Stress, success and sleep
Ali writes: Having kids, as you know, messes with your sleep patterns – from newborn and no (night time) sleep, to toddlers trying to get into your bed at three in the morning – through to fretting about teenagers who stay awake longer than you do! Adult Life is a lot more stressy than advertised right??
And even Kipper the new kitten, acquired after research into how de-stressing a pet can be* for teenagers and perimenopausal mamas, drives us mad by jumping on our heads when he thinks it’s time for breakfast at five AM!!
As a freelancer, I find it really hard to ‘switch off’ and de-stress, my mind struggles to relax and unwind – I’m constantly ‘on call’ from clients, and all of the connections and social media app messages that seem to bombard me daily (and nightly!).
And as a family, we’ve been a bit lapse about allowing electronics into the bedroom – we had a rule that no mobile phones could be taken to bed, and had to be left on the sitting room mantelpiece – and that worked so well, what went wrong??!
So we are starting afresh, no more ‘reading a book on my phone’, no more ‘just checking Instagram messages’ – no more ‘oh I need my mobile phone for the alarm in the morning’ – we are making some changes!
So now, come bed time, we leave our phones downstairs, we’ve reinstated the old clock radio alarms in all of the bedrooms, we’ve banished the kitten to his own bed, on the landing in his home-made cat house (more on that here!)
And so to SLEEP…..
Sleep allows your mind to unwind and de-stress. This allows your mental and emotional well-being to be restored. Sleep helps your brain to recover and revive itself, helping it to make sense of the day, storing your memories and creating new ideas. Sleep gives you energy and boosts your immune system, helping your body recover from illnesses. While you sleep your body builds and repairs itself by making new tissue.
So plump up those pillows, grab a book (and your reading glasses – my eyes always need a bit of help at night!) and settle down into a comfy mattress for a good read at bedtime.
Aromatherapy oils can really help too, I recently put a call out on my Instagram stories asking for natural remedy advice for better sleep and was recommended these calming, relaxing aromas of essential oils: Try Lavender, Vanilla, or Jasmine. Essential oils can promote relaxation – perfect to help switch off at the end of a busy day.
As well as the calming scents of essential oils, a relaxing bedtime routine can also help you drift off. A warm shower or bath is a soothing way to unwind and as mentioned, swapping electronic devices for a good book can help your mind to switch off – and take note – try a bit of ‘facial pampering’ – thanks to suggestions from my Instagram followers (I know, it’s become my ‘go-to’ for advice!!) I’ve been using a night oil too – apparently skin repairs faster at night with the increased production of two key hormones: HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and Melatonin.
Massage a night oil into the face before bed to allow the ingredients to penetrate overnight, so that you can wake up with a glowing complexion and a jolly demeanor.
And a warm herbal tea can help too – make it a Fairtrade chamomile tea for ethical bonus points – and try jotting down a “to do” list for the next day which can organise your thoughts and clear your mind of any distractions.
And maybe some gentle relaxation exercises, such as light pilates or yoga stretches, which help to relax the muscles. Don’t exercise vigorously, as it will have the opposite effect!
Mental health awareness week highlights the importance of improving the quality of your sleep for your over all mental well-being during stressful times.
Stress is common and, like mental health, it need to be addressed and understood to ensure well-being isn’t compromised. We cannot eliminate stress completely as it is a natural driver in our body which people thrive on and use to push themselves in life but we can learn to cope with it and make it work for us. So let me know what you do to relax and get to sleep at night…
This post is in conjunction with Tempur but all thoughts are my own.
TEMPUR® are supporting the Mental Health Foundation as their chosen charity for 2018.
The Mental Health Foundation have pioneered new ways of looking at mental health and improving the lives of people experiencing mental illness for more than 60 years.
TEMPUR® will be donating £10 for every mattress sold through the TEMPUR® UK website, or through a TEMPUR owned store (brand or outlet) throughout May 2018.
- Tempur have worked alongside the Mental Health Foundation to produce a sleep guide, giving tips on sleep and how to get a good night’s sleep. These will be available in Tempur stores and on the Tempur website.
- Tempur have a range of additional marketing activity to support this initiative which include: New TV asset, branding within the stores and fundraising for MHF by having their ribbons in Tempur stores – customers will be able to purchase a ribbon for a £2 donation
Read more top tips on sleep on the NHS website
Read more about MIND and Mental Health Awareness Week
*Read more about how pets have been found to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, leading to a calmer approach to life and thus positively impacting our blood pressure. Simply stroking a pet can have health benefits.