Can't sleep? How to get to sleep fast with these products

Can’t sleep? From sleep sprays to oils and serums, these beauty and wellbeing faves will help you get to sleep fast

6th September 2022 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Most people know that the key to clear skin, fewer fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce breakouts is to eat well and sleep well. Yet simply telling someone to “get more sleep” when they either can’t sleep or they’re suffering from sleep deprivation can actually make the situation worse.

We previously created a round-up of all the best overnight hair, feet and face masks to help boost your skincare routine while you doze, and now we’ve spoken to experts to get tips and product suggestions on how to get to sleep in the first place.

But, first things first, we’re just going to bang the drum a little bit more about how sleep deprivation can impact your skin to help you understand why these products could do wonders.

FURTHER READING: Sleeping beauty: The best overnight hair masks, face creams and foot treatments

Sleep deprivation: What does it do to the skin?

How to get rid of dark circles under eyes fastiStock

Sleep is the time when your skin – particularly the upper layers of the epidermis – repairs itself. As you doze, blood flow to the skin increases and this helps repair the damage from sun and pollution exposure. It also rebuilds collagen and collagen helps to prevent sagging.

According to Dr Catherine Hood, sleep also “delivers replenishing fluid to all areas of the body that need it, including the eyes and lips, while removing excess fluid from other areas like under the eyes.” When you can’t sleep, it can create bags under the eyes caused by unwanted fluid that hasn’t had the chance to drain away.

FURTHER READING: Avon Plumping Shots review: Can they restore 7 years of collagen in 7 days?

Plus, without the opportunity that sleep gives, your skin ages faster and doesn’t recover as well from the environmental pollutants of the day.

Poor sleep also leads to stress and vice versa. Stress leads to increased production of the stress hormone cortisol which can also impact on the skin’s quality through increasing inflammation and destabilising the immune system.  This can aggravate skin problems like acne and eczema.

All that said, if you can’t sleep you’re now likely even more concerned about what sleep deprivation is doing. So let us help!

How to get to sleep fast with these beauty and wellbeing favourites

When you can’t sleep it can be because your bedtime routine, which includes the hours – rather than just the minutes – leading up to you actually getting into bed, don’t give your body enough time to chill, unwind and relax.

There is a number of things you can do to help get yourself in the right frame of mind and we recently spoke to experts at Tisserand Aromatherapy to learn more about their holistic guide on how to sleep.

Essential oils and sleep spray

If you’ve arrived on this page because you can’t sleep and are already sleep-deprived, Tisserand Aromatherapy recommends the same essential oils that help with jet lag. This is because when your sleeping habits become disrupted, it’s akin to the feeling your get when you’ve been in a different time zone.

“The therapeutic properties of both lavender and cedarwood help you to relax and reduce fatigue, one of the most popular jet lag symptoms,” Tisserand Aromatherapy told mamabella.

“A few drops of these essential oils onto a tissue and inhaled will help you fall into a peaceful slumber.” You can also use the Sleep Better Pillow Mist spray (£10.20).

Top tip: Make sure you breathe from your belly, not your diaphragm so the essential oils can get to work from the centre of your core outwards. 

If you can’t sleep because you’re anxious about an upcoming event, the essential oils that will help calm your mind are lavender, jasmine and sandalwood.

Add two to three drops of each oil to a vapouriser or diffuser and let the aroma fill your room. We recommend the VicTsing diffuser if you’re just getting started with using essential oils. It only costs £15 but it comes with a range of soothing night light colours and a timer, meaning that once you get to sleep, you don’t have to worry about it running all night.

YoungLiving also sells a super cute diffuser, in case your children are feeling the stress and anxiety brought on by the global pandemic. Or if you’re just trying to encourage good sleep behaviours.

Called Feather the Owl (£48), this owl-shaped gadget is a humidifier, aroma diffuser, night light (with 10 LED options) and white-noise machine (with five sounds). It also has an auto shut-off omde. The diffuser works all essential oils but is designed to be paired with Young Living’s KidScents essential oil blends.

Alternatively, if you’ve had a hectic day and are having trouble unwinding, add two to three drops of lavender, Ylang Ylang and chamomile to your vapouriser or diffuser.

Unsurprisingly, based on the fact it’s recommending such oils, Tisserand Aromatherapy sells kits that include all those mentioned above. We recommend The Little Box of Sleep set, which comes with three essential oil blends for £13.45. These include:

  • Breathe Deep: A blend of orange, oetitgrain and coriander
  • True Comfort: A blend of  bergamot, cardamom and Ylang Ylang
  • Sleep Better: A blend of lavender, sandalwood and jasmine

Top tip: If you don’t want to use essential oils, try drinking herbal teas that contain the same ingredients and aromas

Yoga poses

Sleep deprivation and yoga to helpSleep deprivation and yoga to helpGetty Images/iStockphoto

Just like deep breathing forces your body to slow down and relax, so does certain stretches and poses, according to Wellbeing Collective yoga expert Sarah Eckersley.

Standing forward fold

This pose helps calm the mind and ease you into a sleepy state:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly bend forward from the hips so that your head relaxes towards the legs
  • Let your neck and head fully relax as you catch opposite elbows with the hands
  • The legs can be straight or you can bring a small bend to the knees depending on what is most comfortable for you
  • Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, or for as long as feels good/necessary

Seated forward bend

This posture will help stretch the muscles in your body and make you feel relaxed:

  • Sitting on the edge of a blanket or on your bed, extend your legs and slowly start to stretch the body forward, towards the feet
  • Maintaining the length of your spine gently take hold of your feet or shins, keeping the elbows bent and arms relaxed
  • Place a block or pillow on the thighs and rest your head on it so you can fully relax into the pose
  • Deepen the breathing and let your body relax with every exhale

Try CBD 

How to get to sleep fast with CBD oilmamabella | mamabella

As you can read in our What is CBD? guide, cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can help to keep skin youthful, plump, and glowing when applied directly to the skin.

This makes it great for dark spots, anti-ageing, breakouts, eczema, psoriasis and more. However, it can also be used in the same way as other essential oils to reduce stress and help you get to sleep.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has previously found that CBD has a calming effect in the central nervous system, helped by the way CBD interacts with our the CBD 1 and 2 receptors in our bodies.

In fact, a trial in 70 healthy people found that CBD reduced the time to fall asleep and improved sleep efficiency within the first month. Acute administration of CBD has also been shown to reduce resting blood pressure and the blood pressure increase to stress in humans, associated with increased heart rate.

You need to make sure that you choose a high-quality, seed to shelf CBD product – we recommend the range from DragonflyCBD – to get the full benefits.

Wear velvet

Bear with us on this one but research recently found that the material you wear to bed can make a difference to how well you sleep.

Clothing website Ourgirl sent 150 volunteers a range of nightwear and asked them to wear a sleep tracker every night to monitor their sleep. These trackers also monitored, heart rate data, blood oxygen levels, and time spent awake to create an overall sleep score.

The study found that velvet nightwear, in any form, is most conducive to a good night’s sleep, with the highest sleep scores across the board. Wearing a velvet nightdress increased sleep quality by 14% – giving the highest sleep score (86) and the lowest restlessness percentage (9%) of the lot.

If you opt for a onesie in bed, you could actually be making your sleep worse because the research additionally found that wearing a onesie (regardless of what material it’s made from) dropped sleep scores by as much as 9%.

Elsewhere, the study found that short pajamas are better to sleep in than long ones. In fact, wearing short velvet pyjamas gave an average sleep time of seven hours and 42 minutes. Oh to get almost eight hours of sleep a night!

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