I’m not a morning person, but I’m doing everything I can to become one! We know that sleep is important for all parts of our health and to function throughout the day. With my schedule changing so I can teach early morning yoga classes and still juggle my fashion styling work (and this blog) restful sleep has become more important than ever for me. At the beginning of June, I set out to get myself a new nightly routine for better sleep and better mornings. Setting up regular habits before bed and adjusting my circadian rhythms hasn’t all been smooth sailing, but it’s worth it during 5am wake up calls.
Previously, I worked really well in the evenings after dinner. With my laptop on my lap, I’d probably fall asleep in front of the TV between 21:45 to 22:00. I’d only drag myself to the bathroom to get ready for bed close to 23:00. When my lifestyle meant work or meetings started at 9:00, with a call time of 5:30 once in a blue moon, that was fine. Now that my lifestyle has changed quite drastically, it’s now a priority to get to bed sooner.
Here’s what I try to do before getting into bed so I can have a restful sleep; I aim to have dinner cooked and eaten by 19:30. Then cleaning up or doing any chores so I can wake up in a slightly cleaner home. Finding a sink full of dishes at breakfast time isn’t fun. Next, I get my shower and skincare routine out of the way so I can put on comfy clothes to chill in.
By 20:00, I like to give myself at least an hour of chill time to chat with friends or family, watch Netflix, scroll through Pinterest or Instagram for far too long or do some work on the blog. Then I wind down with some restorative yoga on my bed. You can see these below. I like to finish off the day with a cup of tea and a book in bed. I read until I’m sleepy and count three things I was grateful for that day
I recently found out that ALL skin repair is nocturnal. It was one of the many sleep-related facts shared at the launch of Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon. The launch of this product really made me think about how I prepare for a night’s sleep and that inspired my June intention- and this post. Luckily for us, Dermalogica have the perfect addition to their range to get your rethinking your night time routine completely so you have enough time to fully recharge between the sheets. Technological developments together with natural ingredients and extracts that have been used for centuries across different cultures are combined in Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon. I love the gel-cream formula and how velvety it leaves my skin. I remove my make-up, apply toner and then massage the Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon over a nourishing skin cream. For dry, sensitive skin like mine or skin in harsh, dry regions the Sound Sleep Cocoon locks in products applied first. This makes them more effective. The smell is also fantastic. Specially developed motion-activated essential oils including French Lavender, Patchouli and Sandalwood release their soothing scents if you move around while you sleep. So if you toss and turn like I do, these essential oils calm the nervous system go to work. The ingredients also optimise the repair time of the skin so it’s hydrated, bright and radiant on waking.
Here are my ‘sleepy-time’ yoga stretches I like to do in the most comfortable, cuddly clothes possible. These stretch out all the leftover tension in my neck shoulders and hips with some twists for good measure. Figure out what works for your body and what you feel like that day. Some night child’s pose, hero pose with neck stretches and a twist are all I need.
I don’t always manage to stick to this, especially on nights that I’m out or decide to visit family, but it’s helped me make the most of my evenings. Right now I’m only achieving it 4 or 5 nights out of 7 but that’s good enough. Other things I find really useful are to write up the following days to-do or priorities, lay out clothes for the following day (especially active wear if you want to hit the gym) and light a candle or burn some essential oils if you’re having trouble switching off. When I started to get up earlier to exercise or practice yoga in the mornings this started to shift. Now that I’m teaching people with classes starting from 6:00 onward- this had to become a priority. Scientific studies recommend switching off electronic devices with blue light at least 2 hours before you want to fall asleep! I’m still working on that one to be completely honest.