Sleep Better

How To Sleep Better | The Elgin Avenue Blog

If ever there is a time to sleep better, it’s now.

Good quality sleep helps to heal your body and your mind, and I think at times we’ve all felt a bit frazzled of late!

Sleep is also critical to the function of your organs, helping to regulate everything from your hormones, to your digestion.

I didn’t truly appreciate good sleep until my late twenties, when I was pretty much forced to sleep better since I was experiencing hormonal ups and downs, break-outs and spells of extreme tiredness.

Now that I do appreciate good sleep, oh my word! It’s everything. Why did it take me so long to cotton on?!

If you’re falling into the ‘toss and turn’ category of sleep right now, because let’s face it, there’s a LOT going on in the world, I hope that these tips can help you to sleep better now and in the future too.

How To Sleep Better

How To Sleep Better | The Elgin Avenue Blog

1 – Lower The Temperature Of Your Bedroom

Did you know that you sleep better in a cool room?

Since I always want to feel capital-C-osy when I’m heading to bed, for years I bemoaned Oli wanting to leave the window open!

Turns out though . . . that Oli was right. Sorry Ols!

As SleepAdvisor shares, sleeping in a cold room has many benefits, including:

  • helping you to get to sleep more quickly, since your body is more ‘ready’ to nod off when it cools down
  • encouraging the production of the hormone melatonin, which benefits your sleep
  • aiding distrupted sleepers, since people with insomnia often have warmer body temps

Since I’ve keept our bedroom cooler, I’ve noticed that Oli and I both sleep (generally) really well and deeply.

That being said, I aways make sure that I’m cosy under the sheets. I always wear The White Company cashmere bed socks (so boujis, but so SO worth it) and PJs, and use a good heavy duvet too.

Cool bedroom, warm bed.

Perfect!

2 – Keep Your Bedroom Clean & Clutter-Free

A tidy bedroom = a calm bedroom. And a calm vibe = good sleep. Simple, right ?????!

Keeping on top of your bedroom’s cleanliness is everything.

I do a few things to keep our bedroom clean, and clutter-free – the first being changing the air regularly.

Obviously you can open your bedroom window to circulate the air, but I also use an air purifier to really cleanse the air around us 1 – 2 x a week.

A while back I partnered with Philips to try their Air Purifier. Oli suffers with occasional asthma, and allergies, and since we’ve been using the air purifier he’s not been sneezing or wheezing. The air feels SUPER clean once I’ve done a round with the purifier – I love it!

Aside from the quality of the air around you, clean sheets are a no-brainer. I always sleep SO well when we have fresh sheets on the bed. They feel cool and crisp, and it’s just a dream to bed down into them. (I realise there are lots of unintentional sleep references in that sentence ????).

I’ve popped some of my favourite bed linen brands in #3 btw!

As for clutter – get rid! Our old flat was really higgeldy piggeldy and we had no built-in storage in our bedroom. This meant that every day we were confronted by the sight of ALL of our clothes and posessions, and I just found it so stressful.

Speaking to Konmari consultant Sue Spencer, from A Life More Organised, a while back – I learnt about ‘micro-stressors’. I.e. lots of little stresses (clutter) which create a  LOT of underlying stress. And that’s no good for sleep.

In our current flat we made a point of getting built-in wardrobes and the positive difference is huge.

Now, with the help of our wardrobes, I try to keep our bedroom clean, tidy and as clutter-free as possible. There is honestly nothing that makes me feel happier, and more ready for sleep, than stepping into a cool, clean and clutter-free bedroom. Ahhh so good!

3 – Good Quality Natural-Fibre Bedding

How To Sleep Better | The Elgin Avenue Blog

ON MY BED

Bed Linen: Elizabeth Scarlett c/o | Pillow & Tasselled Throw: Anthropologie (Past Season)

Linen Throw: Himla c/o

Natural-fibre bedding, like cotton, linen or silk, will help to keep you warm in the evening without overhearting.

My favourite brands for bed linen are:

Elizabeth Scarlett – love love love.

Himla – famous for their ‘layering’ pieces, I love this brand so much!

Dusk – classic, chic bedding.

