20 Steps to Clear Acne Prone Skin

So for whatever reason when the warm weather came I went from having mild acne to the worst cystic acne I’d ever had. It was all over my hair and jawline and even in places I’d never normally breakout like my nose.  Although I still get hormonal breakouts on my chin I’m happy to report I’ve completely cleared my bout of cystic acne. It only took me two months using these 20 steps. I hope they help you too in your journey to clearer skin.

 

1) Cleanse Less

Cleansing too much will over-strip the layer of sebum your skin naturally produces. This can result in dehydrated skin which, in turn, causes more oil production and worsens acne. The beauty industry makes a lot of money out of convincing us that our skin requires constant management and upkeep. Our skin actually does a good job of maintaining itself. The PH balance of your skin is very delicate and disrupting it can result in overproduction of sebum, which leads to acne. So leave your skin alone and try cleansing once every day in the PM. Dry or sensitive skin can also be cleansed with just water. Your skin should not feel dry or tight after cleansing, if it does then your cleanser is too harsh.

 

2) Change Pillowcases Regularly

Dirt will gradually build up especially on the areas that you press your face against like your pillows. The oils from your face and hair will absorb and transfer back to the face when you lie down to sleep.The build up of this dirt on your face can clog your pores and cause acne.

 

3) Use antibacterial sprays

It’s important to clean anything that could regular come into contain with your face like:

  • Mobile Phone
  • Headphones
  • Glasses
  • Helmets

 

4) Exfoliate

The very definition of acne is the clogging of pores. So exfoliation to remove the dead skin cells that can lead to clogging can make a massive difference. The best way to exfoliate is by using a chemical exfoliator. Physical exfoliation can often be too rough on the skin and fail to actually remove all the dead skin cells. Rough exfoliators and exfoliating washes often strip your skin too harshly which causes over production of sebum and worsening acne. If you use a physical I’d recommend a microfiber cloth. The most effective exfoliating products are chemical, a few to use on acne prone skin are:

  • Salyclic Acid (Oily skin)
  • Mandelic (Combination skin)
  • Lactic Acid (Dry, sensitive skin)
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Diluted with water)

 

 

5) Cut out Dairy

Dairy is one of the most common causes and aggravators of acne. This is because it contains a growth hormone called insuline-like growth factor (IG-F1) which is beneficial for babies and children and is found in breast milk. Research shows that this may have the opposite effect in adults by causing cells to grow and proliferate worsening acne . Dairy contains a large amount of insulin-like growth factor and this is probably the reason why there are so many testimonials that recommend removing dairy from the diet to improve acne.

 

6) Exercise Regularly

Excess sitting is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression and disease. Since we know stress worsens acne it’s also worth knowing that regular exercise has been shown to decrease stress, increased energy and improve health. How much you move can also impact your lymphatic system, when it is backed up you can experience symptoms such as acne, dry skin, rashes, joint stiffness, lack of energy and brain fog. Exercise lowers cortisol levels, lowering inflammation in the body which, in turn, prevents acne.

 

7) Shower Daily

This might seem obvious but it’s important to shower daily, especially if you have body acne. You should also get out of your workout wear quickly after working out and shower after exercise or heavy sweating to avoid the clogging of your pores that can lead to acne.

 

8) Use a Shower Filter

Unfiltered water can clog the pores and lead to blemish prone skin or worsen your existing acne. “Hard water” basically means there are chemicals and metals within the water that can be tough on the skin. Getting a filtered shower head to remove chlorine, pesticides and bacteria from your water will keep your pores unclogged and prevent irritation.

 

9) Exfoliate Your Body

Exfoliating the body in the shower is the most effective way to reduce body acne. Make sure you use an antibacterial sponge or loofah, as sponges that hold in bacteria can make your acne worse over time. Soaps that mess with the skins PH can also make acne worse so avoid sodium hydroxide and use product that contain ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, dead sea mineral mud or activate charcoal to purisfy the skin without disrupting its natural balance.

 

10) Try L-Lycine

Traditionally people take L-Lycine for herpes and to keeps cold sores at bay. L-Lycine helps with calcium absorption, it produces collagen and elastin which aids healing of the skin. L-Lycine also produces antibodies for your immune system and helps with the production of hormones in the endocrine system, which can help prevent hormonal acne. It also helps enzyme production which aids digestion and absorption of nutrients.

