Author: Eileen Willett
I was first introduced to Eileen, co-founder of cooling nightwear label Cucumber, a couple of months ago by Tracey of Fighting Fifty. As someone myself who has suffered from night sweats since I was 19, I know too well how uncomfortable waking up in a pool of sweat is. Unable to find another solution I've always relied on a fan on full blast and wearing very little. So when Tracey told me about a new nightwear label that specialises in pieces that will keep you cool, I was intrigued.
When I met Eileen, and her co-founder Nancy Zeffman, I was instantly impressed by their personal stylishness and their thorough understanding of fabrics. They clearly knew everything there is to know about staying cool and relaxed, so I asked for them to share their top tips with you for this coming festive season - because we all know how stressful it can get!
At this time of the year, and at this time of our lives, the mere thought that it’s ‘only 33 more days until Christmas’ is enough bring on a rash, if the not the actual sweats (more on that later).
Our body’s responses haven’t changed much from the days of our earlier ancestors who needed an excellent stress response to make sure they could fend off animals or enemies. Nowadays that same ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction can be triggered by a holiday season jam packed with gift lists to fill and wrap, cards to write and send, food to be bought and served, not to mention the daily workload, and that’s before trying to squeeze in what is usually a desperately needed blow out and mani before the parties begin…. sound familiar? It certainly does to us and phew, you know it, it’s exhausting!
Once the stress response is triggered, it’s an open door to headaches, hypertension, anxiety and possible intensification of symptoms of existing conditions. Exactly what you don’t need at the busiest time of the year.
Now Cucumber is all about helping busy women get a good night’s sleep and to look good whatever they do. So we decided to come up with a simple five point Cucumber Guide to a Calmer Christmas. We hope it helps!
Deep breathing – whatever you are doing, stop now and take ten really good deep breaths. Expel the air from your lungs fully each time. Repeat several times a day. Deep breathing mimics how your body acts when it is relaxed and gives you an extra boost of oxygen with each breath.
Indulge – step away from your laptop and choose something you’d really like to eat and then really enjoy it. Normally we’d recommend something healthy, a handful of nuts and seeds, but it’s Christmas, so we say a mince pie is just fine. Feeling hungry is a big stress to the brain, so having a good snack and concentrating on it (no checking phone messages while you indulge) can help calm you and increase your sense of well-being.
Turn your phones off or put on silent – so obvious, but we’re afraid, so true. Watching telly or viral videos can sometimes give you a lift, but the constant tether of a phone and its insistent pressure to respond to messages is certain to increase stress. Try and take a few breaks from your smartphone every day, even if it’s only for an 30 minutes at a go.
Take a walk – taking even a short walk can boost your endorphins and get you feeling happier and calmer. Double the benefit by trying to find a green walk amongst trees and plants all of which will help reduce stress hormones.
Sleep – getting a truly restful sleep is key to combatting stress levels and increasing all the good things: immunity, repairing and restoring your body, emotional balance and general well being. Poor sleep is linked with, among many other things, worsening anxiety.
Here are a few tops tips:
Keep sweat away from your body. This can be as basic as throwing off the bed sheets, but we recommend wearing Cucumber’s moisture-wicking nightwear. These won’t stop the hot flushes, but will wick any sweat up and away from the body at speed, killing off any odour-creating bacteria at the same time. No more pools of sweat or soaking sheets. They are wash and wear. Just hang to dry (very quick – thanks to its moisture-wicking properties). No iron, no fuss.
Try and keep your bedroom as cool as possible, about 65C. Turn off all lights and get rid of any electronic buzzing or beeping flashing gadgets
Eat early and keep your evening meal as early and as light as possible. Avoid bedtime snacks as acid reflux, heartburn or general digestion can interfere with and delay sleep.
Relax and try and keep to a regular bedtime routine and try to incorporate a relaxation or meditation practice. This can be as simple as having a soothing bath with delicious sleep inducing oils and a cool compress over the eyes, or a few minutes of quiet chanting or calming yoga stretches. Whatever feels good for you!
Wishing you a calm and happy Christmas!
If you're tempted to try Cucumber, they are kindly offering 10% off first orders with code BIAS10 (valid until 16/12/17). Click here to find out more.
About the Author: Eileen Willet (left) is the co-founder of new British nightwear label Cucumber. After realising how many ladies both she and her co-founder Nancy Zeffman knew who were struggling with interrupted nights and poor sleep, they were determined to help women regain control. After thorough market research they launched Cucumber, with all their designs using intelligent fabric that wicks away sweat and features patented bacteria-eliminating properties.