Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The problem about sleep...


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Maybe it's because I'm in my thirties now, or perhaps it's just because we all live such fast-paced lives these days, I just can't seem to get enough sleep. I wake up tired and go to bed tired.

I look forward to the day I can lay around in my pyjamas and relax - and then it never happens.

If we're being honest, I actually suffer from a sleep disorder. I think a lot of people do and go through life undiagnosed. I have suffered from night terrors and sleep disruption, funnily enough, ever since I started working and stress became apparent. Most nights, I never actually fall into a deep sleep. My GP is not really helpful as it's considered psychological and a therapist is just not something I can afford at £80 an hour.



Instead? I'm doing what I can by myself, slowly. Leaving full-time employment was a step towards this. Stress affects most of us in different ways but is something that can really take over. I've put a few pointers below of what I am doing everyday to help relieve stress, anxiety to lead towards a good night's sleep. Hope they might help other people having similar problems!


  • Downloading the Headpace App - Red Magazine are recommending everyone does 10 minutes meditation a day - it helps your mind focus, relaxes you and helps destress. There are also sites like Yoga Glo and Gaiam Tv where you can do yoga and relaxation classes online.
  • Taking a lunchbreak. Now I'm out on appointments more, I can't make my lunch, but I make sure I eat somewhere I can sit down and gather my thoughts, rather than grab and go. It's a little treat I really appreciate myself, too!
  • Not work on weekends. This is something, since starting my blog, I've never done - I've always had to work pretty much 7 days. Sometimes, I do have to work weekends, so where I can, I'll take a day off in the week and not feel guilty about it. I must admit, this one is definitely a work in progress - setting yourself up freelance involves being 'all in' but I am slowly teaching myself to let go...
  • Making my sleep space work for me. I don't have particularly noisy neighbours, but London living means I hear other people and I go to sleep with anxiety of the 'anticipation' of noise. Our loft conversion will be completed in just a few weeks, and we're hoping to move up there, free from noise and keeping it clutter-free and somewhere I can associate with relaxation.
Do you ever suffer from stress and anxiety? How do you overcome it?

54 comments :

  1. Poor you! Luckily I don't have problems going to sleep (except when the foxes are at it!), but I definitely have issues getting up in the morning. Even if I've had a full 8-10 hours I still feel a big weight at the moment, largely due to stress as well, so thinking of ways to do your routine, but in reverse!

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    1. I just can't get enough - but it's all to do with tiring ourselves out too much in the day as well - exercise is supposed to be good too - but so hard to convince me when i'm tired!

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  2. I know the feeling. I tend to just power through the stress during the day but it hits me when I try to switch off at night. So hard to turn your brain off and just stop thinking about everything! I find Body Shop Lavender & Camomile Pillow Mist really soothing and I also listen to meditation and/or hypnotherapy apps to help me switch off and drift off x

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    Replies
    1. I didn't think about listening to them as I go to sleep....going to try it tonight xx

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  3. Self medicating with Herbal Nytol works for me. Also, since I've had children my insomnia has been much more manageable. You're never as tired as when you have young children and the realisation that I could exist on 2 hours sleep a night and still function made the stress of not sleeping go away! Not the most practical of suggestions I'll admit!!!

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    Replies
    1. That's an excellent point!!! Yes, have been told Nytol is good -but can you get addicted to it? x

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  4. I do indeed suffer from anxiety and have to make a conscious effort to keep it under control. I have found yoga fantastic for de-stressing and learning relaxation techniques, plus I've also found that eating a healthy diet that keeps my blood sugar in check has also has a positive effect. Luckily I've never had sleep problems but if I do get very stressed it will immediately show on my skin and I'll literally erupt in spots right away - nice! I try to get lots of fresh air, too, and I have also found the Headspace app really helpful. Unfortunately I'm one of life's worriers and will always struggle with anxiety, but a combination of yoga, good diet and giving situations (or indeed people) who make me feel uncomfortable a wide berth really helps!

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    1. I would love to find a good yoga/pilates place near me - I just did some at Chewton Glen on a press trip and it really does clear your mind!

