Sleep Better

How to Get More Deep Sleep: 5 Tips

How to Get More Deep Sleep: 5 Tips

Given the importance of deep sleep, it’s worth considering what steps you can take to maximise it. Much of the advice you can give is similar to general advice on getting a good night’s sleep. Here are five of the best tips for topping up your deep sleep.   

1. Reduce Stress 

Stress is one of the biggest disruptors of general health and wellbeing, and it can have a significant knock-on effect on your quality of sleep. Spending your nights in bed tossing and turning reduces the amount of time you are asleep, limiting the amount of deep sleep you’ll gain. 

Reducing stress is easier said than done, but there are things you can do to help relax your mind. Try meditation, a calming evening bath, or regular exercise (a well-known stressbuster) to start brining those stress-levels down.  

2. Establish a Routine  

Routines are important to your body. A consistent, established body clock will do wonders to anyone hoping to get more deep sleep. Try to stick to a regular bedtime and, even across weekends, make the effort to wake up at the same time each morning.  

If you find yourself staying up late on a Friday and Saturday night, but then unable to sleep in later, your ability to get enough deep sleep each night will be hindered. 

3. Stay Healthy  

Lifestyle can play a significant part in the quality of your general sleep cycle. Exercising is a vital part of any healthy lifestyle. Among the many benefits you’ll see is a handy boost to the quality of your sleep.  

Tire out your mind and body by heading out to the gym or the local park for a run. Just be sure to time it correctly. Leave it too late and your body won’t have had the necessary time to wind back down, leaving you full of energy when you hit the hay. Give yourself at least a few hours of time to wind down post-activity.  

4. Block Out Light  

The sun plays a huge role in regulating your sleep pattern. Body clocks can be woken up by the sun rising, regardless of how much deep sleep you’ve had. Know that feeling of grogginess and fatigue that feels like you haven’t even been to sleep? That occurs when you wake up during deep sleep.  

This can be a bigger problem during summer when the sun rises earlier. If you find the sun bleeding in through your curtains, disrupting your sleep, you might want to invest in some good quality blinds or blackout curtains. 

Even in your room, take steps to minimise any distracting light that could wake you from deep sleep. Are your TV and laptop standby lights switched off? Will your phone light up if you receive a late-night text? These can all be barriers to your deep sleep, so take steps to block out as much light as you can.  

5. Get the Room Temperature Right  

One other significant boundary to deep sleep can be temperature. It’s no secret that we struggle with sleep more during the increased heat and humidity of the summer months. Our body temperature needs to drop a couple of degrees to get off soundly to sleep. A warm room can see your body temperature rise, bringing sweats and irritation in the night. 

To keep cool, think about wearing breathable pyjamas and invest in some lighter, fresher bedding. If needs be, purchase a small fan so you’re bathed in cool air throughout the night. 

The principles of getting the right amount of deep sleep are not dissimilar to those of sleep in general. Given how vital deep sleep is in the cycle of sleep, putting the time into finding the right methods and routine for good sleep could be the key to feeling fitter and more productive during the day.  

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Deep Sleep, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Sleep Better
Reading Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

The importance of taking the time to read your child a bedtime story.

Parents everywhere are sure to have experienced their child’s tantrums at bedtime at some point. Whether it’s age-old excuses of reasons why they’re just not tired, wanting to stay up for one more game, or the common internal battle of not letting themselves fall to sleep even though they’re shattered, children seem to have a million tricks up their sleeves to delay heading to the land of nod. Thankfully, children aren’t the only ones with clever methods for bedtimes. Reading a bedtime story to your children can be a wonderful way to encourage sleep, as well as having many more benefits.

Keeping up a routine Reading to your child every night can help them get into “bed mode”. Once they’re tucked up and getting stuck in to a good story, it can help your child to prepare themselves for sleep, relaxing and becoming sleepy without having to battle to get them to bed. It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to love reading too. When reading before bed has been part of their evening routine since they were young, you may find they take to reading independently much more easily too. 

Creating a bond Reading time before bed can often act as a precious few moments of calm that just the two of you share. With busy modern day schedules it can often be difficult to find time for just the pair of you, so getting cosy with a book can help you connect at the end of each day. This calming time can also be a great way to de-stress, for both you and your child. If either of you have had a particularly exciting, busy or even difficult day, a little quiet time can work wonders so neither of you are getting into bed with a busy mind. 

