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Lavender pillow spray

This post is sponsored by Sleepmaker

Insomnia is on the rise and it’s our beloved screens that seem to be the cause, according to sleep experts. This is bad news for someone like me who has often woken with a smart phone imbedded in my cheek (just quietly, I’m impressed it survived the drool) but apparently there is hope.

It turns out, there are quite a few things hiding in our bedrooms that might be impacting our sleep and I’m not talking about snoring partners, wailing babies and bad smells (I made a lavender pillow spray to help fight the last issue – the recipe’s at the end, with a printable label, because it also makes a lovely gift).Lavender-pillow-spray | Blah Blah Magazine

‘But how can I get more sleep????’ is the catch cry whenever I mention trying to get more sleep on Facebook and the reason I started asking around to find out what we can do about it.

How to sleep better | Blah Blah Magazine

The Australasian sleep association has some guidelines for setting up good bedtime routines or establishing good ‘sleep hygiene’ as it is strangely called, while the The Sleep Shack has some great articles on helping kids and teens get more sleep and why we need to.

However, it’s also really important to think about how the room is set up, because it can impact the “The two things that control sleep in our body: melatonin and core (body) temperature,” says Dr Chris Seton, a sleep physician at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. “Basically, we’re aiming for a drop in core temperature and to trigger an increase in melatonin.”

The 3 big sleep enemies

Light
Feeling too hot
Discomfort

6 steps to setting up the bedroom for sleep

1. Keep all screens, big and small, out of the bedroom

The bedroom is no place for a blue light disco. It’s thought that our brain is wired to find the blue light of the pre-dawn sky stimulating and this is why technology screens are so disruptive for sleep when used near bedtime, because they emit shed loads of blue light.

“Basically, technology hammers the brain with the message to wake up,” says Seton. Sometimes, just seeing our various gadgets can signal to our brain that it’s time to be stimulated with work, games and so on, which is why they need to be banished.

If you need encouragement, I particularly like Smaggle’s fabulous initiative for being screen free after 9pm.

2. A dark, dark room

We want the room as dark as possible, because, “Melatonin turns up when it’s dark and allows us to sleep and turns off when it’s light, signalling the body to wake up,” says Seton.

This means black out curtains on the windows and can mean turning out all the random light sources, from nightlights, clocks to charging phones.

If children need a nightlight, because they are scared of the dark, Seton recommends choosing the dimmest light possible, ideally with a yellow or red tone. “No light is better, but a very dim yellow or red light is better than blue.”

3. A slightly cooler room is better than a warm one

A good strategy is to keep the room cool and manage the body temperature with sheets and blankets, because we need to let our core temperature drop for the brain to signal that it’s time to sleep. “We can adjust to the noise of a fan running, but if our core temperature isn’t dropping, then the brain signals us to stay awake.”

The ideal temperature range is called the Goldilocks temperature, because it’s not too hot and not too cold. Seton is hesitant to give specifics, because it can be different for different people. From what I understand, it’s somewhere around the point where you’d feel more comfortable in a long sleeve shirt, rather than a short sleeve shirt if you were sitting.

How to sleep better | Blah Blah Magazine

4. A comfortable mattress
A mattress needs to be comfortable, says Seton. It’s really important to signal to the brain that we feel safe and secure and ready for sleep.

If you’ve lost the love for your mattress, then our lovely sponsor Sleepmaker Comfort Selector has a great tool for helping choose a good one.

Our mattress is still going strong, but I am curious about the latex mattresses, because they’re meant to be pretty eco-friendly, it’s a natural fibre that’s apparently super comfortable and durable. Do you use a latex mattress? How do you find it?

5. Bedding and linen

Sheets and blankets need to be adjusted with the seasons to allow our core temperature to drop. “Cotton cellular blankets are great to have on the bed,” says Seton. “We tend to over do bedding… It’s fine to sleep without a sheet in hot weather and layers are better in winter and cooler weather, so that you can adjust them as needed.”

He also warns against adding an extra layer for children, as this can overheat them and disturb their sleep. “The old adage of one extra layer for children just doesn’t apply, except for babies under six months.”

On a side note: we had a discussion on Facebook about linen sheets and if they’re worth the extra expense. The general consensus from the lovely community was yes, Irish linen sheets felt cooler in summer and had been known to last 40+ years so presented good value over time, although potentially crazy-making for people who like the ironed smooth look.

6. Bedroom as a haven

Your bedroom should feel safe and calm. It’s all about creating positive, relaxing associations with your bedroom. “Make the bedroom a place of comfort and happiness.”

What does this mean for you? A beautiful artwork, nice scents, soothing colours or soft textures?

If you’re like me and have a sensitive nose where a bad smell can keep you awake, I’ve included a lavender pillow spray recipe to help sensitive noses relax. It’s also a lovely gift.

Here is the free printable label: Lavender-pillow-spray printable gift tag Lavender-pillow-spray | Blah Blah Magazine

Setting up positive feelings for the bed and bedroom is really important for kids. “Don’t use the bedroom for time out or sending to bed as a punishment, because you don’t want kids to have a negative association with sleep.” We all need to view our beds and bedrooms as a safe haven from the world.

