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Self-Care Tips

I Added This Dreamy Scent Into My Bedtime Routine, and Now My Bedroom Feels Like My Own Personal Self-Care Sanctuary

My bedtime routine is simple: Comfy PJs, facial oil, hand cream, cracking open a really good book... and, that’s it. My streamlined regimen has always helped me wind down by 10 p.m. every night, but recently it started feeling less-than-inspiring, which has resulted in restlessness before bed and some not-so-optimal shut-eye.

Instead of completely overhauling my routine (and getting utterly overwhelmed), I set out to zhuzh up my pre-sleep activities while keeping the ones I love (like reading). I opened my journal and jotted down a quick list of things that make me feel ultra calm and relaxed. What topped off my list, you ask? Scent, and it’s no surprise: I’m a candle lover and a perfume devotee. Dreamy aromas tend to transport me into a restful state of ease (my go-to scent combos include sweet and woody bases like vanilla and sandalwood).

In a twist of kismet, I was introduced to the new NEST New York Driftwood & Chamomile Wellness Collection—which includes sumptuous candles and diffusers—while hunting for some new nightly additions. And wow: The velvety scent profile infuses soothing notes of chamomile, driftwood, sandalwood, and vanilla bean (all of which are known to have a calming, relaxing effect) in a blend I couldn't get enough of. It was love at first sniff.

So, I thought: Why not find a way to mix this welcome addition into my evenings to see if it helped me unwind? New bedtime routine, coming right up.

Keep scrolling for my experience adding this dreamy scent into my bedtime routine (and why I’ll never look back).

1. I (actually) unplugged after work hours

Making sure I get a deep sleep every night is important to me. Which means that when my work day is finished, my sleep routine commences. Let me explain: I’m not going to bed at the strike of 6 o’clock, instead I've been stepping into a slower pace with an atmosphere to match. How to add some ambience? The Driftwood & Chamomile 3-Wick Candle provides a sweet tranquility boost.

After closing my laptop for the night, I lit the candle and brewed a hot tea. Quickly, the candle's base notes of vanilla bean and sandalwood filled the room, followed by top notes of driftwood and chamomile. The scent was pleasant and calming, which folded into the rest of my night: making dinner with my husband and catching up on some of our favorite shows on the couch with our dog (with *lots* of ear scratches).

2. I amplified my self-care time before bed

Is there anything more glamorous than a warm bath with candles? I’ll wait. A few nights a week I swapped my nightly shower for a short soak in the tub, and the Driftwood & Chamomile Classic Candle was the cherry on top of my new focus on nighttime self care. The eight-ounce candle is mighty, and filled up my bathroom with its luscious smells in just a few minutes.

And on the nights I didn't have time for a bath, I still lit the candle on my sink to enjoy the aroma while I did my evening skin-care routine. I was also patting myself on the back for using the candle as a savvy way to integrate deep breathing and grounding techniques into my self-care moments (because let's be honest, I wanted to breathe in the soothing fragrance as much as possible anyway). Getting a little extra slice of grounding me-time improved my mood—and chilled me out.

3. I had sensory support all night long

Smell may be one of the most powerful senses, so I like to harness the slam dunk effect of this dreamy aroma before sleep without ever striking a match. It goes like this: Accessorizing my night stand with a NEST New York Reed Diffuser, which lets the fragrance work its magic all night without having to worry about an open flame (since I obviously wouldn't go to sleep with a candle burning).

The smell was restorative with the same notes twirling through the air without adding heaviness. While the herbal chamomile (which has long been a go-to ingredient for encouraging sleep) mingled with the sugary vanilla bean and rich sandalwood, I dug into my usual routine of moisturizing and then reading. Once I snuggled under the covers, I practically nodded off to dreamland instantly thanks to the continuous release of the botanical blend. Told you it was serenity at first sniff.

Top photo: Getty Images/FG Trade

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