Recently I was extremely lucky to be invited to a sleep well event hosted my Stylist Magazine, Marks and Spencer’s and La Roche Posay all in preparation for a sleep related magazine issue which will be published soon. Yes me “The Londors” got a bloody invite and I can’t F'in believe I was there. A massive pinch me moment in my blogging journey. I spent a whole day and night in the brand new Zedwell Hotel in Piccadilly Circus (Opening to the public in Mid-February). A hotel with no windows and basic pod type rooms that allows you to switch off and use the room for its purpose (to sleep well). Here is where I was lucky to get expert advice and attend sleep workshops hosted by a panel of professionals. I found the event so enlightening and I learnt so much that I was itching to share the information with you all so here we go.
Lisa Sanfilippo – Author of Sleep Recovery (available on Amazon)
Lisa uses yoga therapy for insomnia and sleep recovery. She was so zen and relaxing to even listen too, but most importantly she made a lot of things make sense. Who here lays down at bed at night and can’t sleep because the whole day comes flooding back? Conversations you had, things you forgot to do, things you wish you did better, a song you heard on the radio. So many thoughts come flooding in at once. This is because our brain is a huge filing system, and everything our brain encounters through the day has to processed and filed. It can’t do this until it has some rest. Life is so damn busy that the majority of the time, the first time we stop and rest is at bedtime when we lay our head upon that fluffy pillow. So, our brain says “time to start processing” this is why you get that influx of unwanted thoughts. Lisa had a very simple solution to stop this. All you have to do is take a couple of 5/10-minute breaks each day to rest and allow your brain to catch up. You can do this absolutely anywhere. You can do this with your eyes open, or with your eyes closed. You can do this sitting on the train, lying on the floor of your office or relaxing on your couch. Most importantly you must be still, quiet and not preoccupied. Take some deep breaths and just rest.
Later on, I attended another or Lisa’s workshops, this time it was yoga. Not the gym bunny kind just a few simple stretches that you can do in your bed if you are struggling to sleep. It instantly relaxes you and your muscles and makes your body feel lighter. Do not pick up your phone or switch on the TV if you can’t sleep or find yourself awake in the night and can’t easily fall back to sleep. More on this later. If you are interested in the bedtime yoga you can find the information in Lisa’s book currently £8.74 on Amazon.
Sian Ross (Sleep and Lounge wear Senior Designer) & Karen Thomas (Head of Home Design) Mars and Spencer
These hard working mum's gave a wonderful insight into what we wear to bed and the environments we sleep in. As we spend half of our life asleep, we should do so in a comfortable and relaxing environment, so thought should go into interior design, colours and fabrics.
Sleepwear should be comfortable and made from cotton, natural fibers or silk to allow our skin to breathe. There is also a huge rise in women especially, purchasing lounge wear to wear in the house. I can say I am one that immediately gets into lounge wear once home from work. It’s cosy, relaxing and comfortable. I have as many lounge and sleep wear outfits as I do proper clothes. I have no shame admitting. I live for comfort.
Our bedrooms should be light and airy with an average temperature of 16/18 degrees. This allows us to relax and our body temperature to be comfortable. Again, our bed linen should be of high-quality cotton and the trend is to layer with blankets and throws etc. To make it feel relaxing keep your room clutter free and use relaxing scents in the form of candles, diffuser's and room/ linen sprays. Take your time in choosing mattresses and bedding, comfort is a huge key to a peaceful night’s sleep after all we spend half our life in bed.
Keris Marsden Clinical Nutritionist
Who forgets that food fuels our body? It’s key to our body working properly. What we eat can be vital to how we feel and what our energy levels are at. Keris had a simple poem that was a rude awakening: -
“If it’s grown in the ground or on a tree. If it runs, flies or swims in the sea. It’s probably good for me.”
Processed crap is bad for us. It slows us down and gives our body the wrong kind of energy, surely, we all know this really. So why do we ignore it? Convenience and a quick fix are why.
The body needs vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are found in natural produce. The healthier we are the less sluggish we will feel despite our sleep being good or bad. Also, when you eat your food is key. Keris believes you should eat with the sun, and you should fast for 10/14 hours a day, you do not need a continuous supply of food if you use your time wisely and sleep well.
