Sometimes after a long and hard day at work, all we crave is to get home, climb into our beds and sleep. With that in mind, you’ll be pleased to know that sleep is incredibly important for us to allow our bodies to relax and replenish., as well as helping us to avoid potentially serious health implications.

During the process of sleeping, many important mental and physical processes take place in our bodies. It helps to improve brain functionality, emotional wellbeing, and helps to aid muscle recovery & physical health.
Research has previously suggested that around 7-8 hours sleep is vital to allow our body and mind to fully recover and be completely functional the next day.

So what happens when we sleep?

Sleep allows our bodies to rest, this includes the conservation of energy, as well as decreasing blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate and breathing. Our brain remains active, logging memory and restoring your day to day mental functionality and helps to carry out the different processes needed to grow physically.

When we sleep, there are five stages:

• Stage 1, Light Sleep: This is where we transition between sleeping and waking. We are easily roused, and our eyes begin to move slowly.
• Stage 2, Eye Movement Stops: During stage 2 our eye movement ceases and we begin to enter into a light dream state.
• Stage 3, Deep Sleep: This is where our bodies enter a far deeper sleep and we are far harder to wake from our slumber. Our body temperature also rapidly reduces.
• Stage 4, Deep Sleep: Our body temperature reduces further, and our brain’s use of energy begins to decrease. If you’re a sleepwalker, this is the stage when this phenomenon occurs.
• Stage 5, Rapid Eye Movement (REM): During this stage our eyes begin to move rapidly, this is the state when most dreams occur. Our heart rate and blood pressure increases and our limb muscles become paralyzed.

So, how much sleep is enough?

The answer to this question varies depending on your age, but it can also vary from person to person. As you grow older, sleep becomes less important. For teenagers (ages 13-18) around 8-10 hours is important, however from the ages of 18+ you only require around 7-8 hours a night.

Foe infants and children, it’s important during their cognitive and behavioral learning stages they acquire as much sleep as possible to allow their brains to hold the memory, learn and grow. For infants between the ages of 4-12 months they will need (including naps) around 12-16 hours of sleep a day. As they grow older the amount of sleep needed decreases.

What happens if we don’t get enough sleep?

A lack of sleep is incredibly dangerous, and this is called sleep debt. So, as an example, if you lost an hour of sleep a night, you’d have a total sleep debt of around 7 hours after a week.

This can, surprisingly, cause you harm and over time could cause serious chronic health issues. A lack of sleep can lead to several different health issues, from the following:

• Excessive tiredness in the daytime
• Headaches and difficult focusing
• Poor memory logging
• Mental health issues (anxiety/depression)
• Chronic health issues
• Making mistakes at work

Those are just a handful of the issues that sleep deprivation can cause. With that in mind, you can see just how important it is to ensure you have a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. So, grab your duvets, and truly enjoy your sleep!

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Future-proofing your home may not be something you have considered. It is becoming increasingly vital to do so for a variety of reasons. We have an ageing population. More of us will be combining parenting and work lives with caring for elderly relatives. Even if you don’t find yourself in this position, you are getting older every day too and as most accidents happen in the home, planning ahead is a very good idea.

Falls

I had a fall just before Christmas. I have to admit I am now middle-aged and I remember how my parents suddenly started to have falls as they entered their fifties and sixties. It got worse as they got older. There was one awful incident after they had moved house to be nearer us and their new grandchild. Dad was confused and heading in the direction he would have done in the old house for the bathroom, he found himself tumbling down the stairs. It was a shock for all of us as he injured his foot quite badly and was very shaken. He was very embarrassed which apparently is not uncommon when older people have falls. We ensured there was a light that would come on if anyone went on the landing or stairs after that. It was a great reassurance to us. It was even better when my disabled brother moved in with my parents as then they were open to having bathroom and mobility aids in the home.

Quality of life

Sadly through fear of falling, many older people give up activities they love. In our case, my parents stopped looking after my son for me as he grew older and was just always running with them struggling to keep up with him. They moved again worried about the steps up to their beloved garden. The issue with falling which I understand now after two bad falls in recent years is partly the injuries sustained but also the constant worry and fear that you will fall again.