 

11) Avoid Silicone Products

Silicones clogs up the pores as you sweat by creating a barrier on the skin. Although this barrier can be great for making sure makeup glides on smoothly, it can lead to the clogging of pores. So make sure you avoid products containing silicone and try to clean makeup off before exercise, especially if it contains silicone.

 

12) Get Good Sleep

Getting less than 8 hours of sleep can spike your insulin levels and lead to worse acne. It’s also worth trying to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, I wrote an entire post on getting good sleep if you really want to know how to improve the quality of your sleep.

 

 

13) Get food sensitivity tests

Allergies are one of the most common causes of acne. Regularly consuming foods you are allergic to can cause bacterial problems in your stomach and can cause an array of systems that are often mistaken for lime disease or chronic fatigue syndrome. If you are someone who gets sick all the time or experience stomach pains then an allergy could be the cause of your bad skin and fatigue. It’s really worth getting tested for allergies and sensitivities for the sake of your own health.

Step 14) Get your hormones checked
Hormones and hormonal imbalances are a massive cause of acne. If you’re acne is mainly around your chin and jawline it’s worth getting your hormone levels and thyroid checked to see if the cause of your acne is an internal imbalance.

 

14) Improve Digestion

There’s a reason doctors refer to the gut as the root of all disease. When food goes undigested it spreads bad bacteria to the rest of the body and can cause disease. Your skin is an elimination organ so if your intestines are full of bad bacteria this can show in your skin. The theory in chinese medicine is that breakouts on the forehead suggest poor digestion, so if you have these or if you experience problems with your digestion then try to increase low stomach acids by:

1. Taking Zinc
2. Consume foods rich in fiber
3. Have Hot Tea/Drinks with Meals (Iced tea slows down digestion)
4. Avoid processed foods, refined sugar & soda (they inflame and weaken your intestines)
5. Avoid processed breads and pasturized dairy (they stick to the intestinal wall and build up)
6. Avoid antibiotics

15) Increase Digestive Enzymes

Several diseases can impede the body’s ability to release enzymes like celiac disease, Chron’s and diabetes. Even chronic stress can decrease the enzymes our intestine produce. Symptoms of enzyme deficiency include bowel troubles, skin rashes, acne, eczema, headaches and joint pain. Increase enzymes by:

1. Eating more raw (or lightly cooked) fruits and vegetables to your diet.
2. Drink a vegetable juice/blend in the morning
3. Chew your food (your gut has to work less the more broken down your food is)
4. Add ginger to meals
5. Take HCL Supplements

 

 

16) Drink Green Tea

Green tea is a proven antioxidant which is not just for all kinds of illness but also for acne. Studies have shown green tea has anti-cancer effects against breast and prostate cancers, these cancers are connected to IGF-1 and sex hormone levels that interestingly enough, cause acne. Epidemiological studies show that 3-6 cups of green tea per day show good results. Green Tea contains EGCG, a powerful antioxidant. Often bottled teas contain little EGCG and are high in sweeteners, I’d recommend sticking to brewing green tea bags or leaves. Brew tea longer to extract more EGCG from your tea.

 

 

17) Take Multi-vitamins

Although I’d recommended changing your diet to really see a real impact to your skin to your skin, it’s also good to add nutrients wherever you can. Taking supplements can ensure you are receiving all the essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B12, C, D, E, Zinc, and essential fatty acids like Omega 3, 6.

 

 

18) Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a fantastic acne treatment solution. Applying 5% tea tree oil gel appears to be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide for treating acne. Tea tree oil works more slowly than benzoyl peroxide but is less irritating to facial skin. Apply this twice daily to reduce acne severity, results have commonly been found to appear within 45 days of consistent application.

 

 

20) Sudocrem

This is my secret sauce, magic in a bottle, a miracle cure! Seriously though, Sudocrem does wonders for reducing the appearance of acne overnight. I apply it over any blemishes before I sleep and when I wake up my skin looks significantly clearer. Sudocrem smoothed sore of inflamed skin and is recognized for its healing properties, so no wonder it reduces acne redness and helps those nasty spots heal faster.

 

 

So those are my 20 steps you can take toward clearer skin. As someone with acne I know it can be a dampener on your self confidence. Sometimes acne is hormonal or even genetic so make sure you also see a dermatologist if your acne is impacting the quality of your life or your self-esteem. For me these steps helped me go from having moderate acne to mild acne, so I hope they help you achieve clearer skin.

