Can’t get your beauty sleep? Here’s how to get a good night’s rest
Add a fragrant product or two to your sleep routine and relax
Few of us are getting enough deep, untroubled sleep at the moment. Photograph: iStock
Can anyone sleep at the moment? Good sleep, I mean; the deep, untroubled sleep of the sanguine. The sort of sleep that is most familiar to small children and cats, their mouths open in a soft “o” (perhaps less so in the case of cats). The sort of sleep they awake from is not just restorative, but resurrective. Fresh, sparkly eyed (the babies) and hungry for desiccated meat kibbles (the cats), they settle back into the day untroubled.
Most of us are not sleeping this way lately.
A sleep routine will help. You don’t necessarily have to spend money on nice, fragrant products (though I recommend several below if you’re inclined). Some of them may enhance your bedtime; you won’t need all, or you may be rather overwhelmed by fragrance.
A series of routine actions to signal to your brain that it’s time to start winding down may prevent pillow panic. You know it – when you can’t relax enough to sleep, or you awake in the night fretting to the point of a sweat about bills, or that time 14 years ago that someone reached out to open a door for you and you took their hand. You took it, you complete idiot! (I think about that incident pretty regularly. Reader, I took the hand.)
Showering at night can be a good first step. It relaxes the muscles, and This Works Deep Sleep Shower Gel (€22 at Arnotts) uses the usual olfactory suspects – lavender and chamomile among them – to slow a racing mind.
I find myself more inclined toward sleep when I’m clean, warm and have put my phone in a Tupperware container (with the lid on) in the bread bin. Occasionally I’ll take it out to listen to an audiobook – a nice one, mind, nothing about murder or apocalyptic desolation – while I shower.
On a particularly nerve-jangling evening, I might employ a nice face mask before the shower. Lush Beauty Sleep Mask (from €16 for 125g at Lush) contains several calming, fragrant ingredients, but it also contains a heap of moisturisers in case you can’t be bothered with skincare on a given night.
Now, you might be a candle-in-the-bedroom, or a candle-in-the-bathroom person. Either way if you’re like me, you’ll have no truck with an insipid candle. I want a high-quality fragrance, and I don’t want a headache, thank you. Wherever you put it, the cosy woody, smoky notes of the new Ptolemy Aromatique Candle from Aesop (€90 at Aesop.com) are intense but smooth and calming.
Hand cream at night is best, as it has hours to soak in and work. Aromatherapy Associates Rose (€26 at Space NK) is sumptuous, and smells like real roses. Need I say any more?
Finally, a spritz of pillow mist is lovely. Will it solve all your problems? It will not. However, if you close out your sleep routine with a fragrant mist on your pillow each night, you might trick your mutinous brain into switching off at a whiff of it. Max Benjamin Pillow Mist (€30 at maxbenjamin.ie) is potent, soothing, and Irish.