Aisling is a mother to four daughters, and the stunning four legged Pepper, wife to Francis, co-founder of The Silk Pillowcase and runs the successful MySecondSpring.com website for women in midlife. She’s a champion sleeper and swears by early nights, rest oil, chamomile tea – and a calm demeanour.
Tell us about your sleep
I love my sleep and usually sleep very well with lots of dreams. I try to sleep for 8 hours but sometimes it’s closer to 7.
I aim to be in bed around 10 pm because I get up early – usually between 6 and 6.30 am – a new routine that I started at the beginning of this year. I leave my phone downstairs and head to bed with a cup of chamomile tea and a pint of lemon water for the morning. Chamomile tea is soothing to the digestion and helps me to sleep.
Do you have a ritual?
I cleanse with Image Vital C and then apply my Kiehl’s night balm to my face and a couple of rolls of Flora + Fiona Rest Oil to my wrists. I sometimes have an Epsom Salts bath with a few drops of Lavender which feels like a prequel to a guaranteed good night’s sleep. I love these rituals and feel they are sending messages to my brain that it’s time to switch off.
Do you have any winding down techniques? Digital blackout or blue light and TV?
I read for a while, usually until my eyes start to slide on the page (sooner than I’d like) and then it’s off to sleep. Sometimes I pick an angel card to give me a thought for the night and day ahead. Then I place my tired head on my lovely silk pillowcase and luxuriate in its cool silkiness before drifting off. I usually drop off straight away.
How many pillows do you sleep on?
I have 2 pillows for reading then I fling one on the floor and sleep on 1! I used to like to sleep with no pillow but now I like the support and alignment that 1 pillow seems to give. With 2 I get a crick in my neck.
Blackout or wake with the birds?
We sleep in a pitch-black room with shutters tightly closed. I love that dark restful feeling.
Any night waking?
If I wake during the night I count as I breathe: 4 to breathe in, hold for 7, breathe out for 8. This usually gets me back to sleep unless I have a very active mind, for example recently while I’ve been planning and launching The Silk Pillowcase company my thoughts have sometimes been racing during the night. If I wake very early I sometimes get up at 5.30 am to write things down and then have a nap in the afternoon, if possible. I slip on my blackout silk eye mask set an alarm and snooze for 40 minutes – bliss!
Do you dream much?
I have a dream journal beside my bed and try to scribble down some dreams as soon as I wake up to see what sense I can make of them. It’s very interesting to read back over them a few weeks later and see how relevant they are to our subconscious thoughts and brain processing systems.
Alarm or natural waking up?
The alarm goes off at 6am and we listen to the radio for a few minutes to get the news headlines and some early morning music with Shay Byrne on RTE 1 before getting up around 6.15 to do some meditation, stretches and a plank and the start of a new day.
Sum up sleep
I love my sleep – feels relaxing even to talk about it.