January was an awful month for my sleep pattern. I strangely woke at 4am every morning, without fail, and at the time I didn’t understand why. I knew I was a little more stressed than usual, but why was I waking at exactly the same time every day? And then I figured it out.
My tax bill was due and I hadn’t filed my accounts.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t going to do it (honest), I just kept putting it off (and off) until it built up into such a mammoth task that clearly my subconscious was like, “OK Kate, you’re not going to get a decent night’s sleep until you get on top of this.” And would you Adam and Eve it … as soon as I filed them, paid my tax (all on time) I slept like a baby.
But you can see how sensitive I am to stress and the first thing that is affected is always my sleep. The second thing is my diet, but I’ll come onto that another time. (Hello weight gain.) So when Feather & Down got in touch and asked if I’d like to try out their Pillow Spray I bit their metaphorical hand off.
I’ve used a pillow spray before and loved it, but it was really expensive and I just couldn’t afford to keep buying it. This spray from Feather & Down is a very reasonable £7, so, providing it works, I’ll be happy to invest in that. Also, compared to the This Works Deep Pillow Spray (£18), it’s a significant saving of 61%. Oh, and you can only buy the Feather & Down range either from their website or from Boots.
I’ve been using the spray for a week now and can honestly say that I love it. It has a beautiful lavender and camomile scent but isn’t too overpowering, and it reminds me of the type of smell you get when you go for a massage at a posh spa. I always manage to fall asleep easily but I’m finding I’m not waking up as early so there’s definitely something to it. I tend to also spritz a bit around the room in the hour leading up to bedtime so as I’m chilling in bed watching TV, I’m breathing it in.
Anyway, it’s National Bed Month so I thought this post would be quite apt, especially if you struggle with sleep like I’ve done in the past. So here are my top five tips for a great night’s sleep.
1. Leave technology downstairs
If, like me, you’re on your laptop all the time, even if it is for work, leave it downstairs when you go to bed. I’m naughty and often take it to bed with me and find that my brain is whirring away a lot more as I’m surfing the net, watching TV, chatting with friends … and now I’ve stupidly installed Whatsapp on my laptop (yup, only just realised that’s a thing), and now there’s no getting away from chatting online. So do as I say and not as I do and leave that laptop downstairs. I’d suggest leaving your phone downstairs too but let’s face it, that’s just ridiculous.
2. Have a hot bath
“Have a hot bath” is my advice to most problems to be honest. Stressed? Have a hot bath! Man troubles? Hey, have a hot bath! Cramps? Hot bath. Bored? Cold? Hungry? A hot bath solves everything, am I right?
3. Make your room smell nice
I’ve explained why a pillow spray works for me, but I also use a lavender plugin so I’m double lavendered. Feather & Down also sent me a body wash and sleep balm, which I rub onto my pulse points after my bath and before bed. Basically, if I am ever to get a boyfriend again, they’re going to have to like lavender as much as I do.
I don’t read nearly enough but whenever I do, it sends me to sleep every single time. And I’m not talking reading a chapter. I’m talking reading two pages. I don’t know what it is, but I can never keep my eyes open as soon as I try and read a book. Which is why I have a massive shelf of shame full of books I haven’t read.
5. Listen to downloads/audiobooks
I have a couple of bespoke downloads on my phone that I listen to every night, as they’re meant to talk to my subconscious as I sleep. One of them was recorded by a therapist I used to see and it helps me with my enclosed spaces issue, and the other is my Slimpod from Thinking Slimmer. Can’t recommend the Slimpods enough.
* This post is in collaboration with Feather & Down