How sleep impacts your mood

We all need sleep and if you’ve not been getting enough shuteye, you might be feeling the ill-effects. As well as making you tired, a lack of slumber can impact on your mood.
How much sleep do you need?

There’s no set amount of sleep that all adults need. After all, every individual is different. Factors such as lifestyle, age, diet and environment affect how much rest people require. However, as a general rule, most healthy adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

As people age though, it can become harder to maintain this level of sleep.

Feeling irritable and hostile

It is known that when individuals are sleep deprived, they are more likely to feel irritable, hostile and angry. They are also more prone to reacting negatively when something doesn’t go well for them and they may even be more likely to feel depressed.

This can cause a range of problems. For example, it can put additional pressure on relationships and cause tensions within families. It can create issues at work too.

Research also suggests that people who fail to get enough sleep report feeling less friendly and less able to enjoy positive experiences.

What to do

It’s one thing knowing that your mood is suffering because of a lack of shuteye and another thing actually addressing this problem. If you think a shortage of sleep is affecting your daily life, it may be worth booking an appointment with your doctor.

However, there are also simple changes you can make to your routine that you may wish to try first. For example, it’s really important that you have a comfy bed. Luckily, it’s now easy to purchase good quality beds and mattresses that can promote a restful night. For example, Adjustamatic sells a selection of adjustable beds fitted with Cyclo-Therapy technology. This massage system features a number of settings, including a relaxing, sleep-inducing function. In addition, the firm sells Aveon pocket spring mattresses that can boost comfort levels further.

You may also benefit from sticking to a steady bedtime routine. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time each day can help to boost the level of sleep you get. In addition, make sure that you avoid consuming too much caffeine, particularly during the later afternoon and evening.

Before going to bed, it is a good idea to read or take a warm bath as this can help you to unwind and get you in the right frame of mind to sleep.

If possible, try to ensure your bedroom is as quiet as possible, and it may be worth investing in some blackout blinds or curtains too.

Reap the rewards

By making changes to your lifestyle and environment like this, and if necessary by visiting your GP for further advice and help, you stand to enhance your level of sleep. In turn, this could serve to lift your mood, improve your relationships and generally raise your quality of life.

Given these potential rewards, it’s certainly worth making an effort to get a good night’s rest.

Working from home in style with Viking

Since starting my work with Riddle I’ve had to become a lot more organised with everything. My time management skills had to improve ten fold and my habit of leaving to-do lists and bits of paper all over the house had to stop. I was recently contacted by the folks at Viking Direct and asked if I would like to pick a few bits from their range of fashion stationery which was the perfect kick up the backside to sort myself out in style…not only for my job, but for all my blogging paraphernalia too.
Obviously my old faithful Mac Book is a blogging and working essential but unlike most people I know, I’m not a fan of spreadsheets for keeping organised. I prefer good old pen and paper so when I saw this adorable Hello Kitty fountain pen it was immediately added to my “please may I have” list. I always think my writing looks loads neater when I use a fountain pen and I love the old fashioned look of real ink.
On the afternoons where I set up office in the conservatory (or when I’m cheekily writing blog posts on my bed) you’ll never see my far away from my pink Moleskine notebook and my weekly planner from Paperchase. I don’t care what anybody says, Moleskines are hands down the nicest notebooks to use- they make me feel a lot more productive too, for some reason! The planner is a recent addition to my desk and it is so, so useful as I can see at a glance what I have on for the week and how much time I have to fit in all that I need to.
Also from Viking I picked this pink 3 litre storage box to store some of the bits and pieces I get sent for review as I am so bad for putting things down somewhere and not finding them again for ages. I also have some pink plastic bucket type things from Asda for bigger items and they keep my bedroom looking a whole lot neater!
Finally- FOLDERS! I’m mad for owls so it was a no brainer when I saw the funky owl range
on the Viking site. I always feel like I can never have enough folders in my life as I use them for everything- receipts, press releases, copies of invoices, important documents, magazine clippings…the list goes on and on.

I think that just about sums up my current essentials, all you lovely bloggers (and work from home-ers) what can’t you live with out? I’m sure there are things I am lacking and I do love an excuse for a good stationary shop!

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Shore Projects

My watch collection is growing at quite an alarming rate as I am lucky enough, as a blogger to have been sent some really gorgeous designs. My latest addition is probably my favourite to date and comes via the folk at Shore Projects who specialise in British Seaside inspired watches that feature an awesome customisable strap feature meaning you can mix and match to suit your mood.

Dress: Primark | Shoes c/o Yull | Necklace c/o SuShilla | Watch c/o Shore Projects

I picked the Portland watch face (£85) for the base of my watch which comes with an already lovely mint green strap. I then picked one of the polka dot straps (£25) also in mint green so I could test out the concept for myself. Switching the straps is so simple to do thanks to a handy little clip and I love that with a classic face you have the basis for having a new watch whenever you please. I’m going to be adding to my strap collection in the future, I’m thinking a timeless brown leather one for an instantly chic look.
This outfit is what I wore the weekend before last for a day catching up with my best friend. The dress was a mere fiver in Primark and is an item I’ve been after all Summer- I’m so glad I didn’t see it until after it was reduced! The shoes are one of my all time favourite pairs that Sarah at Yull has sent me (she’s such a sweetheart) and I thought the colours in this outfit complimented each other nicely. The necklace is another favourite piece of mine and it was the perfect finishing touch.
If you’re in the market for a new watch then I highly recommend checking out Shore Projects- here’s the link to their lookbook so you can get a better idea of what they do…let me know what combination you’d go for below.

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A make for Mae and Giveaway with HobbyCraft

I envy those who can sew, really I do. I struggle to make even the most basic of stitches look neat and I actually got banned from using the machines during year 9 textiles lessons due to my track record of breaking them. Still, I wasn’t going to let that put me off when Hobbycraft got in touch and offered to send me a mini sewing machine to make something to show on the blog with, especially as with that challenge came a second machine to give away to one of my readers!
My Mum is super handy on a sewing machine so I picked her brains for ideas. We settled for making a simple heart template, which we (and by this I mean she) stitched most of the way around before I stuffed it with an old pair of tights and some catnip. The gap was hand stitched closed and Mae was presented with her brand new toy.

I know, I could have made something for myself- a skirt or a little purse perhaps, but being the cat lady that I am I couldn’t resisting making something for my mad moggy first. Watching Mum doing the sewing made me realise that actually, it’s not as hard as I once thought and I have dedicated myself to learning to make some simple things (I am somewhat calmer these days and better at focusing after all) which I will be sure to show on the blog. In the mean time, here are some photos of our exploits and your chance to win below.

(If you have any ideas of things I could make then do feel free to leave them below- being a mini machine I know options are limited but this is so easy to set up and use so it’s perfect for a beginner like me, or for any one who wants to make little gifts without setting up a big machine).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only, good luck!

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Go For The Old

When it comes to vintage jewels I have never felt the need of looking at the cost. As a teenager I always found myself more drawn to beautiful lustrous pieces made up of rhinestones and pearls and I have always found myself awe of their age and beauty. As I grew up, I found myself more inclined towards exclusive and exquisite jewels of all shapes and sizes.

When it comes to buying online ensure you have a picture of what you are going to invest in. If the picture isn’t clear, ask for another picture but don’t settle for a blurry one because you have no inkling what you may pick in the bargain. Remember you are shelling precious pounds to make your jewellery collection look chic and fashionable so vigilance is key.

all images from here

Don’t expect your vintage jewellery to look fresh and new. It would hardly be vintage if it look brand new!. At the same time also ensure that it’s not worn out completely. Don’t invest in something that would need extensive (and expensive) repair. If you think that any erosion and metal underneath would not be visible to the naked eye you may want to take a gamble, but I advise otherwise.

Try befriending a vintage advisor because an expert’s advice is far superior to any reviews you may find online. Before you start trading in wholesale, get the hand and eye of the product to ensure that you know the difference between original and reproduced piece. Signed pieces from Trifari, Sphinx or Coro may be a good bet if you are a beginner. You may want to have quick view here to know what deals are on offer.

Clean antique pieces extremely carefully. Some already worn out pieces may suffer fatal damage if you just wash them with any jewellery cleaner. Don’t try to repair a piece without expert advice, it pays to get the repairs done from a professional. It is always better to emptier pockets than to lose a piece you love and have invested in.

You may think that you can have a vintage jewellery collection just by buying some pretty pieces, however we suggest that you invest your time in preserving and maintaining them as well. After all, these are pieces that have survived the test of time.