By Megan Murray
'I believe that our minds and bodies are connected, and that when you are happier you sleep better, which in turn improves your mental and physical health,' says Andreea Dumitrescu, Cowshed therapist at London's Primrose Hill spa.
'When clients come to me with skin issues, I often talk to them about the need for quality sleep. Night time is when our skin cells recover from the day, rebuild collagen, and renew for the next morning.'
Dumitrescu recommends planning your evening routine around practices that aid relaxation. 'Everything from adjusting the temperature and lighting to using products with aromatherapy oils can help,' she says.
Incorporate these stages into your wind-down time and see how it benefits you.
Create a relaxing environment
'Increase the temperature slightly in your home to relax the body and allow muscles to loosen; we ensure that our treatment rooms are warm, without being stifling.
'I'd also advise turning on lamps, and dimming ceiling and wall lights. Harsh spotlights can increase the chance of headaches and make it harder to switch off. Finally, choose a playlist of soothing songs at an appropriate volume - nothing too loud or intrusive.'
Light a candle
'Candles are important mood-setters; there's something ritualistic about lighting one at the end of the day. The Relax candle uses a calming blend of Lavender and Eucalyptus, and is perfect for winding down throughout the evening.
'I'd then recommend lighting the Sleep candle, with Lavender, Chamomile and Geranium in the bedroom ready for lights-out.'
Run a warm bath
'I tell my clients to use this time to release tension in the shoulders and neck. First, prepare the bath with a generous amount of Sleep Bath Oil. Lavender works with Chamomile, Geranium, Frankincense and Jasmine to reduce anxiety and stress, while nourishing the skin.
'Take a bath pillow or a rolled up towel and place it on the edge of the bath. Lean your head back and let it rest on the pillow, allowing the water to soak your shoulders. Stretch out your neck to release tension held in this area. This really helps those who work from home or use a laptop, and it's great for getting the body loose for sleep.'
Exfoliate and moisturise
'Once a week, exfoliate your entire body to aid cell renewal and circulation. You could use a dry body brush and gently stroke towards the heart, starting at the ankles in sections. Or, try an exfoliator such as our Dual Action Body Scrub, which has physical particles alongside AHAs, and Lactic, Glycolic and Malic Acids to improve the appearance and brightness of skin.
'If you don't regularly remove dead skin, moisturisers have to work extra hard to provide a benefit. I recommend using an all-over body moisturiser every night to take advantage of your cells working overtime to repair. Our Relax Body Lotion is filled with calming botanicals and Shea Butter for deeper penetration.'
Use facial massage
'Facial massages offer de-puffing and lymphatic drainage, but they're also good at releasing tension from your neck, jaw line, and brow bone.
'Keep two jade rollers in the fridge, and after applying skincare products, roll in fluid strokes downwards on the neck in sections towards the heart. Then, start on the face, rolling outwards from the centre.
'I tell my clients to use this as me-time; play some music or a mindfulness app. Try not to think about anything and let your facial muscles totally relax.'
Prepare the bedroom
'Sleeping well can be induced by little rituals that signal to your body it's time to switch off. Spraying our Calming Pillow Mist on nightwear and bedding has the benefit of a bespoke aromatherapy blend of Melissa and Lemon Myrtle essential oils to help relieve tension and stress. If you begin to associate these scents with a certain time, it'll also help you get into the rhythm of preparing for sleep.'