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Show season is hotting up..More dates added

Posted on July 30, 2017 by Urban Wool

As we sprint into summer we're adding more dates to our schedule. Here's our latest additions with more to be added...

 

Portishead Flower & Country Show 29th-30th July (Sue)

Totes Show, Devon 30th July (David)

Woolsery & District Agricultural Show, North Devon 1st August (David)

Tenbury Show, Worcestershire 5th August (Sue)

Garstang Show, Preston 5th August (David)

The Cheshire Game & Angling Fair, Knutsford 6th August (David)

Nevern Show, Pembrokeshire 9th August (Sue)

Far Forest Show, Worcestershire 12th-13th August (Sue)

Pembrokshire County Show, Haverfordwest 15th-17th August (Sue)

Tractorfest, Biddenden, Kent 19th-20th August (Sue)

Dartmouth Regatta 24th-26th August (Sue)

Moreton in Marsh Show, Cotswolds 2nd September (Sue)

 

More dates being added all the time - we'd love to see more old and new customers this year.

There are lots of specials this year as we sell off some older stock and introduce more new items - bargains to be had every day.

We occasionally have spare tickets so if there's a show you want to go to drop us a line and if we have spares then they're up for grabs.

Scent and Sleep

Posted on June 10, 2017 by Urban Wool

I’ve been reading up on aromatherapy and such as part of my 2017 health regime, added to supporting BCUK’s ‘Reduce your risk’ campaign and there’s some really good stuff out there.

Here’s some of the knowledge i’ve gained..

 

Aromatherapy

 

Experts believe our sense of smell is our strongest sense. Apparently our scent receptors are 10,000 times more accurate than taste buds? No neither did we!

 

When we smell something, zillions of smell receptors ping our olfactory bulbs, a tiny section in our brain. From there, scent is sorted and our limbic system is kicked into action, which is where basic human behaviours (as well as learning and emotions) are controlled. Ever associated a memory with a smell? Now you know why. Simply inhaling a scent sets off a chain reaction in the brain and body, activating the immune system, altering blood pressure and stimulating digestion.

How cool is that?

 

 

Natural Healing

 

Studies shows that exposure to different scents can aid long-term health and relieve stress, pain, nausea, insomnia and improve mood. Combining scents and essential oils – aromatherapy – have even show to kill flu, E. coli, and a variety of other ailments.

 

In the US there are reports stating submissions into A&E departments for sleep-related issues increased by over 200% between 2005 and 2010. Just imagine how much quieter emergency rooms would be if everyone got a little more restful sleep!

 

So where to start? The aromatherapy business is unregulated and more research on side effects is needed.

 

Experts suggest keeping your exposure to short time periods – less than an hour a day – and following instructions on the bottle. It’s always a good idea to let your doctor know – especially if you take medication on a regular basis or suffer from a chronic health condition. Just as with any medicine, exercise caution and monitor your progress.

 

Ready to sniff your way a healthier night’s sleep?

 

Lavender is the rest and digest scent but it’s also been used to help curb depression, anxiety, insomnia and migraine pain. Lightly spritz your pillowcase before bed each night. Try our gorgeous Laura Thomas Lavender pillow mist (sold alone or as part of our bedding sets deal).

A diffuser is also an effective way to release essential oils into the atmosphere. Check out our Laura Thomas Lavender Diffuser.

 

If Lavender isn’t your thing (can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t love lavender) then here’s a list of some other favourites:

 

 

Orange & Lemon reduce anxiety while improving a positive, calm outlook. 

Peppermint helps decrease cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and reduces fatigue. As a bonus, it’s also been shown to reduce sugar cravings. 

Rosemary enhances brain power, improving speed and accuracy during demanding mental tasks. Research shows that it also boosts energy and reduces fatigue. 

Sage perks up memory and attention but it’s also been shown to reduce blood pressure in medical studies. It’s a popular cooking herb, so buy a few sprigs and hang them in your kitchen to help keep you calm during that crazy hour before dinner.

Chamomile my favourite bed time tipple is soothing and has been used as a mild, relaxing sleep aid to help treat insomnia for centuries. 

Jasmine can calm and relax the mind (but it’s also been known to help boost energy. Jasmine tea can be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. 

Bergamot enhances relaxation, boosts mental acuity and helps prevent illness. It’s also a gorgeous perfume base.

 

 

 

The Importance of Sleep

Posted on June 03, 2017 by Urban Wool

I received the following to my personal email from Daily Om which is apt considering sleep is our business. Have a read…

 

Regular periods of sleep are key to a healthy body and a clear mind as it is during sleep that your body renews itself.

