Lifestyle

Here’s the thing, I suffer from insomnia. It’s quite bad most days. I travel quite a bit, so that doesn’t help either…

Worry not, though, as I’ve recently found something that helps me… Well, a few things actually, but this one in particular! Enter: This Works.

I typically average 4-5 hours a night. Awful, right? Well, it can’t be helped. Working with computers and then coming home to my own… Must. Play. Sims. It really takes its toll.

My experience with insomnia…

I feel as though my insomnia has worsened over the years, particularly since experiencing bouts of ‘sleep paralysis’.

I can honestly say that sleep paralysis is one of the worst things I have ever experienced.

I once dreamt/woke up during a dream where I was underneath a motorbike and the rider was revving their engine really loud above me, with ‘Shut Up & Drive’ playing really loudly in the background. There was just a plank of wood separating me and this red motorbike. I couldn’t move or scream, just watching/hallucinating… It was terrifying. That’s the worst I’ve had it, I think.

But, what exactly is ‘sleep paralysis’?

It’s basically when you wake up from your dream-state (not Florida) prematurely and watch your dream play out, vividly, in front of your very eyes. You feel powerless, helpless and speechless… All you can do is wait for it to be over. No-one really knows how it comes about, nor what triggers it.

I suffered from it quite frequently for a few months on-and-off a few years back and since then, it’s as if my mind refuses to sleep in case it happens again even though, luckily for me, it hasn’t.

Back to insomnia, and the post at hand… I’ve mentioned this before, but my insomnia gets considerably worse before I go travelling. My mind gets so wired and awake, that it’s like it refuses to sleep, and I end up tiring myself out massively.

I’m not sure if I discussed what I’m about to bring up before, but I had a particular episode in Dubai, this January, that was probably the worst (and most embarrassing rolled into one).

Picture this: I land (for a trade-show), get to hotel, all whilst functioning on 3 hours sleep in 3 days… Yep, one could say I’m knackered. I wake up the following day at 3am and can’t sleep any further… I get a bright idea to head downstairs to 24-hr pharmacy (at 3:15am), and pick up a Panadol Night and a night-time sachet that you dilute with water. I then go on to have a full day of activities to tire myself out.

I go back to hotel, and drink the sachet and take sleeping tablets at 8:30pm. Wake up at 9:30am, right? Read on, it gets longer and worse.

Thinking I’ve had a full night’s sleep… I shower, apply my makeup and get dressed, as you do. I draw back the curtain and it’s pitch dark outside!?!?!??!? I start questioning the RISING of the SUN because I’ve OBVIOUSLY had such a long and relaxing sleep… “WHY IS IT NOT SUNNY AT 9:30AM YET!?!?”

No, seriously – so, I call my mum… Only to find out it was actually 9:30pm Dubai time. I’d basically only been out for one hour. Never, ever again.

Therefore, if you can avoid tablets and the like, spray your pillow with this instead!

Get a great night’s sleep with our best-selling deep sleep pillow spray. Proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake feeling more refreshed.

WHEN: use at bedtime to help reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality.

HOW: our award-winning natural, aromatherapeutic Superblend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile calms both mind and body, soothing you to sleep.

WHY: when we sleep our skin cells repair and harmful toxins are removed, making sleep the ultimate beauty secret and first step in your skincare routine.

97% slept better
89% fell asleep faster
98% felt more refreshed in the morning
100% would recommend deep sleep pillow spray to a friend*

*In a study of 100 subjects and 100 ex-prescription users compared to no product.

Look, I’ve really found This Works’ Sleep Pillow Spray helpful. It does what it claims, and I now fall asleep faster, and deeper, (even if not for longer).

How can I be certain that I’ve slept deeper?

The only way I can tell that I’ve slept deeply is by waking up really refreshed, and not the way I have previously. I’ve had times where I’ve woken up worse than I felt before I went to bed. That – for me, is the opposite of a ‘deep sleep’.

The good news is: I can categorically say that those days are long gone since spraying this nightly.

What do I love about it?

It’s natural, actually works and smells fresh, almost like a dream.

I actually find myself looking forward to spraying it on every night, as sad as that sounds!

To summarise one of the longest posts on this blog, This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray has helped me sleep quite deeply since I began using it. It’s now a staple to my sleep routine.

moon

When anxiety or depression looms, I look to the Moon – my bear of comfort. It’s so weird, but just one look at this fella calms me down!

