Given that we will spend around ⅓ of our lives sleeping (yes that’s 105,325 times of missed opportunities to watch Die Hard!) it seems crazy that almost a third of the UK’s population are suffering from varying levels of insomnia. According to the Geneva convention sleep deprivation is listed as a type of torture so why are we not taking more proactive steps to ensure we all have a good night’s sleep?
More often than not the power of a good night sleep is in our own hands, so we’ve compiled a quick check-list of ways to help ensure you have the best night sleep so you wake and feel fully rested and ready to take on the world!* (*Disclaimer, unfortunately these tips can all be deemed null and void if you have kids and or your partner snores!)
#1 – Setting the Scene: The Bedroom
Now this may seem very simple but essentially it’s a case of ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Some of us are just prone to be better sleepers than others but that doesn’t mean it has to stay like that. You have to create the right environment to ensure that your body knows it’s sleep time. This means working out what your triggers are. For most people with the digital age that we live in, they are too wired and still ‘plugged in’ whilst laying in bed. If they’re not asleep in a few minutes then they’re checking their phone which only aggravates the situation. How many of us have done the ‘if i fall asleep now, then i’ll get 5 hours sleep, if i fall asleep now i’ll get 4 hours sleep, if i fall asleep now ….then well I may as well just not bother!
So first things first, if you know you’re guilty of playing on your phone then ban it from the bedroom or at least 30 mins before you go to bed. Give your mind time to wind down and for your eyes to get used to the increasing darkness which our body takes as natural cues that it’s time for sleep.
Very fitting with the heatwave we’re experiencing right now but having a nice cool bedroom makes a huge difference to our sleep. Ever notice how on holiday you always sleep better? It’s not just down to the no work, it’s normally thanks to the aircon. Research suggests that the best temperature to set your room to is 16-18c (60-65F) as your body temperature peaks in the evening and then drops whilst you’re asleep. If you’re struggling to get your room temperature anywhere near this then definitely invest in a good cooling tower. Try this cool fan from Dimplex. It won’t bring the room temperature down but it will help keep you cool and hopefully less restless.
#2 – Buy the best mattress you can afford!
There’s so many mattresses on the market right now it does get overwhelming so let us cut through the noise and suggest you invest in this bad boy – The Simba Hybrid Mattress which is yours from only £379 ! With up to 2,500 pocket springs and 5 luxury layers including a responsive memory foam top layer, what’s not to go zzzzz for?! Better yet they have a 100 night risk-free trial so if you somehow find that this doesn’t improve your sleep then just send it back! And with over 35k 5* reviews we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.
Simba also offers a great deal on their bundles. You can save up to 20% off when you buy your duvet and pillows from their as well making it cheaper to buy everything rather than just the mattress. Enjoy their Simba Hybrid® Pillow with OUTLAST® which costs £95. Not only does it respond to your body temperature which helps make sure you’re never too hot or too cold but you can also adjust it to the correct height that you need for your sleep position, supporting the complex structures of the head, neck, and spine. Still not convinced of the need of a good bed? Well believe it or not but up to 50% of us can experience back pain through no cause of injury and your old or un-supportive mattress could be the root cause.
#3 – Sleep Gadgets / Aids that actually help you sleep
You’ve got the room sorted, the bed all made and comfortably tucked in but still having trouble actually ‘falling asleep’ then check out our below recommendations to help you unwind and gently drift off for a full nights slumber. Sleepyti.me – A webapp that tells you the best times to fall asleep based on the time that you need to wake up to ensure you feel fully rested. Relax melodies – A free app for your iphone which you can play on airplane mode. The free version is brilliant and offers over a 100 different melodies which you can layer over each other to create your own bespoke soundtrack to fall asleep to. It includes everything from raindrops to the ocean waves and frogs to birds! Fitbit – Not something to actively help you to sleep but it does give you a full insight into your nights sleep. You can see how often and when you enter the deep stages of sleep as often we have nights where we sleep for a long time but still wake up feeling knackered.This Works Pillow spray & Pulse points balm – Blends of lavender and essential oils to help you relax and breathe more deeply enabling you to drift off to a restful nights sleep.
4) Diet & Exercise to help establish a good night sleep
If you are a troubled sleeper then exercise before bed is a no no; make sure you leave at least 2 hours after exercise as even though you may be physically tired your mind may be revved up due to the amounts of cortisol or adrenaline in your body. Ensuring you’ve had an active day and are physically tired is a great aid to sleep so just make sure you aim for a good workout in the morning or afternoon.
Again an obvious solution but avoid caffeine at all costs! If you can’t remove this from your diet then just switch to decaf version post midday to make sure that there’s enough time in the day to get out of your system and not inhibit your sleep. Similarly avoid consuming spicy food and any junk just before bed as this will also play havoc with your system and not aid a restful nights sleep. Despite alcohol being one of the most common sleep aids (20% of US adults rely on it for help falling asleep) it is actually one of the worse things you can have! Drinking regularly or just moderate drinking can really interfere with your sleep as it can suppress melatonin, which is something our body produces to help facilitate sleep and regulate our sleep-wake cycles. So if you are the type of person that enjoys a glass of wine or beer to help unwind after a long day that’s fine but just make sure you leave enough of a gap between your last glass and going to bed to try and prevent the alcohol from having too much of a negative effect on the quality of your sleep.