Sleep, it’s something that most of us would like more of, but finding the time to catch the six to nine hours that doctors recommend can be a difficult balancing act.
In fact, we’re slowly becoming a nation desperate for more rest. A report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) found that ‘‘the UK public is under-sleeping by an average of almost an hour every night – which amounts to losing an entire night’s sleep over the course of a week.’’ That’s quite a lot of shut eye to catch up on!
Aside from a short temper and difficulty focusing at work, lack of sleep can also contribute to a number of health issues. While there are factors we can’t change, there are things we can do to improve the quality of the sleep we do get, and setting a relaxing bedtime routine can help you to switch off and sleep a little deeper.
Soak it off
A hot bath about two hours before bed can help you to unwind. The drop in body temperature after a long hot soak mimics the temperature drop that happens naturally before sleep.
Lush Spa therapist Emma Logan says: “A hot bath before bed encourages a great night’s sleep and prepares the body for bedtime as it relaxes the muscles and helps to reconnect the mind and body.”
Try a facial massage
Tension builds up in our face muscles throughout the day, so a facial massage can not only help to lull us into a soporific state, it also increases blood flow to the skin, making it look tighter and brighter.
Emma explains: “Massage can help to relax tense facial muscles, clear sinuses and relieve headaches. The skin works hard throughout the night to renew skin cells, so massage supports this. Any products you use during the process can also promote repair and renewal.”
Using aromatic products while massaging can boost the soothing effects of the massage, Emma says: “Oils such as lavender, ylang ylang, chamomile and sandalwood can promote sleep and relaxation, look out for these ingredients in products.”