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  5. Oh, I just remembered this blog post I wrote a while back on my experiences with yoga: http://loveloves-luisasanders.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/bit-of-calm-in-otherwise-mad-world.html. Also, if you find situations at work stressful, I found the book 'Quiet' by Susan Cain a really interesting read. While not strictly speaking a self-help book, it does help you understand yourself better if you consider yourself an introvert and reveals the natural reflexes and responses that make some people quiet and anxious, and others confident and gregarious. It's a reminder to yourself that if you like your own company, work best on your own in quiet, familiar surroundings, or shy away from public speaking and 'putting yourself out there' in the workplace there actually isn't anything wrong with you! It's well worth a read: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Quiet-power-introverts-world-talking/dp/0141029196

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    1. Thanks so much - just read your piece, it is such a common feeling! And the book sounds great (although I'm not much of an introvert!) - I do like my own company and it's always good to read through things like this so you don't feel alone...

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  6. Oh my goodness I can so relate. I work shift pattern's so my body clock is all over the place. You have to try aromatherapy associates deep relax oil. Put a drop on your pillow and I promise you it will work.

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    Replies
    1. Funnily enough, I think I have some from an old work goodie bag (I'm so spoilt!) - will definitely give it a go - I bought a lovely relaxing candle from Chewton Glen, too, because it's research ;)

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  7. I'm a light sleeper and loathe any light into my bedroom. So I always, always have black outs on my curtains, and on holiday travel with an eye mask and ear plugs. These things, combined with minimal electronics in the bedroom - no digital alarm clock (the light is really annoying!) no PCs, no tablets and no TV really helps. And means that the bedroom is a very relaxed, stress free place. I turn my phone (which I use as an alarm) onto airplane mode. I also practice yoga at least three times a week. These have all worked for me for years after I suffered from a really serious bout of insomnia in my mid twenties. Now I'm in my forties getting regular sleep is all about being in bed before 11pm!

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    Replies
    1. I've never used an eyemask, I'm worried I'd feel claustrophic...but maybe i ought to try - and yes, I swear by earplugs (although sometimes wake up with a bit of a headache with them?). And I am TERRIBLE for my phone by my bed...it must stop!

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  8. Earplugs are definitely the only way I can switch off (although I only wear one - weird!- but I sleep on one side so one is enough and avoids earplug headaches- and also means I can hear the kids if they cry out but not constant noises) When I was inn town I was terrible, hardly slept..move out to Banstead it is so boring that it lulls you to sleep ;-) ! Hope your techniques, meditation work it is really draining feeling tired, you still manage to look pretty amazing on not so much sleep! xx

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    1. I often find I wake up a bit 'heady' if i sleep with both in, so your plan sounds right! I think the fact I grew up in Banstead with no noise has actually contributed to my sleep issues, as now I wake up from the slightest sound! Slowly and surely, I think it's working...

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  9. Agree with yoga & lack of devices in your bedroom & pre bed & black outs. I used the boots - sleepio programme; after a very difficult time in my life left me struggling to sleep. Really worked for me ( much more than any lovely but expensive oils etc) & based on good medical research

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    1. Oh will check it out, not heard of it xx

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  10. Your comment about the 'anxiety of the 'anticipation' of noise' is so true for me! We have had noisy neighbours in the past and although it's not too bad now, if I hear something outside it can take me days to feel comfortable sleeping without ear plugs in... I always seem to sleep deeper after a long bath and no phone/ipad interaction for a few hours before - not easy to do every night though x

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    1. It is my biggest downfall. If I see their light is still on, I get in a panic! I have my phone by my bed as it's my alarm clock....it's so hard not to look!

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  11. I think exercise is the key...going out for a run/walk in the fresh air does wonders. If you're tired you always feel better once you get going, and getting into a regular routine helps with motivation! Black out blinds & switching off wifi on phone is a must too!

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    1. I just hate exercise....! Just need to find something that works for me, maybe I'll try yoga at home - I hate the thought of going to a stale gym with no atmosphere to feel 'relaxed'...

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  12. Whilst I don't have any sleep techniques or advice I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to see that you've replied to each comment personally Alex. I'm sure I can speak for everyone in saying that your regular readers really appreciate it. Love the blog x

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    1. Aah - so kind! Well, I think if people can be bothered to read my blog, sign in and leave me a comment, the least I can do is reply! x

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