Ways To Combat Shift Work Sleep Problems

Ways To Combat Shift Work Sleep Problems

Working shifts plays havoc with your body clock particularly when you are new to it. Our human bodies are built to be in sync with our environments and when these environments are changed they can have all sorts of impacts including sleep difficulties if you are awake all night and in bed during the daytime.

Some people may struggle to sleep at all during the day when it’s sunny outside and there is inevitably more noise. There is even a term for those suffering insomnia who work shifts called ‘shift work sleep disorder’.

This sleep problem arises when your natural circadian rhythm is disrupted and there are difficulties flipping the switch to stay awake at night and sleep during daylight hours.

The way to combat sleep issues caused by shift working are largely the same as for other minor sleep problems and include maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise and keeping a regular sleep routine. The latter may be difficult however if shifts are always changing as is the case with some shift working jobs.

It can also be beneficial to ensure the room is dark and definitely a good idea to avoid caffeine in the early hours if you will need to get some sleep during the day.

A more practical way to improve the quality of sleep is to invest in a good mattress and a suitable pillow which can make a world of difference to your sleep quality which is as important as the quantity.

Posted by m6beds in Combat Shift Work Sleep Problems, Health, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Shift Work

How Older People Can Get Improve Sleep Patterns

While most of us when we were young were unlikely to experience any problems with sleep other than those caused by too much of it or partying until the sun came up, older people are often not so lucky.

As we age we are likely to sleep less than we did in our youth and there are actually scientific studies that have demonstrated insomnia levels are at 50% of the population from the age of 60.

This often leads to the myth that older people don’t need as much sleep as younger people but this simply isn’t true. Everyone needs approximately 7 hours of sleep every 24 hours to keep themselves healthy and allow the body to get the rest it needs.

Too little sleep can be a leading cause of all sorts of health problems if it isn’t dealt with.

One of the problems faced by older people is the decline in slow wave sleep that comes with advancing age which means sleeping becomes lighter and waking in the night becomes more likely.

The way to deal with this is to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to ensure the mind and body are ready for sleep at the end of each day. It is also beneficial to take naps during the day to ensure you get enough shut eye but be sure not to over do it. Too much sleep can be as bad for you as too little.

Posted by m6beds in Improve Sleep Patterns, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Older People
Why Is Sleeping Hard In Hot Weather?

Why Is Sleeping Hard In Hot Weather?

After an unseasonably warm end to spring summer is upon us and there is a strong chance we could see temperatures soar even higher. Unfortunately, hot weather isn’t just confined to the daytime in the summer months, it can also continue through the night and into the early hours.

This can lead to problems sleeping when even taking the covers off offers little relief from oppressive heat. Hot sticky nights are notorious for affecting sleep and it is common to end up spending most of the night awake while tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable.

But have you ever asked what the science is behind this heat induced insomnia?

The answer is the complex relationship between our body temperature and sleep. Our body’s natural rhythms are tied to our external environments and this makes us sensitive to even small changes in temperature particularly at bed time.

Our body is attuned to temperatures cooling down through the afternoon and into the evening. This is why you will find it easier to sleep when the bedroom is cool and you can snuggle up in your sheets.

If the temperature is high at night than the effect is the opposite and the heat keeps the body in a wakeful state normally required for daytime hours.

So the key to getting a better night’s sleep in hot weather is to do everything you can to reduce the temperature in your bedroom by using fans or air conditioning and screening out sunlight.

Posted by m6beds in Hot Weather, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds
5 Ways To Get A Better Night’s Sleep This Summer

5 Ways To Get A Better Night’s Sleep This Summer

Most of us look forward to the summer with all those sunny days at the beach barbecues and so on to look forward to. But everything pleasurable has its downsides and one of them comes at night time in the summer months when you simply can’t cool off. So here are five tips on how to stay cool in the bed this summer.

Protect yourself from the sun
Wearing sun cream is essential if you want to avoid sunburn when you are out in strong sunshine for hours at a time. Sleeping with sunburn isn’t easy when your skin is burning hot, it simply adds to the discomfort on hot nights.

