Today is World Sleep Day, an annual event intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to it. Sleep is dear to our fox hearts and good sleep (we mean the deep, seven to nine hours of unbroken stuff) is one of the pillars of health and happiness.
So, we have put together are our top tips for inviting the Sandman back into your bed if he has been sprinkling his sleep dust elsewhere recently.
1. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of good, unbroken sleep to function properly. We know that with work, kids, actually having a social life and aiming toward living in a space that does not look like a recent struggle has taken place, this can be a pipe dream but you should do your best to make time for an optimal sleep like this at least a few nights a week. Turn off the television. It's rotting your brain. Go. To. Bed. Unless it's House of Cards in which case, carry on.
2. Leave at least two hours between eating and bedtime. If you're home late, eat very, very lightly, just enough to stave off the terror of waking up hungry and then "needing" a Full English. If you can get into the habit, there's an awful lot of sense in having your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime. If you are skipping a big meal in the evening and opting for the light snack, try a banana, they are high in nature's muscle relaxants, magnesium and potassium. Other options for a lighter bite before heading to bed are some foods that help us to produce Melatonin, the hormone that helps send us to sleep each night and in the morning, regulates what time we wake. Try cherries, a small bowl of oats, an orange or a handful of walnuts.
3. Unplug. Turn off. The blue light from all those mobile screens in our lives can disrupt our circadian rhythm. Buy an alarm clock instead of using a phone. I know one fox who leaves her phone in a different room. She swears she is sleeping better since adopting this small tweak in her routine.
4. Make your bedroom dark. And all about sleep. All right it can be about sex too but it most certainly cannot be about television. To create pure darkness, invest in blackout blinds and an amazing silk sleep mask. Ahem, we recommend our Kitsune sleep mask. It's 100% silk. It's soft, luxe, blocks the light and is perfect protection for the delicate skin around the eyes. It'll make you a fox in bed too. *sorry
5. Adopt a bedtime ritual. Start with a cup of Valerian tea - a number of studies have shown it to speed the onset of sleep and improve sleep quality. Try meditating - it quiets the brain's monkey chatter (that incessant noise of self-questioning, worry and re-hashing the day) and it can naturally promote healthy sleep. We really like mindfulness and mediation expert Emma Mills' 'A Good Night Sleep', a six-part guided meditation that will equip you with the tools you need to fall asleep. Stretch - there are a few yoga poses that really do the job in helping to calm the mind and relieve body tension. We love Child's Pose, Legs Up The Wall Pose and a Supine Spinal Twist which is brilliant for alleviating tension throughout the whole spine and aiding digestion. Another lovely pre-bed ritual is to use a face or body oil packed with essential oils. We love Neom's Daily De-Stress Face Body & Hair Oil. A dreamy mix of safflower, jojoba, lavender, jasmine, Brazilian rosewood and 21 other essential oils, chosen for their ability to de-stress and nourish skin.
6. Make a note. Keep a notebook next to the bed and write down some of the day's worries and woes before your head hits the pillow. Sounds naff but actually works. Like a download for the brain. We do however, absolutely insist on beautiful stationery. Kikki K does a superb line in perfect paper stuff. Try their leather bound notebook for nocturnal outpourings or perhaps work one of their beautiful mindfulness journals into your routine.
7. A great mattress is vital – look for one with good support for back health and breathable materials to prevent overheating. We've already decided that our next mattress will be an eve. They say they are "comfort reimagined"; made from UK-sourced materials like new generation foams that sleep cooler and offer more bounce. They also come in a box (A bed. In a box!) and are a fraction of high street retail prices. They offer a free 100 night trial because they say they don't think "10 minutes is enough time to get to know someone, let alone sleep with them."
8. Finally (and we would say this), the perfect pair of silk pyjamas. Sleeping in silk is a small luxury that you can enjoy every day. Aside from looking languidly gorgeous, the tightly woven fibres of silk help regulate your body temperature through the night and help your skin retain its natural moisture. And you know what that means? Less sleep-induced wrinkles (don’t pretend you don’t know what they are) and a better night’s restThat's beauty sleep right there.