COVID19

Relax yourself to sleep

Relax yourself to sleep

We know how important it is to get enough good quality sleep each night. Sleep is so much easier when you are relaxed. When you are stressed or anxious you may find that your brain is too busy worrying about things that you have not done, or thinking about things that did not go well in the past, making it hard to sleep. Also, when you are anxious or stressed, your body becomes alert and aroused, also making sleep much harder.

When you are anxious or stressed over a long period your body produces more cortisol, which is our “stress hormone”. Increased cortisol makes us feel extra alert and ready to face any threats. In addition, when you are in an immediate threat situation, your body will produce adrenaline to increase your heart rate and elevate your blood pressure. Increases in these threat and stress hormones disrupt sleep.

What can you do to relax?

There are many things you can do to help you relax and reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.

Take some time and effort to prioritise your bedroom itself. Make your bedroom a place you really want to be Choose natural materials where possible and calm colours – blue is a particularly good colour for a bedroom. Also, make sure that your mattress (from M6 beds!) is really supportive and comfortable so that you feel really relaxed in bed itself. M6 Beds have a wide range and variety of greta mattresses and pillows to choose from. Visit us anytime, simply call to book an appointment for a time that suits you!

If your bedroom is calm and decluttered, then you will feel calmer at bedtime. Do not have piles of paperwork, or dirty laundry in your bedroom as that will only make you think about everything you have not done – increasing stress.

Scents are also a good way to help us relax. Lavender is a well known relaxing fragrance. You  could use a lavender pillow spray, or a diffuser in the bedroom with some lavender essential oils to fill the air with the relaxing smell of lavender. In addition to lavender, there are also other relaxing fragrances such as jasmine, bergamot, valerian and vanilla. This is not a complete list though, as any fragrance you love and makes you feel happy will help you to relax. You could put some of your favourite fragrances in an oil burner and enjoy while you have a long warm bath, or pop a few drops on a tissue under your pillow just before bed.

Relaxation techniques can also help you to sleep better. Slow, deep breathing can be done during the daytime when you are feeling anxious, or at bedtime to help promote sleep. There is a deep breathing technique recommended by the NHS where you breathe slowly in through your nose, and try to fill air deep into your lungs (into your belly), and then breathe out slowly through your mouth. The NHS recommend that you breathe in for a count of 5 and then out for a count of 5, and to continue this for 3-5 minutes.

You can help yourself to be more relaxed at nightime by looking at what you are doing during the day. Exercise is a great way of de-stressing, so go for a run or a brisk walk during the day to help relax tension. Try not to exercise too close to bedtime though. Also, see if there is anything you can do about some of the things you are worried about… get your tax return in early, or call that friend you have been meaning to for ages, so that you feel you have accomplished something by the time you go to bed.

Lastly, make sure that you have a wind down time before you go to bed. If you are working right up until bedtime them you will still be thinking about work stress instead of relaxing off to sleep. Stop working an hour before bed, and read a book or have a warm bath to wind down before you go to bed.

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How to Choose Your Perfect Mattress

How to Choose Your Perfect Mattress

There are three common types of mattresses: innerspring, foam, and adjustable. There’s no one “right” material to choose, but in general, side sleepers need a softer mattress, stomach sleepers need a firm one, and back sleepers fall somewhere in between.

Beyond the types of mattresses and firmness, you’ll need to think about a few other factors. From sleep style to negotiating with a bedfellow, here’s what to look for based on your needs:

If you like a bed with bounce

Traditional innerspring styles have that familiar bouncy feel and may be firmer. Interconnected coils are extra-durable, but individual “pocketed” coils, each covered with fabric, reduce the ripple effect that happens when someone on one side of the bed moves.

If you prefer a firmer base

Memory foam options have less spring and offer more pressure relief. To determine quality, look at the density and thickness of the foam, which will determine how deep you’ll sink. The newer, online mattresses generally use several different layers of foam, with heavier ones on the bottom for support and lighter, cooler kinds on the top for comfort.

If you want a plush top

Innerspring mattresses typically have either a fiberfill or foam outer layer, covered in quilted ticking. But even if you want an uber-plush feel, don’t be swayed by a thick-looking pillowtop as it can compress over time. It’s often best to choose a firmer, well-quilted mattress, and then cover it with a replaceable mattress topper.

