How to Create Your Own At Home Spa for the Ultimate Relaxation

Written by at Porch.com

We all need a bit of me-time to relax, unwind, and enjoy a little pampering. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to get the amazing experiences of a spa if you create your own at home. With a few simple tweaks and tips, you can enjoy your very own at home spa for the perfect way to practice a little bit of self-care. We’ve put together an awesome list of ideas to help you relax and create a DIY spa that’ll have you feeling calm and serene.

Set the mood in order to create your very own spa at home, you’ll need to set the mood. From finding the perfect spa space to supplies and lighting, here are some tips to get you started on your journey to total relaxation.

Set up Your Space

Start by choosing where you want your at-home spa to be. It can be your master bathroom or just a spare room where you can spend time in peace and quiet. A room with a view is another great option to help you get some sunshine and enjoy a little bit of nature as you unwind.

  • Once you’ve chosen your space, use some relaxing products like essential oils, a bottle of bubble bath, fresh flower fragrance pillows, or a vase filled with a bouquet of fresh flowers.
  • Choose scents that have a calming effect such as lavender, eucalyptus, and chamomile. Put them in an essential oil diffuser to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy at home.

Gather Supplies

  • A cup of hot tea is a great way to help you relax. Gather some of your favorite teas, a cute kettle, and your favorite mug so you can sip your cares away.
  • Look for ingredients to make your own DIY mask. A facial mask can soothe your skin and help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Organize all of your favorite spa goodies in a cute basket and keep them in your special space. This will make it easy for you to find everything you need so you can start relaxing right away.

Adjust the Lighting

  • Bright light might not make you feel as relaxed as you could be, so dim the lights in the room for a soothing ambiance.
  • Bring in some candles and turn off the overhead lights so you can bask in the candle’s illuminating glow.
  • Light a scented candle before you hop in the shower or tub. This simple act will make daily bathing more relaxing, even when you don’t have time for a full spa day.

Create a Playlist

  • Music has an incredible ability to calm the nerves, so make a custom playlist featuring some of your favorite songs to help you chill.
  • You can find spa music that’s specially made to help you feel calm and tranquil. Use this music as you relax and listen your cares away.
  • Add a Bluetooth speaker to your spa room so you can change tracks from your smartphone and won’t need to get up and walk over to the stereo.

Dress for the Occasion

  • Find a fabulous robe that you can wear in your at-home spa. Silk robes are super-soft, lightweight, and perfect for recreating an authentic spa experience.
  • Wear a comfy pair of slippers you can put on and take off whenever you want to keep your feet cushioned and your mood elevated.
  • Invest in a quality pair of pajamas. A two-piece set with a top and bottoms is a great choice, or you can buy a nightgown so you can go from your spa right to bed.

DIY Spa Treatments

If you really want to feel relaxed, make sure you’re giving your hair and face the treatment they deserve. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on high-end luxury products to get the same experience. There’s a ton of options for DIY spa treatment available that you can use to create the perfect hair and face masks at home. Look for recipes and suggestions that you can do yourself to make custom spa treatments using safe, natural ingredients. A body scrub is also a great way to relax. This treatment sloughs off dry skin and leaves you feeling smooth, soft, and moisturized. Just remember to apply a moisturizing lotion after using a body scrub for the best results. Avoid applying body scrubs to damaged skin, or skin that’s extremely dry.

Spa Products to Add that Special Touch

After you’ve chosen a space, picked out some music, and planned your day, there are a few other things you can add to ensure that your spa is as tranquil as can be:

  • Neck Pillow: Use a neck pillow to help you relax. You can choose a bath neck pillow that supports your head in the bath, or try a soft, supportive scented pillow to cradle your neck while you lay back and relax.
  • Gel Eye Mask: Soothe those dark undereye circles with a cooling gel eye mask. These masks can reduce puffiness and help you feel calm.
  • Jade Roller: A jade roller is a great product that can relax your facial muscles. Use this handy roller after you’ve rinsed all facial products from your skin. These handy beauty tools are inexpensive, and they can help reduce facial puffiness while promoting feelings of calm.
  • Bath Salts: To give your bath some extra benefits, look for bath salts in soothing scents. This product is great for relaxing while it softens the skin and emits a gentle, calming fragrance.
  • Facial Headbands: A headband will keep your hair out of your face when applying masks or bathing. Choose a headband made of soft material like a terry cloth or microfiber.
  • Spa Slippers: Find a pair of soft, cushy slippers you can wear around the house. This footwear is a perfect way to protect your feet while keeping them comfy and warm.
  • Massagers: A foot massager is a perfect addition to your spa. This gadget will relax your feet and calves as you sit back and relax. You can also find massages for your neck and back to remove pesky knots and relax tense muscles.
  • Essential Oil Diffuser: Once you’ve chosen some essential oils, use an oil diffuser to emit the soothing scents throughout your space. Try to diffuse just one oil at a time, or you can combine a few different oils within the same fragrance group.
  • Candles / Incense Sticks: Scented candles and incense sticks are both great ways to create a soothing ambiance and enjoy a gentle fragrance in your home spa. Find an incense holder that will catch the “soot” from your incense and protect your counters. Some scent suggestions include patchouli, ylang-ylang, rosemary, and jasmine.

Include Your Family

Relaxing in your spa alone is great, but you can also enjoy a special spa day with the entire family. Here are some suggestions you can use to provide your family with the ultimate at-home spa experience:

  • Make some delicious smoothies full of fruit, greens, and other goodies that are healthy and delicious.
  • Buy your kids a comfy bathrobe and slippers they can wear on their special spa day.
  • Look for fun bath accessories for kids like colorful bubble bath and bath toys to make the day special.
  • Listen to relaxing music and teach your kids about breathing techniques and meditation.
  • Spend some time together as a family after your spa day by finishing with your kid’s favorite movie or a special dinner.

Make it Romantic

You can enjoy a romantic getaway right in your own home with a couple’s spa day. Take a day off from work and invite your other half to join you. To create a romantic spa day, try some of these suggestions:

  • If the tub is big enough, enjoy taking a nice long bubble bath together and play some romantic tunes by candlelight.
  • Choose romantic scents for your spa day including rose or vanilla to help set the mood.
  • Buy your partner a matching bathrobe so you can both wear comfy clothing after you soak in the tub or take a relaxing shower.
  • Enjoy a few snacks together, like chocolate-covered strawberries, whipped cream, or a fresh fruit tray.
  • If you’re experienced at massage, offer to give your partner a nice, long rubdown.
  • Disconnect from the outside world and turn off your smartphone and the TV. This is the time to reconnect and enjoy some peace and quiet as you both relax and decompress.

Now that you have everything you need for a relaxing DIY spa day in the comfort of your own home, it’s time to get started. We hope you’re able to fully relax, chill, and enjoy your at-home spa day using these tips and ideas. From essential oils to DIY masks and scrubs, it’s easy to experience the same relaxing effects of an expensive spa right in your own home for the ultimate spa day anytime.

Having a Therapeutic Spa Day at Home

Having a Therapeutic Spa Day at Home

IMAGE: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1540555700478-4be289fbecef

CREDIT: Camille Brodard via Unsplash [No changes made to the image.]

Being able to have a spa day even at home can do you wonders. Not only will you get to relax, but you’ll also get the many benefits that come with going to the spa. The Wellness Magazine article ‘All the Reasons to Go to the Spa’ notes how a spa trip at least two hours a week is one of the fundamental aspects of a healthy lifestyle, along with eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting good sleep. That’s because it can, among other things, help rejuvenate your body and relieve your stress. Now, you can always go out to get some relaxing spa treatments, but you don’t necessarily have to do it every time you want one, as you can actually bring the spa to your home. With that being said, here are some easy do-it-yourself spa ideas:

The Candle-Lit Bath

Spending time in the bath tub is a great way to unwind, and you can set the stage better with a simple trick. Glamour senior beauty editor Lindsay Schallon recommends lighting a candle before bath time, then taking a few deep breaths in front of it. You can enter the tub afterwards, and just take your time there. Just make sure you choose a candle with a “personality” that gives you joy, like a lavender-scented candle or a smokeless votive candle. Make sure, too, that you slow down and take as much time as possible — as if keeping pace with the slow-burning candle. You can even level up this experience by getting your own spa accessories from Warm Buddy, like anti-stress oils that you can use in your humidifier, or our stress-reducing bath salts. Then, what better way to finish off this relaxing bath than by wrapping yourself in a Warm Buddy ultra spa robe.

The Massage

Massages are popular spa treatments, and London-based holistic skin specialist Alexandra Soveral suggests you do it at home via self-massage. The face, according to Soveral, harbors emotional and physical stress, so you’ll need to massage it from time to time, preferably with the aid of oil that you can wash off afterwards. To do this self-massage, just make circular motions upward and outward towards the extremities of your face, then downward until your reach the neck. Make sure, though, that you apply moderate to vigorous pressure for this self-massage to be effective and release toxins from your face. You can self-massage your feet and hands, too, adding a gentle scrub for more relaxation and stress relief.

The Skincare Spa

Skincare rejuvenates the skin and aids in stress reduction, and Marie Claire writer Gina way explains how skincare can be turned into a routine — one that can provide a sense of control and solace. A good routine is to first give your skin a thorough cleaning using a water-based cleanser and exfoliator and then applying toner and some essence. You can finish with a facial mask that you can infuse with some chia seeds. Pretty Me writer Sheena Dizon details how chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help prevent the production of cell-damaging free radicals that can cause signs of aging. To make this chia-infused face mask, mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and a teaspoon each of honey and olive oil. Strain, apply to your face for 20–30 minutes, then rinse off.

The Warm Buddy Time

Having a spa day is all about relaxing and getting comfortable, and you can do that by simply retreating to your place of solace or comfort — be it your room, the garden, or your favorite couch — and then covering yourself with a Warm Buddy Weighted Warming Blanket. This state-of-the-art heat therapy wrap not only helps you relax, but also promotes the healing of damaged muscles and even relieve and block pain. That means you’re relaxing and rejuvenating your body at the same time, which is what spa days should be all about.

Written specially by Lara Croft for warmbuddy.com

Warm Buddy Products Help Relieve Pain and Stress

Heated Blankets as a Sleep Aid for Children with ASD

Heated Blankets as a Sleep Aid for Children with ASD

About 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With a wide variety of complex treatments available it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But, helping your child cope with one of the most common difficulties parents can face (bedtime) – could be simpler than you think. Here’s a look at 6 reasons why a heated warming blanket can help children with ASD sleep.

It’s Nature’s Original Therapy

Heat has long been used for a wide range of healing therapies. It’s often used to ease tension and reduce muscle pain. Applying heat can also prevent stiffness and spasms. Children with ASD can have episodes of anxiety and tension that can greatly benefit from the use of heat. In addition, using heat therapeutically can promote blood flow which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that are carried throughout the body. This instigates a number of healing benefits while lowering the risk of many health complications.

 

Avoid the Shocking Cold

Difficulty adjusting to changes is a common issue for children with ASD. This can include getting into an uncomfortably cold bed. Many children rely on a standard schedule that does not change. Not only can the jolt of a cold bed influence behavior issues, but it can also keep children awake, prolonging bedtime and interfering with their routine. Preparing a high-quality heated blanket about 10 minutes before bedtime can avoid these challenges and make sure there’s a comfy and relaxing bed to climb into it each night.

 

Relieve Symptoms

Researchers at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Center for Autism and the Developing Brains explored characteristics of children with ASD and reported improvements in multiple behavioral domains of children who experienced a fever. Areas affected included cognition, communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors suggesting an increase in body temperature can improve general behavior.

 

Produce a Calming Effect

Experts speak of the significant calming effects heat has on a person. Easing stress and anxiety by warming the body temperature is a therapeutic practice that can be traced back thousands of years in ancient Greek and Egyptian history. Modern research now knows applied heat can lower stressful cortisol levels as wells norepinephrine levels which can cause anxious feelings. Using a heated blanket can result in the relaxation of the autonomic nervous system without the side effects that come with prescribed options.

 

Tell the Body When to Sleep

Children with ASD are more prone to sleep difficulties compared to typically developing children. Your internal clock is run by something called the circadian rhythm. It lets your body know when it’s time to wake up when it’s time to go to sleep. The circadian rhythm is influenced by many things including temperature. Research suggests it may even be more sensitive in children with ASD. By using a heated blanket, you can ensure your child is kept comfortably and consistently warm.

 

Provide the Sense of Company

For the vast majority of human history, mothers have been co-sleeping with their children. While fewer families choose not to co-sleep today for numerous reasons, the comforting practice our ancestors engaged has left an innate tendency to find the warmth of another comforting while we sleep. Being surrounded by consistent warmth while sleeping can mimic the feeling a child has when co-sleeping and provide an increased sense of company and safety.

 

Another Option to Consider

In addition to heated blankets, a weighted blanket is another great option to assist sleep. Occupational therapists have been using the calming benefits of weighted blankets for decades. Reports from surveys consistently describe them as a significant way to ease anxiety and sleeplessness. Among those surveys, autism ranked number one in disorders a weighted blanket can help with. This deep-touch therapy tool is so successful at helping children with ASD. Autism Parenting Magazine named weighted blankets as the second item on their ‘Top 10 Things My child with Autism Needs’ list.

Many families of children with autism face an overwhelming amount of treatment options. Some wish to supplement their plans to target specific issues, one of which may be sleeping difficulties. Using a heated or weighted blanket, especially together, at bedtime can be a great way to help give your child a more reliable and restoring night of sleep.

 

Written by Alexis Schaffer

Alexis Schaffer is a writer in the natural health space. If you enjoyed this article, you can read more of her content by checking out this page

All Heat Therapy Products are NOT The Same

The Ultimate Moist Heat Therapy: Warm Buddy!

Ultra Shoulder Wrap

Ultra Shoulder Wrap

Most people are familiar with Hot / Cold therapy for pain and muscle aches, but not all heat packs are created equal. There are two categories of heat: Moist Heat and Dry Heat.

Warm Buddy’s Moist Heat Therapy Products are the Ultimate in healing aches and pains.

Moist heat can penetrate to the source of your pain deep inside the muscle tissue faster than a dry heat. This promotes blood circulation and brings much needed oxygen and take away waste to heal damaged tissues resulting in more effective and faster in pain relief.

Using moist heat therapy is much better for your skin compared to dry heat. Dry heat will remove moisture from the skin and dry it out. Moist heat will not only prevent dry skin but also increase skin elasticity.

Electric plug in heating pads are sources of dry heat. They may provide short term relief but the pain will come back from deep inside the muscle tissues.

Many other microwavable heat packs out in the market today are also dry sources of heat. Packs made with synthetic materials, plastic beads, gel packs, and flax/wheat fillings will create dry heat and may get too hot for the skin. Drying these products out causes diminished heat holding and may become flammable. Although some grain filled heat packs may give off moist heat when new, they will dry out in short amount of time.

Heat Packs filled with milled rice are an excellent source of moist heat. We’ve all been told when an electronic device gets wet by accident, to put it in a bucket of rice. This is because rice is a great absorber of moisture. Warm Buddy Heat Therapy Products are filled with rice so they will not dry out over time, even with repeated use. Moisture is released from the heat pack and will re-absorb moisture from the air. Warm Buddy Heat Therapy Products will continuously provide moist heat for your relaxation, comfort, and pain relief.

Heat Therapy and Essential Oils for Pain Relief

Toothache and Sensitivity During Winter

In most cases, tooth pain is caused by a cavity or an exposed root, but believe it or not, cold weather can also trigger sensitivity and pain, and even worsen the symptoms of pre-existing dental problems. Furthermore, 1 in 8 adults may have tooth sensitivity to cold, which only intensifies during the colder months. And while this may be a good reason to visit the dentist, there are a few natural options that can lessen the pain, which you can try at home.

