Any excuse for an early night

At The Ethical Silk Company, it’s an understatement to say we are obsessed with sleep.  By that we don’t mean being lazy and unproductive, but rather giving yourself the time and preparation for a quality sleep that that will allow you to be energized, focused and prepared for the day ahead.  As Arianna Huffington says in her book The Sleep Revolution “sleep gives us a chance to refocus on the essence of who we are.  And in that place of connection, it is easier for the fears and concerns of the world to drop away”

We cannot underestimate the importance of sleep. Anyone who has experienced sleep deprivation (hello all new parents everywhere!) will know how it affects all aspects of day-to-day life; your emotions are all over the place, your memory is shot, you have difficulty making decisions, and let’s face it, you look wrecked. 

We have enjoyed such a beautiful golden autumn, so it’s a bit of a shock to the system when the evenings get shorter, daytime light levels start to decline, and temperatures start to drop quickly. With the transition from autumn to winter, many men and women start to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.  Symptoms associated with SAD include a loss of concentration, cravings for stodgy food, a lack of energy and motivation, changes in sleep patterns, and excessive sleepiness and lethargy. 

But SAD can be treated, and improving your sleep quality is just one step to helping you overcome your low feelings and embracing the winter months. Here are some tips to help you on your way:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings; sad feelings are temporary and seasonal and being aware of your emotions and feelings will give you the power to make simple changes to your day.
  2. Get outside and walk, run, move, anything to maximize your exposure to natural daylight (while it’s still here!).  If you lack the motivation to get outdoors, promise yourself a little treat as an incentive.  You’ll feel better for it.
  3. Set regular sleeping and waking times and stick to it – this includes weekends!  Keeping your sleeping and waking rhythms constant will help improve overall energy levels.
  4. Prepare for sleep.  Take time to relax before bedtime, turn off the TV, have a herbal tea (no caffeine), put away all your digital devices and concentrate on yourself and good sleep habits
  5. Make sure your home sleeping environment is clean and season appropriate.  Ban electrical devices from the bedroom, keep it well-ventilated, and treat yourself to some good quality bedding.  Our fairtrade, 100% natural silk pillowcases are luxuriously soft and also have thermo-regulating properties, keeping you cool in warm weather, and cosy when the temperatures drop.

We hope you can incorporate these sleeping tips simply into your day to improve sleep quality and help combat the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder at this time of year.  But please consult your G.P. or health professional if your symptoms become more severe.