Coming up in March is National Bed Month which seems as good a time as any to highlight the benefits of finding the right bed for you, the advantages of getting enough sleep for your health and what you can do to help yourself get more sleep. This should leave you feeling happier and healthier.

With today’s frantic lifestyle that many live, it can seem as though there is never enough time in the day to get everything done. More and more people are working late into the evening or having to get up earlier to complete tasks. Some people will then want to wind down for a while afterwards by watching TV, going on their laptops or looking at their phones before bed, keeping them awake for even longer.

The problem with bright screens is that they trick the brain into thinking it’s broad daylight, keeping you awake for longer. Also, people may fall asleep on the sofa in awkward positions, sleep quality then suffers and you wake the next day feeling all the more tired, achy and miserable because of a poor night’s sleep – not to mention what little there was of it.

So What Can I Do To Get A Better Night’s Sleep?

Whilst you might not be able to control all factors influencing your sleep, there are a number of aspects you can, such as:-

  • Work on your time management – create to do lists and time schedules, stick to them and try not to procrastinate or this may force you to stay up well into the night.
  • Create a regular sleep-wake cycle.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bed.
  • Create a bedtime wind down routine – e.g. bath/shower followed by reading or listening to calming music in dim light.
  • Have a cool, dark and quiet room.
  • Engage in regular physical activity during the day – not too close to bedtime though.
  • Manage your stress – get organised, delegate tasks and have a laugh with friends and family.

And What About The Bed?

You spend a third of your life in bed and it should last around 7 or 8 years so it’s important to get it right and it’s worth paying a little extra to suit your requirements. A good bed with the correct support and comfort can help to relieve and prevent back pain so some things to consider are:-

  • Try before you buy, either in store or with a free trial.
  • Buy a slightly larger bed for comfort and to allow room for manoeuvre so you and your partner do not disturb each other.
  • There’s no one size or firmness that fits all so buy according to your size and weight – firm or orthopaedic beds aren’t always best as is often perceived.
  • To prolong a beds life, don’t make a habit of sitting on the edge of the bed or allow kids to jump on it.
  • The key is to have a mattress which keeps the spine level, with a bit of give, but not so you sink too far into it or too hard that the waist is not supported.

Why Is Getting Enough Sleep Important?

  • Reduced pain or a higher tolerance to it.
  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Lower risk of injury with less tiredness related accidents such as falls, cuts or crashes.
  • Better weight control with decreased hunger and more energy and motivation to work out or cook healthily.
  • Better mood and feeling less cranky.
  • Clearer thinking, increased attention span, better decision making and memory.

Finally, for better health, it is recommended that you should be aiming for eight or nine hours sleep. Why not start today?