Best drinks before bed

Best drinks before bed

HOT COCOA OR CHOCOLATE

A classic pre-bedtime beverage but hot cocoa isn’t to be confused with hot chocolate. Cocoa is powder without the fat from the cocoa butter whereas ‘drinking chocolate’ is shavings or pellets of chocolate melted and mixed with milk, cream or water. The drawback of hot chocolate is not just the caffeine but the sugar content.  It also contains phenylethylamine, which causes a natural high.

WARM MILK

It’s an age old remedy but calcium is known to aid restful sleep which is why many sleep experts recommend a nice warm mug of milk before bed! It is effective in stress reduction and stabilisation of nerve fibres, including those in the brain – plus the psychological link between milk and going to bed might be responsible for its sleep boosting properties.

HERBAL TEA

A herbal tea like chamomile is a better option. It is believed to have a soothing effect is probably due to the flavonoid apigenin, a secondary metabolite. Valerian and peppermint teas are also known to relax the body and soothe the stomach.

COFFEE/TEA

Avoid a coffee, black tea or green tea right before bed as the caffeine in them may be stimulating and keep you awake. However, some decaf varieties can get you into sleep mode in particular decaf green tea which contains theanine which has been proven to help reduce stress and promote more restful sleeping patterns.

NIGHTCAP

Say no to the nightcap! While alcohol can help you relax initially, it stops you from getting deep sleep – plus it leads to more awakenings in the night from dehydration and needing the loo!

CHERRY JUICE

Cherries are naturally high in melatonin, the hormone that triggers sleep and regulates your internal clock. Look for tart cherries since they have especially high amounts of melatonin and steer clear from supermarket cherry juice which are loaded with sugar.

Posted by m6beds in Best drinks before bed, M6 Beds
Best hot water bottles

Best hot water bottles

From body-length bottles and microwavable hotties to electric heat pads and eco-friendly plastic-free buys, there’s never been so many ways to get cosy.

The main thing to keep in mind is what you want to use it for. Is it simply for keeping your toes toasty in bed? Maybe you’re after something that works as heat therapy to soothe aches and pains? Or perhaps you’re on the hunt for a safe cosy for a child, a luxury gift for a friend or a worry-free buy for a less mobile relative?

YuYu Hot Water Bottle with Wearable Liberty Cover

The YuYu hot water bottle is 81cm long, getting you toasty from head-to-toe.

The bottle is also super-flexible and comes with an adjustable strap that means you can tie it around sore shoulders or an aching stomach for targeted – and hands-free – pain relief.

It holds the same volume of water as a regular hot water bottle so you only need to fill the kettle once and it’s not heavy to wear around the house.

There are lots of cover designs at various prices: super-soft fleece versions cost just £33, but the insulated covers made from Liberty fabric, priced £75, are too pretty not to shout about.

Hottie Microwave Highland Fling Red Tartan Hottie: £15.99

Filling a hot water bottle with boiling water can be a nerve-wracking task, particularly if hands aren’t as nimble as they once were.

This hottie doesn’t require filling or emptying and there’s also no fiddly stopper to worry about.

It consists of a “heat pack” (made of plant-based material and water) that you heat in the microwave, then slip inside a stretchy fabric cover. No flammable gels, grains or materials are used, which also reassured us.

Once snuggly in its cover, it radiated gentle warmth that kept us cosy for four hours.

Hotties are CE registered as a class 1 medical device for pain relief and could be helpful as heat therapy for conditions including arthritis, IBS and sciatica.

Eco-sustainable Rubber less Hot Water Bottle: £19.99

Rubber-free and made from 90 per cent renewable and recyclable materials, this is a great eco-conscious option.

Because it’s PVC free, it’s also odourless, which means you don’t get that rubbery whiff that sometimes comes with traditional options.

The bottle itself isn’t as flexible or soft as traditional designs, but when we filled it with hot water, it did soften up slightly.

We liked the diagonal zip on the fleece cover, which made it a doddle to remove from its inner bottle, and were impressed by its two-year warranty against leaks.

Extra bonus points for it being posted in paper and cardboard rather than unnecessary plastic (note to other retailers, we’d like to see more of this).

Boots Hot Water Bottle: £7.99

Did you know you should replace your hot water bottle at least every five years for safety reasons? Neither did we until now.

This hot water bottle is a great option if you need a new bottle, but your cover still has life left in it.

There are no bells and whistles to this design, but it’s easy to fill and empty, the screw lid is really secure, it’s latex-free (making it useful for those with a latex allergy) and it’s a sensible price.

It also comes with comprehensive and clear instructions that make you confident that you’re using it safely and effectively.

Posted by m6beds in Hot Water Bottle, M6 Beds
Nanu The Hot and Not Duvet

Nanu The Hot and Not Duvet

Are we dreaming?

The Nanu Hot and Not duvet is innovative and the perfect gift idea for couples this winter.

Quite simply, some like it hot and some don’t. If you and your spouse are often locked in squabbles about the temperature of the bedroom, this duvet can easily settle the score.

