I knew I had hit rock-bottom in the sleep department when I accidentally brushed my teeth with Bepanthen (a topical antiseptic cream). It may not whiten your teeth, but it will guarantee to widen your eyes for at least ten minutes while you try to remove it. A couple of days later, I inadvertently poured chicken stock into my cup of tea in place of soy milk. Oh dear…
With that said, I was determined to wake up this morning looking like I hadn’t run a marathon or been caught up in some wild tornado. Eyes bright (although lash-free) I know that my bedtime rituals had paid off and delivered a solid night’s sleep. Sleep is free medicine during chemotherapy and even though you may not be sleeping all that well, you are resting, but more than likely tossing and turning creating knots in your hair (if you have chosen or been able to preserve it).
Getting a restful night’s sleep isn’t only good for you but for your hair too! Here are some of my tips:
- Try and meditate at least twice a day, first thing in the morning, if you can, and before bed. Even just 10 minutes. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need some help in doing this! I have the Headspace app on my iPhone. I can see Andy (my meditation guide) and I having quite an intimate relationship! But there are many other apps you can try…so get googling.
- Shoulder-length hair or longer should be rolled up in a neat bun on top of your head and secured with bobby pins or a sectioning clip. This can give you a lovely natural wave by the morning and also help keep the hair knot-free.
- Ensure your bedroom is well ventilated, cool and dark.
- Use breathable cotton sheets and night attire (for the hot flushes).
- Use a silk pillowcase (to prevent breakage, knots and pulling on the hair – great for wrinkles too!). I love Slip silk pillow cases.
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Drink caffeine-free herbal tea a few hours before bedtime. I have an entire shelf dedicated to Pukka tea – it’s one of my favourites!
- Exercise! Since I’ve starting weekly clinical exercise sessions with my Physiologist, my sleep has improved. But even just getting out for a power walk in the fresh air will do you the world of good. Be sure to consult your doctor before committing to any exercise regime.
- Strictly no blue light (and that means TV or electronic devices).
- You should try and switch your phone into aeroplane mode. Little tip: add to your favourites those who you don’t mind interrupting your sleep. Those in your contact list will be blocked from calling apart from your favourites. Getting sleep can be difficult so take what you can without being interrupted!
Things to remember:
- Bun it during sleep time!
- Ensure that the room is cool
- Sleep in and wear breathable fabrics
- Silk pillow case
- Make and stick to a bedtime routine
- Exercise regularly
- Keep your room free from electronic devices