Alcohol and Sleep

Tips to get your sleep cycle back on track during lockdown

Tips to get your sleep cycle back on track during lockdown

Now we are officially entering the second lockdown in the UK M6 Beds have put together a few tips and tricks for getting your sleep cycle back into a routine.

You might have noticed your normal sleep pattern has changed. Some of us may be sleeping more, and some of us may be sleeping less. Life has changed dramatically for many of us, with our usual daily routine – including commutes, meal times, and the amount of time we spend outside – being altered because of self isolation.

  • Don’t use your bedroom as your office (if possible) When it’s time for bed, remove electronic devices and make the room cool, dark and quiet. It’s important to associate your bedroom as the place you go to sleep, not the place you work or watch TV. This will help you to relax and prepare for sleep. Electronic devices also emit artificial light that can influence our sleep cycle. Artificial light can trick your circadian clock into thinking daylight has been extended and alter our quality of sleep. If you need electronic devices nearby, place them in night mode.
  • Avoid napping As you try to establish your new routine, it’s important to engage with your natural circadian rhythm – and napping could potentially disrupt this at the beginning. However, if your previous night’s sleep was poor you may feel more tired after lunch. Short naps – less than 20 minutes – can help to restore cognitive function and may make you feel less sleepy.
  • Exercise Both aerobic and resistance exercise has been shown to have positive effects on sleep. However, timing is important. It’s best to avoid vigorous exercise one hour before bedtime as this may reduce our sleep duration, quality and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.

All of these changes impact our natural circadian rhythm, which is an essential internal “clock” that plays a key role in regulating our sleep pattern. It controls body temperature and hormones in order to make us feel alert during the day and tired at night.

 

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UK weather: Had a bad night’s sleep?

UK weather: Had a bad night’s sleep?

Drink plenty of water

It may seem like an obvious one, but drinking plenty of water is often overlooked. Cool down from the inside out by staying hydrated with plenty of liquids. It is recommended to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres per day.

Avoid Alcohol

Bad news for some, but forecasters advise against drinking alcohol in the intense heat, as well as teas and coffees, which act as diuretics and can cause dehydration.

Switch the fan on

Fans can help your body regulate its internal temperature – and sticking a pan of ice cubes in front of it can make the circulating air even cooler. If you haven’t got one handy, fill a hot water bottle with cold water instead.

Sleep on a lower floor

If your home has several floors, it might be worth sleeping downstairs.

Freeze a flannel

Sticking a washcloth in the freezer can be especially refreshing to place on your forehead as you lie in bed.

Posted by m6beds in Alcohol & Sleeo, Alcohol and Sleep, Better Night’s Sleep, Chill in Bed, Hot Weather, Hot Weather Sleep Hacks, Improve Sleep Patterns, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality, Summer Bedroom, Temperature
Does Alcohol Affect Your Sleeping Pattern?

Does Alcohol Affect Your Sleeping Pattern?

For many of us, the perfect way to unwind after a long stressful day is to reach for a beer or a glass of wine. Perceived wisdom suggests that not only is it the perfect way to relax, it can also help us get off to sleep at night. A few alcoholic beverages can leave us feeling drowsy, but is it accurate to say it helps us sleep, and what are the true effects of alcohol on our sleep?

Here are a few ways alcohol affects your sleep:

It induces faster sleep 

Alcohol has a profound effect on our body’s ability to sleep, and for the most part, the effect is negative.

You might find that after a couple of drinks it’s much easier to drop off to sleep. Alcohol is a depressant, which has a sedative effect on your body. That’s why alcohol can lead to a relaxed feeling and eventually help you get to sleep faster.

On the face of it, this might seem positive, but once you are asleep, alcohol has much more damaging effects on your quality of sleep.

It brings more interruptions during the night 

Drinking alcohol also makes it more likely you’ll be forced out of bed in the middle of the night. Whether that is for a drink of water due to dehydration or a trip to the toilet due to a full bladder, alcohol makes it more likely we’ll have a disrupted night’s sleep.

It blocks valuable REM sleep 

Alcohol shifts the normal sleep cycle to contribute to a feeling of sluggishness when you wake. When you’ve been drinking, you’ll spend longer in deep sleep but less time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is your body’s window to restore and regenerate. Reduced due to the consumption of alcohol, less REM sleep leaves you feeling fatigued (and hungover) the next day.

Posted by m6beds in Alcohol & Sleeo, Alcohol and Sleep, M6 Beds