Sleep and laughter course for Derry’s over 50s

If you would like to get out some giggles, Derry City and Strabane District Council will be hosting a free online laughter therapy workshop next week.

The Zoom session, which is aimed at people aged 50 and over, will take place on Monday, March 14 at 2.30pm and is part of a series of workshops taking place during March covering a wide range of topics, co-ordinated by Council and supported by the Public Health Agency.

During the Laughter Therapy workshop, the laughter therapist will start with a warm-up followed by a range of activities designed to get you giggling. Participants will learn more about how laughter doesn’t come easily to everyone, but luckily the body can’t actually distinguish between real and fake laughter – so faking it has the same beneficial effect!

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Attendees at the session will hear about the science behind laughter and how it not only provides a full-scale workout for your muscles, but it also unleashes a rush of stress-busting endorphins.

They will learn that laughter therapy is suitable for everyone and is used as a means of relieving stress. One session may leave you feeling elated and exhausted in equal measure. Muscle tone and cardiovascular functions may be improved, and oxygen levels in the blood may be boosted. In the long term, laughter therapy teaches us that we don’t just have to laugh when we are happy. Laughing in the face of anger, stress or anxiety - even if it’s forced laughter - can actually lift your mood.

Ciara Burke, Council’s Age Friendly Co-ordinator, said: “Laughter helps to provide human connection and emotional bonding which can have many benefits and is one of the most powerful tools against depression and loneliness, as well as helping with pain, anxiety, and insomnia, and helping maintain overall well-being.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sleep Charity will also deliver an online workshop on Thursday March 24, focused on ways to look after and improve your sleep cycle.

Leading sleep expert Dr Gabriella Romano will speak with participants during the seminar about topics such as the science of sleep, common issues, the impact of sleep deprivation, myths around sleep, and practical strategies to help improve sleep.

Dr Romano is a qualified Clinical Psychologist with a passion for sleep science and how it relates to mental health and wellbeing.

As a practitioner, she has worked in community and specialist NHS departments and her specialist placements include adult chronic pain, dementia and adult sleep disorders, paediatric and adolescent psychological medicine.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As a researcher, she has contributed to projects interested in paediatric and adolescent chronic illness, perinatal mental health, birth trauma, youth justice, preventative health strategy, primary care practice and digital health interventions.

The workshop is free to attend and will assist participants in recognising the importance of sleep, particularly as we age, and the impact that not getting enough sleep can have on your overall health and well-being as well as useful tips and a Question and Answer session.

The ‘Leading sleep expert here to help you Look after your sleep’ workshop will take place via Zoom on Thursday 24th March at 11am. Places are free but are limited for both of these courses, therefore, to register please contact Age Friendly Co-ordinator on 028 7125 3253 or email [email protected]