Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wellbeing | 5 ways to beat insomnia

Every now and again I go through phases of not being able to sleep. It seems the harder I try to sleep, the wider awake I get which is very frustrating. I lie awake, tossing and turning, and thinking about everything under the sun, and by morning, I’m ratty, desperately lacking sleep and definitely not ready to take on the day, but rather endure it as best as I can.  I read somewhere that a whopping 30% of the population suffers from insomnia or some form of sleep disorder. Not great!

How much sleep is enough sleep?

Apparently Margaret Thatcher got by on only 5 hours of sleep per night, while Einstein needed 9 or 10. So everyone's biological clock is different, and you'll know how much sleep is enough sleep for you.  For me personally, I think I need a minimum of 7 hours sleep to function properly, but it would be great if I could knock it down to 6 – that would mean I'd gain an extra 365 hours a year!

5 ways to beat insomnia

During the times I’ve been affected by lack of sleep I did some research on ways to beat insomnia and these are the tips that work best for me personally:

  • Doing something relaxing before bed time – and this doesn’t include going on your laptop or phone as this only interferes with your sleep quality!  I try to read before I sleep and this works perfectly for me, because I’m doing something constructive (one of my goals this year is to do more reading) and because eventually I do doze off to sleep.
  • Exercise makes a HUGE difference to my ability to sleep. The ironic thing is I’ll feel too tired to exercise, but if I force myself to go for a jog in the evening or do a cardio session at home, it really gives my system a much needed boost and results in me sleeping well. 
  • Having a relaxing bath before I sleep usually induces a wonderful, deep and refreshing sleep, especially when I use my Arbonne 'Unwind' aromatherapy goodies – pure bliss as they're filled with essential oils that completely relax you. I use these especially when I’m going through an insomniac phase and it helps a lot.
  • I do try herbal remedies too, when all else fails.  These are natural sleeping remedies that induce sleep and usually they work quite well for me.  Or you could try putting lavender on your pillow or massaging some lavender essential oil into your temples.
  • For me reflection is important to help me detach from the day I’ve had and also reflect on what I’m doing the next day. Much of the reason why we can’t sleep is because everything that happened that day is swirling through our minds and we’re also concerned about what we’re going to be doing tomorrow.  Take time during the evening to deeply reflect on your day that’s just been as well as the day ahead and this should settle your mind and help you have a great sleep.  I’ve written a blog post on the importance of reflection here.  I also keep a journal and pour all my thoughts into there, that way I’m ‘downloading’ all the things that pop into my head and make me lose sleep!     

Do you ever suffer from insomnia or any other sleep condition?  How do you deal with it? 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Goal setting blog link up | February update

Weekly Wishes is a weekly blog link up with The Nectar Collective where we share our goals and encourage each other. If you’ve never taken part, then do so, it’s so much fun, and you get to discover lots of amazing blogs!

I can barely believe that the end of February is not too far away!  Last week I was so caught up in the daily activities of life that I didn’t participate in the Weekly Wishes blog link up.  

So I’ll dive straight into my goals for this week:

·         Create blog content and post at least twice to my blog this week
·         Make some progress with a new project I’m working on – more to follow in due course!
·         Read every evening
·         Exercise at least three times this week – last week I was really stressed out and as a result spent much of the week with nasty headaches and tension in my shoulders.  Exercising always makes me feel a million times better.  I’m looking at starting yoga too.
·         Get my wardrobe organised – yep it’s bursting with clothes and yet I have nothing to wear… story of everyone’s life!  I need to be ruthless and get rid of all the clothes ‘I know I’ll wear one day’ but know I actually won’t.  Stay tuned for some wardrobe organisation tips!

This week is going to be really busy for me workwise so I’m not going too wild with my goal setting for the week as much of it is work related and I wouldn’t want to bore you with the details!

What’s everyone up to this week?  Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day, or not?

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Celebrating Valentine's Day: A Do or a Don't?

Love it or hate it, today’s Valentine’s Day!  Do you pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day?  Or do you view it as another commercial gimmick and ignore it?

I think I sit somewhere in between.

On Thursday I was the Toastmaster, or 'MC' at our regular Toastmasters club meeting.  I chose the theme of Valentines and asked everyone taking part in the meeting whether they think celebrating Valentine’s Day is a DO or a DON’T. 

Surprisingly - or unsurprisingly – there were lots of DON’TS.  The reason that kept coming up was that love and appreciation were shown to their significant other half every day and not just on Valentine’s Day and they didn’t want to be part of the ridiculous commercial bandwagon that is Valentine’s Day.

Then there were others that said celebrating Valentine’s Day is a DO – because love should be celebrated!  We celebrate Mother's Day, Father's Day and so on, why not celebrate love?

I have to say I agree that love should be celebrated.  It’s just a shame that Valentine’s Day has been commercialised to the point where people feel obligated to spend lots of money impressing their loved one when all it takes is a thoughtful gesture or an effort that doesn’t necessarily require lots of money.

If you think about the guy that wakes up early to painstakingly make some heart shaped pancakes with all the trimmings, picks a single rose from the garden and delivers them with love as breakfast in bed to his other half; or the busy executive who gets his PA to purchase and have delivered an expensive bracelet to his wife that he didn’t even take the time to choose himself; which is the better gift?

Of course, these things can be done on any day and not just Valentine's Day.

My view is that Valentine’s Day is a cute concept that we should celebrate within reason - most women I know think that Valentines Day has certainly been commercialised - but would still like to be treated extra special or receive a little something on Valentines Day.

What’s your take on Valentine’s Day?  Is it a DO or a DON’T?