45% of UK population struggle to sleep due to stress and worry*
3/4 of us get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep**
Kathryn Pinkham, Founder of The Insomnia Clinic provides advises on lifestyle changes to improve sleep
David Roebuck, Technical Product Director at Swift Direct Blinds shares suggestions on making changes in your bedroom which could help
Whether it’s down to lifestyle, anxiety or even bedroom interior, it’s pretty fair to say that many of us struggle to nod off and sleep soundly. The solution to these problems could be a lot easier to solve than we think.
The odd bad night of sleep is fairly expected for most of us. It could be the night before an interview, first date or even jitters before the ‘big day’ and more often than not, we will get over it. However for others, an extreme bout of stress takes over and they find it impossible to get back on track.
There’s no ‘one-size fits all’ but how could we improve our snooze?
Kathryn says, “Don’t spend too long in bed. The first thing we do when we can’t sleep is start going to bed earlier to try and increase our opportunity for sleeping. However, our body has a natural ‘appetite’ for sleep which we can build up by being out of bed. So, rather than going to bed early and spending hours in bed awake, instead, go to bed later and set your alarm for the morning.”
She adds, “Stop clock-watching! We all do it but did you know that checking the time actually increases the pressure to fall back to sleep? And makes it less likely because as our minds start to race. Try to resist temptation, set your alarm for the morning and then turn it away. This can help to break the habit of waking at the same time each night.”
Kathryn goes on to explain, “Make use of daylight from the moment you wake up. Let natural daylight in so that your body starts to ‘learn’ when to be awake and when to feel sleepy. This is also great for your mood as spending time in a dark room when you wake up in the morning can make you feel worse.”
Adding to this, David suggests, “Consider venetian blinds in the bedroom which let a glimpse of light in every morning, this could be a great way to enhance your mood as Kathryn explains. And if you leave them slightly open the night before, you even don’t have to get out bed to adjust them!”
Wooden venetian blinds available in a range of colours, starting from approx. £10.00
Kathryn’s next tip is to keep light dimmed in the evenings. “Make sure your bedroom is darker as this will help your body to develop melatonin, the sleepy hormone you need to nod off. Keeping the light out can really help some people combat the struggle of nodding off. Blackout blinds could be an option for people who rely on the dark to get to sleep”.
David adds, “Believe it or not, blackout blinds don’t need to be dull. They can be created in a number of colours or with patterns to match your bedroom interior, while doing the job of keeping the light out.”
Blackout roller blinds available in a range of colours, starting from approx. £9.00
Finally, Kathryn advises, “Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t get to sleep or have woken up in the middle of night, get out of bed. The longer we lie in bed trying to fall back to sleep the more frustrated we get which means we begin to subconsciously relate bed to feeling stressed and being awake rather than asleep. Leave the bedroom and do something relaxing like read a book downstairs, then when you are tired go back to bed.”