I don’t know about you, but gift shopping for Dad can be hard even at the best of times.
That’s why, in preparation for Father’s Day on Sunday June 17th 2018, we’ve provided you with a small list of some of our most desired-by-Dad products, each of which will be sure to help your Dad indulge himself, wake-up feeling refreshed, and of course, sleep soundly through the night.
The stresses of raising a family are vast, and for most kids, it’s particularly difficult to find a time when their parents aren’t worrying about something. That’s why, giving Dad a reason to relax is all the more important. The Sati Luxury Cotton Bathrobe from COZE represents the very pinnacle of comforting pleasure. Made with 100% pure cotton, and accompanied by luxuriously smooth cotton velour on the outside and an absorbent terry towelling on the inside, Dad can be feeling relaxed and soothed the moment he steps out of the bath.
And there’s no need to worry about sizing, as all of COZE’s bathrobes are unisex, and designed to provide users with a loose, comfortable fit.
Whether your Dad’s a bath-buff or a devoted shower-supporter, Tranquil Isle Relaxing Bath & Shower Oil from Lola’s Apothecary is sure to send your father’s senses on a holiday the moment he steps into the bathroom. Charged with a deeply therapeutic aroma of calming Lavender and Chamomile, the oil possesses anti-inflammatory and soothing properties to help eradicate any anxieties currently plaguing your Dad’s mind.
And free of sulphates, parabens and synthetic fragrances, Lola’s Apothecary formulates its products using only the finest organic ingredients available, to put any concerns in regards to skin irritation immediately at ease.
For more from Lola’s Apothecary, and Gift Sets from the likes of Scentered and BetterYou (£24.95), specially-designed to help you relax in the bath or shower before bed, click here.
If your Dad is one to persistently enquire about the latest technological offerings from the digital age, then look no further than the AYO – a scientifically backed, blue-light emitting wearable, fully controlled and operated by the AYO smartphone app. Packed with “revolutionary technology based on Nobel Prize-winning mechanisms that help you sleep better,” the AYO will not only help your achieve a a more efficient circadian rhythm, but can finally get your Dad off those ‘extra-strong’ espressos. This is due to AYO’s selective usage of blue-light, which has been shown to delay the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin (the hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness in humans).
Rather than covering the entirety of your eyes, there is but a sliver of glass beneath each upper-rim of the wearables, allowing your Dad to wear the device when he’s walking to the station, working in the office, or even getting changed in the morning. Of course, you may think that this could lead to rather uncomfortable situations, possibly in which your Dad becomes an even-greater than usual source of embarrassment – simply imagine Dad dancing at a wedding whilst wearing a pair of blue-light emitting wearables!
Nonetheless, the AYO is way ahead of its time, and given the product’s innovative technology, your Dad will be the first of many donning these attractive headsets in the very near-future.
For more information on the AYO, click here to check out our Product Review.
Skincare it seems doesn’t usually appeal to men. And perhaps a reason for that is a lack of brands willing to provide skincare treatments designed for both women and men. That’s why Mónica Sada founded UNICSKIN, an innovative unisex dermo-cosmetic brand founded upon the core pillars of efficiency and practicality, offering effective solutions for all skin types.
Intensely moisturising, the UnicHydro-Active Serum (30ml) hydrates the skin due to its high concentration of Hyaluronic Acid, whilst reducing expression lines and wrinkles. What’s more, based upon its anti-inflammatory properties, this serum is perfect for Dads suffering from rosacea and psoriasis.
Is your Dad one to suffer from insomnia? If so, the Dodow would be the perfect gift for Father’s Day. A touch-sensitive glowing metronome that assists with natural sleep induction, the soft-blue light projects onto the ceiling and gently pulses, helping the user to synchronise their abdominal breathing for the optimal sleep state.
Whereas your Dad previously found himself anxiously eager to make himself fall asleep before 3am in the morning, the Dodow has been specifically-designed to tackle those suffering from sleeplessness. In a mere matter of minutes – and not hours – the device can reduce the user’s breathing and streams of thought, and soon send them off into peaceful slumber up to 2.5 times faster!
For more information on the Dodow, click here to check out our Product Review.
Dagsmejan is a company that has devoted itself to producing functionally-innovative sleepwear. Made with entirely natural fibres, and using the latest in textile technologies, these Swedish designed, super soft sleep pants and t-shirt have been scientifically-proven to work whilst you sleep. From exceptional moisture management, to temperature regulation properties that will keep the user in an ideal climatic comfort zone for longer, Dagsmejan’s sleepwear will provide any user with a level of comfortability that other pyjamas simply can’t.
(And of course, it would finally put an end to having to witness Dad marching around the house in his underwear before bed).
For a limited time only, get 10% off your very own Suzy Snooze by using myzableepbleeps10 as a Promotional Code at checkout!
For a parent, getting a little one to sleep can be a nightmare, as can finding oneself constantly worn out by disturbed nights. If this sounds familiar, Suzy Snooze could be the perfect solution.