Warmth reduces pain

Placing heat-emitting pads on the sensitive area can lessen the pain, as it warms up the surface and increases blood flow. It also helps the muscles – in this case, the face muscles – relax, which in turn also increases blood flow in the gums. Placing a warm pad on the cheek automatically causes the inside of the mouth to warm up without actually affecting the tooth enamel with any liquid or other substance. Needless to say, it is a non-invasive and effective way to reduce pain. 

Peppermint and its numbing property 

If one is experiencing tooth pain due to a combination of cold sensitivity and a cavity, the smartest step would be to visit the dentist. However, in case you’re on the waiting list and need something to numb your pain, peppermint oil will do the trick. The two active ingredients in peppermint are menthol and methyl salicylate, which have an antispasmodic and numbing effect. In case of a toothache, a very small amount of it (1 drop) should be rubbed on the gums – not the tooth itself – to relieve tension and pain. The effects are practically immediate and long-lasting. Because it’s a natural substance, it can be reapplied a few times a day, and it won’t interact with other numbing agents your dentist may apply later on during your appointment.

Aloe vera gel to strengthen enamel 

If you’re still experiencing discomfort due to cold after all your cavities have been treated, try applying an enamel strengthening substance. It’s always best to start with something natural like aloe vera gel, which creates a protective layer and helps the enamel regenerate. In case you find that it’s not as effective as you’d hoped it would be, ask your dentist for other enamel-strengthening treatments.

Taking care of your teeth is important, so make sure you do everything you can this winter to keep them healthy. Don’t postpone your yearly visit to the dentist’s – it’ll worth your time and effort in the long run.

Christmas Shipping Deadline Dates

How To Choose Essential Oils for A Better Sleep

How To Choose Essential Oils for A Better Sleep


Anyone who has spent a sleepless night knows the toll that it can take on both the mind and the body. Regular, uninterrupted sleep is a critical component of good health. Unfortunately, though, around 1 in three individuals experience mild to severe forms of insomnia. Many people try sleeping pills, but these can lead to a toxic dependency that ends up causing more harm than good. Instead, it’s best to turn to natural methods when you’re having trouble drifting off.

Aromatherapy has long been used as a way to help relax the mind and body, inducing a peaceful, sleepy state. Today, many people still turn to essential oils to help themselves sleep, either diffusing them, using them as a topical ointment, bathing with them, or sprinkling the scent onto pillows. There are several essential oils commonly found on the holistic market that are thought to have calming properties.

Lavender

Many of us have heard from our mother or grandmother that Lavender helps to soothe the soul, but this is more than just a pass-me-down home remedy. Studies have shown that lavender can act as a mild sedative, inducing sleep and stabilizing mood. You can add two drops of lavender into a pillow or use an oil extract to help calm yourself before bedtime.

Ylang Ylang

Translated as “flower of flowers,” this plant is used in traditional medicine to help alleviate stress and anxiety and restore a sense of peace at the end of the day. It comes from the flowers of the Cananga tree, a species native to Indonesia, and it’s known for its sweet yet fruity scent. Ylang ylang oil may irritate the skin, but for most people, it’s fine in aerosolized form.

Roman Chamomile

As the name suggests, chamomile was used extensively in the Roman era as a medicinal herb. It’s known as a natural sedative, and chamomile tea is often brewed for sick of colicky children to help with sleep. In addition to tea, chamomile can also be vaporized or dried and used in potpourri.

Essential oils offer a safe and natural way to help induce sleep in people who suffer from insomnia. Herbs and flowers can help to calm our minds and bodies through smell alone, leaving us feeling calmer and more at peace. If you’re having difficulty sleeping through the night, you may want to consider adding essential oils to your bedtime ritual to help yourself relax.