If you like to change it up

Consider an air-filled mattress. Two side-by-side chambers allow you and your partner to customise the mattress firmness separately. There are also foam mattresses with soft and firm sides, so you can just flip it over as needed, and modular designs that let you move around the springs on the inside.

If you sleep on your side

You’ll want a surface that will support your body weight, and conform to your shape. Innersprings may have more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses, but a soft foam mattress or one with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips can work for side sleepers, too

If you sleep on your stomach

The last thing a stomach-sleeper probably wants is an enveloping memory foam — it would feel smothering! Instead, a firmer bed will provide the best support. Consider a firm foam, dense innerspring, or air-filled mattress.

If you sleep on your back

You’ll want something in the middle — a surface that supports, but has some give so your spine is kept in a healthy alignment. You’ll find happiness with any of the mattress types, but you should do your best princess-and-the-pea impression to see what feels best to you.

Posted by m6beds in Children's Bed, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, Coronavirus, COVID19, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, mattress protector, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Pillow Choice, Pillows, Sleep Better, sleeping position, Snoozing, Sofa Bed, Sofa Beds, Summer Bedroom, The Right Mattress
How to get a better night’s sleep despite coronavirus worries

How to get a better night’s sleep despite coronavirus worries

Between homeschooling unruly kids, concerns about your finances and worrying about the health of friends and family, getting a full night’s sleep is no easy feat these days.

With so many extra stresses to think about, it’s not unusual to spend the night tossing and turning, only to catch a glimpse of the clock and realise you’re way behind on your sleep schedule.

At this stage, you might be wondering whether you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re anxious, or you’re anxious because you can’t sleep. The truth is, it may be both. Being in a heightened state of stress can delay the onset of sleep and cause anxious thoughts to occur at night. But lack of sleep can cause anxiety disorders too.

Make sure you maintain a routine

With everything going on at the moment, it can be really difficult to maintain a routine. Whether you’re furloughed or working from home, it is likely your ‘normal’ routine will have changed quite a lot from what it was before.

Try to wake up and go to bed at a similar time to what you would before lockdown began. This will help you maintain a regular sleeping pattern – you should be aiming for seven-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half hours per night.

Avoid napping during the day and make time to wind down before bed to help you get to sleep more easily. You can do this by either reading, practising mindfulness or taking time away from technology.

Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol

Drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks during the day can impact your sleep at night. While people process caffeine differently, as a general rule it’s recommended that we stop drinking caffeine after 3pm – so consider switching to decaf or herbal teas after this.

When it comes to alcohol, consumption may make you feel sleepy and reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. However, once the alcohol wears off, it is likely you will sleep more lightly and have more disturbances during the night, leaving you feeling less refreshed in the morning.

Most people are well aware of the physical health benefits of cutting down on alcohol – but there are also mental health benefits too. For example, alcohol can make people feel more anxious – so cutting it down can help manage anxiety.

It’s also important to consider the impact of smoking on your sleep. Nicotine can increase your heart rate and alertness, so if you smoke before bed, you may feel more awake and struggle to fall asleep.

Take some time out from staring at the ceiling

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, don’t lie in bed worrying or feeling anxious. Get up and read a book, or listen to a podcast or relaxing music.

This can get your mind to focus on something else and ultimately help you feel sleepy again. Try to limit your screen time though, or use devices on night mode, so the light doesn’t further disturb your sleep pattern.

Posted by m6beds in Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress
COVID-19: how does the coronavirus pandemic affect your sleep?

COVID-19: how does the coronavirus pandemic affect your sleep?

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down and affected all aspects of our lives, including our health, livelihoods and much more. With the UK under COVID-19 lockdown and the public instructed to stay at home, many of us are feeling isolated and anxious – and it is affecting our sleep.

Coronavirus and sleep problems

There is a global sense of anxiety at this time. When turning on the news or talking with neighbours, friends and family, it is hard to escape the overall state of the planet right now, whether you are feeling the effects or not.

A sleep expert has said that we are asked to stay in our homes so we don’t maintain our usual routines which might include increasing or decreasing work, activities, and time away or with our loved ones. We get less exercise and light exposure – two very important regulators of sleep.

Anxiety in a generalised sense creates what we will refer to as arousal, or excitement or alertness. Arousal is triggered by the ‘fight or flight’ response, which releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and prevents you from falling asleep.

How to improve your sleep quality

Everyone will have an occasional bad night, but regular poor sleep puts you at risk of certain medical conditions such as obesity and it can have a negative impact on your mental health. So how can you improve the quality of your sleep?

Stick to a routine

“Wake up and get up at the same time each day – no snoozing. Get light straightaway – natural if possible but artificial will do, and move and eat. This combination of behaviours will not only eventually lead to feeling super refreshed on waking, but also will do wonders for your sleep at night.”

Get up if you need to

Get out of bed instead of lying there unable to sleep, whether at the beginning, middle or end of the night.

“The simple reality is that lying in bed willing yourself back to sleep won’t work, but relaxing wake time will increase your sleep drive which will help you sleep.”

“So go away and distract yourself from sleep, but be mindful that you need to stay in your ‘relax/wind down’ activity phase.”

Try not to nap during the day if you aren’t used to doing it. “It will only dilute the quality of your sleep at night, and get your brain into new habits which will be hard to break”.

Turn off the news

“Don’t watch the late news, and avoid talking about stressful things close too bedtime, if you are worried about things, try to distract your mind by thinking about something pleasant, although not emotionally engaging.”

Relax properly

Relaxation doesn’t lead to sleep unless you are doing the above steps to regulate sleep and build up sleepiness at the right times.

Certain activities may help you relax, such as listening to a relaxing audio, and trying meditation or breathing exercises, but this doesn’t mean you will sleep.

“When you are increasingly anxious or panicked, don’t focus on sleep – focus on reducing the anxiety, ground yourself. Plant those feet firmly on the floor. Pick five things in your room. Describe function, appearance, smell, texture. Repeat. Remind your brain you are safe. Calm that heart rate and temperature down.”

Posted by m6beds in Choosing The Right Mattress, Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses
Sleep Needs – How many hours of sleep do I need?

Sleep Needs – How many hours of sleep do I need?

How many hours of sleep do you need? What happens when you don’t get enough? Explore the stages of sleep and how to get on a healthy sleep schedule.

Why is sleep so important?

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

How many hours of sleep do you need?

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

Just because you’re able to operate on six or seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed.

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

Below is a recommendation of how many hours sleep different ages should get:

Posted by m6beds in Coronavirus, COVID19, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Quality, Sofa Bed
Exposure to blue light from phones and computer screens ‘makes it harder to fall asleep’

Exposure to blue light from phones and computer screens ‘makes it harder to fall asleep’

Researchers say exposure to blue light could increase the risk of damage to eyesight and make it harder to fall asleep.

Work an arm’s length from the screen

Fully extend your arm and work from a distance – looking from your eyes to the end of your fingertips.

Use this as a minimum distance to reduce the stress on your eyeballs. 

20/20/20 

Simply put, every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for a minimum of 20 seconds at least 20 feet away.

This will help to reset your visual systems and eye through any long periods of screen work.

Screen height

Height and level of your working screen can have a big impact on eye strain and posture.

Research has shown that it is better for the screen to be located higher than the users’ watching level – the middle point should be 5-6 inches below the straight line of the users’ vision.

This makes the space between upper and lower eyelid more open, often resulting in dryness of the eyes.

Consider your device

Usually the biggest, newest phone is best, but not for your eyes. An iPhone X is 20 per cent brighter than an iPhone 6 and emits higher levels of blue light.

This is the difference of a 100 per cent increase in harmful blue light exposure!

Put a post-it note on your screen titled ‘BLINK’.

Normally, in a minute, we blink up to 20 times. This is controlled automatically by our central nervous systems so we’re not conscious of blinking.

While on screens, this is actually reduced to 3-5 times a minute meaning our tear films cannot be maintained and the eye does not remain lubricated.

A post-it-note on your monitor saying ‘Blink’ should help you consciously make an effort to blink. It’s simple but definitely works.

Advice

Buying a new bed or mattress is one of the most important purchases you can make and ensuring you pick the right one to suit your individual needs is incredibly important. There are so many different types of mattress, places to buy them from and varieties is feels and components, it can feel like a complete minefield!

Here at M6 Beds our aim to guide you through this minefield, showing you beds which best suit your needs, your required level of comfort and pressure relief required to get that restful night sleep. We’ve compiled a list of ‘common mistakes’ to avoid when mattress shopping to ensure you choose your perfect bed.

