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What I do to cope with the effects of a bad night's sleep
November 26th 2017 / 0 comment
From inspiring podcasts to supplements and reinvigorating beauty products, here’s how 7 successful women prevent a bad night’s sleep from ruining their working day
A bad night’s sleep has the potential to throw your week’s plans completely off course. It can take a while to get back to feeling yourself again, but with work and life more stressful than ever, the pressure to bounce back can feel too much sometimes (which just makes it worse). What are the tricks and tips that successful women use when they’ve spent the night tossing and turning? From mindset switch-ups to apps, supplements and go-to products for waking up fatigued skin, we asked 7 industry high-fliers about what works for them when they have work the next morning.
“It's important not to take your bad mood into work and have it affect others,” Susannah Taylor, Editor-at-Large of Get The Gloss
“After a bad night's sleep, I feel that mind over matter is really important - it might feel like hell on earth but you have to remember that it won't last so I think it's important not to dwell on it too much or take your bad mood into work and have it affect others. There are a few things that I also do that also help get me through the day: I have a strong shower with something zingy like Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath & Shower Oil, £40, which is like a shot of coffee for the senses.
I also always wash my face properly as I find that really wakes me up. I then make sure I eat well throughout the day...a proper breakfast and healthy lunch will get me through until leaving time. I try to avoid the things we crave in that state like coffee which I think will wake me up but will actually make me more jittery. However, I might succumb to some comforting chocolate with my tea at tea time.”
“I have my morning shot of Symprove,” Eve Kalinik, nutritional therapist
“If I’ve had a night of tossing and turning, then the next day I try to minimise my energetic outgoings where possible and conserve the batteries so to speak. If that means cancelling a planned gym class or even meetings that can wait until another day, I will do that. There’s no point pushing yourself and your body when it’s flagging already. From a food perspective, I consciously make an effort to eat small and often to keep my energy and blood sugar levels more consistent as insulin can be negatively affected by not having enough shut eye. Digestion can also be a bit on the sluggish side too since the gut is also ‘tired,’ so eating smaller meals gives it a bit less work to do. I also eat earlier that evening and give myself an early night making sure to have an extra long soak in the bath with scented candles, read a book and have a hot PLENISH almond milk with turmeric, cinnamon and a touch of raw honey stirred through. I generally make that pre-bedtime ritual a bit longer than usual.
Supplement-wise, I’d make sure to have my morning shot of Symprove, £79, as the gut microbiome can also suffer from poor sleep and I might take an additional dose of Wild Nutrition Food-State B Complex Plus, £22, for an energy boost."
“I listen to podcasts or sleep stories,” Michelle Kennedy, co-founder of motherhood networking app, Peanut
“I am a horrible sleeper, have been since I was pregnant. Prior to that I could sleep anywhere - even a nightclub...I was that friend. Now, I find sleep elusive, I find it hard to turn off my internal monologue. Even when I do fall asleep, I often wake up again, and find it hard to drift back off. So one thing I do in the morning is listen to podcasts or sleep stories on Calm. It's more productive than my own thoughts reminding me of all the things I haven't done! Sometimes you hear something amazing, and it inspires you when the alarm goes off (I love How I Built This, and Emma Gannon Ctrl, Alt, Delete). I also make sure to eat breakfast. I am not a big one for breakfast, but I need to get my reserves from somewhere! Fruit, cereal, coffee are a must (try not to go for the pastries, even though that's what you really want - it will make you sluggish). I also force myself to take a walk at lunchtime - it gives me energy to get through the day and I try not to succumb to the 8pm bedtime call. However tempting, you'll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night again! Try and push it until 10pm, and then go all out with the bedtime routine - lavender oil on the pillow, no devices, warm bath etc.
I must say though some of my best days with Peanut have been when I've been suffering from lack of sleep, because you push harder, you’re more focused because you can't drop a ball, so give yourself a break, don't freak out about sleep. Oh, and having some good mama friends around you to help you out, telling you it's okay to have the little ones have a morning of Peppa Pig, bring you Starbucks - that's important too!"
