Study finds link between sleep quality in teens and social media usage

Study finds link between sleep quality in teens and social media usage

A study has found that teenagers who report high social media usage are more at risk of suffering sleep problems.

Today’s teenagers live in a constantly connected world where smartphones and social media play a huge part in their social lives. But what impact is all that screen time scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram having on their sleep and wellbeing?

The University of Glasgow carried out a study on 12,000 teenagers aged between 13 and 15 and the findings were published in the British Medical Journal.

The teenagers were asked to report on how much time they spent on social media each day and what their typical sleep habits were like.

Results for social media usage were as follows

  • 7% reported low usage (less than an hour).
  • 6% reported average usage (one to three hours).
  • 14% reported high usage (three to five hours).
  • 21% reported very high usage (more than five hours).

The study found that of the teenagers who reported very high social media usage were 70% more likely to fall asleep after 11pm on school days and after midnight on weekends and holidays than average users.

Those with high or very high usage were also more likely to wake up later and have problems getting back to sleep if they woke up during the night.

Authors of the study noted that late bedtimes and disturbed sleep can be particularly damaging for teenagers as they can be linked to ‘poorer academic and emotional outcomes.’

The blue light emitted by screens can have a negative affect on the body clock and hormones, so looking at phones, tablets and laptops is not recommended close to bedtime.

Teenagers not getting enough sleep or having problems falling or staying asleep should keep electronic devices like smartphones out of their bedrooms to help improve their sleep patterns.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Buy The Right Bed, Sleep Quality
Top tips for bunk bed safety

Top tips for bunk bed safety

Most children would choose bunk beds over a regular bed, but are they a safe option for your little ones?

Children love bunk beds, they’re fun to sleep in and ideal for having friends over to stay. The good news for parents is that they’re also completely safe, providing they have been bought from a reputable business and are used responsibly.

Here are our top tips for keeping children safe on bunk beds.

Always buy from a reputable business

Reputable businesses should always sell bunk beds that are durable, safe and conform to the legal British Standard.

Take care to assemble correctly

Bunk beds usually arrive flat packed and will require assembly at home. Make sure that you always put bunk beds together carefully according to instructions and safety recommendations. Never leave off any parts like guard rails.

Don’t allow children to play on them

Most bunk bed-related accidents occur when children are playing on them or otherwise misusing them. Always stress to children that their bunk beds are for sleeping only and should not be climbed on.

Don’t allow children under 6 on the top bunk

Whilst the bottom bunk is safe for younger children, experts recommend that the top bunk is only used by children over the age of six.

Use a night light

Leaving a night light switched on close by to the bunk bed’s ladder can help children to climb up and down safely during the night.

Never hang things from the top bunk

Never allow children to hang clothing or other items from the guard rails on the bunk bed as it could strangle them if they got tangled in it.

At M6 Beds we stock a selection of high quality children’s bunk beds and mattresses, to find out more about the models we have available, give our team a call on 01270 879 379.

Posted by m6beds in Bunk Bed Safety, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed
Should I buy my child a double bed?

Should I buy my child a double bed?

Have double beds really become the new norm for today’s kids?

If your child has been nagging you to swap their old single bed for a double that rivals yours, then you’re not alone.

Over recent years, sales of single beds have fallen whilst doubles have risen.  Studies have shown that this trend is due to more kids having a double bed in their bedroom.

One study suggested that the ‘digitalisation’ of kids’ bedrooms is to blame. Children are spending more time in their bedrooms playing and socialising on laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones, and a double bed allows them to do so in comfort.

Another contributing factor is families making purchasing decisions with longevity in mind. Teenagers often request a double bed, and when your teenager moves out, a bedroom with a double bed can easily be turned into a guest room, so a double may seem like a more future-proof option than a single.

Should I buy my child a double bed?

Whether or not a double bed is right for your child depends on a variety of factors including the size of their bedroom and your budget.

It may seem like a bit of a luxury if you always had a single bed as a child, but if your child has enough space and you can afford it, then why not?

