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ITS SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT AROMATHERAPY OILS AND SLEEP…

It’s Sleep Sunday and this week I thought I would write a little bit about the different types of OILS that can help you sleep. Neom Organics have a great range and explain why each one can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Neom Organic who sells a number of sleep products says that 42% of you are sleeping less well. This is what they found out from a poll of over 2,000 of you, and we all know that sleeping well does wonders for so many things, including helping to boost your mood and stay energised throughout the day.

Whether it’s been the warmer, brighter, lighter nights, or the stress of the lockdown (or the anxiety of going back to ‘normal’) that’s causing sleep to elude you, we can help. They have seven oils they think will help you sleep.

Lavender – Using lavender within an essential oil blend means that you can ensure those all-important calming aromas are released.

Chamomile – Chamomile is another essential oil that releases scents and fragrances associated with relaxation and sleep.

Ylang, Ylang – With a decidedly delicious sweet and florally scent, ylang ylang is often used to help relieve symptoms of stress and feelings of anxiousness to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Cedarwood – It also has anti-inflammatory properties and is associated with helping support better sleep through its sedative qualities.

Patchouli – Patchouli’s natural properties have been linked with an increase in the production of certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine (some say the happy hormones). What’s interesting about these neurotransmitters is that they are known to ease anxiety and stress so the use of the oil may well help you to have a continuous night’s sleep.

Jasmine – It has an association with reducing irritability, making it a great solution to help relax the mind and body before sleep.

Basil – A new one to me but Studies have shown that basil soothes mental fatigue, whilst also relieving stress. It’s ideal at bedtime, as it supports the wind-down process and allows the body to release tension too.

Neom says that The simplicity of combining the calming aromas of an essential oil with a relaxing routine at bedtime may well have a profound effect on how quickly you fall asleep and the quality of your sleep throughout the night. It may be that for you, a blend of multiple oils is the most effective.

 

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #pain, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, NECK PAIN, NHS, vitamin D

LACKING IN VITAMIN D – IS THAT CAUSING BACK PAIN AND/OR FIBROMYALGIA?…

After meeting my new Pain Team last week I was sent for a blood test to check my Vitamin D levels.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency include –

Getting sick and infected often

Fatigue and Tiredness

Bone and Back Pain

Depression

Impaired Wound Healing

Bone Loss

Hair Loss

Muscle Pain

Any Fibromyalgia or Back Pain sufferer will pick up on some of these symptoms and I know people say you should never read into these things but if you have the symptoms you can’t help but look into it.

Today I received a call from my GP to say I am Vitamin D deficient and I have been put on a strong course of Vitamin D only available from your GP for one month.

According to Biomed Central “Vitamin D is a pleiotropic hormone with a critical role in modulating several inflammatory and pain pathways in addition to calcium homeostasis. Observational studies suggest an association between vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain, most promisingly in fibromyalgia “.

On one NHS website they explain why Vitamin D is vital for health?


Vitamin D is needed by the body for both physical and mental health, but is best known for making sure bones are strong and grow properly. Vitamin D is needed all through life and even before birth. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to have enough vitamin D so that developing and growing babies form healthy bones. Vitamin D is also essential for calcium to enter the body and strengthen bones.
Recently, it has been found that not having enough vitamin D is also related to other physical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease and certain cancers. The development or worsening of mental health conditions, such as depression, low mood and schizophrenia, may also be related to inadequate levels of vitamin D.

Where is vitamin D found?
Sunlight
Vitamin D is made in the skin by the action of sunlight. This is the best natural source of vitamin D. In northern countries, such as the UK, sunlight is only bright enough to make useful amounts of vitamin D from April to October and between 11am to 3pm. Sunscreen and clothing blocks out sunlight, so vitamin D cannot be made in the skin. Being out in the sun without sunscreen is associated with skin cancer, however sunbathing for about 10-15 minutes without sunscreen is considered safe for most adults. You should aim to get out of doors everyday. Sun beds and tanning salons are not recommended.
Some medication used in mental health can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, therefore discuss safe sunbathing with your doctor or pharmacist.


Food sources
Vitamin D can be found in some foods, but is usually only present in small amounts, so dietary sources are unlikely to provide enough.
Some vitamin D can be found in oily fish (such as kippers, sardines, mackerel, trout and salmon), meat and eggs. A few foods have vitamin D added to them, such as some margarine and low fat spreads, some breakfast cereals, powdered milks, dairy and soya products.


So Vitamin D is really important to our health and well being and I just have to wonder that had I not moved to a new GP and Pain Clinic who are looking at my chronic pain in a completely different light if it would ever have been spotted that I am deficient in it. Have you had your vitamin D levels checked?

I am also now waiting for an appointment for a bone density cytometry appointment. Not sure what that is as again I’ve never had one done before, have you?

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, N:rem, pillows, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep positions, sleeping

WORLD SLEEP DAY AND NATIONAL BED MONTH,MARCH 2019…

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.

The Sleep Council Awareness Campaigns

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.

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.