7 Steps to Sleeping Sweetly
By: Mies Allen
A good night’s sleep is the ultimate weapon for improving your mood, your general physical health, and your appearance.
Here is Madame Blue’s guide for sleeping like a goddess: from what to wear to bed to how to drift off more easily and wake up feeling rested and replenished.
Don’t underestimate the power of a shower
There is a whole world of debate surrounding whether baths or showers should be taken in the morning or at night. However, there is no better feeling than having a relaxing soak before slipping into bed.
Washing the dirt and pollution of the day will leave your bedsheets feeling cleaner for longer, plus there is a great benefit mentally, as taking 15 minutes in the evening to let the water wash over you while you listen to your favorite music can help you put the worries of the day to one side.
It’s almost as good as meditation in itself. To go that step further, exfoliate and moisturize your body with beautiful smelling products, taking notice of every sensation to relax your mind and prepare for sleep.
Although coffee is the hot drink of choice for many people, it will do you a world of good to save the caffeine for the breakfast table and opt for a more gentle beverage before bed like a cup of herbal tea. There are thousands of caffeine-free teas aside from the standard choice of green or black that are proven to have health benefits. For example, ginger tea and chamomile are both recommended as bedtime drinks as they aid digestion and have calming ingredients. They are also best enjoyed whilst reading a chapter of a good book – which is another great habit to pick up to help you settle down for bed.
Your sheets make a differense
It is crucial for the health of your skin and hair that your bedsheets are changed regularly, as excess oils, sweat and skin cells build up over time. Sheets should be changed once a week, but once per fortnight is still perfectly fine and a more realistic schedule to follow. The kind of sheets you are sleeping in also make a big difference – many women find that using a silk pillowcase is better than a linen one, as it prevents your hair from tangling (braiding your hair also helps, plus it gives you a tousled look in the morning) and does not absorb oil from your skin which could otherwise contribute to breakouts.
…so do you PJs
The pajamas (or lack thereof) that people wear to bed is largely a personal preference, but there are two options likely to improve your quality of sleep. The first is going au natural – studies have found that sleeping nude allows your body to find its most comfortable temperature more easily, and not wearing any harsh fabrics allows your skin to breathe and reduces skin irritation. However, if you feel too exposed, sleeping in a silk nightie or oversized cotton shirt will have similar benefits. Make sure to also sleep in breathable cotton underwear to keep the pH balanced down there and maintain good feminine health. Another great thing to wear in bed is an eye mask a la Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This will keep it perfectly dark, which is great when dawn breaks and you are still sound asleep.
Sparkle in your slumber
The writers of the bestselling book How To Be Parisian, Wherever You Are have a very helpful tip when it comes to sleeping in style, inspired by a quote from Baudelaire’s The Jewels;
‘My well-beloved was stripped. Knowing my Whim, / She wore her tinkling gems, but naught besides.’ Take a leaf out of his book and keep your jewelry on in bed. Whether you’re going to sleep or making love. It will give you sweet dreams.’
Many women have items of jewelry very precious to them, perhaps that have been given by a lover, a parent, a sibling, etc. Keeping this jewelry on in bed keeps your loved ones close to your heart and adds a touch of glamour to your bedtime routine.
Skip the harsh chemicals
Marilyn Monroe once uttered the infamous words, ’What do I wear to bed? Chanel No.5 of course.’ Nowadays, many women prefer getting a good night’s sleepover smelling fabulous in bed – but it is possible to channel Marilyn’s attitude minus the harsh perfume that may irritate your skin and get an even better rest at the same time. Instead of using perfume, try dabbing a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your wrists after moisturizing – it is perfectly natural so it won’t do any damage to your skin, and the scent acts as wonderful aromatherapy to help you drift off. For an extra bit of help – keep a small bag of dried lavender underneath your pillow for a fresher and more long-lasting effect.
Sleeping in stillness
Many of our grandmothers have passed down the age-old advice of sleeping on your back in order to stave off blemishes and wrinkles – and it’s no myth. Sleeping on your back, with your head propped up with two pillows, can keep your face smooth as it stops gravity from taking its toll on your skin, and avoids your skin’s natural oils transferring to your pillow. This trick is also endorsed by the queen of beautiful skin herself, supermodel Magdalena Frackowiak, and it appears to be working wonders for her.
This sleeping position is also perfect for healing a sore back, as it aligns the spine and stretches it out as you sleep. To fall asleep quickly and easily while also calming your mind, use the isolated muscle relaxation method, tightening and releasing each part of your body, starting with your toes, until you are fully at ease.