Want better sleep? Time to try a new night-time ritual...
If you want to make a better quality of sleep, you need to shake up your bedtime routine...
Without knowing it, you’ve already got rituals throughout the day. That morning Nespresso that gets you pumped for another morning working on your laptop at the kitchen table, that 11am jog that clears your head as well as your lungs, that 6pm gin and tonic that helps you separate your on-the-clock and off-the-clock life at home; all of these things get your brain in the right space for something in particular.
It’s no different with going to sleep every evening. Even if it’s not been a ritual you’ve consciously cultivated, you do have one already in place. The only thing is that, if it’s a bad one, the stakes of that routine are much higher. A night of poor quality sleep is not ideal for a variety of reasons. According to New York Times best-selling author and habits expert James Clear, it hampers your brain’s ability to flush itself of toxins accumulated during the daytime overnight meaning you wake up less refreshed, it makes it harder for your brain to consolidate memories and it can even hamper your metabolism. All of these added together mean you have a less productive day.
Over time, with sustained sleep deprivation - even if only one or two hours less than the average 7 to 9 hours every human needs a night - this effect snowballs, meaning you could be experiencing its effects of increased stress and anxiety
without really knowing it. The good news is there are certain steps you can take to help avoid this outcome - and it’s all to do with getting your body in the mood to sleep even before you actually feel the need to hop into bed.
What’s key is to play to your natural Circadian Rhythm, a biological cycle our bodies have that prep the body for different events over a 24-hour period. While this will vary depending on your lifestyle (jet lag, for example), as a general rule our bodies start producing melatonin (a ‘drowsiness’ hormone) after dark to prepare your body for sleep - usually around 9pm. If you want to sleep well, it’s important to embrace and encourage this. Dimming the lights in your
house, for example, or activating ‘night mode’ on your devices to minimise sleep-disruptive blue light is a good start.
Out of a huge variety of factors that go into preparing your body for sleep, one of the most important things is to try to clear your mind - and the best way to do that is with an activity that takes your brain off the stresses of the day. Scrolling Instagram might feel like escapism, but that addictive infinite scroll blasting your eyes with photo after photo actually stimulates your brain. Instead, set your phone to one side, slip on your PJs and invest some time in your pre-bed grooming regime.
While you can lock yourself away in the bathroom and really indulge in a full cleansing and hydrating routine (something that, if you do have the time, we’d thoroughly recommend, starting with our Light Exfoliator, moving on to our Moisturiser & Serum and ending with a few dabs of our Eye Cream), you don’t have to dedicate as long as, say, half hour to your night-time regime every evening. Our face masks are an excellent ten-minute option. Smooth on one of our three clay-based masks, kick back with a good book and let your
brain unwind while the ingredients get to work. Just try not to fall asleep while you've still got your mask on. Waking up refreshed in the morning is great, but that zen feeling won’t last long if your first job has to be stripping your bed and loading up the washing machine.