The completely customisable duvet, will allow you to change the tog on the opposite sides of the duvet. So the human radiator can stop complaining they’re too hot.

Settle the score in the bedroom once and for all, both of you can now sleep in a temperature that’s comfortable for you.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Care, Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, Duvet, Duvet Care, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality
The best winter duvets

The best winter duvets

Now the winter months finally seem to be upon us, it’s time to start thinking about winter duvets. The days might be getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean our sleep has to be.

A change of season doesn’t necessarily mean a whole new duvet – but of course, the duvet that was perfectly okay for use during summer isn’t going to serve you the same way in winter.

A general rule of thumb states as the temperature begins to drop, the tog on your duvet should increase. 10 togs or higher are usually the go-to for winter.

Natural Duck Down Duvet

This lightweight double duvet from John Lewis is filled with predominantly duck down and has a 100% cotton cover, offering a breathable and comfortable night’s sleep through the chilly winter nights.

Down tends to be a lot lighter and airier than feathers, that’s what gives this duvet a light feel without being overly weighty.

The duvet is sewn, creating evenly divided boxes within – meaning you’ll get an an even distribution of filling and never happen to find a cold spot.

Downland Duck Feather Down All Seasons 15 Tog Duvet

This duck feather and down duvet set is ideal for all of the seasons, all year round. At £94 it may seem quite a high price, but considering you get a summer and a winter duvet included – it’s not bad value at all.

The pack includes a 4.5 tog duvet that is perfect for sweaty summer evenings and a 10.5 tog duvet, which is great now the temperature has started to drop.

Once it gets mighty cold, you can join the two together for 15 togs of dreamy duvet goodness.

Silentnight Airmax Duvet 10.5 Tog

At under £35 this king sized duvet from Silentnight is great value for money and 10.5 togs is perfectly suited now it’s getting chillier.

The duvet has been specially constructed with air mesh walls to increase the air flow inside the duvet – offering you a warm night’s sleep without feeling stuffy.

Although 10.5 togs is around the mark we’d suggest for the temperature drop, it is suitable to use all year round if you tend to get chilly during the night.

RÖDTOPPA Duvet 12 Tog

You can always trust IKEA to deliver essential homewares. This double duvet has a weather appropriate 12 togs. Enjoy wonderful, densely woven fabric (236 thread count) exactly, sure to lock in the warmth for a cosy slumber.

The duvet is made from breathable materials and will offer you a comfortable and dry night’s sleep throughout the winter.

Posted by m6beds in Duvet, Duvet Care, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type
Mattress buying guide

Mattress buying guide

Types of mattress

Open spring mattress: Also known as open coil or continuous coil mattresses. These contain one long piece of metal wire coiled into numerous springs. There’s also an additional border rod or wire to maintain shape and provide structure. It’s a great value for money option, although sides are machine-stitched rather than hand-stitched, but they are lighter than other models, making them easy to turn. They tend to be less supportive than other mattresses too, so are most suited to guest bedrooms or as children’s beds, where they are used occasionally or will need to be replaced regularly anyway.

Pocket spring mattress: This type of mattress is more luxurious, as it’s made from individual, small springs housed in their own pocket of fabric. This means each spring moves independently, providing more support than open spring mattresses. You can buy soft, medium or firm versions, depending on your preference, and they are more breathable than memory foam or latex mattresses (so ideal if you’re always getting too hot during the night). These are heavy to turn though, and can be filled with natural materials such as lambswool which may agitate allergies. This is a good option if you’re looking for a bed for two people, as the separate springs will cater for your different needs and weights, while they will also minimise the risk of you rolling towards your partner in the middle of the night.

Memory foam mattress: These more modern mattresses are made from memory foam, which is a mouldable material that also responds to temperature and weight, and has hypo-allergenic properties. This means it will mould to the shape of your body, absorb your weight and relieve pressure on your joints. Not everyone likes the sinking motion of this type of mattress, and it can get rather warm, but it’s ideal for those who need support or suffer from a bad back, as it will maintain posture and align your spine horizontally when sleeping on your side.

Hybrid: Drawing from a combination of materials that usually include memory foam, latex and pocket springs, hybrid mattresses are designed to give a more balanced sleeping experience. They often come with a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer, providing both comfort and support – alleviating aches and pains by responding to your body’s shape.

Continuous and coil: A popular budget option, a continuous coil mattress is made from a single looped wire, while an open coil mattress is made from single springs fixed together with one wire. These are significantly cheaper than other mattress types, but be warned that with the attractive price tag comes the likelihood of these mattresses wearing out and sagging quickly. These mattresses also move around a lot with you as you sleep – as they are designed as one unit – so if you or your partner tosses and turns in the night, we’d suggest you consider other options.

Mattress firmness

How firm your mattress is will affect how well you sleep. The type of firmness you need will depend on your sleeping position, height and weight. Here we explain what level of firmness is best for what type of sleeper.

Soft: Side sleepers or those who change positions during the night are best suited to soft mattresses. This is because the way you sleep already relieves pressure from your spine so you want your mattress to mould to your body’s natural position.

