• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Scotland Connected

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Better Sleep

We’re all aware of the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, however for many it isn’t as simple as just getting into bed and nodding off. 

Sleep is just as crucial for our health and wellbeing as oxygen and water, but the busyness of modern life can make it nigh on impossible for most of us to achieve a full night of quality beauty sleep. Whether it’s worrying about the cost-of-living crisis, a new season of your favourite Netflix series or stressing about work, you’re not alone. According to The Sleep Charity, 40% of people in the UK suffer with sleep issues and don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours per night. 

Claire Logan from boutique bath, body and home fragrance brand, ARRAN Sense of Scotland, shares her top tips on giving your bedtime routine a major makeover for the new year to help calm, relax and prepare for that all-important snooze, as well as sleep-busting products that can help improve the quality of your ZZZs. 

Keep to a Sleep Routine 

Routine is a great place to start when you’re trying to improve your sleep. First, figure out when you want to wake up, and work back from there. You should be aiming for between 7-9 hours a night to boost your circadian rhythm and get a properly restorative sleep. 

Try to get up at the same time every day where possible, including weekends. Being consistent with your sleep schedule helps to reinforce your body’s sleep / wake cycle. If you don’t fall asleep within a reasonable time – around 20 minutes or so – get up and do something to relax yourself rather than getting frustrated, which can be counter-productive. Go back to bed when you feel ready for sleep but try to keep to your scheduled wake-up time. 

It’s also important to think about your activities before bed and incorporate these into your sleep routine. Certain activities like high impact exercise, watching TV or learning a new skill, can be mental stimulants, not only keeping you awake for longer but also reducing the quality of your sleep. Swapping them out for something more therapeutic – think restorative yoga, breathing exercises, meditation and reading – sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to wind down and switch off. 

Avoid going to bed feeling hungry or too full as this can affect the quality of your sleep. Limit alcohol and caffeine as the stimulation they provide can take hours to wear off – alcohol may make you feel sleepy at first but can disrupt sleep later on in the night. 

Wash the Day Away 

Life can get busy so it’s important to destress and relax at the end of every day to improve your sleep. Start your evening routine by washing the day away with either a bath or shower – Claire’s advice is to try to make time for a relaxing bath before bed at least once a week. Hot baths are known to reduce blood pressure and it’s also thought that a good sweat from a hot bath can burn as many calories as taking a walk, a brilliant added bonus. 

Adding in the right products will enhance your bath time experience, so try a detoxifying face mask and heavenly scented bath salts. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes to allow the healing and relaxing properties to really take effect. 

Transform ordinary bathing into a ritual bath, a ceremony for clearing toxic energy and letting go of anything that isn’t serving you. You can use your bath to help set new intentions. Focus on what’s troubling you and add in fragrances that will help to deal with that – think Lavender and Chamomile for relaxing, and citrus aromas for lifting spirits and rejuvenating. 

You can also try writing your troubles down and burning them with a candle – a physical symbol of letting go – before getting into the bath to cleanse and rejuvenate. 

Create a Bedroom Sanctuary 

One of the absolute best things you can do to reduce stress and promote good sleep is to create a space that is dedicated to relaxation. Making your bedroom strictly a sleep sanctuary is a great way to sleep train your brain. If you don’t have the time or budget for a full refresh, here are some quick and affordable update ideas. 

Start by clearing the clutter. Less is definitely more when creating a bedroom sanctuary. It’s much easier to fully relax in a space without clutter; a minimalist style is key for engendering a serene and calm environment without over-stimulating the brain. Banish light-emitting electronic devices that are proven to be disruptive to sleep. 

Add some clean crisp bed linens in classic white for a luxury hotel feel. Channel tranquil vibes when thinking about bathroom décor – neutrals, pale blues and serene greens are known to promote a soothing atmosphere, whilst nature-inspired colours such as earthy browns, soft greys and sage greens give off an organic and calming effect.  

One of the easiest things you can do is throw open the window and let in some fresh air each day. You can also try adding air purifying plants to help focus your mind. Easy to care for plants, such as succulents, are great for adding a touch of colour as well as being decorative and helping to create a healthy environment. 

Introduce scented candles; a de-stress double whammy of calming fragrance and soft, ambient lighting. If you’re worried about naked flames, then diffusers will have the same effect and you can add in the mood lighting with fairy lights or a dimmer lamp. 

Another thing to try is a pillow or linen spray made from organic or natural ingredients – simply spritz on bedding, soft furnishings or towels when required. A pillow spray or pulse point oil can help to both reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality. 

Some Sleep Essentials Ideas to Try 

  • Upgrade your bedtime beauty regime with a pure silk pillowcase to improve fine lines and wrinkles by allowing your evening skincare to soak in and fighting frizzy bed-hair by reducing static 
  • Weighted blankets can help reduce stress by mimicking the feeling of a hug 
  • Stimulate extreme darkness with a sleep mask to promote restorative rest
  • Get some extra peace with ear plugs to block out noises which may disturb sleep
  • Try a sleep app to help you drift off
  • Track your sleep patterns with a sleep tracker
  • Listen to a gentle guided meditation
  • Try Yoga Nidra to help you focus on a deeper state of consciousness
  • Sip a herbal tea containing holistic herbs such as Chamomile, Valerian, Lemon Balm and Lavender before bedtime
  • Invest in a sunrise alarm clock which starts to gently illuminate 30 minutes before your alarm time and slowly brightens to wake you up more naturally 

ARRAN Sense of Scotland creates bath, body and home fragrance collections inspired by and proudly made on the Isle of Arran. For three decades, the family-run company has been creating vibrant, evocative scents from its Home Farm factory – an old dairy farm near the historic Brodick Castle. Inspired not only by the breath-taking scenery of Arran, but its deep-rooted ability to make any visitor relax and reset as soon as they step off the ferry. From the freshwater spring to a pinch of seasoned gorse, there’s a bit of Arran in every single product.