Fun fact: pills don’t actually work for me. I’ve tried anti-depressants, but they seem to do more harm for me than good.

If you know they work for you, take them in conjunction with attending counselling. Treat it right.

On anti-depressant tablets, I literally feel like a shell of myself. They seem to wipe out even the happiest emotions along with the vigour I have for doing my day-to-day activities. So, I’ve had to find alternative ways of coping with anxiety/depression, without making other parts of me worse… Enter: Moon!

This teddy bear is one of the very few purchases that sticks in my memory. I remember everything about the day I got him.

The story of Moon

I got him from Superdrug, in Swiss Cottage. After I got him, I took the bus home to drop him (and the rest of my shopping) off, before continuing to Uni.

Looking back, he was a free gift from Superdrug after buying a gift-set. Which, incidentally, is probably why I have fond memories of ‘buying him’, because I didn’t actually have to… It all makes sense now! He was a freebie, and we never forget a freebie… They’re literally priceless!

The USPs that Moon has to offer

He’s soft, cuddly and cute. Even after all these years, he’s maintained his softness enough for me to dub him ‘His Royal Softness’, reigning Supreme for years and long may that continue.

He’s also rose-gold in colour which is unique AF!

I’ve never really been much of a teddies collector or keeper in any case, but this one actually helps me with my anxiety, it’s strange even for me.

As I said, I feel relaxed when I look at him – it’s as if I’m holding one of my healing crystal. He’s just comforting.

What do I love about Moon (apart from the fact that he’s comforting)?

He never misplaces himself when I’m in a bad mood or having a panic attack…

If I was next-level unhinged, I’d be inclined to believe that ‘Toy Story’ is real and our toys come to life when we’re not looking, and that he moves to be within my eyeline when I feel myself getting close to a breakdown.

I lose everything, but I’ll never lose Moon. I hope he becomes a family heirloom that goes down from generations of my family. I hope he gives all his future owners as much comfort as he seems to give me.

If you think this post is weird, Molly-Mae off of #LoveIsland has a stuffed toy she sleeps with… Hers smells like armpits, apparently. Mine doesn’t.

I would like to know what unconventional things seem to cure your bouts of depression/anxiety, even if for a second.

Do you have something that calms you down but others think is weird? If so, comment below. It’d be really interesting for me to find out what others rely on.

Message: don’t be ashamed of the unconventional things that make you feel better. Without them, we’d be emotional wrecks.

If you’re out and about in London this August and are looking for something to do, check out Disney’s Aladdin (before it closes its curtains in London’s West End, at the end of this month).

It’s a great show. I went to see it last year, and it was thrilling. A real, magic carpet ride.

If you’re looking for a whole new world, you’ll find it in the West End.

It’s crystal clear that the show comes to an end this month, so catch it while you can. You by no means have to, but do it regardless because: FOMO’s rhythm’s going to get you!

Aladdin’s the Disney classic everyone needs to see and sing along to… I mean, that’s the reason they turned it into a stage show after all!

If the directors had three wishes, I bet all three would revolve around you going to see it.

Okay, great – I’m off to rub a lamp and write a musical that will begin showing in September. But first, let me sleep for 40 days and 40 nights.

Interested in Aladdin? Good. Read more.

Where is Disney’s Aladdin showing? The Prince Edward Theatre, in London.

What’s the story of Aladdin? Balamory.

It’s ya gal Samatha, coming at you LIVE and direct from her house! How YOU doin’?

I’m doing a quick blog post on the importance of travelling and seeing the world…

For me, I want to pack as many trips and memories into my life as possible, because, eventually, I’ll be too busy starting and maintaining a family to do all of that!

What is it they say? ‘Stamp that passport before the pitter-patter of tiny feet stamps your floor.

It’s also fair to mention the importance of travelling alone. Sometimes, you can even surprisingly find yourself… I plan on doing just that, as daunting as it sounds.

The ability to just get lost in a city, a country or a new surrounding? That’s an aphrodisiac and pure bliss for me.

Obviously, you’d want to do it in a place where there’s a strong 4G or 5G signal, so you can call an Uber to take you back, but… Just explore. Fall in love with the world and yourself all over again.

