The month of March has been declared as National Bed Month and also on the 15th March is World Sleep Day which is something many chronic pain sufferers would love to enjoy.
The Sleep Council (helping you get a better nights sleep, create awareness campaigns. The idea behind The Sleep Council awareness campaigns is to highlight the impact of a good night’s sleep on health and wellbeing, the good lifestyle habits to follow and how to eliminate the factors that are causing you disturbed sleep.
During their awareness campaigns, they actively encourage everyone to get involved and show their support.
1st – 31st March
A month dedicated to improving a good night’s kip with a comfortable, supportive bed.
For tips and advice on choosing a new bed and a full list of NBF approved members, visit the National Bed Federation website.
Friday, March 15, 2019 is the 12th annual World Sleep Day. Created and hosted by World Sleep Society, World Sleep Day is an internationally recognized awareness event bringing researchers, health professionals and patients together to recognize sleep and its important impact on our health.
World Sleep Day 2019 will incorporate the slogan, ‘Healthy Sleep, Healthy Aging,’ intended to emphasize the importance of sleep in overall health at any age. This focus is purposefully broad in meaning, surrounding the message that quality of life can be improved with healthy sleep. Conversely, when sleep fails, health declines, decreasing quality of life. Sound sleep is a treasured function and one of the core pillars of health. World Sleep Society has compiled ten tips for healthier sleep. These recommendations for children and adults can be viewed on worldsleepday.org under resources.
So, what’s the answer to a good nights sleep? I have written many articles on sleep deprivation and how this is something Fibromyalgia patients suffer from big time. I have gone through most of them to list the most important things to remember in order to get a good nights sleep.
Arthritis Health says that “Positive bedtime habits and environment changes include:
- Using a high-quality mattress with comfortable sheets and blankets
- Eliminating light and noise from the bedroom, including glare and sounds from electronics; a sound machine that generates white noise may help mask outside noises (people will often use a fan for this purpose)
- Lowering the temperature in the bedroom to 68 degrees or lower
- Using deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation techniques (tensing and then relaxing muscle groups in sequence)
- Using a biofeedback device to help individuals recognize signs of tension and actively work to relax muscles, slow breathing, and calm down
- Going to bed at the same time every day
- Getting up and doing something calming if sleeplessness sets in, returning to bed only once feeling tired
Other obvious tricks from sleep experts are to try a camomile tea before you go to bed. Put your book if it’s on a screen to the blue shade to read. Have a warm bath with some lavender oil drops which can help you to relax. Spray your pillow with watered down lavender oil.
Be smart about napping as while it is a good way to make up for lost sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep napping can make it worse. For me personally, if I go for my afternoon rest later than 3pm then I find it difficult to go off at the usual bedtime.
They even suggest turning off or down your light as the night goes on as melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s day, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, therefore making you more alert (I’ve not tried this one).
The N:Rem Sleep System wrote a great guest post here which included a free ebook on Why is Sleep So Important For Fibromyalgia Sufferers.
The Pillow Advisor explains how to choose the correct pillow to suit the way you sleep.
- Sleep on your front (you are a tummy sleeper) – Choose a softer pillow (down pillow or a soft, low-fill synthetic pillow)
- Sleep on your back (you are a back sleeper) – Choose a medium thickness pillow (high-fill down pillow, orthopaedic memory foam pillow or medium synthetic pillow)
- Sleep on your side (you are aside sleeper) – Choose a medium-high thickness pillow (high-fill down pillow, memory foam pillow or medium-high density synthetic pillow)
- A mixture of all or some of these (you are a mixed sleeper) – Choose a medium thickness pillow (high-fill down pillow or medium synthetic pillow)
There is much more on this article here.
And finally if all else fails try pressing these acupuncture points to help you sleep. Place the tips of your index and middle fingers on the centre of your breastbone, at the acupressure point known as ‘Sea of Tranquility’. Now close your eyes and apply steady pressure, not too hard, for a minute or two. You will then soon feel tension, anxiety and stress start to slip away.
You could also use your first two fingers and tap them across the top of your head from temple to temple. Then work from front to back and side to side as this can get blood and oxygen moving to ease tension and restore focus.
To destress your shoulders make a gengle half closed fist and with a loose wrist, tap your right hand gently but firmly up your left arm, along your shoulder and up the side and back of your neck. Repat the same process on the other side to ease tension and release endorphins.
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