How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

When you suffer from insomnia, it can affect every aspect of your life. It can be hard to imagine how you will overcome this condition and finally get some sleep, but know that insomnia can be overcome. How can you get rid of insomnia?

We all have the potential to develop insomnia at some point in our life. Certain factors can provoke sleepless nights, such as an uncomfortable bed, a noisy street, a crying baby, or stress. Each person will experience sleeplessness differently, and something that may trigger you mightn’t trigger your partner or family member.

When some typical triggers are removed, your sleeping can return to as it was before. However, if your insomnia is caused by changes you have made, it can become chronic insomnia.

Tips To Get You Sleeping Again

Write it down

When you have a worry or your mind is racing with tomorrow’s to-do list, then it can be good to write it all down. Putting these worries out there is a good way to clear your mind before bed.

Put the pet to bed

When a pet shares your bed, your sleep can suffer.  The Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Centre found that 53% of pet owners report sleep disturbance from a pet every night.

Get up

I know it sounds like it won’t help but, if you’ve been tossing and turning for a while, it might help to get up and not associate your bed with sleeplessness.

Environmental distractions

We can’t help environmental distractions. Whether your neighbours have just brought home a newborn, or there’s an overly sensitive car alarm down the street, there’s only so much you can do to stop these environmental factors interfering with your sleep. Run a fan to create white noise, wear earplugs, or use an eye mask or blackout blinds to keep out the glare of street lights.

Forget the clock

Repeated clock-checking will only make you anxious and exasperated.  Turn your alarm clock to face the wall.

Don’t lose sleep over lost sleep

Losing sleep over losing sleep is something we have all encountered. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. It’s okay to be tired tomorrow.

Do something non-stimulating

Do something relaxing. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.  As long as it’s soothing, you’re on the right track. Don’t check your work email, pay bills, or do anything that will make you anxious before bed.

Say no to screens

Your laptop, TV, tablet, and smartphone all emit a blue light that suppresses melatonin, the hormone that influences circadian rhythms and facilitates sleep. Avoid using these devices before bedtime, or check to see if your device has a night time mode.

Weighted blankets

Weighted blankets act like a tight hug, helping you calm down and relax to guarantee a good night’s sleep. The blanket applies a delicate yet firm pressure that reaches the deep-seated receptors and helps with the release of serotonin and endorphins, which are chemicals that our body naturally produces to make us feel calm and relaxed. It’s recommended that the weight blanket be about 10% of your body weight. You can find yours here.

 

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Your Bed Buying Questions Answered

Your Bed Buying Questions Answered

Here at SlumberSlumber, we are passionate about creating the best sleeping environment for you. We know that buying a bed can be a daunting process, so we’ve decided to put together the below list of answers to the most common bed buying questions we receive.

Bed Buying Q&A

1)  I have a bad back, what bed should I choose?

Don’t believe the old age belief that a hard bed is best. Recent research confirms that a supportive and comfortable mattress is the best option – and it doesn’t matter what type of construction it is. Any references to orthopaedic or medical terms won’t necessarily mean that the bed has been professionally assessed – manufacturers often use this sort of language to loosely describe firmer beds.

2) I have asthma/allergies. What bed is best for me?

Nearly all beds will, in time, attract house dust mites, whose droppings are highly allergenic. Regular cleaning, airing, and the use of protective covers will reduce their effects. Some manufacturers are now using anti-dust mite treated fabrics in their mattress covers, though always check the materials used if you suffer from any other allergies. Our Bed Experts will be able to give additional advice, too.

3) The mattresses look the same, so why are the prices so different?

The chances are they are not as similar as they seem. They might claim to be of similar quality, but you’re likely to find that different material, densities, and methods have affected the overall product and price. Our Bed Experts will be happy to explain the differences.

4) What should I pay for a good mattress? 

Prices for beds range from well under £100 to several thousand. As a general rule, you do get what you pay for. Remember that every £100 you spend on a new bed represents an investment of just 4p a night (assuming a life span of 7 years). A bargain bed is no bargain if you don’t sleep well in it.

5) Will I notice any difference between rigid and flexible slats?

Rigid slats will give a bed a firmer feel, but they will also affect the durability of the mattress as they have no give, and work against the mattress, leaving it to do all the work. Sprung slats are designed to work with the mattress, prolonging its life and improving comfort levels.

6) Why should I turn my mattress regularly?

Better quality mattresses with lots of natural fillings will often form body indentations – this is totally normal and proves that the mattress is working as intended. Regular turning will help the fillings settle and compact down more evenly. Generally, it’s a good idea to turn mattresses from end to end, and side to side, every week for the first few months, and thereafter about every three months.

7) What sizes do beds come in?

We stock beds in sizes from single to superking. Specific measurements are;

  • Single: 90cm/ 3ft
  • Small Double: 120cm/ 4ft
  • Double: 135cm/ 4ft 6”
  • King: 150cm/ 5ft
  • Superking: 180cm/ 6ft 

8) Will I be able to find linen for bigger beds? 

Yes. We stock linen for bed sizes up to a superking.