Follow:

How to Cope with Depression

You could be an incredibly positive person, your life could be thriving and the cloud of depression could still suddenly loom over your head for no good reason. When I describe my depression to others I like to use the cake metaphor I love cake (always have) and suddenly I lose my appetite for cake, I have no desire at all to eat it. If I were to force it down (because I know I love it) it doesn’t taste of anything. Depression is like losing your appetite for life. So I decided to use my 8 years of experience with clinical depression to compile everything I’ve ever learned toward lessening the impact it has on your daily life. I hope this helps some of you struggling like I was, with the seemingly bottomless hole that is depression.

 

Don’t defeat yourself

How we view depression
The world is becoming more acknowledging of depression as a real clinical illness. With this progress also comes the more negative mindset that you are helpless if you have it and the only cure is professional help and medication. We can now swat away nay sayers who ignorantly advised us to “perk up” with the fact that depression is an illness that we have no control over. Whilst I agree, you have no control over getting depression, I also believe that thinking we have no control over how any illness impacts us is ignorant.

The power of your mind
Science is continuously showing us that the brain has incredibly impacts on the body. Our thoughts can actually change our health. Mass hysteria is a great example of this. Sam witnesses his co-worker Emma vomiting into the bin by her desk. Upon further inspection Sam sees Emma has a nasty red rash on her arm and believes Emma has a contagious virus, within an hour Sam develops a red rash and also begins vomiting. By the end of the day 10 co-workers contract the same symptoms. There was never a virus, what Emma had wasn’t even contagious. Events like this have been documented throughout history, where the same symptoms spread amongst large group of people without any actual epidemic being present. Physical symptoms appeared because the people believed they had contracted them. Our minds are bloody powerful.

Ever heard the saying stress can kill you? Well recent study researched the effects of stress on mortality. The results showed people who reported having high stress in their lives and believed that stress was bad for them were 43% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Here’s the catch, the people who reported high levels of stress in their lives but believes stress wasn’t bad for them had some of the lowest death rates in the study. Our thoughts can create rashes on our bodies and even increase our chances of dying. The mind can have very real effects on the body.

 

What to do about it
Although your mindset is not the cause of your depression, it can be the “cure”. You may not have control over getting depression but in changing your mindset, you can drastically impact whether you move on from it or how badly it afflicts you. Believe getting over depression is something you have full control over. Oh, and believe it with conviction. Remember that when people truly believed that a virus was contagious they physically developed the symptoms. Imagine what you can do by believing you have control over defeating depression. Whenever you have thoughts that depression is a hole you can’t get out of, pause, don’t punish yourself – instead acknowledge the negative thought and replace it with something more positive.

For Example:

1. I have full control in overcoming depression
2. I am stronger every time I overcome my depression
3. I appreciate my depression for making me strong
4. Depression gives me the opportunity to take better care of myself
5. I am thankful for depression as it allows me to improve how I function in life

 

 

Why depression is useful

Entropy
So lets get a little bit scientific. All machines eventually break down right? Scientists have theorized that the law describing this applies to everything in the universe, they call it entropy. So everything in the universe is progressing toward a state of disorder and randomness. Left to itself any energy system will break down; a car turns to rust and buildings erode, right? However, humanity progresses toward increased order, like the progress of evolution or our social systems for example. So are we a paradox? The explanation is that order arises not in spite of entropy but because of it. So basically in chaos we create order; we humans create roads, currency, laws. So in the disorder of depression you can create more order.

Humans are dissipative structures. Which means the more complex the system, the more entropy it must dissipate. So basically, you eat you shit, what we put into factories burns out into the air, we breathe in oxygen and out carbon dioxide. Every system also has a limit. If this limit is challenged there is a point where the slightest nudge can bring the system grinding to a halt. It either breaks down or orders itself in a new way, which is what we see with machines. So the cause of depression could be that our limit has been reached and our system has come to a halt.

