I wanted to recommend some products to you that have been helping me to get a longer and more comfortable sleep at night. I’ve also spoken to a sleep expert to get you all of the best tips for making your sleep the best it can possibly be. Sleep is essential to our health and our sanity. It’s what allows us to function at our best the following day and helps us to deal with lockdown stress. Let’s improve it!The Fine Bedding Company Night Owl Duvet in Dusk Pink* – £55 from The Fine Bedding Co
The Fine Bedding Company Goose Feather & Down Pillow* – £28 from The Fine Bedding Co
My new duvet from The Fine Bedding Company is the best i’ve had. It’s huge (definitely bigger than a normal King Size) and feels like a big fluffy cloud. It’s very lightweight, but warm too. This duvet is special as it’s designed to be coverless – you can roll it up and put it in the washing machine and it dries in just 90 minutes!
I’ve also been loving my new pillows from The Fine Bedding Company. They are heavy and luxurious – you head can sink into them like you’d expect with a feather pillow. You get great support and are so comfortable.Lush Twilight Shower Jelly – £5.50 from Lush
The galactic delight is the new Twilight Shower Jelly. It has the same scent as all Lush Twilight/Sleepy products – that gorgeous, deep Lavender and Tonka Bean blend. This is so fun to use – you basically treat the jelly a bit like a bar of soap, lathering it between your hands and spreading that lather all over your body. You then just pop it back in its tub until next time. You are beautifully cleansed and get a really relaxing aromatherapy experience too.Lush Ceridwen’s Cauldron – £5.95 from Lush
This is like a solid butter/oil/milk bar incased in a muslin wrap. It’s supposed to be for the bath and it melts as it floats around, but I love it for the shower as a gentle exfoliator and skin moisturiser. I hold it under the hot water until it softens, then massage it over my decolletage and arms to exfoliate and moisturise at the end of a shower. When it softens it releases soothing and softening oak milk. It’s also made with cocoa butter, which my skin loves. The scent of this is very subtle, but it’s definitely relaxing – a blend of lavender, rose absolute, frankincense and sandalwood.Lush Sleep Shower Bomb – £2.75 from Lush
This has the same lavender and tonka bean scent as the rest of the Twilight/Sleepy range. This is such a cool product and it’s more about the senses and the aromatherapy than the skin benefits. You take this little cloud into the shower and hold it under the water to release it’s heavenly, sleepy scent. The little cloud will dissolve, enveloping you in clouds of relaxing scent. You can rub the foam over your skin as it contains exfoliating oatmeal.Lush Sleepy Massage Bar – £8 from Lush
The same gorgeous, sleep-inducing scent as above; but now in massage bar form. I was so excited when I spotted this. I love Lush massage bars and they were definitely missing this one! I keep this next to my bed at night and massage it into my decolletage and arms before I go to sleep. My skin loves the cocoa butter, shea butter and marula oil blend ans my senses love the lavender, chamomile, tonka and benzoin fragrance blend. Softening, moisturising, soothing and relaxing!Neom Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist – £20 from Neom
I do love a pillow mist and I have several favourites, but at the moment i’ve been using this one from Neom. A classic favourite of mine. I like to spray this on my pillows and pyjamas before bed and it really helps me to wind down as I read my book. It’s a blend of 14 essential oils – 100% natural fragrances – and it’s smells divine. It’s principal scents are lavender, chamomile and patchouli and it always helps to send me to sleep.Pen Heaven Personalised Palmi Large Refillable Grained Leather Journal* – £29.90 from Pen Heaven
I find that keeping a journal by my bed really helps to get me back to sleep if I wake up during the night, thinking about things that I need to do. If I allow myself to put my Lumie light on a touch and write down the tasks i’m thinking about, this satisfies my brain and allows me to fall back to sleep as I know the list will be waiting for me in the morning. This is such a stylish leather journal that you can have personalised with embossing. You can also remove the cover and refill it with a blank journal when you’ve filled this one.
I had a chat on all things sleep with Dr Tim Bond from Dragonfly CBD. CBD oil helps me sleep when i’m in pain with my Fibromyalgia. It has been a god-send. I haven’t included a CBD product in this post as I have recently recommended some that I love. Really knowing the effects of CBD oil meant I was so happy to be able to chat with Dr Tim Bond from Dragonfly CBD.
What are the main causes of people not being able to fall asleep or having trouble staying asleep?