Posted by m6beds in Blue Light, Buy The Right Bed, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, comfy bed, Computer Screen, Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, Look After Your Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Pillow Choice, science of nodding off, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Quality, Sleep study, Temperature
Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up

Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up

How the coronavirus lockdown is impacting our sleeping habits: Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up.

An article from the Daily Mail have reported on a study from 23andMe suggesting that people are no longer setting alarms to wake up for work during the lockdown.

  • A survey for 23andMe found that people are now ‘naturally waking up’ at 7.06am
  • This is 48 minutes later than they used to wake up when they travelled to work
  • Sleep experts say this is allowing people to wake during the natural REM sleep 

A study for 23andMe found that the average wake-up time for people working from home had shifted by 48 minutes to 7.06am from 6.18am before the pandemic.

Researchers say this later wake-up time is much closer to the natural genetic wake up time of 7.55am and could have positive benefits on mood and brain function to aid a more productive day.

Sleep experts say waking up naturally increases our chances of doing so during REM sleep – which is the optimal state to transition from being asleep to being awake.

More people are also experiencing more vivid and intense dreams, something that could be due to waking during REM sleep.

‘Everyone dreams 4-5 times a night, but we can only remember a dream if we wake up during it,’ a sleep expert has said.

The study has also suggested that a fifth of Brits say they are struggling to get to sleep due to the lockdown keeping them indoors and not getting out and about with working like they typically would during an average day.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bed Care, Buy The Right Bed, Coronavirus, COVID19, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep study
How working from home can impact on your sleep

How working from home can impact on your sleep

People working remotely is not a new concept, however the global pandemic of Covid-19 means that a large proportion of the nation are now working from home as advised by government guidelines to increase our social distancing.

But that doesn’t mean you can start enjoying a lazy 10am start every morning and an early clock off. For some though, working from home may increase productivity levels. For example, those who are night owls may find a routine that starts later in the morning and finishes later in the day more beneficial without being tied to your typical office hours.

Many people do not realise that working from home can impact on your sleep. Disruptions to your normal day to day routine can have a knock on effect on so safeguard your sleep with these following tips:

  • It is important to keep a regular daily routine to keep you mentally focused and your body clock in sync – our sleep/wake schedule is controlled by our body clocks and environmental cues. Don’t be tempted to hit snooze just because you don’t have to physically go into work and no one is monitoring your productivity. Make sure you get showered, dressed and have a balanced breakfast like you would for a normal ‘workday’. This will not only make you more productive but make you ready for the day ahead of you.
  • Before you start work or a mid-morning break, get some natural light – whether that’s a brisk walk or 10 minutes or your hourly allowance, sit in the garden with a morning cuppa. Natural light, which can still be effective on a cloudy or grey day, helps reset our internal body clock. It helps us get over feeling groggy when we have just woken up and makes us more alert.
  • Put boundaries in place. While there is flexibility in working from home, make sure you stick to your work hours as much as possible. Don’t be tempted to ‘be available’ at all times. Checking emails or even working too close to bedtime could see you having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • Have a designated area for working and where possible commit to using it only during work hours. And not in the bedroom, which should be used only for sleep. Working from your bed may seem appealing but it’s no good for your posture or productivity.
  • Take regular breaks. At home, you may find (with no other distractions) that you work solidly for longer so take the opportunity every hour to stretch your legs and get a change of scenery – walk the dogs or a spot of gardening while the weather is nice.
  • Keep hydrated. Without colleagues to do a ‘coffee round’ make sure you regularly have a drink. Keep a bottle of water on your desk and use tea making time to have a break from the computer screen.
  • Avoid fuelling up on caffeine in the afternoon when you hit the post lunch dip. Although there are significant individual differences in how caffeine affects each of us, give yourself enough time between your last caffeine intake and your sleep time to make sure that it does not interfere with your ability to get off to sleep. If you’re feeling lethargic in the afternoon, spend 10 minutes outside or put one of your favourite songs on to lift your mood.

Finally, invest in a good bed from M6 beds! Having the right mattress and pillows will impact your quality of sleep drastically. For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, Bigger Bed, Buy The Right Bed, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, Coronavirus, COVID19, Good Investment, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Working From Home