Developed together with a range of experts, Suzy Snooze is a beautifully-designed multifunctional device, working as a baby monitor, sleep soother, smart nightlight and sleep trainer all-in-one! Suitable for children of all ages, it’s been specially-designed to appeal to both parents and children alike.
Setting up the Suzy Snooze is easy, seamlessly connecting with your smartphone using your preferred Wi-Fi network, aided by an enormous range of up to 50m/150ft. By connecting Suzy to the BleepBleeps app (available on iOS and Android) it becomes a baby monitor, letting you listen-in on your little one using high definition, secure audio.
Pressing down on Suzy’s ‘hat’ at bedtime, turns on a sleep sequence, providing ten minutes of soothing light and music designed to help your little one relax and (hopefully) fall asleep. Then, once your child is asleep, Suzy takes on the form of a comforting nightlight, providing your child with a warming, comforting orange glow.
And of course, if volume or brightness aren’t to your liking, everything is adjustable via the BleepBleeps app, including the option to track your child’s sleep data. Now you can see how deeply your child is regularly sleeping, and precisely when they’re waking up.
One of Suzy Snooze’s most admirable features, is that if your child does happen to wake-up, Suzy’s Cry Sensor and Smart Technology will help soothe them back to sleep — so no need for you to get out of bed. Brilliant!
Then in the morning, Suzy’s hat will gently pop-up, signalling to your child that it’s time to get up, helping to acclimatise your child to a preferred sleep schedule, and all being well, prevent the dreaded early mornings. Even more brilliant!
A young mother who trialled BleepBleeps’ Suzy recently recalled that it was particularly simple to use, even for those who are not technologically-minded. She was also remarkably impressed when travelling with the device, due to its ease of transportability, and coming with numerous adapters. However, for the sake of safety, the Suzy Snooze will only work on a secure Wi-Fi network. In other words, usage at hotels etc. is not always guaranteed, due to the possibility of the Wi-Fi network not being secure.
Although Suzy may appear quite pricy, I can’t help but feel that it’s great value. Given its advanced technology, it’s capable of evolving with your child’s ever-changing sleeping requirements, from a baby monitor & nightlight early-on, to a sleep trainer as a toddler, and a musical sleep-companion as a child.
What’s more, the Suzy Snooze is multifunctional, meaning there’ll be no need to purchase any other single-function baby products, including baby monitors.
Importantly, the Suzy Snooze will teach your child those healthy sleeping habits that can last a lifetime, and just as importantly, allow you as a parent to get a good night’s sleep.
And for the latter alone, the Suzy Snooze is priceless!
A growing body of research indicates that children who regularly get to bed late are not (as they might have thought) lucky or sophisticated, but rather, set up to fail.
“Children’s natural rhythm dictates for them to go to sleep well before adults do… if children are kept up as late as their parents, they’re often being deprived of the opportunity to grow and learn as well as they could have,” Andrew J. Bernstein, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics Northwestern University told Fatherly.
Impairing a child’s ability to learn, retain information, and regulate their emotions, recent evidence has even suggested that sleep deprivation can predispose your child to a number of health complications in later-life, including obesity.
A recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, followed nearly 1,000 preschoolers into adolescence, tracking their bedtimes around age 4, in addition to their height, weight, and body mass index (BMI), until they reached the age of 15 years old. Results concluded that 39% of children who regularly went to bed after 8 p.m. whilst they were younger, were obese as teenagers, compared to only 10% of their peers who went to bed before then.
Then there are those studies that managed to incorporate both genetics and low-income households – two suspected causes of obesity – into their analysis, to ensure sleep deprivation was not merely conflated with other such explanations for obesity.
Researchers focussed their analysis upon 368 “normal weight children” between 2 and 6 years old, who had been deemed as being at risk of becoming overweight, due to a high-birth-weight, overweight parents etc. Then, over the course of 7 days, parents were asked to record sleep diaries for their children, including total rest both during the day and night, as well as compile food diaries for their children.
Their conclusion? The children who got the least amount of sleep on average were more likely to become overweight during the following 1.3 years, the study found.
“This suggests that children who have less variable sleep duration, or better sleep routines, have better dietary quality than those who may have less stringent sleep routines,” said lead study author Anna Rangan of the University of Sydney
No single sleep-training method will work for every child. And of course, getting children to sleep at the very best of times is a tumultuous task. Consistent bedtimes/sleep schedules are merely an idealistic concept, inapplicable to a 2 year old child requiring upwards of 11 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
But there are a variety of small things parents can do to help foster earlier sleep schedules for their children.
Bernstein for example, recommends utilizing security objects such as a stuffed animal, slowly weaning the child from needing the parent at their bedside, and gradually lengthening out the time parents leave kids alone in their cribs, so they can develop the independence needed to fall asleep on their own.
What’s more, it’s about routine, and since bedtime routines take at least a half hour, this means starting it no later than 7 – 7:30pm.
Most importantly however, is the fact that sleep’s effect on life is all-encompassing, potentially affecting each of our characteristics for the best, and indeed, the worst. From weight to behaviour, mood to cognition, poor sleep will cause havoc for anybody, whether they’re 8 years, or 80 years of age.