Not being able to fall asleep is often due to stress, anxiety and worries which are more common during this period of the pandemic. Money, fear about losing your job or your housing creates a great deal of worry. Other causes include problems with where you sleep, if you feel uncomfortable or if you are easily disturbed. Being a parent or carer, working shifts, or if you suffer pain due to a health condition can also contribute to poor sleep quality. Any mental health condition such as depression can have an effect also.
Having trouble staying asleep can be caused by the same things. Worry, pain and stress can cause you to wake in the middle of the night. Whilst you might find a small amount of alcohol can help you drop off to sleep, alcohol can actually cause disrupted sleep later in the night. Similarly, eating and drinking caffeinated drinks before bedtime can cause difficulty in both falling asleep and staying asleep. Long naps in the afternoon can also make it harder to sleep all night through.
Is having a consistent bedtime routine helpful?
In a word, yes. A consistent bedtime – both when you go to bed and when you get up – is helpful as your body clock gets used to regularity. A routine can be helpful too. If you want a drink before bed try a herbal or fruit tea like chamomile or red bush. Close down your screens a couple of hours before bed unless it’s something relaxing and soothing you are doing. It’s the same with books – don’t read fast paced, exciting books at bedtime.
How important is someone’s sleep environment?
This is so very important. Make sure it’s comfortable. Your bed, mattress and your bed coverings should be clean and comfortable. If you live on a noisy street, and have the choice of rooms, go for a bedroom away from the traffic. Open windows can help you sleep but not if you live on a noisy polluted street. It’s important that your bedroom is neither too warm nor too cold. Some people prefer to sleep with no central heating on and gain warmth from a thick duvet.
What other things can people do to relax before bed and help their brains to switch off?
Have a warm bath or shower an hour or so before bed; this will raise your body temperature immediately but after an hour your temperature will fall, which helps sleep. If you are working at home during the pandemic, remove your laptop from your bedroom (if that’s where you have to work) and put it out of sight so you won’t be tempted to answer emails in the middle of the night!
One thing that can keep us awake at night and cause anxiety before we go to bed, stopping our brains from switching off, are the thoughts that go through our heads about the next day or week that is coming up. Sometimes it can be the trying to remember them that actually keeps us from switching off properly. Keep a notepad handy and jot down any thoughts that come into your head as you get ready for bed. Plus, a few drops of Dragonfly CBD oil ticks the boxes for a lot of people looking for good quality slumber.
Similarly, if you can’t sleep or you wake in the middle of the night, write your way back to sleep if you are worrying about the things you have to do tomorrow. Get up, make a list of things you have to do tomorrow and try to put that list to bed. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to get up if you can’t sleep, as tossing and turning can makes things worse. Try some soothing music for half an hour and a decaffeinated drink if you do get up.
How does CBD oil help with sleep and anxiety?
A good quality, seed to shelf, evidence backed CBD oil like Dragonfly CBD has been shown in trials to help with both sleep and anxiety. Taking a few drops as part of a daily regime helps you to feel relaxed as well as giving you better quality sleep.The World Health Organization has recognised that CBD may have the potential to help health issues sleep issues like insomnia, as well as anxiety, which can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
A 2020 New Zealand trial conducted in general practice amongst 397 people prescribed CBD oil found that taking CBD oil was associated with improvements in anxiety and depression, better sleep, improvements in pain (where they had pain) and improvements in overall quality of health.
CBD oil helps sleep and anxiety by causing moderate sedation through an action at the CBD receptors (small structure on body cells) which are found throughout the body, including the brain. Interacting with this receptor influences electrical transmission in the nerves. CBD doesn’t contain any of the elements of cannabis that gets you high. However, there’s a new cannabinoid on the market, Delta-8, that’s synthesised from CBD but does contain some of the THC elements of cannabis that do produce a small ‘high’. CBD oil must not contain more than 0.2% THC to be legally sold in the UK. Other countries have different and more relaxed laws. Delta-8 is not something i’ve ever tried. The site mrhempflower.com is a good place to get more information. It’s important you choose a type of CBD or cannabinoid for you – one that’s legal, regulated, safe for you and of high quality – for example, it’s difficult to make pure Delta THC, so putting in a lot of research is important.
Where can people go for help if their inability to sleep has become a serious issue?
Talk to others – friends and family, in the first instance. Going to your GP may be necessary if you are really suffering from insomnia and the above tips don’t work. Your GP may give you similar advice to the above. These days GPs are less likely to prescribe medication as this can cause side effects (sometimes sedation into the next day) and it can be difficult for you to stop once you’ve started. However, some GPs have sleep related clinics or self-help groups that they can recommend which may be very helpful.
This post contains press samples, but all opinions are my own.
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