Rit­u­als of rest

Blog­ger and The Art of Sim­ple au­thor Eleanor Ozich shares her tips for a re­lax­ing room, plus tools, ton­ics and rit­u­als for a good night’s sleep.

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Sleep is a won­der­ful thing. We spend a third of our lives do­ing it and it’s es­sen­tial for the heal­ing of our bod­ies – so why is it that many of us have trou­ble sleep­ing? More of­ten than not, we zoom through the day at light­ning speed, our minds run­ning wild with to-do lists and the busy­ness of daily life. It’s no won­der we find it hard to slip into a deep and peace­ful slum­ber. Over the past few years, I’ve learned to em­brace the slow, me­thod­i­cal pace of an evening rou­tine. Not only do these small, sim­ple rit­u­als help me to un­wind, I con­sider them to be mag­i­cal lit­tle mo­ments – just for me, and no­body else. Some of my favourite night­time recipes in­clude spiced ap­ple cider (see over­leaf) and creamy chamomile and honey nut milk tea. What­ever rit­u­als work for you, prac­tice them ha­bit­u­ally. Your mind and body will nat­u­rally em­brace the rhythm and in­stinc­tively know it’s time to slow down.

In­dulge in beau­ti­ful sleep­wear

Find­ing beauty in ev­ery day can be as sim­ple as lux­u­ri­at­ing in lovely sleep­wear. We spend many hours of our day sleep­ing and yet most of us don’t give much thought to what we wear to bed. I have to ad­mit, I seem to fall into a more rest­ful sleep when I’m wear­ing some­thing that makes me feel pretty. Thank­fully, there are plenty of emerg­ing sleep­wear de­sign­ers that of­fer nat­u­ral fi­bres such as linen, silk and or­ganic cot­ton. In sum­mer, I love pure cot­ton for its light­weight feel, breatha­bil­ity and tex­ture that soft­ens with each wash. And dur­ing win­ter, cosy sleep­wear made out of merino wool or cash­mere is sen­su­ously soft on the skin and ex­quis­ite to wear. What­ever your pref­er­ence might be, I be­lieve we all de­serve a lit­tle bed­time lux­ury.

A min­i­mal­ist bed­room

Our bed­room is too small to house more fur­ni­ture than the bed and two round wicker stools that we use as bed­side ta­bles. There’s a small slid­ing wardrobe for our clothes (mostly on hang­ers) and a few shelves for footwear. When we first moved in, I was wor­ried about where ev­ery­thing would go, but in hind­sight, the tiny room has been a bless­ing in dis­guise. It in­spired us to cre­ate a light, airy and un­clut­tered space, per­fect in its sim­plic­ity. It’s the room in which I feel the most re­laxed and calm, and I be­lieve it’s be­cause it has so lit­tle in it.

Mak­ing a cosy bed

I be­lieve that to have a good night’s sleep you need to feel cosy and com­fort­able in bed. To slum­ber in soft, clean linen is one of life’s sim­ple plea­sures and one that we can en­joy each and ev­ery night. There is some­thing to be said for bed­ding that has spent time in the sun­shine and the clean smell of freshly dried linen can’t be beaten. I ap­pre­ci­ate good- qual­ity linen, not only for its soft­ness, but be­cause I know it will last for years to come. I also en­joy hav­ing plenty of pil­lows on the bed, and like to sur­round my­self with them while sleep­ing to feel ex­tra cosy. Flow­ers or green­ery by the bed­side add a beau­ti­ful touch, too. What­ever your taste, make sure you ar­range your bed ex­actly how you like it and you’ll wake the next morn­ing ready to em­brace the beau­ti­ful new day wait­ing for you.

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