The last in my series of boosting your chances of hygge through the day, and it seems apt to finish with bedtime. Ending your evening on the right note can boost your chances of a good night’s sleep and that, as science has shown, is absolutely vital for good health mentally and physically.
Experts recommend a good eight hours of sleep every night. Don’t laugh. It’s easy to feel that that is an impossibility, but it really does make a difference to your body and mind. The principles of hygge (enjoying small things, creating a cosy space and boosting happiness) can help to create a routine and an environment that will foster better sleep.
In our endless quests for health, we look to nutrition and exercise to create a healthy body: we also need to look at our sleeping habits, at the power that sleep gives our bodies in building and repairing our cells. Here are my best tricks for creating a hyggely space and time for sleep.
- The bedroom is for sleep and sex and nothing else. Do you use your bedroom for work, as a craft space or a second TV lounge? Then stop! You need to create your bedroom to be a quiet haven from life. Think through your furnishings, remove the desk or craft table and definitely remove or hide the TV.
- Use the best bedlinen you can afford. I’m not ordering you to have best Irish linen or white cotton sheets, I love having colour in my bedroom, but get the best quality you can. The higher the thread count, the smoother the feel. I love Marks and Spencer’s 230 thread count egyptian cotton sheets. And have a variety of bedcovers so that you can handle too hot to too cold in an instant.
- Start getting ready for bed an hour before you intend to sleep. Turn off the TV, put down the phone, and get into full relax mode. Having a regular routine (much like with children) programmes your mind to get ready for bed as well. Your routine could include a warm bath, some time journalling, reading or meditating. You know what suits you best.
- Make a list of the things you need to do the next day. Brain dump the worries that might keep you from sleeping.
- Use aromatherapy to relax and prepare for sleep. A diffuser, pillow spray or just a couple of drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball will give a gentle scent to relax your mind. I love L’Occitane Lavender handcream, and often rub that into my hands prior to settling down. Relaxing scents include lavender, chamomile, bergamot and sandalwood.
- Have a warm bath or shower before bed. Again, using aromatherapy oils can help to relax you.
- Sip a gentle herbal tea. Avoid anything caffeinated and definitely stop drinking alcohol two hours before sleeping. I love Pukka Night Time Tea, which has camomile and lavender in.
- Disturbed by noise? Find something that works for you. My husband (love him dearly) snores. Like, really snores loudly. After many years of frustration and tossing and turning listening to him, I started listening to audiobooks because, if I was awake anyway, why not use the time profitably? Of course, I fell asleep after 10 minutes. Now I usually listen to an audiobook every night, while I am asleep. History books work best, action thrillers less so and definitely, definitely nothing with music.
- If audiobooks don’t work for you, try a white noise machine or app. I have a friend whose husband leaves the TV on with no channel, since he has tinnitus and the background noise helps him sleep through the internal sounds in his head.
- Keep bedtime as regular as possible, even during holidays. If you have a set bedtime and you stick to it, your body’s circadian rhythms are set to repair and restore your body and brain. Jumping around with bedtime, or skipping sleep, may be partially responsible for mental health problems and weight gain in some people.
And there you have it, my hygge hints for a decent night’s sleep. I hope some of them are useful, and that you have a calm and peaceful night’s sleep.
Hygge is all about the small pleasures in life making you happy, and my new book, Happier , is available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle version. It’s all about appreciating the small pleasures in life to feel happier.
You can find details about all my books, and how to connect with me on social media on the Start Here page of my blog.