Make Getting A Good Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

Make Getting A Good Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

We’ve all been there. We make a New Year’s resolution, and we’re excited. We’re determined to see it through, to fight our way through January without dropping the new you. And yet, we’ve all let it slip away, bit by bit, until it’s suddenly December and we’re thinking of trying that resolution again. This time, it will stick. But you’re tired of making the same resolution, and tired of the effort to keep it. Whether it’s exercise more, eat better, or spend less, it’s a cycle that we’re all in. However, a new resolution might be the answer. What about getting better sleep?

What’s the Big Deal About A Good Sleep?

Sleep is essential to maintaining your physical and mental health, as well as your wellbeing. However, less and less of us are getting a good amount of sleep. In fact, a third of us go about our day on as little as five to six hours a night1 when we should be getting seven to nine hours. However, it’s not just the length of sleep that’s important, but the quality, too. If you don’t get a deep, restful sleep for consecutive nights, you could start to feel physically sick, anxious, and stressed. These feelings can stop you from easily going to sleep, and a challenging cycle has started. Lack of sleep leads to sleep disorders, like insomnia, but sleep disorders can prevent the good sleep you need to ease them. Read more about sleeping disorders here.

Poor sleep quality will lead to being unable to rationalise your worries or thoughts, and it can also make you feel lonely or isolated as you mightn’t feel up to socialising with friends and family.

When you sleep well, you’re also more likely to eat better and move more, and you’ll feel less stressed, think more clearly, and your mood will generally improve. With a better sleep, you’ll be happier.

The start of a new year is a great time to assess your sleep quality and change any old habits that might be keeping you from getting a great sleep.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Help You Sleep

Stick to a regular schedule. It’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve got children or work shifts. However, keeping a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends and holidays, will help you get a good sleep quality.

Exercise. It’s not just an urban myth – exercise really does help you sleep! Regular exercise is good for both your physical and mental health. If you’re doing more vigorous workouts, exercise earlier in the day. Use the evening for gentler activities, like yoga. If you workout too much before you go to bed, you’ll make it harder for yourself to go to sleep.

Limit alcohol and caffeine. The first cup of coffee in the morning is a real treat, but drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening will actually keep you awake when you want to go to sleep. Alcohol has a similar effect. While alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it prevents you from getting the deep, good sleep that your body needs. It’ll also upset your sleep patterns and could wake you up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. You may find it hard to get back to sleep.

Watch what you eat. Avoid heavy meals late in the evening, and don’t eat two hours before you go to bed. Rich or spicy foods take longer to digest, and this makes it harder to fall asleep.

Turn off the screens an hour before bed. We’re surrounded all day by technology – the computer on your desk, the phone in your pocket, the tablet in your bedroom. We’re glued to our TV screens, and it’s very tempting to watch just one more episode before bed. However, looking at these screens close to your bedtime won’t do you any good. The blue light that’s emitted from them suppresses melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’. This disrupts your sleep quality and sleep patterns. Instead, read a book for an hour before you go to sleep, or take a relaxing bath. You can read more about how technology affects our sleep here.

Think of what you’re sleeping on. Your mattress may be old (you’ve had it for at least eight to ten years) and lumpy, which could be keeping you from sleeping well. Consider investing in a new mattress – you could also think about how to discard your old one, with mattress recycling an important debate in helping our environment. Find out more about this here.

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. By having a relaxing routine before going to bed, you’ll signal to your brain and body that it’s almost time to go to sleep. Try relaxing activities, like reading or listening to soothing music. Soaking in a warm bath could be helpful, too. If you’re consistent with this, you’ll find falling asleep easier – and the sleep quality will be better, too.

Have a healthy sleeping environment. It’s best that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. If your bedroom is too bright at night, consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask. You should also only sleep in your bed. If you work or study in bed, your brain will associate your bed with this, and it’ll become the last place you want to go to sleep.

Don’t hit snooze! Hitting the snooze button multiple times doesn’t help you get any more sleep. It’ll actually leave you feeling more tired. Try leaving your alarm away from your bed, like at the other side of the room, so that you have to get up to switch it off.

Treat Your Dad to A Good Sleep This Father’s Day

From sleep deprived nights after you were born, taking care of you when you were sick, checking for scary monsters under the bed, picking you up from parties when you couldn’t get a real taxi, educating you on the best bands from the 1970s into the early hours of the...

