6 Aug 2018

Sleeping Beauty: The Best Night’s Sleep

Waking up refreshed is key.

Sleeping well is not so much about the hours of sleep but the benefits to come from solid sleep.

And we all know that sleeping sound is one of the best-kept beauty secrets.

Wind Down

* A warm and luxurious bath is the most wonderful way to relax but it is important to cool the body down before sleeping.

We sleep better if our body temperature is lower so relax in the tub, luxuriate forever but cool down afterwards with a tepid shower.

* Removing makeup is a must but also a great big bore at times.

Many times I arrive home late only to think of nothing but crawling between the sheets and letting the face stay put. All wrong.

The most important part of skin care maintenance before bed is the cleansing; letting the day’s build up settle overnight is probably one of the worst practices.

* In the evening, take the time to mix up skincare routines.

Apply a mask that can remain on throughout the evening or add an extra vitamin serum or hydrating cream.

Coat the cuticles, cover the body and pamper the feet; so much can soften while sleeping.

Allow a few minutes for the products to soak into the skin before laying down and settling; better on the skin than on the bedding.

Sweet Dreams

* Leave caffeine alone after lunchtime; that does include chocolate.

* Unplug. Fall asleep the old-fashioned way with a page-turner of a book and leave Instagram alone for the evening.

* Wear an eye mask and use earplugs. These will become your rituals and trigger the brain that it is sleep time.

* Make sure sleepwear is not only pretty but also comfortable.

* Practise relaxed breathing to lower your heart rate.

Hold your breath until the count of 7 and exhale slowly, repeat over and over.

Anxiety means shallow breathing and that speeds up our heart rate.

Anxiety is our adversary when it comes to sleeping well.

*Lower the room temperature; cool sleeping is the best sleeping.

Somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees is the zone we want to be in.

Add a blanket if needed but keep the room temperature down.

*Mattress and pillows, a personal choice, they make all the difference to sleeping well. I’ve lately been sleeping on one of those that mould to the neck and head – gamechanger for me.

*Soft lighting and a dedicated reading light. Harsh overhead light is over stimulating.

*If you like organised and tidy, make sure the bedroom is too. Feeling shambolic does nothing to aid sleeping well.

* A spritz of lavender on the inside of the pillowcase smells delicious and nudges sleep.

*Silk satin pillowcases are meant to be the ideal for sleeping on.

Why? Apparently, they produce less friction when we toss and turn which means fewer wrinkles.

Sleeping well for me is all about routine and ritual. What about you? xv

Sleeping Beauty: Achieving A Good Night Sleep

moonlight pyjamas  ||  slip for beauty sleep silk mask  ||  susanne kaufmann st. john’s wort bath  ||  this works pillow spray

image, trine hisdal, holly golightly, ss16 

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My strategy lately for just having a pleasant head-to-pillow-landing, has been to spritz lavender water onto my pillow. Sweet dreams ensue, and I do wake up ready to go. Whatever our methods, sleep is still one of nature’s best beauty secret!


I love your suggestions and already use many of them. I would also suggest using a white noise machine or app. We travel constantly and recommend the Sleep Fan/My Fan app, set on the Laske Med setting. The sound is similar to a fan but very smooth and constant. Because we use white noise at home as well as when we travel, we are used to the soothing sound and find that it is a lifesaver when it comes to jet lag and unaccustomed noises in new cities and countries. Give it a try!


All such good advice. I love to read in bed, a real book. But so important to read the right kind of book – not a thriller or suspense. Remember years ago picking up Henry James, The Turn of the Screw. Couldn’t put it down until I finished. And then it’s so spooky I couldn’t sleep, it kept playing over in my head. Re-reading something like Love in a Cold Climate is good. Best wishes, Pamela


Definitely agree with many points but the older I get the less I want on my legs so a loose short cotton nightgown which comes with thin straps is perfect. I adore This Works Pillow Mist, Neal’s Yard also do one which is just as relaxing. I do prefer beautiful crisp white bedding especially if it has been dried outside and put straight on the bed. In St Remy at the moment Vicki I also need a fan in my room as you will know it’s been very very hot, but lying flat on my back like a corpse pose in yoga and slow breathing especially counting my breaths is a sure winner to drifting me to sleep.

