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Trouble sleeping: Top tips & tricks to improve your sleep

We have all been sleeping since before we can remember, but it turns out we’re not doing it very well anymore.  

It will come as no surprise to you, working on the front line of spa, that this year sleep is once again on the wellness agenda. You have probably encountered some stressed out spa-goers suffering from insomnia, sleep anxiety and general exhaustion. And we all know, the impact that poor sleep has on physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The good news is that growing awareness of the importance of good sleep means that we’re starting to do something about it. We know that sleep helps us to look and feel better, and it doesn’t cost us anything either. Naturally, this is something that wellness spas and retreats have known for a long time. Nowadays there are also lots of products, designed by sleep technologists, to help us all get a good kip.

So where do you start? Well, it seems there are a few tribes out there dedicated to different ways of tackling improving sleep:

The sleep technology tribe

Plenty of people swear by health apps and devices to help get fit and improve mental health and wellbeing. That also extends to sleep gadgets. Live life by your FitBit, smart bed, mind spa and anti-stress apps? Here are the top recommendations to help tech devotees sleep well:  

  • Sleep meditation apps like Muse 2 - guided sleep meditation for deep sleep and relaxation.
  • Smart beds which track and adjust to your sleep patterns and adjust angles and temperature.
  • Sleep trackers like Fit Bit which track your movement and heart rate to estimate sleep stages.
  • Light alarms like Lumie to help you drift off and wake more naturally.
  • Mind Spa, which uses light and sound in similar ways to a guided meditation for deep sleep and relaxation.

The digital detox tribe

Then again, some of the healthiest people in the world say the bedroom is only for sleep and sex. That means removing all digital devices, including the above sleep gadgets. This is supported by the belief that technology really interrupts our mental health and wellbeing.  E-smog clogs up the atmosphere, the temptation to scroll through social media suppresses our hormones, and the light on a flashing iPhone wakes us up. It is, after all the reason many wellness retreats do not allow mobile phones at all. If this sounds like you, Fashionizer Spa’s top digi-free recommendations include:

  • Remove all electronic devices and mobile phones from your room.
  • Don’t use your mobile phone to wake you up - get an old school alarm clock.
  • Have a Peace Lily in the room – NASA scientists say it can have a neutralising effect on e-smog and remove formaldehyde from the air up to 30 feet.
  • Put an anti-radiation phone case on your mobile to reduce electromagnetic stress.

The sleep routine tribe

Research has found that in Blue Zones like Costa Rica, Greece, Sardinia and Japan, people are the healthiest in the world and a good routine is central to their lifestyles. Of course, these are also places where they’re not staring at their iPhones 24-hours a day either. Key lifestyle elements include staying naturally active, having a sense of purpose, drinking red wine, and in the case of the Sardinian shepherds we met, drinking goat’s milk. But for those of us not herding sheep, here are some routine recommendations for sleeping well?

  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Dim the lights before bed.
  • Have a lavender plant or essential oil by your bed.
  • Have a warm drink before bed.
  • Try sleep meditation or a guided sleep meditation before bed.
  • Have a bath with essential oils.
  • Follow a daily skincare routine.
  • Read before bed instead of watching a screen.
  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even at the weekend.

Then again, knowing the world of spas the way we do, we find that that the best way to fall into a deep, drawl-inducing slumber is to have a good massage. What do you think?

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