Improve Sleep Patterns

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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How to get a good nights sleep in winter

How to get a good nights sleep in winter

Tips for staying warm and cosy this winter. 

Consider your bedding

This might sound obvious, but thicker, heavier bedding will help increase your body temperature on a cold night.

Opt for a duvet with a higher tog rating, which is a measure of how well the duvet can trap warm air. A 10.5 tog will keep you warm if you have good central heating, while those who want even more warmth from their bedding might prefer a rating of 13.5.

Cuddle a hot water bottle

The humble hot water bottle is a brilliantly inexpensive way of keeping warm on even the coldest of nights. We recommend opting for one that has a soft cover on it, both to prevent scalding and to keep the bottle’s heat insulated long into the night.

Research has also shown that nestling your feet underneath a hot water bottle will naturally switch on the body’s sleep mechanism, helping you on your way to a restful night’s sleep.

Soak in a hot bath

Nothing will warm you up and calm your mind quite like a hot, soothing bubble bath. The advantages are twofold, as the warm water works to relax your muscles while the sudden dip in body temperature when you leave the bath helps send you off into a deeper sleep. Research has shown that our body temperature naturally dips just before we fall asleep, so this increased drop in temperature helps us fall asleep even faster.

Wear pyjamas

If your underwear simply isn’t cutting it for keeping you cosy in bed, then it may be time to invest in some pyjamas. Opt for styles made out of natural fibres such as a cotton and silk as these will keep you warmer than synthetic materials.

Posted by m6beds in Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Old mattress, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Quality, winter tiredness
Wipe out winter tiredness

Wipe out winter tiredness

We all know the struggle of getting out of bed during the winter months while it is still dark outside and the temperature has dropped. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many people feel tired and sluggish during winter.

M6 beds have put together some energy giving solutions that may help – and some conditions that can sometimes be the cause. 

Let in some sunlight

As the days become shorter, your sleep and waking cycles may become disrupted. The lack of sunlight means your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy.

Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up to let more sunlight into your home, and get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible. Try to take even just a brief lunchtime walk, and make sure your workplace and home are as light and airy as possible.

Ensure you get enough sleep

Getting enough undisturbed sleep is vital for fighting off winter tiredness.

It’s tempting to go into hibernation mode when winter hits, but that sleepy feeling you get does not mean you should snooze for longer.

In fact, if you sleep too much, chances are you’ll feel even more sluggish during the day. We do not actually need any more sleep in winter than we do in summer – aim for about 7-8 hours of shut-eye a night, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Make sure your bedroom helps you feel relaxed and sleepy: clear the clutter, have comfortable and warm bedding, and turn off the TV.

Eat the right food

Being overweight or underweight can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling sleepy. So it’s important to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Once the summer ends, there’s a temptation to ditch the salads and fill up on starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread. However, you’ll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your comfort meals.

Winter vegetables – such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips – can be roasted, mashed or made into soup to provide a warming winter meal for the whole family. And classic stews and casseroles are great options if they’re made with lean meat or pulses, and plenty of veg.

 

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Coronavirus, Improve Sleep Patterns, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Type, Sleep Better, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality, winter tiredness
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.

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How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

There are few better feelings than climbing into clean sheets after a long day. While a good run through the washing machines brings comfort and a fresh smell, a regular clean is important for our health. We know it’s important, but exactly how often should you change your sheets?

How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

Bedsheets, pillowcases and duvet covers should be front of the line for a regular wash because they have the most regular contact with your body; you should also be wary of keeping your pillows and mattress clean. Here is how often you should be washing your bedding:

How often should you wash your sheets? (Every 1-2 weeks) 

How often you should wash your sheets can depend on you, but everyone should be stripping their bed at least once a fortnight. You should consider washing them once a week if you have any dust or pollen allergies, you or your partner sweat a lot, either of you is unwell, or if a pet sleeps in bed with you. If you don’t, you may be increasing the chance of running into some of the issues we mentioned earlier.

How often should you wash your pillows? (Every 3 months) 

You can get away with washing your pillows a little less often than the sheets but it’s still recommended you wash the pillows at least every 3 months. Despite the covers, your pillow still picks up the likes of body oils, dead skin cells and dust mites. If left too long, it can be a health risk, as well as pretty unpleasant.