9) Are foam mattresses hot?

Foam is a good insulator – probably better than other mattress types available. The higher the density of foam (i.e. the better the quality), then the greater the potential heat retention. If you get hot in bed, then look for a foam mattress with an open cell construction, which will breathe more easily. You can also make sure that the mattress is well ventilated, and use cotton sheets and duvets with lower tog ratings.

10) What’s the difference between a platform top divan and sprung edge divan base?

A platform top divan base has a hard top. This type of base is the cheapest, and will give a firmer feel than the other types of divan base.  A sprung edge divan base has a layer of springs on top of the base that goes right to the edge, giving the base a softer feel.

11) My mattress seems to have dents in it, why is this?

Mattress settlement is generally a cause for unnecessary concern. There often is a misconception that a mattress should look and feel as good as new even after months or years of use, but this simply isn’t the case. Similar to a good pair of leather shoes, a new mattress will ‘relax’ and take on the shape of the user. People are not the same size and shape, and body-shaped impressions will occur. Find out more about mattress settlement in our handy article here.

12) What does made-to-order mean?

Made-to-order is when production and manufacturing of an item starts after your order is received, and so the item is made specifically to your order by our suppliers. Made-to-order items cannot be cancelled and cannot be returned, so please do check the individual product pages if you are unsure if the item you are interested in is made-to-order. Or contact us.

Do You Have Any More Questions?

We hope we have answered all of those burning questions around buying your bed but, if there’s still something you’re not too sure of, please get in touch with us here, or refer to our Sleep Clinic.

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and, when we lose out on sleep, it can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health. When you are finding it hard to sleep due to outside influences, such as stress, illness, or chronic pain, you can use meditation to help you sleep. Sleep meditations can settle a restless mind and body, and help us drift off. They are a much more healthy alternative to sleeping tablets or repeated restless nights of tossing and turning.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a way to train your mind to be more aware of the present moment. We tend to get caught up in our thoughts the most at bedtime, when we finally have the time and space to reflect on our day.

Meditation helps lower your heart rate, which encourages slower breathing. It is a natural sleep aid as, when we meditate, we let go of the stresses of our day, allowing us to rest and prepare the mind for relaxation. As a result, this may increase the chance of a peaceful night’s sleep.

What Is Keeping Us Up at Night?

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Being exhausted and overworked should not be a sign of success; if you snooze, you definitely do not lose.

We’ve all experienced nights when, as soon as our head hits the pillow, your mind kicks into overdrive. There are many things that keep us up at night. Stress, worries, anxiety, and technology all play a role in disrupting our sleep habits.

Regularly sleeping fewer than seven hours a night increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Sleep deprivation can cause impairments in short and long-term memory, decision making, attention, and reaction time.

Why Might You Choose to Meditate Before Bed?

If you have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep, meditation has been shown to improve the time it takes you to fall asleep and the quality of sleep you will enjoy.

Meditation for sleep should be approached the same way we approach meditation in the daytime with a relaxed, gentle focus. When we allow the body to relax, we are not trying to force sleep but to aid relaxation. You want to stay away from encouraging more thoughts or tension within your body.

Types of Meditation

Breathing Exercises

This involves regulating your breath, such as counting breaths, alternating breaths, and holding and letting go of your breath.

Mindful Body Scanning

This is often a guided meditation. As you lie on your bed, you will be asked to notice the breath and any areas of tension in your body. Then, starting from the head, you can think of releasing any tensions held in each part of your body, part by part.

Visualisations

A visualisation asks you to imagine an image or scene to help release the stress or tension from within.

Counting

To slow the mind down, you may be invited to count slowly: starting at ten and counting backwards to one, then starting at ten again.

A Simple Meditation Exercise For Bedtime

Before you begin a sleep meditation, there are a few steps to take;

  1. Lie in your bed flat on your back, take a few deep breaths, and close your eyes
  2. Allow your body to be still and rested
  3. If you’re using a guided meditation, follow the instructions
  4. If practising an unguided meditation, do so at a pace that feels natural to you

Shall We Begin?

Start by scanning through your body, looking for areas of tension.

Start counting your breaths, in and out.  If your mind wanders, keep bringing it back to counting your breath, one to ten. The idea is to step away from the worried thinking and give your mind a different object to concentrate on for a while, so you can drift off.

Focus on these areas of tension and imagine letting go of it, releasing it with your breath.

Begin with your head, moving slowly through your body, scanning for areas of tension and releasing this tension with your outward breath. Move all the way down to your toes. This process can take as long or as short as you like; ideally, you could dedicate ten minutes to this relaxation technique.

It can be hard to do this yourself so, if you are looking for help, you can find a guided meditation in a variety of places, including YouTube, Podcasts, CDs, and even on Spotify.

Remember to dedicate this time to yourself; your sleep is important and so is your health. Self-care is important, and you deserve a peaceful, restful sleep1.

 

 

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What Causes Insomnia?

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep condition that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep and can disrupt your sleeping pattern. Many people will experience this condition at some point in their life, but what are the causes of insomnia?

What are the causes of insomnia?

Insomnia is often associated with other health conditions, but there are some main causes that might have caused your insomnia. If it is as a result of an underlying problem it’s important to get in touch with your doctor, as if you treat this issue the insomnia will also be lessened.

Common causes of insomnia:

  • Stress

    We all experience stress in our daily life but constant worries or fears about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma also may lead to insomnia.

  • Travel or work schedule

    Disrupting your body’s circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Shift workers who frequently work late or change shifts and those who suffer jet lag from travelling across multiple time zones would be prone to insomnia for this reason.

  • Poor sleep habits

    If you have an irregular bedtime schedule, nap during the day or take part in stimulating activities before bed you are practising poor sleep habits. If you have created an uncomfortable sleep environment, and have been using your bed for work, eating or watching TV and interacting with your smartphone this can interfere with your sleep.

  • Mental health disorders.

    If you suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder your sleep may be disrupted. Awakening too early and finding it hard to awaken can be a sign of depression. Mental health conditions can affect your sleep in a number of ways, each is individual to the sufferer.

  • Medications.

    Some prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, such as antidepressants and medications for asthma or blood pressure. Something you may not know is that many allergy and cold medications and weight-loss products can contain caffeine and other stimulants that interrupt your sleep.

  • Medical conditions.

    If you suffer from chronic pain, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), overactive thyroid, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease you are more susceptible to developing insomnia.

  • Sleep-related disorders.

    If you suffer from another sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea, this can disturb your sleep. Restless leg syndrome causes unpleasant sensations in your legs and an almost irresistible desire to move them, which may prevent you from falling asleep.

  • Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

    Coffee, tea and soft drinks contain caffeine and are stimulants. If you drink them in the evening or late afternoon, they can interfere with your sleep. Tobacco contains nicotine which is also a stimulant and can keep you up. While you may think that alcohol can help you fall asleep it prevents you from entering deeper stages of sleep which can cause you to wake up during the night and rise the next morning feeling less refreshed and rejuvenated.

Insomnia and ageing

As we age we find that we are more susceptible to experience insomnia.

This is for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Changes in sleep patterns.

    When we age our internal clock often advances, so you get tired earlier in the evening and wake up earlier in the morning.

  • Changes in activity.

    Being less active can interfere with your sleep. The less active you are, the more likely you’ll be tempted to take a nap during the day which can affect your sleep at night.

  • Changes in health.

    As you get older you might experience health conditions associated with ageing such as prostate and bladder problems that can increase urine frequency at night. You might also be suffering from chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis. Sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome also can become more common with age.

  • More medications.

    Older people tend to use more prescription drugs which increases the chance of insomnia associated with medications.

Complications

Sleep is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Whatever your reason for developing insomnia it can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.

Complications of insomnia may include:

  • Lower performance at work or school
  • Slowed reaction time while driving
  • Mental health conditions, such as depression or an anxiety disorder
  • Increased risk of long-term diseases or conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. 1

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How Stress Affects your Sleep

How Stress Affects your Sleep

Stress can impact your life in many ways, but how does stress affect your sleep? It’s late at night, you’re lying in bed, worrying and feeling anxious, which makes it almost impossible to turn off your brain, relax and fall asleep. People who suffer from chronic stress find that they have poorer sleep quality, and find it harder to function during the day.

The Science of Stress

When you experience a perceived threat, your body’s stress response is triggered. As a result, your body will experience physical changes, such as shallow breathing and a burst of energy from the release of adrenaline and cortisol. This is sometimes described as the ‘fight or flight’ response, but it isn’t always the appropriate way to deal with the stresses of modern life.

How Does Stress Affect Sleep?

If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its levels of stress hormones. When you enter a deep sleep, the brain chemicals tell the body to stop the production of stress hormones. As a result, when you don’t sleep well, your body keeps pumping out those stress hormones. When you wake up the next day, you feel more stressed, and the following night you might find it harder to fall asleep. The more exhausted you feel, the harder it is for you to focus at work and at home, leading to even more stress. This can make you irritable with friends and family, causing stress over relationships1.

Sleep and Busy People

Busy people may have trouble getting enough sleep, because being busy and not devoting eight hours a night to sleep can trigger the stress response. This can lead to a cycle of stress and trouble falling asleep. It’s important to allow yourself eight hours for sleep at night time, no matter how busy you may be.

Stress, Sleep and Your Health

People who have high, prolonged levels of stress have a higher risk of heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, stomach issues, and more. They are also more likely to grind or clench their teeth, which can lead to dental problems. That’s why it’s so important if you feel overly tense, to try different stress relief methods and to make getting plenty of sleep a high priority2.

The Best Bedtime Teas For Sleep

A third of us will experience insomnia at some point in our lives. It's important, then, to prioritise relaxation and unwinding before bed. Practising good sleep hygiene is one way of doing this, but you can also incorporate bedtime tea into the mix. For centuries,...

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Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and, when we lose out on sleep, it can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health. When you are finding it hard to sleep due to outside influences, such as stress, illness, or chronic pain, you can use...

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