How does supermodel Elle Macpherson balance the fast pace of her jam-packed days? With a good night’s rest, naturally. Here, the Well+Good Council member shares her advice on creating a calm, peaceful evening to set you up for a night of blissful sleep.
I’m a converted seven-hours-of-sleep-a-night girl. I learned a lot about how important getting enough zzz’s is from my close friend (and my nutritional doctor) Simone Laubscher, PhD. When I first met her, I was running on four hours a night. I’d stay up late to work after my boys were in bed and get up early to exercise before they were awake. Looking back, I wonder how I didn’t see what I was doing. I was so tired and stressing my adrenal glands to the point of burnout, but I thought I was being healthy and productive.
I was stressing my adrenal glands to the point of burnout, but I thought I was being healthy and productive.
Now, I like to unplug as early as I can. It can be tricky with a business based on the other side of the world (Australia is just waking up when I’m ready to wind down), so I’ll often have calls or e-mails that I need to handle. It’s a balancing act, and I don’t always get it right, but my general rule is: No screens one hour before bed.
Every two to three nights, I make a fresh batch of almond or hemp milk after dinner to keep in the fridge for smoothies. It has become a nighttime ritual that I find calming and therapeutic. I’ll play some music (right now I have “I Want to Be Free“ by the Ohio Players on repeat) and really take my time.
I like to shower right before bed. It feels like I’m washing away the day. I also read recently that going from the warm shower to the cool air outside causes a slight drop in body temperature, which can trigger feelings of drowsiness.
I always keep a good book on my bedside table and a notepad for jotting down ideas.
I love what Arianna Huffington says about the bedroom being an oasis—a beautiful escape from the day. I always keep a good book on my bedside table and a notepad for jotting down ideas, or for a general brain dump so I can get to sleep. I also have a full glass of water and my Sleep Welle Calming Mist, which I spritz on my pillows and around the bedroom. The lavender scent really adds to the sense of calm I try to create before bed.
If I still have trouble calming my mind, I’ll lie on my back, place my feet up the wall, and stretch my arms (like the yoga pose viparita karani). It has an immediate meditative effect on me. All I need is five minutes like that and I’m calm and ready for sleep.
Originally published on November 9, 2017. Updated on September 23, 2018.
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