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We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning,...

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After a long, loud day, everyone enjoys the quiet of sleep. However, when the person sleeping next to you starts to mumble or talk, it can be funny at first – and then it becomes frustrating. The person who’s talking in their sleep isn’t aware that they’re doing it,...

Make Getting A Good Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

We’ve all been there. We make a New Year’s resolution, and we’re excited. We’re determined to see it through, to fight our way through January without dropping the new you. And yet, we’ve all let it slip away, bit by bit, until it’s suddenly December and we’re...

Do Lucid Dreams Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Getting a good sleep is important when it comes to our health and wellbeing. However, as lucid dreams can be stimulating or frightening, it’s natural to wonder if they can affect the quality of your sleep. What Is A Lucid Dream? When you sleep, your brain cycles...

Are You a ‘Night Owl’ or a ‘Lark’?

Your biological clock works on its own – a roughly 24-hour cycle called a circadian rhythm. This is influenced by light and the environment, regulating the clock so that we go to sleep and wake up on the same schedule. This body clock decides your sleep pattern and...

Four Reasons We Love Four Seasons Duvets

We all know the struggle of having to get a new duvet when the temperature changes. When the sun is out, we need a lighter duvet so that we can sleep peacefully. When the winds blow colder, a heavier duvet keeps us warm. And, when we find ourselves almost in the...

Everything You Need To Know About Sleep Tracking

   Sleep tracking comes in many shapes and forms, but how do you track your sleep? From DIY wearables and smartphone apps, to the old fashioned way of paper and pen, there are many different ways to follow your sleeping routine. Below, we’ll discuss these methods...

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?  This is caused by your circadian rhythm, but just what is it?   What is a Circadian Rhythm? Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is...

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Every night, each person dreams for ninety minutes, two hours, or more. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep,...

Technology’s Impact on your Sleep

Technology's impact on your sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Technology is everywhere; it has taken over every aspect of our daily lives, and now it’s set its sights on our bedroom. Instead of curling up in bed with a book, many people now opt for...

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Do Lucid Dreams Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Do Lucid Dreams Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Getting a good sleep is important when it comes to our health and wellbeing. However, as lucid dreams can be stimulating or frightening, it’s natural to wonder if they can affect the quality of your sleep.

What Is A Lucid Dream?

When you sleep, your brain cycles through Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. Non-REM sleep includes three separate stages; your brain waves, heartbeat, and eye movements gradually slow down. In REM-sleep, your brain is extremely active, and your heartrate and eye movements also increase. Lucid dreaming usually happens during REM-sleep.1

In a lucid dream, you are aware that you’re dreaming and can recognise your thoughts and emotions as the dream unfolds. Sometimes, you may even be able to control what happens in the lucid dream, changing the characters, environment, and the storyline. Lucid dreams are incredibly vivid, and you could wake up slightly confused and dazed as the dream can feel so real.

About 55% of people have experienced a lucid dream at least once in their lifetime, while 23% of people have lucid dreams at least once a month.2

Although it’s not exactly known what causes a lucid dream, certain factors can make them more likely. If you have narcolepsy, a condition that causes people to suddenly and quickly fall into a deep sleep, you could be more likely to experience lucid dreaming. This is because people with narcolepsy tend to drop into REM sleep right away, and it’s during this stage that lucid dreaming occurs.3 Read more about narcolepsy in our article here.

Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

  • Decrease nightmares – during lucid dreaming, you’ll know that the nightmare isn’t real, and you might be able to change the dream to something more pleasant.
  • Relieve anxiety – being aware that negative dreams are not real can help reduce their negative effects.
  • Increase motor skills – visualising physical movements could increase your ability to do them, and this could be done during a lucid dream. When you perform motor skills while dreaming, your brain’s sensorimotor cortex activates – this is the part of the brain that controls movement.4
  • Enhance creativity – typically, people who are more creative are more likely to have a lucid dream. This could be due to their heightened ability to recall dreams and visualise events. However, lucid dreams can increase anyone’s creativity and imagination.

Risks of Lucid Dreaming

  • Sleep problems – disrupted sleep can create sleep problems, and the risk is higher if you already have a sleeping disorder, like narcolepsy.
  • Depression and anxiety – these can be a result of sleep problems and poor quality of sleep.
  • Derealisation – lucid dreams can mesh reality and dreaming, which could make it hard to figure out what’s real.
  • Dissociation – the overlap of reality and dreaming can also cause disconnection from your surroundings, and even yourself.