Good sleep on the other hand, will reveal its numerous benefits for many years to come…
From food & diet to lifestyle & wellbeing, alternative therapies to the very latest on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Hot Flush is the best place to find supportive, straightforward tips and advice on how women can best deal with the menopause.
This week we’re delighted to have the Co-Founder of hotflush.info, Jo McEwan, give us the low-down on the science behind the menopause, and provide some fantastic tips to help you get to sleep when experiencing the more common and troublesome menopausal symptoms.
The alarm sounds, and it’s a new dawn and a new day. Yet for a staggering 61% of women, it might also be the start of a fatigue-filled day as they reel from the repercussions of insomnia in the menopause.
Whereas around 1 in 4 women will be un-phased by the menopause and barely notice that it’s happening, the other 3 in 4 aren’t so lucky and experience a wide range of symptoms. Whilst insomnia isn’t solely a menopausal woe, with 30 to 50 per cent of the population suffering at one time or another, retiring hormones seem to act as a trigger for many women.
Symptoms of the perimenopause can start 3-10 years before menopause. With the average age of the menopause being 51, women may experience symptoms from their early 40s onwards, yet fail to realise that they’re the consequence of hormonal havoc.
It seems that there’s a top 10 of the more common and troublesome symptoms, with sleep issues being up near the not-so-coveted, number 1 spot. It’s important to recognise this however – that disrupted sleep can be a perimenopausal symptom – as by recognising the root of the problem, women can take appropriate action to lessen the impact.
But, why now?
In the lead up to the menopause, women’s ovaries gradually decrease in their production of oestrogen, and progesterone, a sleep-promoting hormone. Shifting hormone ratios can consequently, severely impact on a woman’s ability to fall asleep, making them vulnerable to other environmental and/or life stressors, disrupting sleep only further! You know the ones – work, finances, family, relationship worries and so the list goes on. And of course, these worries peak at about 3 in the morning!
Add to these worries, unwelcome hot flushes, the bane of many a menopausal woman’s life and quality sleep is near impossible. Hot flushes (night sweats) cause a surge of adrenaline, awaking your brain from sleep, producing sweat and a change of temperature. It then may take quite some time for the adrenaline to ebb, before you can settle down into sleep again.
So, knowing hormonal and social issues are at play, what can women do?
Think in advance; don’t eat too late, avoid caffeine (it takes 6 hours plus to leave your system, even the healthier green tea), try tea blends created to aid sleep, or try simple camomile loose leaf tea. Don’t turn to the wine bottle – alcohol exacerbates sleep problems etc.
Maximising magnesium intake will calm and promote a sleepy feeling. Best consumed via a healthy diet, women should eat more luscious dark leafy greens, nuts, fish and legumes. Magnesium can be taken as a supplement, ideally as an oral spray that’s absorbed quickly into the blood stream. Even better, add 2-3 handfuls of magnesium flakes to a warm bath just before you hit the sack, calming and blissful! Whilst enjoying a bedtime bath, the burning of an indulgent candle or essential oil containing lavender, frankincense, cedarwood or bergamot will give the olfactory senses a treat.
Mined from the ancient Zechstein sea deposits, BetterYou™ Magnesium Flakes work to restore the body’s original magnesium levels, easing muscle tension and facilitating a calming detox in the process.
What we wear in bed can also affect sleep. According to research, wearing soft woollen socks in bed could help people get to sleep quicker. Warming feet before bedtime gives the brain a clear signal that it’s time to switch-off and sleep, helps blood vessels to dilate and increases circulation allowing our central body temperature to fall which may translate into fewer incidences of those nightmare night-sweats. Some share Marilyn Monroe’s taste in sleepwear, sleeping naked, but that won’t deal with the fallout from night sweats and can cause soggier sheets. There are PJs out there that can cool your body down and wick away the sweat that keeps you awake.
Think environment! Phones should be left on the other side of the bedroom door, the blue light affects production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. The bedroom shouldn’t be too hot and keeping a window open will help you, if not your partner! If night sweats are an issue, try bamboo sheets which will wick away sweat helping to keep you dry.
Both frustrated and menopausal, we were simply overwhelmed by the range of information available online, as we attempted to navigate the menopausal minefield. That’s why Ann and I formed Hot Flush in 2016. At Hot Flush, we share discoveries & experiences in a more optimistic, up-beat manner, and work together as a community to help find the support that you need during this complex time in your life. Pictured: Jo [Left] & Ann [Right].Fit blackout blinds or curtains, and wear an eye mask to create a dark sleep space, enabling you to enjoy the sound of silence. And if silence isn’t your thing, wearing head bands with built-in speakers, or using specially-designed pillow speakers to play white noise/music may help you finally switch off and drop off.
For most women, menopausal symptoms will improve, but in the meantime, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia sessions (CBT-I), delivered by a certified therapist or online via CBT-I Coach (downloadable from the App Store), can help alter any unhelpful thoughts or behaviours that are preventing you from sleeping.
