Eminé Rushton's expert bedtime routine
Following healthy sleep habits (‘sleep hygiene’) will help ensure a good night’s sleep. We interview Eminé Rushton, Wellness Director at Psychologies, to get the low down on her bedtime routine.
What’s your evening wind down routine?
I am very strict about turning my phone off by 8.30pm at the very latest – and after 7pm I put it onto night mode, to cut down the blue light which tricks our retinas into thinking it’s sunrise instead of sunset. I’ve tried shutting it in a drawer, putting it on silent, or leaving it downstairs when I am upstairs. But the actual act of turning it OFF is the most effective. I can never be bothered to restart it once I’ve done that and there are no notifications flashing away and pulling me back towards them.
We dim the lights once the children are in bed. We use candle light and low fairy lights only in our living room.
I try to do at least two of the following, every night, to get my body ready for sleep – take a deep bath with relaxing oils (Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax is INCREDIBLE), or magnesium salts; do a restorative yoga session with Movement for Modern Life (online, but with my screen light very low); a 20 minute Vedic meditation session, under a blanket, on my rocking chair, in my bedroom; lie on my back and place my legs at 90 degrees to my hips, straight up the wall, which is SO relaxing; make a cup of restful tea – Pukka Night Time tea really slows my brain down; and if I am still feeling tense or my head is still swimming: two Pukka Night Time capsules before bed (an hour before is ideal), really start to make me feel sleepy… and they’re designed to minimise middle-of-the-night wakings too, which I really can vouch for.
I head up to bed about 45 minutes before I want to sleep, and have a very low light near my bed (a Philips Lumie, which can be set to mimic sunrise or sunset). I pick out one lovely comforting thing to read, and spray my sheets with Neom Tranquility Spray.
Then, into bed, a little read, before my eyelids start to feel heavy. Then off I go!
What (if you can’t sleep) keeps you awake at night?
I do sometimes wake up having remembered something I should have done or need to do the next day. I also wake up about once a month with a big creative ‘epiphany’ – an aha moment. I plot out the idea in my mind, get all excited about it, and then tell myself off for not being asleep. Then I forgive myself, tell myself I can fall back to sleep if I want to, but that I don’t have to and I’ll invariably be snoring again in under 30 minutes!
Do you have any personal tried and tested tips for getting better night’s sleep?
Without a doubt, it’s to do with not overusing my gadgets. I can feel the difference just one single night makes – if I’ve been scrolling and engaging on my phone close to bedtime, or if I turned it off and did something completely unrelated before bedtime. I may actually get the same amount of sleep, but I won’t feel anywhere near as RESTED if I don’t switch off – literally and figuratively.
If you are having a stressful day in London, is there anywhere that you like to go to relax and unwind?
Triyoga Camden. I just love the vibe of the Nectar Cafe and the building exudes calm. Even when the changing rooms are a crazy lunchtime hustle, the mood of the place is all good. I love to head there after a full morning and afternoon of meetings, just to sit in silence, with a nut milk chai and slice of beetroot chocolate cake, savouring, decompressing and delighting.
Can you tell me one of your favorite evening meals?
We grow most of our own veg now and all of our food is homemade by my culinary whizz husband, Paul. A hearty healing seasonal bowl of soup with a hunk of just-baked sourdough, and lashings of grass-fed butter – hard to beat. I love aromatic curries, a great spaghetti bolognese, and our soft floury tacos with our lovely bean and lentil chilli too… just being with family, catching up, and watching my children delight in good food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.