Taste of France

At this moment in the summer, a dip in the pool is essential for cooling down, as we don’t have air conditioning.
A trick to fall asleep: clench and release your muscles, small groups at a time: toes, then foot, then calf, then toes/foot/calf together, then knees, then toes/foot/calf/knee together, etc. all the way up to your fingertips, if you make it that far. The clenching of the muscles releases endorphins and also makes you tired without the excitement of exercise. Plus, concentrating on which muscles you’re doing keeps you from fretting about your problems and clears your mind for sleep.


Wonderful. Didn’t know the muscle clench released endorphins! So good to know, many thanks. Have some surgery coming up late next month so will definitely need something like this, just avoiding the area involved. Best wishes, Pamela

Michelle à Détroit

Warm shower (twice daily, exfoliate in the evening)
Complete facial cleansing in shower with mild cream cleanser followed by foam cleanser and Clarisonic
Beauty regimen
Moisturize body (can’t sleep unless feet, elbows, knees and hands are EXTRA moisturized.
Perfume- something light with chamomile, lavender, or a hint of vanilla. (Bulgari Petits et Maman is perfect.)
Brush and secure hair (can’t sleep with loose hair all over the place)
33 decibel earplugs (Darling husband snores like a freight train.) He knows that he will have to save us if something bad happens in the night, as I will NEVER hear a thing.

Michelle à Détroit

Also, for difficulty sleeping, a few whiffs of Clary Sage essential oil will calm you and help you sleep. Works like a charm for me.

Mona Turner

I fully agree with the importance of a good nights sleep and pretty much follow this bedtime regime to a tee, except that I do enjoy an afternoon hot cocoa. Great advice and a worthwhile routine to keep ourselves looking and feeling our very best.


I think the pillows Vicki refers to are from a UK shop called White Company. All of their bedding is divine and I have several so can definitely recommend. They often have a price reduction on many of their bedroom items too so you can catch a bargain. The pillows are good but do read the reviews carefully. One of the dearer pillows was reviewed as smelling of fish! Yet the slightly cheaper one which I chose, after review reading, is just excellent. Worth a look. Hope this helps Linda B Kerr


Yes, they are… The one i bought is not the most expensive one… it is the one I highlighted… and it is so, so comfortable… a game changer for me :)


I have a warm footbath each evening with a handful of epsom salts and an essential oil – about 6 drops (sage, lavender or pine are ones that work well; sage brings “everything” down from the head i.e. worries, lavender relaxes and pine “grounds you”). I then follow with a foot cream. I’ve constructed this ritual from two sources – my Dr Hauschka esthetician used to bathe the feet in their sage oil before treatments and the footbath is from a recommendation in a book by Jo Fairley. I have found them to be reliable and the feeling of clean feet in bed is quite addictive!


J never use a footbath at a beauty salon since learning it is possible to pick up a foot or nail fungus infectin from an earlier client. They’re not normally properly sterilised between clients. A good podiatrist autoclaves all his/her instruments and always uses fresh ones for each client. So now I have nearly all footwork done by a podiatrist. Maybe just the nails painted by a beautician. Using my own polish etc. My fave salon in south of France always wraps my feet in a fresh towel impregnated with treatment. They never use footpaths. Best wishes Pamela


Vicki, I can concur that White Company pillows and their pillow cases are a game changer!! Changed all the bedrooms for these! Makes such a difference to a good night’s sleep and posture. Bon nuit!


To be clear – the Hauschka treatments were not at a salon with a huge throughput – but at the individuals home and the hygiene was rigorous: time was built in between appointments for just that purpose. The “bath” was actually a large stainless steel bowl — not a plastic contraption with bells and whistles and corners where the weevils can lurk! ( I do not want people reading this exchange to attribute any thing untoward on to the Haushka treatments – I find them to be of the highest standard). If you are doing this in your own home nightly , as I do, then I am responsible for my own hygiene. However I do take your point and agree that many salons are very lax with hygiene. So it pays to choose carefully.


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