“I always apply a prescription retinoid to my skin at night,” Dr Sam Bunting, dermatologist
“Sleep is such an essential wellbeing factor for me and yet I’ve been prone to insomnia ever since the tough years of my medical training doing hospital night shifts and on-calls. I’m fair-skinned and prone to stress-related acne so poor sleep quality leaves my skin bumpy and lacklustre, with dark circles even Dermablend can’t conceal! If I've had a bad night's sleep, the only things that help are hydration and concealer. I'll apply a layer of Avene Tolerance Extreme Mask, £11.25, and give that 10 minutes (it's even better if applied from the fridge). I'll then conceal the dreaded blue tones under my eyes with Sisley Phyto-Cernes Eclat Under-eye Concealer in Number 1, £56.70. I'll use a light coating of Burberry Bright Glow, £36, and a pop of Stila Convertible Colour in Camellia, £20.94, to simulate a fresh, just-been-out-for-a-walk look and if I curl lashes to mimic a wide-awake state, I'll just about get away with it!
With work, I'm generally very engaged anyway as I love my job - so provided I have a proper flat white and a light but nourishing breakfast, I'll be okay. Once work is over though, I will generally hit the wall and collapse in a heap! To get the most out of my beauty sleep and prevent any poor sleep-connected skin concerns from happening, I always apply a prescription retinoid to my skin at night. It’s the best way to suppress breakouts and premature ageing in one fell swoop. I use tretinoin on prescription to keep my skin stimulated, no matter what life throws at me.”
“Going for an early morning swim really helps,” Christine d’Ornano, Global Vice President of Sisley Paris
“If I have a late night, I try to drink a lot of water before going to bed and if I’ve slept badly, going for an early morning swim really helps boost me – exercise definitely clears the head and gives me energy. I then either have a fresh green juice or an 8Greens tablet. Skincare-wise, I keep Sisley’s Eye Contour Mask, £85, on standby in the fridge and apply it while I have breakfast, leaving it on for fifteen minutes. I also use the ridoki tool which comes with our new Sisleÿa L’Intégral Eye Cream, £124.20, to massage the area around the eyes. This reduces puffiness and helps me look more rested. I then apply our Black Rose Mask, £99, over the whole face for a few minutes, followed by Sisleÿa L’Intégral, £298.
If I feel tired later in the day, I really try not to have a sugar boost as it’s such a temporary quick fix. I have a cup of tea though (the caffeine does help) and an apple. I also try to eat berries as often as possible as this helps clear toxins and re-energises me throughout the day.”
“I add things like a ginger shot and moringa into my diet for a natural energy boost,” Abigail James, top facialist
“I’m a seasoned on and off insomniac but life and work have to go on! These days, I definitely step totally away from any sugary pick-me-ups, I’ve learned they are counterproductive. You might think they will give you that energy lift, but I find the slump after about 20 minutes is even worse! Instead, I add in things like a ginger shot and moringa into my diet for a natural energy boost. A walk outside in the fresh air between clients is essential too. And lots of water - I will have a coffee mid-morning then switch to green tea. If I’m still feeling a slump afterwards, I’ll have a banana too.
If my skin looks tired, I’ll do a deep, fast facial massage during my cleansing in the morning and I might get my Clarisonic or Foreo out to really get the blood circulation going. I find that a good vitamin C serum like medik8 CE Tetra, £63, really helps as does a more nourishing moisturiser too. I also add a glow/strobing type primer into my foundation to trick the radiance look and a concealer is a must. I’m loving Tropic Skincare Concealer, £22, right now - the coverage is amazing. My skin always looks drier on bad sleep days too, so I re-apply eye cream over my concealer throughout the day (Murad is fab) and I will also spritz CosMedix Mystic Hydrating Treatment, £45.25, over my makeup too.”
“I don’t like to eat anything too heavy,” Reena Hammer, Urban Retreat Managing Director
“It’s been a busy year for the business, so I’ve had many early starts and late nights, especially recently. When I need to wake up quickly and get over any initial tiredness, I often dunk my face in ice cold water in my sink for 10 seconds a few times for an instant tightening fix, then I apply Urban Retreat’s Eye Gel, £25, so I feel ready to start the day. If I’ve had a restless night, I don’t often like to eat anything too heavy during the day, as it makes me feel more lethargic, so I opt for drinking smoothies, juices and water and eat raw vegetables like carrot sticks and hummus to obtain much-needed nutrients and keep my energy levels up as I usually have days with back-to-back meetings.
If I haven’t slept well two nights in a row, I book myself into a Bikram Yoga class. The combination of heat and movement from the class and adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender and Bloom & Blossom’s Pillow Spray (in its Sleep Night Time Ritual Trio set, £24), to my pillow when I get home, ensures I sleep like a baby. Currently, in the run up to Christmas, I’ve been indulging in the warm room areas in The Moroccan Spa we have on-site in Urban Retreat at Harrods and having a Discovery Hammam, £45 - an authentic Moroccan exfoliating massage to fully relax and take respite from the cold weather.”