HEALTH IS THE GREATEST GIFT…

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship…

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) British logician and philosopher.

SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND DUVETS…

It’s Sleep Sunday – Let’s Talk About Sleep and this week I am writing about Duvet’s.

Duvet’s, love them or hate them we all sleep with them now. I still use a sheet under my duvet but that’s just so it makes it easier for me to change the bed. It means I change my sheet every week but only change the duvet once a month as the sheet is against our skin. Being small ( in height 😀) it’s quite an effort for me to change a king size duvet and my back certainly doesn’t like it so that’s when I decided to use a sheet under the duvet.

I don’t know about you but I absolutely LOVE getting into a clean and fresh bed. But then I do love my bed. My bedroom is my sanctuary somewhere I love going to for my afternoon rest. When we moved down south this year I spent time planning how my room would look and feel and I could not be happier with the finished room.

Beth Urmston from Fibro Flare Support Group a registered charity sent me a link to an article in Country Life Magazine on How to Sleep Like A Lamb : The Benefit of a Pure Wool Duvet. They say that you can get a perfect night’s sleep with a pure wool duvet made of old fashioned sheep’s wool. ‘It creates the perfect climate for each person,’ explains Bridgett Kelly, interior textiles director of the Campaign for Wool. ‘a duvet containing synthetic fibres doesn’t adjust to the individual, but wool gives you improved quality of deep sleep, which leaves t‘he body rejuvenated.’ said Julie Harding from Country Life Magazine.

Wool in bedding isn’t a new concept, but the arrival of the Continental quilt in the 1970s meant that heavy, itchy, difficult-to-wash blankets were consigned to the airing cupboard. in 2009, Channel 4’s My Dream Farm, presented by Monty Don, showcased Dick and Pauline Beijen’s early attempts to add value to their sheep’s wool by using it as a duvet filling and this helped bring about the resurgence of wool as a bedding material.


Countrys Life writes that sales have grown by 800% in the past three years, making The Wool Room the market leader. The company’s researchers took 12 years to develop a wool filling that can be washed in a machine and it invited allergy UK to devise a test for allergens. ‘after six weeks, there were no dust mites, no bacteria and no fungus in our duvets,’ confirms Mr Tattersall, who promotes his products as suitable for asthma, eczema and allergic-rhinitis sufferers, although he cautions against buying inexpensive imports. ‘The cheaper wool duvets use synthetic liners, which will defeat the object, plus you don’t know where the wool comes from. The UK has the best wool in the world. We tend to buy from the eastern seaboard. Provenance is important to us.’

There choice of where to buy your wool duvet from is –

  • Southdown Duvets, Scotland Farm, Upland Lane, Hawkley, Hampshire (01730 827148; www.southdownduvets.com)
  • Devon Duvets, 9, Bluewater Estate, Bell Close, Plympton, Devon (01752 345399; www.devonduvets.com)
  • The Wool Room (01780 461217; www.thewoolroom.com)
  • Baavet Baavet Cyf, Unit 12, Tan y Castell, Harlech, Gwynedd (01766 780780; www.baavet.co.uk)
  • Personally, I have never slept under a wool duvet and would love to hear from any bloggers that have one and their verdict on if it gives you a better night’s sleep. It’s certainly not something I would have thought of buying as I would immediately think I would be too hot in one. It’s certainly something worth thinking about.

  • BOOK REVIEW ON DAILY SYMPTOM TRACKERS…

    I have written before on how keeping a diary of your symptoms can be a great help for your GP or Consultant to totally understand your condition and symptoms. As I have mentioned before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia simply because my spinal consultant asked me to write down every pain and ache after my epidural for six weeks so he could see if the injections were worth giving. After reading my diary he immediately said he was sure I was also suffering from Fibromyalgia and referred me to a Rheumatologist.

    When I spotted these books I thought you would all agree with me that just the look of the pretty Fibromyalgia (and other conditions ) symptom checker would prompt me to use them on a daily basis.

    The Fibromyalgia CFS ME MS Cancer Daily Symptoms Tracker: A 3-month Fill in the Blank Health and Well-Being Self-Assessment Diary Journal Tracker Logbook… Chronic Pain and Invisible Illness sufferers…’ is a A 3-month fill-in-the-blank health and well-being self-management diary journal tracker logbook for Chronic Pain and Invisible Illness sufferers. Worksheets include: Personal InformationMedical ConditionsMedicationsHealthcare ContactsAppointmentsDaily Symptom tracking. Weekly Symptom SummariesFood and Beverage trackingNotes .Great for people with:FibromyalgiaPolymyalgiaChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)Myalgic Encephalamyelitis (ME)Multiple Sclerosis (MS)CancerChronic PainUndiagnosed Conditions. Take the diary to doctor’s appointments to help remind you of often-forgotten-to-mention symptoms experienced and to work with your treating health professionals to gain diagnosis, explore and provide feedback on treatment options to self-manage your diagnosed and undiagnosed medical conditions and symptoms, the medications taken, natural remedies tried, and help identify your specific patterns and triggers by Char Casey, Owner / Founder, eDiY Publishing.

    Char was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and possibly MS in late 2016. It took 5 long, frustrating years of doctors appointments and tests before finally receiving a diagnosis. Getting a diagnosis was just the first battle; getting proper treatments and finding doctors who knew, understood and or believed in the diagnosis and didn’t make accusations of hypochondria, mental health issues and drug seeking were the bigger, real battles. Char finally met the right healthcare professionals in 2018, and although symptoms are still ever-present, It has somewhat improved – though she would love it to improve further.

