'I'm a Hypnotherapist and Here's How I Lull Myself to Sleep Every Night'
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed). For this instalment, clinical hypnotherapist and founder of the Mindology App Claire Aristides, shares the simple sleep tricks she uses to help her fall – and stay – asleep.
You'd think a clinical hypnotherapist would have an elaborate bedtime routine packed with complicated breathing techniques and maybe even some fancy sleep equipment. However, it's quite the opposite for Claire Aristides. For the founder of the Mindology App, a peppermint tea, some pre-bed TV and an early bedtime is all she needs to get some quality snooze at night.
Through trial and error, she's also picked up a few extra sleep tricks along the way, which she now swears by - and we're totally on board with, too.
What we love about Claire's approach is that she takes the stress out of trying to make sleep perfect. Weekends are more relaxed, looking after two children makes things a little more difficult for her and she'll also have restless nights just like everyone else.
Here, Bed Threads Journal sat down with the hardworking hypnotherapist where she shared the simple sleep tricks she uses to help her fall – and stay – asleep, plus her genius solution for those nights when she just can't nod off.
Hi Claire! Welcome to Bedtime Stories. Can you walk us through your bedtime routine?
I have small children so it all depends if things go to plan with their bedtime. But once they are in bed and settled, I can’t wait to take my make-up off and do my skin routine of cleansing, oils and moisturising.
Then, this is the time I get to chat ‘uninterrupted’ with my husband, so we normally chat over things and we like to watch some TV from 8 to 9pm with a peppermint tea.
Once the clock strikes 9pm, it’s bedtime for me. Lately, I've been going to bed at 9.30pm and feeling a big improvement in my mood the next day.
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
I absolutely swear by a silk eye mask. I need the eye mask to shut out any light – for me it just also sends a message to my mind that it’s time for bed. I also close all curtains, so the room is dark.
My Mindology App has a series of hypnotherapy audios for sleep – sessions for when you wake up in the middle of the night or can’t actually nod off to sleep. My favourite is the ‘Sleep Sounds’ on the app - I love the ‘Nighttime Crickets’ and ‘Drizzling Rain’. There are also some ASMR sounds, which I find the repetitive white noise calms me and distracts my busy mind. I really believe you need to train yourself into good sleep habits; sure, you might have a bad night but then the next night is about being consistent with your routine and sticking to what’s working.
On the weekends, I am much more flexible about bedtime and waking up but I still have a routine.
I am big on journaling. I love writing down goals and affirmations for myself. I keep my journal by my bed so I find if I'm tossing and turning, I simply write out what I'm worried about. Getting it out of my mind and onto paper is therapeutic for me.
Often we can get into bad habits of churning over our day, so for me, it’s a good way to release that thought and deal with it tomorrow. Also, it's good to have an evening mantra. Mine is: the day is done, and it’s now time to let my mind and body restore.
What time does your alarm go off in the morning?
My kids normally wake me up. My son comes in and gives me a kiss (he is a real sweetheart) and I normally hear him getting ready as he is very loud. Then my daughter climbs into bed and I'm fully awake, ready to go.
We are normally out of bed by 7am at the latest, and by that time it's all systems go to get out the door for school and daycare. I tend to only have a coffee at this point as I'm focused on getting kids ready and out of the house on time, so when I come home I have my breakfast.
What are three things (besides coffee) that help when you’re too tired to function?
1. Multivitamin drink
I have a Berocca in my water bottle in the afternoon if I'm feeling a little sluggish and slow.
2. An outdoor walk
A lovely walk can really help me. We have some nature walks near us and I just love being surrounded by the trees and the birds who make the most beautiful sounds. Getting outdoors away from work can instantly revitalise me.
3. Afternoon tea
A nice cup of tea and a biscuit can perk me up, too. A little bit of sugar once in a while is good – it's all about balance.
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kick start your day?
I am ‘very loosely’ doing the 16:8 fasting – it’s probably more like 12 to 14 hours, so when I can have breakfast at around 10am I start with a coffee, banana and some yoghurt. During the cooler months, I'll have porridge instead. I also love a slice of Vegemite toast.