Many retailers now even sell children’s bedding in double sizes because of the high demand.

Having an extra double bed in the house can also come in useful if you have guests visiting. Compromise with your child, they can have a double bed in their room, providing they’re happy to give it up when you have visitors.

If your child’s room is a bit small for a double, you could invest in a day bed instead. A day bed can be pushed away into a single when floorspace is required but pulled out into a double when they want space to sprawl or you have guests staying.

Having said that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the single bed if that’s your preference. Many younger kids love the idea of having bunk beds for extra space and in case they have friends over to stay too.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bed Size, Bedroom, Bedroom Trends, Better Night’s Sleep, Bigger Bed, Bunk Bed Safety Tips, Buy The Right Bed, M6 Beds
Pros and cons of memory foam mattresses

Pros and cons of memory foam mattresses

There’s a lot of hype around memory foam mattresses. Many people swear by them for a comfortable and pain-free night’s sleep, but they’re not right for everyone.

Read our honest guide to the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Pros

Moulds to the shape of your body – The main advantage of choosing a memory foam mattress is the way it moulds itself to the shape of your body, keeping you feeling cosy and comfortable all night long.

Pressure relief – Memory foam evenly distributes your body’s weight to relieve those painful pressure points. This can help you sleep better and wake up feeling more rested and comfortable rather than full of aches and pains.

Warm – Memory foam mattresses absorb your body heat in order tomould to the shape of your body, keeping you feeling warm and comfortable even when it’s cold outside the covers.

Anti-allergy – Memory foam protects your mattress from dirt and debris, making it an ideal choice for allergy sufferers.

Cons

Can get hot – Whilst memory foam mattresses can keep you feeling lovely and warm in the winter, some people find them uncomfortably hot, particularly during the summer months.

New smell – Memory foam contains some chemicals, which means that when the mattress is brand new it can have a distinct smell to begin with. Taking the time to properly air the mattress before you begin using it can help to get rid of the smell quicker.

Price – Memory foam mattresses are generally more expensive than traditional coil or pocket sprung mattresses, so it’s important to be sure that it’s the right choice for you before investing.

Sinking – Some people find that they don’t like the feeling of “sinking” into the mattress. Once your memory foam mattress has adjusted to your sleeping position, it can also take a little bit of time to readjust to your body again if you change positions.

For further help and advice choosing a mattress, give our team here at M6 Beds a call on 01270 879 379.

Posted by m6beds in Buy The Right Bed, comfy bed, Divan Bed, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress
Choosing a mattress when you suffer from back pain

Choosing a mattress when you suffer from back pain

Choosing the right mattress can be difficult at the best of times, but it’s even trickier when you suffer with back pain.

Investing in a new mattress is a big commitment, and one that could have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing, so it’s important to choose carefully.

When you have a bad back, the mattress you sleep on can either help to alleviate or aggravate back pain, significantly impacting your quality of life.

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all for people with back pain. The type of mattress most suited to you will depend on many different factors including:

  • The severity of your pain.
  • The area of your back affected.
  • The cause of your back pain.
  • Your preferred sleeping position.
  • Your budget.

How can a mattress alleviate back pain?

Whilst the right mattress is unlikely to cure your back pain, it can help you to get a good night’s rest and wake up feeling less sore and more relaxed and rested.

The main thing that you want from your mattress if you have a bad back is support. Your mattress should distribute your weight evenly in order to relieve pressure points and support the spine.

A mattress that is too soft or too firm can cause your spine to become unaligned, worsening your symptoms.

What types of mattress are good for back pain?

Pocket spring mattress– Pocket sprung mattresses have individual springs that move independently, allowing them to distribute weight better than open coil mattresses.

Memory foam mattress– Memory foam mattresses use body heat to mould to the shape of your body, effectively relieving pressure points and keeping the spine aligned.

Medical grade reflex foam mattress– Medical grade foam moulds to your body shape just like memory foam, however it doesn’t require body heat to do so, making them a cooler more comfortable option.