Whilst the menopause transition can be discombobulating, normal service should resume. We say use perimenopause as an opportunity to press the reset button on your approach to health and well-being. After all, there’s a lot more loving and living to be done!
Come and visit us athotflush.infowhere we offer positivity and endeavour to bring colour to a grey subject!
Lauren Murrell, COO of natural and organic skincare brand, BY SARAH LONDON, shares her evening skincare rituals to help you feed your skin, and fuel your sleep.
What’s your evening routine like?
Do you rush to take a quick shower after dinner, watch some Netflix and then head to bed? Do you regularly find little time to incorporate more self-care and wellness rituals into your bedtime regime?
As you probably know, taking time to allow your mind and body to unwind at the end of the day is particularly important to your sleep. After all, spending time devoted to calming your senses, or relieving yourself from work and worry, has long been shown to aid in improving your sleep, by lowering your breathing rate and eradicating any anxieties ruminating throughout your mind.
But believe it or not, it’s not all about sleep. As well as helping you sleep better, devoting time to yourself at the end of the day also provides you with an opportunity to nourish and restore your skin.
At BY SARAH LONDON, transparency is at the heart of our brand mission. We use only the finest natural, organic, minerals, clays and plant-based oils from all over the world, detailing a full ingredient list on the front label of each of our products.
We want to empower people, by helping them understand exactly what they’re putting on their skin. And by promising no hidden, artificial or synthetic ingredients, you can finally rest easy knowing precisely what you’ve put on your skin.
We’re two sisters on a mission to bring greater clarity, transparency and simplicity to skincare. That’s why we detail a FULL ingredient list on the FRONT of each of our products. Pictured: Lauren (left) and Sarah (right).
Below are BY SARAH LONDON’s top 3 products, each of which are perfectly-suited to helping you unwind at the end of the day. Containing only recognisable ingredients of the highest quality, such contents will not only perform a specific function for your skin, but also, collaborate with one another to boost your skin with all the omegas, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it could possibly need!
1. Bath Salts: 100% natural and cruelty-free, replenishing and mineral-rich, our Bath Salts are a luxurious addition to a warm bath before bed, containing only Himalayan Pink Salt, Dead Sea Salts and French Green Clay. These ingredients have been sourced for their high mineral content, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and other trace minerals. As for the addition of a warm bath to your sleep schedule, that’s something that has been promoted by sleep scientists and keen-bathers alike. Prof. Matthew Walker for example, prominent scientist and author of the New York bestseller Why We Sleep (2017), suggests that a hot bath before bed not only relaxes you, but can also boost your NREM sleep by up to 15 percent! So, let your muscles relax, soaking in these invaluable nutrients and taking some deep breaths as you restore your body, quieten your mind and prepare for bed.
2. Organic Body Oil. This 99% organic, vegan and cruelty-free body oil is packed full of essential fatty acids, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and performs much like a superfood salad for your skin! Specially formulated with Organic Sweet Almond oil, Organic Apricot oil, Organic Evening Primrose oil, Organic Jojoba oil and Vitamin E, each ingredient has a specific function. Our Organic Jojoba Oil for example, with its molecular structure bearing an enormous similarity to that of our very own skin cells, will easily penetrate your skin whilst simultaneously providing deep and immediate hydration, without leaving behind a greasy residue. Apply the oil to slightly damp skin and massage in long, flowing strokes working towards your heart to boost circulation.
3. Organic Lip Balm. This 100% organic and cruelty-free balm is a real skin saviour, made with only Organic Virgin Coconut oil, Organic Apricot oil and Organic Beeswax. Using only the finest quality Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, this balm is capable of locking in moisture, as well as demonstrating effective antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties to keep chapped lips at bay. I keep this balm on my bedside table and apply just before I turn off the lights!
So, here’s to finally reclaiming your evenings, enhancing your self-care rituals, nourishing your skin and setting yourself up perfectly for a restful night’s sleep.
This week we asked the fantastic Nina Clark, Founder of Nightire, to give us an insight into what makes bamboo so special, and why wearing sleepwear made of the quick-to-grow and highly sustainable crop can help you achieve deeper, more restful and longer-lasting sleep.
Wearing the right kind of pyjamas to bed – longs, shorts, dresses etc. – is important, sure. However, it’s not so much what you wear, but what it’s made from that really counts.
Natural materials for example, have long been proven to be more breathable than their synthetic counterparts, capable of preventing the dreaded night sweats and aiding in a cooler, more comfortable you throughout the night.
Bamboo – perhaps the most versatile of natural fibres – boasts a variety of remarkable uses that range from flooring to clothing. Grown sustainably, with minimal need for additional hydration or pesticides, this tropical grass not only cleans the air and shoots up fast (it’s the fastest-growing plant in the world), but is also 100% biodegradable. What’s more, bamboo rarely needs replanting, whereas cotton requires harvesting and cultivation every year.
Not many people care what they wear to bed, and that’s despite us spending approximately a third of our lives wrapped-up in PJs!
The bamboo fibre is also marvellously resilient and durable, yet soft as silk and oh-so-luxurious. Gentler than a host of other man-made options, it’s a natural solution for sensitive/irritable skin!
