In case you’ve forgotten, the clocks change this Sunday, 25th October, which means we’ll gain an extra hour. We’ve never really got our heads around the whole daylight saving concept, but we love the idea of an extra hour in bed! So, in honour of the bonus bed-time this weekend, we’ve been digging around for tip-top-tips on sleeping, and good old Grazia has come up trumps again in its fab feature Create the perfect sleep space. Here we share our favourite excerpts:
· Your bedroom needs to be all about sleep. It’s not an office, gym or cinema, says sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley of The Sleep Consultancy. If you’re WFH and your bedroom has to double up as your office, try and zone it off. Create a barrier or separate area with a screen if you can, or keep just that one area for working – don’t be tempted to work on your laptop in bed. Make your bedroom a room you love being in to. Decorate it so you look forward to being in there. Paint it a favourite colour, make sure the duvet is inviting… it all plays a role in promoting good sleep. Burn a scented candle if you like – research has shown that jasmine and lavender help you to relax and let go of the day. House plants add a refreshing touch of green and help clean the air. Decluttering helps create a more calming feel as stuff can trigger thoughts that keep you awake, so the less you have the better. You want to sleep in darkness as quite low levels of light can disturb your sleep. It’s important that the bedroom is cool – between 16-18 degrees… and keep the room well-ventilated by letting in fresh air during the day
· Routine is good, so create a new routine to replace the old one. Keep the weekdays and the weekends the same. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day is important. Changing your sleep pattern affects your physical and mental health.
· Our body clock is regulated by light. Morning light is essential for getting our dose of Vitamin D. Get at least 15 minutes of it if possible. In the evening, however, avoid light. Devices such as laptops, iPads or phones disrupt the body clock because of the light they emit. Give yourself a curfew and turn them off about one or two hours before you go to bed. It’s not just the light – what you’re looking at is food for thought and even if it’s good news that is exciting, your mind will be racing thinking about it.
· Acknowledge anxiety. Avoid stressful information just before you go to sleep… Give yourself permission to feel anxious. People don’t want to be anxious and they struggle against it but that gets you into a more stressful state, producing more adrenalin and cortisol. Instead accept that you are anxious and that will help you feel calmer. Introduce 10 minutes of mindfulness every day.
· Watch what you eat… Eat dinner about three to four hours before you go to bed. Otherwise, your body needs to burn calories, which generates heat, stopping your body from losing that one degree of temperature.
· Move it! Exercise is important for our health and it supports our sleep.
Futon Company says: Great piece. Some real nuggets in there. For our part, the key to creating a restful sleep space is to invest in a bed or futon that supports you and encourages rest and relaxation. Also, plenty of cushions and a warm blanket are a must in creating a happy haven to rest your weary head!