National Bed Month - Our tips on getting a better night’s sleep!
How does the idea of a whole month of sleep sound? For any parent reading this, it probably sounds utterly glorious.
Well, March sees the arrival of National Bed Month – an entire 31 days dedicated to improving a good night’s kip. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that you get to pull the covers over for the whole month, but it does mean that we can bring you some tips and tricks to try to improve your slumber.
Why is sleep so important?
Aside from being the difference between taking everything in your stride or functioning under a zombie cloud, getting the right amount of sleep is incredibly important to our physical and mental health.
There is a strong link between too little sleep and weight gain. Concentration and productivity can be affected as tiredness affects brain. And amongst other factors, people who get less sleep can experience poor immune systems and depression. Ensuring you're getting enough rest and relaxation can be the key to feeling strong for the day ahead, especially when you have young children to run around after!
Tips for promoting relaxation
In today’s world, we’re all too busy. We cram too much into what little spare time we have, and more often than not, spending too much time glued to our devices. For parents, getting that much needed sleep can be even more of a challenge, especially when little one has other ideas!
Trying to find ways to help improve our quantity and quality of sleep is something we should take time to invest in. Here are some baby steps to helping you enjoy some slumber time…
- Understand your sleeping environment. Creating the perfect environment to relax and unwind at the end of a long day can be key to falling into a deep sleep. Try low-level lights, a ‘no devices in bed’ policy, and relaxing candles in the evenings to promote a more soothing bedtime routine.
- Go to bed earlier. If you have a houseful of little people who like to wake you up early doors, try going to bed earlier. We know that once the kids have gone to bed, the evening can be the only time to get jobs done, but remember what we said earlier? Sleep is just as important (if not more) as popping the washing machine on or tidying toys away. Give yourself a head start, and start to get ready for bed around 8 or more hours before you think you’ll be getting up to cram in a few extra hours.
- Avoid eating too late. Over-eating and drinking caffeinated or alcoholic drinks before bedtime are a definite ‘no no’. Choose foods with sleep-promoting chemicals such as chicken and turkey, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and milk, and give them time to digest.
- Try essential oils. Scents such as mandarin and frankincense can encourage calm and sleep. Try placing a reed diffuser made with the purest essential oils in your bedroom to gently help develop a healthy and stable sleep pattern.
- Make time to clear your mind. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga for just a few minutes a day can help to ease anxiety. Take 5 minutes out to slow down and focus on your senses, and be present in the now rather than worrying about what’s to come or passed. Try a simple technique…with your eyes closed, breathe in through your nose for the count of 4, hold the breath for 4 and then exhale slowly through your mouth for the count of seven and repeat 5 times. It’s amazing what a calming effect it can have.
- Make lists. If it’s the ‘thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow’ that’s keeping you away, write all those thoughts down so that you can switch off. Keep a notepad by your bedside to jot down anything you don’t want to forget.
If all else fails, review the level of comfort your bed gives you, and if necessary, treat yourself to a new mattress. It’s the best investment you can ever make!
Happy Slumber everyone!