Sleeping fewer than 6 hours a night? You’re part of one of the single greatest public health challenges we face. If not, you definitely know someone who is…
Chronic tiredness has been scientifically linked to many major diseases in the developed world, from Alzheimer’s to strokes.
And yet, there’s an incredibly high chance you’re getting less sleep than your family did 70 years ago - up to a whopping 84 minutes less a night. It adds up.
Imagine how much more productive and healthier you’d feel with practically 10 hours more sleep this week. It’s time for you to reclaim your right to sleep and change your sleep habits for good.
Try these 12 tips and give yourself the best chance of 8 hours of healthy sleep tonight.
1. Skip the nightcap
Wine, spirits or beer – your tipple of choice stops you sleeping naturally. Despite being a sedative, alcohol does not help to induce natural sleep.
Alcohol actually wakes you up several times during the night, causing you to miss out on the essential dream sleep your body needs. You just never remember it happening. That's why you feel groggy in the morning even when you feel like you've been asleep a long time.
2. Give up after 20 minutes
Staring at your clock or ceiling is the absolute worst thing to do when you’re having trouble sleeping, so get up and out of your bedroom when you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll start to subconsciously associate your bed with being awake.
Listen to the calming music of our Spotify playlist, and only go back to bed when you’re feeling sleepy. No pressure.
3. Stick to a solid routine
Get a sense of déjà vu. Wake up and go to bed the same time every single day without cheating. Saturday and Sunday included. See, no lie-in can ever make up for your late nights, because your brain physically cannot store sleep in the same way your body stores energy from food.
In fact, you’ll find it even harder to get up the day after your lazy morning in bed. So keep your body clock consistent.
4. Go to your dark place
Melatonin only comes out to play when it’s dark - and this is the hormone that helps you sleep at the right time. So switch off your TV, power down your laptop and dim your lights an hour before bedtime – the artificial light wreaks havoc on your body's natural sleep rhythms.
5. Keep your cool
Crack a window open, sleep on a cooling woollen mattress or in the buff - you want your body temperature to drop by a degree to get to sleep.
That's why you’ll always find it easier to drift off in a chilly room than a hot room.
6. Sink into a hot bath
Soak in a hot bath for 30 minutes, two hours before bedtime – you could even use lavender bubble bath or moisturiser, with its slightly sedative effect. You’ll feel a lot cooler when you step out, and this drop in temperature will prepare your body and mind for sleep.
7. Time your coffee right
Can’t live without your cup of Joe? Stick the kettle on in the morning – or prepare to feel the effects of your lunchtime brew at midnight. Caffeine is a stimulant, you know this, but did you know a quarter of the caffeine stays in your body for 12 hours?
Keep this in mind next time you decide it's time for another coffee.
8. Head outside
Sun yourself for as little as 30 minutes a day to fall peacefully asleep within 20 minutes. Daylight helps regulate your sleep patterns, especially when you’re in the sunshine for an hour in the morning and dim the lights an hour before bed.
9. Nap before 3pm
Snooze for 20 minutes when you want to feel more productive and refreshed, but never do it after 3pm, as you’ll find it harder to sleep tonight.
Think of sleepiness like pressure in a pipe. When you nap, the pressure is released, making it more difficult to feel sleepy again when it's time for bed.
10. Find your talisman
Practice calming your mind to feel relaxed before bed. Pick something in your bedroom, like a trinket, and focus all your attention on to it.
Your thoughts will try to distract you, so acknowledge them without judgement and let them wash over you, and return to your focus. Book time in your schedule to unwind.
11. Check your meds
From Asthma to heart and blood pressure medication, even over the counter remedies for coughs, colds or allergies – your medicine could be disrupting your sleep. And when it does, why not chat with your doctor about potential alternatives?
12. Swap your mattress
Alternatively, support your neck, back and hips with a firmer non-sprung mattress, filled with extra cushioning materials, such as memory form or natural latex.
Tweet, Facebook, call or email us your needs and we'll pair you up with your ideal mattress.
A whole lot more than selling beds.
Our resident sleep specialist Carl has spent more than 40 years educating people on the importance of sleep.
It’s his belief that people who get the recommended 8 hours of sleep live longer and happier lives. It’s why we won’t rest until you do.
If you haven't seen the video yet, watch it here.