When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. 

Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. 

 

While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don't feel well rested unless they've slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. The benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself. 

 

The ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may even have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you dream. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced. 

 

Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity. 

 

Author Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. A good night's sleep also has been known to bring with it the gifts of clarity, wisdom, and a fresh perspective. Even the ancient Greeks thought of sleep as a gift from the gods. Give yourself the gift of peaceful slumber and you will likely find yourself feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life's challenges. You may also find yourself feeling more centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential. 

Source BY MADISYN TAYLOR  Daily OM

Sleep Fact 4 - The Key to Exam Success

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Urban Wool

With schools study leave in full swing, students revising for their GCSE and A level exams will be feeling the pressure to succeed.

Sleep and exam prep

As they battle through the most stressful month of the school year, The Sleep Council has some tips for surviving The Exam Weeks – with a good night’s sleep being one of the most important tools for doing well.

 

Said Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council: "How students manage exam-time stress can have a huge impact on their ability to perform under pressure. 

 

"Exam time has always been stressful, but loss of sleep, increased caffeine consumption and unhealthy snacking are sure-fire ways to create a less than optimal exam-time performance.

 

“Lack of sleep can end up clouding judgement or increasing the number of mistakes made. Students need to get at least six to eight hours of sleep a night, particularly on the night before an exam.”

 

Here then, are The Sleep Council’s tips to surviving the dreaded summer exams: 

  • BE PREPARED: The best way to manage stress and anxiety around exam time is to be as prepared as possible. Draw up a rough ‘revision timetable’ of what you need to revise when to ensure every subject is covered – and stick to it!
  • SLEEP WELL: Most people need at least six to eight hours of sleep every night – so no pulling an all-nighter to cram for an exam! Lack of sleep results in poor coping strategies for managing stress and ‘fuzzy’ thinking. The best bet by far is to study often and in advance and build in a good rest before the big day. Sleeping on a comfortable, supportive bed can really help with a good night’s sleep.
  • GET PHYSICAL: Physical exertion provides an outlet for mental stress. Let off some steam by walking, running, getting involved in a sport etc. 
  • PRIORITISE: The sheer amount of revision to be done can sometimes seem overwhelming. Set priorities and work on the most urgent first. Break tasks down into manageable chunks and set goals that are reasonable.
  • PRACTICE A RELAXATION TECHNIQUE: Relaxation techniques can help to create a sense of calm and are simple to perform in the bedroom without any special equipment. Deep breathing with your eyes closed is a simple way to remedy stress. Focus on your breath as you deeply inhale and exhale.
  • CHANGE THE SCENERY: Persistence is key when it comes to studying, but a change of scenery can reduce stress levels.  Head outdoors to breathe in some fresh air and, if possible, take a walk to a picturesque place with trees, flowers or other comforting surroundings. Sprucing up your space is another way to change the scenery when you can't break away. Hang new pictures on the wall, or add some new cushions to the room.  
  • SOCIALISE – A LITTLE!: Getting together with friends is another healthy way to blow off steam and chat with others who know just how you feel. Sometimes just being around other people who understand is enough to feel better – at other times, talk about your stress and ask for help from family and friends
  • EAT WELL: Stress eating can seriously disrupt healthy eating habits. Keep healthy, easy-to-eat snacks around such as nuts or fresh fruit. 
  • POSTIVE SELF-TALK: Thoughts, feelings, and behaviour are connected so it’s important to monitor self-talk, focus on the present, set realistic goals, and remain appropriately optimistic. Source The Sleep Council

Breast Cancer UK offers volunteers the chance to proactively help to reduce people’s risk of breast cancer By Nikki Mattei, Breast Cancer UK Ambassador Project Manager

