My resolution this year is to go back to basics and be better at the simple things - sleeping, eating and moving. I truly believe that this can make us happier, healthier and more able to achieve our greatest desires.
Terrifyingly, two thirds of adults claim that they are sleep deprived and experts say regularly getting less than seven hours a night can seriously affect our health, concentration, productivity, and appearance. The health and beauty of our hair and skin, of course, relies on good sleep too.
Here are my top ten tips for sleeping better so you can look and feel fabulously refreshed and alert.
- Stop all tech-related activity 60 minutes before bed, especially using devices that omit stimulating blue light. Oh and absolutely never take them to bed! The bedroom is for sleeping reading and romance.
- Deep sleep or REM, which makes up about 20 percent of our time in bed, is very beneficial for our health. Sadly not everyone achieves it. Lowering stress levels, avoiding alcohol, snoring partners (!), uncomfortable beds and overheated bedrooms will help.
- 90 minutes before bed start lowering the lights – Quiet and darkness stimulate the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Establish a sleep routine and repeat it every day – These habits tell our brains and bodies that it’s time to turn off. I personally take a bath, wash my face, brush and floss my teeth, and do some reading. Meditation helps many people too.
- Stop drinking caffeine after 3pm and always avoid alcohol in the hour before bed.
- Our bodies like habit - Try to keep your bed and wake up times the same every day where possible. It’s tempting to sleep more at the weekend but don't. This upsets our body clocks and will actually make you feel less rested.
- Regular exercise promotes good sleep. We were built to move but many of our modern jobs involve sitting for hours, so making extra effort is essential. My office is at the top of 8 flights of stairs and I often have to run up and down them (usually in heels) many times a day. I love pilates and yoga and have a very energetic little boy who I chase after a lot.
- Breathing properly can reduce stress, improve sleep quality and enhance our physical and mental health. Download Pranayama and Headspace apps to try it.
- Visualisation helps clear and calm the mind. Imagine a shining light and beginning at the top of your head envision it scanning down your body to your toes where negativity departs through your feet.
- Essential oils are one of the most powerful and proven natural remedies to help aid sleep. I spray This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £18 onto my pillow at night. It's a powerful blend of Lavender, Vetiver and Wild Camomile.