Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

Over the Bank Holiday weekend I went along to the opening of the new Silentnight flagship showroom at Barton Square in the intu Trafford Centre near Manchester. Sleeping or thinking about sleeping is one of my favourite things to do, I was keen to have a look around and have a bounce on some of their beds.

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

The new store is home to Silentnight’s award-winning products, with more than 30 beds and mattresses showcased across two floors. On display is the Silentnight Signature Collection, featuring a choice of comfort options including the brand’s award-winning eco comfort products, its exclusive Geltex technology and a premium naturals range. There is also a wide selection of sleep accessories including Silentnight duvets, pillows and bedding.

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

The mezzanine floor showcases “Studio by Silentnight”, a collection of contemporary bedframes and cleverly rolled and boxed mattresses. The new Silentnight flagship showroom has everything you need to help your family get a good night’s sleep; from cot and children’s mattresses, through to premium adult mattresses. Not forgetting a new range of stylish sprung pet beds.

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

Silentnight also offer sleep consultations with one of their in-store sleep experts. Where you can try out a range of different mattress styles to find out what works for you, all with the guidance from an in-house sleep expert. The sleep consultations are bookable in advance and there is no hard sell. I spoke to sleep expert and Retail Support Executive, Tim Higgins who gave me the run down on how to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom
Sleep expert and Retail Support Executive, Tim Higgins

Tim’s tips for sleep filled nights –

  • Start winding down for bed in the early evening
  • Make your room as dark as possible, close curtains and blinds
  • Declutter your room, make it only for sleeping
  • Open a window or put a fan on, you sleep better in a slightly cooler room
  • Blue lights from alarm clocks are terrible for disturbing sleep, remove them from your bedroom or cover them up
  • Don’t sleep with your phone or tablet in the room

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

The new Silentnight flagship showroom was opened by star of Location, Location, Location Phil Spencer, who I managed to grab for a quick chat.

I asked Phil for some tips on selling your home, other than trying to keep your house neat and tidy. He said, “most of us move home when we run out of space. When you run out of space it’s usually really obvious. Make it look like you’ve got plenty of room, not too many personal items, clean the windows, maximise the light and don’t over-stuff cupboards because people will open them.”

Phil travels a lot when he’s filming and has a fairly fixed bedtime routine when he’s travelling. He told me “The filming day is quite intense and afterwards I want to have some peace and quiet. I answer emails, order room service, watch some telly. Then I’ll phone home and go to bed as early as I can. I always travel with ear-plugs and an eye mask, I like it to be really dark and quiet when I’m trying to sleep.”

Sleep tips & Phil Spencer at the Silentnight flagship showroom

He was as lovely as he seems on TV. He has inspired me to declutter my bedroom and sort out my cupboards! Phil is currently filming the next series of Location, Location, Location.

If you’re thinking of buying a new bed or mattress then I think it’s worth visiting the new Silentnight flagship showroom. With so many different mattresses and beds to try; plus sleep-experts who won’t give you the hard sell and lots of discounts in-store; it’s a good place to find out what you want and what you need to get a good night’s sleep.

The new Silentnight showroom is open now at Barton Square in the intu Trafford Centre. For more information about the new showroom visit

With thanks to Jen Dixon at for her company and for taking the picture of Phil and me.

Review: Finding Dory Bedding from Character World

This summer, one of the big kids movie hits was Finding Dory. We’ve had a lot of chatter and excitement in our house about this forgetful fish since the film was released. Imagine his little face when I handed him some Finding Dory Bedding from Character World! 

Back when I was a child there was no such thing as character bedding. My bedding was plain and fairly unexciting. Now I really love character bedding and I really enjoying picking out new sets for my son. I always think that new bedding is a quick and fairly inexpensive way to give a bedroom a fresh look. 

This new Finding Dory Bedding really works well with my son’s bedroom. We painted it last year with a dark blue feature wall which we stuck glow in the dark stars on. The blue works with most things and this aquatic themed bedding is no exception.

Finding Dory Bedding

The Finding Dory Bedding is brightly coloured and good quality, the bedding feels soft, not stiff like some bedding can be when you first take it out of the packet and it is made from 100% polycotton. This bedding is also reversible so you are able to choose one of two designs to have as your bedding, which the small boy loves.

One side has got a picture of the Finding Dory characters and is mainly a blue colour. The other side of the cover is a white background with different coloured fish. I’d actually have the shoal of fish side as my bedding. It’s colourful and fun.

The pillowcase has “Making a Splash” written on it and it works with both sides of the bedding.

The boy couldn’t wait for us to make his bed up with the new bedding and got into bed as soon as he could so he could enjoy it. I was delighted with this accidental side-effect – an early night!

In addition to the Finding Dory Duvet Set, we were sent a Finding Dory Hooded Towel (which is perfect for round the swimming pool on holiday) and a lovely Finding Dory cushion to go on his bed with him.

Finding Dory Bedding

The Finding Dory bedding from Character World has been a big hit. I’ll be looking out for other character bedding from them, because the quality and colours are excellent and it washes really well. You can’t really go wrong.


Disclosure: We received the Finding Dory bedding for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Review: Sleepover fun with Snuggle Sac

This week the small boy had his first sleepover. His slightly older cousin came over for the night and the excitement was palpable. In anticipation of the event we were sent a Pirate Snuggle Sac from Ollie and Leila to try out, and boy did we put it through its paces!

The Snuggle Sac is a cozy sleeping bag which is made of fleece with a 100% cotton lining. We chose the pirate one because who doesn’t love pirates. But they come in a wide range of designs including Harry Potter, lions, dogs and fairies etc. They are designed to look a bit like dressing up costumes, so you can pretend to be a pirate whilst you’re curled up for a sleep.


The Snuggle Sac measures 180cm x 70cm and is the perfect size for my five year old, leaving lots of room for him to grow into over the years.

What I particularly like about it is there is a pouch for you to slip in a pillow. The pillow doesn’t go walkies in the night, something which used to really annoy me when I was in sleeping bags as a child. There is your standard sleeping bag zip along one side and pirate feet hanging off the bottom. It’s lots of fun.

Snuggle Sac

The Snuggle Sac comes in its own tote bag, which is great for packing it away when it’s not in use. Although it’s been designed to be used both for camping trips and sleepovers and to replace normal bedding, I think we’ll be using it a lot over the summer for our holidays and for sleepovers. We’re off to the Just So Festival in August, so this will be perfect for then.

Snuggle Sac

We unpacked the Snuggle Sac and the boys went bonkers for it. They loved it and couldn’t wait to try it out. At bedtime we took it upstairs and made a bed on the floor for his cousin, tucked a pillow into the pouch, zipped him up and he soon nodded off. Perfect. Well at least the Snuggle Sac was perfect.

Snuggle Sac

Near midnight, after a bout of coughing cousin Joe was sick on himself, his cuddly toy and the Snuggle Sac (see, I told you we put it through its paces!). So his bed was stripped and the Snuggle Sac washed and hung out to dry. I have to say it washed really well and dried pretty quickly on a sunny day.

It was a shame it didn’t make it through the night, but we know it works, is popular and importantly when dealing with small sticky boys, it washes really well. I know my boy will want to sleep in it tonight and for the next few nights, but then we’ll pack it away in its tote bag ready for our holiday.

Snuggle Sac

The Snuggle Sacs cost £45 here and I think they are lovely fun sleeping bag for kids. They also do adult versions (though sadly not in pirate designs) and Snuggle Sacs for smaller children and babies. I think if you’re planning a family camping trip, or you have lots of sleepovers coming up, these are a great sleeping solution. We love ours!

Note: We were sent a Snuggle Sac for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Health: 8 benefits of drinking sour cherry juice

After reading about the benefits of drinking sour cherry juice I have decided to give it a try to see if it makes me feel any better. It is no hardship for me, as I love cherry juice with something of a passion, so a small glass twice a day is actually something I really look forward to.

Sour cherry juice is different to cartons of juice you might buy from the supermarket. You only need 30mls of this highly concentrated juice which I dilute with water to make a refreshing drink. It certainly puts a spring in my step after I’ve drunk it and it makes me feel really great, it’s hard to describe but I feel super-healthy for about an hour afterwards and I’ve only been drinking it for a week now.

What are the benefits of drinking sour cherry juice?

  1. A glass of juice is one of your recommended five a day. Drinking one glass means I’ve made a start on my fruit and veg portions for the day.
  2. Optima sour cherry juice is made from high quality Montmorency cherries which are packed with powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. These are a type of antioxidant which is known to fight infection and can have a positive impact on the function of your immune system.
  3. Research by the Macrothink Institute in 2012 revealed that the antioxidants in sour cherry juice can reduce pain and significantly reduce inflammation from osteoarthritis. As a chronic pain sufferer I think that this is worth trying out.
  4. Sour cherry juice is naturally high in potassium, which helps to maintain your blood pressure, nerve impulses, digestion and heart rate. A glass of cherry juice contains about 10% of your daily allowance of potassium.
  5. Cherries are an excellent source of vitamins A and C.
  6. A 2007 study in America looked at the effect of sour cherry juice on rats and they found that including sour cherry juice in your daily diet could lower cholesterol, lead to reduced abdominal fat storage and help to protect against metabolic syndrome.
  7. Some recent research in America had indicated that sour cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia and increase overall sleep efficiency.
  8.  A 2014 study by Northumbria University found that cherry juice promoted faster recovery from exercise, maintained muscle function and reduced the incidence and severity of exercise-induced inflammation.

cherry juice

I’ve been trying out the Optima Montmorency Cherry Juice. It is a 500ml bottle and I have approximately 60mls a day, a little goes a long way. The ingredients are Montmorency Cherry Juice Concentrate (99.8%) and the preservative: Potassium Sorbate, so it’s not packed full of sugar or chemicals. Each 30ml serving of the juice contains 78 calories, but you can dilute this down as much as you want.

As someone who lives with chronic pain, I am constantly taking pain killers including anti-inflammatory medication and I really struggle to get to sleep every single night. If all of these health benefits are true, then for me drinking sour cherry juice is a no brainer, and I love how it tastes too, so it’s an easy, pleasurable thing for me to do and one which could potentially promote my own good health.

Getting a good nights sleep

As Autumn edges towards winter I start to think of my bedroom as a cosy little nest to snuggle up in during the long dark winter evenings. My bed becomes my favourite place to be in the house and it quickly becomes covered with squishy cushions and cosy blankets to keep out the winter chills.

I have a very bad back and as much as I’d love to spend my days and nights snuggled up under a thick duvet, my spine won’t let me, but one of the things I do insist on is a good firm mattress, I need to be well supported in bed and comfortable. nothing too saggy or lumpy. I’ve always seen a good quality double mattress as an investment as I spend maybe 8 or so hours a night lying on it.

The dream has always been to have a nice king size bed, so there’s plenty of room for us all, we three like to get in under the covers and read stories before bedtime. Now the small boy is growing up our old double bed seems very small. When we bought our current house I wanted a bedroom big enough to accommodate a new bed with a king size mattress and I think it’s very nearly time to invest in a new bed, one big enough for story time and sleepy cuddles for us all.

Sleep is a serious issue for me, my pain medication means I’m either incredibly alert or very sleepy and I never feel like I get quite enough kip. I’m not alone in that either, according to Mattress Online just 61% of employed people in the UK feel they are getting enough sleep and 22% of people suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia, snoring and nightmares.

Having a cosy, restful bedroom with a comfy bed is one of the best ways you can help guarantee a good nights sleep, you can take other steps too, like avoiding caffeine, having a warm relaxing bath, not playing with your smartphone before bed and just taking time to wind down properly before drifting off to sleep.

How do you guarantee a good nights sleep?

get a good nights sleep

 ~ In collaboration with Mattress Online ~

Review: Good Night Anti Snoring Ring

Having shared a bed with my husband for 20 years it’s safe to say we’ve pretty much grown accustomed to each others nocturnal noises. Despite this we do occasionally have a night where one of us snores much, much, MUCH louder than usual, leading to threats of divorce, or beheading or both. I’ve often toyed with the idea getting an anti snoring ring, so I was pleased when we were sent one to try out.

Good Night Anti Snoring Ring

We were sent the Good Night Anti Snoring Ring which is an acupressure ring you wear on your little finger at night. It has an open top (see picture, I’m finding it impossible to describe) so you can adjust it to fit your finger properly. The inside of the ring has some lumps where the ring presses against your acupressure points, It also had the words “Good Night” inside it, which makes me smile a bit.

Good Night Anti Snoring Ring

I wasn’t sure how effective it would be, but I was keen to give it a go. We were sent the small size which regrettably was too small for hubs big meaty man hands, I was hoping it might stop him honking like a goose in his sleep. It fit very nicely on my delicate lady hands, so I tried it out for a few nights. All you do is put the ring on half an hour before bed so it can start stimulating the acupressure points and that’s it.

I was impressed. Hubs reported no snoring, though apparently it was hard to tell because he was asleep. But he tends to get up an hour or so before me and I wasn’t snoring then so I’m guessing it works. I also felt like I’d had a slightly deeper sleep, certainly I woke up each morning feeling more refreshed than usual. I’m not a great sleeper so I did notice not feeling like death warmed up each morning.

I would say that when we first received this I had a really horrible cold but thought I’d try it out anyway, it really didn’t work when I had a cold, but I was likely mouth breathing anyway.

The Good Night Anti Snoring Ring doesn’t work for everyone, it works for approximately 85% of people who try it, which isn’t bad odds really and worth trying if you’re sharing the bed with someone who makes the windows rattle. I’ll definitely carry on wearing it at night and look into getting a bigger sized one for hubs.

UPDATE 18/4/15
We are delighted to report that we managed to get a larger sized ring to fit my husband, he has worn it virtually ever night since, with the difference in his nocturnal honking and snoring being pretty significant. In fact he thought he’d been magically cured of snoring so left it off for a night and he was back to his normal honking, snorting, snorting self. I refuse to share a bed with him now if he’s not wearing it. So huzzah! I get my husband back. It works, it really works. It’s amazeballs!

The Good Night Anti Snoring Ring is fairly widely available and you can currently find it in Boots for £29.99 or Amazon for £21.79.

Note: I was sent the Good Night Anti Snoring Ring free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.