How often should you wash your mattress? (Every eight years)

Although your mattress is better protected than pillows and sheets, it’s recommended you replace your mattress every eight years. Worn out old mattresses will be covered in sweat, dead skin and mites, they could also be to blame for people getting a poor night’s sleep. Buying a fresh one and treating yourself to a mattress top will not only be beneficial for hygiene but could be the key to sounder sleep at night.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bed Care, Bed Cleaning Tips, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, Clean Bed, Divan Bed, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds
The importance of a good pillow

The importance of a good pillow

Struggling to get a decent nights sleep or find your self tossing and turning trying to get comfortable?

Most people spend at least one-third of their lives with their head on a pillow. The older you get, the more you realise the importance of having a good pillow.

Not only does the pillow need to be a good one, but it needs to be one that is suited to your body, your health, and the way that you sleep.  Check out this list to learn more about how to choose a good pillow.

Pillows truly affect the way that you go about your day, and you probably aren’t even aware of this fact. Your pillow affects the way that your neck aligns with your spine, which can either alleviate or put more strain on your back and shoulders, affect headaches, and have an overall impact on how restful your sleep is. In order to determine the best pillow for you, consider the shape of your spine as well as the position you sleep in for most of the night.

Choosing the right pillow for your sleeping patterns

Back Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying flat on their backs should choose a flat, thin pillow that also supports the head and the spine. Wedge pillows are great for providing this support.

Side Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying on their sides need a contoured pillow that provides firm support. In most instances, it is healthy for side sleepers to place a pillow between their legs. This pillow allows the spine to stay in alignment, and will leave the back feeling less strain from sleeping on the side.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers do not need much support for their head when sleeping. The thinner the pillow, the better, as this will prevent the head from rising too much and putting strain on the neck. In many instances, stomach sleepers will find comfort from placing a pillow under their stomachs to prevent lower back pain.

If you have any questions or require advice on the best types of pillows to purchase, please get in touch today by calling 01270 879379 or book an appointment at our showroom today.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bed Care, Better Night’s Sleep, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, Lumpy Pillow, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, mattress protector, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Pillow Choice, Pillows, Right Pillow, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, 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
Buying the right mattress

Buying the right mattress

When you buy a new mattress, you’re also investing in yourself and your well-being. After all, if you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, you’re spending about a third of your life in bed. So, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new mattress—and how do you buy one you’ll love sleeping on for years to come?

How Long Should a Mattress Last?

If you’re making any big lifestyle changes in the near future—for instance, if you’re moving in with a partner and want to upgrade to a bigger mattress, or you’re shopping for a grown-up bed for your child—it’s obviously time to make the purchase.

If it’s been over a decade since you got a new mattress, it might be time to switch. Experts agree that mattresses should last around 10 years—sometimes even more, especially if it’s a high-quality product and you take great care of it over the years. But in general, you want your mattress to last for at least seven to eight years, preferably ten.

Types of Mattresses

Whether you’ve purchased a mattress before or this is the first time you’ve ever had to shop for one, you need to know what kinds of mattresses are on the market. These are the main types you’ll see as you shop—make your decision based on how you like your bed to feel.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is a mattress that’s primarily made up of metal coils, with a soft cushion around it. Over the years, these cushions have been made from anything from cotton to wool to feathers. These mattresses tend to be firmer and have some bounce to them.

Foam

These mattresses don’t have any metal coils inside, but are made entirely of layers of foam or memory foam, a synthetic material (essentially polyurethane) designed to support your body and adapt to it. Rather than rest on top of a memory foam mattress, your body will sink in a little and be cradled by the foam.

Latex

Latex is a natural material made from the sap of a rubber plant, but you can also find synthetic latex mattresses on the market. Rather than sinking in to the mattress like you would on a memory foam bed, the latex compresses and conforms to the general shape of your body while still having more bounce-back.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress is the best of both worlds. The bottom layer of the mattress will be innerspring coils, while the top layer will be either foam or latex, depending on which material you prefer. How it feels will depend on whether you choose foam or latex.

If you are looking to purchase a new mattress, contact us today and we will be happy to help you find the perfect fit for you!

 

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How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep Better

M6 Beds top tips on how to get a better nights sleep.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by experimenting with the following tips, you can enjoy better sleep at night, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

Tip 1: Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.

Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimise the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.

Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

Tip 2: Control your exposure to light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm.

Tip 3: Exercise during the day

People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

  • The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
  • It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. So be patient and focus on building an exercise habit that sticks.
Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, Better Sleeo, Coronavirus, Improve Sleep Patterns, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality, Snoozing, The Right Mattress