Chloe Brotheridge's tips for calming pre-bedtime anxiety
We're a sleep and loungewear brand. We're passionate about sleep - about getting enough of the right kind of sleep - not just swathing you in silk pyjamas and luxury nightwear things to make you look good while you do it.
Anxiety and stress are the enemies of sleep - a lack of it can have serious adverse effects on your mental and physical health. Most of us have had periods where work or the general madness of life have had us begging for the brain to give us a break when the lights go out - for a bit of ssshhhhh (which is our technical term for a quiet mind) - and it can be challenging to create a calm head in readiness for a few hours of restorative, health-giving good stuff.
We asked Hypnotherapist and anxiety expert, Chloe Brotheridge for her top 5 pointers on calming anxiety before sleep. Chloe has contributed to The Huffington Post, Stylist Magazine, The Independent, Women's Heath, Get The Gloss and Glamour magazine. She's also a qualified nutritionist so she knows a thing or two about the mind/body thing.
1. Brain Dump
Offload worries and your to-do list for the next day into a note pad before bed. It's a great way of getting thoughts out of your brain so that they don't keep you up at night. You can always return to them in the morning if you have to. Keep your notebook by your bed if you wake during the night.
We absolutely love Papier's customisable notebooks.
2. Switch off Your Phone
We know, we know, you've heard it before but it is true - the blue light emitted from electronic devices is bad for your sleep but it's not just the light. Reading news, emails or social media updates before bed could bombard you with information and stress, making you anxious. Switch off all devices an hour before bed if you can. If you need to, respond to messages and emails after dinner and turn OFF the phone.
Instead of looking at your phone, go old school and read an actual book. Made of paper.
Have a look at The Telegraph's wrap up of 2016's best reads. It's a veritable treasure trove of both fiction and non-fiction.
3. Give yourself a Facial Massage
Massage (especially on the face) helps the body to produce serotonin which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy and massaging your face every night is a great way to enhance product absorption and relax any areas where you hold tension (including the jaw, corners of the mouth, area between the eyebrows, or forehead). Treat yourself to some gorgeous facial oil and gently massage upwards. For an expert touch, you could check out facial massage routines by the pros on Youtube. A technique we love is face tapping; simply make a loose fist and tap your knuckles along jawline, cheekbones, forehead, and brow bone. And we mean tap lightly...
A facial oil we love is Kiss the Moon's Calm After Dark face oil. It's intensely moisturising thanks to the rosehip seed oil, and potent in its relaxation power given its blend of jasmine (heavenly), soothing roman chamomile, sandalwood and ylang ylang. You'll float off to bed with quietened nerves and a sense of calm.
4. Listen In
Listen to some calming music or a guided meditation or hypnotherapy MP3 before bed. It calms the mind and can distract you away from any worries or racing thoughts.
Try Chloe's own guided meditations. You can download a free taster at her site www.calmer-you.com
5. Try Progressive Relaxation
As you lie in bed at night, scan your body from your toes up to your head, focussing on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group.
This helps you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. You become more aware of physical sensations. Start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.
It's a great way to let go of tension in the body, calm the mind and get you ready for sleep. You may find you don't even make it past your legs.
We found a good tutorial here.
For all things sleep related, sleep.org offers excellent advice and tips has a brilliant section related to the science of sleep that is regularly updated with the latest thinking and research to help you improve your sleep.
Now, drift off.....