Women's health

I tried Liz Earle’s sleep routine for a week – here’s what happened

Our Head of Digital, Amy Moore, reveals what happened when she tried Liz Earle’s sleep routine.

Science shows that quality shut-eye is crucial to long-term health. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

All the more reason to make sure we’re getting our sleep just right.

One woman who knows just how to achieve that is our founder, Liz Earle. With multiple podcasts and YouTube vlogs on the subject, it’s fair to say she’s something of an expert.

So, following her lead, I decide to put some of Liz’s tried-and-trusted methods to the test in my quest for the perfect night’s sleep.

Liz Earle’s sleep routine

Liz’s sleep routine starts long before bedtime and actually begins in the morning with a dose of sunlight.

This is because morning sunlight helps to regulate our circadian rhythm (the internal body clock that tells us when it’s time to wake up and fall to sleep).

So, for Liz, this might be a walk outside on leisurely mornings, or just a look to the sky with a mug of tea on busier days.

After this, the next thing Liz does to ensure quality sleep is to limit any caffeine after 12pm. This is followed by reducing screentime an hour or two before bed.

Then, just before going to sleep, Liz supplements with magnesium and life armour drops of slumber (use LIZLOVES for 15% off).

Why? Magnesium is one of the most helpful minerals for helping us to drop off at night. Studies show that adequate magnesium intake can help us to fall asleep faster. Plus, drops of slumber contains a powerful blend of helpful herbs known to have calming effect on the body.

Liz also adds a few drops of lavender to her pillow, and completes her routine by donning a sleep mask, ear plugs and settling down for the night.

My own sleep routine

I don’t think my sleep routine is too bad – let’s face it, you don’t work with Liz for nearly five years without picking up a few tips along the way.

Lavender drops on my pillow have been a staple for some time – as has limiting screentime before bed in favour of a good book (I’m currently reading Cat Lady by Dawn O’Porter and it is excellent).

And when it comes to caffeine, I hardly touch the stuff. One cup of coffee gives me a headache, so this is one tip that’s easy to implement.

But, there’s definitely room for improvement. My sleep fluctuates on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m drifting away in a matter of minutes, other times I can be tossing and turning for nearly an hour.

I generally sleep through the night, but I had a strange spate before Christmas where I woke up at 4am each night without fail, worrying about presents still left to wrap and food yet to buy. Stress can play havoc with sleep, and I do notice the more anxious I’m feeling, the worse my sleep gets. A vicious cycle!

So it’s fair to say I’m in need of a good night’s rest. Here’s hoping Liz can help.

Here’s what happened when I tried Liz’s bedtime routine

Some people respond well to change. I am not one of them. So, rather than overhauling my entire sleep routine in one evening, I decide to gradually introduce three of Liz’s habits over the course of several days.

Mighty minerals

Habit one is supplements. In Liz’s case, this means magnesium and life armour drops of slumber.

Having enjoyed many a bath sprinkled with magnesium salts, this is perhaps the habit I’m most looking forward to. I opt for a magnesium-infused body lotion (I use this one by BetterYou – use the LIZLOVES discount code for 15% off).

I apply the lotion to my legs around 20 minutes before I intend to go to bed. The lotion melts into my skin with ease, and also has a lovely lavender scent helping to signal to my brain that bedtime is on the horizon.

At the same time, I place a couple of the life armour drops under my tongue. By the time I slide myself between the sheets, my mind feels calm and my legs (thanks to the magnesium) already have a certain heaviness to them, my feet far less twitchy than normal.

With my legs relaxed, the rest of my body quickly follows suit and it’s not long before I’m drifting off into a comfortable slumber.

Donning a mask

With the bottles of BetterYou and life armour having firmly earned their places on my bedside table, it’s time to trial habit number two: ear plugs and an eye mask.

I’ve always liked the idea of an eye mask. It seems a little bit luxurious – as though I’m treating a small portion of my face to an at-home spa treatment.

I decide upon a sleek grey silk mask. It feels lightweight and guaranteed to bring calm thoughts my way.

How wrong I was.

I soon begin to feel irritated by the pressure on my face. It feels too tight. Too warm. I start to wonder if eyeballs can actually get too hot.

I loosen the strap at the back but each time I roll over to get comfortable, it slides down my face, making a beeline for my neck. With no desire to fight with an eye-mask-cum-scarf all night, I toss it to the side in defeat. Sorry, Liz.

I try to settle back down. However, the same problem occurs with the ear plugs.

While I initially welcome the peace that they bring, it’s almost too quiet. My mind begins to stir, making a to-do list for tomorrow and wondering if I’ve left the bathroom tap running. Not to mention, will I really hear my alarm in the morning?

I give it a few more minutes, but it’s no good. Out come the plugs and on goes the gentle rain sounds app on my phone. Ah, bliss.

Starting early

The third and final habit that I’m keen to give a whirl is morning sunlight.

While it’s not unheard of that I go for a stroll in the morning, you’re more likely to find me doing a few stretches on my yoga mat or watching an episode of Gilmore Girls with a cup of tea.

But, this habit is really enjoyable. In just 30 minutes, I see birds, squirrels and even a couple of foxes on my stroll to the park. I feel more energised and uplifted for the rest of the day.

This healthy habit actually seems to make a difference later in the day, too.

I’m feeling a lot drowsier than usual by bedtime. And, while I can be quite fidgety when I first go to bed, tonight I find that both mind and body quickly settle. I fall asleep within minutes of my head hitting the pillow.

This one is definitely for keeps.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot of advice in the wellness world but I’ve always been a firm believer that you have to find what works for you. While not all of Liz’s tips and tricks work for me, magnesium and morning sunlight are now absolute musts. I’ve found a routine that feels consistent and achievable. As a result, I nod off much easier and sleep through the night. That’s a win in my eyes!

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