Friday, 5 October 2012


image taken from

I'm not hear to teach you how to suck eggs - I know that everyone knows how to sleep but does everyone know how to sleep well when work is stressing you out, things are playing on your mind or your routine suddenly has to change and you can't seem to close your eyes?

That is what I want to talk about on this post: catching those zzz's when you need to the most.

First things first though - WHAT IS SLEEP?

Sleep occurs naturally for almost every living creature. It's characterized by typically being in an unconscious state, non responsiveness to outside influences or the senses and a relaxation of the use of voluntary controlled muscles. There is a lot of research continually conducted into why humans and animals sleep. The primary belief is that this is the way of the brain storing information before it becomes overloaded and that it also helps the body to conserve energy whilst allowing it to repair itself undisturbed by movement or strain.

Sleep plays a key role when it comes to skincare. Sleeping well helps the body to repair the damage shown on people's faces from daily activities and stresses which create fine lines, dark circles and a dull complexion. A good sleeper usually doesn't have as many of these tell-tale signs as someone that suffers with a lack of sleep or insomnia.

I'm a light sleeper - all it takes is the cat to knock something like a tealight to the floor downstairs and I am awake, wanting to know what is going on in the house. If I am stressed I don't sleep at all until the early hours of the morning and then I am so groggy and grumpy in the morning that I won't speak to anyone until about 10am. I have found a few things that have helped me so I hope they can help someone else too - especially as a lot of students are facing long nights of stress now that the academic year is back in full swing.


I know this sounds so simple but it is harder than it seems - it takes discipline for a while but once you establish habits and routines your body will automatically respond. I now go bed to 12am and wake up at 8am. This gives me that much needed '8 hours' although sometimes I wish I could extend it by 2-3 hours (minimum - depending on grumpiness). If I am working late and don't get in until 1am then I adjust my alarm clock so that I can get those 8 hours in etc. I know that it seems really old-fashioned and not particularly rock and roll to have a specified 'bed time' but it helps a lot.

Just like I've said before about establishing a bed time there should be habits and routines established before you go to bed: read a chapter of a book, have a hot shower or bath, create a relaxing skincare ritual or simply do some stretches. Each time you do these things before you sleep it will build up a response in your brain that tells you that you its almost time for bed and that bed means you will be sleeping.


I have banned technology from my bedroom. I refuse to have a TV or CD player in a room that has a bed and I will only tolerate our phones being charged in the bedroom if there is no other option. Technology is everywhere in this modern society, forever connecting us to each other and as the internet never turns off some of us have a hard time tearing ourselves away from it. Turn everything off and leave it downstairs. You will notice a big difference in your sleeping patterns very soon.

The perfect conditions for sleep are dark, quiet and cool. Are your curtains black-out worthy or do they let the street light shine through? Is your bedroom quiet? Do you overheat yourself with the central heating always on full blast? You will sleep far better if you have a dark, quiet, and cool room to sleep in so make the necessary adjustments if you need to and you will fall asleep with far more ease than before.


I know - I'm a party pooper. I don't always follow this advice at the weekends but during the week I stick to it rigidly. Caffeine and alcohol are known stimulants that interfere with the brain's ability to make connections and store memories. Alcohol is perhaps the biggest culprit of all as it appears to have a sleep inducing effect when initially consumed but, unfortunately for those of us that like a glass of wine in the evening, the body will break down alcohol which then allows it to interact with the receptors of the brain that are responsible (in part) for sleep - therefore causing interrupted sleeping patterns, disrupted sleeping and (especially in my case) early awakening which obviously isn't a good thing.


I personally use some sleeping mists and oils to help me sleep at night when I am restless (reviews coming soon!). The aromatherapy oils most associated with helping sleep are lavender, chamomile, bergamot, sandlewood, red mandarin and green mandarin. Mandarin, in both forms, is cited as being even more successful at aiding sleep than lavender is as most people associate it with refreshment and well-being which helps those that are lacking sleep to concentrate more on their body than needing shut-eye.


Thank you to Daniella from Beauty In Japan for allowing me to publish this.

Thank you to Steph from Stephanie Pomfrett for allowing me to publish this.

If you'd like to read Steph's Hot Whiskey recipe please take a look at her (fab) blog here and scroll down to the post on the 28th of September. I can't wait to try it out myself.

I hope that this post helps someone to find a better night's sleep. There will be reviews of the products that I have mentioned earlier coming up soon! 


  1. Great post, i have a sleep routine, and a bed time, and i sleep like a log!

    Sophierosehearts x

    1. I sleep much better now I have a routine - I think that it helps a lot xxx

  2. A really good post! I'm a terrible sleeper only getting a couple of hours a night so I will try these out! Thank you :) xx

  3. I also think it helps to understand how long your sleep cycles last. I feel much more rested when I go to bed at 11pm onwards than earlier because I wake up around 3 - 4 in the morning. I think I only need about 6 - 7 hours sleep to feel rested. But like you said it takes time to discipline yourself to get into a pattern - the internet is my crack!


Thank you for commenting. I adore every single one. Please feel free to link your blogs underneath your comments - I love finding new blogs to read!

It may take me a while to reply to comments so if you have any direct questions please tweet me @Superfluous_B and I'll get back to you more quickly there.

Comment moderation is in place to prevent spam. Spam includes: 'follow for follow comments', comments made with a link where the comment has no relevance to the post, anonymous comments that have no relevance to the post and trolling/hate. These will all be deleted.