Stress Month: Sleep

Stress Month: Sleep

Continuing on with our blog series dedicated to Stress Awareness Month, last week we had a fantastic piece written by Georgie from Glo Yoga, which you can read here (https://www.mannsofcranleigh.co.uk/article/38-stress-month-yoga). Georgie explained all things yoga, and showed us some poses to try at home to reduce stress and keep us all feeling on cloud nine.

This week we are focusing on sleep, how much we need and how can we get more! Now, I love a good night’s sleep as much as the next person, but sometimes I just can’t nod off and I’m not sure why. And there is nothing more frustrating than watching the hours tick past, closer and closer to the dreaded alarm. With 32% of the UK population admitting they sleep poorly, and with 49% never seeking out help, it’s time to make a change!*

How much do we need?

We have been told countless times that we need to have 8 hours sleep for our body and brain to function correctly the next day. However, this isn’t necessarily true. It really depends on the individual, not what you wanted to hear I know! The majority of the UK population (33%) have 5-6 hours of sleep, secondly 30% of people sleep 6-7 hours a night, and then we have the 22% who listened to their parents, and get the full 8 hours.*

The best way to find out how much sleep your body really needs is to go to bed at your normal bedtime, limit stimulants, such as coffee and alcohol for at least 4 hours before you go to sleep, don’t set an alarm and see what time you wake up naturally. If you are woken up by partners and children, then you can tell them you’re completing an experiment to get some extra zzz’s!

What is stopping us from sleeping?

There are numerous reasons that prevent us from getting a good night’s kip, but with a few tweaks we can have you sleeping like a baby again.

Almost half the UK population lose sleep at night because of stress and worry, rising to 54% in women and 40% in men. Even 54% of youngsters, aged 16-24, lose sleep because of stress, so don’t worry it’s not an age thing!* Night-time is supposed to be our time to relax and recover from stress we deal with all day, we don’t need it following us to bed every night.

Environmental factors such as night time noise or unnatural lighting can have a massive impact on your sleep cycle, with 18% affected by night time noise and 15% affected by lighting. Music is a fantastic way to block out unwanted night-time noise, 17% of the population uses this on a regular basis.* It doesn’t have to be your favourite playlist or the radio, it can be anything you find relaxing, such as birds singing, rainfall, or soothing spa music. Roberts, Pillow Talk – perfect shape to fit under your pillow, includes headphone jack to connect your phone (£14.99), Earphones (£14.99), Reusable Earplugs (£9.99). Unwanted lighting can be abolished rather easily, through the use of black out blinds or simply an eye mask for instant relief! Bespoke blackout blinds made to order (currently 10% off in the Spring Edit), Eye mask (£14.99).

Another bedtime monster stealing your sleep is that little device you can’t leave the house without, yes, you guessed it, your phone. With 14% of you checking emails before bed and 16% checking social media, no wonder your brain has a hard time switching off.* A blue light is emitted from phones and laptops, which stops your body from secreting your sleep hormone, melatonin. Watching TV may have less of an impact on sleep due to the proximity of blue light exposure being further away than our phone screens, but with 38% of people who watch TV before bed admitting they sleep poorly, limiting your screen time before bed is essential for allowing your body and mind to wind down.*

Let’s get more sleep!

Now onto the good stuff; how to fall asleep instantly as your head hits the pillow… or there about. Ever wondered why gym bunnies always look so well rested and full of energy? It’s not the exercise (well, maybe a little bit), it’s the sleep! Exercising 5-6 times a week has been proven to help the onset of sleep, with 32% who exercise regularly claiming they sleep well most nights. So join the fitness craze and drift off into dreamland.* The Little Book Of Yoga by Eleanor Hall (£6.99).

Having a regular bed time can have a huge positive impact on both your quality of sleep and the quality of your morning. Training your body to sleep at the same time every night allows your body to automatically prepare itself beforehand, allowing yourself to drift off straight away. Keeping a regular morning alarm will also train your body to end its sleep cycle at this time, allowing you to wake up refreshed. After a couple of weeks you might even start to notice you wake up just before your alarm goes off – you are ready for the day! Acclim alarm clocks ranging from £4.99-£23.50 (available in store).

 

Another great way to prepare your body for sleep is to incorporate a night time routine; this can be anything from brushing your teeth, to a bath lit by candle light! We vote for a candlelit bath time everyday day of the week. Pick a scent that relaxes you, use essential oils to aid sleep (read aromatherapy blog post here https://www.mannsofcranleigh.co.uk/article/35-stress-month-aromatherapy-), bath salts and moisturisers with a similar scent will only help –only help to what? If you can’t do this every day then pick days which have been particularly stressful and treat yourself to some self-care. NEOM – Perfect Nights Sleep bath salts (£38), Sleep Bath and Shower Drops (£40), Sleep Reed Diffuser (£38). All containing English Lavander, Sweet Basil and Jasmine essential oils.

 

Our mothers told us to read before bed, and we all know the familiar saying; ‘mother knows best’. Reading before bed allows your body to best prepare for sleep, 41% of the UK currently read before bed and 39% say they sleep really well every night.* Time to jump on the bandwagon! Pick a book that interests you, no matter what that is, and if that book falls flat after 50 pages then simply pick a different one. Bed time routine and rituals should be something to look forward to; it’s your time to pamper yourself and unwind after a busy day. How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price (£12.99).

Lastly your mattress; do you remember how long you have had it for or where you got it from? No? Well, if you think you have had it for over 7 years then it might be time for a replacement. Having an uncomfortable bed affects the sleep of 13% of the UK,* which is not what you need when you’re stressing about Brexit, going to the gym, reading a book, and having a bath… all at the same time! The Sleep Council recommend spending as much as possible on your new mattress, and to bear in mind that bigger beds tend to be more comfortable, especially when sleeping with a bed hogger, oops sorry… partner. Make sure you try before you buy with a new mattress, as everyone is different, and it can vary depending on what life stage you are in. Our team of Bed & Interiors Experts, with their specialist product knowledge and our diverse bed and mattress styles, will be able to help you uncover the wonders of a supportive, comfortable bed. Visit our Sleep Studio to try out our ranges by Harrison, Vispring, Dunlopillo, Myers and Hypnos.

*Statistics included where sourced from ‘The Great British Bed Time Report’ by The Sleep Council

Posted by Naomi Earnshaw
25th April 2019

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