Posted on May 29, 2017 by Urban Wool

Breast Cancer UK launched its Ambassador Project in 2016 with funding from The Big Lottery Fund.  Our ambassadors are available to give talks and presentations to companies, clubs and events and aim to help people reduce their risk of breast cancer.   One year on, the programme has been a great success and the charity is looking to increase its reach and impact.   
A real need for prevention
It is predicted that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives.  55,000 people are diagnosed with the disease every year and incidence rates have more than doubled since records began in 1971.
In recent years, breast cancer awareness has become enormously visible – most people know that they should be checking their breasts and know that they should report any changes to their doctor.  However, there is not always high awareness about breast cancer risk factors and, importantly, what action can be taken to reduce your risk. 
The Ambassador Project was launched to address this – and to help raise awareness of the risk factors for breast cancer.  We also wanted to show people that there are simple things anyone can do in their daily lives to reduce their risk.  We knew that the best way to get these messages across was talking to people in their communities face-to-face.
Since June last year, we have recruited and trained 20 volunteer Ambassadors and our community of ambassadors continues to grow. 
The risk factors for breast cancer are many.   It is known that a lack of exercise, being overweight, having a family history, alcohol consumption and various medications such as HRT for example are directly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.  
There is growing scientific evidence to suggest that a group of chemicals knowns as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) present in our environment and used in many everyday products may also increase our risk of the disease.   Breast Cancer UK aims to raise awareness of these chemicals, campaigns for universal measures to reduce our exposure and supports scientific research so that we better understand their role in breast cancer.   
A positive message
One of the key aspects of the Breast Cancer UK Ambassador Project is that the whole tone and approach is one of positivity.  The steps shared for reducing risk are simple things that anyone can do in their everyday lives.
Too many messages about cancer use fear as the motivator for people to take action. Breast Cancer UK want to show people that it is really enjoyable to lead a natural, healthy lifestyle with a good quality diet, enjoyable exercise and opting for safer natural choices.  If you are not living this kind of lifestyle, you are actually missing out!  Plus you will enjoy the benefits of being happier and healthier.
You can get a feel for this message in our short film
A volunteering opportunity which can change someone else’s life and yours too
We all want to prevent breast cancer, to prevent the agony that is felt when one of our close friends or family is diagnosed,  and whilst we are glad to see more women surviving breast cancer, we would all rather none of them had to go through it in the first place.  
Breast Cancer UK Ambassadors are offered the chance to help make this a reality.  The charity provides full training on the known and suspected risk factors for breast cancer.  Ambassadors will be fully equipped with guidance, leaflets and publications to help them deliver their message.   
As well as sharing information, our Ambassadors can become part of a growing community of people who are not prepared to accept that breast cancer is inevitable, but that we can take action to reduce our risk.    In doing so, we hope that breast cancer incidence rates will eventually start to fall. 
 
Join us
If this type of volunteering opportunity is appealing – why not contact me.  Fill in a form and I’ll get in touch to arrange an informal chat about the programme.    Don’t delay our next Training Day is on 8 July!  Find out more here.
Thanks to our guest blogger Nikki - let's give this our full support
 

 

Allergies or Asthma affecting your sleep?

Posted on April 29, 2017 by Urban Wool

Replacing synthetic bedding with pure wool is definitely high on the list of remedies for helping sort out your allergies.

Bed bugs and dust mites don't like wool as it is not hot or humid enough for them to survive and many allergies and most cases of asthma are caused by these little visitors.

Dust mites allergies

Another cause of any respiratory issues in old and mildew so it's good to know wool is naturally resistant to hold and mildew. Wool wicks away water so prevents moisture from being retained.

In addition to our beautiful bedding here are some other tips to help you minimise allergies at this time of year

Limit carpets and upholstery if possible. If you must have it opt for wool when you are next looking for a change. Wool carpets are more expensive but they will last a lot longer and not hold onto dust mites - surely good sleep is worth the outlay long term?

While we all do our best to help the planet and are encourage to wash at 3, if you do suffer then we suggest washing sheets every week on a hot wash. Always use 100% cotton and a hot wash will ensure all germs and dust particles are gone.

Use a dehumidifier if having windows open affects you

Remove stuffed toys from children rooms - they may love them but they hold onto so may germs and the dreaded dust mites 

Keep windows and doors closed during times of high pollen

There are a range of natural herbs on the market and it is said local honey is good and helps with allergies.

Let us know how you get on..

 

Storing and moving your wool bedding

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Urban Wool

Moving home, travelling, camping?

Urban Wool Paking

We often get asked how best to store our wool bedding if not in use.

Urban Wool bedding can be stored either in a cedar chest/wardrobe or sealed in plastic. We prefer not to use plastic as we like all things natural but it OK to do so if you don't have another option i.e. limited in space. The most important thing is to be sure that the product is clean and well protected from moths.  When your bedding is being used regularly, moths are not an issue, but when stored in the dark, it is important that the  packaging is completely sealed so moths can't get in.  Cedar naturally repels moths, as well as essential oils and herbs such as Lavender, Patchouli, Oregano and Palo Santo.  

Place your bedding in a breathable bag to protect it while traveling. We carry a limited supply of large cotton bags at any one time so if on the move give us a call and we'll look after you.

 

Looked after well your Urban Wool Organic Wool Bedding will last you for years.

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