SLEEP SUNDAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND PILLOW SPRAYS…

Let’s talk about sleep and the use of pillow sprays this Sunday. My top 5 calming pillow sprays for a peaceful night’s sleep are-

1. Grass & Co CALM Pillow Spray 50 ml – £17.50 this pillow spray contains Distilled Aqua, Anthemis nobilis (Chamomile Essential Oil), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Essential Oil),  Limon (Lemon Essential Oil) Organic Alcohol, D-Limonene. It is 100% Natural. THC & Toxin-Free, (as recommended by netdoctor). A CALM Pillow Spray balances the comforting aromatherapy scents of luxurious Lemon, relaxing Rosemary and calming Chamomile to quieten your mind and soothe you to your sleepy place. Awake feeling calmed. Mist onto your pillow and bed linen to bring calm, peace and tranquility to your bedtime ritual. This is my favourite pillow spray at the moment. When I wake up in the night ( which I often do) I reach for the spray and soon find myself feeling relaxed and calm.

2. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 75 ml – £19.50 this pillow spray contains Fragrance mixture (Linalool; Linalyl Acetate; Vetiverols; Ocimene; Caryophyllene; Terpentine-4-ol; beta-Pinene; d-Limonene; 1-Octen-3-yl acetate; Geraniol). They say ‘Get a great night’s sleep with our best-selling deep sleep pillow spray. Proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake feeling more refreshed. Use at bedtime to help reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality. Award-winning natural, aromatherapeutic Superblend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile calms both mind and body, soothing you to sleep.’ This is my second choice as I just adore lavender and in this particular spray it has a lovely strong smell of it.

3. M&S Collection Pillow Sleep Spray 200 ml – £6.50 it contains Aqua, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, ethylhexylglycerin, lavandula angustifolia oil, disodium edta, and denatonium benzoate. In their wordsCreate a calming atmosphere at bedtime with our aromatic pillow spray. From our Body and Soul collection, the spray helps to bring feelings of tranquillity and sleepiness to your bedroom. Spray it onto your pillow at the end of the day and relax into a dreamy slumber. This is my afternoon rest pillow spray to help me just rest and relax for an hour. It works for me.

4. Neon Organics Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist 5 ml – £8 the ingredients in this spray is 100% natural fragrances. Their words ‘this really special complex blend using only 100% natural fragrances with 14 of the purest possible dreamy essential oils including English lavender, chamomile & patchouli plus little touches of other perfectly chosen natural essential oils expertly blended to help you relax and prepare for sleep. Use the Pillow Mist for maximum quality and quantity of zzz’s’. This is a great size to pop in your bag for a weekend break.

5. L’Occitane En Provence Relaxing Pillow Mist 100 ml – £19.00 Made with essential oils, this mist creates a calming atmosphere that promotes relaxation and well-being. I was given a sample size of this in a gift with other products and felt I had a good night’s sleep but probably needed to try it for a lot longer but the smell makes you feel relaxed straight away.

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SLEEP SUNDAY – LETS TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND FIBROMYALGIA IN PARTICULAR…

Another week has flown by and its time for my Sleep Sunday – Let’s Talk About Sleep post here on my Back Pain Blog. 

I am a member of a group called MyFibroTeam which I have to admit I do not sit and read their articles on a regular basis. However, I have never deleted any of their emails so I decided to sit and read through all the links they had sent me. I came across this article on Fibromyalgia and Insomnia which I thought was perfect for this weeks post after my article yesterday on fibro flare-ups.

MyFibroTeam is the social network for those living with fibromyalgia. You get the emotional support you need from others like you and gain practical advice and insights on managing treatment or therapies for fibromyalgia. MyFibroTeam is the only social network where you can truly connect, make real friendships, and share daily ups and downs in a judgement-free place. It is certainly somewhere I will now be visiting on a regular basis. Some members have given their personal tips for a good nights sleep. 

According to MyFibroTeam members report that chronic lack of sleep exacerbates pain, fatigue, and other symptoms, including head and neck pain: Tenderness and sensitivity around the head, neck and ears, sparks lots of conversation on MyFibroTeam.

“I can’t put any pressure at the base of my skull so I have to sleep on very flat pillows,” reported one member. Others use “pillows that fit the curve of their necks,” or “three under the knees and feet.” One woman said her bed feels like “laying on bricks. “I sleep better in my recliner,” she added.

