A good night’s rest is more than mere indulgence, it’s essential for our wellbeing. Are you getting enough sleep? Proper, restful sleep that is. If the answer is no, you're not the only one.
If you keep missing out on the recommended eight hours of sleep a day, it's worth trying to improve your sleep track record as a lack of sleep can have serious effects. According to research, sleeping less than six or seven hours a night has a detrimental effect on your immune system. What’s more, even a moderate reduction in sleep for just one week disrupts blood sugar levels so much that you would be classed as pre-diabetic.*
In our busy worlds it can be hard to wind down before bed. We know we’re meant to put the screens away an hour before bedtime and skip caffeinated drinks in the evenings but sometimes you might need a little extra help.
Here are seven bedtime buddies that just might help you get the sleep you need.
The Body Oil: Antidote Bath and Body Oil, €97, Votary
This multi-use oil is packed with nourishing plant oils. Passionflower, calendula and sweet almond nourish skin while lavender, rose and chamomile encourage restful sleep.
The Bath Salts: Perfect Night’s Sleep Multi Mineral Bath Salts, €45, Neom
A relaxing bath can be perfect before bed. Neom’s Himalyan salt bath salts contain 84 minerals and the brand’s ‘perfect night sleep’ blend of essential oils.
The Sounds: Sync Project
An intriguing project that looks at the physiological effect music has on us. Download the app for a customised 20 minute ‘before sleep’ wind-down (or shorter playlists for stressed moments during the day).
The Pillow Spray: Deep Sleep Spray, €19.50, This Works
A hero product that really does work! It’s all down to a soothing combination of lavender, vetivert and chamomile, which helps to calm body and mind. There's a Plus variety too, if staying asleep is more your concern.
The Essential Oil: Lavender Essential Oil, €16, The Nature of Things
An age-old remedy for all sorts of ailments, a high-quality lavender oil in a diffuser, oil burner or sprinkled on your pillow will encourage rest. This beautiful option from Irish brand The Nature of Things will do the trick.
The Herbal Tea: Night Time Tea, €3.50, Pukka
Ditch the caffeine from late afternoon and, just before bedtime, try a herbal tea with calming properties, such as chamomile. Or this blend from Pukka Teas. It’s combines oat flower, licorice root, chamomile flower, lavender flower and valerian root to help you drift off.
The App: Sleep Cycle
This app analyses your sleep and gently wakes you at the optimal time, so you wake up feeling rested. (As opposed to feeling like you’ve been dragged violently from slumber as with your average alarm clock!)
[*Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker (Allen Lane)]