Top 5 Reasons to Try a Weighted Blanket

Top 5 reasons to try a weighted blanket or weighted lap pad

 

What is a weighted blanket?

It is a heavy blanket filled with pellets that help distribute weight evenly across the body to promote relaxation.

Weighted blankets have long been used in the occupational therapy field as an aid for children on the autism spectrum and those suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADHD) or sensory issues. Similar to cuddling, hugging or squeezing, the blankets or pads provide deep pressure therapy that helps to calm the body and reduce the physical effects of stress, such as a raised heart rate and high blood pressure.

 

Top 5 reasons to try a weighted blanket

1/ Stress and anxiety

Stress manifests in the physical body in ways such as raised heart rate, short, shallow breathing and increased blood pressure. The deep pressure touch provided by weighted blankets can help reduce stress and anxiety by lowering the physiological indicators of stress. It also promotes the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate certain brain functions such as mood regulation, sleep, and memory. This helps the body to naturally switch from the parasympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) to the sympathetic nervous system (“rest and recover”).

2/ Insomnia

The positive calming effects of weighted blankets can also have a positive impact on sleep time and behaviour, allowing you to sleep longer and deeper.

3/ A complementary tool for many psychological, physiological and neurological conditions

It is not surprising then, that the calming effect of weighted blankets can be beneficial to people suffering from a wide range of conditions such as restless leg syndrome, depression, bi-polar, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), sensory processing disorder, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, neurological problems and even menopause.

4/ Chronic pain

Acute pain is usually a signal to the brain that an injury has occurred. Chronic pain is different, as it can last for months or even years after an injury occurred, often completely independent of the original injury or medical condition that started it. Chronic pain can lead to anxiety, irritability, poor sleep and depression. The deep pressure therapy provided by weighted blankets can be beneficial to those suffering from chronic pain by reducing stress and helping them sleep.

5/ Tool for self-regulation

Children who experience sensory overstimulation experience very real physiological symptoms. Weighted blankets can be used as a tool to promote regulation, calming and re-focusing. Children can easily use a weighted blanket to drape around their shoulders or their legs when seated, or covering their bodies when lying down. It can lower stress and provide a coping strategy for times when they feel anxious.

 

How much weight do I need?

For adults, it is recommended to use a blanket that weighs about 10% of their body weight. It is a matter of personal preference, though, and probably a good idea to try a couple before settling on the one you want.

It is not recommended to let children use weighted blankets unsupervised under the age of 6. Even then, children should be able to remove the blanket independently.

If you have a medical condition, it is recommended to consult a doctor or occupational therapist before using a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are a complementary tool and should not replace medication and appropriate medical supervision.

 

What is a weighted lap pad?

A weighted lap pad is a sensory tool that applies deep pressure touch to the legs while seated. It functions much like a weighted blanket, but is smaller in size. The weighted lap pad is often used for its calming, grounding effect that allows the user to focus for longer.

 

Top 5 reasons to try a weighted lap pad

1/ Focus

The weighted lap pad applies deep pressure touch to a person’s legs, providing a calming, grounding effect and can help with focussing for longer. Many people claim that it helps them when studying, writing or working.

2/ Affordability

Weighted blankets can be expensive and weighted lap pads provide a more affordable option.

3/ Easier Washing

Lap pads are usually easier to clean due to their smaller size. Many weighted lap pads will have removable covers that are machine washable.

4/ More Discreet

Their smaller size also means weighted lap pads are a more discreet and comfortable option for the workplace. It is also easier to take it with you to work or school.

5/ Meditation tool

The calming, grounding effect of the weighted blanket can also be used as a meditation tool. Whether you meditate sitting in a chair, on the floor, or lying down, the weight of the lap pad can help you focus on the here and now.

Things to consider when choosing a weighted blanket or lap pad

Fabric – The fabric should be soothing but not overly distracting. A soft, plush fabric is usually a good choice.

Washing – Is it easy to wash? Some weighted blankets have removable weights to make the cover machine washable. Some are washable with the weights still inside but you should check that it is not too heavy to be washed in your washing machine. Weighted lap pads will often have removable, machine washable covers.