Keep yourself hydrated
Drinking cool glasses of water will not only help keep your body temperature down, it will also keep you hydrated and stop you waking up with headaches. It can also be beneficial to drink water along with alcohol to stop yourself getting dehydrated.

Don’t drink too much
Alcohol consumption often goes up at this time of year as we’re all out an about more. Alcohol isn’t great for sleep so it is worth cutting down if you want to reduce those nasty hangovers and interrupted sleep.

Avoid eating too much
Eating too much before bed time will increase the amount of work your body has to do so keeping meals light is important if you want to avoid overheating.

Keep out sunlight
Sunlight beaming into your room at 5am is often the culprit if you find yourself waking up earlier than usual. Simply investing in some thicker blackout curtains or blinds will help reduce the mount of light in the room and stop you waking up too early.

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sofa Beds
Why Pillow Choice Is Important

Why Pillow Choice Is Important

Do you find that you get so attached to your pillow you rarely swap it for a new one out of fear that you won’t be comfortable or get a good sleep? Pillows are of course an important part of our sleep routine but it is also important to consider if the old comfortable pillow is still doing its job in supporting you while you sleep.

Bad pillows can cause all sorts of physical problems if they fail to support your neck vertebrae including a stiff neck and even headaches. While you may put these ailments down to other causes, a simple change of pillow might help eliminate them altogether.

A good pillow will hold all your vertebrae in alingnment so that you don’t get problems with nerves being squeezed if your neck is too well supported or if your head has virtually no support on a pillow that is too soft to provide it.

So if you are planning to buy a new bed or mattress to gain that extra support you need, then it may also be a good idea to try out some pillows. Be sure to shop around for the pillow that is right for you. There is no one size fits all solution and there will be a wide variety of different fillings to choose from.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Pillow Choice, Sofa Beds
Which Mattress Type Is Best For Athletes?

Which Mattress Type Is Best For Athletes?

If you’re an athlete sleep is a vital part of your routine. Sleep helps build muscle and aids recovery from work out sessions as well as lots of other restorative effects. It is also important for athletes to be able to get the support they need from choosing the right type of mattress. With this in mind, we look at the pros and cons of the most common mattress types suitable for athletes

Memory foam
Memory foam has increased in popularity over the past decade and offers an affordable alternative to most mattress types. The material used in memory foam mattresses is viscoelastic polyfoam which changes shape around the contours of the body when it is heated by body temperature. This makes ideal for those who like a softer mattress that doesn’t increase pressure on joints and the spine. The main disadvantage for some people with memory foam is its tendency to heat up. A memory foam mattress can also start to sag with age.

Coil Mattresses
Coil mattresses are the most popular type of mattress and as the name suggests the support in them is provided by steel coils. Coil mattresses are generally reinforced with layers of polyfoam to further bolster support and can be a good low cost alternative to other more expensive mattress types. Unlike memory foam, coil mattresses don’t conform to the body’s contours and support structures can deteriorate more rapidly than other mattress types.

Hybrid mattresses
If memory foam and coil mattresses don’t fit the bill then the compromise option is to go for a hybrid mattress. With a hybrid mattress you gain the benefits of memory foam and coils working together. One thing to consider with a hybrid though is the extra cost and the wide variety of firmness ratings. This means you will need to try out a few before deciding on which one is best. Also the memory foam component will still lead to problems with heat retention which can make for an uncomfortable night’s sleep if your temperature is already elevated from exercising.

For athletes like the rest of us choosing the right mattress is largely about how it feels to you individually. Cost can also be a factor but it is better to choose a mattress that will last and provide the necessary support.

Posted by m6beds in Athletes, Bedroom, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses
Do You Need An App To Get You To Sleep?

Do You Need An App To Get You To Sleep?

In this age of distracting electronic communication there are now plenty of apps that can track your sleeping habits but is this a healthy way to manage your sleep or should you be looking for more natural ways to relax?

The question isn’t an easy one to answer and a lot depends on how you use your app and how happy you are for technology to help you do what comes naturally for most people.