The stigma around falling

Sadly our society tends to look down on older people. As we start falling over, we know we are getting older and feel embarrassed. Many of us don’t want to trouble our younger friends and relatives so we keep quiet about our worries. As we are all going to get older, we need to fight this stigma around falling and talk openly and honestly about it. When we do this, we increase the chances of putting measures in place that will prevent falls happening at all or as often in the home.

Future-proofing your home

It is time to do that thing that most of us are always promising ourselves to get round to. Declutter! Despite what you might think, you can keep memories without keeping all the stuff associated with them. Pass them on to charity ideally so that a good cause can benefit from you making your environment safer. Put pet bowls in a safer place, consider whether you need quite so much furniture and tidy up those electrical cables once and for all.

Be aware eyesight gets worse with age so good lighting is vital for your own safety.

Ensure spillages are wiped up immediately especially on kitchen and bathroom floors which can be so hazardous if they are wet. Don’t have things in difficult to reach places. A fall in the bathroom will be a bad one so get over any embarrassment and have rails to help you negotiate the bath and have non-slip mats in the place you get washed. Falls down the stairs are scary so have handrails at both sides to help you retain your balance if you do take a tumble.

There may come a time when you look in the mirror and realise you’re unhappy with yourself and your life. While these are normal feelings to have every once in a while, it’s important you don’t let yourself dwell on the negative.
Instead, use the following advice to help get you out of your slump and find brighter days ahead. It’s better to recognise what’s occurring and to take action than it is to do nothing and sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Avoid focusing on the negative and concentrate on taking actions that are going to help you find more contentment overall.

Pinpoint the Root Cause

Your first order of business to finding more happiness is to pinpoint the root cause of your emotions. For instance, it could be that you don’t like your neighbourhood or job and need a change. On the other hand, it could be a more serious issue such as dealing with one of the many mental health disorders that exist. If this is the case then seek help right away from a treatment facility such as The Recovery Village.

Look for A New Job

Another piece of advice if you’re feeling unhappy with your life is to go out and look for a new job. Working in a dead-end position may be causing you to feel bored or uninterested which is only making your situation worse. Finding a new role at a company that challenges and appreciates you may be all you need to turn your outlook around for the better.

Find A Hobby

You could be feeling unhappy lately because you aren’t spending your free time wisely. A good idea is to find a hobby that you enjoy doing and brings a smile to your face. There are many options out there, so do some digging and be open to trying out a new challenge that will keep you occupied and engaged in life.

Schedule A Holiday

It could be that you’re feeling unhappy with your life because you’re being overworked at the office or are stressed out at home. One idea is to schedule a holiday so you can take a break and go away someplace warm where you can relax for a bit. Practicing more work-life balance is going to allow you to regroup and maintain more steadiness and stability in your life.

Open up to A Friend or Family Member

If you’re feeling unhappy with your life, then consider opening up to a friend or family member about your problems. It’s likely they’ll be able to offer some support or useful advice that will make you feel better and more optimistic about your future. If nothing else, it’ll be nice to know you have someone who you can turn to when you need help.

Practice Gratitude & Maintain A Positive Attitude

A positive attitude goes a long way in allowing you to feel happier in general. If you’re feeling dissatisfied with your life, then consider practicing more gratitude on a daily basis and taking note of what you do have. This exercise is beneficial in keeping your mind focused on all your blessings instead of what’s lacking in your life.

We are all equal in the workplace but some of us are more equal than others… as George Orwell almost said. The UK’s #EmployeeRightsDay  shines a light on the rights we should celebrate, but also the stories we can share about experiences in the workplace. Founder Alex Monaco is an employment law solicitor and author of The Resignation Revolution. On the launch of his new book, he shares ten of the most important employee rights for women.

It's the UK's first Employee Rights Day!

It’s the UK’s first Employee Rights Day!

1.     Equal Pay

There may have been legislation on this since 1970, but it seems that employers are still playing catch up. Gender pay gap reporting was rolled out to include many employers this year. It shows a narrow pay gap between men and women in their 20s but one that widens with age, particularly in senior executive roles. A good start, but we have some way to go.

