Create a kickass bedtime routine
Posted by PR Neom
Nearly 8 in 10 of us worrying about being tired (*yawns*) - and the fact that one of our most hearted quotes on our Instagram has been “Them: Tell me your wildest fantasy. Me: 14 hours sleep” - it’s clear we all know that we need to sleep better, but are we getting the basics right? (Bedtime scroll anyone?). We asked Rob Hobson, nutritionist and author of The Art of Sleeping (and former insomniac) to give us his tips on how to create an easy-peasy bedtime routine.
We are all aware of the very basics, things like avoiding coffee after midday or watching your drinking habits in the evening. I would say the next thing to do is focus on your bedroom and create a space which makes it impossible to not to want to get into bed – fresh bedlinen (we heart Piglet), scented candles, low lighting, pitch black, cool, completely clutter-free, that sort of thing. A calm and cool slumber palace is one of my essentials when it comes to sleep.” Says Rob.
This all sounds very nice, but is it really just down to snuggly sheets and ridding your room of clocks and black out blinds? What about our wellbeing? “Stress and anxiety are the leading causes of sleep deprivation in people from all walks of life.” Says Rob. “This is often compounded by the anxiety felt if you are awake during the night with little time left before you need to get up for the day ahead. Try meditating or using mindfulness apps or a good audio book to help clear your mind and always keep a pad of paper and pen next to your bed to download your thoughts and prepare for the day or week ahead. Even going for a gentle walk before bed can be a good way to help clear your mind and organise your thoughts.”
Kick Ass Sleep Routine
My personal sleep ritual most nights includes:
1. Eat early in the evening and avoid alcohol during the week.
2. Warm bath – followed by getting into cosy PJ’s.
3. Light a lavender candle in the bedroom and spray bedding with sleep spray – also open the window so the room is really cool.
4. Ditch all electrical equipment at least an hour before bed and I even switch my phone off as, really, is there anything that important to have me frantically scrolling through social media that time of night – I think not!
5. Prepare a herbal tea (maybe valerian) or homemade sleepy hot choc (see recipe below).
6. Take about 8 drops of Healthspan’s CBD Night-Time Drops about half an hour before bed which includes chamomile, honey, hops and lemon balm.
7. Get into bed with a good book and make sure the lights are low (I use my Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 bedside light). Sometimes I just bathe my room in the soft glow of the light while getting ready for bed.
Rob’s Sleepy Hot Chocolate
I make my own version of a sleepy hot chocolate some nights by adding cashew nuts, water, raw cacao and a little bit of honey and coconut oil (I like the flavour!) to a blender and blitzing. Cashew nuts and raw cacao are loaded with magnesium which helps to relax the body. Cashew nuts also contain tryptophan which helps to increase melatonin production – this amino acid is more readily taken up into the brain in the presence of carbohydrates so hence the honey.
I love weighted blankets (try www.gravityblankets.co.uk weighted blanket £149) as they make you feel really secure and safe which is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety in bed. Research has shown how weighted blankets also help to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and increase melatonin and serotonin which are hormones and brain chemicals involved in mood and sleep.