The reason you might use an app for sleep is down to concern about getting enough of it. So having the app tell you when to go to bed and when to get up sounds like a good idea until nature gets in the way and you can’t sleep at the suggested times.

This can lead to people stressing over their sleep and losing sleep as a result.

Surely to best way to get a good night’s sleep is not to be thinking too much about everything that worries you. Being able to clear your mind of worries where possible will go a long way to helping you sleep.

Also gadgets such as mobile phones and the glare from tablet screens are best avoided at bed time as current scientific evidence suggests.

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Buy The Right Bed, M6 Beds, Mattresses, Sleep, Sleeping Apps, Sofa Beds
Is It True That Herbs Can Help You Sleep?

Is It True That Herbs Can Help You Sleep?

Herbs such as lavender have been seen as an aid to sleep for hundred, perhaps even thousands of years, but in our age where many are sceptical about the effectiveness of herbal remedies does the evidence really stack up?

The good news if you are the kind of person who believes in herbal remedies is that evidence does exist for the positive benefits of lavender on sleep.

Scents can have a profound affect on us humans and the effects of scents on the brain continue to be widely studied. Scents can have an affect particularly on our memories. Certain scents are able to take us back directly to times when we may have encountered those scents and what we were doing at that time.

One study by Koulivand, P. et al. examined the effectiveness of lavender on sleep and drew the following conclusion:
‘Single-blind randomized studies investigated the effectiveness of lavender odour on quality of sleep showed that lavender improved the mean scores of sleep quality in fifteen healthy students [74], in sixty-four ischemic heart disease patients [75], and in thirty-four midlife women with insomnia [76].’

Lavender apparently acts as a mild sedative as well as being a mood stabilizer so if you are looking for a simple remedy to help you sleep, our ancient ancestors may have provided us with the remedy afterall.

Posted by m6beds in Herbs Can Help You Sleep, M6 Beds, Mattresses
Why Being On The Phone At Bed Time Is Bad For You

Why Being On The Phone At Bed Time Is Bad For You

You may have heard that gazing at your smartphone at bed time is bad for you but understanding how a simple phone screen can interfere with our body’s natural rhythms is another matter.

So how does a looking at your phone at bedtime impact on your sleep?

The first thing to look at is the way we increasingly use smart phones to organise our lives from work to keeping in touch with friends on social media. This often leads to the temptation of checking emails and status updates before going to sleep. A quick glance through social posts and work emails can often turn into hours of time that could be spent getting a good night’s sleep.

Even if this screen time is reduced smart phones can damage sleep in other ways. The way to achieve a good night’s sleep is to prepare an environment that promotes restfulness. This includes the low natural light, which is something a bright mobile phone screen acts against.

Mobile phone screen displays use LED lighting which is bright blue and while this sort of light can actually be beneficial in making us more alert during the day, this type of light has the opposite impact at bed time. It also suppresses an important sleep hormone called melatonin which can lead to trouble sleeping and even insomnia in some people.

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, M6 Beds
Which Mattresses Are Best For Allergy Sufferers?

Which Mattresses Are Best For Allergy Sufferers?

Allergies can be uncomfortable and distressing in the daytime. At night however they can also have the added potential to keep you awake while dealing with runny noses, breathing difficulties, itchy eyes and so on.

The specific allergens that cause reactions in the bedroom can be hard to detect and sometimes symptoms can be down to seasonal allergies to tree pollen and hayfever. If symptoms persist all year round, however, then it is likely that something in the bedroom is the cause.

That something is often house dust mites and if that wasn’t enough to make you feel even more uncomfortable, it is actually house dust mite faeces that tend to be the cause. These pests you can’t even see with the naked eye are impossible to get rid of entirely and no doubt have their purpose in the eco-system.

Fortunately there are things you can do to alleviate the problem and cut down on the effects. This might include investing in a hypoallergenic mattress and regularly hoovering and cleaning bedding to ensure it is kept fresh and free from as many of the creatures as possible.

If you require more advice on choosing the right mattress, please contact us today or visit our store.

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress