sleep is arguably more important than the quantity of your sleep (something that I never thought I'd say!). This is coming from the person who in college/uni couldn't really function on any less than nine hours of sleep (I manage with just seven hours now so well done me!). 

Over the past few months, in order to make me feel well rested I think I've managed to nail down a fail-safe formula to give me the best quality sleep I can, so of course I thought I'd share them!

BATH // okay so this is very obvious but seriously a hot bath is just so soothing and calming - it really helps to get me in the right 'relaxed' state of mind before bed! I swear by these Neal's Yard lavender bath salts - they are the most relaxing bath time addition ever - a lovely long soak leaves my muscles feeling so relaxed and fluid (in the best way!) it's like my muscle are half asleep right from the off! But whatever floats your boat (or bath) whether it be bath salts, oils or a Lush bath offering go for it - take that bath as time for yourself!

HOT DRINK // having a hot drink as I'm snuggled up in bed is just so comforting to me. I always have breakfast tea (at night time - I'm such a rebel!) plus you can't have a cuppa without a choccy biccy - thirst and hunger sated you can't help but sleep well!

SLEEP AIDS // I'm not sure I'm entirely convinced about that this whole pillow/sleep balm obsession that's going around but what I do know is that when I use these two together I manage to get to sleep so much quicker. Plus it makes my bedtime routine feel a bit more fancy and luxurious - liberally spritzing this pillow spray over my bed and dabbing some sleep balm onto my wrists. I think it is the routine part that helps me to sleep easier - there's a reason new parents go crazy over creating a pre-bed routine for their babies, it's so they can get to sleep easier!

WIND DOWN // I know that every sleep expert out there recommends at least an hour of gadget-free time before sleep and whilst I love to read so an hour picking up a book before bed wouldn't be a hardship I find it so hard to put away my ipad (there's always another episode to binge watch on netflix!) or my phone (that endless circle of twitter, facebook, instagram, twitter just sucks me in!) so I like to attempt to get around this exposure to too much blue light pre-bed by switching my gadgets to "night shift" anti-blue light feature - that has to be better, right?! Well I'm telling myself that anyway!

DARKNESS // my absolute stipulation for having a good night's sleep is total darkness. Even a little bit of light peaking in really puts me off my sleeping game! Especially now it's getting lighter earlier in the mornings when I get home after a night shift I'm beyond thankful that I had the sense to have put blackout linings on my curtains! Even then my room still isn't dark enough so I slip on an eye mask (this one from wildfox is just so incredibly soft and snuggly!)