Five Grooming Products To Help You Sleep Better
Sleeping soundly is not something I’ve ever been particularly good at, and the past few months certainly haven’t helped. Now that many of us are working from home or, to put it another way, living in the office, our inability to switch off has been exacerbated. A Harvard report in April warned that, as the pandemic raged and people were forced out of their natural rhythms and routines, sleep problems were becoming increasingly severe, in turn exasperating physical, but particularly, mental health issues. It goes without saying that persistent or acute insomnia warrants medical attention, but if your tossing and turning is more of a nuisance, these tips and tricks may help.
01. Get into essential oils
Essential oils aren’t just for patchouli-perfumed hippies. London-based brand anatomē, headed by Mr Brendan Murdock of the Murdock London grooming brand, is on a mission to rehabilitate the reputation of these potent elixirs by adopting a bespoke approach. The brand’s Recovery + Sleep oil is a blend of 22 essential oils, all hand-picked for their soporific effects. In the mix, there are three distinct versions of lavender – renowned for its relaxing properties – as well as calming clary sage, blue camomile and frankincense. Dab a few drops on your pulse points about 15 minutes before hitting the hay.
02. Improve your sleep hygiene
There is no evidence to suggest that slapping a layer of cream on your face will help you sleep better, so don’t think of Grown Alchemist Age-Repair Sleep Masque as a magic potion that will transport you to the land of nod. What is effective, however, is establishing a bedtime routine. Commonly referred to as sleep hygiene, the idea that you prepare your body for rest with a ritual of calming activities – lighting a candle, reading a book or, yes, investing some quality time in your skincare regimen – is an effective means of helping you drift off. Plus, there’s the promise of a silky-smooth complexion come daybreak, which certainly helps.
03. Up your magnesium levels
For those who suffer from restless nights, magnesium might be the missing ingredient in your regimen. The mineral works hand in hand with melatonin (aka the sleep hormone) to regulate neurotransmitters and calm the nervous system. Studies show that magnesium can be particularly useful for those who suffer from restless leg syndrome because it can ease muscle tension. The bad news is a lot of us don’t get enough of it from our diet, so a supplement is often the next best thing. The good news is it can be absorbed through the skin, which is where magnesium-infused bath salts or sprays, such as The Nue Co. Magnesium Ease, come in. Massage a few spritzes into your legs or arms before bed. If you feel a slight sting upon application, that’s usually a sign that your reserves are low.
04. Take a sleep supplement
Even if you’ve always slept soundly, the science of falling asleep and, indeed, staying asleep is a complicated one. It requires the right balance of hormones, chemicals and condition, and if just one of them is off, it can lead to a less than restful night. Popping a pill shouldn’t be your first resort, but natural remedies can do the trick. Valerian root, one of the key ingredients in Dr. Barbara Sturm Sleep Food, has been used for centuries to induce slumber and studies show it promotes feelings of relaxation and calm. The capsules also contain St John’s wort, a herb that has been shown to be effective in regulating and lifting mood, and 5-Htp, an amino acid that helps to produce serotonin, which contributes to wellbeing and happiness. As with all supplements, if you have a history of depression or anxiety or are taking medication, you should consult your doctor before taking them.
05. Try neroli oil in your bath
Judging by the response to our recent baths vs shower debate, there may be no convincing some that a soak in the tub will help you sleep. But take it from the experts, who say a warm bath about an hour and a half before bed can trick your body into feeling drowsy. How does it work? Counter-intuitively, the hot water alters your core body temperature, which starts to drop once you’ve dried off. As it falls, it stimulates melatonin production, a vital ingredient in sounder sleep. To really dial up the decadence, add a few drops of Czech & Speake Neroli Moisturising Bath & Body Oil as you’re running the bath. It’s infused with neroli, which is prized for it’s anxiety-reducing properties.