Hands up who struggles with sleep from time to time?
I have suffered with the pain that is insomnia many a time over the years. Not sleeping for me is one of the worst things, and so in hope of fixing said insomnia i have tried a whole shed load of sleep aids to try and alleviate those dreaded night times.
Sadly I’m just not one of those people who can run of a couple of hours a night (don’t get me wrong i did when Neo was a wee baba but i think auto pilot kicks in when the baby is born), my husband is excellent at running on little sleep, but me, I am like a broken women when sleep deprived, I can barely function and am a crotchety, cranky mess.
I don’t know about you but the run up to Christmas can also bring bouts of sleepless nights with thoughts constantly whirring around; have i bought the right gifts for so and so, will this or that arrive on time, how will we get around to seeing everyone… It’s a busy old time for our brains which means i am often left lying in bed wide awake, which lets face it, is like some kind of mental torture.
After a particularly bad bout of sleepless nights i started to look in to some remedies that may aid sleep and hopefully tempt it to make an appearance in my nights once again.
The things i’m showing you today are the things that are tried and tested and have definitely helped me to have more nights in the land of nod rather than going stir crazy.
6. Camomile Tea
I’ve been a fan of Seascape since the beginning of the year when i first found their products, which FYI, are all delightful.
After moaning on twitter about my lack of sleep one day it was actually the lovely people at Seascape themselves that suggested i try there Sleep Spray and Sleep Oil. So that’s indeed what i did.
The spray is dispensed in a beautiful fine mist. It can be used as a body mist, which leaves a lovely lingering lavender smell on the skin. I also love to spray my bed linen with the scent which when i put my head to my pillow it fills my senses with the relaxing scent.
Through association this has become my night time scent and when i spray it and go to bed it acts as a trigger to put my mind at ease.
The Sesascape products are all glorious and feel so luxe, perfect for you or for a gift. But if you’re a sleep sufferer like me, definitely try the products.
Valerian Tablets and Magnesium supplements
Valerian tablets were recommended to me by a staff member at Holland & Barrett. I’ve never taken a sleep aid before as the thought of forcing sleep makes me a little nervous, I always worry that i won’t be able to get up and see to Neo, my son, in the morning and so even when i’ve suffered terrible bouts of insomnia, i’ve still just plodded on.
After a particularly arduous week of no sleep i went in to Holland & Barrett (to get the Magnesium.. more on that in a mo) and got chatting to the assistant. She recommended Valerian Tablets for when things were particularly bad. Valerian is a herbal sleep medicine instead of a chemical (like nytol and such) and is a valerian root extract which calms anxiety. This for me is perfect as my sleeplessness usually comes when there’s a lot on my mind. This eases the stresses that whirl around in my head and bring a lull of peace. I take 2 an hour before bed time and they seem to help calm my over active mind.
These are just for short term use, but are an excellent way to help sleep when things are particularly bad.
Magnesium was actually suggested to me by lots of people on Instagram. During a low time i popped on to stories and asked if anyone had any sleep recommendations. Magnesium was one that a lot of people recommended.
I take vitamins every day so to add this to my routine seemed a good idea.
Magnesium helps the muscle and nervous system. It aids the brain in performing what it needs to be doing, and it also helps to calm anxiety. Research shows it can help decrease Cortisol which is the stress hormone that can leave us lying awake at night and calm the muscles in to a relaxed state.
For me this has been one of the most effective additions to my routine. I take the supplement daily and have been sleeping a whole lot better. I forgot to take the magnesium for about a week recently and found my sleep patterns shift one again back to bad habits where i was laying awake and struggling to drift off. After realising i hadn’t been taken the supplement i got straight back on it and found it really did help once again.
Lush Sleepy Lotion
Another product i found people chatting about on twitter with rave reviews. I believe this actually sold out the first time round and they restocked quickly. I went and picked some up when i was in cardiff and was keen to try it when i got home. People have sworn by this product and use it on babies and kids as well as themselves.
The scent is an oatmeal/lavender smell which is rather yummy. The texture is probably my favourite thing. Its a luscious thick viscosity that feels beautiful on the skin and once the cream is absorbed leaves a natural oil feel to the skin that is just divine. This again, has become a part of my evening routine. I slather this on my arms, chest and legs at bed time leaving the smell linger and me feeling relaxed. I’m not sure if this helps sleep on its own, like i said, many people swear by it, but for me its just a really nice moisturiser.
I am not a fruit tea/herbal tea lover.. at all. Coffee or normal tea for me every time, i just can’t take to fruit teas and the likes. But this Camomile is actually nice. The one we have here is the Twinings Camomile and Honey which honestly makes it more of a drinkable tea for me. Me and the husband have our cup of ‘Sleepy Tea’ at about 9 pm and it has a lovely relaxing feeling to drinking this drink. It soothes and puts the mind and body at ease. Its like a warm internal hug.
If we don’t have one before bed we both still feel a little wired when we hit the stairs and go to bed. The teas seems to act as an unwinder, helping to decompress the days doings.
I think aiding sleep is all about creating good bed time routines. Early nights and turning of electrical items (phones, pads etc) really helps. I don’t tend to go on my phone much in the night as i find it even harder to switch off, reading books actually doesn’t help for me as i just want to continue reading the next chapter, and the next. So for me these bed time routines have proven to work and i’m really glad to have put them in place.
Do you have any sleep aids that have helped you? I would love to hear, let me know in the comments below.