If you easily get hot and heavy under the covers whilst asleep (or during those more exciting moments), the anti-bacterial and sweat absorbent properties of the bamboo plant means moisture evaporates nicely from the skin, keeping you odour-free and smelling fresh all night long.
The bamboo fabric is also, cleverly engineered so that the cross-section of the fibre is covered with micro-gaps for better ventilation. As a result, it’s able to keep you two degrees cooler in the heat, and then noticeably warmer in the cold.
Nightire was born out of my personal quest to understand sleep, and all that it entails. After trying everything – black-out blinds, relaxing baths, no Insta-sessions right before bed etc. – I still couldn’t get anything to keep my body temperature on an even keel throughout the night. So, I founded Nightire, functionally-innovative sleepwear with more personality.
You might have spotted the word ‘silk’ earlier, potentially conjuring up expectations of getting cleaned out at the dry cleaners each and every time your bamboo sleepwear is in need of a wash (pun intended).
But fear not, bamboo fabric can be washed just like any other garment. Machine washable and iron-friendly, this fabric is an absolute dream to clean.
Nightire is the bamboo sleepwear range that ticks all the aforementioned boxes. Designed in London and made with urban city-slickers in mind, this collection blends function with fashion, so you can sleep well every night and look darn good while doing it.
For those of you who managed to stick to your New Year’s resolutions – or at least, the “Do more exercise and eat more healthily” one – congratulations! Whether it’s swimming, yoga, running or general workouts in the gym, you’ve managed to overcome the changes in daily schedules, diet and general energy expenditure that were just too much for many of us.
But then, how did those changes in your life make you feel? Did such alterations leave you feeling depleted or exhausted, unable to do anything else but, sleep?
For anybody who engages in regular, intensive bouts of exercise, the need for rest and recovery is obvious. And yet, from speaking both to friends and looking at my own personal experiences with sports and exercise, the significance of rest continues to be enormously underrated.
In other words, however much we’re each told that ‘resting’ is essential to maintaining a high-level of performance, we either continue to overtrain, or experience feelings of guilt or shame whenever we take a day off.
The same then goes for sleep. How much does high-quality, extended periods of sleep each night really impact on training, and long-term fitness? Sure. Muscles need to recover, but so long as I’m eating the right food and enough protein, that should take care of itself, shouldn’t it?
Surely 6 hours’ sleep and a gym session before work is more useful than 8 hours’ of sleep, minus the trip to the gym?
Previously, evidence concerning the impact of sleep deprivation upon even the most athletic within society was somewhat hazy. Those of us who strongly emphasised the significance of rest days and so forth, were largely reliant upon inference from other sleep-related studies – such as immune function and brain function – or simply theory.
But the work of Dr. Eve Van Cauter, from the University of Chicago Medical School, may have changed that, with the discovery that sleep deprivation can have a particularly large impact on our basic metabolism, and not getting enough sleep can slow glucosemetabolism by as much as 30 to 40 percent.
Dr. Van Cauter for example, focussed on the effects of three different durations of sleep in eleven men, aged 18 to 27. For the first three nights of the study, the men slept 8 hours per night. Then, for the next six nights, they slept 4 hours per night. And finally, for the last seven nights, they slept 12 hours per night.
Results showed that after 4 hours of sleep per night (the sleep deprivation period), they metabolised glucose least efficiently. What’s more, levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) were higher during sleep deprivation periods, something that has previously been linked to memory impairment, insulin resistance, and impaired recovery in athletes. After just one week of sleep restriction, healthy, young males began to display rather unhealthy glucose / blood sugar levels, and consequently, aiding in a rapid deterioration of the body’s functions.
As a result, Dr. Van Cauter concluded that sleep deprivation could lead to increases in cortisol, reductions in human growth hormone (essential to muscle tissue repair), and decreased glycogen synthesis.
This should be of particular concern to endurance athletes, and those who regularly engage in sports beyond 90 minutes in length. Glycogen after all, is our stored form of Glucose, and together they represent the main form of energy storage in any athlete. Slower storage and usage of glycogen, combined with the effect of cortisol on our ability to rest and allow for hormones (such as human growth hormones) to take effect, creates an athlete effectively putting their body in harm’s way.
What Can Be Done?
Dr. Van Cauter’s experiment doesn’t answer all of our questions. Debates concerning the difference in quality of sleep between the sexes continues to fascinate sleep scientists, as do those studies linking sleep deprivation with decreased reaction speeds etc.
But considering the evidence currently available to us, it would appear that matching high-intensity exercise, with relatively ‘intensive’ bouts of recovery and rest, would ensure both optimal improvements in fitness, and life in general.
Making changes to your current regime may be difficult. After all, most of us will have spent months, even years, on the same work-exercise schedule. However, below are some tips to help push you in the right direction, towards solving that work-hard-sleep-hard conundrum.
