No lie, one of the main things I miss about university is being able to nap during the middle of the day.
I can’t do that now. I work 9am-6pm five days a week, and napping on the train during my commute just isn’t the same as curling up in a cosy bed.
I also don’t think my superiors would be too impressed if I brought in a blanket and snuggled up underneath my desk for some shut-eye — I try and wake myself up with a snack and a small screen break instead.
So when the lovely people from Holland and Barrett offered to send me a bespoke sleeping bag full of products to help me sleep better at night and stay more awake during the day, I jumped at the chance, and I’m sharing my favourites with you today.
(I’m a daytime dozer, apparently — you can take the sleep quiz here.)
During the Day
Early mornings are definitely my least favourite thing. I’m used to my routine now, so waking up isn’t quite as excruciating as it used to be, but I still wince whenever I set my alarm for 5:30am.
To brighten up my breakfast I’ve been adding Cherry Active Concentrate* to my pint of water in the morning; it’s 100% concentrated cherry juice so I make mine quite weak. It’s a nice change from regular tap water and I do feel a bit more perky after drinking it, but I’m not sure if this is because of the juice or whether it’s a placebo effect. I don’t think I’d seek it out but I’m enjoying trying it out regardless.
Most of the time I shower at night so I have less to do in the morning, but occasionally I need something extra to wake me up, and that’s where Miaroma’s Peppermint Pure Essential Oil* comes in. If you add a couple of drops to a bath it creates a cooling effect and the peppermint scent is so refreshing. Beware: this is definitely something to do in the morning or in summer when you’re too hot. Don’t make the same mistake I did the first time and add it to an evening bath — it’s not quite the same (read: it gets bloody chilly).
On the Train
Both the Metro and the London Evening Standard always have more than one sudoku puzzle so I work my way through those on my train journeys and honestly, it’s such a good way to kill time. Plus the sense of achievement I get from completing one of them (especially the difficult ones) is surprisingly cheering: it’s a little victory, but a victory nonetheless.
As I mentioned earlier, I tend to snack in the afternoon and normally reach for a Nakd bar for a bit of an energy boost. My current favourite flavour is Bakewell Tart (which tastes just like marzipan, heaven) but I’ve also been enjoying the chocolate orange variety lately. Oh, and they’re dairy-free, too!
Once I’ve got home and had dinner, I shower and get into my pyjamas as soon as humanly possible. I’ve been trying out Dr Organic Lavender Skin Lotion* post-shower and I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s thick lotion but it sinks in unbelievably quickly, leaves skin nice and smooth, and the lavender scent isn’t overpowering in the slightest.
Although the Mioroma Relaxing Lavender Temple Balm* is designed for dotting at, well, the temples, I must confess that I don’t actually put it there. One of the places my acne tends to flare up is round my hairline and temples, so I make do with the wrists instead. The lavender-scented balm doesn’t leave too much of a sticky residue on the skin and while I know not everyone is a fan of the smell of lavender, I find it very soothing at night. I’ve been keeping this little pot with my hand cream and lip balm so I don’t forget to use it.
I always try and make time to read before I go to sleep, even if it’s only for five minutes or so. I tend to save anything that requires a bit more concentration (thrillers, for example — I just finished The Girl On The Train) for my commute and anything more lighthearted for bedtime. I’m currently loving Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes, which is a lovely, nostalgic look at beauty products from times gone by.
What did you do to get a good night’s sleep? And how do you stop yourself from dozing during the day? Let me know in the comments!
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travelling, and gin.
I write about ethical & eco-friendly living, minimalism, and mental health, as I muddle through one step at a time. Enjoy!