These clever calmers never fail to help me drift off.
And so to bed, as Samuel Pepys was accustomed to writing at the end of his diary entries. As it turns out, writing before sleep is proven to aid the nodding-off process – though apparently it’s to-do lists rather than memoirs that work their magic.
On a different tack, sleep is one of those issues that rather obsesses beauty brands and a raft of related products is available – though remember that no matter how many you use they’ll be of limited help if you’re watching TV, checking emails and generally overstimulating your brain before bed. So here are my fail-safes – no need to use them all at the same time!
Before you do anything, light a JoGB Living SloJo Relaxing Candle (£65, jogbliving.com). I know this is pricier than some but it’s so well fragranced you don’t need to burn it for long and the aroma will scent a room for hours after you’ve blown it out. It smells glorious (a calming blend of patchouli, lavender, geranium and cedarwood) and is made in the UK from soy wax and rapeseed oil.
To the bath. Top choice here is Mio Liquid Yoga Restorative Bath Soak (from £6.50 for 50ml, mioskincare.co.uk). This is a classic and seriously effective for unwinding – full of relaxing magnesium-rich Epsom salts and great-smelling essential oils including lemon peel and cypress leaf. Also a classic is Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil (£49 for 55ml, aromatherapyassociates.com), which boasts camomile, sandalwood and vetiver essential oils. This is pourable relaxation and leaves skin feeling great.
Then there’s face care. Add into your skincare routine a spritz of super-hydrating Balance Me Beauty Sleep Hyaluronic Mist (£20 for 45ml, balanceme.com), which also contains hemp extract to help the de-stress process. And I’ve recently discovered Scientia Dusk Elixir (£32 for 50ml, scientiabeauty.com), a blend of 23 natural oils to use at night-time to hydrate the skin and, thanks to notes of frankincense, ylang ylang and lavender, help to still the mind.
Don’t forget the body: Lush Sleepy Body Lotion (from £9 for 95g, uk.lush.com) is made from organic cocoa butter with notes of lavender, oat milk and sweet tonka and will totally help you to drift off.
And then to bed. Spritz your pillowcases with some This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (from £19.50 for 75ml, thisworks.com). It’s the usual shut-eye-inducing blend – lavender, vetiver, camomile – but sometimes it’s nicer to nuzzle into the aroma than wear it. It’s cosseting and comforting. Or dab pulse points with Badger Sleep Balm (from around £7 for 21g, amazon.co.uk), an organic product with rosemary, bergamot, balsam and lavender to clear and relax your mind and aid a good night’s sleep.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson