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Here, at Next Divan, we recognise that getting a good night’s sleep is as critical to our physical and emotional well-being as taking regular exercise and eating healthily. However, according to medical experts, the scale of poor-quality sleeping is among the major public health problems of our time. In this blog, we take a look at this topic as well as offer our top tips for improving your sleep hygiene.
What are the benefits of sleep?
First of all, getting your eight hours sustains your energy levels and improves your attention span, concentration and reaction times. In other words, quality slumber means that body and brain are coordinated, allowing you to stay sharp and safe during the day.
Sleep can also help you maintain a healthy weight. For example, if you’re not sleeping properly, you will probably crave unhealthy foods high in sugar to keep you awake. Being sleep-deprived can also falsely signal hunger, leading you to overeat.
Increasing the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart disease is associated with poor sleeping. Waking up too often has also been found to weaken your immune system. Staying asleep throughout the night allows your body to rest and repair itself, as well as support the proteins and cells needed to detect and destroy any bugs and germs.
Last but not least, sleep plays a vital part in taking care of your mental health. If unwelcome thoughts are keeping you up at night, try practising mindfulness to help nod off.
What is sleep hygiene and how can it help me?
Sleep hygiene refers to behaviours that are helpful in promoting sleeping quality at night and in turn complete alertness during the day. Here are some of our top tips:
- For several hours before bedtime, do not consume any stimulants that are known to keep you awake, including caffeinated and tobacco products. Alcohol should also be avoided: even though it might send you to sleep, as the toxins race through your body, you will probably find it difficult staying asleep.
- If you are eating close to bedtime, keep it light. Steer clear of heavy or rich food, fatty, spicy or fried dishes, citrus fruits and carbonated drinks, as these can lead to indigestion and heartburn while in bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is conducive to quality sleep. This means shutting out as much natural and artificial light and noise as possible. Keep the temperature to around 16-18°C: temperatures above 24°C will mean a restless night, while anything below 12°C will prevent you from falling asleep easily.
- Commit to a relaxing pre-bedtime routine, such as reading for enjoyment, listening to some soothing music, taking a warm bath or practising relaxation exercises. But try not to force yourself to sleep until you genuinely feel tired, as that can lead to frustration.
- Set your internal clock by establishing a regular sleeping schedule. So, start going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This includes weekends, as doing so will mean you avoid feeling listless when you wake up on Monday morning.
Time to buy a new mattress?
The quality of your sleeping experience is significantly affected by what you sleep on. So, if you suffer from sleep problems, your mattress could be the problem. Check out the Next Divan website today and choose from our impressive selection of pocket spring, orthopaedic and memory foam mattresses.