Insomnia has plagued my life for over a year now and it can be incredibly debilitating. A few good hours sleep are like gold dust for me usually and so joining in the #sleeptember with Silentnight campaign was going to be one that would hold challenges for me and I was keen to see if any of the sleep aids that the team from Silentnight and The Bedding Company were sending would help me.
I was kindly sent a copy of Dr Nerina’s book ‘Tired but Wired’, a Deep Sleep duvet and pair of Deep Sleep pillows from the Silentnight range. Timing was perfect for the new bedding after updating my bedroom with my gorgeous new wooden sleigh bed a few months back and the pillows were gorgeously plump when I released them from their plastic wrappings. Each pair has been designed specifically to envelop you with a feeling of warmth, snugness and comfort – exactly what your bed should feel like.
The Deep Sleep duvet works in much the same way and is super cosy which means you will be snug as a rug on a cold winter’s morning which could make you late for work!
I have only read a few chapters of Dr Nerina’s book but already am loving some of the ‘sleep smarter’ tips that are shared in this brilliant book. Fooled for years that the magic number was 8 hours for a good night sleep this book dispels the myth and works on the theory of ‘quality not quantity’. As a nation we are insomniacs and obsessed with sleep and I read somewhere that the NHS spends on average £36m a year on sleeping pills – not surprising though when we all have a great deal in our daily lives to worry about. Whether it’s family, work or personal life we find it increasingly hard to switch off and find that magic ‘downtime’ and relax of an evening before lights out. As a result it’s not surprising to see half your Facebook friends still awake in the wee small hours moaning about lack of sleep.
The book aims to educate people on what it is that they really need to do to get a proper night sleep and I have to say some of the advice is brilliant. From changing your diet so that you eat earlier and avoid heavy evening meals to working out your optimum sleep window (Margaret Thatcher famously claimed she only needed four hours), Dr Nerina has some practical and easy to implement advice.
One thing I have done is take to exercising before bed. You might think that this isn’t conducive to sleep but exercise releases mood enlightening endorphins that actually help us to get into that bed time feeling after a hard day. The other thing I’ve taken to doing is listening to some relaxing meditation whilst I drift off. Not the usual whale music and men on pan pipes but a series of digital sleeping pills from a company called DigiPill who release various meditational podcasts to help you enter a particular state of mind.
They work. They really work and for the last ten days I have managed 3 – 4 hours of rested sleep a night. This is a huge step forward for me as I was cat napping for 40 mins to an hour previously. The nights I don’t follow my routine I struggle to go to sleep and I’ve also tried to stop blogging late into the evening and taking an hour every night to watch something on TV or catch up on a good book.
I’ve loved taking part in the #sleeptember campaign and now I’ve found some proven sleep tips and techniques that actually work I hope to get back into the routine of getting a proper nights sleep on a regular basis. Gone is the iPhone from the bedroom, you won’t find the laptop stashed under the bed. I now have a quiet haven of candles, soft lights and comfy cushions to drift off in and relax.