How to sleep better
As Britons, we’re notorious for working hard and playing hard. So sleeping is a key component in maintaining our reputation – but surely sleeping is pretty easy stuff right? I’m not so convinced – I struggle to get the full 8 hours and I really feel it the next day! Whilst it would be easy to blame my snoring partner (and believe me he snores), there are probably lots of things that I’m doing to impact it. So I went on a bit of a scavenger hunt for information, and came up with some tried and tested tips. At first I thought they were pretty standard observations, but it turns out I’m not really sticking to many of them at the moment!
Let your body clock drop
First thing’s first – scrutinise your boudoir. It needs to be completely dark, you could even use blackout lining which can be sewn to the back of your curtains. The reason for this is because when your environment becomes dark, your circadian rhythm (a fancy way of saying body clock) drops to the lowest level which helps to maintain sleep.
Keep your room cool
Believe it or not, your room needs to be on the chilly side. About 16-18c is right. Our bodies are at their coolest early morning time, and peaks early evening. So if you like your environment to be a toasty 24c, beware that anything over this is likely to disrupt your sleep.
Dialling down the noise
Now if you’re anything like me, you need to be bunged up to the eyeballs with plugs to muffle out any noise. I will wake up to most noises – whether it’s a leaf landing on the window-pane, or a huge beast of a seagull squawking outside the bedroom. Sudden noises will generally disrupt most people’s sleep. But steady, gentle sounds can actually have the opposite effect – it will act as white noise and block out any loud or sudden noises. In fact, you can buy ‘white noise’ CDs for this very purpose!
Keep the peace
If you and your darling other half are having a bit of a squabble, it’s very important to resolve any issues before you go to sleep. You certainly won’t be in the right frame of mind for sleep otherwise!
The best bed for you
Whether you have a wriggler of a bed-partner, an achy back, need lots of room for the kiddies to romp on or just want a bit of space from the snoring – trust us, the right bed is out there. It’s easy to cover the problem with luxury bed linen, but that bulging, lumpy mattress could be the root of all your sleeping problems!
Test, test, test. Make sure you lie on your potential new mattress for as long as you need – shoes off, coats off, in your jim-jams (well maybe not that far). Check it’s the right firmness/softness for you weight, build and comfort. You don’t want it to be too soft as you will end up with back pain, and you don’t want it firm enough to cause you joint pressure.
Size is everything – especially if you have a snorer. It will also mean you don’t move around as much. When you buy your new mattress ensure you and your partner are there to make sure you both find the right type.
September 19th 2013