It’s September; spring is arriving, it’s not long until the kids break up for school and importantly, it’s a chance to step back, slow down and refresh before longer, brighter days kick in.
Sleeptember, The Sleep Charity’s annual awareness campaign, is your official reminder to check in on your sleep. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often de-prioritise sleep in order to tick things off our busy to-do lists.
Sleep is a fundamental human requirement, and we need enough of it to maintain a healthy lifestyle; to have the physical, mental, and emotional energy we need to have positive, productive days. According to The Sleep Charity, there is no magic number of hours we should sleep for, although the guidance is 7-8 hours a night, but rather we should be focussing on the quality of sleep we get.
If you’re feeling tired when you wake up, lacking in energy, under-stimulated or unable to function throughout the day, then it’s time to look at your sleep routine. Our Sleep Experts are here to give you 8 simple ways to improve your bedtime set up so you can sleep faster, deeper and for longer.
Start your day off right by exercising. It’ll give your body a healthy boost of serotonin; a hormone that induces a happy mood and sense of well-being. Low serotonin can lead to insomnia, and it’s also a precursor to the melatonin hormone which helps control our sleep cycle.
Alternatively, end your day by doing yoga or stretching, this will help your body relax and prepare for sleep.
2. Avoid caffeine
The golden rule of getting a good night’s sleep. According to research, we should be avoiding caffeine at least six hours before we go to bed. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and can keep us awake at night; not only does it make it hard for us to fall asleep but can also prevent us from falling into a deep sleep.
3. Cut back on technology
Devices including phones, iPads and TVs stimulate our brains, keeping them active and engaged; the opposite of what we want at night. According to the Sleep Foundation, the blue light emitted by devices disrupts the natural production of melatonin, which as we already know, is needed to trigger the sleep cycle.
If you’re not able to leave your devices outside of your bedroom, at least avoid them during the hour leading up to your bedtime.
4. Journal or meditate
Journaling or writing at the end of the day is a brilliant way to empty your mind and mentally close the day. It enables us to reflect and release whatever it may be that we’re holding on to, anxious about or looking forward to. Similarly, meditating before bed enables us to clear our minds and find inner peace, leaving us ready to settle down for the night.
It’s not always as simple as getting into bed and going to sleep; for lots of us, we need to do something in order to wind down, and reading is the perfect option!
Books transports us to other fantastical, fantasy worlds, enabling our minds to switch off from the day’s events. Reading can reduce stress and worry, as well as giving us a chance to enjoy some well-deserved ‘me time’. Bedtime stories have been a nightly ritual since we were children so why stop as adults?
6. Use your favourite sleepy scents
A big part of sleeping is the routine and doing things that make us feel relaxed and excited to get into bed. Using an oil diffuser or pillow spray with scents of lavender, rose, chamomile or clary sage will create a calming environment; lulling us into a peaceful slumber.
7. Fresh bedding
There’s no better feeling than climbing into bed after a busy day, greeted by clean sheets and the comforting smell of your favourite fabric softener. Just like using an oil diffuser or pillow spray, this little ritual creates a welcoming environment that makes us want to get into bed and snuggle up.
8. Invest in an Octasmart® mattress topper or pillow
Aches and pains and feeling hot and sweaty are two of the many reasons we struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Our Octaspring® technology works to relieve these sleep-stealers by combining the comfort of foam with the support of springs to create the perfect resting surface. Our mattress toppers and pillows are all created either using, or inspired by, this technology.
Our toppers distribute your body weight properly so your body can take its natural alignment and our pillows allow your head and neck to feel cradled all night long so you can say goodbye to achiness. On top of that, our products work hard to keep you cool all night long, with our award-winning technology making them 8x more breathable than standard foam.
Find out more about why you should choose Octasmart.