How Is Your Sleep Quality Affected?

Dreams that feel all-too-real can wake you up and make it hard to go back to sleep, which negatively affects your quality of sleep. If your dream is unpleasant, it can leave you shaken when you wake up. This might make you more reluctant to go back to sleep.

Also, as people who have lucid dreams are aware that they’re dreaming, many can control the dream itself to an extent. This can lead to a conscious attempt to try to shape the dream. However, going to bed with the intention of controlling your dreams may be disruptive to your sleep. If you are focusing on what will happen in your dream, you could be preventing yourself from achieving a restful sleep. This can become a difficult loop; poor sleep quality leads to more nightmarish dreams, and the possibility of nightmares or unpleasant dreams could keep you from falling asleep at night.

Improving Your Sleep Can Minimise Lucid Dreams

Although you can’t control when lucid dreams occur, you can take steps towards reducing the likelihood of them.

Don’t try to control your dreams. Rather than trying to dictate your dreams, it could be more beneficial to simply let them run their course. If you simply rest your thoughts, you’ll fall into a deeper, more refreshing sleep.

Have a healthy sleeping environment. If you don’t get enough sleep, the risk of having nightmares increases. Keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet makes sure that your sleeping environment is ideal for a good sleep.

Establish a regular sleep routine. Having a set bedtime and wake-up time is another way to make sure you get a good sleep. Wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends! Go to bed only when you feel tired enough to sleep; if you’re restless in bed, your mind will associate your bed with struggling to sleep.

Exercise. Regular exercise is good for both your physical and mental health, and it’ll make you feel more tired for a better sleep. However, limit your workouts to mornings and afternoons.

Avoid stimulants. Although a cup of coffee helps you become alert in the morning, having cups through the afternoon and evening will keep you from getting a deep, restful sleep at night. Avoid alcohol, drugs, and nicotine, too. Even though alcohol can help you feel drowsy to fall asleep quicker, it will actually cause you to have a disrupted sleep, and you’ll find it hard getting back to sleep if you wake up during the night.

Although these tips can help you get a better sleep to minimise the chances of lucid dreaming, the best way to help yourself is to talk to a doctor. A doctor can help you understand your dreams better, especially if your dreams are creating a stressful sleeping experience. Your doctor can also determine if you have a sleeping disorder, and you may be referred to a sleep specialist.

Treat Your Dad to A Good Sleep This Father’s Day

From sleep deprived nights after you were born, taking care of you when you were sick, checking for scary monsters under the bed, picking you up from parties when you couldn’t get a real taxi, educating you on the best bands from the 1970s into the early hours of the...

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We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning,...

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After a long, loud day, everyone enjoys the quiet of sleep. However, when the person sleeping next to you starts to mumble or talk, it can be funny at first – and then it becomes frustrating. The person who’s talking in their sleep isn’t aware that they’re doing it,...

Make Getting A Good Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

We’ve all been there. We make a New Year’s resolution, and we’re excited. We’re determined to see it through, to fight our way through January without dropping the new you. And yet, we’ve all let it slip away, bit by bit, until it’s suddenly December and we’re...

Do Lucid Dreams Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Getting a good sleep is important when it comes to our health and wellbeing. However, as lucid dreams can be stimulating or frightening, it’s natural to wonder if they can affect the quality of your sleep. What Is A Lucid Dream? When you sleep, your brain cycles...

Are You a ‘Night Owl’ or a ‘Lark’?

Your biological clock works on its own – a roughly 24-hour cycle called a circadian rhythm. This is influenced by light and the environment, regulating the clock so that we go to sleep and wake up on the same schedule. This body clock decides your sleep pattern and...

Four Reasons We Love Four Seasons Duvets

We all know the struggle of having to get a new duvet when the temperature changes. When the sun is out, we need a lighter duvet so that we can sleep peacefully. When the winds blow colder, a heavier duvet keeps us warm. And, when we find ourselves almost in the...

Everything You Need To Know About Sleep Tracking

   Sleep tracking comes in many shapes and forms, but how do you track your sleep? From DIY wearables and smartphone apps, to the old fashioned way of paper and pen, there are many different ways to follow your sleeping routine. Below, we’ll discuss these methods...

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?  This is caused by your circadian rhythm, but just what is it?   What is a Circadian Rhythm? Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is...

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Every night, each person dreams for ninety minutes, two hours, or more. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep,...

Technology’s Impact on your Sleep

Technology's impact on your sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Technology is everywhere; it has taken over every aspect of our daily lives, and now it’s set its sights on our bedroom. Instead of curling up in bed with a book, many people now opt for...

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Are You a ‘Night Owl’ or a ‘Lark’?

Are You a ‘Night Owl’ or a ‘Lark’?

Your biological clock works on its own – a roughly 24-hour cycle called a circadian rhythm. This is influenced by light and the environment, regulating the clock so that we go to sleep and wake up on the same schedule. This body clock decides your sleep pattern and sleep quality – and it makes you either a Night Owl or a Morning Lark. The body clock can run slightly longer than 24 hours in some people, who go to bed early and wake early. In others, it’ll run slightly less, so people who go to bed late will sleep later in the morning. Therefore, knowing if you’re a night owl or a lark can be helpful in ensuring you get the best sleep.

Scientists believe that people have inherent differences when they sleep and wake best. This is down to individual chronotypes. A chronotype is the time of the day when a person functions their best. So, what you are is partly determined by genetics.

You can read more about circadian rhythm in our article here.

What Are the Sleeping Types?

There are three different sleeping types:

Owls – people who go to bed late and wake up late

Larks – people who go to bed earlier and wake up earlier

Ambivalent – people who can adapt to sleep schedules easily

Improving your sleep can be helped by knowing which type you are. If you try to work against your chronotype, you’ll have a tougher time falling asleep at night and getting up in the morning. You’ll also experience more disturbed sleep. For example, if you’re an owl and decide to go to bed earlier so that you can get more sleep, you could find that, instead, you’re spending an hour lying awake in bed. If you do this over a period of time, your brain will come to associate your bed with being awake. This’ll make sleeping even more difficult. Therefore, finding out if you’re a night owl or lark will help you decide the best sleeping schedule for you.

​Are You a Night Owl?

There are three simple questions to ask yourself to find out if you’re a Night Owl:

  • Do you need to sleep until about 11 a.m. to wake up feeling bright and alert?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep before midnight?
  • Do you fall asleep quickly if you go to bed at 1 a.m. – without feeling excessively sleepy?

If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, then you’re an owl. Night owls feel best and most alert during later hours. They prefer having their main meal late in the day, and typically skip breakfast. Instead, a cup of coffee or tea is their go-to morning meal. However, if they need to get up early, they need an alarm clock to make sure they get up.

Are You a Lark?

There are also three simple questions to ask yourself to find out if you’re a Lark:

  • Do you wake up bright and alert by 6 a.m.?
  • Do you fall asleep easily if you go to bed at 9 p.m.?
  • Do you find it hard to stay up until midnight?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you’re a lark. Larks wake up early and are at their best during the first part of the day. They’ll eat breakfast and will prefer to retire relatively early. Plus, unlike night owls, they’d rather eat a light dinner.

Night Owls are more common than Larks, as humans have an inner clock with a period slightly longer than 24 hours. This causes a tendency to stay up a bit later and wake up later each day. Owl and Lark tendencies are natural and are not considered problems until they cause sleep deprivation or interfere with daily routines.

To avoid sleep deprivation, don’t fight your natural sleep pattern. This is easier for larks, as night owls who have to get up in the morning for work can find it difficult to feel alert during the earlier parts of the day. If you’re a Night Owl who has to get up early for work or other obligations, gradually adjust your sleep schedule so that you are getting your full hours of sleep. Keep consistent bedtimes, avoid caffeine during the afternoon and evening, and get plenty of sunshine as soon you’re up.

Treat Your Dad to A Good Sleep This Father’s Day

From sleep deprived nights after you were born, taking care of you when you were sick, checking for scary monsters under the bed, picking you up from parties when you couldn’t get a real taxi, educating you on the best bands from the 1970s into the early hours of the...

10 Tips For A Good Sleep Before Results Day

You’ve done the hard work – all those months of studying are behind you. After finally being able to close the textbooks and give yourself some peace for a couple of months, you may now be getting worried and nervous: tomorrow, you find out your results. Whether...

Give the Gift of Good Sleep This Mother’s Day

Flowers and chocolates are the go-to choices for how to treat your mother on Mother’s Day. While these are lovely ideas, there is a third option that your mum would love this Mother’s Day – the gift of a good sleep! What Good Does Sleep Do for Your Mum? Every mum...