I’d love to hear what helps you nod off into la-la land. Do you have any tricks?

Lavender Pillow Spray
A beautiful scent for sleepy time
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup boiled and cooled water
  2. 1 tablespoon vodka
  3. 30 drops lavender essential oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a dark glass or ceramic spray bottle.
  2. Label the bottle with date and ingredients.
  3. Shake well before use.
  4. Spray around the room and a light mist on the pillow before going to bed.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. Always test new products on a discrete spot in case of allergy.
B l a h B l a h M a g a z i n e http://blahblahmagazine.com.au/

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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26 comments

  1. I struggle with getting a good night sleep. I average 3 to 4 hours a night. It’s just not enough. I will definitely looking for some lavender pillow spray and looking closely at my bedding.

  2. So timely Belle, so much going on at ours at the mo and sleep is a tricky one. Must try your recipe because those sleepy vitamins are a little hit and miss + who knows what’s really in them and if they are good for me or not. On that note sweet dreams lovely! Rx

  3. I’m not sure I can do a dark, dark room, because I’m just a bit scared of the boogey man, but don’t tell the little guy. I’ll give the lavender pillow spray a try though, I could use a few more hours sleep.

  4. Who knew vodka wasn’t just for drinking? Lovely recipe Bele – I’m a big fan of aromatherapy but have steered clear of burning any oils since the tornadoes have been running around (Mr TT is a climber and gets into everything!). I’ll be giving your spray recipe a go. I’m lucky in that I never have an issue getting to sleep. My issue is more being able to switch off and convince myself it is time for bed and not time to work for another hour on the computer! I’m a night owl and can stay up until all hours. The morning is another story!

  5. Oooo! I love that recipe, thank you Bele. I recently bought a lavender smelling pillow. Smells so good 🙂 But by the time you put a pillowcase on you can’t smell it anymore. What a pillowcase I am. Come in sucker!! Love your sleeping tips, I’m not the best sleeper. There’s also another to add to the list. Be sure all kids sleep through, otherwise send them to the Grandies!! 😉

  6. This is just so awesome! I am desperate for quality zzzs and I love lavender. Sometimes I spray the room with lavender spray or burn some essential oil in the bedroom but this is even better! Now, I know this is a silly question, but where would you get such a glass or a ceramic bottle?

    • Mighty fine question. I buy the dark glass spray bottles from an online aromatherapy supplier, but the one in the picture is actually a pump bottle base from spot light with an recycled pump from one of my old cosmetics bottles. I hope this helps x

  7. This is so good. I talk to people about sleep hygiene all the time in the Pharmacy world but there are a few things I didn’t know about here- like the blue light being the worst. These Irish linen sheets have me intrigued too. I come from a family that just buys sheets on special (just regular thin cotton ones), I didn’t really know there was any other kind.

    • It’s it fascinating how our brains work. There are so many things we have evolved to process and now, we’re asking our brains to cope with so many other things, like blue light discos in our bedrooms. I know, I’m a bit curious about Irish linen sheets now, too x

  8. Oh sleep. Precious precious sleep. I made a promise to myself that I would make sleep more of a priority and I would go to bed earlier and I did. But here I am in bed on my laptop lol. OK I think I need to work at this a little harder 😉 xx

  9. My mum bought me a sleep spray when she was in London. It is so lovely.

  10. I’ve battled insomnia for as long as I can remember, sadly I just accept it most of the time. Gosh I do love lavender and vodka though xx

  11. Oh I am a shocker for scrolling through my phone before it bangs me on the head because I’ve nodded off. I know it’s bad but I just think I’m too addicted to not take it into the bedroom…. most of the others I think I’ve got in check. I’m loving the sound of the lavender pillow spray but! x

  12. Love this post Bele !

    Always good to be reminded these essential. 8h per night is almost a must for me, I can do with 7h but don’t last too long with this physical job I have! Switching off iPhone is definitely a tricky bad habit that I have… the thing is that I love to scroll through social app just before I sleep and when the alarm goes on, I like to take time to wake up… in front of the iPhone, getting an update on what’s going on back home!
    Your post definitely reminded me to diffuse my essential oil again, having no much difficulties to fall asleep I haven’t done it for age, but that would probably help me have a restful night instead of dreaming of work 🙁

    Interesting to see that linen feels cooler, we treat ourselves with a new set of sheet, half linen half cotton. Since using it I’m feeling super hot although the nights are being cooler and I feel it’s because of these new sheets…

    One thing I would had to the list is to eat light dinner… last night again we had a ridiculously HUGE amount of food, bad bad choice. Couldn’t sleep between 12 and 2 am as my belly way too full was trying to digest!

    Thanks again for the tips.
    Love,xx

  13. Some great tips there. I have been *trying* to do Smaggle’s no screens after 9pm and when I actually do it, I have a much better sleep. As for the sheets, I just bought some organic cotton sheets that look and feel like linen and I’m in love! x

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