There’s nothing better than the feeling of slipping between clean, fresh-smelling sheets. But what if, once you’re there, you can’t nod off, or you know you’re going to wake up at 4am and start worrying about everything in your life?
Not getting enough sleep not only makes you feel tired and groggy – according to the NHS, it puts you at more risk of serious conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and shortens your life expectancy too.
So, even though it’s hard with a busy family life, it makes sense to focus on your sleep quality – and some easy changes can make a huge difference to how you slumber.
1. Switch off your devices
The biggest change to our lives over the last few years is the introduction of smartphones, e-readers, tablets and other screens – and the blue light they emit is terrible for our sleep, as it interferes with the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. So at least an hour before bed, make sure you switch off any screens – and do the same for the kids too!
2. Make sure your sheets are Lenor-fresh
Making bedtime more appealing is key to getting your shut-eye earlier. Scent can play an important part in relaxing you to help you drift off, so keep your sheets fresh for longer by adding a dose of Lenor to your wash. The gorgeously scented fabric conditioner will give you that fresh-sheet feeling we all love night after night, for up to a whole week.
3. Watch what you eat and drink
If you suffer from heartburn, bedtime is when you’re most likely to experience it, and spicy or acidic food can be a major culprit. If you do find this a problem, it’s worth having some antacids in your bedside table (locked away from little hands), so you don’t have to get out of bed to treat it.
Also cut out caffeinated drinks close to bedtime. And while alcohol might help you get to sleep, it can also cause you to spend more time in REM sleep and less in deep sleep, so you feel tired when you wake. Not only that, but alcohol and coffee are diuretics, so you could end up waking in the middle of the night to go to the loo.
4. Meditate before bed
If you’ve been rushing around all day, your head might still be buzzing when it comes to bedtime. Rather than relaxing with a glass of wine, find a healthier way to bring calm to your life. If you have time, a nice long bath can help, or a restorative yoga session. But let’s get real: you probably want to get to bed asap! So download a meditation app, and spend just three-to-five minutes giving yourself some mindful time.
5. Exercise during the day
Research has shown that just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day isn’t just good for your heart – it can dramatically improve the length and quality of sleep too. Whether you prefer morning or evening exercise depends on you. Some people find exercising before bed gets them too pumped up, so test out a few times of day to discover what works best for you.
6. Sort out your bedroom
Your bedroom should be calming and conducive to sleep. Ways to achieve this include making sure it’s tidy; having dimmer lights so you can lower the lighting before bed; making sure there are no lights from electronics blinking away in the dark (such as alarm clocks, phones or thermostats); and installing blackout curtains or blinds.
Consider a dawn light for the darker months. It will gradually wake you by slowly increasing the light in the room, so you awaken naturally rather than dramatically, and you’re less likely to hit the snooze button!
Finally, when buying sheets, go for natural materials such as linen or cotton, rather than synthetics. Not only do they feel better, but they are more breathable, helping your body temperature remain steady.
7. Eliminate daytime naps
It can be so tempting to nap in the day if you get the time, but it can cause problems with your night-time sleeping. If you really do need a power nap, make sure it’s less than 20 minutes, to avoid going into deep sleep and disrupting your body clock.
8. Upgrade your bed and mattress
It might feel like an expensive purchase, but the right mattress can make all the difference to getting a solid night’s sleep. By and large, the cheaper the mattress, the more frequently you’ll need to change it. The National Bed Federation recommends changing it every seven years – pointing out that by then it has been subjected to more than 20,000 hours of wear and tear, not to mention the half a pint of fluid we lose each night, and a pound of dead skin cells in a year!
But a topper, a mattress protector and a double-sided mattress can help extend its life. Once you start seeing permanent sagging and getting aches and pains, though, it’s probably time to take the plunge.
Have you experienced Lenor’s freshness yet? Why not leave us a review to let us know what you thought?
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