Soak & Sleep – amazing linen pieces, and cool colours.

Tielle Luxury – for hotel quality bedding.

When buying your bedding, think about the overall aesthetic of your room. Do you want a pop of colour? Would something neutral work for your bedroom?

I tend to lean towards stone-y colours, or white, since our bed is a rich deep navy velvet and those hues tend to compliment it.

But I love the look of Geneva, from Collective Gen’s, soft pink bed linen too. Also: bamboo?! I’ve never tried it as a fabric, but thinking, maybe I should?!

4 – Allocate ‘Unwind Time’

Ideally by the time you close your eyes you want to feel relaxed and ready for sleep. That’s where your ‘unwind time’ comes in.

I like to start my ‘unwind time’ around 3-4 hours before I go to bed. Meaning that if I want to be asleep around 10, I need to start to unwinding around 7. And to be honest, with everything that’s going on at the moment, I’m trying to start the process even sooner!

Here’s what my unwind time looks like (the first hour is still ‘work’, but it’s less intense than my working hours in the rest of the day):

6 – close my laptop and finish desk work for the day

6 – 7 – go on Instagram and post/reply to comments/work on client posts

7 – either cook with Oli, or (more realistically – ha!) hang out in the kitchen with Oli while he cooks. I make the G&Ts!

7 – 8 – dinner time together.

8 – 9.30 – TV/hanging out together.

9.30 – 10 – get ready for bed (skincare, PJs, supplements etc)

10 – 10-.30 – read and then lights out.

By the time my ‘unwind time’ is done, my eyes are so heavy and I’m definitely ready for sleep.

5 – Try A Sleep Spray

I’m a BIG fan of a sleep spray or pillow mist. I spritz mine and Oli’s pillow’s every evening, and I swear that it helps us both to fall into a deep sleep.

NEOM just released a new Bedtime Hero Pillow Mist, with chamomile, ylang ylang and cedar wood. It smells incredible!

I also love The White Company’s Sleep Soothing Pillow Mist.

6 – Write Down Any Worries/Niggling Thoughts

If I’ve got a lot on my mind, and I havn’t worked through it, I find it really hard to drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep.

For times when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or I have a lot of things I want to remember, I write it alllll down. Once it’s out on paper it feels like it’s out of my head, and that helps me to sleep better for sure.

For personal thoughts I have a journal, and for work to-dos I have a notebook I write everything down in.

I’ve also heard of people keeping a notepad next to their bed so that they can write things down in the night if they wake up worried. This may be helpful if you’re struggling with anxious thoughts right now.

Also – right before we drift off Oli and I go through ‘our days’, which is our way of sharing:

1 x good thing from the day

1 x a challenge from the day

and 1 x something we’re looking forward to tomorrow

It’s a really simple habit but it’s a way of practicising gratitude, and rounding off the day, whilst looking forward to tomorrow too. I never quite feel like we’ve ‘finished’ our day without sharing those three things.

7 – Be Conscious of Caffeine and Stimulants

I’m begrudgingly including this point since I love multiple cups of coffee in the morning, but I know that if I have lots of caffeine later on in the day it’ll have a negative impact on my sleep.

The same goes for sugar late in the evening, heavy food or too much alcohol. Especially poor-quality wine.

If I want to get a good night’s sleep I know that choosing when, and what, I consume is important.

A note about quality: I really notice that poor-quality alcohol has an impact on my sleep. Sure, I sleep best when I havn’t drunk at all, but realistically I’m not going to avoid alcohol altogether ha! – especially when happy hour is one thing that Oli and I are looking forward to each day right now!

Since lockdown Oli and I have been ordering our wine and beer from local shops – Tosconaccio in Winchester, and The Naked Grape – and we’ve both said how much better we’re feeling for going with quality.

OVERALL

There are many small steps you can take towards a better night’s sleep, from the smallest (clean sheets!) to a complete routine overhaul.

If you’re struggling to nod off right now, I hope that these tips are helpful.

Happy snoozing!

WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?

Do you have a bedtime routine, or other tips for sleeping well? I’d love to know!

Love, Monica x

How To Sleep Better | The Elgin Avenue Blog

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