My relationship with sleep is more complicated than a Kardashian pre nup. Sometimes I under sleep, sometimes I over think. Full disclosure: I am exceedingly jealous of those simple creatures who can fall asleep on airplanes and drop off mid dinner party.
If I get a full eight hours shut eye I feel on top of my game – together, in control, ready to bring it. Sleep badly and the opposite is true, I am cranky, anxious and think I’m going to under perform – so I do.
After the hideousness that is early parenthood (oh those 5.30am starts) I now have teenagers that sleep till midday. Trouble is, thanks to hormones and life, I’m now sometimes awake at 4am staring at the ceiling.
So how do I counter this? By creating a sleep ritual. Here’s what works for me…
Columbia Care Broad Spectrum 10% CBD SoftGel Capsules 30 Capsules, £39.95
No, don’t call the police. Totally legal, these cannabis-based supplements are free from THC (the trippy bit). I take one before bedtime in the hope that it will calm my brain, induce sleep and chill me the hell out.
I like this one from Columbia Care because it’s created from 100% organic, naturally sourced hemp, is simple to take and doesn’t have any, er, negative effects on my system. You might want to know the product is science-driven, plant based and uses the whole of the plant. Peace out people.
READ MORE CBD and sleep, why they’re a good fit.
Neom Bedtime Hero Magnesium Body Butter, £36.40
I used to take this sleep-inducing mineral in pill form. When I forgot to take them, I noticed a real difference in the quality of my sleep. I’m averse to taking too many tablets though, and as the skin can absorb magnesium, I now use Neom’s Hydrating Magnesium Body Butter to get my daily dose instead.
Not only does it work to help encourage sleep, it’s also a hard working body cream. The gloopy formula sinks in and makes limbs look gleaming and hydrated. Oh and did I say it smells incredible too.
Superdrug Soft Foam Ear Plugs, £1.89
So simple. So cheap. So life changing. These have got me through many a noisy night. I like the foamy squishy ones best.
I was a bit hesitant to bring them out in front of my boyfriend because they are not exactly sexy. But then neither am I if I don’t get enough shut eye.
In my long relationship with them I’ve learnt one very important thing – you must not use them again and again and again because it is unsanitary and an ear infection could result. (I can’t imagine who would do such a thing?)
The Archers Podcast, Free
I don’t widely publicise my addiction to the goings on in Ambridge because it’s hardly rock n roll. But I find that pottering around my bedroom, brushing my teeth and taking off my make-up whilst listening to the podcast it is a really great decompressor.
The programme is perfectly pitched. The storylines are gripping enough for me to forget my worries, but not so dramatic to get my mind racing.
For my night time routine I need to deploy the world’s greatest invention, AirPods, because strangely my teens don’t want to listen to The Archers too. Philistines.
Sian Esther Red Striped Short Pyjama Set, £95
I love crisp, cotton PJs. I prefer shorts sets like these classic red striped ones, because then if I get hot I can kick off the covers and immediately get cooling air to my limbs.
I used to sleep in a rag bag of old t-shirts and pants but putting on a nice ironed pair (get me) makes me feel in control of my life. Cotton fabrics are essential because they are breathable and thus help when the temperature rises (internally and externally).
B Silent Night Time Bath Concentrate, £72
For all the troubled sleepers out there, this should be on prescription. One word. Divine.
The B Silent Night Bath Time Concentrate from Bamford smells like the most pampering spa, makes skin feel soft and hydrated and is seriously sleep inducing. The beauteous bottle contains essential oils of lavender, camomile and vetiver
I put a few drops under the running water – which helps to disperse it in the bath – and sink in. There’s an instant feeling of calm. The fall in body temperature after you climb out of the warm water also helps to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.