N:rem Sleep System – Float On Your Own Personal Cloud

Painsomnia has been an uninvited guest in my life for a few years now. Sometimes I would sit and cry in the middle of the night, in terrible pain, exhausted, and wishing for a few uninterrupted hours of sleep.  This sleep deprivation led to poor brain function, pain and fatigue. I couldn’t imagine drifting into a painless sleep and getting a full night’s rest.

Your mattress is the most influential factor in determining whether your body is supported at night.  Given that the average person spends about one third of her or his life sleeping and a good night’s sleep is vital for your health and wellbeing, it is important for those who live with chronic pain to invest in a good quality mattress that offers much needed comfort and support. Uncomfortable mattresses have been linked to discomfort and pain, and chronic pain can interfere with the quality of your sleep. In contrast, good quality mattresses have been linked to decreased pain and discomfort, and a better night’s sleep.

N:rem sleep system - float-on-your-own-personal-cloud

*I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers (http://chronicillnessbloggers.com/chronic-illness-bloggers/) network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.*

N:rem sleep system

I’ve been sleeping on my own personal cloud since my N:rem mattress topper was delivered.  I can’t believe the difference it made to my chronic pain. It is quite simply the best mattress I have ever slept on. It perfectly supports my body, so I wake up with less stiffness, aches or pains and I am really enjoying deeply relaxing sleep. For the first time in years I am sleeping right through the night as my mattress topper provides me with comfort for my most painful areas and support where I need it.

The N:rem sleep system consists of 5 tablets of 3 different densities on each side of the bed for individual customisable support. The tablet densities range from soft, medium and firm, giving you a choice of comfort that is perfect for you. Each tablet can be taken out and re-arranged in a different position, which means you can have support where it is needed and softer comfort elsewhere, thus ensuring the correct comfort and support levels for your entire body. I think it is fab that each side of the mattress can be set up according to each partner’s preferences.

Included with my mattress topper were suggested set-ups for the perfect night’s sleep: upper back pain, lower back pain and hip pain. I have used the hip pain set-up as it offers the comfort and support that is perfect for me.

I suffer with excess sweating, another symptom of fibromyalgia, so I was delighted to discover that the N:rem sleep system is made from reflex foam. The 40mm Viscoool foam tablet inserts have an open pore structure to regulate body temperature, giving me extra comfort at night and aiding a deeper, more restful sleep.

Be warned, the N:rem mattress should come with a government health warning. It is so comfortable – I can no longer get out of bed in the morning. My bed is now heavenly and I can reap the benefits of a good night’s rest.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Insomnia | Tagged , , | 40 Comments

Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia can be a stressful experience. Coping with fibro can be more challenging with added stress from work, family, or financial concerns. Stress can leave you feeling angry, depressed or exhausted and it may weaken the immune system, causing health problems and decreasing feelings of well-being.

Hypnosis is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis often uses verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel relaxed and calm, and you are more open to suggestions. Hypnotherapy has been shown in clinical studies to reduce stress. It’s endorsed by the British and American Medical Associations for promoting mental health.

Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis

I was sceptical about how Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis download could relieve my stress but after 4 weeks of listening to it I am a convert. I feel less stressed and happier than I was last month. We all have the ability to alter negative thoughts and to make changes to how we respond to life’s stresses. Stress relief hypnosis can help you to decrease your stress levels and help you to manage chronic stress over time.

Who is Mark Bowden?

For the past 15 years, Mark Bowden has studied how the mind can get the best out of people. Impressively, he used his knowledge of the mind’s workings to bring international criminals to justice as a Senior Investigator with Elite Law Enforcement Agencies in the UK. Most recently, he was a Life Strategist and Hypnotherapist in London and Surrey, providing his clients with the best techniques available for overcoming issues and providing people with a life of freedom, happiness, and success. He uses the most up-to-date cutting edge techniques that are backed by science and neuroscience.

Mark Bowden claims that his Stress Relief Hypnosis:

  • Leaves you feeling relaxed and at peace with each session
  • Gives you the ability to remain calm when stressful symptoms arise
  • Eases physical symptoms caused by stress
  • Reprograms your mind to eliminate worries that add to your stress
  • Decreases your chances of developing serious stress-related medical problems

The Stress Relief download includes:

  1. A brief introduction that explains how to get the most out of the program
  2. Daytime hypnotherapy track
  3. Nighttime hypnotherapy track with alternate ending to help you sleep

Listening to the download

You can use the Stress Relief download in two ways. You can use it only as needed to alleviate stress on days when you’re feeling overwhelmed or an ongoing basis to continually manage stress.

When I listened I found a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrated on my breathing, and I felt my anxieties start to disappear as Mark Bowden’s voice soothed me.  It was like taking time out to pamper my mind, helping me to cope with my day to day stresses and feel better, to think more positively. I haven’t had to actively do anything or try and structure my thoughts like I was told to in CBT, I just had to relax and listen.

I think that delivering hypnosis as a download is more convenient when compared with face-to-face hypnosis. The download is available at anytime, anywhere, and is not dependent on the schedule of a hypnotist or traveling to an office. I love the option of choosing what time of day I want to listen to the recordings. The day hypnotherapy recording left me feelings energised, whereas the night time recording sometimes assisted me in going to sleep.  I’ve really benefited from Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis – I’m definitely less stressed and more at peace.

Have you ever tried hypnosis?

*This is a collaborative post.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Fibromyalgia, hypnotherapy | Tagged , , | 37 Comments

9 Things I Loved in August

Today I’m sharing with you 9 things I loved in August:

1. My gorgeous new cats 🙂

Meet Luna (3 year old) and Talia (1 year old). I adopted them last week and they are slowly settling in. Luna loves to be hand fed treats and Talia can be found hanging out in the bathroom sink.

Luna - my lovely cat Talia - my lovely cat2. Having fun using my new popcorn maker.

I love that my popcorn maker cooks without the need for any oil or butter for a much healthier snack. Using only hot air circulating in the machine to heat and pop the kernels, I can have great ready to eat popcorn in a few minutes!

3. Enjoying my garden on sunny days.

There is nothing better than sitting in the sun reading. Salem and Ollie kept me company  🙂

My cats Salem and Ollie enjoying my garden this August

4. Sharing homemade pizza with friends.

Pepperoni Pizza

5. Strawberries from my garden.

Yummy!

strawberries from my garden

6. Looking through the delicious recipes in my new recipe book Eat Well For Less.

This book shows me how to create more nutritious dishes while spending less on my supermarket shop. With tasty food, sample shopping lists and practical tips from Gregg Wallace, Chris Bavin and the experts from the BBC show, this is my essential guide to eating well for less.

Eat Well For Less recipe book

7. Binge watching Game of Thrones and iZombie.

I wrote about Game of Thrones on a previous post.  If you haven’t heard of iZombie you definitely should check it out on Netflix. It’s a lighthearted original series and I am hooked! Liv Moore (a zombie) tries to resist her drive to consume fresh human brains by taking a job at a coroner’s office, where she can secretly snack on the brains of corpses delivered there. Soon discovering that she absorbs the memories of those she feeds on, she has a new purpose – she poses as a psychic and works with a detective to help solve their murders.  

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8. The Great British Bake Off has returned for another series.

Woohoo!

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9. A  refreshing orange and lime drink on a hot day.

orange and lime refreshing drink

*This post contains affiliate links.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Fibromyalgia, positivity | 32 Comments

Mac & Wild: A Wee Taste Of Scotland

Mac & Wild on Great Titchfield Street, London, is lively, fun and authentically Scottish.  I was delighted to be invited in for a real taste of the Highlands.  Their menu revolves around venison, beef, pork, lamb and seafood – a meat lover’s idea of heaven!  I love that all their venison and game is wild and comes from their family in Ardgay, Scotland.  They also source their produce from a handful of friends, neighbouring estates and farms.

Wee Plates

The staff were all friendly, attentive and helpful and the food was amazing!  My server Iain could not have been nicer, his enthusiasm about the menu and the restaurant was evident, every restaurant should have an Iain! He recommended that I begin my Scottish culinary adventure with two popular wee plates.  The Haggis Pops were delicious and the Venison Scotch Egg was perfection served on a wooden board.  Iain told me that some people come in especially for the scotch egg and I can honestly say that I am not surprised, I will be joining them in the future.

Haggis Pops - a wee taste of Scotland

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Main Course

Angus, the manager, recommended I try the Scottish Breakfast for my main course.  I think that I have found the best bacon on earth!  The mushroom, homemade tatty scone, Lorne sausage, scrambled egg, black and white pudding were also yummy but I did struggle to finish as I was quite full up after my wee plates. Next time I visit I will definitely be trying their Veni-Moo burger which was voted the UK and London’s best burger 2016.  The couple at the next table loved it!

scottish breakfast

delicious bacon

Pudding

I Shouldn’t But I Will. Yes, my dessert was aptly named. It was heavenly – dark chocolate, salted caramel, orange, almonds and ice cream.

dessert salted caramel

I enjoyed my Virgin Mary, a non-alcoholic alternative to a Bloody Mary.

virgin mary

I was impressed with the food at Mac & Wild. The restaurant was full at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon – the popular Wild Brunch Club runs every Saturday and Sunday from 11 until 4pm.  The music added to the wonderful lively atmosphere in this rustic stylish restaurant. I really love that I can download their playlist from Spotify.

The best dishes at Mac & Wild are some of the tastiest food to be found in London.  I will definitely be going back for more!

*This is a collaborative post.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Fibromyalgia, review | 34 Comments

Taking Time To Relax Is Important

Taking time to relax is vital in maintaining your positive mental health. Relaxing releases your body’s feel-good hormones—serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin—and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol. By incorporating moments of relaxation throughout your day, you will find a happier, healthier you.

Taking Time To RelaxToday I’m sharing with you how I’ve been relaxing my body and mind this week:

Listening to Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis download – hypnotherapy has been shown in clinical studies to reduce stress and promote mental health.  I’ve only been listening to Mark Bowden for two weeks but his soothing voice is really helping to focus my mind and relieve my day to day stress.

Reading a book in the sun – reading stimulates my imagination and helps me to relax. I’m enjoying Karen Slaughter’s emotionally complex thriller The Kept Woman.

Watching Game of Thrones – I’m on season 6 and loving it! It enables me to switch off from reality for a while and escape into a world of political manipulation, violence, love, sex and complex characters.

How have you relaxed your body and mind this week?

*This is a collaborative post and contains affiliate links.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, health, positivity | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Simply Delicious Seafood Linguine

Are you looking for a delicious meal that you can whip up in a flash?  Well, this seafood linguine is simple but super tasty.  I love it!

Delicious seafood linguine

My delicious seafood linguine recipe:

Ingredients

200g Linguine

Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

Seafood mix (fresh or frozen – king prawns, scallops, mussels and squid rings)

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp half fat creme fraiche

Parsley

Method

Cook the linguine in salted boiling water for 9 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add the finely chopped garlic clove and seafood mix, cook over a medium to high heat, turning occasionally.  Remove from the heat.

Add the drained pasta to the seafood mix, then add the lemon juice, creme fraiche and the parsley. Mix together until well combined.

Delicious seafood linguineThis simple seafood linguine is yummy served with salad. Enjoy!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in recipes | Tagged | 20 Comments

8 Invaluable Lessons Fibromyalgia Taught Me

8 Invaluable Lessons Fibromyalgia Taught meBeing diagnosed with Fibromyalgia has changed my life. It’s easy to focus on all the negatives but today I’m focusing on the invaluable lessons Fibromyalgia taught me.

  1. Fibromyalgia taught me how to lean on other people. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It took a fibro diagnosis for me to really get the meaning of this. I now know that seeking support is the best thing to do for my health.
  2. Fibromyalgia taught me how strong I really am, that I am able to get through whatever life hands me. Adjusting to life with a fibromyalgia is tough, but now that I’ve done that, I know that I am better equipped to handle whatever else comes my way. I learned that I have more courage and strength than I had ever given myself credit for.

    Fibromyalgia taught me how strong I really am, that I am able to get through whatever life hands me.

  3. Fibromyalgia taught me to appreciate the simple things in life – snuggling with my cats, homemade ice-cream, the beauty of nature or a call from a friend. Some days every muscle in my body will be in agony but this makes me appreciate the good pain days even more and to value the positives in my life.
  4. Fibromyalgia allowed me to tap into a more empathetic side of myself. I can relate more to people who may be going through tough times. It taught me how to be more empathetic and understanding of people and their situations. My heart breaks for anyone who is in pain.

    Fibromyalgia allowed me to tap into a more empathetic side of myself

  5. Fibromyalgia taught me the importance of saying ‘no’. I had to learn how to distinguish doing important things for other people and doing important things for me. I alone am responsible for not only setting my health boundaries but enforcing them as well. My energy is precious, I have to use it wisely. Sometimes I have to say ‘no’ so that I can rest and look after myself.
  6. Fibromyalgia showed me what true friendship looks like. Some people don’t understand what it is like to live with fibro. I have discovered my true friends, those who are here for me no matter what. Fibromyalgia has shown me an appreciation for the people that have stuck with me on my journey. I am blessed.

    Fibromyalgia showed me what true friendship looks like. (1)

  7. Fibromyalgia taught me that self-care is important. Self-care is a necessity. It is as important as the air you breathe. If you don’t put yourself on your own priority list and take care of yourself, no one else will either.
  8. Fibromyalgia taught me that I could belong to a wonderful online community. I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community. They remind me that I’m never alone. Being able to lean on people in the same situation who know what I am going through is so inspiring and comforting. Sharing my story through this blog has helped and inspired others. I never knew that being so open and honest about what I go through and how I live my life would be so helpful for other Fibro sufferers.

    Fibromyalgia taught me that I could be part of a meaningful online community

Living with Fibromyalgia is a challenge, but I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t part of my journey through life.  Whatever else life throws at me, I am ready. I am a fibro fighter!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, positivity | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

I enjoyed baking the delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake recipe that I discovered on the Bramley Apple website.

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Ingredients

350g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
60g caster sugar
150g brioche, sliced (approx 6 slices) and halved into triangles
2 eggs, beaten
300ml double cream
300ml milk
150g raspberries
25g butter
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Method

Firstly, I arranged the apple slices in my ovenproof dish and I sprinkled caster sugar over the apple slices.

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I placed the brioche slices on top.

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I then beat together the eggs, cream and milk and poured the mixture over the brioche.

While I left it soaking for 20 minutes I pre-heated the oven to 170C.

I dotted the brioche with butter, scattered the raspberries and sprinkled with the demerara sugar.

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I baked it for 30-45 minutes until set and golden.

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche BakeDelicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Our verdict? Absolutely delicious!  I will definitely be baking this again…….and again!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Baking, Fibromyalgia, recipes | Tagged , | 31 Comments

7 Things I Loved in July

July was another challenging month – my fibro pain was intense and I felt so fatigued. My depression hasn’t lifted but I’m working on building my confidence again, I’m practising mindfulness and I’m focusing on the positives in my life.

7 Things I Loved In July

Today I’m sharing 7 things I loved in July.

1. Reading and relaxing in my garden.  We had a few sunny days  🙂

20160723_1029402. Making homemade ice cream in my new ice cream maker. I bought two recipe books to indulge my love for ice cream. I LOVE the mango recipe in Ice Cream Made Easy: Homemade Recipes for Ice Cream Machines. The vanilla and chocolate chip was a favourite with my friend’s girls. My friends also tried the delicious strawberry pavlova ripple, the banana and passion fruit and the yummy strawberry and clotted cream. The mocha ice cream recipe from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book was a winner too.

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3. Watching movies at the cinema.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Two decades after the freak alien invasion that nearly destroyed mankind a new threat emerges. This Allen mothership is more than twice the size as the last one and once again, the world’s armies must band together to save the world. Do they have enough firepower or will this battle change and will aliens take over? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1628841/. I enjoyed this movie, it was full of thrills and special effects but I did miss Will Smith!

Now I See You 2 – One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3110958/. It had its entertaining moments but it wasn’t as good as the first movie. It has lost its magic!

4. Homemade freshly baked bread. Yummy!

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5. Freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning.

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6. Watching Amazon Prime videos through my Sony BDP-S3700 SMART Blu-Ray.

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7. Lunch with my friends  🙂

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*This post contains affiliate links.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness, positivity | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

The Benefits Of A Supportive Online Community For Those Who Live With Fibromyalgia

Each fibromyalgia diagnosis begins a unique journey, sometimes it’s a lonely one. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia you may find comfort and strength through online support forums or groups, where you can discuss and share your feelings and experiences with others who are facing common challenges. Talking with other people whose lives are affected by fibromyalgia can create a sense of community. I’ve learned that others are experiencing similar thoughts and fears, and have similar questions, and that sharing and discussing these issues make me feel less isolated. I’ve become friends with some amazing people who also live with fibromyalgia. We don’t judge each other, we cry and laugh together, and we support each other on bad pain days. These wonderful online friends have enriched my life.

The Benefits Of A Supportive Online Community For Those Who Live With Fibromyalgia (1)

Being a member of a supportive online community can be liberating, allowing you to share your experiences, and have your feelings, fears and frustrations validated by others. I find it easier to share things with my online friends because I feel more comfortable typing the words than saying them. By sharing with those who understand what you are going through, you realise that others are also trying to work through the same personal struggles; this can help reduce your stress and anxiety.

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An online community creates a sense of belonging that can help you feel more understood and less alone. They provide 24-hour availability, as well as bringing together people from different geographic areas.  The internet knows no boundaries, I’ve become friends with wonderful people from all over the world.

Online support groups and forums allow people to learn from others and share invaluable practical tips and coping strategies for managing the day-to-day challenges of living with fibromyalgia. You can easily share resources such as websites, disability aides, information, and fibromyalgia research news. You can share your tips on how to manage pain and fatigue, you can discuss medication and the various side effects. Exchanging information and advice may provide you with a sense of control and reduce any feelings of helplessness.

The following are friendly supportive online communities for those living with fibromyalgia:

UK Fibromyalgia forum:

http://www.ukfibromyalgia.com/forums/

Facebook groups: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKFibromyalgiaPrivate/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FibromyalgiaImages/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MenAndFibromyalgia/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/YoungPeopleWithFibromyalgia/

Keep smiling  🙂

Claire

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness | Tagged , , | 26 Comments