Hotfoot your way to bed

Laura Doherty discovers the simple pleasure of treating herself to a relaxing footbath

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Me and sleep have always been good bedfellows. As soon as my head hits the pillow, it’s goodnight conscious world and hello to a fiesta of wonderful sub-conscious adventures.

For me, it’s not the sleep but the getting to bed that's an issue. Such are my circadian rhythms, that the closer it is to midnight, the more I love to potter, procrastinate and eek out the final hours of the day. Then, in those hard-to-wake moments of the early morning, weary from yet another late night, I solemnly swear to my half-awake self that ‘I will go to bed earlier tonight’. But me and the pillow, we both know the truth.

So, in a bid to wrestle back a few extra hours of kip and see what all the well-rested fuss about sleep is, I’ve established a new occasional bedtime routine. A relaxing foot bath. Yes, it is ‘old skool’. I remember buying my mum an all-singing, all-dancing foot spa in the 90s that almost shook the house down. But this time, I'm settling for a frothy overflowing basin of lavender-scented warm water placed in front of the armchair and near to the wood-burning stove. As I slip my feet into the bowl, I find myself relaxing all over as I sit back and luxuriate in this simple pleasure. When the water has cooled, I pat my fresh-as-a-daisy feet dry feeling lighter, unwound and ready for bed.

How could such an effortless pleasure be so effective? Perhaps there’s some science behind warming up my usually frozen tootsies before bed. Whatever the reason, I feel indulged, relaxed, and ready for a blooming lovely sleep. Why not give it a go?

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Laura Doherty

Picture Editor, Psychologies