wake up with determination and go to bed with satisfaction

wake up with determination and go to bed with satisfaction

best dreams

My! That is a motivational statement if ever I found one!


I am a horrible person in the morning. I do not enjoy getting out of bed, I do not enjoy communicating with people before midday, I treat the snooze function on my alarm like a nasty mosquito that I occasionally swat at and then proceed to ignore from under the covers. I also look like some sort of cave-dwelling monster, my hair takes on the style of Russell Brand and my face is usually creased with sheet lines and streaked with mascara. Hoping to get past the morning as soon as possible, I shuffle about, misplace everything and finally have to throw myself out of the front door hoping not to be late.

I decided that mornings could do with a hand. I think we’re all aware at the moment that there’s a serious lack of sunshine and the weather forecast last night, and the hail shower at 3am, have further confirmed that this isn’t about to change any time soon. Recently I’ve been thinking more about my skin and what I can do to keep it perky and to give myself more energy. I have been reading about the benefits of supplements for a while and particularly Vitamin D. I’m not a believer in taking vitamins for vitamin sake and I’ll take Vitamin C in the depth of winter when faced with the prospect of further bouts of bronchitis or flu. I think our body takes most of what it needs from our diets and that it pushes us in directions of things we need. I consume huge quantities of carrot and orange juice and blueberries and avocadoes, all full of vitamins, and I think that to a point, supplements are excreted out of the body if not needed and that’s a pretty silly way to waste money. Sometimes, though, we need a helping hand and especially when you can’t remember what the sunshine looks like.

In terms of reading about skincare and all things face related, I worship at the altar of Caroline Hirons and when she advises looking at supplements to aid your skin and your health, I scribble it all down on a pad. Caroline waxes lyrical about Vitamin D and I listened. Vitamin D is a mega vitamin, some vitamins are one-trick ponies but wow, Vitamin D does a huge amount of amazing things. It’s also not always readily available (lurking behind clouds and such) so it’s ok to cheat and take it in tablet form. This is what Caroline says on the subject:

I love a bit of vitamin D.  I rant to anyone who will listen about all number of
supplements – but vit D has been my obsession for a while.  So below is a rant,
I’m not your GP – this is food for thought – not a prescription

As much as too much sun can be bad for you – really bad for you
– so too, can too little sun.  In the northern hemisphere where most
people living modern life spend a larger proportion of their time indoors and
with most of their skin surface covered by clothing or sunscreen when outdoors,
there is a growing deficiency in vitamin D.  Vit D needs to be present for the
intestines to absorb dietary calcium – so much so in cases where children have
been sheltered and covered up since birth, this has lead to an increase in
non-nutrition related rickets in Australia.

Vitamin D is actually in
its truest form, a hormone – and is essential for our well-being, yet the use of
sunscreens prevents the development of Vit D in the body.  Vitamin D also
degrades as quickly as it generates – giving another stumbling block to
retaining it in our system.

 Please see below the many varied perks of Vitamin D and then go and find some sunshine or your nearest Boots….:

  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of the flu and complications of flu. So much so that the Canadian Health bods are looking at using this to fight swine flu.
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of depression. Everyone feels much sparkier when the sun shines.
  • Vitamin D can reduce chronic muscle aching and pain. Helps the body absorb calcium which in turn helps muscles not to spasm. Helpful when reintroducing yourself to exercise as I shortly will be.
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of cancer. Low Vitamin D levels have been linked with a greater likelihood of suffering cancer.
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart
    attack and atherosclerosis
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes by 80 percent.
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of getting autoimmune diseases like Multiple
    Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS and Lupus
  • Vitamin D can reduce your risk of bone fractures, bone loss and osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is also found in oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel and eggs. I decided that I would investigate taking a supplement but only a very small dose and only while I waited for the sunshine to return. I may then go back to it in the winter when I’m in a dark office for all of the daylight hours! I chose a 10 micrograms dose from Boots. I think it cost about £2 for 100 tablets which will last a pretty long time.

I take it in the morning when I cancel my alarm and I’ve already noticed that I feel more perky and have more energy which has got to be a good thing. I’m not saying that you MUST take this to feel good but it’s good for moods and for your skin and your body then I think that’s pretty spiffy.


my bedside table…


On the other side of the coin, I’m not good at going to sleep. So whilst I can’t open my eyes in the morning, I can’t shut them as soon as I get into bed. I’ve tried everything, expensive pillow sprays, warm milk (ack!), sheep-counting, putting my phone in a different room, turning the heating off, stone cold feet, warm feet. I have to be curled with one arm under a pillow, cold but not freezing, in good pjs, cold feet, and usually I need to have read quite a bit of my book before I turned out the light. Once I’m asleep, I’m dead to the world and unrousable until midday the next day but getting there isn’t the easiest.

Recently, I’ve been using this sleep balm made by Badger. I bought this originally for the flight to Australia when the lady in Boots refused to sell me sleeping tablets in case the plane came down and I couldn’t wake up to get to one of the exits. I felt that was a bit churlish but ended up buying this because she told me that a couple of herbs would be alright. She wasn’t gifted with customer service. I think it cost about £5.

It’s brilliant. It’s not too lavendery, not too pot-pourri ish to be honest. It’s a balm that you can massage into your temples, pulse points, shoulders. I tend to rub a bit around my temples and ears and then quite a bit at my wrist because I sleep with my hand under my face. The ingredients include: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Essential Oils of *Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot), *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary Verbenone), *Zingiber Officinale (Ginger), *Abies Balsamea (Balsam Fir) and CO2 Extract of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger). All organic ingredients are marked with a *. That’s a pretty healthy and natural list of ingredients and all things that contribute to a sense of calm and relaxation. It’s not meant to make you sleep but rather to calm you down and slow down thoughts and worries and the niggles that we’re prone to in the early hours. I sometimes use it in lieu of Rescue Remedy when I’m feeling a bit jittery and nervous.

The bmpf that came with it says:

Rosemary is the traditional herb for clear thinking, confidence, and memory. Bergamot is mentally uplifting, and Ginger is strengthening and confidence-inducing. Balsam Fir is refreshing, like a walk in the woods, while Lavender is the traditional sleep herb: fresh and relaxing.

Badger make loads of different balms too, a selection of which are here. I like the idea of the muscle and joint ones, the feet one and the calming cheerful mind balm.

So there we have it, up with the lark and then nodding off to sleep like a baby, ready to start the next day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (HA!).


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