Friday, 7 June 2013

How to Have a Good Night's Sleep

Did you know that 75% of adults are not getting a good night's sleep?*  I think that's pretty shocking, don't you?  Whether because of worries, stress, inability to relax, discomfort or a host of other reasons, that's an awful lot of people not getting the sleep they need and want.  Is this you?!

Luckily I don't usually fare too badly in the sleep stakes, although Lara's foot in my face at 3am wasn't exactly a highlight last night!  But relaxing after a long, busy day can be tricky, so I have been trying out a lovely Night Time Aromatherapy Oil blend from Neal's Yard this week.  All the ingredients are fine for pregnancy, but if you are going to try something similar do make sure you research the oils carefully first.

I've been a huge fan of Neal's Yard for many years, so being sent a lovely oil and burner to try out was a joy.  The lovely relaxing fragrance is a beautiful one to burn in the later evening, as it's not too overwhelming and is very relaxing.  It has been having a great effect on getting the girls to sleep too!  I have found the oil really relaxing and have definitely slept better as a result of using it, it's a new part of our daily routine which will be staying.

Aromatherapy might not be your bag, but it's well worth investing in if you think it's something that may benefit you.  But what are the top tips for getting a good night's sleep?

Check the temperature of your room, it should be neither too hot nor too cold.  Around 16-18 degrees is optimum for most people.  Have a window open during the day to air the room and your bed before you need it again at night.

  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are giving you the right support.  If they are dated head to a Silentnight South-East independent stockist to see how the right mattress and pillow could improve your comfort and sleep.

  • Invest in good quality bedding, preferably made from linen or cotton as it is more comfortable to sleep on and more adaptable to your body's changing temperature during the night.

  • Think of natural sleep as a 90 minute cycle and aim to wake naturally at the end of one rather than being interrupted mid-cycle by a ghastly alarm clock!  Allow 15 minutes to fall asleep and 15 to wake up, plus as many 90 minute cycles as you can manage.  So the recommended 8 hours would be optimum (5 x 90 mins).

  • Get plenty of daylight and exercise every 90 minutes or so during the day if you have a sedentary job.  Some stretches and a walk round the office - or preferably outside - will help immeasurably.

Van Gogh - Siesta 1890

  • If your lifestyle allows, give in to the siesta.  Human beings are naturally programmed to have an afternoon nap, especially after eating.  Just 20 minutes with your eyes closed, even if you don't sleep, between 1-4pm will benefit you enormously.

  • Eat dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime, and try not to eat or drink anything much in the last 90 minutes before going to bed.

  • Try to do the same with technology, and if you have e-mails pressing or a to do list spinning round your head, write it down and put the paper/notebook away till tomorrow.  The physical act of removing the issues from your self will put it out of your mind and allow rest to take over.

  • Needless to say, no technology in the bedroom.  Certainly no phones or computers, but TVs etc will also create an electromagnetic field which interferes with your sleep.  A lot of people swear by the Lumie Dawn Simulator clocks, but you may need to research that first.

  • Finally, during your next holiday take time to observe your natural sleep and wake times and try to adapt your routine as much as possible to accommodate them.  This might be easier said than done, but even a slight tweak towards your optimum timings will help.

I hope with some of these easy adjustments we can all enjoy a good night's sleep.  Good luck!

*According to research conducted by bed manufacturer Silentnight last year.


  1. I usually sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow but a couple of times this week I have really struggled to get to sleep, and the harder you try the worse it gets! I will definitely give these tips a try.

  2. Do those apps which supposedly wake you at a good time in your sleep cycle work?

  3. Some good ideas here, but a nap in the day ensures that I can never get to sleep so not a good idea for me

  4. If I have a nap in the day this makes it harder to sleep

  5. some interesting tips. I'm trying to find sleep ideas for my son possibly cutting put his bedtime drink or making it alot earlier may help.

  6. I am an Insomniac = so great tips here! Will give them a go!

  7. I'm an insomniac and will try anything these days, so thanks for the tips. I am currently trying the Febreze range of bedroom sprays that are supposed to aid restful sleep and so far so good.


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