How depression halts us
When I’m depressed I can definitely say I’ve felt like I’ve stopped functioning. I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed and when I finally get up I don’t have the urge to do anything. So realize that your system has become so complex that you’ve come to a halt, like cogs in a machin. Now you have the same two options as a machine, you break down and stop existing or you re-order yourself and start functioning again. This is how I came to believe that depression is useful. Depression let’s me know that the thoughts in my head or what’s going on in my life have become so complex and overhwelming that my current system can’t deal with it. So depression is an opportunity to look at your environment, schedule or your self-care routine and change it. Depression is an opportunity to kick-start your engine and change your life.

How we make our depression worse
Just as our mind impacts our bodies, what we do with our bodies impacts our minds. Depression often draws us to halts, it demotivates us and can result in neglecting self-care or throwing off your routine. Just like a machine when the cogs are left unturned, rust develops. When the switch is finally flicked it doesn’t move as easily as before. When you neglect your self-care the body then suffers and that goes back to the mind. When we allow ourselves to come to a halt and stay there, our depression gets worse. Studies show that what we do greatly impacts our chances of depression. Individuals who sit more show a greater chance of depression. Hold yourself accountable for what you do and how it impacts your body and mind.

Overcoming the urge to stop moving
The word motivation is based on the latin word “mot” meaning “move”, motivation cannot happen without movement. Yet most people wait for motivation to come before they decide to move. We wait for inspiration or motivation to drive us. This mentality is at its most harmful when we become depressed because it encourages us to wait for our appetite for life to return, it encourages us to stay in bed, it encourages us to say no to friends inviting us out. Take the wheel yourself and drive, move, push yourself forward and the motivation will come. You now know that just sitting more worsens your depression, so stand up and get some fresh air.

 

10 Steps to beating depression in your Every Day Life

1. Sit less
Studies have shown that those who sat for 7 hours per day and were more physically inactive were three times more likely to have depression than those who sat for fewer than 4 a day. Sitting has been linked to reduced well-being, psychological distress and increased mortality. If sitting decreases your motivation to move then it can become a cycle to making your depression worse. So try to reduce the hours you spend sitting and get up regularly to stretch your legs.

2. Exercise as much as you can
If being less active is directly linked to increasing the rates of depression then it makes sense to fight this with exercise. Our bodies and minds are hardwired to feel good when we work out, this is because whenever we physically work our bodies and sweat we are rewarded with neurochemicals like dopamine that make us feel good. Humans are made to move so it makes sense that exercise has been linked to easing stress, increased energy and better health.

3. Eat more fish
Deficiency of fatty acids found in salmon and vegetable oils has been associated with greater risk of depression. This is because fatty acids regulate seratonin which is linked to mood and anxiety. A large Norwegian study of 22,000 individuals revealed regular intake of cod liver oil were 30% less likely to have symptoms of depression. I’d personally recommend to include fish as a regular part of your diet having noticed a massive increase to my own energy levels and mood. Deficiency in B12 has also been linked to depression and fish are conveniently a great source of B12.

4. Boost your vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been heavily linked with depression and other mental health problems. Since vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, the easiest way to boost your intake is by spending more time outdoors. If you’d like to increase your intake in your food salmon, sardines, tuna and mackeral are the foods richest in vitamin D. I’d also recommened to take A-Z vitamins as they include !00% of your daily recommended vitamin D and B12.

5. Get that D
We aren’t talking about vitamins anymore. Depression can steal your sex drive and replete your ability to feel attractive. On the positive side the benefits of sex or self-play act as a buffer against depression. I wrote an entire post on the benefits of masturbation and why touching yourself should be apart of everyone’s self care routine. At it’s most basic sexual pleasure, even when no orgasm is achieved will release dopamine and epenphrine that will boost your mood and lower stress thus reducing the symptoms of depression.

 

6. Improve your sleep
Although depression can negatively impact your sleep the same goes in reverse. The amount of sleep can impact your emotional health. People with insomnia are three times more likely to develop depression. So make relaxing before bed an important part of your every day schedule. Try to head to bed and wake at the same time every night. Feel free to peruse my ultimate guide to getting god sleep for some helpful tips.

 

7. Take social-media breaks
Studies have found that the use of multiple social media platforms have a strong association with depression and anxiety. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed so many young adults online with depression and anxiety. Our Internet age can be amazing, it allows us to access infinite knowledge but it can also create a great disconnect when it comes to actual companionship. Stop yourself from scrolling down into the infinite void of twitter and take a break every now and then.

