Sometimes no matter how many pillow mists you've sprayed or bedding upgrades you've made, a restful night of sleep eludes you. If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone. The number of people in the UK experiencing insomnia has risen from one in six to one in four, according to a study by the University of Southampton in August 2020, plus “insomnia” was Googled more in 2020 than it ever had been before. There's even a word to describe our collective sleep struggles in the pandemic: 'coronasomnia', coined by clinical health professor Angela Drake of the University of California.
For anyone finding it difficult to sleep at the moment, we spoke to five people who used to struggle to drop off and now sleep like babies about their evening wind-down routines.
"A bedtime routine for myself and the kids helps me sleep," – Rochelle Humes, presenter and founder of skincare brand My Little Coco
"I try to get a solid eight hours sleep a night but I'm definitely guilty of getting caught up in a 'just one more' box set situation. With three kids (Alaia-Mai, seven, Valentina Raine, four, and Blake Hampton, five months), things have changed over the years and my bedtime routine centres around them a lot!
"I'm trying to cut back on my screen time at the moment so try not to have my phone in the bedroom with me so that I really switch off. If I'm being really good I'll be in bed by 10pm and if I'm not feeling too sleepy then I read.
"For me, the best way to help me get a good night's sleep is to create a bedtime routine not just for me but for the kids as well.
"Bedtimes in our house are a family affair. I've got the kids in a great routine using all of the Sleepy Head products from my skincare brand My Little Coco. We start with a bubble bath using Sleepy Head Bath and Body Bubbles , £6.99, and the Sleep Head Bath Fizzers , £6.99, and then I use the Sleepy Head Calming Baby Oil , £6.99, for Blake whilst doing a little baby massage. Once everyone's ready in their PJs, we use the Sweet Dreams Pillow Mist , £6.99, on their pillows and bedding whilst we snuggle down with a bedtime story.
"I'm a sucker for a bath so that is my ultimate wind down once they're in bed. I love to use my Baby Mama Nourishing Bath Soak , £8.99 from my My Little Coco collection and then I do my skincare routine.
"I love to use a jade roller alongside my products before bed. I find that it helps relieve any tension from the day and is really relaxing. I also like a good eye cream, I love the Zein Obagi Skin Health Growth Factor Eye Serum , £94.99.
"I'm low maintenance and just swear by the silk eye masks from Slip , £50, for a restful sleep."
MORE GLOSS: The best pillow sprays to help you drift off
"Pre-bedtime rituals helps me to wind down," – George Northwood, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Undone by George Northwood haircare
"Usually I sleep quite well, but it’s the first thing I notice that changes if I become busy or stressed. I tend to function best on around eight hours of sleep although recently I’ve been getting a bit less than that as I just launched my new haircare range which has been exciting, but stressful at times.
"Before Covid I travelled a lot for work. I was always between time zones and my sleep pattern became messy. I found that regular meditation improved my sleeping a lot. I took part in some meditation sleep courses too which really helped get me back on track."
"My dream ‘lights out’ bedtime is around 10 pm, with an aim to be asleep by 10:30/10:45 pm. If I’ve been out or working, my wind downtime may be a bit later, but I always try to be asleep by midnight at the absolute latest."
"I like to invest in my pre-bedtime rituals as I feel it really does help me to get into the right frame of mind and start to wind down for the day. I started using CBD oil to help get my sleeping pattern back on track. I love the Cannadox range , from £99.99, as they offer a variety of strengths. I would recommend this brand to anybody who is currently stressed out and is finding it hard to switch off, it really helped me.
"I love to take a hot bath with Epsom salts (I like using the Soakin’ Epsom Bath Salts , £3.99) which I find really comforting. I also love using a bath oil and I’m a big fan of anything by Aromatherapy Associates . I light a candle ( Cire Trudon , always!) as I find candlelight really soothing, and put on some classical music. I love the Calm meditation app too for sleep stories and adult lullabies.
MORE GLOSS: 12 long-lasting scented candles that are worth every penny
"I also use this time to wash my hair, so I’m feeling fully cleansed and ready for bed. Undirty from my Undone range, £12, is particularly comforting and cocooning (notes include sandalwood and violet) and it puts me straight into relaxation mode.
"I always make myself a cup of herbal tea after my bath. I love chamomile and any night time teas that include valerian root."
Although I fall asleep fairly easily, I am quite a light sleeper so I find an eye mask and earplugs are a must. I also use a magnesium spray on my skin - I love The Nue Co’s Magnesium Ease , £20. If I’ve been travelling and my sleep cycle is really messed up, I take melatonin supplements which really help to aid sleep if you’re struggling.
"I firmly believe that you shouldn’t sleep with your phone nearby – I leave mine in another room and have an old school alarm clock by my bed.
"I also find that working out regularly really helps you to get into a deeper sleep, it almost exhausts you so your body and mind switch off more easily.
"I try not to watch anything too stimulating before bed as that has often kept me awake at night. No horror movies! I like watching something easy going which helps to put my mind into a more comforting state."
Shop George Northwood's Undone haircare collection.
"Deep breathing or a few minutes’ meditation lull me into relaxation," – Sarah Chapman, celebrity facialist and skincare founder
"I used to be a great sleeper, but for several years I had quite interrupted sleep until I got into my new routine. Now I don’t have devices in the bedroom as I believe they affect your sleep quality. I recommend always having water by the bed in case you get thirsty and keeping windows open for some fresh air. I also sleep on a silk pillowcase , which certainly feels good.
"I try to follow a consistent bedtime routine as I find this helps me to start winding down. At around 9.30 pm, I put my electronic devices on charge and usually at 10 I say goodnight to my little dog Sidney and head upstairs.