2.     Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo campaign has shone a light this year on how far we have to go, but the legislation does protect against unwanted conduct in the workplace and gives recourse to the Tribunal when it occurs.

3.     Equal Treatment

The right to not to be treated differently because of sex, marital status, or gender assignment are some of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

4.     National Minimum Wage

Women make up a large part of our low paid workforce. The National Minimum Wage offers a minimum hourly rate of pay. Whilst it should be a living wage, at least it sets the bar to stave off exploitation of our lowest paid.

5.     Maternity Pay

The right to receive crucial pay for up to 39 weeks following the birth of a child.

6.     Right to Return

Women have the right to return to their own job in the first six months following their maternity or adoption leave and a comparable job in the following six months.

7.     Shared Parental Leave

Gone are the days when taking time off to look after a new baby or child was for women only. Both parents now have the right to share parental leave and take time off in the first year of a new child in a family. The more men take parental leave will be a crucial part of developing a flexible approach to work and family life that will smash through the glass ceiling.

8.     Time Off Work for Family and Dependents

Emergencies happen and kids get sick. You have the right to take reasonable time off to look after dependants in an emergency. You don’t have the right to pay, but it is a start.

9.     Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working has been an important feature of workplace rights for the last 16 years. This allows for compacted hours, job shares, part-time jobs and home working.

10.  Reasonable Adjustments for Carers

This hasn’t happened yet, but we are hoping for change to the Equality Act to offer reasonable adjustments for those with caring responsibilities. Former Monaco Solicitors lawyer, Ellie Reeves MP, is co-sponsoring an Early Day Motion to make this change.

Alex Monaco

Alex Monaco

https://www.monacosolicitors.co.uk/

My Random Musings

Confessions of a New Mummy

Cuddle Fairy

Twin Mummy and Daddy

As a working adult who has a family, you will know how busy life can get. Having to juggle your marital and child duties with your career commitments, and then having to fit sleeping somewhere in there — it can all become a bit of a struggle at times.

If you’re not careful, this busy schedule of yours will do you more harm than it will good. It will wear you down, both physically and mentally, and it will leave you wondering ‘How did I get here?’

Quite simply, no matter how hectic life may be for you, you need to take care of yourself. To find the best ways to do just that, make sure to read on.

Take time out of each day just to think

Before you know it, your life will be that busy, you won’t have any time to stop and think. This can be catastrophic for your mental health, however, as it will just result in your worries, anxieties and apprehensions building up and building up until they are incredibly difficult to overcome. For this reason, no matter how busy you may be, you should take some time out of each day just to think. Lock yourself in your bedroom or run a nice hot bath — whatever you can do to escape everyone, if only for a short while, do it.

Once you’re in your safe space, you should think about everything that is worrying you. You should consider the root of each problem that you have in life, and you should think about ways to alleviate your stresses. This will result in you having a cleaner slate of mental health, no matter how hectic your life might be.

Concentrate on your breathing

By working on the way in which you breathe, you’ll find it easier to de-stress even in the most stressful of situations.

One form of breathing that you should embrace is the 4-7-8 technique. This involves you inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding your breath for seven, and then exhaling through your mouth for eight. This will get some much-needed oxygen to all of your vital tissues and organs, and it will hit the reset button on your stress levels.

Share your burdens as often as you can

Sharing your burdens with others is not a problem, and you should never be made to feel like it is. If your schedule simply won’t allow you to pick up the kids from school but your other half’s will, for instance, then, no matter what he or she says on the matter, ask them to do it. No, tell them to do it!

If your schedule does ever get on top of you, then you should know that it is also okay to take some time to deal with your personal problems. If you find yourself abusing a substance or struggling mentally as a result of your hectic life, for example, then you should be open to accepting help from a professional rehabilitation provider, such as that found at Forwardrecovery.com. Sharing your burdens in this way could not only allow you to fit more in your schedule going forward, but it may also save your life.

When you don’t take some time to sit back and enjoy the ride, the rollercoaster that is life will be over before you know it. So make sure to take care of yourself, no matter how busy your schedule may be.