Sleep Distruption

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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Sleep Trends the World Over

Sleep Trends the World Over

Sleep is an odd business. We spend a third of our lives doing it, without it we go mad and die, and yet the world over, there is no one way to sleep. In our 21st Century western world, it’s widely accepted that we should aim to sleep 7-8 hours per night, on bed with a high quality mattress and a pillow. But this has not always been the case, and indeed there are many peoples in the world today whose sleeping habits would seem very unusual to us indeed.

We think of bed as a place of warm, softness, and we often remove our jewellery, wear comfortable clothes and let our hair down in order to get the most out of the relaxing experience. But sleep methods and patterns develop everywhere depending on the specific needs of the people who practiced them.

Sleep like an Egyptian

The Ancient Egyptians slept on headrests made of wood or stone. This may sound to us like a thoroughly unpleasant experience, but these austere supports had their advantages in the searing heat of Northern Africa. They raised the head, keeping it cool and away from crawling, biting insects. They were often decorated with spells and incantations to ward off evil and heal the sick. These headrests were valuable assets as they were often found amongst the grave goods of the dead. A soft pillow would only have led to a hot, sweaty, itchy night’s sleep for an Egyptian.

In fact, headrests are still in use today among various indigenous tribes from all over Africa. They are a practical response to the heat, and useful for nomadic peoples whose resting places change frequently.

Glamorous Geisha

The use of the headrest in Africa may also have originally related to some of these incredible tribal coiffeurs, whose protection may have made the use of any other supports impossible.

Sacrifice of comfort in sleep for the sake of fashion or beauty is also practiced by the Japanese Geisha. These highly trained and refined entertainers traditionally sport sublimely complex hairstyles which cost vast amounts of money and time to construct. The Geisha also goes through significant pain during the hairdressing process. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to keep the hair in immaculate condition.

For this reason, a Geisha sleeps with her neck on a small wooden support or takamakura. This can cause crippling pain and sleep deprivation, and keeping the head balanced on the stand is a difficult skill to master. During her training period, a Geisha’s mentor may pour rice flour around the base of the stand, meaning if her head slipped in her sleep, flour sticks to her hair oil and she has to go through the excruciating pain of having it restyled. Eventually, the girl learns her lesson, and some older Geishas say that they can’t sleep without their neck rests, so used have they become to the discomfort.

No sleep for the wicked

For the war-like Vikings, sleeping was a practical necessity rather than an enjoyable experience, and as such, they had no specific sleeping space within the home. The Viking family slept individually wrapped in furs and lying on benches attached to the walls of the Longhouse. In the day, the benches were used for sitting on, for cooking or as work-benches – an unsurprising practice perhaps for such a hardy race.

The Spartans were another culture famous for its merciless warriors, and as such, took a very hard line on comfort. From the age of seven, Spartan boys were enrolled in the agoge – a brutal training system which lasted for approximately 10 years. The Spartan boys had to undergo horrific trials which turned them away from society and made them into hardened fighting machines. One of the lesser challenges included a forced rejection of sleeping comforts. Boys had to collect razor-sharp rushes from the river bank with their bare hands. They used these rushes as a mattress, and sleeping on their lacerating beds, were exposed day and night to the elements, with only a single rough cloak as a covering.

Are you looking for a new mattress? Contact us today and we’d love to help you choose the perfect mattress for you!

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bed Care, Bedroom, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Right Pillow, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Quality
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
Sleep Disorders and Problems

Sleep Disorders and Problems

Are you regularly struggling with a sleep problem? It may be a sleep disorder. Here’s how to recognise the symptoms and get the treatment you need.

What is a sleep disorder or problem?

Many of us experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.

A sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep. While it’s normal to occasionally experience difficulties sleeping, it’s not normal to regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, to wake up feeling exhausted, or to feel sleepy during the day.

Types of common sleep disorders

Insomnia

Insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, can be caused by stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Whatever the cause of your insomnia, improving your sleep hygiene, revising your daytime habits, and learning to relax will help cure most cases of insomnia without relying on sleep specialists or turning to prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs (or arms) at night. The urge to move occurs when you’re resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations. There are plenty of ways to help manage and relieve symptoms, though, including self-help remedies you can use at home.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common (and treatable) sleep disorder in which your breathing temporarily stops during sleep, awakening you frequently. If you have sleep apnea you may not remember these awakenings, but you’ll likely feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in your productivity. Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, so see a doctor right away and learn how to help yourself.

Posted by m6beds in Insomnia, M6 Beds, restless legs sydrome, sleep apnea, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality
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.

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Is too much sleep bad for you?

Is too much sleep bad for you?

Getting enough sleep helps to look after our physical and mental wellbeing, but is it possible to get too much sleep?

When it comes to sleep, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Getting enough sleep is very important as it helps our bodies to rest and regenerate, ready for the next day. But there’s a fine line between getting your beauty sleep and oversleeping.

The amount of sleep needed each night differs from one person to the next and changes over the course of a person’s lifetime. However, as a rough guide, experts usually recommend that adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.

If you find that you’re sleeping significantly more than this, then you may be suffering from a sleep disorder or medical problem.

Research has found that people who regularly oversleep are more at risk of developing several serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression.

Oversleeping is also a common symptom of several sleep disorders, including:

  • Idiopathic hypersomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Hypersomnia

People who sleep for more than 10-12 hours a day may be suffering from a sleep disorder called Hypersomnia.

Symptoms of hypersomnia include sleeping excessively, including during the day, difficulty waking from sleep, sleep inertia and cognitive impairment.

What to do if you’re oversleeping

If you find yourself regularly oversleeping or feeling excessively tired, it’s important to speak to your doctor so that they can check that the problem is not a symptom of a more serious health condition.

If, after being examined by a doctor they find no cause for concern, the following tips may help you to deal with oversleeping.

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness where possible.
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Tips for getting some sleep if your partner snores

Sleeping in the same bed as someone who snores can cause significant sleep disruption and annoyance.

Getting into bed with a loved one and cosying up under the covers for a good night’s sleep should be relaxing and comforting, unless of course your significant other is a snorer.

Whilst most people can still function ok after one or two nights of disrupted sleep, if constant thunderous snoring is keeping you awake night after night it will begin to drive you to despair.

Whilst disrupted sleep is very irritating, it can also have more serious effects on your health and wellbeing, so it’s very important to find a solution that helps you to get more sleep if your partner snores.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Ear plugs– Soft foam ear plugs may be your first port of call. You can purchase cheap sleep-specific ear plugs that are soft and comfortable when you lie against them, you’ll hardly feel that they’re there and they should dim the racket to a more bearable level.

Background noise– Some people swear by white noise machines and other background noises to help them to get to sleep. Whilst adding more noise into the mix may seem counterintuitive, background noises like white noise play at a soothing, consistent frequency that can help mask the sound of snoring and give you an alternative noise to focus on.

Go to bed earlier– If you struggle to get to sleep because of your partner’s snoring it may help to go to bed earlier than them. With a head start, you can get to sleep before the noise begins.

Help them try to stop snoring– Often, there is a reason why someone snores. Work with your partner to experiment with different lifestyle changes to see if their snoring can be cured or reduced.

Sleep separately– If all else fails then it’s not worth damaging your health and wellbeing over sleeping in the same bed. Continue to work on finding the root cause of your partner’s snoring and sleep in separate beds in the meantime. Don’t forget to set aside alternative times in the day for spending much-needed quality time together.

Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Snoozing, Snoring