Sunday, 1 October 2017

Tips for a better nights sleep & a sleep themed giveaway.

Insomnia and depression are a vicious circle.

You feel low, you've had a tough day, and you have a 101 things on your mind.
You go to bed and lie there unable to sleep and become more and more frustrated.
You toss, you turn, you get up, you lie back down, you start thinking how tired you're going to be tomorrow and become more restless and stressed. 
You wake up in the morning, feeling foggy and tired....
And the cycle continues....

The definition of Insomnia is 

  • Difficulty in falling asleep
  • Waking up during the night
  • Lying awake for long periods of time
  • Feeling un-refreshed when waking and irritable and unable to concentrate during the day


insomnia




K has had a lot of problems with her sleep. 
Its natural for a teenagers sleep habits to be out of sync with the rest of the world. 
They tend to socialise with others on social media until the late hours, each too much junk food and watch too much Netflix. 

But Ks problems were different. She wasn't sat up munching on crisps and watching Breaking Bad whilst scrolling though Instagram. Her anxiety and low mood would plague her in the evening for fear of not sleeping and at bedtime she would toss and turn, running over all the things that had worried her during the day and jumping at every noise.

Some nights she would still be awake at 3am and become so frustrated and angry at not being able to sleep she would cry or become aggressive. 
These problems would then continue into the next day with being unable to wake until the late morning and being cranky and unreasonable during the day, which made her low mood and anxiety worse and the cycle continued. 
In order to help her i was lucky enough to offered help and advice from CAMHs. 
They gave us some great tips which we put into practise and some did really help. 

In day to day life you don't always realise how your bad habits can affect your sleep routine.

Here are my 12 tips to improve your sleep hygiene and get a better nights sleep.



Avoid stimulants
Stimulants such as Tea, coffee, nicotine and fizzy drinks will affect your ability to nod off. It is recommended that you have your last cuppa about 3 hours before going to bed. 


Get Some Exercise
Try and get out of the house and get some exercise. I appreciate this can be very difficult when a person is unwell, but in the past when K has been been having a really bad day i have been able to persuade her to go for a short walk in her pyjamas and a coat.
A 15 minute walk can make a big difference to energy levels and state of mind.


Declutter your sleep space
Keep your bedroom clutter free and tidy. Its almost impossible to relax and settle in a room when you are surrounded by things you haven't sorted out yet. It just makes you feel worse. If you haven't had time or cant find the enthusiasm to do that basket of ironing then move it to another room so you don't have to think about it at bedtime.


a sleep hygiene bedroom for a good nights sleep


Create a sleep friendly bedroom
Surround yourself with lovely things that make you happy. lovely soft bedding, photos of those who make you happy on your walls and soft and fluffy pillows. 
Get a bed side lamp so that you can snuggle up and read, black out blinds to keep the room nice and dark and maybe a fan to keep you cool in the Summer months. 
I cant emphasise the difference just treating yourself to some new pillows can help. I did this recently and and slept so well.


Get yourself into a routine
Recognise that sleep is as important to your health as diet and exercise. 
Have a bedtime routine. Treat yourself to a warm bath, or set aside 15 minutes to read before you settle down. 
it can be good to go up to bed at a specific time each evening but i also feel its better to stay away from the bedroom until you are feeling tired and only go to the bedroom to sleep otherwise you may feel frustrated that you aren't dozing off by 10pm.


Unplug
Research states that the blue light from devices such as mobile phones and tablets disrupt the sleep hormone Melatonin and make it harder to fall asleep. Switch  your mobile phone an hour before you go to bed and try not to use your phone as your alarm clock so you aren't tempted to scroll when you're trying to snooze. 


Clear your mind
Try to clear your mind before settling down for bed. If you have things on your mind then trying writing things down before you go to your bedroom. Mind clearing exercises such as Meditating and Yoga can be very helpful as well using visualisation. 
My CBT therapist taught me a method where i would imagine all the people that were on my mind and visualise picking them up their heads and placing them gently away from the bed, another visualisation that i find helps is to imagine a white board. Visualise writing your worries on this whiteboard and then rubbing them away. 