7-8 Hours of Shut Eye: Managing your day to make sure that you can get 8 hours’ sleep isn’t easy. After all, even if you’re exhausted from working (and working out), you’ll still probably want to spend some time to yourself before going to sleep. And with the array of entertainment now on offer – TV box sets etc. – it’s particularly easy to simply lose track of time. In order to overcome such obstacles however, why not remind yourself of the numerous benefits that comes with keeping a consistent sleep schedule. As chronobiologist Till Roenneberg suggests in his book, “Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired,” it’s best for us to keep a consistent schedule, resting and awakening at the same time, both during the week and weekend. One way to do this, is by managing your wake-up in a more natural, more efficient way, as the Lumie allows you to do. Allowing yourself to wake-up with a gradually brightening sunrise, synchronised to your personal sleeping pattern, will ensure that when you awaken you’ll feel properly awake and refreshed, and in time, have regulated your circadian rhythm.
Lumie’s Bodyclocks have also be proposed to effectively tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, providing a natural signal to your body to adjust hormone levels, keep your sleep cycle on track, and boost your mood, energy and productivity levels for the day ahead.
Bathtime is you time: Every drop of warm, clean water provided entirely for your enjoyment, it’s no wonder that having a bath has been lauded for millennia, especially by those seeking an escape from the pressures of life. Combined however with warming, sensational scents, and minerals craved by your aching muscles, makes bath time a very welcome addition to your evening regime. BetterYou™ Magnesium Flakes, mined from the ancient Zechstein sea deposits one mile below the ground, helps to restore the body’s original magnesium levels, whilst easing muscle tension for normalised function. What’s more, unlike the vast array of bath salts now available, I am personally yet to have found a concoction that dissolves as readily and as quickly as those offered by BetterYou™. Of course, there will be those who advocate ice-cold baths immediately after working out. However, as far as tackling the initial soreness in your muscles and the removal of lactic acid away from your muscles is concerned, heated baths following exercise should only be conducive to your healthy recovery.
Functional PJs: We spend one third of our lives sleeping. And yet, it would seem that many of us fail to treat our bedroom, and indeed, anything that could potentially help us sleep, with the respect it properly deserves. High-quality pyjamas are just one example of something that could not only last us for several years, but also, dramatically improve our quality of sleep. Until Dagsmejan, sleepwear hadn’t undergone the same level of functional innovation that we have seen in sportswear in past years. But now, after years of research, the Swedish company has released a sleepwear collection scientifically proven to whisk sweat/moisture away from the body, and regulate body temperature using its unique Nattwell® fabric. In essence, this ensures that you remain in the ideal climatic comfort zone for longer, boosting the duration and quality of your sleep.
At the end of the day, eating healthily and exercising is remarkably important to our well-being. But so is sleep. And yet, for no apparent reason other than lack of information, sleep has so far failed to garner the same attention as food or exercise throughout popular culture.
Fingers-crossed however, with greater exposure and a more coherent understanding of sleep’s effect on life, that will soon change.
I have to be honest, I was very keen to try the Eyecicle, the revolutionary, award-winning skincare device from 001 London, primarily because it’s been recommended by so many celebrity makeup artists and beauty magazines-alike. As somebody that has seemingly always been prone to dark circles beneath their eyes (even after a good night’s sleep), a beauty tool dedicated to improving the effects of ageing and skin damage solely around the eyes could only be a good thing.
The Eyecicle device is crafted using artisan glass techniques, so its entire surface is seamless and smooth. It’s beautifully boxed as well – as are all 001 London’s products – and to the uninitiated look particularly intriguing.
Each Eyecicle device comes with two tools, each delicately produced using the finest, artisan glass techniques.
So how does the Eyecicle work? Well, first and foremost, it’s a carefully-designed, temperature-conditioning device that’s extremely straight forward to use. Just pop the device in the fridge for 30 minutes, then following the accompanying guide, massage around the eye-area using acupressure techniques on the seven different pressure points.
Effective in a particularly small amount of time, the Eyecicle can do its work in a matter of moments, especially if you store the device in a fridge (never a freezer) and consequently, have no need to chill/prepare the Eyecicle.
Unsurprisingly, our bodies will react to cooler temperatures (especially below 29°C). But when such coolness is reaffirmed by the acupressure motions of the Eyecicle, blood flow is stimulated and sends nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells surrounding the eyes. As a result, toxins are flushed out throughout the eye-area, and the metabolism needed for skin cell regrowth and renewal increases, quickly providing you with smoother, plumper and brighter skin around the eyes.
I have been using the Eyecicle now for the past ten days and have to admit that I am absolutely hooked. They’re brilliant for reducing puffiness around the eyes (particularly after a late night) so you can set off for work confident that you look refreshed. There’s also no doubt that the dark circles under my eyes are quickly fading, with the entire eye-area generally looking so much brighter, smoother and tighter.
Ada Ooi founded 001 London in 2014, wishing to offer a skincare line that fused modern bio-chemistry, with traditional apothecary principles from Asia & beyond.
What’s more, the entire process of applying something so smooth, so chilled and delicately designed, to a region of my face that has previously been ignored, felt enormously refreshing. In some ways, I can’t imagine being able to wake-up in the morning without it.
