As a working mum with jobs as both an emergency department nurse and a beauty editor, there are few people more qualified to share their experience with stress and sleep than Louise O’Connell.
on sleep routines…
Long, 13-hour hospital shifts, family life and a beauty journalist side-hustle led O’Connell to understanding the importance of establishing good sleep habits (and a pre-sleep routine). Walking through the door at roughly 8.50pm each night, she says her personal routine starts long before she enters the bedroom.
COVID procedure means that she showers as soon as she arrives home, and this, accompanied by a candle kindly lit in advance by her husband and son, is where her self-care routine begins.
DEEP SLEEP PILLOW SPRAY
O’Connell says, “I’ve used deep sleep pillow spray for about 5 years – my son (he is 11) even calls it the magic spray and he has his own.” Before she even gets into bedroom, she lightly spritzes deep sleep pillow spray all over her pyjamas, followed by her pillow, to start winding down.
A big advocate for the practice of mindfulness, O’Connell then sits down to do some deep breathing exercises and Kundalini Yoga practice, which she believes is “great for connecting the mind and body” to the scent of the Deep Sleep Superblend on her PJs. She ends with some gratitude practice and five things to be grateful for, then aims to have lights out and head on the pillow by 11pm.
For the bedroom part of her routine, she keeps her phone and devices off – although, she admits it is not always easy to do (we have all been there).
on managing stress...
Everyone faces everyday moments of stress. Less sleep can result in higher cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and can impair our ability to cope with it too. O’Connell recommends popping deep sleep breathe-in to your work bag for situations like these. Simply dab some onto pulse points such as your wrists, take some deep breaths and let the scent of Lavender and Camomile calm your thoughts.
“I make a huge effort with mindfulness”, says O’Connell. “People underestimate it, but [it has helped me] learn to leave work with positive thoughts – even if I’ve had a really bad day. I try to tell myself I’ve done my best and leave the rest at the door”.