 

8. Get a Routine
Depression can blend days into the other and really disrupt our every day routine. It’s important to make sure you stay on top of your self-care. Create yourself a morning routine and stick consistently to it. If your looking for inspiration feel free to check out my video on my morning routine.

 

9. Stop Smoking
study took figures from over 1,000 men and women that showed smokers had more than twice the rate of depression. Their analysis supported nicotine addiction leading to increased risk of depression. A study by Kenneth A. Perkins at the University of Pittsburgh showed that smokers feel better after a cigaratte but only when they haven’t smoked since the previous day. This show the “anti-depressant” claims of smoking are actually only short term and suggests the changes nicotine can have in the brain may be causing your depression. It’s worth trying to stop and seeing the impacts on your depression for yourself.

 

10. Eat less processed food
Replace processed food with whole foods. I know this is one people don’t like to here but processed foods literally make you feel like crap. There are tons of studies linking sugary, processed and hgih fat foods with tiredness, lack of motivation and decreased performance. Feeling more lethargic is the thing someone with depression needs. When you eat whole foods you improve your health, energy levels and overall mood. The easiest step is to try incorporate greens and veggies as a side to every meal.

 

 

Throughout my years struggling with depression changing my own behaviours and mindset did more for me than years of relying on professional help and medications. Of course that’s not to say don’t try them, try everything! But never let yourself say that the hole of depression is something you have no control over. When that vaccum tries to suck you in, if you believe you have no control you’re more likely to let go and let it drag you under.

Follow:

The Ultimate Guide to Getting Good Sleep

 

Most of my teenage years were spent struggling to getting any sleep at all never mind good sleep. As a young adult I now enjoy the best sleep of my life and gone are the days of sitting up at 3am panicking about all the things I have to do. I spent many years trying every solution under the sun, which means you don’t have to. Your physical and mental health is hugely impacted by your sleep, not to mention the quality of your waking life. I have comprised the ultimate guide to sleeping which will go over a few key changes to ensure your sleep stays on track as well as 20 steps to getting sleepy and actually sleeping.

 

Key Habit Changes

 

Stop Sleeping the Same Hours at Different Times

A massive focus is drawn toward how many hours we sleep. You may currently strive to get those 7-8 hours but the most important thing is actually how regular your sleep cycle is. When you go to bed and wake up matters. Waking up and going to sleep at different times every day actually throws your body’s rhythm off and causes sleep problems, even though you’re getting 8 hours a day. Your body follows a Circadian Rhythm, which basically entails that the body is programmed to react to light rhythms, temperature and food. It sounds complex but at it’s most basic the rhythm at which we sleep and wake up affects our sleep, wakefulness and a whole plethora of complex stuff in our bodies. So it’s important that you keep your rhythm regular; waking up when the suns out and going to bed when its darker at the same time every day will have you feeling the most rested but actually regulate your sleep.

1) Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day
This regulates the body’s internal clock giving you good quality sleep.

2) Don’t nap for more than 20 minutes
If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep then napping makes things worse. If you must nap, always set an alarm so you can’t snooze for too long.

3) Stop Lying In on Weekends
If you are truly struggling with your sleep then having a lie in on weekends will throw off your body’s clock and disrupt your progress.

4) Expose Yourself to Daylight
The body is trained to decrease melatonin and wake you up when exposed to sunlight, so don’t sit in a bat cave all day, open those curtains and let the light in.

 

Light Therapy

Remember the Circadian Rhythm thing we were talking about? Well one of the complex things exposure to light can effect within your body is melatonin. Your brain will put out more melatonin when it’s dark – to make you sleepy and less when it’s light – to make you more alert. So there is actual science to why you should be waking up with the sun. Of course there are many aspects in how we currently live our lives that can alter this, like indoor lighting and bright screens.

Morning

1) Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning
As soon as you wake up exposing yourself to Sunlight will decrease melatonin, regulate your sleep cycle and make you more alert. So open the curtains when you wake up, eat your breakfast by a window or sit outside. The light literally wakes you up.

2) Let as much natural light in during the day
Keep all the curtains and blinds open during the day, have your desk in a space where natural light can hit it.

3) Get outside more
Take any excuse you can to make whatever you want to do an outdoor activity. Sit outdoors at the bar or restaurant, take your work breaks outside and swap out your late night strolls for day light strolls.

4) Look into a a light therapy box
If you really struggle during the short winter days look into getting a light therapy box to stimulate sunshine for longer and keep you awake.

