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As regular readers might know, I’m forever on the hunt for new products to help manage my longstanding anxiety. From therapy to travel, aromatherapy to hypnotherapy, I’ve tried it all – packing my bra with ‘healing crystals’, creating visualisation boards and enjoying ‘cleansing gong baths’ along the way.
Over the last few years, my anxiety has been manageable and has (reluctantly) behaved itself. This is perhaps less to do with the fact that I once spent an entire summer attending yoga retreats – and more the reality that I’ve been stricter with my mental health ‘hygiene’.
Whilst it might sound as though I’ve just been showering more regularly, in reality ‘good brain hygiene’ really just means trying to do three basic things: eat well, exercise regularly and – perhaps most effective of all – get a good night’s sleep.
Now, for anyone currently in the depths of truly life-limiting anxiety, I appreciate that these ‘techniques’ might sound useless – patronising, even. I get it – when it feels as though you’re caught in the eye of a storm, the last thing you need is someone suggesting you enjoy a little nap.
However, from experience, I promise that when it comes to anxiety – it’s often the most basic of things that make the biggest of differences.
This particularly applies to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is anxiety’s worst nightmare: the opportunity for its hijacked brain to regulate its stress hormones and provide an adrenaline-fatigued body with the opportunity to heal. The better you sleep, the calmer your brain – the more resilient your ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system (the system that quietens your ‘flight or fight’ impulse).
Due to this anxiety busting discovery, I now enjoy nothing more than expanding and curating my own small collection of ‘sleep aids’ – each one geared towards making bedtime as tranquil as possible. From my Neom Wellness Pod, to Headspace’s ‘Sleepcasts’, sleep is now something I invest in.
However, and while all of the above have definitely improved the quality of my sleep, it’s been my most recent bedtime investment that’s perhaps carried the most weight (quite literally) when it comes to getting a fantastic night’s sleep.
Welcome, the Mela Weighted Blanket.