Some of you – a LOT of you – quite possibly choked on your iPhone apples upon reading this title (aside from the harmless bedtime essentials part).
“No bedtime social scrolling? No more late night eBaying?! PLEZ.”
Before we jump in, remember this: it’s only because I love you that I wrote this doovy.
I too used to LOVE a good old late night peruse – but it is REALLY detrimental to your wellbeing. And on many, many levels.
So as much as I am being the total mum here dishing out the sound and harsh advice, I will also soften the blow with a run down of some of my fave bedtime essentials.
See, still fun!
So let’s eat the frog (not literally please) aka, smash out the tough stuff first.
Homework first, then playtimes.
Ok, so WHY exactly should your smartphone sleep in another room to you?
Well, the first one is obviously the distraction = far less sleep.
Your running total of blissful slumber starts dramatically declining once that screen illuminates your face. You know it never is just “one quick look”. It very easily can shuttle you right into a Google wormhole and before you know it, it’s 1 am.
The second negative is the blue-light emission – did you know there are roughly 30,000 cells inside your eye that are reactive to the wavelength of blue light? In the spectrum of light, this emission is strong enough to signal to the brain to turn off melatonin production. Just as nature intended, your body requires the darkness to drift off, and you’re fighting it all the way.
Try to stay away from not just phones, but tablets, computers, screens of all kinds in the 60 minutes before Snoozapalooza. And even though it DOES help a lot, don’t use Apple’s rad NightLight feature as an excuse to stay connected. Catch up on the latest Frankie mag, devour a new novel or re-read an old classic.
Another great tip if you really can’t nod off? Turn your lights down low. You can even switch to special bulbs just for the bedroom. Some lights can emit a large amount of blue light, so switching to one of these warmer or sunset dimming bulbs will help. Check out the Lumie Bodyclock, the Saffron Silk bulbs, and there are more great options on Amazon.com that ship to us Aussie babes too.
Staying away from blue light will also crush those zombie feels in the dawn, as your amount of REM/quality sleep will increase.
For someone of my age (24-65), the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia recommends 7-9 hours per night. Any less than 6 or any more than 10 hours is classed as inappropriate.
Upon checking my Fitbit sleep history, I have sadly regularly fallen into the inappropriate category. And my GAW how I’d love to state it was the epic long napping crew, but alas at least one night each week, my tally stands at 4 and a half hours. I put this down to (A) Couldn’t resist shopping online so HAD to take my phone to bed; (B) Was too far in the blogging zone and took my work to bed with me; or (C) Just the lovely perks of being a parent.
Two of those three can totally be helped – so iPhy stays in his bed now and I in mine. Whatever is happening can totally wait until the morning. And you’ll be so much more refreshed and at peak concentration when you do reunite!
Making your bedroom a tech-free zone has benefits that FAR outweigh the negatives from not getting an extra hour of connected time.
The benefits of a solid 7-9 hours per night include:
IMPROVED MEMORY, CONCENTRATION AND PRODUCTIVITY – During sleep, you strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (a process called consolidation). In addition to consolidating memories, your brain reorganises and restructures them, which can result in a much more creative mind. Brain function is impaired on low or poor sleep, so getting enough will make you burst with energy and gain more focus, instead of fizzling out by 9 am.
MAINTENANCE OF A HEALTHY WEIGHT AND MORE STAMINA – Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite. Too little nap time, and you will be all skewiff! Aside from becoming much more hungry, you’ll also have reduced stamina upon waking, and will feel mega sluggish. Any exercise you then do in the day will likely be at a reduced effort and you simply won’t have enough fuel in the tank.
REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE, PRE-DIABETES, STROKE, STRESS AND DEPRESSION – In many studies, constant short bouts of sleep have been shown to increase the chance of developing these nasties. Restricted sleep increases blood sugar levels, reduces insulin sensitivity and sends your frazzled mind on a stress fest. Get enough shut-eye and you’ll fight all these unpleasantries.
DECREASE IN INFLAMMATION – Sufferers of long-term illnesses of the digestive system such as IBS and Crohn’s Disease, generally relapse into symptoms twice as often if poor sleep is on their agenda. Lack of sleep has been strongly linked to these and similar conditions as the body becomes stressed and overwhelmed. Give yourself chill time in the form of zzz’s to help ease symptoms.
