I'm one of those people who gets naggy if I don't get enough sleep. I have quite a busy life, I travel an hour each way to work, try to make time for my friends in the evening and keep up with blogging, I'm often exhausted at the end of the day, so a good night's sleep is essential.
I think routine is the best way to ensure enough zzz's, so find a pattern that suits you best. Here is what I like to do before bed to unwind.
Wash the Day Away
There is no better feeling than taking your make-up off after a long day. I use Johnson's Face Wipes to just remove make-up quickly and then use a cleanser like the Elemis Pro Cleansing Balm or La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Purifying Foaming Wash. I know, a foaming wash and face wipes, Caroline Hirons would scorn me for my skincare sins, but I like the ease.
I'm a lover of Lush when it comes to bath time, I could lie in the tub for hours. If you want something to aid sleep, choose their Blue Skies and Fluffy Clouds Bubble Bar or the Blackberry Bath Bomb. Both have calming scents, which help ease tense and wash away your troubles.
I often find a good book will help me relax, it also helps you avoid electrical devices before bed, which are proven to disturb your sleep. Make sure you've put your PJ's on so you don't have to climb out of bed to change before sleeping. Get cosy under the covers and just leave a table lamp on to create a low light, which will signal to your brain that it's time to wind down. I'm currently reading 'Love, Tanya', and I really like it, I'm sure there will be a review up soon on this book.
I often use the This Works Pillow Spray, which has a calming lavender scent. I find it helps my mind ease into a relaxed, thoughtless state to help me drift off. This spray is a little pricey but I've found a cheaper alternative on SleepyPeople.com's website, a Silentnight Febreze Soft Touch Pillow, which releases a lavender scent. It's cheaper than the spray and will last a lot longer!
Fluffy Pillows and Cosy Duvets
The most important aspect of a good night's sleep is the bed, if you don't have a comfortable environment to sleep in, then you'll be fighting a loosing battle. I'm a firm believe that you should invest in a good bed, duvet and pillow, they will last you years and give you the best sleep.
SleepyPeople.com believe the wrong pillow and bedding could be keeping you awake at night: "The right pillows are crucial to you getting a good night’s sleep. It needs to be firm enough to support the weight of your head, soft enough to allow good facial circulation and be of the right shape to fill the gap between your head, neck and shoulders." If you aren't sure which pillow is best for you, you should use their 'Pillow Selector', which is a short quiz that guides you to the right style.
As for duvets, those with natural fillings, like feather and down, are soft, warm and breathable, but if you suffer from allergies, choose a synthetic duvet. If you can, go for a 4.5 tog in summer and a 9 in spring and autumn and choose a 13.5 for warmth in the winter; this way you'll never be too hot or cold.
Hopefully sticking to a routine like this you'll be out like a light! Well if all else fails, I guess you could try counting sheep...