Struggling when it comes to snoozing? Our sleep clinic is here to help!
According the The Great British Bedtime Report by The Sleep Council, 30% of us get poor sleep most nights. Here we suggest solutions to three common sleep problems, so the next time that alarm goes off – or your child jumps on your head, whatever comes first – you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead…
PROBLEM 1: I CAN’T GET OFF TO SLEEP
“No matter how tired I am, when I go to bed I find it really hard to switch off and sleep. How can I prevent this?”
You know how you have a bedtime routine for the kids? That shouldn’t stop just because you’re a grown-up. Even the routine shouldn’t differ too wildly from what you do with your little ones: have a nice warm bath, change into your pyjamas, and read a bedtime story – although your book of choice may differ somewhat! Reading is a much better bedtime activity than watching TV or checking your phone as the light, sound and movements will over-stimulate your brain when it’s supposed to be winding down.
Sticking to this routine will send messages to your brain that it’s time to start relaxing and prepare for sleep. In fact, you can make a start even before you head upstairs to bath and bed. When you’re settling down for the evening with a book or a boxset, give your living room a spritz of Lenor Unstoppables Dreams Aerosol. The calming scents of lavender, vanilla and cedar will help get your brain into bedtime mode, which will start to soothe you on the journey towards sleep.
Also turn your bedroom into a relaxed haven. It should be a no-chaos zone, with soft, clean sheets and calming fragrances proven to help aid sleep – try washing your sheets with a capful of Lenor Unstoppables Dreams laundry beads to infuse your bed with notes of lavender and vanilla. You could also plug in the Lenor Unstoppables Dreams Plug-In in the same soothing scent to really turn your bedroom into a dreamy space.
If you still find everything, from the shopping list to summer holiday plans, is buzzing around your head as soon as you shut your eyes, sit up again and write down what’s on your mind onto a notepad. Just getting it down on paper goes a long way to getting it out of your brain.
For more tips, check out our article, 11 steps to the best night’s sleep ever.
PROBLEM 2: I WAKE UP GROGGY
“I sleep well, but I still wake up feeling groggy – what’s going on?”
This is likely to do with where you are at in your sleep cycle when your alarm goes off. We alternate between four levels of sleep, ranging from a light doze, when we are easily woken, to deep slumber, when we dream.
If you are woken up mid-dream you will probably feel disorientated and groggy, as if you have been ripped from your sleep. This is because you were in one of the deepest stages of snoozing. But if your alarm goes off when you are in a lighter phase, you will awaken more easily and feel more refreshed.
Try downloading an app that has been designed to track your sleep patterns. The alarm will then go off when you are in a light stage of sleep – but within a time period set by you, so it won’t wake you in the middle of the night or make you late for work!
Also, there is such a thing as too much sleep – scientists reckon that an average of seven hours a night is ideal. The best way to regulate your sleep is go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
PROBLEM 3: I TOSS AND TURN
“My husband says I always toss and turn in my sleep. Does this mean I’m not getting a good-quality snooze?”
It’s entirely natural to move around quite a lot in your sleep. In fact, people move an average of 70 times during the night. It’s good for you, too, preventing circulatory disorders and muscle cramps.
We also wake up an average of 28 times a night, often for such a short time that we don’t even remember it the next morning.
So as long as you feel like you’re getting a good sleep, you needn’t worry. It actually sounds like your husband is the one who is struggling to sleep if he is aware of your movements – perhaps get him to give the above a read!
What’s your secret to a great night’s sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.