Naps were recommended. Yes naps! She compared us humans to her doggie Hamish who likes to eat, go for walks and take naps. It inspired her to be more like Hamish and she felt a lot better and healthier for it. She eats well, takes naps, practices her downward dog and goes for regular walks with her furry friend.
Hope Bastine Mindfulness based sleep and trauma expert
Gosh the workshop with Hope actually gave us all food for thought and I think I am about to make you all face reality with this. Are you Nomophobic? (addicted to your mobile phone). Yes, I went there and so did she. We have all become so addicted to our telephone and it is ruining our social skills, memory and sleep patterns. I am about to bombard you with a lot of negative points about our phone: -
• Due to having instant information at the touch of our telephone the average human’s attention span has reduced from 7 minutes to 3 minutes in 10 years (less than a goldfish). It is true I swear!
• The majority of us spend more than 8 hours a day on our device.
• We get a sense of panic if our phones are running out of battery or not in close proximity to us. Fueling unwanted anxiety.
• The ability to multitask is becoming difficult.
• Our social skills are suffering because our noses are in our phones.
I could go on and on but most importantly our phones are impacting our ability to get to bed at a decent time (before midnight because did you know the hours we sleep before midnight are more detrimental to our sleep pattern than the hours we sleep after) and to sleep peacefully. Why does it damage our sleep you may ask? Who reads their phone before bed and who reads there phone if they wake in the night? The unnatural blue light function on our devices keeps our minds active as does the information we are taking in. Our brains are programmed to work with the natural light of the sun. The blue light artificially makes our brain reactive. So, when you wake up in the night and check the time on your phone you wake your brain up!
How can we correct this?
• Get a digital clock for your room that you can use as a clock and alarm.
• Read a book before bed instead of your phone. Ideally you should put your phone down 90 minutes before you plan to sleep. This allows your brain to prepare for sleep. The best way to avoid the temptation stop taking your phone to bed! I too am massively guilty of this and will be practicing this technique myself.
• As we spend a lot of time on our phones and rely on it for many things, we should schedule periods to be off of our phones. There are many opportunities for this. E.g. ban phones from the dinner table. Leave your phone when you go for a bath. Keep it in your bag when you are out with friends. We survived without our phones before they became so smart so it proves we just do not need to have them all the time.
In practicing some of the above techniques this will help your mental and physical health as well as your ability to have a peaceful night’s sleep.
Some other amazing professionals I met on the day that were also extremely beneficial that you can look up advise from are: -
• Dr Nerina Ramlakhan – Sleep expert and neurophysiologist. I could listen to her for hours she was super funny and also gave us tips on how to get to sleep without waking up our brains and making them alert.
• Dominique Antiglio – A leading Sophrologist in the UK. Sophrology is a Scandinavian way of teaching individuals to deal with stress, anxiety and promoting a happy and healthy lifestyle. Dominique had Sophrology herself and it inspired her to make it more known worldwide. She is now a leading expert in her division.
• Krystal Roxx – In demand DJ that not only mixes with well-known musicians to create music she also believed music plays a part in wellness and puts her music with yoga workshops with her ‘let it go’ playlist.
• Libby Page – Bestselling author of The Lido, read us a chapter from her new book The 24hr Café which is available now on Amazon.
As you can see, I learnt so much but just before I go, I just wanted to share with you some things that I use as a person that suffers a poor quality of sleep through illness to help aid my sleep.
• I can’t Sleep without pillow sprays. My favourite’s being –
This Works Deep Sleep Spray £19.50 available HERE - Use code LF20 for 20% OFF valid at the time of this blog post 26/01/2020
Feather and Down Pillow Spray available HERE - Buy 1 get 2nd half price at time of this blog post 26/01/2020
• I always wear an eye mask to block out any light. I like darkness when I sleep. I love my Silk Sleep mask a good investment for me.
Slip Silk Eye Mask RRP £45.00 available HERE - use code LF20 for 20% OFF valid at the time of this blog post 26/01/2020
• A hot bath with relaxing oils. I love
Aveda Stress Fix RRP £24.00 available HERE - Use code LF20 valid at the time of the blog post 26/01/2020
• Candles and diffusers with relaxing scents.
• A hot drink. Usually hot chocolate or chamomile tea.
• Comfortable pajamas.
I hope you have found this blog to be helpful and if you have any questions, further information or tips to share please either comment below or contact me on Instagram.
Thank you for reading.
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January 26, 2020