Sleeping beauties: celebrities love sleep too

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Ever wondered how your favourite celebrity always looks so good? The secret could be as simple as getting enough quality sleep.

Sleep and skincare experts agree that good quality sleep is one of the best beauty and anti-aging treatments available. While we sleep, our bodies heal and repair damage, such as from daily stresses and UV rays, that can age us. So the more quality sleep you get, the better – and younger – you’ll look and feel.

The proof? Here’s a selection of beautiful people who reportedly love their sleep:

  • Elle MacPherson says her number one beauty tip is sleep – read more by clicking here.
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones reveals to Vogue that sleep is her big beauty tip – click here.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow tells readers of her lifestyle website, Goop, to get some sleep – read it here
  • Kim Kardashian says that sleep is her best beauty tip. Click here and here to read more.

  • Kate Moss reveals that sleep is one of her top beauty secrets – click here.
  • Eva Mendes says “no thanks” to kids and “yes please” to more shut eye. Read more by clicking here.
  • Lisa Snowdon tells The Sun that “beauty starts in bed”. Click here for more.
  • J-Lo claims to sleep 8 hours every night – read more by clicking here.
  • Cameron Diaz reportedly likes her sleep too much to become a mum – click here.
  • Denise Van Outen looks after her skin by getting plenty of sleep – click here for more.
  • Evangeline Lilly’s heath tip is to get eight hours of sleep – read it here.

My top tip: Swap the expensive creams and facials for more good quality sleep….then buy a new dress with all the cash you’ve saved!

Using lavender for better quality sleep

It seems that the belief that the scent of lavender enhances sleep is more than just an old wives tale. I’ve been doing my research and just look what I’ve found:

  • A study at the University of Southampton in 2005 found that sleeping in a lavender-scented room improved sleep quality by 20%.
  • A study at Wesleyan University in 2004 found that the scent of lavender essential oil increased slow-wave, or deep sleep, resulting in the participants feeling more energetic and alert the next morning.

For almost two weeks I have been conducting my own mini experiment by sleeping in a lavender-scented room. I began my test using the power of Google – a quick search suggests that it’s best to dilute lavender essential oil, as using it in its pure form can cause skin irritation (it’s probably best to do a spot test before using it in any form though). Then, after emptying my bathroom cabinet of all its lotions and potions, I found a small empty plastic bottle with an atomiser lurking at the back (I knew it would come in handy for something one day!), filled it with water and a few – about 15 – drops of lavender essential oil. Ta da, my very own lavender room spray!

For the last 13 days I have been generously spritzing my bedroom with my homemade air freshener before bedtime. I realised by night two that that, actually, I really don’t like the smell of lavender. My other half, meanwhile, does like the scent and yesterday commented that he had started to associate the smell with going to sleep. Oh dear.

Whilst neither of us noticeably experienced improved sleep quality, our test highlighted that scent can be used as part of a sleep routine as a cue to promote sleep. Next, we will be testing some of the lesser-known essential oils for promoting sleep – such as chamomile or jasmine – until we find a scent that works for us both!

If you like the scent of lavender, here are some alternative ways of using it during your bedtime routine (don’t tell my other half though!):

  • Place lavender-scented sleep stones and/or lavender flower heads in your bedroom for a longer lasting aroma of lavender.
  • Encourage someone lovely to give you a bedtime massage using diluted lavender essential oil.
  • Use a lavender-scented body soak in a warm bath for a relaxing nighttime treat.
  • Inhale the aroma of lavender oil – dab the oil on a cotton wool ball or tissue and breathe in the scent.
  • Use a lavender-scented moisturiser or body lotion.

The beginnings of a bedtime routine

As I was brushing my teeth last night, it dawned on me that I already have a bedtime routine of sorts. Or, at least, the beginnings of one. Every night for the past 10 years (with only a few exceptions) I have spent 5 – 10 minutes getting ready for bed – taking out my contact lenses, brushing my teeth, cleansing and moisturising my face.  It’s become so ingrained in me, that it didn’t occur to me (until now) that it’s my way of preparing for sleep.

However, whilst my little nighttime beauty routine is a cue for sleep, I’ve realised that it isn’t enough to properly relax me before bed.

A good friend – with a stressful job in the city –
recently offered me her top sleep tip: dabbing a
couple of drops of lavender essential oil onto
her pillow before bedtime. My friend knows her
stuff – lavender has sedative and calming
properties and is believed to improve sleep quality.

I’ll be testing it out tonight – why don’t you give it a go too?

Image: Tina Phillips /

Wonderful sleep

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care

The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath

Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,

Chief nourisher in life’s feast.

~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

It’s clear that sleep is necessary for us all and that getting enough good quality sleep can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives.  According to sleep experts, it can make us happier, healthier, better looking and more productive.  Brilliant!

It’s also well-documented that many of us don’t get enough of this wonder remedy. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to fit in several hours of uninterrupted quality shut eye every night and work full-time, run a home, be a good partner, daughter or son and friend, keep up to date with the news, read the latest Pulitzer prize winner……and the list goes on and on. Fitting it all in and raising a child or two on the side seems like an impossibility. With endless to-do lists and the ability to work on them 24 hours a day (anyone else been up at 2am placing their Ocado order?) it’s easy to let our sleep suffer. And even when we finally allow ourselves the luxury of going to bed, exhausted, we can’t sleep or we wake in the night or we wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed.

So, how can we attain the perfect night’s sleep, every night? With so many doctors, sleep experts, mums, next-door neighbours, etc, etc, offering their tips for getting a better night’s sleep and companies promising us our best night’s sleep ever if only we buy their bed or herbal tea, who has the time or energy to test them all out?

……Welcome to my blog, amylovessleep! I will be testing every sleep tip, trick, theory and product I can get my hands on and sharing my experiences about what actually works.

Since what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another, I urge you to join me in my pursuit of life’s “chief nourisher” – wonderful sleep!