SLEEP – THE NEW CHALLENGE

Linen Drawer specialise in providing sleeping comfort. Your quality of sleep is very important to us.

This subject of sleep is just as relevant today as it has always been. New research on the subject of sleep has emerged and the long and the short of it is that a good, deep sleep is vitally important for our wellbeing. Should want to get the most out of your sleep, read on…

Baby Bedding

Exploring the topic of sleep, it is useful to ask ourselves some questions:

Why do we sleep?

Well, we know that sleep is very important for optimal brain functioning as well asresting and restoring vigour to our bodies, but recent research has highlighted the function of sleep as being important in memory consolidation as well. Lack of sleep is associated with irritability, poor judgement, faulty decision making, as well as weight gain. These are convincing arguments for us to make getting a good night’s sleep a priority.

How much sleep does our body need?

Our society tends to glorify people who sleep between 4 – 6 hours a night. They are seen as productive and successful. In fact, the answer to the question of how much sleep we need is purely individual – if you are comfortable and can function at peak performance on 4 – 6 hours of sleep then that works for you.

Unfortunately most of us really need more than that. Recent research has shown that adequate sleep, sensible diet and regular exercise are the three critical components that are required for optimal health.

The following table is based on the latest research and prescriptions tabled by the National Sleep Foundation (USA).

  • Newborns  (0 -3 months) – 14 -17hrs daily
  • Infants (4-11months) – 12-15hrs daily
  • Toddlers (1-2 yrs) –11-14 hrs daily
  • Pre-schoolers (3-5yrs) – 10 -13 hrs daily
  • School age children (6 -13yrs) – 9-11 hrs daily
  • Teenagers (14 -17 yrs) – 8-10 hrs daily
  • Young adults (18 -25 yrs) – 7-9 hrs daily
  • Adults (26-64 yrs) – 7-9 hrs daily
  • Older adults (65+)  – 7-8 hrs daily

That’s all very well, you might say, but how do I achieve this?

In previous blogs we touched on the importance of comfortable bedding, bed linen and bed clothing. These are all aspects that contribute towards achieving a good night’s sleep. In addition here are some tips that may help you achieve this sometimes elusive goal…of getting a good night’s sleep, every night.

Tips to fall asleep naturally:

  • Make an effort to eat foods that contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid your body needs to make serotonin and melatonin.  Together these two substances regulate various physical functions.  When our bodies metabolise tryptophan it first makes serotonin, then uses this to produce melatonin.. Foods rich in tryptophan are dairy products, bananas, oatmeal, pork, turkey, chicken and soy products.  Melatonin makes you drowsy and lowers your body temperature.  Helping you to prepare for a good night’s sleep.
  • Darken your house– lessening light is the trigger that stimulates melatonin production. Our bodies are naturally tuned in to nature’s daily cycles. Dusk and night approaching signal a period of sleep.  Bright lights cause melatonin levels to drop.  Soft lighting in your bedroom is important as it encourages sleepiness. Light from electronic devices and television sends alerting signals to the brain, increasing the difficulty of falling asleep.  Try to ban electronics from the bedroom – let your brain settle for the night.

  • Create a new bedtime habit – you can train yourself into a new routine.  Repetition of certain tasks before bedtime helps to start a routine. Repeat the sequence every night and conclude it by getting into bed and putting off your bedside light.

  • Keep regular sleeping hours–if your body knows that at a certain time it is required to sleep, it’s likely that it will comply.  Schedule sleep as a priority, not as an option and be as firm about it as any other task on your ‘to do’ list.  Make sure that you don’t watch television in bed, work on your laptop, use your phone or read.

  • Pay attention to comfort- your bedroom should be a sanctuary dedicated to sleep.  You should feel relaxed and peaceful when you are there.  De-clutter your room. Paint the walls a soothing colour, ensure allbed linen andbedding is clean and fresh smelling and that the whole package is one of soothing and inviting calm.
  • Regulate the noise levels- our subconscious minds register sounds even when we are asleep, and this affects the quality of sleep we enjoy.  Make sure your bedroom is quiet.  Sounds from outside, or within the other rooms can be muffled by ‘white noise’ which is created by a sound conditioner.  An air purifier usually works very well as they have a soothing barely audible sound.

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  • Exercise – regular activity has been proven to be very beneficial to ensuring a good nights’ sleep.  Strenuous exercise before bedtime is not recommended as it does not give the body time to recover and  reset itself for sleeping,

These are suggestions only, but are based on the recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation(USA) Of course all of the above really won’t work unless you are sleeping on bed linen created by the sleep and comfort specialists – Linen Drawer.

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