March is national bed month! Hurrah! A lie in for everybody! And… now it’s time to wake up and remember you have to go to work. But it is national bed month, so, if ever there was a good time to review your sleeping habits now is the time.
National Bed Month is supported by The Sleep Council and aims to remind everyone of the positive health benefits to a good night’s sleep. We all know we feel better after a full undisturbed 8 hours but what can it actually do for your health. Here are our top tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
- Re-asses your bed. If its older than you, it’s probably time to get a new one! In all honesty it is recommended that you change your bed every 8 years but if you are finding your bed uncomfortable before this time it may be that you need to try out a different mattress. Over time the support your mattress gives you will decrease.
- Puff up your pillow! Now we know how often we should change our mattress, what about the pillow? The advice is, that depending on your cleaning habits, your pillow should be changed at least every 3 years but for some as often as 6 monthly! It might sound excessive but if you’re not comfortable then you’re less likely to get a good night’s sleep.
- Turn off technology! We live in a world of instant access to information and instant connection to others. Watching tv, tablets and your phone before bed stimulates the mind when you should be winding down. It is good practice to turn off all technology a hour before you plan to go to sleep to help your mind wind down.
- Don’t be tempted by a night cap. If you are struggling to sleep it can be tempting to turn to alcohol to help you sleep. Although alcohol may make you drowsy, helping you to drop off, you will often find you wake unrested or wake in the night because you will not be getting quality sleep.
- The evidence to support the theory eating cheese causes nightmares is limited however what you eat can affect your sleep. Try to avoid caffeine containing foods and drinks before bed and avoid highly fatty or highly spiced foods which can be difficult to digest.
If you have taken all the good advice and are still struggling with insomnia, consider keeping a sleep diary and book an appointment to talk to your GP. Sleeping tablets are not the magic bullet and should not be relied upon but can be useful for short periods of time.
For more great advice check out the Sleep Council website – https://sleepcouncil.org.uk/