Some MyFibroTeam members report excessive sweating during sleep. “Every night, my T-shirts are drenched,” wrote one member. Another uses “towels on top of the sheets.” One member said her night sweats became “less frequent” after buying “cooling pillows and a weightless blanket.” This is definitely something I will cover in another post.

Sleep apnea: Members who snore loudly or feel tired the next day have gotten tested for sleep apnea, a condition which causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night. “I was waking up every three hours and getting just 20 minutes of a deep sleep,” shared one member. “After being diagnosed and treated for sleep apnea, I now sleep eight hours a night. I feel great, have energy, and no pain, headache, or tiredness.” Your doctor can order a sleep study to diagnose the disorder.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS): Members also report having this sleep disorder, which involves involuntary leg movements. “Muscle relaxers really helped my excruciating spasms, back pain, and insomnia,” shared one man. Another member said: “Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) helps a little but the heating pad is really my best friend.”

After reading the above symptoms which so many Fibro sufferers have to deal with its no surprise that many of us have difficulty in sleeping. Of course, I am sure most of us would have tried over the counter prescriptions like Nytol/ Herbal Sleep Supplements or melatonin and prescription medications like Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline which seem to work for a while then wear off.

The latest trend for helping you sleep iMedical marijuana : Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD), used alone or in combination with other remedies (prescribed by their doctors), which MyFibroTeam says have helped many members manage fibro insomnia. “I’ve been using CBD oil for three months. The pain is much better and I’m finally sleeping at night,” said one woman. Others report that cannabis helps them fall asleep, but not stay asleep. “I chew one gummy and get about three hours of sleep, max,” explained another member.

I’d love to hear from any fibro sufferer if this really does help with their sleep. 

I am trying different pillow sprays at the moment and I am having great success with one in particular called Ease by Grass & Co which has orange, eucalyptus and ginger in it. I will write an article on the different pillow sprays next Sleep Sunday as I feel this could be the way forward for many of us without having to rely on medication to help us sleep.

 

SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP & PILLOWS…

My regular Sunday post on everything to do with sleep could not be closer to home for me at the moment.

Out of the blue, my sleeping pattern has changed dramatically from being average to diabolical. I can only presume it’s the change in weather and my arthritis as I have changed nothing else to trigger this sleep deprivation off.

A massive number of us struggle with sleep whether it’s too short, disrupted or poor quality. And we all know the serious impact this can have on our health, particularly as we get older or if we suffer from a chronic condition.

I tried stopping my afternoon sleep which I can manage without a problem but that just made me feel ten times worse so it’s back to the drawing board for me.

I know there are a number of different types of Sleep pillows on the market but which one do you try first as you can soon start spending a lot of money on something that may not even worse. I sleep on my front but tend to wake up in my side so I need a fairly flat pillow.

One sleep pillow called The Sound Asleep Pillow which is £50 says ‘Take full control of a smarter sleep by using the soundasleep app to control your pillow from the comfort of your bed. Relax listening to music, audiobooks and podcasts, monitor and manage your snoring, analyse your sleep or use our smart alarm to wake you up.

Other sleep pillows options are the Nanu Sleep Pillow This company takes information about how you like to sleep, whether on your side, back or front. They combine that with your height and weight measurements which they say allows their clever system to create a perfect-for-you firmness level from super soft to super firm for £35.

Another one is the Kally Deep Sleep Pillow which is £29.99 and has been designed specifically for light sleepers, ( that’s me for sure) with a quilted outer layer and generously filled with high quality DuPont Cortana fibres which are light yet supportive, this pillow cradles the head and will help to send you into a deeper, more sumptuous sleep. The fibres retain their shape for longer and rebound after long periods of sleep. They also do the first Kally Adjustable Pillow allowing you to choose your preferred pillow height and firmness. The pillow contains 4 easy-to-remove inner pads and comes dressed in a quilted cotton cover which also benefits from our unique air-vented system keeping you perfectly cool. The Kally Adjustable Pillow is perfect for back, front and side sleepers and is also £29.99

I’d love to know if any of my readers have tried any of these as I am getting pretty desperate for a good night’s sleep. I also wrote another article on My Top 3 Pillows for the discomfort of back and neck pain, which is to help people in pain and then hopefully give them a better night’s sleep.