For more help and advice choosing the right mattress, get in touch with our team here at M6 beds by giving us a call on 01270 879 379.

Posted by m6beds in Bad Back, Bed Buying Tips, Bedroom, Bigger Bed, Buy The Right Bed, Choosing The Right Mattress, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sleep Better
6 bedtime drinks that encourage a good night’s sleep

6 bedtime drinks that encourage a good night’s sleep

Sipping one of these sleep-inducing drinks before bed could help you to get a better night’s sleep.

If you suffer from insomnia or are particularly restless at night, it’s important to watch what you drink before bed.

Swap drinks containing alcohol, caffeine, or sugar for one of these sleep-inducing beverages to relax before bed and improve your chances or sleeping soundly.

Herbal teas

Lemon balm

The herb lemon balm is part of the mint family and has been used to aid sleep since the Middle Ages.

Lemon balm aids sleep and helps to combat insomnia by relaxing muscles and calming the mind

Chamomile

Chamomile tea is made using the flowers of the chamomile plant and is characterised by its earthy but floral flavour.

When drunk as a tea, chamomile has a mild, natural sedative effect which not only aids sleep, but can also help to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.

Valerian root

Valerian root has been used to promote calmness, relieve stress and aid sleep for many centuries.

It isn’t as easy to find as chamomile and lemon balm in the herbal tea aisle in supermarkets since it can become addictive and so should be used sparingly and with care.

Warm milk

From birth we associate warm milk with comfort, cosiness and sleep.

Both cow’s milk and almond milk contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Almond milk also contains magnesium, which can help with relaxation.

Fruit drinks

Tart cherry juice

A recent 2010 study found that tart cherry juice can help you to stay asleep longer and sleep more soundly.

This is because the juice is rich in the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and the compounds tryptophan and anthocyanin which help the body to create more melatonin.

Banana smoothie

Bananas contain tryptophan, magnesium and potassium, which are excellent for inducing sleep and relaxing muscles.

Rather than munching a banana on its own, blend it up with some milk to create a delicious bedtime drink.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sleep Better
Tips for getting more sleep with a newborn

Tips for getting more sleep with a newborn

One of the biggest challenges that new parents must face is surviving the sleep deprivation.

Whether your baby wakes hourly to feed, or won’t settle in their crib, getting enough sleep with a newborn can be difficult.

Adjusting to life with the newest member of your family can be all kinds of wonderful, emotional and testing, so it’s important to rest, sleep and recharge whenever you can.

We understand that every baby is different, and what works for one family won’t work for the next.

We’ve gathered a list of different tips, ideas and advice in the hope that at least one of them will help you get a few more minutes sleep, so that you’re rested and ready to take on each brand new day with your baby.

  • Go to bed when your baby does.
  • Go to bed early and have your partner take the first night feed.
  • Swaddle your baby to prevent unnecessary wakeups caused by the startle reflex.
  • Position the crib by your bedside that so you don’t have to get up.
  • Forget the chores and nap when baby naps.
  • Rotate the night shift with your partner (one night on, one night off).
  • Try using a motion-detecting white noise toy to help your baby sleep for longer stretches.
  • Invest in blackout curtains.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene, especially if you’re suffering from insomnia.
  • Try implementing a relaxing bedtime routine (for both you and baby!)
  • Don’t worry about dos and don’ts, do whatever works for you and your baby.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep when baby is peacefully dreaming, go back to basics and make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable. Try investing in a new mattress, pillow or duvet, and ensure that your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature.

And finally, as exhausted and grumpy as you may feel, don’t forget that this phase won’t last forever

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Choosing The Right Mattress, Investing in a Bed, Kids, Kids Sleeping Patterns, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress
Government to issue sleep guidelines

Government to issue sleep guidelines

The Government are to release national sleep guidance as evidence grows on the negative impact sleep deprivation has on health.

A leaked document says that the government will review the evidence on health and sleep in order to provide the public with guidance on how much sleep they should be getting and raise awareness of “sleep hygiene” factors.

