A solid 8-hours slumber is still alluding me. Bodyism’s Serenity supplement has made a HUGE difference to my ability to drop off, but it’s the 3am, bolt-upright in bed, wake-up that is proving difficult to shift.
I’ve spoken to a number of docs and sleep specialists about my predicament and the general consensus is that grief-related insomnia is a natural response to your body working through the grieving process. Quite literally, as the grief (stress hormones, chemicals etc) leave your body, it can wake you up. BAM, hello insomnia.
So, in a bid to gently try and coax my body back into some form of regular sleep pattern after almost six months off kilter, I’m gradually working my way through a stack of sleep aids I’ve kindly been sent.
First up this week is the Patch it, reflexology sleep patch.
Knowing how blissful I find reflexology and how effective it has been in the past as a stress-buster and snooze-inducer, I was intrigued by these patches. They’re basically a big dressing that you stick to the sole of your foot.
Inside is a tea bag style pouch filled with relaxing organic oils: lavender, sage, basil, ylang ylang, bergamot and bitter orange. The secret ingredient however is the Mandarin Wood Vinegar. Used commonly in Traditional Chinese Medicine, this magic ingredient emits Far Infrared energy (bear with me here), the sun emits this light spectrum too, it’s just not visible to the human eye. It’s not warming your toes in a ‘heat’ sense, but the energy created is enough to stimulate your reflexology points, then the essential oils do their business. Does that make sense? So, no perceivable ‘heating’ sensation, just nice smelling plasters that you stick on the soles of your feet just before you get into bed.
Did they work? Well, I tried them every night for a week (TIP: I’m a wriggler in bed so had to wear socks to keep me from rubbing them off) after which time I was still waking in the night, but my ability to drop back off was definitely improved.
More extensive studies over prolonged periods have proven that they have reduced the time it takes for users to fall asleep and their quality of sleep has improved, too.
They’re not cheap (£29.99 for a 10 day supply) but the idea is that you use them for between 10-21 consecutive nights to re-set your sleeping pattern.
They’re available at Holland & Barrett and on the Patch It website.