Bed. Such a small word with such a huge burden resting upon its shoulders. If bed doesn’t deliver on its promise of a sound night’s sleep, everything goes pear shaped – work is compromised, moods plummet, consumption of junk food rockets. I’ve previously written about my abiding love for sleep here (along with some rules for upping the quality), and got tips from the director of Good Vibes, Nahid de Belgeonne, for this piece, so won’t cover old ground again; everything I know about doing sleep well is contained within those posts.
Instead, I am going to bring you to bed with me, as it were, and show you around my current night situation (although the above picture is snapped at a hotel because it was taken while my house was reduced to rubble by builders, though I transported each and every possession from my bedside table to the hotel one to show you so it is a faithful representation)… //
Books / My bedside table is positively stacked with books – for me, there’s no surer way to switch off than by burying my head in a good story (and, actually, more often than not this works too quickly and I wake up glued to the pages and end up with print on one side of my face). I’m still on Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors of Victorian England and have nothing but the highest praise for it – though the topic is far from amusing, it is written enormously well and I will often nudge hubs awake to read a choice passage to him. Last night, he was regaled with the tale of poor Richard Paternoster, who was committed to an asylum by nefarious relatives despite being quite sane (what a lucky man hubs is, I hear you think!).
Sleep Aids / Currently, a spritz of This Works Sleep Plus Hair Elixir (clever: both a sleep-inducing aromatherapeutic blend and hair conditioner in one), a Neom candle and matching body oil (pretty much everything Neom gets a thumbs up from me). I always have at least two of these sorts of aromatherapy sleep products on the go and they really do help me to drift off. I am told by experts that this is the result of both habit (brain gets the sign that it’s time for bed courtesy of spritz and accordingly starts shut down mode), and the sheer power of aromatherapy.
A Notebook / My current one is Smythson, as all stationery in my ideal world would be, but actually the brand holds no bearing – I just need any old notebook and pen on my bedside table as good ideas and lists have a habit of forming in my head when I least want them to, and I’m pretty strict now about not looking at my phone around bedtime so can’t use the notes app on it anymore, hence old fashioned pen to paper action happening a lot at casa Spencer.
Eye Masks / This one’s also to reduce light; I am borderline obsessed with the pursuit of total darkness at night. You know I love my Holistic Silk eye masks dearly and they are my all time favourites, but I recently spotted this snazzy silk number on the Catherine & Jean website and snapped it up in the name of research. It’s very comfy on and hugs the face in all the right places so I’d recommend it if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to HS.
Silk Pillowcases / Look, I’m not a prima donna – I just like my face to nestle on pure silk nightly… Okay, maybe I am a bit of a diva, but in all seriousness, a silk pillowcase is a pretty darn good investment that’ll help your hair out (less fraying of strands, no robbing of moisture), and reduce wrinkles (head = weight of bowling ball – skin does not hold up well when crushed against a pillowcase that leeches products from it under that duress). Mine are from Holistic Silk, and are beautiful as well as feeling deliciously silky under my skin. For other ideas, see this article I wrote for Marie Claire on pillowcases.