Note: I’ll be doing a series of posts soon highlighting the best places I’ve visited and pictures of what I’ve seen.

Also, following on from this, any and all trips I go on will be documented.

I’ve visited some places – such as Switzerland and America a few times, so I’ll only do one post for those. I also plan on going many more times, and seeing different parts that they have to offer – which I’ll no doubt post follow-ups.

Travelling is great.

Travelling is a chance for us to open our eyes to new perspectives, new ideas, new information and new heights…

A single trip can change your entire life. If anything, the more of the world we see, and understand of the great divide, the more grateful and thankful we become for the blessing of living in a first world country.

Do yourself a favour and book a trip. Be happy, plan it well (which I’ve never really done previously) and enjoy the much needed time for yourself to recharge your batteries and escape from your reality (albeit for a short space of time). You deserve it.

Disclaimer: you don’t need to go on an extravagant trip (or even across the world) to make it worthwhile… You could just see a different part of your country.

Just, visit new surroundings – or familiar surroundings in a different way. Your mature self will thank you later on.

When you look back on your life, it’d have been fulfilled and full of glorious memories of discovering all that the Earth has to offer. Life is beautiful, and so is our Earth. Earth is life. It’s the only one we have.

Love always!

People keep a diary. I don’t always, because it’s hard to keep up, and frankly, some days, I don’t even feel like writing…

Writing my thoughts, emotions and feelings down becomes a chore that I just won’t do. No matter how much time I have, I just won’t go through with it because the energy it takes for me to put pen to paper just isn’t there.

The thing about writing it down is, it’s there permanently. Sure, you can burn/tear the page, but it was still written.

I don’t want to write emotions and feelings down, because they’ll become all too real. Typing, ironically, is easy. But, writing with pen on paper is difficult – because it’s tangible.

The, I guess – great thing – about the mind is that you can be and do anything with it. So, straight after a negative thought, you can replace it with a good one. But, as soon as we put pen to paper, that negative thought becomes permanent. This might sound really weird, that’s fine. I can live with being weird. I’ve been that way for as long as I’ve lived, and I don’t foresee a change in which I’ll stop being weird anytime soon, which is a shame. Normal seems fun.

Anyway, I’ve been in a good place recently, so I’ve been getting back into keeping a diary… Sort of.

However, the original purpose of this post (before we got deeper than the Great Barrier Reef), was to introduce you to a new type of diary – maybe one you haven’t heard of before, a ‘5-year diary’.

I bought this from a church I used to attend, and I absolutely love the sentiment behind it. For me, it suggests having a long-term goal and keeping tabs on its progress. A five-year plan. We’ve all had our fair share of five year plans, I know I have. None worked out. But, there’s something about writing it down, hiding it away and then looking back on it, that really works. This was something one of my most dearly beloved teachers taught me at school.

Writing down a goal. Folding it up. Putting it in a drawer. Time and date it. Set a time and date to check it. Then, look back at it (if you remember to). You’ll either be closer to the goal or right there, depending on how hard you’ve worked.

Anyway, I have a 5 year diary, and for me, the pages are pretty blank right now.

To be honest, I haven’t really started using it yet – but I will soon. I wanted to start it in a new decade, so I can analyse the things I’ve achieved by mid-decade. Therefore, 2020 will be the year that I officially start writing in it.

What will I write about?

Happy, excited, calm, content and peaceful emotions. As I said above, I don’t ever write down the negative ones, because I, like everyone else, just want to forget them.

I will also be attempting to do one new thing each day – whether that’s make a new friend, a random act of kindness, or pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying a new hobby/skill etc.

If you followed me on Twitter, you’ll know that I decided to start setting myself long/short term goals of things I’d want to achieve each month in the lead up to the New Year. I’ve joint a choir, done a pilgrimage and even started volunteering. All these things really give life more of a meaning. The goal by end of August is to achieve and reach a personal milestone.

What should you take with you from this post, (if you want to take anything at all)?

Try to keep a diary, or even consider setting short/long term goals for yourself that are achievable (in the time frame you give yourself- i.e. a month, a week, a day, a year).

Remember: don’t give up. If you can’t reach it this time around, you’ll definitely be able to next time. Circumstances delay us, but the delays only lead to detours and a sweeter arrival to the destination.