STRONGER SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL BACKBONE – This one is pretty straightforward. We have all had times where we felt like a complete lump around even our nearest and dearest and have melted into sobby puddles with no real reason why. Generally – yep once again – a shitty sleep is to blame.
So it is quite simple – if you really want to be the best, brightest and boldest you, good solid sleep is totally key.
We can be quick to dismiss sleep, and can treat it as an after-thought, just rolling into the covers whenever we feel. But as you have read above, the positives of regular appropriate sleep are CRUCIAL to becoming your best self.
Phew, now to the super fun part! Here are some of my bedtime essentials, making the routine enjoyable and will max out your state of chilled out bliss.
Pukka Night Time Tea – This beautiful tea contains oat flower to calms and nourish, lavender to soothe and relax, and lime flower to help settle the mind. Naturally caffeine free, 100% organically grown and ethically sourced.
RosehipPLUS Nourishing Night Cream – Cruelty-free and vegan, this super softening night cream sinks right in with a lightweight feel. Very unlike most night creams, which can be heavy and glaggy! Love this brand and also use their Day Cream and Rosehip Oil on the reg. Available online, but I generally pop into my local Chemist Warehouse to stock up!
Lush Dreamtime Bath Melt – A soothing and sleep-inducing melt, pop this little guy into the bath pre-bedtimes and let your worries to fade away with jasmine, lavender and sandalwood. Use it whenever you need soft skin and sweet dreams.
Lush Twilight Bath Bomb – Another great chilled-out bath essential, Twilight fizzles up clouds of lavender, ylang-ylang and ovaltine to soothe body and mind. If you’re stressed out, hugely overwhelmed or just plain exhausted, Twilight is the gentle, reassuring hug that leaves you feeling like everything’s going to be okay.
Lush Serendipity Soap – If you are a showerer not a bather, this skin-soothing French lavender and chamomile soap will wash away your worries. When bedtime approaches, turn to its trusted blend of relaxing herbs for a guaranteed golden sleep.
Lush Love and Light Hand Cream – A powerful hand cream is always a must for any nightstand, and this softening neroli and Fair Trade organic cocoa butter cream is a miracle worker. With Brazilian orange, orange blossom and neroli to brighten up your skin (and your mood) in an instant. Fragrant and divinely softening, this lotion is a Midsummer Night’s Dream for sore hands.
Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter (contains beeswax so the only non-vegan product on this list!) – This super thick lemony sherbet scented tub of wonder used to be in my top three fave Lush products – only reason he’s dropped away is due to my veganism of course! Still, it is a phenom cruelty-free product, which not only softens your cuticles, but can be used to soften and nourish lots of other body parts like the feet, elbows and knees.
Alas the Label, The Goodnight Society and Moonbird PJs – Three amazing and ultra-responsible sleepwear companies from Australia, who source their materials ethically, and make damn sure their labour force is treated fairly. All are completely and fully transparent about all aspects of their processing, which is something other brands could learn from. I love Moonbird’s One Year Packs for mixing and matching, the Goodnight Society’s EVERYTHING and the gorgeous prints like this Midnight Telescope doovy from ALAS The Label.
VIKIS Alarm Clock from Ikea – For only $14.95, I love this simple little white bedside clock. You can prop it up right next to you, or sit it on a shelf on the other side of the room as shown below if you are a chronic snooze smasher.
Hope you love all of these bedtime essentials as much as I do!
And remember, if you don’t already, make a non-negotiable bedtime every night.
Check here to see how much sleep you require based on age, and make sure you give yourself enough time to nod off.
Set yourself a reminder one hour before bed to switch off the telly and put your phone into the do-not-disturb mode. Make yourself a cosy sleepy tea and chat to your family/housemates, read or sort out tomorrow’s outfit for a stress-free morning.
Keep your phone on the other side of the bedroom, and if you really can’t be trusted but need an alarm, buy an alarm clock and hide the phone in the kitchen until morn.
This calm practice will become addictive fast, and the benefits will blow your mind. Try it for a week and see which existence you preferred – fresh, fast and full of beans, or sluggish, sad and stressed.