A good way to check you have chosen the right Pillow is the chart below from The Pillow Advisor who explains how to choose the correct pillow to suit the way you sleep.

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LETS TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND MEDITATION THERAPY…

Many people are turning to meditation as an effective way to relax and bring inner peace. It can also help with stress, improve your general health and help you to think clearly. It’s something you can do wherever you are, by focusing on something else around you instead of your thoughts, worries and obsessions.

You can meditate just by focusing on something; anything will do if you are out. But most people still meditate on breathing, a single repeated word, a flower or a mental image. Meditation is much more than just a way of relaxing, it also clears our minds and makes us more alert. If you meditate for a few minutes each day, the results can be deep and long-lasting.

There are many places you can learn to meditate; it could be a candle-lit room, with incense and dreamy music, lying on the floor after a yoga class or at an evening’s class at your local school or leisure centre. In your first meditation, people may feel sleepy as they let themselves relax and their adrenalin levels drop. They will go to classes after a hard day’s work, and need to rest.

Meditation is not about going to sleep. It’s about learning to relax and focus your mind. The benefits of meditation ripple through everything we do – being relaxed and aware is the mental equivalent of being fit and healthy. Some of the main reasons people meditate are for relaxation, health, inner peace and harmony, concentration to improve sporting and theatrical performance, inspiration and creativity, quality of life, self-understanding and therapy and spiritual awakening – the list goes on. ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ is a very simple way to meditate.

All you do is focus on your breathing, observe your thoughts and bring your attention into the present moment. Headspace explains ‘What is meditation for sleep’, you can try and listen to their way of meditating to go to sleep. Another great site is Sleep.Org who also explains how to meditate before you go to bed.

Meditation is thought to date back to the fifth and sixth century BC. Stories were written in ancient Hindu about it, and are featured in most religions. Ed Halliwell, author of ‘The Mindful Manifesto,’ says that ‘it can help you experience the moment and not be drawn into habitual emotional responses’. Halliwell goes on to say that ‘research on human brains during a meditation state has revealed a shift in activity from the right side of the pre-frontal cortex, which is linked with depression, over to the left, which is connected with emotional reassurance and happiness’. Research has actually shown meditation can ease depression, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, boost immunity and healing, and lower blood pressure. Mindfulness meditation is now an NHS approved treatment.

SLEEP SUNDAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP…

Sleep SundayLet’s Talk About Sleep. Sleep dysfunction and chronic fatigue are common in many disorders including Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Arthritis and mental illness.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, two out of three people with chronic pain have trouble sleeping and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, say over 40 million Americans suffer from a chronic sleep disorder and another 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

Experts estimate 25-40% of patients with chronic pain have insomnia, many times the rate among those without. It’s estimated that 50-80% of chronic pain patients report sleep disturbances. The worst is when pain and sleep loss get into a downward spiral of awfulness, leading to low quality of life. Pain makes it hard to sleep, poor sleep makes the pain subjectively worse, and both lead to depression, which also affects sleep disorders and pain experience. Recognizing that pain and sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand can sometimes help to solve the problem.

Sleep they say has a naturally recuperative power. A greater emphasis on sleep may help patients improve their daytime functioning. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a possible solution for both living with pain and alleviating problem sleep, but maybe they should include some ‘sleep clinics’ in the ‘pain management’ programmes.

Does pain make the sleep worse or does poor quality sleep degrade make the pain feel worse? Both. Don’t discount the effect that a good night’s sleep can have on a person’s quality of life and ability to tolerate pain. The subjective intensity of pain decreases when a person is well-rested. Hyperalgesia – increased sensitivity to pain – is a result of loss of sleep, especially the loss of REM sleep. Which is ironic, because the opioid drugs used to treat severe pain suppress REM sleep and may make patients more sensitive to the pain they feel. Antidepressant drugs could also suppress REM sleep and make us complain about pain more (maybe this is partly the cause of the stereotype of the diva). Poor sleep quality is correlated with more severe pain and increased fatigue.

Some people do truly believe acupressure to help you sleep. Some tips are to 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 gentle 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. Repeat the same process on the other side to ease tension and release endorphins.

If any of these did work for you then please let us know.