Whenever I meet people with great skin I ask them what their secret is and nine time out of ten the answer is sleep and drinking lots of water. I’ve always had the water thing sorted but it was only recently that I started sleeping more when I took part in Sleeping Duck’s 100 Day Sleep Challenge. (See a reminder of that blog post here).
I’ve been sleeping on a Medium Firm Sleeping Duck mattress for a while now and I am not only sleeping for longer but I sleep deeper than ever before. Imagine the feeling of freshly washed and pressed sheets against your skin after a long day working hard and running round? That feeling is even more pleasurable if you’re lying on a supportive mattress that cushions your body so you feel cosy and comfortable in all directions – from all around you and underneath.
But sleeping in the summer is a lot harder than it is in Winter and survey results suggest two thirds of the population struggle to get a full night’s rest when it’s hot. If that’s you, then you may want to follow these 10 Life Hacks to getting a better night’s sleep:
1. Rejig your sleeping routine gradually to get used to the longer lighter days. You could start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and then the next night 30 minutes earlier
2. Preplan your evening meal to ensure you eat around 7:00 pm to ensure your food is fully digested before going to sleep. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, but a couple of nightcaps can disrupt the quality of your sleep and prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep. This may also cause you to wake up in the night. Ensure that your evening meal consists of some snooze food, which is food that will help you sleep. These include warm milk, oats, bananas, turkey, almonds and chamomile.
3. Try to stop drinking tea or coffee by lunch-time. Caffeine is a stimulant that can last in your body for five to eight hours. Some people can still feel the effects up to 12 hours later. And beware of the hidden caffeine in things such as energy drinks, tea, yogurts and chocolate
4. Exercise can improve the quality of your sleep, but not within three hours of bedtime. Exercise is energising and raises your body temperature. Try to arrange your workout either in the morning or late afternoon. Exercising later than this (unless it’s sex) may disturb your sleep
5. Allow plenty of time for a bedtime routine including a warm shower or bath, some relaxing music or an audio book. Allow yourself to unwind into a good night’s sleep
6. Your pillow should fit you like a glove, and depending on your sleep position (side, front or back) size (small, medium or large) plus other factors, you should choose one that suits you and your sleep quality could improve.
7. Review your bed. Is it giving you the right support in the right areas? Is it keeping you cool at night? A good mattress can give you almost an extra hour’s sleep. Keeping cool at night is a way to help optimise the release of your sleepy hormones. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase will help you keep cool as it is a heat regulating fabric. Cool during the summer months and warm and cosy during the winter months. And there are additional benefits for your hair and skin.
8. Ensure that your room is cool, dark and quiet. The ideal temperature for sleep is 16-18 degrees centigrade. Keep it uncluttered. It should be like a safe haven for sleep.
9. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day including weekends and holidays where possible. Try to pack in some hours before midnight to ensure deep quality restorative sleep.
10. Don’t bring your laptop/smartphone to bed. Not only can it cause stress close to bedtime, research has shown that the blue light emitted from these devices can affect the quality of your sleep
Thanks to Sleeping Duck for these tips and for the 100 Day Challenge. They’re the only company to let you try a mattress for 100 days to make sure you’re completely happy with it.