Did you know March is National Bed Month? What’s that you may ask? Well, it’s an initiative from the UK Sleep Council, an organisation that looks at improving people’s sleep by promoting awareness of how to get a better 40 winks.
Find it hard to drift off some nights? Follow the below steps to unlock the door to the land of nod.
1. The right bed is crucial! Not too hard, not too soft, but just right for your needs. If you’re tall ensure you test out your potential bed. You don’t want your feet hanging over the edges! If you’re sharing with a partner, make sure there’s plenty of room for both of you. Most importantly, never skimp on a good mattress.
2. Not keeping your mobile phone by your bed can make a big difference to the quality of your sleep. Having your phone to hand means if you wake up in the night you can easily be distracted and kept awake, especially if you see a notification flashing. Invest in a good alarm clock instead and keep your phone out of the bedroom.
3. It’s also advisable not to have the bright light of a TV, tablet or laptop screen shining in your face right before bed. The light tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Leaving your tech in the living room and reading a book before bed is much better for drifting off.
4. Vacuuming your mattress gets rid of any dust, fluff, dead skin and pet hairs that can make your sleep less comfy. For optimum results, clean or replace your vacuum cleaner filter before cleaning your mattress to remove dust and potential allergens from your bed more effectively.
5. Don’t drink a lot of alcohol before bed. Although alcohol can seemingly help you pass out as soon as your head hits the pillow, if you go to bed after drinking your sleep quality won’t be anywhere near as good and you’ll most likely wake up still feeling tired.
6. Tea, coffee or caffeinated soft drinks are also best avoided right before bed. Trade them in for a soothing herbal tea or fruit tea instead (or even a hot chocolate if you fancy a sweet treat).
7. Keep your bedroom cool, but make sure your covers keep you nice and toasty warm. A room temperature of 16 – 18° is ideal for most people to get a good kip. If you get chilly easily, keep an extra rug to hand to throw over the bed on especially cold nights.
8. Keep the room dark. Black out curtains can help with this, especially if you live in an area with lots of light pollution and street lamps. Eye masks can also stop unwanted light from waking you up.
9. A quiet night is a better night as far as good sleep goes. If you find there’s a drip outside your window, or your bed fellow just won’t stop snoring, you’re not going to have such a blissful slumber. In these situations try earplugs or playing white noise like the sound of a vacuum cleaner or raindrops.
10. Relaxing before bedtime will help you sleep more soundly too. You could try yoga or meditation or get a diffuser to fill your bedroom with soothing scents.
For more information on achieving a slumber to rival that of Sleeping Beauty herself, see the Sleep Council website.