Autumn is here, and that means good baking, comfort food, pumpkin spice lattes, pretty leaves, cooler weather and getting cosy. As we welcome Autumn and the colder months, our bodies and minds begin to yearn for a more peaceful rhythm. This change in season beckons a shift to slow living—a mindful approach that focuses on well-being.
Below, James Higgins, sleep specialist and CEO of Ethical Bedding, the UK’s only BCorp-accredited sustainable bedding company, offers tips to embrace this mindset in our nightly routines.
Adjust your sleep-wake cycle: Align with the sun by going to bed a little earlier and waking up with the sunrise.
Create a cosy sleep environment: Layer your bed with warm eucalyptus silk bedding, which is naturally softer and temperature-regulating. Consider using colours that reflect the season, like ochre, greens, and golds.
Focus on winding down: Develop a nighttime ritual to signal to your body when it’s time for bed. Have a relaxing bath, read a book, spray your pillow with lavender spray, do your skincare routine, and light a scented candle.
Wind down rituals: Develop a nighttime ritual to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This might include reading a book, taking a warm bath infused with calming essential oils, such as lavender, or practising gentle yoga stretches.
Limit screen time: To complement your winding down rituals, reduce screen time. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with melatonin production, so aim to turn off all screens at least an hour before bed.
Embrace the darkness: As days get shorter, allow natural darkness to permeate your living space in the evening. Dim the lights, use candles (ensuring safety), or invest in soft lighting that mimics the gentle glow of a sunset.
Nature walks: Before it gets dark, ensure you spend some time outdoors during the day. The fresh air and exposure to natural light do wonders in helping regulate your circadian rhythm – aka your body clock.
Practice gratitude: Before you retire for the night, reflect on your day and think about three things that were good. We also recommend performing a gratitude ritual when you wake up in the morning. What are you thankful for? Gratitude can help anchor your mind and provide a sense of calm.
Mindful breathing: Practice deep breathing exercises to calm the mind and prepare your body for rest.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Even on weekends, aim to keep a consistent sleep and wake schedule to help stabilise your internal clock.
Sleep to the sounds of the season: Nature sounds or calming music can help lull you to sleep and provide a deeply relaxing atmosphere.
Aromatherapy: Use autumnal scents in your bedroom, such as cedarwood, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, or clove. These scents can create a cosy ambience and support relaxation.