It may not come as a surprise to know that many of us are not sleeping very well. A new study has found that more than 70 percent of UK women suffer from poor sleep, while 40 percent of those surveyed feel they have aged by two years in the last 12 months.
Of the 650 British women aged between 25 and 54 who took part in the study, commissioned by Boots' No7, many attribute the lack of sleep to several factors, including financial worries as well as concerns over social and family issues. With our clocks set to go back one hour this weekend, the prospect of an extra 60 minutes in bed may be a welcome respite for some.
However, independent sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, encourages us to put that extra hour to good use. "The important thing is to have some kind of ritual," she says, "create some time before bed to nurture yourself, take an hour or 30 minutes to decompress your nervous system and get away from technology, so that by the time you get into bed you are settled and it is easier for you to hit those deep sleep phases."
There are an array of different things you can do to aid a restful sleep. Consultant dermatologist and nutrition expert Dr Thivi Maruthappu says, "making sure our bedroom environment is cool and uncluttered, avoiding screen time one hour before bed and having a regular wind down routine can be helpful. That might be gentle yoga stretching, your evening skincare routine or a warm bath."
Dr Ramlakhan highly recommends incorporating a bath into your bedtime ritual. Rather than using regular bath soaks, she is a firm believer in opting for effective products and ingredients that will create a real impact on sleep. Adding Epsom salts, Himalayan salts and even bicarbonate soda into your bath could be game changing, "when we are around electronics or neglecting our nutrition and exercise, this can acidify the body which in turn leads to illness and disease. Salts on the other hand, alkalises your body and helps you to reach the right PH levels, which enables the body to relax."
Lavender is another bath time essential. There is a reason why searches for ‘Does Lavender help you sleep?’ are up by 3,300 percent year-on-year according to Google Trends. As well as its aromatic benefits, beauty brand founder Susanne Kaufmann points out that the ingredient has an anti-inflammatory and caring effect on the skin and a calming, anxiety-relieving, relaxing, and uplifting effect on the mind.
"The wonderful thing about bathing is it is such a brilliant opportunity to give your body what it needs, and give your mind a moment to rest and reset," says Kaufmann. Below, you'll find our edit of the best bath tools to aid a more restful sleep.
Bath time essentials
Anti-inflammatory pine needle oil and purifying properties of spruce needle oil make this new addition to Susanne Kaufman's bath range an utter treat.
You only need a few drops of this award-winning 'superblend' of lavender, chamomile, vetivert essential oils and 2 percent CBD to help you drift.
With a brand new fragrance designed to optimise sleep quality, featuring lavender, bergamot and tonka bean, this bath milk is scientifically proven to boost relaxation.
Created by renowned aromatherapist Michelle Roques O'Neil, these mood-enhancing salts are an effective way to restore energy levels and alleviate stress.