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.
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.