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.

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8 TIPS ON HOW TO FIND INNER PEACE…

1. A basic meditation which you could try for 10 minutes each day is to start by finding a quiet space and sit comfortably with your hands on your lap, keeping your back straight and neck relaxed.

2. Now breathe deeply and gaze into the middle distance and take nice deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and on the last exhalation, close your eyes,

3. Notice your posture, the weight of your arms and hands, the sensation of your body touching the chair, your feet on the ground and what you might smell, hear or taste.

4. Now turn your mind inwards to scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort then scan again making a note of the parts of your body that feel the most relaxed.

5. Notice any thoughts that arise without trying to alter them.

6. Now observe the rising and falling of your breathing in your body and where the sensations occur. Focus on the quality of each breath, deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.

7. Count 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 on the next inhalation and carry on in this pattern until you get to 10. Repeat this five or six times and if any thoughts appear to guide your attention back to your breathing.

8. Spend 20 to 30 seconds just sitting then slowly become aware of everything and slowly open your eyes.

WHY IS IT THAT SENIOR BLOGGERS LOVE TO WRITE ABOUT HEALTH?…

Out of interest, I decided I would take a look for award-winning senior blogs written by senior bloggers. When I tapped in senior/elderly bloggers a few sights came up with lists of their top ten senior sites but most just had lists of health-related blog sites. But I did find a few that had won awards and that had nothing to do with health and care.

One such sight Senior Living lists it’s top ten of mainly health sites.

The New Age Blog – The “new” old age means that people are living longer than ever before. As this New York Times blog states: “Adults over age 80 are the fastest growing segment of the population; most will spend years dependent on others for the most basic needs. That burden falls to their baby boomer children.”

Better Health – Better Health is a repository of articles, videos and audio Podcasts on health topics. You’ll find interviews with healthcare professionals, book reviews, health tips, news and more. The dozens of blog contributors are medical professionals, journalists, healthcare administrators and other specialists.

The Intentional Care Giver – Shelley Webb, a former Registered Nurse and Geriatric Case Manager, says the goal of this blog is “to help calm, simplify and enrich the lives of caregivers of aging parents and loved ones.

Another well-known site Saga Magazine has a great list of 50 top senior bloggers. Their list is set out in categories – Expat Life for the over-50’s, Culture, Politics, Food and Drink, Style and Fashion, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Sports, History, Personal,  and Humour. However, this list was posted in 2013 and no matter what I enter into the search related to blogs no new posts seem to come up.

 

The Luggage Hero website has awards for most inspiring travel blogs and (drum roll please) I have found a few senior bloggers who have won awards on this site.

Senior Nomabs is a blog written by Debbie & Michael decided in 2013 to experience their retirement in a very original way, as they felt that they still wanted to experience adventures. They decided to live in AirBnBs and have visited over 200 cities in almost 70 different countries in just 4 years. In their blog, they give advice based on their experience in choosing the best AirBnBs on a budget, as well as publishing original articles such as book lists and lifestyle posts. Their story is truly inspiring and motivating.

Silver Lifestyle has a list of the ‘Best Senior Blogs‘ ( only six listed) and although none have awards I personally think some of these are well worth a visit, in particular, Look Fabulous Forever which is for women over 50 to help them feel fabulous in their senior years.

Senior Homes have a Best Retirement Blog award and three are listed but the first two are great fun to read about. Victory Lap Retirement is a blog work while you play, play while you work. Unlike some retirement blogs, which focus only on finance or navigating the worlds of Medicare and modern medicine, this blog is about living well whether you’re fully retired, semi-retired or retired as you define it. Author and website creator Michael Drak refers to his book Victory Lap Retirement as “a retirement book about not retiring,” and his writing reflects that philosophy. Another one on their list is Retire Fabulously is a blog written by Dave Hughes, who started this retirement blog, also wrote Design Your Dream Retirement, a book which, “will show you how to visualize your retirement in an optimistic, possibility-filled light.” What draws me to this blog aren’t just the articles on topics such as best places to retire, mistakes you can make in planning for your next chapter, how to negotiate relationships as a “mixed-retirement” couple (one retires; one doesn’t) along the way. It’s the fresh voice and positive spin on the advice that makes it all seem so doable…with a little smart planning ahead, of course.

After spending quite a few hours researching about this I soon realised that most bloggers and blog award winners tend to be in the younger generation age group and yet blogging is such an ideal hobby for the older generation to make friends and keep up with the latest news. I understand why most I found were all based around health, and care which is of interest to many seniors but in a world that is now full of an elderly generation, it would be nice to find lots more blogs around a better life in your senior years.

 

 

 

SOMNEX- THE FIRST DEDICATED SLEEP SHOW IN THE UK 12th-14th OCTOBER…

SOMNEX’S the ‘Sleep Show’ is the first dedicated sleep show in the UK and takes place from the 12th-14th October, at The Old Truman Brewery, London (10am til 6pm). It is the only event dedicated to the sleep-health industry… where innovation and tech meet sleep!