 

Night

2) Avoid artificial lights
2 hours before bed avoid the lights emitted by your phone, tablet, pc or any screen as this disrupts your sleep. The body can be tricked by artificial light into decreasing melatonin production that is responsible for making us sleepy. Especially avoid backlit devices.

2) Use Flux
Install Flux on your desktop or laptop. It dimms and yellows the light as the day gets darker so that your screen is more gentle on your eyes, which is great for sleep, headaches and eyestrain.

3) Let less light in
Make your home and the space you’ll be in, in the hours before bed dark. Block light from windows with blackout or heavy curtains, try wearing a sleep mask when you go to bed. Cover up electronics or chargers that emit light.

4) Keep the light off when you get up
If you get up in the middle of the night to pee do not, I repeat do not turn the lights on. Blaring a bright light will make you instantly more alert and may make getting back to sleep a struggle. Navigate in the dark or use the torch on your phone or an actual torch to navigate your way to the bathroom.

 

Food & Drink

What you put into your body can massively impact how well you sleep, how tired you are and when you wake up.

 

1) Caffeine
Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to 12 hours after drinking it. So reduce your caffeine intake and do not take anywhere near your bed time.

2) Nicotine
Another stimulant that can disrupt your sleep. Don’t smoke close to bed time, or ideally don’t smoke at all.

4) Alcohol
Who ever came up with the term night cap damned a lot of people. Alcohol actually interferes with your sleep cycle whilst your asleep.

3) Meals
Avoid big meals at night. Make your tea time earlier in the evening and avoid eating two hours before bed.

4) Sugar & Refined Carbs
Sugary foods and an excess of refined carbs such as white, bread or pasta can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of your sleep.

 

10 Ways to Get Sleepy

 

1. Dim the Lights

Exposure to bright light will decrease melatonin and wake you up, so dim the lights and make the darkest most relaxing space to wind down in.

 

2. Take a Bubble Bath

In the hours leading up to going to sleep take a nice relaxing bubble bath. Many studies have shown bathing before bed aids sleep so long as you give yourself time to cool off before hitting the hay.

 

3. Keep the Noise Down

We (generally) associate night time with silence, so train your brain to link this together with relaxing for bed. Avoid loud music and turn the volume down in the hours before bed.

 

4. Keep Your Room Cool

When we’re too cold or hot it can make it hard to get to sleep or even disturb you whilst sleeping. The optimum temperature for sleep is around 15 °C – 18 °C, so try to keep your room cool.

 

5. Use Lavender Fragrance

Multiple studies have been done showing lavenders positive effects on insomnia, anxiety and sleep. Spritzing lavender fragrance near your pillow, lighting a lavender candles, having lavender in your bedroom or using it in your bath can be great ways to relax and distress before bed.

 

6. Eat Lunch Earlier

Going to bed on a full stomach can disrupt the sleep and going to bed on an an empty stomach can make it hard to actually sleep, so have your lunch in the evening and try not to snack too heavily before bed

 

7. Read a book

Reading or listening to an audio book is a great way to relax, take your mind of worries and make you sleepy. A study showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68%. Just make sure you don’t pick up an overly exciting book that keeps you page turning til 2am.

 

8. Listen to Relaxing Sounds

Asmr is an amazing tool to relax your mind and body in preperation for sleep. You can also listen to white noise or rain to help relax for bed time.

 

9. Exercise

Exercising regularly can lead to better quality sleep. Just make sure you don’t break a sweat before bed, this will raise your temperature and disrupt your sleep. It’s best to exercise more than 3 hours before you sleep.

 

10. Stop Working

Focusing on work stimulates your brain. Working all the way up to bed time and focusing on what you need to get done can cause uneeded stress. Give yourself a cut off time to actually relax at least 1-2 hours before bed.

 

 

10 Ways to Actually Sleep

1. Get a new mattress or pillows
Your bed should be a place you can’t wait to sink into. If you wake up with a sore neck and sore back then revise your pillow set up and if your mattress is uncomfortable invest in a new one.

 

2. Only use your bed for sleeping and sex
The 10 steps you may have taken to get sleepy should all have been done outside of your bedroom. Your bedroom should be reserved for sex and sleep. That way your brain will associate it with sleep and actually become sleepier by just getting into bed.

 

3. Focus on relaxing not sleeping
Your goal when getting to sleep couldn’t’t be to pressure yourself into sleeping. Care more about your well-being and focus on being relaxed. You don’t have to sleep to relax, you have to relax to sleep.

 

4. Write down your worries to deal with tomorrow
If you feel anxious or worry about things you should get done, write it down or make a note in your phone and leave it for the next day. Leave a note pad and pen beside your bed so you can relieve any worries or great ideas off your chest.

 

5. Get up after 15 minutes
If you cannot sleep do not pressure yourself, get up and go back to the 10 steps of getting sleepy. Do something that relaxes you and avoid screens and bright lights whilst doing it.

 

6. Progressively stretch
Whilst in bed start all the way from your facial muscles down to your thighs, knees, calves, feet and toes becoming aware of all the tension you hold in your body, stretching it out and letting it go.

 

7. Visualization
To focus your brain away from any troubling thoughts try visualization. This is similar to counting sheep. Some effective methods are to visualize a giant blackboard and write down from 100, erasing the number slowly each time.

 

8. Listen to Relaxing Sounds
My favorite way to get to sleep is to put earphones in and listen to ASMR. White noise, rain sounds and guided meditation videos are also great to help you drift off.

9. Wear Socks
Whether you shun it or not, cold feet can actually keep you awake. Even in the watmer months I’ve noticed wearing socks and removing the duvet to keep me cool makes for much more restfull sleep than wearing the duvet but poking out bare feet to keep me cool. Your feet and hands impact your core body temperature so as the night goes on and gets cooler, cold feet can lower your entire body temperature waking you up.

 

10. Have a Bed Time Routine
Your body will recognize routines and associate them with sleep. Create a routine like getting into pyjamas, washing your face and brushing your teeth before you hit the hay.

 

Follow:

My Favorite Asmr Creators

As someone who struggled through their teens with insomnia, depression and a lovely dose of anxiety into early adulthood, ASMR was my savior. A few years ago perusing Reddit I discovered a video of a blonde haired woman putting foam on a pair of ears that she had cling filmed. I would have dismissed it as the “weird corner of the internet” but this woman (who I later came to know as Ally) seemed rather aware of how bizare what she was doing was. I had the volume turned down as my little ears were very uncomfortable but I enjoyed the genuine and self-aware nature of Ally as she conducted what I thought was some experiment. So I looked around the subreddit where this video had originated and read countless comments of people talking about how these “ASMR” videos helped them with anxiety, relaxation and sleep. I had tried it all but not this, so I decided to give it a real open minded chance.

Three weeks later the volume was pumped to max and every night I would listen to these wonderful people who sedated me to sleep with soft whispers and nails tapping on tea boxes. I enjoyed the best sleep I’ve had in years. It’s all because I got over that initial rejection of “this is weird” and the discomfort I had at having things so close in my ears, I embraced giving it a proper chance to help me with an open mind. The common denominator of all my favorite ASMR-tists is that they all have such a genuine intent to help others and this intent is what kept me listening. This post is dedicated to all of you wonderful ASMR creators who help me relax more, worry less and get great sleep.

 

Ally – AsmrRequests


By far one of the most creative asmr-tists I’ve ever watched. The production quality on her sci-fi themed videos never fail to blow my socks off  (they’re  some of my favourites) it makes me feel as if I’m in a virtual reality game, which as a gamer myself is the dream really. If you want unique role plays, a variation of accents and amazing acting check her out.

 

 

Emma – Whispers Red


Imagine all the quaint parts of England. Now add a soothing voice. Emma is my go to when I really need to relax, she is so genuine and kind hearted. I think of Emma like the cool mom of the ASMR community. She really takes the trade seriously too, doing courses in sound therapy and mastering the craft that is melting our minds.

 

 

Maria – Gentle Whispering ASMR


The queen of ASMR. Maria seriously has ASMR down to an art, she’s really perfected her craft over the years and is well deserving of being the first ASMR channel to ever hit one million subscribers. You can truly feel her good intentions and how much love she puts into her videos. If I can’t sleep Maria never fails to put me in a fuzzy coma.

 

 

Heather – HeatherFeather


Heather is one of my favourite personalities in the ASMR community, she shares many of my nerdy interests. If you want an asmr-tist to melt your brain, fill you with weird facts and make you laugh then I couldn’t recommend Heather more. She’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever watched on YouTube.

