There's no need for us to lecture you about the importance of getting enough sleep. There are plenty of scaremongering headlines out there to do that for us. However, it's rare that anyone speaks about the joys of the pre-bedtime process. Plus, if you're like me and struggle to get enough shut-eye, creating positive associations with your bedroom becomes even more important. After all, there's nothing better than looking forward to slipping under the covers after a long day at work. It's really the best form of (for want of a better phrase) "self-care" there is.
On a wider scale, the fact that many of us are now working from home has meant that the days blend together, and so keeping this time sacred is a priority. When you're waking, working, eating and sleeping in the same space, it can be harder to create routine, maintain a work-life balance and leave your to-do list at the desk.
Personally, I think it's the small things that help to transition my brain and body and make hitting the hay a more enjoyable time of day. Of course, everyone is different, and what works for one person won't work for the next. However, to give you a bit of inspiration, I've listed the items that give me a little bedtime boost. From pretty pyjamas and cosy slippers to good books and scented candles, scroll down to see my edit.
Changing out of your daytime clothes is a great way to transition out of a work mindset and into your pre-bedtime routine. It might just be me, but owning a few "nicer" pairs can help me to look forward to chilling before bed, but then again, I am a fashion editor. See my faves below.
I don't have an extensive beauty nighttime beauty regime. However, I love to save those weekly pampering moments for when I'm getting cosy after dinner. Sarah Chapman's face steamer plus a sheet mask is my at-home answer to a facial. Yes, the former is expensive, but you'll get far more use out of it long-term than an expensive moisturiser or two. It's all about that cost per use.
I can't sleep without a face mask, and a silk one feels so nice on your skin as you drift off. I also recommend the Headspace app for when you're experiencing pillow-induced overactive brain (yep, every night). Oh, and socks, because no one likes having cold feet.
I'm a big reader, and as someone who tries to avoid screens before bed, I prefer getting stuck in a good book. It's the perfect way to get me to chill out. During times of uncertainty, I always turn to Harry Potter for ultimate escapism, and every night I'll usually read a chapter after my "grown-up" book of choice. Fleishman Is in Trouble is my latest fave. Next up? It has to be Looking for Eliza by journalist Leaf Arbuthnot, which I'm pre-ordering for its May release.
They say that setting the right tone for your bedroom is vital for good quality sleep. For me, that means nice sheets, a cosy blanket to curl up in (essential for reading) and a Jo Malone candle—velvet rose and oud is my go-to.
Let's face it: Fashion girls are obsessed with loungewear right now, and luckily, there's plenty of affordable iterations out there. I'm sticking to a greyscale colour palette with H&M's cashmere knit and Whistles' knitted joggers, then finishing off with John Lewis's oh-so-cozy open-toe slippers.