If we’re talking about sleep, a male colleague, who both snored and thrashed about, swears by the Goodnight Pillow. Made of memory foam, its contoured shape cradles the neck in such a way that he’s stopped chucking himself around the bed and, ‘Hallelujah, it’s reduced my snoring. It took a few days to get used to, but it’s worked wonders. My wife finds it helps her bad neck, too.’ £49.99.
MY HEALTH: SAM DAY
How one woman has coped with the emotional effects of breast cancer.
My breast cancer was found just over a year ago. It was very early (stage two), with two small malignant tumours, but I had lots of ductal carcinoma in situ (noninvasive cancer cells) so my left breast was removed.
I didn’t need chemo- or radiotherapy as it was caught so early. I am on tamoxifen for five years and, luckily, don’t have many side effects.
A cousin has also been diagnosed with breast cancer, so I’m having genetic testing. If it’s positive, I may opt to have the other breast removed.
I felt very alone when I was diagnosed. My dad read an article about a girl my age who was diagnosed the same day. I contacted her and we became friends.
We formed a private Facebook group, called ‘Kicking C in the nuts’ – it currently has 11 members. I couldn’t have got through without these girls and the bond we share. A new girl joined yesterday: she has just been diagnosed and has all the same questions and fears we did. We can help reassure her.
We meet in person, too. Several of us had our ‘one year clear’ letter recently and celebrated at a concert in Hyde Park. A group also went to Cornwall and ended up on Saturday night with a bottle of wine doing a ‘show and tell’ about reconstructive surgery and tattooed nipples: we laughed and cried in equal measure.
I would love to say everyone could join our group but a small intimate number works better: we all know each other and our stories. Anyone can start their own network. If you don’t know other similar patients, ask your breast cancer nurse – they are brilliant at helping.
YOU REALLY DO NEED YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP!
Recent scientific research commissioned by Estée Lauder confirms for the first time that skin repair and renewal takes place at night. The clinical study at Case Western University in America examined 60 women aged between 30 and 49, half of whom slept poorly – defined as less than five hours’ poor-quality sleep per night – and the other half good sleepers, slumbering happily for seven hours. Key findings showed that poor-quality sleep accelerated fine lines, was linked to uneven skin tone, and skin was more dehydrated due to a weaker barrier. (Poor sleepers also tended to put on weight.) The message is clear: for lovely skin, you need your beauty zzzs and – Estée Lauder would insist – cutting- edge products such as the new version of its classic Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, £48.
ON THE PULSE
A small device that emits pulsed electromagnetic field waves is helping a reader with severe osteoarthritis in one ankle. ‘Walking was very painful and I was told nothing more could be done without surgery. But, for the past month, I have used HoMedics iHeal every night for up to ten hours. The pain is much reduced, even mostly eliminated if I keep to flat surfaces. I’m delighted.’ HoMedics iHeal, £49.99, from Boots and amazon.co.uk.