Listen to some relaxing music or audio books
We have found some great sleep and meditation music on You tube which has really helped K settle down. There is quite a variety including panpipes, soft piano and waves crashing. 
There are also some great relaxation Cd's and audio books on the market. 


Try some non-medicinal sleeping aids
There are some fantastic bath products, pillow mists and sleep balms available all varying in price. We have been using Feather and Down Sleep Dreams pillow mist which K has found very soothing and definitely helps her wind down. You can check out my short review on this product here


Create a sleep diary
Keeping a sleep diary can be really helpful for identifying reoccurring behaviours that may be disrupting your sleep and and also can be valuable if you decide to seek help from your GP. There is a great printable template for a sleep diary at NHS choices


Talk to your GP
The NHS Choices website recommends visiting your GP if you are suffering from Insomnia for more than one month. Your GP will be able to discuss your lifestyle and health and may offer solutions such as talking therapies or sleeping medication. 
You can visit NHS Choices for more information on Insomnia.



Sleep Giveaway

Today i am giving away a sleep bundle perfect for achieving a great night sleep.

Prize consists of- 

A fabulous Feather and Down Sweet Dreams Gift set including Pillow Spray, All-purpose Sleep balm, melting shower cream
A gorgeous Air Wick Essential Oil Scented Candle 
The Sleep Book by Dr Guy Meadows
Twinings Sleep Teabags


a carers perspective sleep giveaway






These giveaway prizes have been purchased independently and this giveaway is not affiliated with the brands  

T&Cs

  • The closing date is 12th October 2017 at 23.59 (GMT).
  • Open to UK residents aged 18 or over
  • One winner will receive Feather and Down Sweet Dreams Gift set, Air Wick Essential Oil Scented Candle, The Sleep Book by Dr Guy Meadows,Twinings Sleep Teabags.
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter 
  • Only one entry per Household
  • Winner will be randomly generated by Rafflecopter
  • All entries will be moderated.
  • The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date, and must respond within 7 days to claim their prize.
  • Winners name will be announced on Social media
  • This prize draw is governed by English law and the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising in connection with it





110 comments:

  1. i use a essential oil diffuser with lavender oil to help me sleep

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  2. Switch off all technology at least 30 mins before you go to bed!

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  3. Read a book before bed

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  4. A nice hot bath with lavender oil just before bed helps you sleep

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  5. My tip is to listen to some sleep music which always works for me. Download some to an iPod and use ear phones.

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  6. I use a meditation app to relax before I go to bed x

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  7. Try and stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.

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  8. Lavender essential oil on the temples and a good book!

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  9. I put a couple of drops of lavender oil on my bedding to help me sleep

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  10. I like to make sure I am fully relaxed before going to my bed, I never do any last minute chores just before going to bed.
    Relax and read a book, shut off from any gadgets including the tv :)

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  11. A dark cool room with the scent of lavender

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  12. I use a sleep spray on my pillow.

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  13. Wish I knew some tips, my husband suffers from insomnia and only medication and a hot milky drink knocks him out

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  14. i use a lavender sleep spray on my bedding

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  15. I use a geranium based oil for my partner to help him sleep as he's not as keen on lavender as I am. He sleeps better in a cooler room with blankets handy too, rather than a warm room.

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    1. A carers Perspective9 October 2017 at 13:53

      i sleep better in a cool room too

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  16. dont go on the phone or computer just before bed as it will keep you awake x

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  17. If i'm really struggling to sleep, I pop on my relaxing playlist on Spotify. Rain or ocean sounds tends to help me eventually drift off.

    Jen xx
    www.kitsch-n-sync.com

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    1. A carers Perspective9 October 2017 at 13:57

      We found a really good you tube video which really helps get K off to sleep if anyone's interested give me a message and ill send you the link

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  18. No technology near the bedroom! And reading always helps me

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  19. im still trying to figure out 8 years later

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  20. Mindlefulness
    Practice each day
    It does make a difference

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  21. I sleep so badly I can't think of many tips! The one thing that helps a little is to write a to do list for the next day and leave it in another room so you get some of the thoughts out of your head.

