Sleep insights. How do you sleep?

Soak&Sleep customer Nikki Marotta tells us about her insomnia and the tricks and tips she’s found to give her the best chance of a good night’s sleep.

When did insomnia start to disrupt your sleep?

I have had insomnia for about six years - there was no obvious reason why I started struggling with my sleep...it just crept up on me and before long left me unable to function properly in my day to day life.

Typically how long does it take you to fall asleep?

I am usually so exhausted by bedtime I fall asleep within 30-40 minutes, but then I wake up around 2.30am/3.30am and can’t get back to sleep.

How often do you wake during the night?

It varies. Some nights I wake around 2.30/3am and then drift in and out of sleep (that’s a “good” night’s sleep for me).  Other nights, I wake around 3.30/4am and can’t get back to sleep until around 6 am when I finally get very light sleep as I am so exhausted, but then struggle to get up.

What works in helping you get to sleep or back to sleep?

Being the right temperature - not too hot, not too cold. I also take two paracetamol if I haven’t slept well for longer than 4 nights as I really find that does give me a better night’s sleep.  I have to have my hair up, a lightweight natural duvet, 100% linen bedsheets, it must be completely dark in the room, a very comfortable mattress and I use Lush Sleepy body cream on my chest (I swear by this).

What do you find makes things worse? 

Alcohol, not drinking enough water in the day, too much screen time before bed, or not having any of the above.

To feel good the next day how much sleep do you need?

Six to seven hours - uninterrupted - not light sleep.

If you haven't had the required sleep how does it impact your day?

Massively.  It affects my mood, I get very low, have mood swings, am unable to cope with stress, my memory is terrible. It has been so bad that for a few years I was unable to work. I am now able to manage it better with my sleep routine.

Have you found a routine that helps get you to sleep?

Not really, but I have certain bedding products that have helped. 100% linen bedding from Soak & Sleep, a nice thick 100% cotton mattress topper. I tried the wool one but I got too hot with this so got rid of it. 

If so do you find certain products help or hinder you?

I cannot have any polyester or synthetic fibres.

Do you adjust your tog weight for seasonality? What have you found to be your ideal tog?

I tend to use a 4.0 tog all year round and add a throw in the winter that I can remove if I get too hot.  I also have to have a good quality linen sheet under the duvet. Layers, layers, layers - I have found to be the ideal solution for me.

What tips can you recommend to other sufferers? Are there any particular products that have helped?

Lush Sleepy body cream, 100% linen bedding, a dark room and layering your bedding.

Do you think there is enough support and information for insomniacs?

There is a lot out there - but everyone is different and it is not a case of one size fits all.  You have to try many different things until you find what works for you. I am still trying to find the right pillow....it’s an expensive process!

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