As most chronic pain, fibromyalgia and CFS sufferers know, sleep deprivation is something we deal with on a regular basis so a show dedicated to the sleep-health industry is something I thought all my readers would be interested in.

At this show, you can get exclusive access to expert advice, innovative new products, specialist exhibitors, multiple interactive workshops and immersive classes – all designed to help you understand how to improve your sleep and give you and your family a fun day out!

There are talks by 6 amazing authors throughout the weekend! Listen to them talk about their book leading sleep authors from around the world and get the chance to meet these experts in person as each talk is followed by a meet and greet book signing.

You can also book a private one-to-one consultation with their expert sleep practitioners. Whether you suffer from poor sleep, insomnia, sleep apnoea or looking for advice on how to improve your children’s sleep – they have an expert who can help you.

Check out the latest in sleep innovation and find the perfect product that works for you! Demos take place every 20 minutes throughout the 2 days. Get a front row seat to the latest in sleep innovation! SOMNEX’s Demo Stage will showcase the full spectrum of sleep products and technology from around the world. Get first-hand insights into how the most innovative brands have designed and developed their newest creations because we’ve curated the best sleep products including everything from eyewear, wearables, apps, sleep aids, skincare and more.

Try one of their massage therapists or talk to their brands and beauty experts to get the best advice. Scientists agree that getting better sleep positively impacts your overall health and wellbeing including your skin and beauty. That’s why they have created a spa and beauty bar so you can experience innovative products and treatments designed to help you improve your sleep. Their specialists will also provide helpful advice and tips to make sure you not only feel rested but also look great!

Their story so far –

As friends, we used to joke about the fact that one of us (Bansri) was a bad sleeper but in contrast the other (Anne) always slept like a dream. On a flight from Bavaria to London Anne read an inflight magazine outlining the multitude of new tech products available across the growing sleep sector.

Anne said to Bansri ‘we should do an event in this space’. Bansri, sceptical at first, started doing some research and a few months later (after a lot of coffees and glasses of wine!) … SOMNEX | The Sleep Show was born!

With a combined experience of over 40 years in the media and events industry, our passion and ambition has led us here.”

There’s lots to read on their website with some great links to the experts in case you cannot make this show.

 

 

A CLOSE LOOK AT FIBROMYALGIA SYMPTOMS…

A close look at #fibromyalgia symptoms…

There are a large number of symptoms of #fibromyalgia but the main symptoms as listed on the Fibromyalgia Support Network are -It is very important that other possible causes are ruled out. The number of, and severity of the rest of the symptoms, seems to be different for every person. They can also vary from day to day, even minute to minute. You could be walking along limping from a severe pain in your left leg for a few minutes, that slowly wears off, only to have a worse pain in your other leg next time you start walking.

The main symptoms of #fibromyalgia include:

      • Chronic widespread pain without apparent cause
      • Fatigue
      • Sleep Disturbance
      • Cognitive Dysfunction
      • Morning Stiffness
      • Cramping and Muscle Spasms
      • Restless Leg Syndrome
      • Digestive Problems
      • Headaches and Migraines
      • Skin Sensations
      • Balance Problems
      • Sensitivities – to just about everything are common as well. Sensitivities to:
        • Touch – It can feel ‘uncomfortable’ to be touched. Tickling can be completely unbearable.
        • Heat – sweats and feelings of breathlessness
        • Cold – increases in pain and difficulty getting warm
        • Changes in the weather – pain increases
        • Side effects from meds – more susceptible to side effects and side effects can be more severe. Also, a med that works well for one person can make another very ill.
        • Foods – Common foods that people become especially sensitive to include chilli, dairy, gluten and fatty foods.
        • Light – Bright or glary light can be an issue. So can seeing in low light levels.
        • Sound – Loud sound can cause tinnitus. It can also be very difficult to separate sounds, like when talking to someone in a noisy room.
        • Taste – Some tastes can appear stronger than others, and this can vary.
        • Smell – a sense of smell can be diminished, but it can also be more sensitive. Can cause nausea and headaches.
        • … the list goes on and on.

For me personally from this long list of symptoms I suffer mostly with chronic widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, digestive problems, balance problems and most definitely some of the sensitivities listed above. What do you suffer from most?

The Fibromyalgia Network that has this list is based in Western Australia and was formed in Perth by Dr Kaye Brand, Physiotherapist. Kaye was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in the mid 90’s, finding no support and little understanding of the challenges facing those with this diagnosis. She studied overseas, including a scholarship to the USA on Advocacy Training for Fibromyalgia sufferers.  In 2007 Kaye founded the Fibromyalgia Support Network WA along with Sian Doughty, the earliest member.  The Network became incorporated in 2011 and was granted a Charitable Collectors License.