One would have thought that these long winter nights would equal more (and better) sleep. Less sun means extra darkness means we feel sleepy way before we hit the sack, and not to mention good riddance to those birds tweeting by the window at 4AM (trust me, it’s more annoying that you’d think). All these Christmas parties with everyone we know ever sees us powering through from the early morning to, well, the early morning. In theory, blissful sleep should be no effort at all.
However, our nights are often marred with endless tossing, mid-sleep periods of wakefulness and probably a bit more snoring than considered ideal. We’ve heard that shutting off technology an hour before bed and having a night-time routine helps improve sleep quality, so we went and threw together this beauty edit dedicated to all our fellow sleep-deprived #cleanbeautycrew. Read on to sleep on.
Spoil your skin
We’re adamant that, in between the mince pies, Yorkshire puddings and yule logs, there needs to be a mini-break – for your skin, we mean, if the thought of saying no to Curly Wurlies is giving you the shivers. Detoxing is well and good, but if we were honest with ourselves we’d admit it won’t do much until January, when we finally confess our sins and swear off junk food for a
year month week. Instead, try to focus on eating reasonably: sleep quality is highly affected by overeating, so by bingeing you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.
Focus on feeding our skin the nutrients it needs to hold up. Facial serums are fantastic for this, and oil-based ones are even better as they can be combined with a relaxing facial massage to drain away lymph waste and reduce swelling in the morning.
Use an mask
Sunrise might not be at 4AM anymore (#RIPBST), but we’re no less susceptible to disturbances caused by light. The human body is so sensitive to light that the smallest glare of light from phones or street lamps outside windows can disturb sleep. Start your night off the right foot with a gentle-to-skin sleep mask opaque enough to block out all light. Even better, add an actual eye mask into your evening beauty routine for a soothing night-time treat.
Scent your room
As witnesses to the power of essential oils, we can confidently vouch for lavender and chamomile as a natural sleep remedy. These two scents are exceptionally great at helping muscles relax, easing anxiety and encouraging slow-wave sleep (a.k.a. deep, feel-refreshed-in-the-morning sleep). Try using a lavender- or chamomile-scented candle (or diffuser) in your bedroom an hour before bed. If you’re not massive fans of these two scents, try Bergamot or Geranium: they’re both great alternatives that work just as well.
Otherwise, spritz the pillow
Title says it all. If you’re not a candle or diffuser kind of gal, a pillow spray also does the job (plus, they’re firm editor favourites that wins awards year by year). Even better, combine this with a silk pillowcase: it’s a hefty investment, but it’s gentler on your skin that cotton and prevents wrinkles caused by weird sleeping positions!
Drink some tea
A solution that’s so classically British, and yet utterly indispensable. Nothing beats a warm evening cuppa, so we’ve gone and picked out our fave blends promising to give a great night’s sleep post-consumption. Their ingredients include lavender, chamomile, valerian, jasmine and lemon balm…sound familiar?
Breathe in deep
Personally, this works for me every single time – and it’s free! Take a deep breath in for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat until you feel sleepy (or fall asleep completely). It takes some practice and getting used to, but once mastered, you’ll be conking out in no time.
– Jennie Lim