My new bedtime friend

I've just had a lovely night's sleep, thanks in large part to the cheapest of all the goodies I bought at yesterday's OM Yoga Show: My new handmade aromatherapy eye pillow.

It's lavender-scented, and it is glorious. It smells so great I almost wish it came with a strap so that I could just wear it around all day long. (This would of course mean that I wouldn't be able to see where I was going, though ... counter-productive?)

Lavender has many benefits, including calming the mind, releasing stress, even reducing headaches. At first, when I lay down in bed last night and placed the pillow over my eyes, I had a  brief moment of panic: "I can't see!" Which of course, since it was night, I wouldn't have been able to see anyway, but it was just that new and unfamiliar sensation that something was different.

Then I took some deep breaths, inhaling the scent of the lavender, and relaxed. And you guys. It was soooo nice. Shutting out one sense - sight - so completely, while focusing on another - smell - was like a little brain challenge and relaxation exercise all in one.

As I often do, I woke up several times during the night. This time, I simply replaced the pillow on my eyes, took some more deep breaths, and drifted back into dreamworld. Peaceful sleep.

I'm flying to Dublin this afternoon, and guess what's coming with me.....