I’m a firm believer that a good day starts with pleasant, refreshing sleep- even the mention of it makes me feel a little better. Of late I’ve been experiencing less than that though. I’ve had recurring nightmares, a somewhat inconsistent sleep routine and have been waking up tired. I am naturally more of a night owl, tending to only feel my best once the later hours hit. My normal 8:00-8:30 am wakeup sounds like heaven to a lot of people, but I don’t love it. School and other responsibilities beckon though, so I’ll work with what I’ve got!
Today I wanted to talk about establishing a bedtime routine suited to you as well as new habits you might like to take on. Even if you just improve upon what you’re currently doing to wind down, that’s something!
Set up your space to be minimal, distraction free and cosy.
A couple of years ago now I redid my room to fit a bohemian and earthy theme. I kept it simple and timeless so if I wanted to change something, I could do that easily and wouldn’t have to start from scratch. I got all my furniture from Ikea, which is for most budget friendly, so I’d definitely recommend that. I got my desk, mirror and bed frame in a light oak wood. I’m generally quite a neat person, but I keep my belongings to a minimum also. This means that my cleaning up usually just involves dusting or wiping off surfaces and running the vacuum through my room for a few minutes. One thing I don’t love too much is carpeted flooring as it can get quite messy and hard to clean if you track dirt through it. In the winter months though it definitely is a blessing!
Basically, create a space you enjoy and can recuperate in. The last thing you want is a room that creates the stress you’re trying to free yourself from. What helps you personally to get to that point?
Invest in the best quality bedding you can afford.
I cannot speak enough of this point. Before I got around to buying new bedding, I was sleeping on a not so crisp, yellowing, white set. They were a bamboo/cotton mix which seemed to agree with me so I thought I’d just repurchase, but then I decided to invest in linen bedding. Another change I made was actually buying a full sheet set, instead of just the fitted. For some reason, I’d never done this before!
The set pictured below is pure french linen from I love linen and is stonewashed and unbelievably soft. Linen is a favourite of mine because it’s just so effortless. Moisture wicking, temperature regulating and a progressive material. There are countless benefits. I love linen is on the pricier side and perhaps not within budget for everyone, but it is definitely worth considering. By 80 years old you’ll have spent 33 years in bed, asleep and extra seven trying to get to sleep. What to do? Cosy in!
Have a cup of tea before bed- herbal is best but milk tea works too. I like to alternate between the two!
On the days I do this, I feel the difference, which is why I know it’s worth it. Late night bathroom trips aren’t fun though so I limit myself to a small cup. My favourites have got to peppermint, chamomile or a blend from tea2. Their English breakfast tea is superior and has just arrived in my local supermarket. I’m very happy about this!
One day soon I’d love to try an organic blend. Before bed, upon waking up and after a heavy meal all seem like good times to have a cup. My health lately has been quite up and down with me experiencing lots of digestive issues and resulting fatigue. Just feeling out of it. I want to know that I’m consuming things that aid my recovery, not hinder it! If I must have that cupcake, I should follow it up with something healthier. Tea can also be an alternative to the numerous vitamins we might take each day. While I wouldn’t substitute them all, it can’t hurt to swap out a few every now and then.
Always do your skincare routine and apply any overnight products.
While I’ve always been blessed with decent skin, as you get older, things can get out of hand! A couple of years ago I struggled with a nasty dermatitis that got misdiagnosed as acne and therefore wasn’t treated right. No matter what scrub I used or cream I applied, my skin stayed the same. Inflamed and unhappy. During this time, I was vegetarian and had been so for at least a year and a half. We eventually realised my irons levels had gotten dangerously low and were affecting not just my skin but my functioning. Ever since them I’ve known the importance of keeping a consistent skincare routine, but also including enough products so that you can change it up. As with hair products, if you use the same thing too often, your skin will get used to it and stop reaping the benefits. My cult favourites, pictured below, are from the frank body and lush cosmetics range. I use the creamy face scrub, creamy face cleanser and the newest addition to the frank line, the glow mask. It’s buttery, smells divine and leaves my skin soft and supple. These three products are really all you need. Twice a week I’ll also use ultrabland, a heavy duty, moisturising cleanser. If I have any breakouts that need attending to, grease lightning is my go to. No matter how tired you are, you never want to sleep with an unwashed face. Laying still for eight or so hours with surface dirt and so much more can never be good.
Feel free to have a read of my skincare routine for more comprehensive tips and everything else you need to know.
Use an essential oil like mine here- it’s specially formulated for sleep!
Oil garden sleep assist is the goods. While this isn’t recommended, I tend to dab a little bit onto my wrists then neck before bed and I’ve found it to be quite soothing. Maybe one of these days I’ll get a diffuser!
Something important to remember is that the purity of your oils do matter and make the biggest difference. Essential oils are widely available.. I used to get a cheap lavender oil from Kmart, but not anymore! This particular blend has sweet orange, marjoram, German chamomile and Lavender, all of which are used in aromatherapy.
Wear your comfiest pyjamas- silk is a favourite of mine!
Here I’m wearing a classic set from Peter Alexander and my Papinelle floral robe. What you sleep on matters as does what you sleep in. Breathable, natural fabrics are always best and where I can, I love to shop sustainably!
Take a short walk in nature if possible.
Daylight saving has got to be my favourite time of year- longer days, time in the sun, a later curfew. What’s not to love? It’s also meant walks outside, sometimes for hours. Usually I’ll go out around 6 pm or so, maybe getting back home around 7:30. I’ve been enjoying taking this time out to be present and peaceful. I always come back feeling grounded and like I’ve returned to my roots.
Sometimes It’s just a matter of me feeling antsy because I’ve been at home too long, only going out for school and then coming back home. Little things like this in the lead up to bedtime set the right tone for sleep. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy Netflix though.. I seem to end a lot of nights just watching tv lately!
Read a chapter of a book or flip through pages from a magazine.
It used to be that if you saw me, it was with a book. I carried one everywhere and honestly, I miss that time in my life. I was a big reader, always absorbed in a storyline. Nowadays I’m sort of spread thin, but reading seemed like it’d be a lifelong habit for me and I want to bring that back. I’m very good at reading magazines though- I have about a half hour in the morning during home room that I dedicate entirely to this. It’s a good way to start the day but also to end it. I sometimes find it difficult to wind down with non screen based activities, so this is top of my list. Also.. new book smell- you can’t beat it.
When I’m not reading, I like to journal. I have the Frankie diary and the pretty designs definitely play a part in motivating me. Some days are busier than others and so I might miss writing one night, but when I get down to it, I usually fill up the notes section too. I write down musings, recap my week and fill in any dates on my calendar. Occasionally I’ll also write a small to-do list for the next little while.
Have a light snack.. or if you’re like me, a midnight snack!
I know that most people would say eating before bed isn’t a good idea, but I’ve always liked to end an evening that way. Light snacks or a small meal are okay. If I plan to eat something, I’ll do that maybe an hour before I plan to go to bed so the food doesn’t just sit on my stomach!
I like to have avocado on toast, a salad or something sweet, if we’ve got it. Muffins are always good. I love blueberry and white chocolate. Feel free to share your snack ideas below or link to a recipe!