Sleeping: the activity we spend a huge part of our lives doing. To break it down, for those of us who live to see their 79th birthday, 26 of those 79 years were spent sleeping. And interestingly (or mind bogglingly) enough, we also spend on average another seven years trying to get to sleep. We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep: it is essential for day-to-day functioning, boosting mental health and improving our physical wellbeing, which includes our immunity, weight regulation and fertility. Sleeping plays a particularly important role in outbreaks like that of the coronavirus. While consistently good sleep may not magically cure diseases, one effect of insufficient sleep is that it drives down the production of cytokines, a type of protein released by the immune system to fight infection and inflammation. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night will definitely help keep your immune system in fighting shape! Yet in spite of all the practices we have around sleeping, we are paradoxically still not doing it well.
Sleep quality for city dwellers is often compromised by the habits of modern life: using phones or tablets right before bed, drinking alcohol as sleep aide, eating too late at night, etc. According to the survey conducted in 2019 by SLEEEP, a start-up in Hong Kong, our city is suffering from sleep deprivation. Although interviewees believed that they should be sleeping for six hours per night (which is still on the lower side of what experts suggest), they only got four hours’ sleep on average. In fact, 50 per cent of them indicated that they don’t sleep enough, with the age group 40-45 suffering the most from sleep deprivation. The survey also covered the symptoms of insomnia, which touch a staggering 48 per cent of the adult population in Hong Kong, with 6-10 per cent of respondents being diagnosed as chronic insomniacs.
All in all, everyone has something to learn about sleeping better, and pre-sleep routine—much like performing a sacred ritual—is an important circuit break to indicate your mind to wind down from the day, disconnecting yourself from all lingering stresses and worries, in order to prepare your mind and your body for a quality night’s sleep. If you feel you need to make a change, researches into insomnia have outlined several pre-sleep rituals to assist in a good night’s rest: diming the lights in the evening to boost the production of melatonin, taking a hot bath around 90 minutes before bed, or enjoying a short, relaxing massage with sleep aid essential oils like Lavender, Sandalwood and Valerian.
At JOYCE Beauty, we believe that everybody deserves an undisturbed night’s sleep. To educate the importance of sleeping to beauty and well-being, we are dedicating six weeks to all keen sleepers. All our consultants are trained as Sleep Ambassadors, gaining knowledge to customise a unique sleep ritual using the best edit of international beauty brands, tailored to our specific needs.
This will include our five-step sleep ritual to support your better sleeping habits. Complementing this will be a variety of products selected by us from all over the world, such as face and body oils with massage tools, gemstones infused face masks and herbal drops for under tongue, an Ayurveda nasal oil to slow down your breathing, a calming room spray etc., all designed with better rest in mind. Even a small change can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. As the slogan of World Sleep Day 2020 says: Better Sleep, Better Life, Better Planet. At JOYCE Beauty, we care about sleep quality, because both our inner and outer beauty are dependent on it.
Photo source: Instagram (@umaoils)
DEVELOPING YOUR SLEEP RITUAL
To build your own sleep ritual, is to set a sacred time apart to distance ourselves from the day, a moment to cut the momentum and slow things down. The first thing you need to ask yourself is when do you need to wake up? If you want eight hours of sleep every night, then you know exactly by when you should be in bed. (Set up your bedtime schedule easily on your phone!). A proper sleeping ritual, however, begins a bit earlier than your actual bedtime. You should allow yourself at least half an hour to an hour to calm your mind and prepare yourself for a tranquil finale of the day, and JOYCE Beauty is glad to help you design your sleeping ritual and provide the right tools to ensure a great night’s sleep.
Photo source: Instagram (@umaoils)
First step: Wash your day away
Taking a hot bath before bed is always a good idea, especially if the water temperature and duration of the bath are just right. An act, both physical and spiritual, to cleanse your body, washing away the highs and lows of the day and emptying your mind. Sleep and our body’s core temperature are regulated by a circadian clock. Usually our body temperature is two to three degrees higher in the afternoon, then lower around bedtime, and then starts to raise again as we prepare to rise and shine. A nice warm bath or shower stimulates the body’s thermoregulatory system, drawing blood circulation away from the internal core and thus getting the body temperature’s down. Add a bit of pampering and a sound sleep is assured.
ilāpothecary | Magnesium and Amethyst Deep Relax Bath Soak
The bath soak is a blend of magnesium and mineral-rich salts that are known to relax muscles, help ease nervous tension and promote deep sleep. Together with amber, juniper berry and benzoin, this powerful combination creates a supportive and peaceful bath soak that helps you feel calm and nurtured. ilāpothecary uses the study of numerical value to reinforce and establish the intent and effectiveness of each product. Every remedy number has been expertly matched to a corresponding item of parallel purpose. 28, the number of the bath soak, is for centring. Being receptive, partnerships and wealth.
ilāpothecary | Face-the-day Exfoliating Body Wash
This invigorating and energising body wash cleanses and exfoliates at the same time with Perlite extracted from Volcanic Rock. Blended with Petitgrain, the plant that is believed to protect against mental anguish and known to heal emotional wounds, it is hence useful when you want to calm and clear the mind before going to bed. Remedy No. 13: the Aztecs considered 13 a sacred number, it was the number of forgiveness and purification.
ilāpothecary | Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil
This shower and bath oil is an alchemical blend of essential oils that are known to balance the mood and boost self-esteem, creating a deliciously fragrant, soothing and transformative bathing experience. Remedy No. 27: 27 is about believing in yourself and listening to your intuition. It is self-affirming and fortifying.
Photo source: Instagram (@ilapothecary)
Second step: Release endorphins, the natural sleep potion
After a steamy hot bath, spoil yourself further with an aromatherapy self-massage. Acupressure can be an effective method of self-care to promote better sleep, as the stimulation releases endorphins that relieve stress and pain. To tackle anxiety or insomnia, concentrate on 2 acupressure points: Heart 7 and Pericardium 6, both are the well-known points for calming effect on the emotions and promoting clarity. Take a moment of détente to practise self-love or even intimacy, if you know what we mean.
ilāpothecary | SOS Body Balm
An award-winning, powerful, divine-smelling herbal balm that soothes and calms dry skin, hydrates and deeply moisturises. It also helps relieve aching muscles and swollen joints. Handmade in the UK, this wonder balm was awarded the Harper’s Bazaar Best of the Best Beauty Awards 2019. Remedy No. 101: The energy of number 101 resonates with harmony and love. It is about co-operation and restoration.
UMA | Pure Calm Wellness Oil
This blend naturally alleviates feelings of stress by promoting tranquility from within. This formula is punctuated with beautifully scented lavender essential oil, for enhanced feelings of relaxation and calm – and is especially beneficial at the end of a busy day.
Solaris | Rose Quartz Face and Body Sculptor
If you have tried Solaris’ Rose Quartz Facial Roller, you will no doubt love its crystal sculptor too. Perform a relaxing decongesting body massage with the pink quartz, running it along the skin to increase blood circulation, relieve muscle tension and help move the lymphatic fluid, thus relaxing your body and mind prior to sleep.
Photo source: Instagram (@kneskoskin)
Third Step: Prepare yourself for the ultimate beauty sleep
While beauty sleep is not some miraculous treatment that will change your appearance overnight, being rested does pay off in the long run. Skin cells tend to recover twice as fast during the night, as our body boosts blood flow to the skin, which gives it that healthy glow and eliminates dullness (the process is at its highest during the REM-deep sleep phase). It’s best then to max out your beauty sleep with beauty products specifically designed to boost nocturnal regeneration and intense repair. Perform your beauty routine around 15 minutes before bed, so that your indulgent serum and face cream will be properly absorbed by your skin, not your pillowcase. The morning glow you will see in the mirror the next day is the best reward for your effort.
KNESKO | Rose Quartz Antioxidant Collagen Face Mask
Elevate your home skincare regimen with a decadent application of the Rose Quartz Collagen Face Mask. Each sheet contains one full fluid ounce (nearly 30 ml) of rose quartz serum in each mask to enhance your inner and outer beauty, and protect against and reverse skin damage caused by free radicals in the environment.
UMA | Total Rejuvenation Night Face Oil
The ultra-rich overnight formula promotes rapid cellular turnover and quickly repairs damaged and aging skin. Dramatic improvements in hydration, clarity, and overall appearance after each use, leaving your skin soft and intensely moisturized in the morning.
Solaris | Gua Sha Brazilian Rose Quartz Facial Massage Tool
The Gua Sha tool (the ‘Eastern Botox’) has an ergonomic design that is hand carved to adapt to the shape and contours of your face to perform a relaxing decongesting facial massage. An excellent addition to a beauty routine to help facial features appear more youthful and well rested.
Photo source: Instagram (@ilapothecary)
Forth Step: Create the perfect slumber state of mind
By now, you’re already quite relaxed; the idea of falling into bed is alluring. Ensure that you not only fall asleep but sleep deeply and restfully by preparing a sleep habitat that radiates calm and assists your circadian rhythm to signal your body that it is time to sleep. We call Chill O’Clock, where you dim the lights, have a cup of tea, put on some soothing sounds, read a book if you like, or just connect with your loved one, recounting your day while being enveloped in a hypnotising, serene redolence.
ilāpothecary | SOS Pearl Drops
A potent modern-day rescue remedy that combines homeopathy, flower essences, herbs and gems such as pearl and gold. As detailed in the medical books of the Ming dynasty, pearls were used to stimulate new skin growth and healing, release toxins and remove sun damage and age spots. Ideal for any situation that unsettles you as it helps soothe and protects, leaving you feeling calm. Remedy No. 1: Number one is about confidence and standing up straight – it brings the energy of the sun.
ilāpothecary | Beat The Blues Room Spray
This vital room spray contains those essential oils that are known to be the most powerful in combatting depression and uplifting emotions. An effective and transformative blend, it helps to clear the air and create a peaceful and uplifting space. Remedy No.27: 27 is about believing in yourself and listening to your intuition. It is self-affirming and fortifying.
Photo source: Instagram (@slipsilkpillowcase)
Final Step: In the mood for sleep
The perfect slumber habitat is all set. With the external factors crossed off the list, the only thing left to determine the sleep quality is YOU: creating the right mindset is key to sleeping through the long night. After all, it’s impossible to fully relax when you can’t shut your bedroom door on things that worry you and keep you awake. Being mindful can help you be present and allow yourself to drift off from the concerns of the past and the anticipations of the future. And may somnolence finally grace you with its presence…
Align your energy with Celestine Crystals’ stable energy frequency to help release lower vibrational energies like stress, worry, anxiety or fear that keep us from sleeping soundly. Celestite is the ultimate sleep crystal as it soothes your soul and is known for its ability to prevent nightmares, bringing body and soul into harmony and giving relaxation and balance. Choose your crystals in person to identify which resonates with you the most.
Subtle Energies | Sleep Easy Nasya Oil
Sleep Easy is a nasal herbal oil decoction made with a generic formula used for centuries in the Indian Ayurveda system for the Nasya technique. The oil goes through the blood brain barrier and has a profound effect on insomnia, prevention of hair loss and depression.
SLIP | Limited edition Pink Agate Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase
A little piece of heaven for your bed, Slip is made from the highest grade (6A), long fibre mulberry premium Slipsilk™. It not only makes sleeping so much more indulgent, it also reduces stretching and tugging on your delicate skin, avoiding sleep creases and bed head too. The latest limited edition takes the colour of Pink Agate – a variety of crypto-crystalline quartz that cures sleep-related problem – and turns it into the dreamiest and most welcoming of pillowcases. A must-have for anyone who takes sleeping seriously.