Our Roadmap Out Of Sleep-Loss

At 3am it seems like nothing will help you sleep...but there’s lots you can try, says Rhiannon Evans

Beauty Sleep

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

Sleep? I don’t know her. Rest? Who is she? The only thing more boring than talking about your dreams these days is sharing stories in your morning meeting about how little sleep you’ve had. Everyone is exhausted and tired – yet not managing to sleep. It feels like a very 2022 conundrum needing specific advice. Why? Well, anxiety around emerging from a worldwide pandemic, the safety of our loved ones and now, an attempted return to normal life – that’ll keep you up. We’re moving less, we’re sadder and more stressed. We’re spending more time on our phones, and possibly drinking more.

For parents, let’s up that to definitely drinking more, after months spent home- schooling then catching up on work nightly. And now we’re waking up at 5.30am onwards (more light each day is great... if you have blackout blinds). That’s if you didn’t get a 3am call for water/a toilet trip/a discussion on the meaning of life as told through Frozen characters.

But, while in the middle of the night it can seem hopeless, there’s lots that can help.


Smelling something might seem like exactly the kind of thing magazines say helps with sleep. But believe me – the converted – sleep sprays really do work. Thanks to a Christmas present used on a whim, I am now a fully paid-up believer in the This Works sleep spray range. Some Deep Sleep (£19.50) spritzed on to a silk pillow (they stay cool and to me heat is anathema to sleep) is a winner. You can start the relaxation earlier in the evening with candles with similar oils, and there are now lots of body oils with calming sleep scents in, too, which means actually remembering to moisturise each night is doubly worth it.


If a racing mind is keeping you up all night, there are lots of techniques to try, from acupressure mats to Stacey Solomon’s popular bin technique, where she writes all her mind junk down on a doodled bin, literally dumping it before bed. Kitchen disco queen Sophie Ellis Bextor told the Grazia Life Advice podcast that her mum advised: if you can’t sleep, don’t panic and instead satisfy yourself that resting is helping. I can relate to this attempt to battle the ‘I CAN’T SLEEP, I CAN’T SLEEP’ cycle and sleep physiologist Stephanie Romiszewski, of Lloyds Pharmacy, says going to sleep when you’re actually tired and listening to your body is key. I’ve been known (against, I’m sure, all expert advice) to put an episode of low-stakes TV, such as The Great Pottery Showdown, on if I’ve randomly woken at 3am. I find it removes that ‘SLEEP NOW FFS’ pressure and usually results in slumber quickly.

All these examples prove that much of it is personal, so find your mind’s happy place. And develop mindful, healthy habits in these locked down times. ‘Sometimes, anxiety may also stop you from living your life to the full potential – another factor that makes sleep problems worse,’ says Stephanie. ‘Therefore, we must continue to exercise, work and have a social life in order to have something to process and recover from during the night.’ For a better sleeping mindset, she also suggests not watching the news before bed, avoiding working in your bedroom if possible, and tidying your home office away each night ‘so it can be tucked away physically and mentally’.


While tech can be the enemy of sleep, changing the way you use it can also help. I can’t quite quit my bedside-table-phone, but even just using my ‘do not disturb’ and night-time screen light option helps. Many I know swear by apps like Calm and Headspace before bed – podcasts and audiobooks work just as well. I have a Lumie Bodyclock SAD light and love the sunset mode for getting to sleep (helping melatonin production) and small touches, like the time display blacking out at night. I personally have a toddler for the wake-up, but truckloads of science says that these lamps are great for helping you wake naturally by mimicking sunrise. Stephanie adds that with routines obliterated, creating regular bedtimes and wake-up times helps. ‘Turn the lights and radio on, dance around and be loud,’ she says. ‘By doing this you are indicating to your brain that energy is required and it’s the start of a new day. You will notice your sleeping pattern becomes more regulated as you introduce more structure.’ Morning endorphin disco? Sign us up.

Shop: The Sleep Inducing Buys Worth Investing In


Better Sleep Buys - Grazia 2021

Sleep Products1 of 6

This Works Stress Check Mood Manager, £15

Created through MRI brain imaging technology, this clever functional fragrance of ylang ylang, neroli and patchouli has been proven to help calm the mind. Spritz over skin, loungewearand bed linen whenever you're feeling stressed.

Sleep Products2 of 6

Soak Sunday’s Cleo's Paradise Honey and Oatmeal Candle, £21

Unwind at the end of the day with the help of this cosy new flame from Soak Sunday that smells like sweet honey, creamy vanilla and warming roasted oats.

Sleep Products3 of 6

M&S Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Oil, £25

M&S has answered our plea with an oil version of best-selling Sleep Cream. The rich blend of avocado and grape seed oils hydrates and reboots skin while you sleep.

Sleep Products4 of 6

Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150, £99

An alarm clock that uses LED technology to mimic a sunrise over 20, 30 or 45 minutes so that you wake-up gently. It also helps you to drift off with a fading sunset light and soothing sounds.

Sleep Products5 of 6

Bed Of Nails Acupressure Pillow, £40

Covered with 2,141 spikes, this promises to help relieve aches, pains and stress. Rest your head on it for 10-20 minutes.

Sleep Products6 of 6

ESPA Signature Blends Connection Pillow Mist, £25

Spray your pillows with this woody blend of essential oils before you hit the hay for your cue to switch off.

READ MORE: 7 Sleep Myths Debunked By The Experts

READ MORE: The Best Natural Sleep Aids To Try Now

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us