 

 

Ardra – Ardra Neala


Ardra is the weird cousin of the ASMR community and I mean that in the best way possible. Ardra seems to effortlessly create such unique content. Her voice is one of a kind but incredibly soothing. Although Arda’s posting consistency is a little sporadic, it’s always well worth the wait when she uploads.

 

 

Asmr Glow


Asmr Glow is a more recent discovery of mine. I actually followed her makeup Instagram before I discovered she did asmr videos. She does amazing sci-fi / alien themed videos. Her video sets, aesthetic and makeup are other worldly.

 

 

So those are all my current favourite ASMR-tists,  I am eternally grateful to all of these wonderful people for improving the quality of my life and my sleep.  I’d love to know your favourite calming creators and how you discovered ASMR.

Follow:

50 Surprisingly Vegan Snacks & Desserts

Say goodbye to the days where vegan or dairy free meant bidding adieu to cheese, chocolate or ice cream.  With the dairy free industry trending, it means those of us dairy intolerant (and vegans of course) are getting substitutes that are indistinguishable from the real thing, what a time to be alive! These 50 tantalizing vegan snacks & desserts are all surprisingly vegan.

 

Biscuits & Cookies

 

1. Mc Vities Choc Chip Hobnobs
2. Mc Vities Hobnobs
3. Tesco free from cookies
4. Oreo cookies
5. Oreo Thins
6. Mc Vities Oaties
7. Mc Vities Ginger Nuts
8. Mc Vities Hobnobs
9. Bourbons
10. Party rings

 

 

Chocolates & Sweets

 

  1. Cadbury Bournville Plain Chocolate
  2. Lindt 70% 85% and 90% dark chocolate
  3. Tesco chocolate & white chocolate buttons
  4. Tesco Free From Rocky Road
  5. Trek cocoa coconut flapjack
  6. Star burst
  7. Rowntrees Jelly Tots
  8. Rowntrees Tooty Frooties
  9. Skittles
  10. Love Hearts

 

 

Ice Cream & Desserts

 

  1. Alpro Ice Cream
  2. Tesco free from strawberry vanilla cones
  3. Tesco free from toffee and vanilla cones
  4. Tesco Free From Ice Cream Chocolate Sticks
  5. Tesco Free From Ice Lollies
  6. Tesco Free From Assorted Splits
  7. Tesco Free From Brownie Mix
  8. Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake Mix
  9. Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix
  10. ASDA Free From 5 millionaires’ shortcake squares
  11. Asda Free From Rasberry Crumble Squares
  12. Hale and hearty chocolate and date flapjacks
  13. Mrs Crimble’s Stem Ginger Cake
  14. Tesco free from Flapjack

 

 

Pies & Pastries

 

  1. Asda Cherry/Apple Pie
  2. Mr Kippling Apple And Blackcurrant Pies
  3. Mr Kipling Treacle Tart
  4. Sainsburies Free from minced pies
  5. Alpro Custard
  6. Jus-Rol Bake It Fresh Pain Au Chocolate
  7. Jus Roll Cinnamon Swirls
  8. Jus Roll Croissants

 

 

 

Crackers & Toppings

  1. Jacobs Cream Crackers
  2. Ryvita Multiseed Thins
  3. Ritz Crackers
  4. Viola Cheese Spread
  5. Tesco Flavoured Crackers Assortment
  6. Tesco free from jalapeno chilli cheese
  7. Tesco free from  mature cheddar
  8. Tesco free from coconut cheese spread

 

 

Well there you have it, these are all my tried and true absolute favorite snacks. .Shout out to Tesco Bakewells, Perfect World Chocolate Ice Cream and Mrs Crimble’s Maracaroons who didn’t make it onto the list (they contain eggs) but I’d recommened them if your just dairy free like me. This post was apart of my self-care month, I’m making a video every day on my YouTube channel. Finding alternatives to my favorite snacks was detrimental to my self-care, treating yourself is self-care. Cutting out treats all together just wasn’t an option for me but neither was the breakouts that would happen whenever I dug into a tub of cookie dough ice cream. I can honestly say these snacks have me feeling like I’m not missing out at all.  I’d love to know your favorite dairy free or vegan snacks and desserts in the comments below, let’s get a delicious discussion going!

Follow: