Let's talk about sleep and health

For a while now I've been thinking about writing the odd post that's about health and wellbeing, all the stuff that we women do day in, day out, to stay well after wrangling with ill health. We have things that we do, plans we follow, mantras that guide us, and hopes that by doing them all we will lead the healthiest lives we possible can. 

So when I woke up this morning after a rare good night's sleep (it's a treat, not a given for me), I decided it was time to write my first 'health' post for millie. Why? Because millie is so much more than just empowering women one bra at a time, it's empowering. Full stop.

Each and every conversation I have with women about millie is positive, enlightening, and relationship building, so why not talk about health as well? Not the scary, medical end of cancer itself, we've all been there, done that. Many of us know that it's a lifelong feature of our lives, but it's not a definition, but there are aspects of health and wellbeing that we like to share. So let's talk about the good stuff too, the things we do that make a small difference to how we feel, and let's share them.

So, back to sleep. Today is World Sleep Day 2018 and I slept well, hurrah! But why is it so important for me and thousands of women like me? Because with a good night's sleep in our bags, the day looks entirely different. We begin it with both feet facing forwards, not one stuck in a sludgy mud, refusing to budge, and making us feel like the things we have to do today are just a little bit too hard. Poor sleep can heighten emotions, feelings of anxiety, and plummet low moods even further.

There's no magic wand or recipe for a good night's sleep, but when it happens, it's a joy. Lately I've been keeping track of the variables the affect my sleep, using an app called SnoreLab (yes, I snore). I can add variables of my own, which for me include exercise type (walk, swim, run, yoga), remedies (St. Johns Wort, SoeMac), a shower, wearing my mouthguard (I spit it out in my sleep, useless thing, haha) and so on. 

I've just coughed up the £3.99 premium fee to see my 'trends', and guess what? I know what makes me snore the loudest, and wake me up the most times. You aren't going to like this.... ALCOHOL! I know, nightmare. I've worked out that wine is a bigger villain than gin, but I wake up more times each night, and for longer, if I drink either. Bother.

So, information is everything to me, and now I know from hard evidence that I can choose, sleep or sauvignon, the choice is mine. Increasingly, I'm choosing sleep and the resulting feeling of wellbeing more and more often. That's not to say I'm going teetotal (heck, no!), but I can choose when I need to sleep more than I NEED a glass of wine.

I made another choice today, swim or walk. I didn't fancy chlorine, and the sun was out, so I put my boots on and headed down to the river;  the photo is what I was rewarded with. Mindful bliss.

If anyone reading this would like to guest blog about their own health following a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, please email me: suepringle@me.com