Boosting their creativity Reading to your child helps them to develop their imagination skills. Transporting them into wonderfully magical worlds, introducing new characters and following a plot can help them to create images in their heads. The descriptive language that is often used in children’s books can help make this easier for them too. It’s also a great idea to talk about what you’ve read together, and get your children to describe how they see the story going too.

Aiding their intelligence On top of all the other benefits bedtime reading has, it can also help to boost your child’s intelligence. Studies have shown that it can help develop their logic skills, as well as encourage language development – especially when as the reader you add emphasis and emotion to the words. As your children get older, reading chapter-based books together is a great way to encourage patience in your child. Having to wait for the next time you read together to find out what happens is a good way to practice these skills, without being tempted to rush! Developing a bedtime routine is a great way to build a healthy sleep routine from a young age

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Child’s bedroom, Children Bedtime Stories, Children's Bed, M6 Beds, School Bedtime Routine, Sleep Better, Toddler’s bedtime routine
Optimising your sleep schedule for night shifts

Optimising your sleep schedule for night shifts

Before your night shift starts

In the build-up to a night shift, there’s one fundamental question that is forever on your mind – to nap or not to nap? Whether you can sleep all day or not, having a nap during the day in the run up to your shift is a great way of diminishing your sleep debt and reducing your tiredness at work.

However, timing is everything and whilst we’re a huge fan of naps at M6 Beds, a planned-out sleep schedule is probably more effective if you’re working nights long-term.

Post night shift sleeping rituals

The trick to conquering a night shift sleep schedule is to find out what routine works for you and stick to it as best you can. For example, a hot shower or calming yoga stretch before bed could be the perfect way to relax your mind and ease yourself into a quality sleep.

In order to have the best chance of drifting off for a dreamy sleep, you need to replicate normal night-time conditions as best you can. As such, we’d recommend investing in some quality blackout blinds and a good pair of earbuds to help reduce outside stimuli such as light and noise.

Beyond your routine of getting ready for bed, there’s also the important issue of timing. On an average day, early birds wake up a few hours before heading into the office. So, although it’s tempting to hit the hay as soon as you clock off, it might feel more natural to hold off on your longer sleep and time it to wake up a few hours before your next shift so you feel more alert when it comes to worktime. That said, if you’re tired – you’re tired, and we know that sometimes the call of fresh sheets and a cosy duvet is too much to resist.

Improving your sleep in-between shifts

Planning ahead and trying to reset your body clock is essential to achieving quality sleep if you’re working nights. If you’re transitioning from a day to a night shift, you could plan to have a long afternoon snooze before the night shifts begin so you can get a head start on any sleep debt you might accrue.

Whether you’re nailing a good sleep pattern on nights or not, there’s always room to improve your sleep quality more generally. Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is one of the best weapons in your arsenal when it comes to quality kip. Tackling some exercise in-between shifts could also help improve your sleep, as could cutting down alcohol and caffeine, particularly before bed.

Creating the ultimate sleep sanctuary

There are many different types of sleeping aids on the market designed to have you out like a light. Blackout blinds, or even a comfortable eye mask, could be a huge help if you’re bedding down as the sun starts to rise. Or perhaps some candles, sleep scents, or audiobooks could be the perfect tools to help you wind down after the night shift? But when it comes to creating the ultimate sleep sanctuary, your attention first and foremost needs to be on the bed!

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, M6 Beds, Night Shifts, Sleep Better
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
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.

Posted by m6beds in Bad Back, Bad Hip, Bed Buying Tips, Bed Size, Bedroom, Buy The Right Bed, Choose Your Perfect Mattress, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, clean your mattress, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, Look After Your Bed, Lower Back Pain, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep Better, The Right Mattress
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.

 

Posted by m6beds in Alcohol and Sleep, Bed Buying Tips, Bed Care, Bed Cleaning Tips, Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, m6, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality, Sleep study
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
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.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Care, Bed Cleaning Tips, Bedroom, Bedroom Trends, Better Night’s Sleep, Better Sleeo, Bigger Bed, Chill in Bed, COVID19, Get Sleep Fit, Health, Herbs Can Help You Sleep, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, mattress protector, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Pillows, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns
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