I will definitely continue to use Eyecicle as part of my regular beauty regime. Ada Ooi, founder of 001 London, aromatherapist and beauty expert, was right when she indicated that the circles beneath our eyes are an area that “we tend to neglect the most”. But much like the legion of influential fans that the Eyecicle has garnered since its release, that will never again be the case for me.
Any time spent searching for sleep-related articles on the internet reveals hundreds, even thousands of pieces relating to the necessity of prioritising sleep. And indeed, with the development of hi-tech pyjamas, sleep apps, sleep trackers, even blue-light emitting wearables many would assume that we already have all the tools at our disposal to achieve the perfect sleep.
As any of us will know however, we simply don’t.
How Did We Get Here?
Sleep had been a source of enquiry for millennia. From ancient philosophers to religious scholars to early scientists, questions concerning this repetitive, substantial period of rest, darkness and often hallucinatory experiences, were numerous. And yet, answers were unforthcoming. In fact, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the various stages of sleep, and the existence of numerous sleep disorders were finally discovered.
Since then, research by neuroscientists and philosophers alike had encountered a significant slump, before recently, experiencing a sudden resurgence. Russell Foster for example, director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oxford, suggests that sleep had previously been under-appreciated by science. “What has fundamentally changed [is that] neuroscientists have started to take sleep seriously,” and no longer is sleep relegated to the “graveyard of the neuroscience world.”
Why? Most probably due our growing recognition of the sheer significance that ‘very good’ or ‘very bad’ sleep could have on our quality of life. Financially, scientifically, and so forth, it pays to care about sleep.
It’s often astonishing to think that even in today’s society, we still know so little about a subject and activity as universal, as imperative to our survival, as sleep. For example, the precise relationship between sleep deprivation and Alzheimer’s remains somewhat unclear, as does the specific reason as to why humans evolved to require as much sleep as they do. And as a result, almost each and every piece of research related to sleep reveals something new, and potentially game-changing.
The Self-Care Industry
Then there’s the apparent “Goop-ification” of sleep.
As Bramley suggests: “Sleep has been given that most modern of makeovers – it has been Goop-ified, given the clean-sleeping treatment, with Gwyneth Paltrow evangelising about making sleep a priority and her 10-hour-a-night ideal. People are being encouraged to douse vetiver-scented wellness oil between their toes or do a five-minute foam-rolling session right before heading to bed.”
It’s unsurprising therefore that sleep has become viewed as a luxurious commodity. After all, many of those products that promise better, deeper, more restorative sleep, are indeed, the most expensive.
At myza, we sell luxurious products, designed to help you sleep better and consequently, feel better. From home décor to sleep tech, we devote ourselves to finding the very best developments in sleep, and delivering them to you directly.
Unfortunately however, we can’t promise you the perfect sleep immediately.
In fact, for the vast majority of us, that can’t happen until we re-prioritise sleep, and actively appreciate its enormous significance to our quality of life.
For instance, so long as we continue to watch Netflix in our bedroom just before bed, or peruse Instagram when we struggle to get to sleep, we’ll continue to suffer the derogatory effects of blue light upon our circadian rhythm and secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin. The same can be said for our consumption of caffeine late into the afternoon, or our unwillingness to maintain a regular sleeping schedule throughout the week and weekend. Better sleep will often require a change of lifestyle, as well as physical surroundings.
The Road to the Perfect Sleep
Arriving at the perfect sleep is seemingly, much like the culmination of a long, and often cruel journey. Sadly, there are few (if any) short-cuts on this particular voyage, and perhaps most importantly, we all have to follow a different path to arrive at that very same destination.
For example, we each must accept the complexity and beauty of sleep, as well as rest’s importance to a healthy lifestyle. We must exemplify an acknowledgement of sleep’s wondrously close relationship with so many other crucial features of our lives, whether mental and physical health, or our general well-being. And finally, we must admit to ourselves that certain habits of ours are directly infringing upon our ability to get to/stay asleep.
In other words, even with the best possible car in the world, unless we approach this ‘journey’ with an open-mind, a determination to change previously ‘unmovable’ behaviours, and a willingness to fail before succeeding, our journey to high-quality slumber will consist of merely driving in circles.
It’s perhaps due to our reluctance to properly engage with this particular part of the journey to the perfect sleep, that we have arrived at what Bramley describes as “sleep’s very modern, meta disorder” – orthosomnia. Coined by Dr Sabra Abbott, a professor in neurology and sleep medicine, the term is used to describe those that have “created a sleep problem” of their very own, simply by becoming overly-concerned by the data produced in their sleep tracker, whether a Fitbit or an iPhone. As Bramley rightly comments, “Orthosomnia seems to be one symptom of an industry that grew rapidly and has left consumers with more data than we know what to do with (albeit not always accurate).”
Without a comprehension of the enormous questions that still remain in sleep, many of us will find ourselves questioning the data that’s constantly being produced, failing to recognise the advancements still to be made in the accuracy of sleep trackers etc.
