I’m a firm believer that a good day starts with pleasant, refreshing sleep- even the mention of it makes me feel rejuvenated. Through much trial and error, I’ve curated a set of bedtime rituals that help me to decompress and recuperate. There are truly a multitude of ways you can revamp your routine and do so in a way that is realistic and catered to your lifestyle. Beyond that, you’ll figure out actionable ways to combat your particular sleep problems. While my habit of indulging my night owl tendencies doesn’t always set me up for success, I try my best to work in sync with my body’s natural circadian rhythms and do what feels right each night. The urge to doze off hits pretty harshly in the afternoons for me. Sometimes a coffee hits the spot and takes the edge of my tiredness and other times it adds to it.
Since starting college a month ago, a consistent sleep schedule has well and truly eluded me. On the days that I have to rise before the sun, I can be grizzly and resentful, placated only with the thought of a sandwich and nap upon my return home at midday. On my days off, I rest to my heart’s desire and put no pressure on myself to emerge from the cosy haven that is my room. I’ve never particularly liked to set alarms as the sudden rude awakening is enough to startle me and get my heart racing. It immediately sets my sleep quality back, even if I’ve through the necessary phases of light, medium and deep sleep without a hitch. Of late I’ve been experiencing incredibly vivid dreams that I recall in great detail upon waking up. It’s something to ponder as I rub sleep from my eyes and blink in the glare of the morning light. I chalk the brain activity overdrive down to being busier than ever before. At least I keep things interesting!
In my younger years, I was a terrible sleeper. While I’ll never understand how people fall asleep in ten minutes, I’m incredibly grateful that it no longer takes me hours. My bedroom at the time had significant light pollution and was noisy as my house was located across from a pub. I was an insomniac who experienced a variety of strange sleep phenomena. Sleep paralysis, instances where I woke up with a jolt after levitating slight above my bed, astral projection, lucid dreaming and the like. Thankfully, I grew out of these conditions as I entered my teens and have enjoyed many years of increasingly sound and refreshing sleep. I have the odd nightmare or two but this seems directly related to my waking thoughts and the events of the moment. They require processing and mental energy and pay no mind to the time of day it is. Overall, I like to abide by these twelve energy givers and incorporate them into my day. Sunlight, dance, whole foods, hydration, nature, music, movement, resting, fresh air, decluttering and planning.
I like to begin by setting up my bedroom to be minimal, distraction free and cosy. I recently redid my space to fit an earthy, coastal bohemian theme. Lots of neutrals, wood tones and warm pops of colour interspersed here and there. The overall palette of cream, caramel, olive green, mustard yellow, dusky peach and a multitude of nude shades is just gorgeous and a breath of fresh air every time I walk in-I always feel so calm and collected! I’m very pleased that the simple and timeless furniture I chose will withstand trends and blend in with a variety of interior decorating styles. As a minimalist, I’m naturally quite neat and keep my belongings to a minimum, especially those that will be on display.
I’ll keep a stack of so called coffee table books on my nightstand for some light reading or to flick through during quiet time. My current bookish picks are the Collective Hub’s Social Media Journal, Rupi Kaur’s Homebody and Elsa’s Wholesome life. 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 to put pen to paper. Some days are busier than others and I miss writing 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.
Other than that, I have my fiddle leaf fig and terrarium planter to freshen the air, put a smile on my face and provide that much needed leafy goodness. To keep my room smelling divine, I light a candle, either classic French Vanilla or Amber and Musk and let my reed diffuser work its magic. To add to the atmosphere, I’ll pull the curtains and turn on my lamp, basking in the soft glow. When necessary, I’ll do spur of the moment clean up, dusting and wiping down surfaces, putting away a stack of clothes and the like. If I feel more thorough, I’ll vacuum the carpet and revel in how beautiful and plush it feels underfoot. Basically, I like to create a space that reflects my personality and feels warm and inviting, banishing any stress that I try oh so hard to free myself from during the day. If you’d like, you can find my previous room tour here- Minimalist Scandinavian Room Tour, July Twenty Twenty
My next point I cannot speak of enough. Before I got around to buying new bedding, I was sleeping on a sloppy off white set. They were slowly yellowing and I never felt comfortable climbing into bed. I’d attempt to bleach them and be met with crisp, starchy and stiff fabric that wasn’t at all conducive with a good night’s sleep. At the time, I wasn’t very adventurous and went with what worked and was budget friendly. I came very close to repurchasing the same set a second time around, wrestling with the logic that I just had to put them through the wash more and roll around less. They were a bamboo and cotton mix which seemed to agree with me, making them a solid contender.
Then I came across I Love Linen and my entire outlook on bed dressing was transformed. I now have two full sets of Stonewashed French Linen bedding in the shades blush, sandalwood, clay, desert rose and neutral gingham. Linen is my favourite material for clothing and bedding as it’s so effortless. It has moisture wicking properties and is breathable enough to keep you cool in the summer whilst also locking warmth in come winter time. Basically, it’s naturally temperature regulating and the ideal weight for ultimate comfort. Linen’s natural fibres are perfect for those with sensitive skin as they are hypoallergenic and antibacterial. The attention to detail is just above and beyond- my quilt sets comes with tie closures which look precious in bows.
