Friday 19th March marks World Sleep Day and after such a tumultuous year, we need sleep more than ever. We caught up with Clinical Aromatherapist Shelley Baker who shares our passion for essential oils and believes that sleep and relaxation are key to wellbeing. “Sleep is essential to let the mind and body repair each night and lack of sleep has a real impact on our health. I think the American Author Robert A. Heinlein sums it up nicely “Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.” Make looking after yourself and getting good sleep your priority. We like to think of a good night’s sleep as being like a gentle windscreen wiper for the mind! We have a saying in our family that most things are cured with a cup of tea and an early night!” Shelley says that the key to good sleep habits is to have a good bedtime routine. So light one of our beautiful candles, breathe in the scent and relax in a warm indulgent bath with our lemongrass & mint bath soak – sure to soothe your muscles and take away the strains of a busy day. Also make sure that you don’t have caffeine after mid afternoon – make a peppermint tea your last drink of the day – it’s settling for the digestion and is naturally caffeine free. Peppermint essential oil isn’t usually associated with sleep, but Shelley suggests it can be used with calming breathing exercises and gives you space o focus your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed or chaotic. It’s fantastic combined with lavender oil at bedtime as an inhalation. Lavender is the perfect and well-known relaxing, sedative oil for sleep. Shelley adds that its important to give yourself time when you get into bed to appreciate everything you’ve done that day and tell yourself you’ll have a restorative good night’s sleep. And remember, prioritise looking after yourself; self-care doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely isn’t selfish or a luxury – it’s essential. As the saying goes, ‘serve from a full cup’!