Sleep hygiene involves optimising your behaviour and environment to make it conducive to getting a good night’s rest. This could involve making sure your bed and bedroom are comfortable and doing or not doing certain activities in the hours running up to bedtime.

The amount of sleep required can vary from person to person, and the document is said to provide advice on the recommended minimum amount of sleep required for each age bracket.

It is expected that the guidelines will warn that any less than seven hours of sleep a night could have a damaging effect on health.

The importance of sleep on health

The draft government document, which was leaked to The Times newspaper, says: “There’s growing evidence on the health impacts of lack of sleep. Failure to sleep between seven and nine hours a night is associated with physical and mental health problems, including an increased risk of obesity, strokes, heart attacks, depression and anxiety.”

Recent studies have also discovered that lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the immune system, slowing down recovery from illness, injury or surgery.

Russell Foster, professor of sleep and circadian neuroscience at Oxford University has also found there to be overwhelming evidence that good sleeping habits could help to protect against illnesses like dementia and diabetes.

According to the document, the guidance will be released by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. It is part of a larger plan which also focuses on tackling obesity and smoking to reduce disease and save the NHS money.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleeping Apps
Circadian rhythm and sleep

Circadian rhythm and sleep

Circadian rhythms and sleep are inextricably linked, any disruption to one is likely to have a knock-on effect with the other.

Your circadian rhythm is the internal body clock that controls your biological and physiological processes, it cycles roughly every 24 hours.

Whilst your circadian rhythm is largely controlled by your brain, it is also influenced by external factors like natural light and darkness.

Just some of the important processes that your circadian rhythm helps to control are your sleep/wake cycle, hormone release, cell regeneration, metabolism, and temperature control.

Sleep and your circadian rhythm

Your circadian rhythm plays a key role in regulating your sleep/wake cycle and helping you to get a good night’s sleep by ensuring that you feel sleepy and alert at the right times of the day.

Maintaining a healthy and consistent circadian rhythm can help you to sleep better at night and feel more alert and focussed during the day.

Your circadian rhythm use cues throughout the day to keep it running smoothly. One of these cues is light and darkness.

During the day, natural light prevents your circadian rhythm from signalling your body to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

When it starts to get dark, your body takes this as a cue that it’s time to start winding down ready to sleep and releases melatonin to make you feel tired.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, or if your sleep pattern is disrupted, it can also disrupt your circadian rhythm. When your circadian rhythm is thrown out, the feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness that it produces will be more pronounced. As a result, you may find yourself feeling out of sorts and have difficulty concentrating during the day.

Strengthening your circadian rhythm with consistent eating and sleeping habits and by getting enough natural light during the day can help you to sleep better.

Posted by m6beds in Circadian rhythms
10 tips for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm

10 tips for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm

Maintain a healthy circadian rhythm to start sleeping better and improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock which cycles roughly every 24 hours.

It is responsible for controlling important biological and physiological processes within your body, including your sleep/wake cycle, hormone regulation, cell regeneration and metabolism.

An inconsistent circadian rhythm can mess with your sleep cycle and leave you feeling fatigued and sluggish during the day or alert when you should be sleeping.

Lack of sleep or disrupted sleep has been linked to all sorts of health problems, both mental and physical.

If you’re struggling to get to sleep or stay asleep, it could be a sign that your circadian rhythm is out of kilter.

Your circadian rhythm relies on the consistency of your daily habits and routine as well as the sun’s cycle to keep it running smoothly.

Here are our top 10 tips for maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm and getting a better night’s sleep.

  • Get plenty of natural light during the day.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.
  • Eat meals at the same times each day.
  • Avoid looking at screens in the evening as the blue light mimics daylight.
  • Exercise daily, preferably outdoors first thing in the morning.
  • Where possible, sleep when it’s dark.
  • Eliminate both natural and artificial light from your bedroom.
  • Avoid eating a large meal late in the evening.
  • Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool.
  • Resist or minimise daytime napping.

If you’re still having trouble falling asleep, it’s time to go back to basics. Make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable and try investing in a new mattress, pillow or duvet.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds