Leading a busy lifestyle, and having a demanding career and social life can often mean that your sleep gets sacrificed. As a result, your lenience to caffeine may build up, and you can get trapped in a cycle of feeling tired, run-down and lethargic. But scarily, did you know that lack of sleep can have even more detrimental effects on your wellbeing and mental health?
According to the report 'Sleep Matters: The Impact Of Sleep On Health And Wellbeing'¹, 'people who have slept poorly are likely to suffer from fatigue, sleepiness during daytime, poor concentration, irritability, memory loss, depression, frustration and a weakened immune system. [In addition], poor sleep can negatively impact on people's daily lives, with inevitable consequences for mental health. People who are suffering the effects of low mood, who have less energy to exercise, or are experiencing difficulty in personal relationships are more likely to develop mental health problems.'
“Sleep isn’t just about sleep, it regulates our circadian rhythms and hormone levels," explains Dr Ranj Singh, doctor, TV presenter and Sleepeezee ambassador. "There are certain hormones that are secreted at night time and they need the chance to work. If sleep is disrupted, hormone levels can become disturbed which can effect growth, tissue repair and even fertility - it’s all related. Sleep is not just about just feeling less tired, it’s about conditioning your body to function optimally.”
Having a good night's sleep, on the other hand, has been proven to help repair and restore your brain and body, and put you in a better mood. But we know what you're thinking: does a good night's sleep even exist anymore, what with modern life's high-stress levels?! It can, if you make some simple lifestyle changes to encourage a restful, undisturbed slumber.
It's no secret that a comfortable bed and mattress is the key to a great night's sleep. If you truly want to sink into a deep, natural slumber, then start by investing in a mattress that's supportive and cosy.
Susannah Taylor, Grazia's wellbeing ‘Healthyish’ columnist, says: 'Bad sleep habits aside, if an average night’s sleep is eight hours, then we almost sleep for a third of our lives. For 75 years on this planet we will sleep an astonishing 25 of them, therefore the type of mattress we buy is hugely important, not just to help with a good night’s sleep but in supporting our body for this long. According to Howard Wilson, Vice President of Sleepeezee, it's a myth that a soft mattress is bad for you - it's actually all down to preference and what is right for your individual body. Sleepeezee have a huge array of mattresses, some that are softer, others that slightly mould to your body and (my preferred choice) a harder mattress with an inbuilt topper.'
Dr Ranj agrees that it's important to choose your mattress carefully with your own specific needs in mind. “A huge factor with mattresses is ‘sleeping posture’ and joint alignment and how stressed your muscles are. You need to ensure your mattress is giving you the right support in the right places. A firmer mattress may give your body more support, but then some people can’t sleep on a firmer one which will give you poor quality sleep and you’ll feel worse for it. If you are heavier, you should probably go for a firmer mattress, or if you have back issues, lower back pain or if you sleep on your back.”
Our favourite innovative bed brand Sleepeezee offers the Cooler Supreme, which is a do-it-all mattress in our eyes. Proven to keep you cooler at night, this state-of-the-art mattress boasts a pressure-sensitive StayCool™ gel layer which helps to avoid restless periods by regulating your body temperature and responding accordingly. Pretty snazzy, we know.
To provide you with extra support, unique SoftTech pocket springs will contour to suit body shape and weight, and a plush quilted knit cover will allow cool, fresh air to flow through your mattress. So, wave goodbye to an interrupted night’s sleep!
Certain aromatherapy oils have been hailed as miracle-makers when it comes to improving sleep quality. Oils have long carried great potency when helping to relax the mind and body, which in turn prepares you for a restful night’s sleep. Lavender in particular is one of the most popular essential oils for relaxation, and can be soaked into a cotton wall ball and placed on your bedside table to create an ambient sanctuary for sleep. You can also add the oil to your bath or shower before bed.
"Aromatherapy is said to work by impacting our olfactory system and has been practised for centuries by many different cultures. An aromatherapy oil is the essence of a plant taken from its natural, raw state, and it's hugely important that you use high quality essential oils, derived from well-grown and nourished plants. Better quality oils are often more expensive because of the way in which they have been grown or they may come from limited crops. One of my favourite brands is Neom whose Wellbeing Pod, £140, is a modern way to add aromatherapy to a room. Try with the Scent To Sleep oil for a dream-like sleep,' Susannah advises.
Mobile phones are a stimulant that can fuel your brain before bedtime, making it harder for you to fall asleep and switch off. Most people use their phones first thing in the morning and last thing at night, which can be really detrimental to your sleep cycle. So, we recommend setting a time each evening to turn your phone off (or at least onto sleep mode), so you can unwind.
'Our phones, computers and tablets emit a strong blue light, which, whilst beneficial in the daytime because it wakes us up, energises us and improves our mood, can disrupt our sleep cycles at night. Blue light has a very short, high energy wavelength which can flicker intensely and interrupt our Circadian rhythm which controls our awake and sleep cycle and therefore could disturb sleep. Aside from the blue light, I also think the idea of having your phone beside the bed with your emails, to-do list and social media winking at you is all too intrusive for a good night's sleep. Instead, my rule is to have a good old fashioned alarm clock by your side, and to put your phone in another room or well away downstairs. We don’t need to feel we switched on 24/7,' says Susannah.
Invest in the Sleepeezee Cooler Supreme for the perfect night's sleep here.
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