Since my last post about sleep deprivation, some things have changed in the Lifestyle Maven bedroom. The most significant of these is that the hubster has almost stopped snoring.
It’s now been several months since he had his head hollowed out (you’ll have to read the previous post to understand that one) and initially he continued to use the breathing machine as we’d both become used to the silence it guarantees. More recently we’ve both managed to sleep without it, only occasionally having to give him a shove to roll onto his side.
During those nights when I find it hard to sleep, I practice the breathing techniques I learnt during my mindfulness course.
In addition, and this sounds decadent – I’ve been trialling a silk pillow case by Silksleep.
Silk is the same pH as skin, so the pillow case doesn’t absorb all the night creams and moisturisers I’ve applied.
I’ve always woken up with creases on my face as my cheeks rest on the folds in my cotton pillow case. Now, my skin just glides over the surface of the silk, so I wake up looking less like a Shar Pei and don’t have to walk around with my hand over my creased cheeks.
I had thought that silk would become very warm under the heat from my head, but it remains cool all night. I’m much more comfortable in bed now so generally I’m sleeping better.
It seems that I only need to write about a subject once to be seen as something of a maven. Since that first sleep deprivation article I’ve been sent products by several generous companies asking for my opinion on their sleep remedy products.
I have found it very difficult to determine how much each product helps me sleep, because there isn’t a control in this nightly experiment.
Every night is different, because each one follows a unique day. I no longer commute to an office or have a strict routine: so the amount of exercise I get; the food I eat; the number of cups of tea I drink and the stress I experience changes every day.
However, I have tried them all and provide a round up here.
Kiss the Moon oils encourage a good night’s rest and nourish your skin while you sleep. I trialled a few of their face oils, which are designed to put moisture into the skin when cell renewal is most active. The blends have names: Love contains rose, frankincense and ylang ylang; Glow has orange, geranium and myrhh. Dream, with lavender, bergamot and cedarwood was my favourite scent, which I dabbed on my pressure points.
I would recommend trying a few of the blends to find one you like – a smell that you find unpleasant will have a negative impact on your sleep.
Kiss the Moon makes balms, bath oils and face oils, starting at £16 from the Kiss the Moon website.
acUtreat is self help acupuncture without the needles. The products were developed by a highly qualified acupuncturist called Balquees Ali, using the principles of ear acupuncture. You apply these little sticky seeds to specific points on the ear that correspond to certain organs, which apparently jump starts a natural healing process.
I was given a kit for sleeping problems, but there are kits to support anxiety and stress management, pain and weight control – it’s all about where you place the seeds.
I applied the seeds with tweezers, following the diagram. The seeds are stuck to the ears with tiny fabric plasters and will remain in place if you apply an occasional bit of pressure. They were meant to stay on for five days, but I removed mine after 48 hours in the name of vanity – I was going to a networking event and felt a bit self-conscious.
I got used to the seeds after an hour and didn’t really feel them. I think this is a really innovative product and great for someone who benefits from acupuncture and wants to continue to help themselves at home.
The kits retail at £26.99 and contain enough seeds for 4-6 weeks. They’re available to purchase online at www.acupuncturestuff.com.
These 100% natural balms come in handy lip balm type tubes and have a firm and non-greasy consistency. Scentered’s mantra is Stop – apply to pulse points; Inhale – deeply; Reset – your mood. The aromatherapy fragrances are lovely, very subtle and delicate. I tried Stress Less Therapy Balm which contains chamomile, neroli and mandarin and Sleep Well Therapy Balm, with palmarosa, lavender and ylang ylang.
My nine year old wanted to try them and because of the light and natural formulation I was happy for him to rub a little on his wrists. I’m not sure if the effects are physical or psychosomatic, but when he is feeling a bit restless, I give him some of the balm and it seems to reassure him and settle him down to sleep.
Take a look at the company’s website, it’s rather beautiful. The Balms are £14.50.
Sleep is so important. We spent about 30% of our lives asleep, and without it death comes in just a few days. It’s possible to survive longer without food than sleep.
I will continue to use my silk pillow and will put the rest of the bed linen set on my Christmas present list. I’ll reach for the various aromatherapy products if I’m having a restless night and will keep the balm handy for the kids too.
But there is no substitute for daily exercise, a healthy diet and a relaxing, tech-free bedtime routine to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep well. Vx