Perfect sleep isn’t yet available for purchase. That’s why at myza, we provide a service beyond the product – in our Expert Advice and Sleep Journal – that recognises the need for so much more than simply opening a box, and pressing the ‘on’ button. That way, not only are we more prepared for using each of those devices that come with development in sleep, but also, we can find out what’s to be truly gained from putting ourselves first, and finally prioritising rest, relaxation and recuperation.
That’s not a “luxury”. That’s something we all deserve.
“Ah!” says Mrs. Elton, in Jane Austen’s Emma, “There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
Few would beg to differ with Mrs. Elton on this particular point. For most of us, there really is, no place like home.
Designed precisely as you like it, and (usually) occupied by your closest family and friends, it’s no surprise that even the very best hotels, with the most beautiful surroundings, fail to replicate the sense of belonging and comfortability that we regularly associate with home.
But of course, the ever-changing demands of modern life are having a very real impact upon our conception of ‘home’. Whereas once we would have been expected to live in the same home – or at least same locality – from the cradle to the grave, changes in lifestyles/aspirations have resulted in many of us regularly moving from property-to-property throughout our lives. It’s unsurprising therefore, from Generation Rent to the average duration of homeownership rapidly decreasing throughout the UK, that many now perceive themselves as ‘modern nomads’, forever on the move.
One such person was Caroline, Wicklewood’s Founder. A modern nomad herself (having lived in eight different flats in the space of ten years), Caroline knew first-hand of the general desire amongst each of us to make any space – whether temporary or permanent – our very own space.
Specialising in “small design with big impact”, Wicklewood provides us with four design essentials – colourful throw cushions, beautiful bedding, bold area rugs and decorative global accents – essentially granting customers the opportunity to make interior design easy, effortless, and without the often extortionate interior design industry fees.
“I wanted to provide a quick and easy decorating solution that offered a unique design,” said Caroline.
Indeed, perfectly adaptable to any season, room, or mood, it is perhaps that “unique design” that distinguishes Wicklewood from so many other brands specialising in home décor.
For instance, Caroline partners with artisans all around world, ensuring the brightly-coloured designs perfectly reflect a philosophy that is steeped in history, familial experience throughout the textile industries, and inspired by a number of extraordinary women (incl. famed collector of rare Mesoamerican textiles, lecturer and Caroline’s own great great grandmother, Lily De Jongh Osborne). As a result, as well as wonderfully refreshing and contemporary, Wicklewood’s designs are timeless, and sure to last long into the future.
Admiration for the brand is then only enhanced, once you discover just to what extent Caroline has allowed her invaluable experiences to influence the craftsmanship, and business-practises throughout Wicklewood.
“We pride ourselves on ensuring that all of our products are ethically-produced, as well as assembled with the upmost care,” said Caroline. “All our quilts for example, are hand-block-printed, and many of our cushions are hand-woven in Guatemala.”
What About Sleep?
Of course, there will be those that consider Wicklewood as somewhat disconnected from the concerns of the sleep deprived. As beautiful as they look, how can Wicklewood’s dual-sided print cushions or original block printed quilts possibly improve sleep?
Well, although not immediately obvious, each and every choice we make in regards to home décor will impact upon our ability to sleep well. Cleanliness, combined with our home’s suitability to our particular wants and needs, will influence our preparedness for the coming day ahead, or our ability to relax and calm ourselves down at the end of a difficult day at work. After all, home, as our favoured place of retreat, should be considered as a place of “real comfort”.
And our bedroom is no different. As we regularly emphasise on myza, how we perceive our bedroom is just as important as what’s actually inside our bedroom.
After all, so long as you consider your bedroom as something other than a place of rest – perhaps to watch some TV, or do some work before bed etc. – you will be reaffirming within your mind that your bed/bedroom is not for sleep. What’s more, by neglecting the home décor in your bedroom, you are subconsciously acknowledging the seeming unimportance of your bedroom, and consequentially, your sleep.
Caroline admits that she didn’t used to be a great sleeper. “When I was much younger, I used to be a little bit obsessive-compulsive in the things I had to do before bed, in order to get into a perfect state of mind for sleep. But now, for whatever reason, I can get in bed, read for about 10 minutes, and before I know it, I’m asleep!”
Caroline later acknowledged, that it’s not just about a good book. It’s that sense of purpose, that sense of belonging and comfortability that enables her mind and body to relax, and prepare for sleep. And it’s enormously important to remember that it’s by taking more care of ourselves, and our sleeping arrangement, that best prepares us for restful, high-quality sleep.
Artisanal flair, ethical production and an honourable philosophy each provide Wicklewood’s products with a distinctive appeal, as well as designs that were previously restricted to only a select proportion of society. With Wicklewood, Caroline has provided us with the opportunity to brighten up our home, wherever that may be.
What’s more, Wicklewood gives its customers a unique personality, and an ability to personalise their home like never before. That’s why Caroline’s right to suggest that “we should expect more from our space.” After all, our home for example shouldn’t merely look ‘beautiful’ or ‘welcoming’.
It should represent us – who we have been, who we currently are, and who we aspire to be.
For the finest Cushions, Quilts and Throws available from Wicklewood, and so much more, click here!