Ashley & Co lifestyle range review

This New Zealand designer scent company has just launched their range of soaps, hand & body lotions, hand creams, diffusers plus scented candles into the UK at Selfridges.

Eco-conscious, the brand stays as natural – but inventive – as possible when it comes to the ingredients they use to scent their wares. Think Costa Rican tuberose, mandarin peel, wild jasmine and fig leaves – all designed to transport you to some kind of paradise in your mind.

With fragrance names like ‘Parakeets and Pearls’ and ‘Bubbles and Polkadots’ there’s a playful, almost mysterious feel to the brand, too. But what’s no mystery is the quality and delicious long-lasting perfume all the products deliver that lingers on the body or in the air for ages.

I particularly like the handwashes, delicately and cleanly fragranced and definitely not drying. They’re £24, but you can also get your hands on bars of soap for £9.

And the scented candles – which they don’t call scented candles but rather ‘Waxed Perfumes’ by the way – are divine. Blocks of 100% natural wax and with an unbleached cotton wick, it’s all about the aroma.

You can buy the Ashley & Co range, from Selfridges.com

Poor sleep is linked to loneliness

There are sad connections between feeling lonely and getting poor sleep.

Both are linked to health problems such as cardiovascular disease and stress, for starters. But it also seems that one (loneliness or lack of sleep) can lead to the other.

Previous research has found that feeling lonely can cause people to have fragmented sleep – but new research now points to the fact that poor sleep can also result in becoming lonely. Vicious circle.

A new study, from the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that people who are sleep deprived tend to want to avoid social contact.

When played a video of someone with a neutral expression approaching them, poor sleepers were found to have increased activity in areas of the brain which is activated when it perceives potential incoming human threats. And – conversely – the area of the brain that encourages social interaction was shut down.

In an even deeper twist, the research discovered that people who were sleep deprived were seen as less socially attractive to other people. All of which could of course make matters a whole lot worse.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, or suffer from insomnia, my book – 222 Ways To Trick Yourself to Sleep – has plenty of scientifically supported tips that might help you nod off easier and get that all-important shut-eye for optimum health. You can order it here from Amazon or here from Waterstones

pictures courtesy of pixabay

Why losing sleep is a real pain…

Everything somehow feels worse after a poor night’s sleep…including our aches and pains.

New research by sleep experts Adam Krause and Matthew Walker from the University of California, Berkeley, has shown that the amplified pain we might feel after a restless night isn’t just all in our minds – but that lack of sleep can actually affect the brain’s pain management centres.

In an experiment, they tested the ‘ouch’ tolerance of a group of volunteers – once after the group had a good night’s sleep and once after they’d stayed up all night.

The result? Their sensitivity to pain increased markedly after the sleepless night.

What’s more, brain imaging showed a rise in activity in regions of the brain linked to pain sensitivity and less activity in regions linked to managing and relieving pain.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, or suffer from insomnia, my book – 222 Ways To Trick Yourself to Sleep – has plenty of scientifically supported tips that might help you nod off easier and get that all-important shut-eye for optimum health. You can order it here from Amazon or here from Waterstones

Breathe yourself to sleep

By Kim Jones

I recently wrote an article for The Daily Mirror about how changing the way you breathe can help all sorts of ailments – plus help you sleep! Here’s a link to the full feature, below:

https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/how-you-can-fall-asleep-13858161

One of the breathing techniques I looked at was the “4-7-8” technique, taught by Dr Andrew Weil from the University of Arizona. He describes it as “a natural tranquiliser for the nervous system” and suggests it will help you to nod off in minutes.

Here’s how to do it: Keeping the tip of your tongue on the ridge of tissue just above your upper front teeth, first exhale forcefully through your mouth making a “whoosh” sound.

Then close your mouth and inhale through the nose for a count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven, then exhale through the mouth (making the “whoosh” sound) for a count of eight.

Repeat the cycle no more than four times and you should be ready to drift off to dreamland.

My book 222 Ways to Trick Yourself to Sleep has lots of different breathing techniques in it which can help you nod off. You can pre-order it from various places including Amazon and Waterstones 

photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Hello and welcome to my website

Thanks for joining me! 

I’m a health and lifestyle journalist with over 25 years experience of writing for national newspapers and women’s magazines. You can browse through some of my work  – for publications including The Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Sunday Express Magazine, Tesco magazine, Woman and Home, Woman, Woman’s Weekly and more – in the sections in the menu on the home page (Health & Wellbeing Articles; Diet & Fitness Articles; Lifestyle Articles & Interviews). 

You can also follow the exciting progress of my book ‘222 Ways to Trick Yourself to Sleep’ published by Piatkus in March 2019 and available for pre-order from Amazon and Waterstones and all good book shops.

So far, as well as being available in the UK of course, it’s also sold to France, The Netherlands, Finland, Poland and Slovenia! 

 

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I’ll also be blogging about all things sleep – and any other interesting things I come across in the course of my work. So please do follow me and I also love comments too, so drop me a line.

Thanks so much!