It’s no secret that we all need our sleep, but in recent years, it’s been proven that sleep (or lack of it) can have serious health implications. Getting a poor night’s sleep on a regular basis can put you at risk of serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, as well as shortening your life expectancy. Nevertheless, it’s not always as simple as getting into bed and drifting straight off. For some people, sleep doesn’t come easily, and they need a helping hand.
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We’ve picked out some things you can try at home to promote a restful night’s sleep.
Wind down activity
For many of us that have trouble heading straight to the land of nod, it’s because our minds are elsewhere. Taking a bit of time to do something relaxing before you lie down can be a big help. Why not read a good book or listen to some relaxing music? For some, a hot bath does wonders in helping your muscles to relax in preparation for sleep. Different things work for different people, but the important thing is that you’re taking the first steps to switching off and winding down.
People often underestimate the importance of a healthy sleeping environment. One of the first things you need to look into, when you’re having trouble sleeping is your surroundings. Make sure the temperature is relatively cool (around 16-18°C) and that your room is free from any clutter. Fitted bedrooms provide you with clever storage options, so allowing clutter to be tidied away and out of sight. All devices, such as TVs, mobile phones and tablets, should be switched off or out of sight. You should also bear in mind the lighting in you room. Complete darkness is most conducive to a good night’s sleep, so if there’s any light pollution, investing in black out blinds or heavy drapes can be a good solution.
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The bed itself
You’d be surprised at how much your mattress and bed can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. In fact, replacing an uncomfortable bed with a new one has been associated with an increase of 42 minutes of sleep! With that in mind, it’s really important that you get a mattress that’s suited to you and your partner. When mattress shopping, lie down and try the mattresses for a good 10-15 minutes before you buy one. You can then judge whether you need a softer or harder alternative, depending on how you’re most comfortable. If you’re not sure whether your mattress needs changing or not, consider this: they say that a mattress ought to be replaced every seven years.
When did you last change yours?