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  22. I put relaxation music on to help me sleep and/or get back to sleep. Yes I know the time I am writing this is not helpful however it's a bad night so up for a cuppa

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  23. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time everyday, get as much natural sunlight as possible, move vigorously during the day – don’t sit for more than an hour, limit caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and big meals at night, take time for relaxing activities before sleep and create a calm and restful sleep environment.

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    1. A carers Perspective9 October 2017 at 13:58

      Some great tips there Solange

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  24. Switch off any technology in your bedroom, eat clean and exercise

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  25. I know about the usual things mentioned above but I think some exercise in a day is important to wear yourself out a little.

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  26. My tips is exercise through day and keep electronics off in bedroom

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  27. I find reading in bed makes my eyes tired & heavy and relaxes me for sleep.

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  28. I find reading a book before sleep helps.....turning off all screens an hour before too!

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  29. Use a lavender bedroom must spray, spray it in the room 20 mins before you go to bed

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  30. I rarely have trouble sleeping but my partner and carer has insomnia. She likes it really dark and a fan on. Modern and silent won't do the trick either, she likes her rattly old one.

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  31. Long hot bubble bath and a cup of hot chocolate helps me sleep.

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  32. Don't allow your pets to share either your bed or your bedroom.

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  33. As a 30 year sufferer of GAD, OCD & agoraphobia I really empathise with Ks' problems, I'm glad you have set up your blog as i'm sure it will prove useful for many x I sleep badly as my anxiety is worse at night..its bigger, however i have found that having a set routine of a hot bath, no caffeine after 6pm, a lavender candle & no tech in the bedroom at all has improved my sleep.

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  34. Keeping active during the day, cut out any "nap" you have during the day and get some exercise done, it really helps you to feel more tired at night!

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  35. try to forget about any stresses and problems and remember they will be there the next day whatever

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  36. A warm bath with lavender oil and a cup of chamomile tea x

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  37. I only drink decaffinated tea and coffee x

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  38. a nice hot bath before bed always helps me get a goodnights sleep

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  39. Hot chocolate and a good book works for me.

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  40. Create a routine and stick to it, to help prepare your body for sleep!

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  41. Reading in bed always makes me sleepy

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  42. A warm bath, followed by reading and a little meditation by candle light.

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  43. Reading before switching off the light

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  44. i always have a cup of lavender tea beforr bed to relax me

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  45. I always read a book and it sends me off to sleep very effectively - that's a real paper book with pages and not a kindle.

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  46. Have a little book by your bedside to write to-do lists and worries etc before going to sleep.

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  47. I have been sleeping better since doing more walking for my fitbit challenges, relaxing bath and no gadgets an hour before

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  48. I actually listen to soft audio stories to send me to sleep.

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  49. I make a list of the things worrying me and then write a list of solutions alongside it

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  50. Reading helps me but I'm pregnant so baby keeps me awake a lot
    xx

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  51. No gadgets for 2 hours before bed

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  52. Hot milk, warm bath,good book and if all else fails, nytol!

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  53. I always read before bed and avoid tv and phone for last hour before bed

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  54. Cup of hot chocolate and a good book

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  55. No technology an hour before bed

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  56. bedtime routine, relaxing bath, book, bed xxxx

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  57. Hot water drink and no technology after 9

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  58. I believe the temperature of your sleeping environment is key. Make a diary of room temperature against quality of sleep to find the optimum temp that suits you...it may be different for everyone.

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  59. i have 2 children with autism who both have huge issues with sleep, 1 is on melatonin with little effect. We have been trying out all sorts of prouducts to help there is a febreeze sleep spray which we spray around before bed time, they all have baths in johnsons night time bubble bath with the night time talc too. Im very keep to try the lush sleepy lotion every one is talking about. By the time the children are all asleep it is close to midnight and i find it very difficult to shut down. A warm drink and room, no gadgets or lights. It usually takes until at least 3am to fall asleep and back up at 7 with the kids, im a total nightmare! The only time i get a good nights sleep is after a bottle of wine which isnt often enough!

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    1. A carers Perspective10 October 2017 at 06:08

      I can sympathise with this . K was on melatonin for a few months but it didnt really work for either, shes now on Promethazine which alot more effective.I got the impression from the hospital when we stayed that the medical staff didn't have much faith in Melatonin either.
      Its so hard when the person you care for doesnt sleep well because it impacts on your ability to cope. You should try some sleep music, abit of gentle piano with some watery sounds really seem to help her settle down. If you drop me a message ill send you the link to the one we use on You Tube. x

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  60. Send the kids to Nana's house for a sleepover 😂😂😂

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  61. A nice warm bath and good book 😴😴

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  62. I read until I can't keep my eyes open anymore and use a lavender body lotion on my hands and arms.

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  63. Turn off phones/laptops/ipads... have a long, hot bath then watch a happy feel good film in bed :)

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  64. In order to get a good night’s sleep, you need to switch off, so shut down your laptop/tablet and switch off the TV at least 30 minutes before bed. Have a nice warm bath and add a few drops of your favourite essential oil like lavender. Go up to bed and read a chapter or two of a good book and before you turn off the light, add a few more drops of essential oil to your pillow.

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  65. I'm afraid I've never really mastered the secret for a good nights sleep x

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  66. I wish I could, tried a nice bath, aroma goodies nothing works

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  67. we have 6 children, one of which is a terrible sleeper(shes nearly 4) and wakes everyone else in the house. We found a little cd player with a relaxation cd playing on repeat is working wonders! it may be that its blocking out background noise so shes not waking up as easy, or it could just be that its so relaxing either way i highly recommend trying!! we have a baby monitor and the music sends me off to sleep too :)

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  68. Make the bedroom as dark as possible - blackout curtains, shield any light from a bedside clock/radio, close the door. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. No caffine after lunchtime - and if you are worrying about things write them down before you get into bed and tell yourself you will worry about them tomorrow.

    Hazel Rea - @beachrambler

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  69. sleep is the biggest health concern to hit headlines and will get bigger as tech invades life

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  70. Haven't discovered it yet !!

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  71. Do excuse the tmi, but Doing the naughties! lol. With four kids and one ill elderly Mum to care for, I get so stressed and wound up, and most scented things give me a headache, so the husband and I have our...ermmm....fun time, and we sleep like babies! lol
    Best cure ever for my insomnia!

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  72. Earplugs! They cut out all the ambient noises that break up your sleep patterns, and also possible partner snoring!

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  73. keep the room at a decent temperature warm but not hot in winter and cool but not cold in summer - it can really impact on your sleep

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  74. Ensure that the temperature is just right. I have problems sleeping if it is either too hot or too cold

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  75. Dont drink anything an hour before you go to bed

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  76. I have a nice cup of milky Yorkshire tea or warm milk and honey - seems to do the job most of the time.

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  77. Have your window slightly open to let the cool air in. A warm bedroom isn't great for getting a good night's sleep.

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  78. A cup of cammomile tea just an hour before bedtime and a soft nightlight and fresh bedding works a treat :) x

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  79. A warm bath with lavender oil and straight to bed

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  80. I need complete silence and have to have my wee toes covered, ha ha!

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  81. I drink Valerian tea, make sure i leave some fresh air coming through the room, have no techonlolgy for at least a few hours before bed, and readin helps too, many thanks

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  82. No idea haven't slept more than four hours' for 8 years' Michellle Wild.

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  83. Ear plugs and an eye mask helps me x

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  84. no blue light technology get rid of the tv

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  85. I have a cool room. I find it works for me.

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  86. not sure I'm the best person to give advice as in spite of wearing ear plugs and an eye-shade, and not using technology for several hours before bed I always have difficulty falling asleep.

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  87. A nice long bath and a book after then sleep. Lovely giveaway, thank you

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  88. Being a week away from giving birth for me it's all about comfort and winding down before bed. So no phone or screen time, reading and relaxing. Lots of pillows so comfy and not to warm room or to cold a room

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  89. A bath and read a chapter of a book

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  90. I always find reading helps me relax and fall asleep

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  91. A warm bath and a warm caffeine free drink x

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  92. A soak in a hot bath helps me to relax ready for sleep.

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