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Health Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle Sleep Tips

Eight New Year’s Resolutions For Better Sleep

So it’s a new year and we get it – the past 365 days were a lot!

But we are looking ahead in 2021 and are focusing on making positive changes! It’s time to start setting ourselves wellness goals because this year we are all about self-care. Of course, top of our self-care list is The Big January Snooze – getting more sleep and looking after our bodies and mind. But here are our top resolutions for better sleep (that you can actually stick to!).

Spruce Up Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene simply refers to tidying up some of your everyday behaviours so that, when it’s time to go to bed, your body is ready for sleep.
This includes setting a schedule for your sleep and wake times, making sure you’re getting enough sunlight during the day, limiting light exposure at night, limiting your caffeine and alcohol consumption, and creating a sleep environment that is relaxing for you!

Try To Be More Consistent With Your Sleep Schedule

Once you’ve got all the components of your sleep hygiene in order, the next step is to stick with this new routine, Monday through to Sunday. Consistency is key, 24/7!

To Better Understand Your Sleep Patterns, Track Your Sleep

Your body and its experiences are unique to you, so just because investing in a set of blackout curtains was the answer to your roommate’s sleep issues and your sister can’t live without her new weighted blanket, that doesn’t necessarily mean these are going to solve your problems. Talking to a sleep coach is an option, but it is also worth downloading a sleep-tracking app to your phone, and reviewing the data over a period of time to see where you could improve.

Create A Sleep Environment Your Body And Mind Will Associate With Rest

We know 2020 ruined our bedrooms with the home office but your bedroom should be a sleep oasis! Bringing your laptop under the covers with you to finish up a work assignment, or scrolling through Instagram the second your head hits the pillow is the type of behaviour that is probably going to cause your mind and body to associate the bed with work. To ensure you get high-quality shut-eye in 2021, ditch the devices at the door, and try to make your bedroom a place of pure comfort and calm.

Start Separating Yourself From Technology An Hour Before Bed

While we’re on the subject of sleep spaces, in 2021 let’s make it your New Year’s resolution to cut back on all devices at least an hour or so before you plan on getting ready for bed. This way, your mind has time to wind down for rest.

Try Not To Party Too Close To Bedtime

We get that freedom is on the horizon and it’s tempting to get in on another round of shots with your squad – especially when it’s your bestie’s round. But check the time before you throw back another tequila shot. If it’s getting late, you might want to pass and order some water!

Get Into The Habit Of Dimming The Lights In Your Home At Night

Have you ever heard of light pollution? It basically refers to when you’re overly exposed to artificial light, particularly at night. Too much light pollution can make it hard to fall asleep, so dim and dismiss artificial light sources in your home late in the evening.

Keep Stress Levels Low

If we’ve learnt anything from 2020 it’s that stress affects pretty much everything in your life — from the way you look, to how you sleep. To avoid the effects stress can have on your sleep cycle, try and do everything you can to keep your body and brain feeling cool, calm, and collected in 2021. This can be anything from morning meditation or even a few walks throughout the day.

 

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Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle Sleep Tips

Sleepeezee’s Sleep Expert – A Day In The Life of Sammy Margo

When it comes to our morning and sleep routines, most of us have very different styles. Some of us (ahem, night owls) might hit snooze a million times before getting out of bed and scrambling to pull together a look, while others — those bright-eyed morning people — might rise with the sun and crack on with the day.

There’s no right way to spend those first few hours of daylight, but we’ve sat down and spoken to our Sleep Expert, Sammy Margo to see how she gets ready each and every morning before she goes about her day!

 

 

5.00am – 7.00am:

“I usually wake at 5 in the morning. I love the mornings and get a lot of thinking stuff done first thing – including writing this blog! I am most definitely a morning person, I spring out of bed and get into my gym gear, and then I’ll jump straight into an hour of work whilst enjoying my morning coffee.

After my ‘hour of power’, I head off to the gym to lift weights. I love weight lifting. It lifts my mood and keeps me on track for the day. Exercising first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day and it sets my body clock (circadian rhythm ) for sleep in 16 to 18 hours’ time.”

 

7.00am – 10.00am:

“Around this time I’ll jump into mum-mode and make sure my son is all set for school. As a mum, I love to do the school run and make sure that my work is scheduled in between this. Often this means that I am rushing between the two, but it is so worth it! After doing the school run I head straight off to work.

At around 10am I will have my last cup of coffee for the day! I tend not to drink caffeine after 10am as it affects my quality of sleep. Some of us can be caffeine sensitive and feel the effects hours later. so keep your coffees to the morning and don’t forget that some herbal/green teas also contain caffeine.”

 

10.00am – 6.00pm:

“My working day is very full-on and physical so I have to eat little and often at the same times each day. As a reformed sugar addict, I make sure that I eat protein at most mealtimes and hide the biscuits! This definitely keeps me calmer and also helps my sleep routine. Turkey is a great sleep aid as it contains tryptophan which is a precursor to your sleepy hormone ‘melatonin’. “

 

6.00pm – 9.00pm:

“The evenings are often spent working on the computer or relaxing with friends. My son uses this time to do his homework and limited social media. I do make sure that both of us have a technology cut-off which usually takes place by 8pm.

 

This is so that we can reduce our blue light exposure which may have an effect on the quality of our sleep. This includes the TV screen, Xbox and the PS4! My life is all the Fs – Food, Football, Fifa and Fortnite.

 

I’m also not a drinker but on the odd occasion when I do drink, I know that I won’t get the best night’s sleep. This is because alcohol prevents you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep, leaving you feeling groggy the next day.”

 

9.00pm – 10.00pm:

“Our bedtime routine usually means that we start winding down at around 9 o’clock. My son has a similar bedtime routine but getting a teenager into bed can be tricky at times with all the tech around. Reading at bedtime is also a good habit for teens in terms of creating positive communication together. Teaching teens the value of sleep is therefore a really important lesson.

My wind down time involves listening to an audiobook, having a warm shower and a camomile tea. I then end my day by getting into bed at around 10.”

 What’s your typical day like? Let us know over on our social channels! 

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Health Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle

8 Ways To Show Your Mental Health Some TLC

Did you know one in four of us is affected by a mental health disorder at some point in our lives? Despite this, so many of us don’t prioritise our mental wellbeing.

Here at Sleepeezee, we know our mental health plays a pivotal role in our overall well being. We’ve listed eight ways you can show your mental health some love below. Whether you embrace one, a couple or all eight, it’s up to you. Just remember to take some me-time once in a while. Your mental health will thank you for it.

 

Talk It Out

We get it, talking about mental health is sometimes easier said than done, but there’s truth in the old adage ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Bottling up stress, anxious or negative thinking can build up and feel worse over time. So grab a pal, your other half, or a trusted colleague and have a little chat. It doesn’t have to be much or too deep, but you might find it releases some tension. 

 

Get Moving

Moderate exercise has been proven to help improve your mood and general wellbeing, by releasing endorphins. So, whether you prefer getting your heart rate up by swimming lengths or on a brisk walk in the park, aim to exercise for around 150 minutes a week.

 

Stick To A Routine

Having a routine helps us feel grounded in times of uncertainty. Whether it’s waking up at the same time each morning, going outdoors every afternoon or winding down the same way each night, it can work wonders for our mental health.

 

Shut It Down

Lots of studies suggest spending hours scrolling on your phone can have negative effects on our mental health. So try stepping away from your screen for an hour each evening and spend time doing something else you enjoy.

 

Ditch The Alcohol

A few gins down the pub might leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, but the effect is temporary. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate low mood, be demotivating, impact physical health, and disturb your sleep.

 

Eat Well

Having a healthy, balanced diet will impact how we feel from day to day. Ensuring we eat right will leave us feeling healthy and energised.

 

Do Something For Yourself

From enjoying your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax, it’s 

important to do things that make you happy.

 

Prioritise sleep

Saved the best until last! Sleep is essential to both physical and mental health, but catching those Zzz’s isn’t always easy. We’ve got a host of sleep tips over on our blog, and of course, a comfortable bed helps!

 

When looking after your mental health, it’s sometimes good to start small and think flexibly. Much like sleep routines, self-care feels different to everyone!

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Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle

Can Bedtime Reading Improve a Child’s Imagination?

Our imaginations are a wonderful thing – we can create any world or scenario in our minds, and envisage ourselves in a variety of places or positions. Oh to be a child again!

Imagination can take you anywhere you wish, and it’s more often than not what sparks our dreams while we’re snoozing. However, in today’s highly digital world, with children, in particular, spending more time than ever gazing at screens, you can’t help but wonder about the effects of our devices before bedtime.

The bedtime story often falls prey to our busy schedules and long working hours, but there’s something very special about a bedtime story being read out loud. A bedtime story doesn’t require children to focus on the mechanics of learning to read but on the enjoyment of the story and the idea of being transported to other worlds before drifting into dreaming about them.

Are bedtime stories beneficial?

A good way of boosting your imagination is reading. However, nowadays it can seem like books are overlooked at bedtime in favour of TVs, smartphones and tablets.

But books open up whole new worlds to children, both real and imagined, and sharing a bedtime story will take them to places they’d never have dreamed of.

Books can teach your child about the world while also opening their imagination. Reading fiction provides specific information gaps that your child can fill with their own imagination, and this guesswork and decision-making stimulate the mental patterns that are fundamental to creativity.

Reading to your child will also expand their emotional vocabulary, giving them words for what they are feeling. This can make them better able to express themselves, and less prone to the emotional meltdowns that can happen when they’re wrestling with feelings that they don’t know how to talk about.

Alongside this, it can also improve mental wellbeing by helping children foster coping skills and in building self-confidence. The perfect way to wind down before an important night of rest.

So we’re not saying to completely stop using your smartphone – but in terms of your sleep routine, it might be worthwhile looking at alternative ways to spend that last hour before the lights go out!

Did you have a favourite book to read as a child? Let us know over on our social channels and tag us using @Sleepeezee

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Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle

Why Does The Heat Make You So Tired?

 The days get warmer, the sun gets higher, and suddenly we all feel like doing precisely nothing and lazing about in the heat all day. No, you’re not imagining it: hot weather does make you feel more tired!

The reason we want to spend our summers in a marathon Netflix session in front of our portable fans has to do with our internal temperature regulation, our reaction to natural light, and a host of other factors.

But before you reach for another cup of coffee or sugary pick-me-up, read on to find out what’s really going on with your body to make you sleepy.

Heat changes your body temperature.

You may not realize it, but your body is constantly working to keep you in balance. It regulates your moods, your emotions, and your body temperature. The body expends energy in order to keep cool, and the more we sweat, the more energy we lose, leading to fatigue and sleepiness.

So essentially our bodies are working harder to keep us cool in the summer months and expanding more energy!

Heat makes you dehydrated.

More often than not, it isn’t the heat that’s making you feel sleepy, but rather the dehydration that happens as a result. Dehydration always causes sleepiness and fatigue. To keep yourself from getting dehydrated, drink at least 2 litres of water a day to provide your body with the hydration it needs.

Heat causes blood pressure to drop

When it’s warm, the blood pressure drops. When blood pressure is low, it causes fatigue and sleepiness. A slight drop in blood pressure means that there is less amount of blood reaching the brain, and as a result, your body struggles to stay awake

Bottom line: Physical exertion, sweating, and staying outside for hours when it’s hot, depletes your body of fluid and salt, leading to dehydration and a whole host of other symptoms. The end result? You feel fatigued, lethargic, and sleepy.

There’s plenty you can do to combat all of this such as keeping hydrated, staying in the shade when you can and even eating salty snacks – you don’t need to tell us twice! So when it comes to falling asleep in the evening you have no problem drifting off.

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Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle Sleep Tips

Why are my Hay Fever Symptoms Worse at Night?

Summer is finally here. A time for picnics in the park, sunny days at the beach and topping up your tan. But if you’re one of the 13 million people in the UK who suffer from hay fever, the chances are that you associate summer more with streaming eyes, an itchy throat and a stuffy nose.

If you find that your hay fever symptoms are affecting your sleep, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves sneezing at night, meaning they struggle to get a good night’s rest. There are, however, a few simple steps you can follow to try to relieve your symptoms and set yourself up for a peaceful sleep.

 

What is hay fever and what causes it?

Known medically as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is characterised by cold-like symptoms, including a blocked or runny nose, sneezing and itchiness. Hay fever symptoms often emerge during the summer, when seasonal allergens like tree or grass pollen are in the environment.

These allergens contain proteins that can cause swelling or irritation in the nose, throat or eyes. As the body tries to rid itself of the pollen, it causes the nose to run or eyes to feel itchy.

People of all ages can be affected by hay fever, with symptoms usually starting young. You’re also more likely to suffer from hay fever if you have other allergies, including asthma.

 

Why are my symptoms worse in the evening?

If you find that your hay fever symptoms seem particularly bad at night, you may have an allergy to dust mites. This is because mite allergens can be present in your bedding, carpets or curtains, causing you to sneeze or have a blocked or runny nose when you’re trying to sleep.

Are your hay fever symptoms worse at night, and don’t seem to go away during cooler times of the year when the pollen count is lower? This could be a sign that you’re suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis, inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by allergens such as dust mites.

 

Tips to manage your hay fever at night

There’s no known cure for hay fever, but many people find that taking antihistamines or steroids – as directed by a doctor – can help prevent the body’s reaction to allergens and reduce the symptoms.

To help alleviate your symptoms at night and ensure you get a good night’s rest, try changing your clothes and having a shower or bath in the evening. This will help get rid of any pollen or other allergens that might be on your clothes, hair or skin.

It’s also recommended that you close your windows at night, to avoid pollen entering your bedroom while you sleep.

Try keeping pets out of your bedroom to cut down on potential allergens, making sure that they have a separate pet bed so they don’t end up sharing yours. Dust mites can’t survive in hypoallergic duvets, pillows and mattresses, so choosing these for your bed can also help give you a comfortable night’s sleep.

By carefully considering your bedroom environment and taking care to reduce potential allergens, you’re more likely to get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.

 

 

For more advice on getting a good night’s rest and to keep up to date with all things Sleepeezee, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

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Health Health and Wellbeing

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise and a Great Night’s Sleep

We all know what a big difference rest and a healthy lifestyle can make to our mood. But with one in three adults in the UK not getting enough exercise, and around 30% of us experiencing sleep problems, it’s not surprising that we can often feel that we aren’t performing at our best.

Why is exercise and sleep so important for our mental health? And how can we make sure that we’re making the right choices during the day to get the rest we need at night?

Move for your mood

The NHS recommends that everyone should do some form of physical activity every day. Whether it’s going for a run, a dip in the local pool, hitting the weights or doing yoga at home, we should all aim for around 150 minutes of moderate activity every week.

Regular exercise not only helps us to strengthen our bodies and maintain good cardiovascular health; it’s been proven to aid in good mental health too. Several studies have shown the positive link between activity and mental health, with the endorphins released during exercise helping to lift our mood and promote positive thinking.

Vigorous movement releases the hormone cortisol, which helps to manage feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood. The focus required to train in any sport or activity can also help to keep our minds of difficult thoughts or negative thinking patterns, making it a good coping technique for tough times.

Exercise is also beneficial for sleep; physical exertion during the day helps to make you feel tired when it comes to bedtime, signalling to your body that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Some experts suggest that physical activity can increase the level of deep sleep you achieve at night, meaning you wake in the morning feeling more rested.

Rest for relaxation

Sleep and mental health can sometimes feel like a vicious cycle. You struggle to get a good night’s sleep, so your mood is affected, but then stress and anxiety leave you with restless nights.

Getting the right amount of sleep is one of the best things we can do for our cognitive and emotional functioning. Sleep gives our brains the opportunity to process information, storing memories and ideas and ensuring we are refreshed and ready to meet the challenges of the day ahead.

Research suggests that not getting enough sleep may be linked to depression and anxiety, and many people with poor mental health report sleep issues.

By investing in a good night’s rest, you can help shore up your mental health defenses, helping to maintain your mental resilience and ability to cope with stress.

It’s all in the mind

Now that we know how important exercise and rest can be for good mental health, how can you adopt these healthy habits to boost your mood?

Having a daily routine that includes at least half an hour of physical activity every day will go a long way to supporting your mental health. Try taking a brisk walk or jog on your lunchbreak, or consider cycling or walking shorter distances to help break those sedentary habits.

Routine is key when it comes to sleep, too. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day – yes, even on weekends! – will tell your brain and body when it’s time to rest. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime, and keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. Adopting a healthy sleep routine is known as ‘sleep hygiene’, and can help you to feel rested and positive the next morning.

Through implementing a few simple changes in our day-to-day lives, we can all benefit from the mood-boosting benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

For more advice on getting a good night’s rest and to keep up to date with all things Sleepeezee, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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Health Health and Wellbeing Lifestyle Sleep Hygiene Sleep Tips

How To Manage Anxiety And Improve Sleep

In these unprecedented and challenging times, you may find yourself worrying more than usual. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many of us are finding that anxiety is affecting our sleep.

Lack of sleep can affect your mental health, but mental health problems can also affect how well you sleep and how much sleep you get.

Sleep is absolutely vital for our daily performance. From bodily repair, cognitive function and general all-round health, it’s recommended that we get around eight hours of sleep a night – but for those suffering from anxiety, that’s not something that comes so easy.

How to improve sleep when you feel anxious

Anxiety can cause many different psychological and physical symptoms. From racing thoughts to tense muscles and a faster heart rate, to finding it difficult to fall asleep or waking during the night, anxiety can make it difficult to get the rest we need.

There are many different methods and strategies that you can put into place. As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of mattresses, we know a thing or two about sleep. Try our top tips below to beat sleep anxiety.

Keep a routine

You may be working from home, but try to maintain some control on your sleep/wake sleep schedule. Not only will the routine keep you focused, it helps to keep the body’s internal body clock in sync. Avoid the temptation to take lengthy naps or sleep in, as this can throw your schedule off-track and upset your body clock.

Stay active

Exercise can aid better quality sleep and the endorphins pumping through your body are also great mood boosters. Exercise not only improves heart health and blood pressure, it can help you to build and strengthen your body and can work to relieve stress. Regular exercise can help in lifting your mood and getting your sleep back on track.

Get as much natural light as possible

Working from home, social distancing or self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic may mean you’re struggling to enjoy being out in the natural light, and this could be negatively affecting your mental and physical wellbeing. Where possible, try to go out for a quiet daily walk, spend some time in your garden or on your balcony, and open the windows to help fresh air circulate around your home.

Invest in your mattress & bedroom environment

Don’t neglect the basics when it comes to sleeping better. Your bedroom environment plays a big part in achieving a good night’s sleep. It should be cool, quiet and dark, and your mattress should be comfortable and supportive. Natural fillings such as wool and silk can help keep you cool during the night, especially as the weather gets warmer, and modern fillings such as memory foam and gel will help your bed adapt to the contours of your body.

Stay away from devices

It’s recommended that we stop using electronics an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from phones, tablets and laptops can keep us awake. Given the current COVID-19 crisis, you may find yourself watching the news or scrolling social media late at night, and feeling anxious as a result. To avoid this, set yourself an hour of downtime before bed, and keep phones, computers and clutter out of the bedroom – this is the room where you should feel calm and clear-headed, not distracted by work or news.

And breathe…

Finding ways to relax before you fall asleep is key, and especially when you’re feeling anxious or stressed. Practice relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises. You may find it helpful to use apps that offer guided meditation, mindfulness techniques or even white noise to help you feel calm and relaxed. Alternatively, read a good book or listen to soothing music. Whatever makes you feel better, it’s important that you take time just for you each evening, to help you truly relax and rest.

For more sleep tips and to keep up to date with all things Sleepeezee, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

 

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Health and Wellbeing Sleep Hygiene Sleep Tips

How Working From Home Can Impact Your Sleep

It’s been four long weeks (did anyone notice how long March was?) since the coronavirus lockdown began, and for many of us, working from home has become the new normal.

People working remotely is not a new concept, however the global Covid-19 pandemic means that a larger proportion of us are now working from home, as advised by the UK government.

But what many people don’t realise is that working from home can often negatively impact our sleep. Disruptions to our normal day to day routine, not to mention stress and anxiety, can have a knock-on effect. As a result, you may find that your sleep has been affected since you began working from home.  Luckily, as the experts in rest, we have a few simple tricks to help you get a good night’s sleep.

 

  • It’s important to keep a regular daily routine to keep you mentally focused and your body clock in sync. Our sleep/wake schedule is controlled by our body clocks, so try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day.

 

  • Before you start working from home, or when taking a break, get some fresh air. A brisk walk around the block or just ten minutes sat in the garden with a morning cuppa can make a big difference.

 

  • Put boundaries in place. While there is flexibility in working from home, don’t be tempted to ‘available’ at all times. Checking emails or even working too close to bedtime could see you having trouble falling or staying asleep.

 

  • Have a designated area for working, and where possible commit to using it only during work hours. Avoid working in your bedroom, as this should only be used for sleep. Working from your bed may seem appealing, but it’s no good for your posture or productivity.

 

  • Take regular breaks. Even if you find that you can work solidly at home for hours at a time, take the opportunity every hour to stretch your legs and get a change of scenery. Your brain will thank you for it, and it’ll make it easier for you to switch off at the end of the day.

 

  • Working from home can be surprisingly hard on your mental health, which in turn can affect your sleep – especially during stressful times. You may miss the social interaction of being around your colleagues, but luckily there are many platforms for people to stay connected. From Zoom to Skype, Microsoft Teams and even WhatsApp, find what works for you and your colleagues to stay in touch.

 

It’s no surprise that when our sleep is disrupted, our performance suffers. So when you need to get a good day’s work done at home, follow these tips to get your routine in check and help your body and brain relax.

For more sleep tips and to keep up to date with all things Sleepeezee, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.