Words by Jen Nurick.
Irrespective of the number of times we may yawn in a meeting or wax poetic about just how exhausted we feel on the day, it can be challenging for active minds and bodies to switch off once it’s finally time to reach for the pillow. Fluctuations in seasons and temperatures, social changes at home and at work, and factors of stress and anxiety often reveal themselves instantaneously with the switching off of the lights—like tacky reminders that glow in the dark, making it harder to fall asleep. Alongside our recommendations of things to do when you can’t fall asleep, consider these 7 hacks that take the guesswork out of optimising your shut eye and may hopefully alleviate your sleepless woes.
Supplement your sleep routine
Amongst a wealth of existing research linking the ingestion of particular proteins, bacterias and vitamins—think collagen, probiotics, vitamin C—to improved skin health and overall wellbeing, it’s only logical that sleep supplements would follow suit. Offerings like magnesium and non-psychoactive CBD oils have shown to improve sleep quality and regulate sleep among individuals through repeated use. This holistic approach is mimicked in Dr Barbara Sturm’s—expert in aesthetic medicine-turned-skincare line specialist—latest segue into food supplements, available in daily capsules or Sleep Food that combine age-old remedies like St. John’s Wort, lemon balm extract and passionfruit powder to maximise rest.
Sip your way to sleep
The answers of ancient ancestors, herbal teas have been harvested and used to treat a gamut of human conditions from the reduction of inflammation to curbing insomnia for thousands of years. Teas like chamomile, Valerian root, lavender and lemon balm boast soothing aromatics and healing properties for the alleviation of stress and anxiety, with potential to improve sleep quality. Passionflower and magnolia bark could also do the trick—a potent combination that has been seized upon and distilled into co-founder Elle Macpherson’s vegan, gluten and dairy-free WelleCo offering, Sleep Welle Calming Tea.
Attempt a sleep-focused meditation
Before you skim past this one, try it! Hundreds of meditation apps are now easily available and downloadable for free, with customisable exercises depending on how much time an individual has, preference for a male or female voice, and specific desired outcomes. Apps like Insight Timer lend themselves to time-poor individuals, regular meditators and newcomers, with short exercises designed to aid sleep. A 2018 study conducted by Harvard Medical School found that repeated meditation and mindfulness induced relaxation, improved fatigue and helped to overcome insomnia, reiterating the potential benefits we’ve all heard about before.
Soak in sleep salts
Any excuse to indulge in a bath is surely a sleep hack worth trying. Bath salts or bath bombs have long been associated with increased relaxation, detoxification and the delivery of added moisture to the body. Simultaneous with the sensorial spectacle of the product dissolving—watching as the water turns rose-coloured and floral notes combine with steam—specialised varieties of bath salts and bath bombs may marry immune-boosting ingredients to ward off colds with anti-inflammatory properties to promote healing or alleviate pain. Research has even shown that the act of bathing itself may also increase melatonin—the body’s sleep regulating hormone—often taken as a supplement to aid insomniacs. To incentivise more individuals to make time for the tub, Australian-based Soak Society infused their soaks with lavender and chamomile, producing the Sleep Wellness Soak to promote easy slumber.
Take a nap for your nose
As you ready yourself to climb into your Bed Threads, consider misting your pillows or sheets with a sleep-provoking spray. Think of it as slumber dust—only infused with essential oils and designed to help you maximise those elusive zzz’s. The tried-and-tested Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works combines a heady potion of no brainer ingredients like vetiver, lavender and chamomile that doesn’t assault but rather soothes the senses, incentivising users to dose off and wake up the next day feeling refreshed and well rested.
Concoct nightly elixirs
Perhaps easier for some stomachs to digest than a capsule-formulated supplement, elixirs with bio-fermented blends resolve sleep dysfunction without having to swallow another pill. The Beauty Chef’s Sleep Inner Beauty Powder—easily incorporated into a herbal night cap or chai latte—is formulated with sleep’s hardest workers lemon balm and passionflower as well as naturally-derived sedatives to induce restful sleeping. For an even easier alternative, make The Nue Co.’s Sleep Drops part of your nightly ritual. A half hour before bed, the concentrate of chamomile and Valerian root delivered from a dropper underneath your tongue promises to help restore sleep in individuals and can be maximised with regular intake of magnesium.
Similar to herbal teas, burning candles can help quell mild anxiety and promote an overall sense of relaxation to aid restful sleeping. The simultaneous radiation of light generated by the flame, coupled with the diffusion of smell delivered by scented candles, help to restore calm and generate a sense of warmth and comfort. Our candles—available in Spiced Pear & Oak (boasting fruity notes of apple and woody profiles like cedar) and Fireside (a toasty amalgam of clove and cinnamon bark) make ideal companions for an ambient and rest-friendly sleep sanctuary. These took 30 iterations and months to perfect, and are available here to help you smell your way to peaceful slumber.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.