Thinking about SLEEP all month has led to some unexpected revelations. Besides it being actually one of my favorite activities, I've discovered it's also, in some ways, my most active activity?
By which I mean: I not only put in a lot of effort toward sleeping well, and as long as I can, but also that I've discovered a solid nine hours is the best time to truly multitask: simply by snoozing, your body gets it together all at once to remedy illness, repair muscles, and to refresh skin and bad moods. We all know from some cool friend with an Alexa Chung hair cut that falling asleep on a bad hair day can mean awakening a perfectly disheveled French girl look-a-likey. And of course a good night's sleep is the best time for your brain to process stresses and fears and joys and to do any deep memorizing or visualization you may have to do.
Frankly, sleep is magical, transformative, and redemptive. And if the day has been a wash - well, at least you get to sleep at the end of it.
Given my high level of expectation for sleep, coupled with reading about everyone else's bedtime all month, I have recently become acutely aware of my own particularities when it comes to hitting the hay. Cataloging even casually my list of requirements for an ideal snooze makes me really understand (all over again - I never really stopped understanding) why I appreciate nice hotels, where the variables are controlled.
Please find below some of my regular requirements for sleep (and then some). Though nothing beats the simple luxury of clean bed after a long day, the below items will make the slide under the blankets all the more enjoyable, and hopefully fruitful.
- Pajamas by Sleepy Jones: all of their things are obviously wonderful, but these navy blue silk pajamas with white piping are the ultimate for when you want to feel impeccable at bedtime.
- OK, obviously for a millionaire's sick bed: a cashmere throw for the top of your bed, from Barney's. Or these aspirational pajamas from Net-a-Porter (a girl can dream).
- Is it the end of the day and you're another day older? And kinda feeling weird? I can only recommend the liberal application of Blue Emu Oil Gel wherever it hurts (I have no idea what Blue Emu Oil Gel actually is, other than that it's incredibly soothing for aches and sprained muscles), a spray or three of Bach's Rescue Remedy on your tongue, and a hot water bottle, slid under pristine sheets (ideally, but probably unrealistically, these Porthault ones). You will wake up feeling, if not extremely better, then at least not like an extra in Les Mis.
- For early rising, weekend/holiday lounging, and for the all-important transition from being awake to bed-ready: a giant, enveloping, yet not depressing, super warm robe (again from Sleepy Jones).
- For the actual act of sleeping: if you are some sort of cowboy, you may be perfectly comfortable with whatever environmental conditions are slung your way, but for some people (me, maybe also Patrice) quiet and consistency of atmosphere are big considerations. For this, there are machines: aside from humidifiers, fans, heating blankets and white noise producers, we have it on good authority that Lumie Lamps are a wonderful addition to the sleep arsenal.
- If you're really digging being fussy every now and again, there's scent to think about, too. Clean sheets are the best bet, but if you're staying somewhere that unfortunately needs a bit of Febreze action, then there's the option of carting around this Jo Malone linen spray with all your other sleep gear. An added bonus is that if you're finding it hard to fall asleep in a non-ideal condition, just read the strangely poetic (or at least J. Peterman-ish) Jo Malone scent copy over and over again in a soothing manner:
Warm and fragrant island hillsides, after the heat of the day. The heady scent of jasmine with herbaceous oregano is carried on a balmy Mediterranean breeze. Aromatic thyme meets the cooling effervescence of pink pepper. Sensual, floral and fresh.
- Finally, aside from half an Ambien (JK that stuff crazy), what must every potential Sleeping Beauty absolutely have on hand for a good night's sleep? An eye mask is what. And not just one, but several (one for each suitcase or sleeping locale). Take my word for it.
One last bit of advice: if you're in the habit of long train rides - or transatlantic flights for that matter - make sure you've got at least one sleep mask in your handbag, along with noise canceling headphones and a travel pillow spritzed with Jo Malone's exotic hillsides and a water bottle laced with Bach Flower Remedies. You never know when you'll need to create the perfect conditions for a snooze.
More from the September SLEEP Archive...