Tips and Advice

Ensure you have a great night sleep with these simple rituals

Gentle night rituals that will help send you off to better sleep tonight

Sleep is a beautiful yet sometimes elusive thing. We’re supposed to spend a third of our lives doing it, so why do so 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. No wonder we find it hard to slip into a deep, peaceful sleep.

As a mum of three juggling various plates, I’ve learned how essential it is to embrace an evening routine at a slow, methodical pace. Not only do these small, simple rituals help me unwind, I love how they seem to waft into each corner of our home, creating a gentle mood for the entire household.

So, if you’re the kind of person who lies in bed thinking about lost packages in the mail, or pondering the true meaning of life, you’ll appreciate these practical ideas to prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Switch out the screens for relaxing music instead

Screens can be exhausting. Whether it’s your phone lighting up constantly or the flashing television in the background, these distractions unapologetically demand our attention and keep our minds on high alert if we allow them to do so. Recently, we have been embracing calming, gentle music in the evenings instead of screens, and I love how it almost instantly influences the mood in our home. If you’re unsure what to play, instrumental music works well, or search “low-fi” or “relaxing” playlists on Spotify.

Enjoy an early dinner

When you allow two to three hours between your last meal and bedtime, studies show that most of the primary digestion has already taken place, meaning it won’t work overtime in your sleep or cause issues such as heartburn and restlessness. Moreover, this practice can help you to feel more awake and energetic when you wake up the following day. Enjoying an early dinner also helps me feel less rushed and allows me more time to do the relaxing things I love.

Sip on chamomile tea

A steaming mug of chamomile tea might be the simplest way to calm your mind and remind yourself that it’s time to slow down. This herbal tea has been used as a natural sleep remedy for centuries and is said to help support fatigue, stress and anxiety among many other things. To best enjoy chamomile’s sleep-inducing benefits, you’ll want to drink the tea about 45 minutes to an hour before hopping into bed. This allows enough time for the tea to start working its magic.

Embrace your circadian rhythm with soft lighting

As night falls each evening, my partner or I usually wander around the home, closing the curtains, switching on lamps and lighting a series of candles. Not only does this create a lovely ambience, but dim lighting can help to stimulate melatonin in our bodies, which allows us to connect to our circadian rhythms. I also have a diffuser beside the bed, which emits lavender and wild orange essential oil throughout the room. It smells magnificent.

Switch off the screens and cosy up with a good book before bed

According to research, it only takes about six minutes or so of reading to help us feel significantly more relaxed. There’s something to be said about the tangible feeling, too – the weight of the book in your hands, the smell of paper and ink, the soft texture of the pages as you turn them. There’s no space for a back-lit tablet here. Go old-school and lose yourself in an indulgent novel. Before you know it, you’ll feel a heaviness in your eyelids and a feeling of ease and softness in your mind.

Try my favourite creamy chamomile honey and oat milk tea

The idea of creamy herbal tea might seem a little unusual, but it’s surprisingly delicious and very soothing. I have lightly sweetened this hot drink with a little honey, although pure maple syrup works well, too. (Serves 2)


  • 2 cups oat milk, or milk of choice
  • 2 tsp chamomile tea, or 2 tea bags
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup


  1. Place all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, then set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Strain through a small sieve (if not using tea bags), or remove the tea bags. Pour into mugs and enjoy.

Read this next: How to find more time in your day

Words: Eleanor Cripps


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