    At the height of Char’s pain and fatigue symptoms, and feeling completely alone and unsupported by family, friends and health care professionals, out of frustration she started recording her daily symptoms in a spiral notebook and taking it to appointments with her in the hope to prove her symptoms and would be taken seriously and receive treatments to ease up the severity. But, Char struggled to write (among other things), and so, already a self-publishing author, she decided to create a simple to fill in book for her to use. 

    Over a number of weeks, Char created the files, published and then ordered proof copies and started filling it in. She took the ‘diary‘ to Pain Clinic appointments, where she finally started receiving the diagnosis and treatments. The Pain Clinic team – consisting of Pain Specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists and Psychiatrists – each commented on the daily symptoms tracker which helped them to learn what information they considered important / unimportant, and layout the information so that it made sense for them (as well as for Char).

    Char says she is often still bedridden for days and weeks on end, and so revised the daily symptoms tracker to reflect the advice received and recently decided to publish it so that others could track their symptoms too, to give her something to do – she says ‘it is frustrating not being able to work or even do housework most of the time.’
    Propped up in bed, Char started out only being able to do 5 to 10 minutes worth before she became too fatigued to continue. But she is now able to work longer – so long as she takes frequent breaks and listen to her body signals.
    I am sure we all relate to Char and I just felt these two books were worth posting on here. They would make a lovely gift if you know someone who is struggling to get a diagnosis and may help someone along to a more comfortable life.
    Char’s second book is called Invisible Illness Daily Symptoms Tracker. A 3 Month Fill in the Blank Health and Well-Being Self Assessment Diary which to me, looks far more masculine and perfect for that gentleman you may know who doesn’t like talking about his symptoms. Both books are available from Amazon.

    MY TOP THREE PILLOWS FOR THE DISCOMFORT OF BACK AND NECK PAIN…

    Pillows are so personal don’t you think? After my first cervical surgery I had to wear a collar so it didn’t really matter what pillow I had but after the second cervical fusion they did not advise one but neither did they advise any type of pillow, so I stuck with the same soft type for years. So much so that when I go to a Hotel and the pillow is hard I find it very difficult to get to sleep.

    However, they have now found out that certain neck pillows can not only help with the pain from disc injuries and whiplash but also for back pain, shoulder pain and even chronic pain.

    There are obviously quite a few different types advertised and the tempa ones are advertised everywhere. When I go for my afternoon rest I always just get under the throw and sleep on my v pillow, on my side whereas when I got to bed at night I sleep on a fairly flat a pillow which would not suit most people but after two cervical fusions my neck is pretty stiff so I cannot cope with anything too thick. My other problem is that although I know I should sleep on my side or on my back I love going to sleep on my front which is the worst position for neck and back problems.

    My top three choices are –

    Sealy Activsleep Geltex Memory Foam Pillow, Amazon, £34.99

    This pillow focuses on ventilation and airflow which runs between the hundreds of tiny fibres that surround the Geltex core so it has lots of breath ability. It’s great for allergy sufferers in mind too, with hypoallergenic filling and a knitted Purotex cover to prevent bugs and bacteria.

    I personally found this too high for myself but my husband who usually has two pillows found this one pillow enough for him and extremely comfortable. I did struggle getting it into a regular size pillow case, though.

    • Sealy Activsleep Geltex Pillow standard size 74 x 48cm
    • Made with a supportive and comfortable memory foam shell that is ventilated to increase airflow and breathability and prevent overheating
    • The revitalising Geltex core provides support, comfort and coolness and is surrounded by DuPont Cotrano fibres which are light and bouncy
    • Knitted Purotex cover helps to combat pillow nasties such as bugs and bacteria
    • Made in the UK, anti-allergenic, 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee

    My second choice is The White Company Memory Foam Comfort Pillow which is £45

    This special shape-contouring pillow is made with shredded memory foam, which means it gives fantastic firm support with added comfort. The beauty of this design is that it gives the supportive benefits of memory foam, while boasting the sleek appearance of a traditional pillow. If you sleep on your side, this pillow will bridge the gap between your shoulder and neck for perfect alignment. What’s more, the soft casing can be unzipped and machine washed at 40°C, making it wonderfully easy to care for.

    Firm support
    Non-Allergenic 
    Filling: 100% memory foam clusters

    I LOVE this pillow but then I love just about everything at The White Company. It fitted perfectly into a normal size pillow case and feels more like a normal luxury pillow rather than a memory foam pillow, which is why I think I like it so much.

    It’s better for side sleepers, which I should be but prefer to sleep on my stomach and it definitely bridges the gap between your shoulder and neck for correct alignment. I love that it can be unzipped and popped into the washing machine.

    My third choice is Soak and Sleep’s soft Duck Feather and Down pillows are a delightful way for front sleepers to nod off, from £20.

    It feels substantial thanks to the generous quantity of small, soft duck feathers blended with light and lofty duck down, and is very reasonably priced too. You can choose between a soft/medium pillow – ideal for front sleepers or a deeper medium/firm pillow that’s better suited to side and back sleepers.

    This pillow will support your head and neck for good spinal alignment – you can choose from their range of pillow fills, firmnesses and depths to suit your sleeping style.

    Covered with a 233 thread count percale to help wick away moisture for a cooler, more refreshing night’s sleep. It’s another pillow that can be machine washed.

    You can choose between a soft/medium pillow – ideal for front sleepers or a deeper medium/firm pillow that’s better suited to side and back sleepers. Obviously I chose the soft/medium pillow.