Insomnia is no joke. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, recent study has shown that nearly a third of the UK population are suffers from long term sleep deprivation, this shows that often people are not aware of the problems they face in everyday life, which means that insomnia and sleep deprivation need to be treated as part of the mental health problem.
I have short term insomnia and I have had it all my life, these are the experiences I face pretty much every other night: Having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, waking up in the middle of the night to pee, hypersensitivity to noise and light, hormonal, worrying about work the next day, change in room temperature, jet lag, and sleeping on a bad mattress and bad pillows which causes neck ache and bad back. Recognise these symptoms? The less sleep I have, wrecks my morning, and makes my concentration and performance at work bad. Pssst, my addiction to tea drinking is the main culprit for my lack of sleep. These are not symptoms of any psychological issues, they are common symptoms that affect how well people sleep and they deal with this issue differently. Some methods may not work all, you just need to find solutions for the sake of well-being.
My sleep pattern is pretty erratic as I travel a lot, work odd hours as a photographer and I mostly work from home. I go to bed at 11pm or 12pm, I fall asleep (deep sleep stage) at 2am to 8am, my productivity increases at 4pm onwards, I try not to take nap time unless I’m feeling drained. So I get about 5 hours to 7 hours of sleep, whereas ideally I need about 9 hours of sleep. You might find me dozing off on the tube, one of the better and quicker ways to catch up on sleep on public transport. I usually get better sleep when I stay over at my sister’s and have bonding time with my 2 year old niece every fortnight. I watch her like a hawk for a full fun and games, and the exhaustion for this tired old body, is enough to knock me out at 8pm, go to bed at 9pm, uninterrupted, until I wake up naturally at 7am or 8am. Welcome to my life as an auntie and a freelancer.
|| My Top Tips To Improve Sleep ||
As part of the Mental Health Awareness Month, TEMPUR® are proud to be supporting the Mental Health Foundation as the 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. To combat loss of sleep and deal with it successfully, here are some of my top tips that really work for me and the importance of choosing a correct mattress and pillow to ensure a better night’s sleep.
Room temperature – Keep the room cool and well ventilated. In winter turn the central heating to its lowest temperature setting, mid to high temperature setting can cause skin irritation if you’re prone to sensitive skin and eczema.
Dark room – Black out curtains are perfect for preventing light peeking through blinds. The darker the curtains can help you get deeper and healthier sleep but it’s harder to wake up in the morning as the brain still thinks it’s night time. To get that extra hour of snooze would make a huge difference and make sure you wake up feeling good. If in doubt, set your alarm clock 15 minutes before waking up. If you don’t have blackout curtains, use a silk eye mask.
Lavender – Fresh lavenders or a pouch of dried lavenders on a bedside table helps to sooth anxiety, stress and have a calmer sleep. Or, if you prefer, put 2 drops of lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil on your pillow.
Ergonomic pillow – I suffered neck ache from sleeping on bog-standard pillow when I was a teenager, until I made a switch to an ergonomic pillow which helps to elevate and support the natural curve of my neck. I’m a side sleeper too, so it makes a huge difference to the quality of my sleep and reduces neck and shoulder pain, especially after a long day of work.
Memory foam mattress – A bad mattress can cause chronic lower back pain, pelvic pain and bad posture while you sleep. Trust me, been there, done that. I was almost crippled (more like the feeling of being paralysed) from the spine down from sleeping on a soft mattress at a luxury hotel somewhere in Asia. All ergonomic pillows and memory foam mattresses are great investment products that really work, I swear by them.
TEMPUR® will be donating for every mattress sold through the TEMPUR® UK website, or through a TEMPUR® owned store (brand or outlet) throughout May 2018. I wish your sleep to successful and stress-free.
This collaborative post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts and opinions are my own.