Sleep Patterns

The Best Food to Have Before Bed

The Best Food to Have Before Bed

Getting good sleep is incredibly important for your overall health. 

It may reduce your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system.

It’s generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, though many people struggle to get enough.

There are a lot of ways you can promote good sleep, including making changes to your diet. Some foods and drinks have been found by scientists or doctors as being effective in helping people get better restful nights’ slumbering!

Kiwi

Kiwis are a great low-calorie, nutritious fruit that can help people meet their daily vitamin C needs. One serving of kiwi contains just 42 calories and offers up an impressive amount vitamins including 71% DV for this valuable nutrient! It also provides women with 23%, while men get 31%.

Furthermore, eating kiwis may benefit your digestive health, reduce inflammation, and lower your cholesterol. These effects are due to the high amounts of fibre and carotenoid antioxidants that they provide.

According to studies on their potential to improve sleep quality, kiwis may also be one of the best foods to eat before bed.

In a 4-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% more quickly than when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime.

Additionally, their ability to sleep through the night without waking improved by 5%, while their total sleep time increased by 13%.

Kiwis are a great way to get your sleep cycle on track. They contain serotonin, which helps regulate the amount of time you spend in lightheadedness and drowsiness during REM cycles- when dreams occur!

It’s also been suggested that the anti-inflammatory antioxidants in kiwis, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may be partly responsible for their sleep-promoting effects.

More scientific evidence is needed to determine the effects that kiwis may have in improving sleep. Nevertheless, eating 1–2 medium kiwis before bed may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

White Rice

White rice has been stripped of its nutrient-rich bran and germ. The result is a lower fibre, more processed carbohydrate that doesn’t offer the same nutritional punch as brown does in comparison to white or even enriched varieties likeigerplus!

Nevertheless, white rice still contains a decent amount of a few vitamins and minerals.

White rice is high in carbs, providing 22 grams in a 4-ounce (79-gram) serving. Its carb content and lack of fiber contribute to its high glycemic index (GI). The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food increases your blood sugar.

It’s been suggested that eating foods with a high GI, such as white rice, at least 1 hour before bed may help improve sleep quality.

One study compared the sleep habits of 1,848 people based on their intake of rice, bread, or noodles. Higher rice intake was associated with better sleep than bread or noodles, including longer sleep duration.

Despite the potential role that eating white rice may have in promoting sleep, it’s best consumed in moderation due to its comparative low amounts of fiber and nutrients.

Other foods and drinks that may promote sleep

Several other foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties. For example, they may contain high amounts of nutrients such as tryptophan. 

However, in some cases, there’s little research into their specific effects on sleep.

Dairy products: Dairy products, such as a glass of milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt, are known sources of tryptophan. Milk has been shown to improve sleep in older adults, especially when paired with light exercise.

Bananas: Banana peels contain tryptophan and the fruit itself is a modest source of magnesium. Both properties may help you get a good night’s sleep.

Oatmeal: Similar to rice, oatmeal is high in carbs with a bit more fiber and has been reported to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Additionally, oats are a known source of melatonin.

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Memory Foam Mattress, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Cycle, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Quality, The Right Mattress
What is a Sleep Diary?

What is a Sleep Diary?

A sleep diary is a daily record of your sleep habits. Often also known as a ‘sleep log’ or a ‘sleep journal’, they are popular among parents hoping to get their children into a routine or adults who feel fatigued.

Over a period of time, a diary is used to evaluate a person’s sleep and identify any recurring bad habits or interruptions, helping to diagnose a sleep disorder.

What should a sleep diary include?

There are many different formats a sleep diary can take. However, most will simply be a notebook where the following details are noted down following each sleep:

  • Bedtime 
  • Wake-up time 
  • How long it took to fall asleep (roughly) or if you have a smart watch this can track your hours
  • Number of sleep interruptions, and the period if prolonged 
  • Number of daytime naps (if any) 
  • Medication, exercise and any caffeine taken

Are There Sleep Diary Apps?

If you think you may forget to fill out a sleep diary daily, downloading a sleep app could help – especially if your phone is permanently attached to your hip. There are many different free and paid sleep diary apps that can help monitor your snooze time, REM sleep cycles and provide tips for improving rest quality. Some of the most popular include:

Sleep As Android

This is primarily an intelligent alarm clock app that helps wake you gently in the morning. However, it also has decent sleep cycle tracking capabilities and is compatible with wearable tracking devices such as Galaxy Watches and Fitbits.

It can score your sleep on duration, deficit, deep sleep percentage, snoring, efficiency and irregularity. Should you want to, you can even record your sleep talking using the app.

Sleep Time

This is a sleep analysis app and an alarm clock in one. It tracks your sleep cycle and quality, measures your resting heart rate when you wake up, and provides soothing soundscapes, to name a few features.

Pillow

An Apple app that can sync up with your Apple Watch, Pillow is a smart sleep assistant and will automatically analyse your sleep cycles. 

Like the other apps on this list, it has audio recording technology and alarm options. It can also suggest an optimal bedtime based on your recorded data, show your sleep trends, and allows you to add notes should you want to track the influence of food, drink, medication or exercise on your quality and length of sleep.

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Deep Sleep, Improve Sleep Patterns, M6 Beds, Sleep Better, Sleep Cycle, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleeping Apps
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
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
Relax yourself to sleep

Relax yourself to sleep

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

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

What can you do to relax?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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
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 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