Perhaps unsurprisingly in the Asian city that never sleeps, people don’t get anything like enough shut-eye. Ahead are some rituals that may help you get the rest you need.
Virginia Woolf might have claimed that sleep was “a deplorable curtailment of the joy of life”, but we’re inclined to disagree. Sleeping well is essential, especially during stressful times – and as scientific studies show, it’s crucial to maintain a balanced mind and body, integral to health, longevity and wellness.
Today, excessive blue light from screens, added anxiety and lack of exercise all contribute to restless lights, especially when most of us are living in densely populated cities and there’s a pandemic about. A 2019 survey by the Hong Kong startup Sleeep tells us that our home town is suffering from sleep deprivation. Most interviewees had an average of 4 hours, while 50 percent don’t sleep enough and 48 percent had symptoms of insomnia.
As a chronic insomniac, I know how effective a sleep routine can be in helping to get a good night’s kip. Done over the long term, the result can lower cortisol (the stress hormone), boost your immune system and keep up production of infection-fighting antibodies. Here’s our guide to a five-step sleep ritual, based on what was developed by Joyce Beauty.
Step 1: Wash away the day
Taking a hot bath or shower before bed can cleanse mind, body and spirit. Your circadian rhythm regulates sleep and our body’s core temperature and a long, hot bath or shower stimulates the body’s thermoregulatory system, drawing blood circulation to skin away from the internal core. We recommend using Ilāpothecary – Beat the Blues Shower & Bath Oil at Joyce Beauty, an alchemical blend of essential oils that are known to balance the mood.
Step 2: Release self-care endorphins
Spoil yourself with aromatherapy self-massage using Traditional Chinese Medicine pressure points. The aromas can balance your mind, while acupressure promotes better sleep and release endorphins relieving stress and pain, especially if you focus on Heart 7 and Pericardium 6 pressure points. The Subtle Energies Relax Body Blend oil at Joyce Beauty cools the body from the inside out, using an antioxidant base of Brahmi and Black Sesame Seed. These aromatic essential oils evoke a sense of calm to release tension and improve sleep as it enriches and hydrates the skin.
Step 3: Beautify while you sleep
Being well rested does wonders for the skin. Skin cells tend to recover up to twice as fast during the night, as our body boosts blood flow to the organ. It’s best to max out beauty sleep with a serum or a mask specifically designed to boost nocturnal regeneration and repair for a glowing look in the mornings. There’s so many to choose from but we like Knesko – Rose Quartz Antioxidant Collagen Face Mask laden with rose-quartz serum to enhance skin and protect against free radical damage.
Step 4: Detox your sleep space
By now, you’re quite relaxed; and the bedroom calls. Detox this space from clutter. Ensure deeper, less disturbed sleep with a habitat, room and bed that radiate calm. Dim lights, sip warm tea, read a book or listen to soothing music. Don’t stare at screens. Also try calming vibrational crystals around your bedroom that can help align your energies – Celestine Crystals at Joyce Beauty, for example. The textiles you sleep with are important, too. Soft, clean and high-quality bedding, like that by Hong Kong sustainable luxury brand Baea, does wonders. Founded by Adah Chan, Baea impresses with its tightly edited range of beddings and textiles, all inspired by natural forms and in pure, simple designs – providing a perfect buffer for hectic Hong Kong lives. We love its pillow and duvet sets and the textured Nuno cushion is made from hand-felted natural fibres including silk, merino and alpaca wool.
Step 5: Mindset matters and final touches
Being mindful can help you relax; casting away concerns and anticipations, helping you sleep through the evening. A brief 10-minute meditation can do wonders – try apps such as Calm or Headspace for guided nighttime meditations. A silky sleep mask can be key to a longer sleep by blocking out light gently around the eyes. We think Re.Vityl’s padded silk Sleep Masks work wonders with or without the balancing and healing crystal inserts. Then roll on to skin the brand’s Re.Lease essential oil blend containing Lavender, Sage and Rosemary to really relax your mind. A pillow mist like ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and even its Night Oil, both available at Lane Crawford, can be an extremely effective part of our nightly ritual. Inhale and let go.