There are countless benefits to investing in your bedding. A more recent find of mine was I Love Linen’s hotel bedding section. I chose the Queen Hotel Cloud Collection Premium Package while it was still on pre order and should receive my items mid April. This includes a plush mattress topper, superior quilt and five star pillows that mould to your head and neck for posture support. A luxurious sleeping experience is all about sufficient airflow and the perfect combination of textiles and fillings. Then there’s your mattress- I got mine new at my local homemaker centre after having slept on an older mattress for quite a number of years. Even if you’re not looking to replace yours, make sure to strip your bedding and put down a mattress protector if you haven’t already. Did you know that by eighty years old you’ll have spent thirty three years asleep in bed and an extra seven trying to get to sleep?
In the hours leading up to bedtime, I’m across a few different activities. I tend to get the midnight munchies and will head into the kitchen for a light snack. I’ve been enjoying Carman’s chocolate brownie oat bars and berry yoghurt rice cakes by the Table of Plenty. If we’ve baked, I might enjoy a white chocolate and blueberry muffin or some banana bread. On the days that our fridge is stocked with savoury food, I’ll have avocado and fetta on toast or finish off a Greek salad from dinner. Most people are averse to eating around bedtime as it sits on your stomach but I’ve always liked to end an evening this way. I’ll take an hour to let my food digest and then make a soothing cup of tea. Herbal is best but English Breakfast works as well. Late night bathroom trips aren’t fun though so I limit myself to a small cup. My favourites have got to be peppermint, chamomile or a special blend from tea two.
One day soon I’d love to try an organic blend. I’ve heard that the benefits of this are similar to drinking supplement rich soup broth. 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 digestive issues, odd lumps and bumps and resulting fatigue. I’ve had some acid reflux and recently found out through an ultrasound that I have a series of cysts in my neck. I want to know that I’m consuming things that aid my recovery, not hinder it!
Next, I’ll head upstairs to our main bathroom and start my pamper routine. I cannot sleep unless I’m freshly showered, even if I’ve already washed off throughout the day. I go through the usual motions and apply body wash, shave my legs and let my hair loose for a shampoo and condition every third day. My go to products at the moment are from the Monday Haircare range who happen to be taking the beauty world by storm. Once a week I’ll also pop in a strengthening, damage repairing and shine boosting hair mask. A couple of years ago I’d use coconut oil which saw my hair grow to a beautiful length and made it effortlessly soft. I had to be careful to wash it all out in good time though or suffer broken strands because of the high protein and fat content. Whilst in the shower I’ll apply any wash off products in my skincare routine. This includes an exfoliating face scrub to strip off dead cells and then foaming and gel cleansers to remove excess oil.
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 incredibly 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 then, I’ve known the importance of keeping a consistent skincare routine but also including enough products 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 original cult skincare favourites are from the Frank body and Lush cosmetics range.
I use the creamy coffee grounds face scrub, charcoal face cleanser and the newest addition to the Frank Body line, the Glow Mask. It’s buttery, smells divine and leaves my skin soft and supple. These three products are really all you need. I have since expanded my skincare drawer to include brands such as Alya Skin, Real U and Iryna Skin. Twice a week I’ll use Ultrabland, a heavy duty moisturising cleanser. If I have any breakouts that need attending to, grease lightning, formulated with tea tree oil, 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 latest skincare routines for more comprehensive tips and everything else you need to know- My Natural Skincare Routine for a Bright, Restored Complexion- Featuring Alya Skin and Real-U + My everyday routine for clear, glowing skin- Featuring Frank Body + Lush Cosmetics
Afterwards, I’ll pop on a set of my best pyjamas. What you sleep in matters just as much as what you sleep on. Breathable, natural fabrics are always best and where I can, I enjoy shopping sustainably. There is a beautiful boutique near my home in the Blue Mountains, Papinelle. My sleepwear drawer is filled with pieces from their dreamy collections. A selection of robes for the summer, autumn and winter, flanelette pyjamas, two piece sets, nightgowns and the like. I’m hoping to invest in a silk slip somewhere down the line. I always feel like an absolute queen as I snuggle underneath the covers.
Next I’ll use an essential oil blend that is specially formulated to provide you with a better sleep experience. Oil garden sleep assist is the goods. I tend to dab a little bit onto my wrists and neck before bed. It’s quite soothing to your pulse points. Something important to consider 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 frequently in aromatherapy.
Another habit I’m easing into is foam rolling and flexing to stretch out tight muscles, joints and ligaments. This is a type of self massage that can wash away tension and leave you feeling brand new. You knead out any knots, packing on pressure until they unwind. It’s a way to feel weightless. The benefits to foam rolling include reduction of inflammation that occurs during the muscle repair process, injury prevention through the maintenance of muscle length and remedying of tension, increase in blood flow and elasticity of the body’s connective tissue, helping with mobility and a smoother appearance of fat underneath your skin.