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LIFESTYLE: My method to get a good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is very important. Sleep is necessary in so many ways for our bodies. When we go to bed tonight and get a good kip, it does wonders for our health, body, mind and spirit too!

So why do we need sleep and how does it affect our skin?

Well, according to WebMD...

"Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones.“It’s during deep sleep -- what we call slow-wave sleep -- that growth hormone is released,” says sleep expert Phil Gehrman, PhD. “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair -- patching the wear and tear of the day.”

So, we can see how sleep plays a vital role in having good skin and can almost be anti-aging!

So, what if you trouble getting to sleep? What if your mind is still running so fast you just can't switch off? Well, have no fear, here are my favourite methods I use to help me (and sometimes my husband) sleep...

Here is pretty much what is always by my bed, bar the tea bags - I keep these in the kitchen obviously!

Firstly, when I can't really get to sleep or I just 'know' it's going to be one of those nights I always have a cup of herbal tea before bedtime - I love the Pukka night time tea to help me sleep. It has a combination of oat flower, lavender and limeflower to help your body and mind relax. The warmth of the tea also helps me to chill out.

Some of the worse nights are when I get 'restless legs'. Oh my god, it is one of the most annoying things ever and it usually starts to happen when I have done a lot of training on my legs. On these nights I spray magnesium on the backs of my legs and it can help relax my nerves and help me to get to sleep. With magnesium, you start with maybe just one or two sprays and then you can gradually build it up. I tend to use it though just when I'm really struggling to sleep.

Sometimes, if I need to get an early night and the TV is on in the room, or if I wake up super early and the sun has come in I love to use my sleeping mask. I bought this one a few years ago from Holistic Silk and I swear it's been a lifesaver! I take it on flights with me as well to help me sleep on the plane. It's filled with dried lavender and smells amazing - I definitely recommend buying one if you travel a lot.

I love a really good linen spray. I like to spray this over my blanket before bedtime as it's vanilla and lavender. It has the most comforting fragrance and now I make it a bit of a ritual, I think it triggers my brain to get into sleep mode. A room or linen spray is really a must to get yourself into a routine to help you sleep.

Then, finally I like to read. I try and avoid my phone at night (especially if I have been to an evening yoga class) as I feel it can almost wake me up than relax me. On saying that though, if I'm really struggling to sleep - like REALLY struggling I will go on my phone and use my Yoga Nidra app. I think pretty much every time I have used this I have never made it to the end. I get so relaxed and really try and listen so it sends me off within a few minutes. There are so many apps you can try and to be honest, it really depends on the voice of the person talking as to whether it works for you or not. If the voice doesn't relax you or annoys you then there is no hope! Take some time to try different ones and find which works best for you.

These are obviously only my methods of getting to sleep though and I know everybody is different, but I hope it may have helped you a little and given you some extra ideas to help you sleep a bit better.

Thank you so much for reading!

Have a great sleep tonight!

Emmaline x

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