Recently I have been tracking my sleep pattern after waking up tired. The results were a bit shocking, to say the least. Using a wearable fitness tracker I found that I was awake (or restless) more than I was asleep in a 7-hour period so it was no surprise that I was still tired when it was time to get up. I did a bit of research to see if anything helped and here are my five top tips to help get a good night's sleep.
Emptying my head.
I write a to-do list for the next day (and we all know how I love a good list). This is a bit of psychobabble that I probably made up but getting rid of the tasks I haven't done - even if I'm putting them off until tomorrow - means that I'm not mulling things over as I'm winding down.
A bedtime routine isn't just for babies.
Winding down is important. For me this means that I have to switch my laptop off a good half hour before I know I'm going to bed or I get caught up in a(nother) Twitter conversation or Buzzfeed listicle. I have a chamomile or lavender tea and then start my "letting the dog out and checking the doors" routine.
A while back we invested in a super-king-size bed with an orthopaedic mattress. I love having room to move about in bed but still gravitate to the middle which annoys my husband greatly! Recently I have been really lucky and had the opportunity to try out new bedding and it's made a huge difference. First I have been using a duck feather topper which has solved a huge issue I had with the orthopaedic mattress. You see, I'm not the one who needs that style of mattress and (to me) it felt like I was sleeping on a door. This mattress topper has put some 'bounce' back into the mattress. Next we have changed our duvet to a 'breathable' product which promotes body temperature control, therefore creating a better night's sleep. I'm not one for mumbo-jumbo claims but these two products are really worth investing in (see the bottoms of this post for more details).
Your 90-minute sleep cycle.
When trying to find out why I was always so tired I stumbled across this article about the five phases of a sleep cycle. On a working day I know that I need to be awake at 6.30am, therefore I should be in bed for 12.30am (4 sleep cycles). On a non-working day I can go to bed whenever because (in theory) my body should naturally wake after a 90-minute sleep cycle. This is working well for me because it has put some routine back into this really important rest period.
If all else fails... PODCAST!
I download gentle podcasts (I'm a huge fan of the Thinking Slimmer ones) and try to drift off whilst listening. Isn't there a theory that it's easier to learn something whilst you're asleep - maybe this is the time to test that idea? Also, there's definitely a knack to not getting yourself tangled up in headphone wire and keeping your in-ear buds in place but I think I've got it sussed now.
Do you have any top tips for a good night's sleep to add? Let me know in the comments!
The Fine Bedding Company have used Smartfil® fibres blended with Modal to help draw moisture away from the body resulting in temperature control. This mix creates a warm and cosy duvet even with the lightest of tog ratings. The unique manufacturing process that the Fine Bedding Company have used allows for more air to flow through the duvet giving it increased "breathability". Even though we have reviewed a 7-tog duvet (probably more of a summer covering) we haven't felt the need for additional covers even on recent cooler nights. They also have a duck feather mattress topper available.