The Warm Buddy Warming Blanket

The Warming Blanket is 15″ x 19″ in size and weighs 4.5 lb. It can be used as a weighted lap pad when seated, or on the torso while lying down. You can also drape the Warming Blanket over you hips, lower back or any area of your body where you are experiencing aches and pains. It applies deep pressure touch to the body, helping to reduce the physiological indicators of stress.

The Warming Blanket can also be heated in the microwave for the added benefit of heat therapy, helping to reduce aches and pains and improve sleep. You could also add a few drops of essential oil to the heat pack after heating.

All Warm Buddy heat therapy products have undergone extensive testing and are recognised and sold as a Class 1 Medical Product.

The cover is made from a luxurious, soft fabric and is machine washable.

The Warm Buddy Warming Blanket is proudly made in Canada.

Sweet Dreams: 7 Reasons Why Sleep Is Good For You

A recent study revealed that one in three Canadians is sleep-deprived. Given the known links between quality of sleep and mental and physical health, this is a very worrying statistic that needs to be addressed. Raising an awareness of the importance of sleep is vital, together with ways in which you can regularly sleep well. Scented heat wraps are very effective at promoting sleep, for example. Keeping electronic devices and other forms of stimulation out of our sight at bedtime is also crucial. 

Benefits of sleep to our health

Finding ways of getting to sleep seem tricky. However, heat therapy can be very helpful in this respect. Heat increases oxygen flow around the body, easing any aches and pains whilst also helping you calm your mind and ‘switch off’. Simply place a heat wrap on any areas of tension and relax into it.

To be well rested, we need to go through two stages of sleep: ‘quiet’ sleep, during which we gradually enter deeper and deeper levels of sleep, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM), which is when we dream. These stages all play a huge role in our physical and emotional health:

1. Sleep improves our mood

Sleep quality suppresses activity in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotions. By doing so, we are less likely to wake up feeling agitated or depressed, but rather refreshed and positive about the day ahead. One way of helping your mind to relax is to put all electronic devices away and allow yourself to enjoy the comfort of your bed. In this way, it is important to ensure that you have a supportive, high-quality mattress. There are various types of materials and sleep-inducing cushioning to choose from and it is worth putting the time into doing so.

2. Sleep makes you strong

It may be surprising to know that during sleep, your muscles are growing. While you sleep, your body repairs all the tissues in your body, including muscles. It creates more of the growth hormones testosterone and melatonin, resulting in stronger muscles. Adequate sleep is therefore particularly important for bodybuilders; you can’t just rely on the gym and diet.

3. Sleep helps keep weight down

Studies show that you are 55-89% likely to gain weight if sleep-deprived, depending on your age. Sleep deprivation disrupts the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin, resulting in higher consumption of calories. It is also the case that tiredness results in people reaching out for a quick sugar-fix, which means more calories.

4. Sleep improves our memory

Research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep. This is when our brains process short-term memories and convert them into long-term ones. This includes learning new skills: sleep helps us to retain new information. A lack of sleep does not allow enough time for this process to happen, resulting in a hazy head and forgetfulness.

5. Sleep makes you more creative

Recent research has revealed how the brain reorganizes memories during the consolidation process. This can often boost creative in people – thanks no doubt in part to feeling refreshed and energised.

6. Sleep strengthens your immune system

The fourth and final stage of ‘quiet’ sleep is the most crucial for ensuring you feel energised when you wake. Your muscles are at their most relaxed and your breathing and heart rate slow right down. These physiological changes strengthen your immune system, putting you at less risk of illness and burnout.                       

7. Sleep improves your reaction times

This is quite straightforward really. If you have not slept enough, you are likely to feel lethargic when you wake. This means you will be slower to react to sudden movements or noises. Being well rested therefore makes you safer, particularly in potentially dangerous situations like driving.

Make time for sleep each night. It is as important an activity in your daily life as what you eat and drink and the amount of exercise you do. The role it plays in your emotional and physical health is crucial.