How to get a good night's sleep

How to get a good night's sleep

In light of National Bed Month for the duration of March, we're keeping to theme and have listed some helpful tips for a better night's sleep!

In the dark...

The long summer days are (thankfully) not that far away anymore, which means the morning sun will be awake bright and early – and most likely before us. Invest in good quality curtains and blinds that are effective in blocking out the strong daylight. Don’t allow the beaming sun to shine through and disturb your sleep prematurely. Our curtains and blinds department at Alan Ward Shrewsbury is home to hundreds of products that are practical yet stylish!

Not too hot, not too cold!

In order to rest easily, the body needs to remain content throughout the night. Keep your body regulated by sleeping in a comfortable room temperature. We know the British humidity in the summer months can cause restless nights, but simple changes can work to keep you cool. We suggest you use cotton sheets with a high threat count and a duvet with a low tog rating to prevent your body from overheating. A clever tip is to place a bowl of ice in front of a desk fan; this will allow a cool breeze to circulate around the room. During the winter, style your bed with fluffy throws and sheets to generate extra warmth.

Become a creature of habit

Establishing a daily routine is really effective in helping you to sleep better; it allows your body to “learn” when it is time to be active and when it is time to rest. Waking up at a similar time every day allows your body to identify a pattern in your daily activity, so get into the habit of setting an alarm every single day (yes, even on the weekends!). Don’t panic - you don’t need to wake up at 6am on your days off, just try and make the (partial) effort to comply with your routine. You can allow yourself some extra sleep, just not in excessive amounts; though it may be tempting to sleep in until midday on a Sunday, those extra hours can disturb your body’s internal clock and make that subsequent Monday morning feel extra tough.

Have a warm bath or shower

You may be surprised to learn that the rise in body temperature is not what encourages sleepiness, but rather it is the process of the body cooling down afterwards that makes us feel tired. Run a warm bath or have a shower every evening before bed, but try to avoid bathing in hot water; overheating the body has the opposite affect and can actually make it more difficult to sleep. Add a little luxury to your bath or shower by using body products that promote a sense of calm; look for types infused with relaxing notes of lavender and chamomile.

 Switch it off to switch off

It’s hard – we know – but reducing the amount of time spent scrolling through our apps or watching viral videos is good practice when it comes to a bedtime routine. Minimise the impact of the blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, TV and computer by limiting the time you spend on your devices in the evening. If you need a little entertainment before you settle down to sleep, why not research some of the best-selling books and have a good old read? Podcasts and audio books are another excellent alternative to senseless scrolling, and there are thousands to choose from. Give it a go - you may learn some new interesting facts to share in the staff room or discover an up-and-coming author in the process.

Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

Tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and alcoholic beverages before bed are a no-no. Though alcohol can have a sleepy affect, it won’t by any means increase sleep quality. It’s best to drink only water to keep you hydrated without impacting your ability to sleep later on. Try to avoid those irritating 2am toilet trips by reducing your water intake in the lead up to bedtime, and always empty your bladder before you settle down into bed.

 No napping

When you’ve had a hard day on little sleep, there is always the temptation to rest your eyes for “just 10 minutes”… but napping in the day will always endanger the prospect of a good night’s sleep later on. When you feel the urge to nap, stand up and find something productive to do that will distract you from your tiredness!

Fit as a fiddle

Take time out of your day to do some exercise! Regular exercise has been scientifically proven to help us all get a better night’s sleep, and is also effective in tackling insomnia, anxiety and stress. You may be relieved to know that this doesn’t mean running 10k every day! You can identify some ways to make subtle changes that are easy for you to maintain. This can be as simple as parking your car a little further out or using the stairs instead of a lift. Why not make exercise an opportunity to socialise? Invite your friends out for an evening stroll after work or attend a new fitness class that you’ve always been too nervous to do by yourself!

Clear your mind

It’s never helpful when your body is physically exhausted but your mind is still running wild. Clear all thoughts and worries before bed time by writing a ‘to-do’ list for the following day as this will allow you to empty your mind and relax. Be strict with yourself when it comes to working at home – manage your time effectively so that you can switch off from work entirely at a specific time every night. When a good night’s sleep is able to boost overall productivity, it’s more beneficial in the long run to get your recommended 8 hours. When you settle down, your brain needs to be ready to switch off too!

Use a sleep monitor

Today, many smartphones have access to apps that are able to review our daily sleep cycles. Sleep trackers typically monitor body movement throughout the night, which serves as a good indication of how long you are asleep for (since your body stays relatively still when asleep). We are also wired to make positive changes when we take the time to monitor something (e.g. our body weight!), so perhaps making the effort to track your sleep every night will change your overall approach!

Invest in your bed!

Your bed is an investment and one that you should not compromise on. A good night’s sleep is priceless! When it comes to buying a bed, quality overrules the price so make sure your bed is the best that you can afford – your bed will typically last you 7 years! Our bed experts at Alan Ward have years of experience in helping customers achieve a better night’s sleep, so if you’re in need of some advice and guidance, head to your nearest store!

 

 

27th February 2019

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