Medium soft: This is ideal for those who change their sleeping position during the night, as it will still mould to your body position but provide a little more support.

Medium firm: This is best for people who sleep on their back as you require extra lower-back support, which this type of firmness offers.

Firm: This type of mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their front, are over 15 stone or suffer from back pain. This is because it will keep your back in a relatively comfortable and stable position without allowing you to sink into it as you sleep, which can cause lower-back pain.

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The Best Pillowcases for Skin Features

The Best Pillowcases for Skin Features

Depending on how you sleep, the features that will work best for you in pillowcases that are good for your skin can vary, but they all revolve around the same things. One is the material, another is the closure options, and a third is the structure of the pillowcase itself.

Material

Of course, silk is best because of its many healthy properties. However, satin is smooth and wrinkle resistant as well, and its construction eases the way that your skin reacts to dryness. It will help retain moisture almost as well as silk, and it keeps you from worrying about unsightly marks on your face.

Silk is best, and you want to consider momme weight, which is similar to thread count in standard linen or cotton pillowcases. Momme weight gives you an idea of how fine the silk threads are and the quality of the pillowcase. Typically, a momme count between 16 and 22 is ideal, with a luxurious feel and high-quality weave.

Enclosure

You want your pillow to remain within its shell, so finding a pillowcase that is completely enclosed is a good idea. This keeps your face from coming into contact with the pillow itself, which may be made of a material less conducive to health factors. An envelope enclosure works well, folding over to keep the pillow encased without the concern of your face or hair coming into contact with a zipper. However, a hidden zipper enclosure is also a welcome decision, since it guarantees you keep the pillow covered and also covers the zipper so it’s not a danger to your skin or hair.

Construction

This is where the decision becomes personal. For some, getting a pillowcase that is 100% silk or satin on both sides is best because it assists in protecting your skin even if you like to flip your pillow over during the night. You never run the risk of sleeping on a surface that is going to dry you out or leave marks on your face.

On the other hand, some people move around a lot in their sleep, and the slippery surfaces of silk and satin on the bottom of the pillow could cause it to move away, leaving you sleeping on the sheets instead. In these cases, it might be better to choose a pillowcase that is silk or satin on top and a different material underneath that gives it better traction for less chance of sliding away from you while you sleep.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bedroom, Buy The Right Bed, Choosing The Right Mattress, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, New Pillow, Pillow Cases
The best pillowcases for your skin

The best pillowcases for your skin

Why Specifically for Skin?

Sometimes, it’s the things easiest to overlook that cause the most damage. This is often true of the bedding we choose and the negative effects it can have on skin and hair. You can spend hours brushing, finessing, moisturizing, oiling, and doing all sorts of other treatments to your hair. You can wash, tone, deep clean, and exfoliate your skin. But if you’re not taking care of that skin at all times, it’s an exercise in futility.

Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can actually lead to dry skin, which can cause itching, redness, rash, scaling and peeling, and other irritation. None of this is good for skin and spending eight hours a night – and sometimes more – with your face pressed to a material that strips it of necessary oils and minerals can be detrimental. It can make you age faster, showing wrinkles sooner, and take away that fullness, softness, and brightness that comes with youthful skin.

Instead, you should focus on materials that will ease the aging process. There are actually pillowcases for skin that will assist with keeping it moisturised and infused with the important vitamins and amino acids to enliven your appearance and make you look younger than you are.

Even dermatologists agree that sleeping on silk pillowcases can help reduce and even reverse the aging process, keeping skin as well as hair healthier longer. Silk has a lot of properties that are ideal for skin, or if you have trouble with the idea of the price of pure silk, satin (woven from polyester) imitates a number of these features.

What Makes the Best Pillowcases for Skin the Best?

Let’s consider the properties of silk – and in many cases, satin – pillowcases that make them the best pillowcases for the skin.

Wrinkle Resistant

One of the biggest problems with waking up in the morning after a hard sleep is looking in the mirror and seeing creases on your face from the way the pillowcase wrinkles while you sleep. As if the initial appearance isn’t bad enough, these particular marks seem to last forever and can be very embarrassing.

Silk and satin pillows are smooth and slippery, with wrinkle resistant properties that avoid the ‘pillow’ marks on your face when you’ve had a particularly difficult night or slept harder than usual.

Long Term Age Defiance

Even more important, silk helps reduce age-related wrinkles by infusing skin with much needed natural properties. The anti-aging formulas used in night creams and other facial products contain amino acids that help keep skin young and healthy, giving it a glowing appearance and a certain shine. Silk contains the same amino acids, so your skin and hair become infused with these through the night, giving you eight hours of therapy when you choose the right pillow case rather than just a few minutes a day.

Moisture

A number of materials literally drain away oils and moisture from your already dry skin. Silk and satin do the opposite. Because they are not dry and absorbent, you’ll find that your skin stays moist longer, with less irritation, which not only aids in overall skin health but keeps you younger and fresher longer. You’ll have fewer rashes, less peeling and scaly skin, and more balanced skin hygiene, even reducing the oiliness of certain spots on your face.

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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