Tempur highlights the importance of sleep for our wellbeing and donates £10 for every mattress sold in May to the Mental Health Foundation to mark Mental Health Awareness Week later this month.
Dedicate your bedroom to sleep (mainly)
Make your bedroom a temple for sleep. That means a good bed that suits you, curtains or blinds that keep out the light, and a comfortable temperature – ideally a little cooler than the rest of the house.
Ban screens in the bedroom
Checking your phone last thing at night or browsing social media when we can’t sleep… We’ve all done it. It’s a problem because the films we watch or the emails or feeds we check stimulate our minds and the light from a phone or TV screen can fool our minds into believing it’s daytime. Buy an old-fashioned alarm clock or try putting your phone on flight mode when you go to bed.
Follow a wind down routine
Our bodies release a hormone called melatonin that makes us feel naturally tired at around 10-11pm. If you go with it and head to bed as you feel tired, you’ll sleep better. Try establishing a bedtime routine that can help you recognise and promote that wave. Turning off the TV and listening to music, having a milky drink or enjoying a warm bath are good ways to rest the mind, and open ourselves up to sleepiness.
If you can’t sleep, get up
Don’t lie in bed awake tossing and turning. If you can’t get off to sleep or get back to sleep, get up. Try a warm caffeine/sugar free drink or listen to some calm music for a while. Don’t be tempted to check your phone!
Know your sleep
You need to know how much sleep you need to feel good. It’s likely to be seven to eight hours, but it could be as little as four. Try keeping a sleep diary or tracking your sleep with a wearable device (ideally not your phone). If you have a good idea of how much sleep you need to feel good and what affects your sleep, you can make sure you establish good habits, or pinpoint issues.
Watch what and when you eat and drink
As a rule, eating less than two hours before bed means that food hasn’t had time to digest before we try and sleep. This can lead to discomfort and indigestion. Fatty or spicy foods can take longer to process and stimulants like caffeine or sugar can give us a boost of energy when we want to be winding down. Rice, oats and dairy products can encourage us to feel sleepy.
We like to think that alcohol makes us sleep better. It may help us nod off, but the quality of the sleep you get may be poor, and dehydration or a late-night takeaway can further impair our sleep.
Exercise – but not in the evening
Exercise is great for mental health and regular light exercise is a good way to improve sleep. Exercise floods the body with feel-good hormones that stimulate our minds and bodies, so beware of exercising late at night as it can actually keep us awake.
Don’t grab a nap on the way home
Sometimes it’s easy to give in to sleep on the train or bus home after a busy day. If you nod off, even for a short time, you can short circuit the natural hormone surges that set us up for our main sleep. So if you are tired early in the evening, try and get an early night.
Don’t let a health issue stop you sleeping
Do what you can to treat colds and flu at home and make sure that you speak to your doctor if an ongoing health problem or treatment affects your sleep.
Find ways to address anxiety and worry
Health is one of our biggest worries. If you lie awake mulling over concerns about your health, or the health of a loved one, you could try a relaxation exercise or mindfulness practice to help settle your internal worries.
- Don’t put up with poor sleep
Basic techniques can often improve your sleep. If tips like these don’t work, speak to your GP. It may be that you have an underlying health issue.
If you have insomnia for more than a couple of weeks, or often feel so sleepy you could drop off during the day, it’s worth speaking to the doctor as sleep disorders can increase our risk of developing depression, heart disease or stroke.
*£10 from the sale of every TEMPUR® mattress throughout May 2018 purchased through a TEMPUR® official store or the TEMPUR® UK website will be donated to The Mental Health Foundation.
For more information on Tempur, visit www.tempur.com
For more information on the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week and for tips, guides and resources, visithttps://www.mentalhealth.org.