"For me, nurturing my skin is an important element of self-care so I use my targeted Neck and Chest Rejuvenating Complex , £64, to treat crepiness, sagging and sun damage in this often-neglected area, before getting into my pyjamas. My favourite pair is from Olivia von Halle , from £395. They are made of incredibly fine silk. In addition to being really comfortable, silk helps to prevent skin ageing and keep your skin smooth, so they’re working hard whilst I sleep!
"Before I get into bed, I take my supplements which include Skinesis Overnight Facial Supplement , £64 for 60 capsules, Wild Nutrition Food-Grown Magnesium , £16.60 for 60 capsules or Form Nutrition ZZZZs Nootropic Capsules , £19 for 30 capsules.
"I spritz my pillow with Olverum Restful Sleep Pillow Mist , £25, and spray the soles of my feet and lower legs with BetterYou Magnesium Oil Body Spray , £13. I then rub Margaret Dabbs’ Fabulous Feet Foot Hygiene Cream , £20, into my feet, and apply Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax , £49, onto my hands and forearms (so that as I rest, I can inhale the relaxing scent). After I switch off the lights I sometimes do some deep breathing or a few minutes’ meditation to lull myself into relaxation."
Shop Sarah Chapman's Skinesis collection
"I always take 90 minutes to wind down before bed," – Rhian Stephenson, founder of Artah retreats and ex-CEO of Psycle
"I am a fairly solid sleeper now but I went through a really stressful phase when I was CEO and my sleep suffered tremendously. It would take me hours to fall asleep - sometimes I’d be awake until 3 am. Eventually, I had to get on top of a proper sleep routine because it was driving me crazy. I put a curfew on emails and phone and made sure I had a good 90 minutes to wind down. Yin yoga really did the trick for me - I started doing a 20-minute sleep routine and within a few days my sleep had improved dramatically - it’s just incredible for the nervous system. We've posted a Yin for Sleep on the Artah Instagram account with our amazing teacher Olive DelBalzo, which is the one I use as my go-to. If I'm craving a live class I'll do Yin with Marion Pearce on online studio Sutra ."
"I make sure I have no coffee after four pm and no screens an hour before bed are the biggest rules for me.
"Right now – in lockdown – I try to get to bed fairly early. I’m asleep by 10:30 pm and it only takes me a few minutes. I have an 11-month-old baby who still wakes in the night a few times a week, so I often do a 2 am feed but apart from that, I sleep solidly through. With work, a baby, and exercise I am pretty exhausted by the end of the day."
"I take 5-HTP each night, usually Pure Encapsulations 5-HTP , £58.86 for 60 capsules or Nutri Advanced 5-HTP , £20.80 for 60 capsules and I've been developing a herbal sleep blend for Arthah which has been working incredibly well. It's a blend of herbs such as Passiflora, Valerian and Scutellaria and will be coming out in April.
"I also take magnesium glycinate daily and increase it when I’m training a lot. Magnesium is an important mineral that's involved in hundreds of reactions in the body and as a supplement, comes in many different forms. Magnesium Glycinate is the best form for sleep because the magnesium is paired with glycine, an amino acid that is beneficial for the nervous system which also stimulates the pathways for serotonin production. I also love Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Oil , £49, it calms me down immediately. If I'm craving some extra relaxation, I’ll have a bath with Apothem Labs' Unplug Bath Salts , £65 for 250ml.
Find out more about Artah Retreats
"I rely on the natural rhythm of my body to help me sleep," – Poppy Delbridge, rapid tapping expert
"I normally sleep for eight hours a night without waking at all, however, I haven't always slept well at all; I had to learn to understand the natural rhythm of my body and identified I was going to bed far too late. I also realised that I hate alarms and I had a terrible alarm! Interestingly going to bed earlier and changing my alarm to something more soothing has made a big difference and now I don’t even use alarms because I’ve trained myself to wake naturally using my body clock. This is something that takes a little time to master but is definitely worth doing."
"I tend to go to bed quite early, I certainly get into bed quite early, no later than 10 pm. I very occasionally wake up in a mood of inspiration around four am and keep my Saia success planner journal, £29, next to my bed for those moments so I can note down my thoughts and get back to resting. I automatically wake just before 6 am and have a glass of water next to my bed for when I rise to rehydrate.
"My evening ritual begins with a bath before bed, I often find a lot of inspiration during the quiet of a bath, followed by a luxurious layer of my favourite creams and oils. I use Votary Super Seed Facial Oil , £24, just before sleeping at night, I use Byredo Hand Cream , £30, and the Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask , £78, before bed in the bath alongside a lighter Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream , £150, on my cheeks.
"I turn on my salt lamps , from £14.99, and turn off all other lights because the salt lamps give a calming glow as opposed to brighter lights. Once settled I clear away the day with one of my rapid tapping routines for sleep or something a little more personal if I have a particular focus or energy I know I want to address. I will often choose some music or a podcast/audiobook directed to the thought pattern I want my brain to take that evening as the contents allow me to follow a practice of sleep manifestation until I wake the following morning.
"I read a lot of Dr David Hamilton’s work before bed. I use the Hay House app and recommend that for well-being and mind and soul related books. Also, I have a podcast now too, Rapid Tapping with Poppy Delbridge. I don’t listen to that of course it would be weird but there are night routines on there to relieve stress just gone out this week a Tap Track to music."
"I use clean sheets a lot, I love clean sheets, there really is nothing better!
"My pillowcase is silk and from Slip , £85 and I spray it with the Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist , £20. These are my top fail-safes for a good night’s sleep and also easily transportable if you’re staying away from home or travelling. As with when I wake in the morning, I find a large glass of water before I go to sleep also aids a good nights rest."
Listen to the Rapid Tapping with Poppy Delbridge podcast