Sleep Well Before Your Wedding Day

When the wedding day approaches, many brides and grooms may feel excitement bubbling up, as well as stress seeping in. With this mix of anticipation, restless nights can be inevitable. It may be one of the best days of your life, but that doesn’t mean that it will be...

What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning,...

Sleep Talking

After a long, loud day, everyone enjoys the quiet of sleep. However, when the person sleeping next to you starts to mumble or talk, it can be funny at first – and then it becomes frustrating. The person who’s talking in their sleep isn’t aware that they’re doing it,...

Make Getting A Good Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

We’ve all been there. We make a New Year’s resolution, and we’re excited. We’re determined to see it through, to fight our way through January without dropping the new you. And yet, we’ve all let it slip away, bit by bit, until it’s suddenly December and we’re...

Do Lucid Dreams Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Getting a good sleep is important when it comes to our health and wellbeing. However, as lucid dreams can be stimulating or frightening, it’s natural to wonder if they can affect the quality of your sleep. What Is A Lucid Dream? When you sleep, your brain cycles...

Are You a ‘Night Owl’ or a ‘Lark’?

Your biological clock works on its own – a roughly 24-hour cycle called a circadian rhythm. This is influenced by light and the environment, regulating the clock so that we go to sleep and wake up on the same schedule. This body clock decides your sleep pattern and...

Four Reasons We Love Four Seasons Duvets

We all know the struggle of having to get a new duvet when the temperature changes. When the sun is out, we need a lighter duvet so that we can sleep peacefully. When the winds blow colder, a heavier duvet keeps us warm. And, when we find ourselves almost in the...

Everything You Need To Know About Sleep Tracking

   Sleep tracking comes in many shapes and forms, but how do you track your sleep? From DIY wearables and smartphone apps, to the old fashioned way of paper and pen, there are many different ways to follow your sleeping routine. Below, we’ll discuss these methods...

An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?  This is caused by your circadian rhythm, but just what is it?   What is a Circadian Rhythm? Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is...

Our Most Common Dreams & What They Mean

Every night, each person dreams for ninety minutes, two hours, or more. Dreams are stories and images our mind creates while we sleep. They can be vivid and not always tell a simple story, leaving you feeling happy, sad or scared. Dreams happen anytime during sleep,...

Technology’s Impact on your Sleep

Technology's impact on your sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Technology is everywhere; it has taken over every aspect of our daily lives, and now it’s set its sights on our bedroom. Instead of curling up in bed with a book, many people now opt for...

When things heat up in the bedroom

Playing it cool in the bedroom could be the secret of a happy love life. Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide and The Good Sleep Guide For Kids, warns that turning up the heat in the bedroom can be a passion killer. She believes that bedroom temperature is one...

Four Reasons We Love Four Seasons Duvets

Four Reasons We Love Four Seasons Duvets

We all know the struggle of having to get a new duvet when the temperature changes. When the sun is out, we need a lighter duvet so that we can sleep peacefully. When the winds blow colder, a heavier duvet keeps us warm. And, when we find ourselves almost in the middle of winter, we suddenly realise that we need yet another duvet with a high tog so that we don’t shiver in our sleep. Luckily, Four Seasons duvets take away all these worries, and make life much easier. But how, exactly?

1. 3 Togs In 1

A Four Season duvet is three duvets in one. There’s one lighter duvet with a 4.5 Tog, and one heavier duvet with a 9 Tog. You’ll use the lighter duvet for the warmer months, while the heavier duvet is best used when summer cools to autumn. Yet, when winter’s snow falls around us and the cold winds chatter our teeth, you can attach the duvets to make one warm duvet with a 13.5 Tog, which is ideal for winter. You don’t have to be a skilled seamstress to attach or separate them, as they can be combined by their zips, buttons, or Velcro.

2. Save Money

Having a Four Seasons duvet is cost effective, as you’re not buying a third duvet for the winter; you already have one waiting for you!

3. Save Space

With three duvets, two of them will always be taking up much-needed space in your home. With Four Seasons duvets, you’ll only need to roll up one spare duvet when it’s not in use. Plus, during the winter, you won’t have an extra duvet at all, and you can enjoy all that new space!

4. Spare Duvet For Guests

During the warmer months, you’ll always be prepared for any impromptu guests and unexpected visits. You won’t have to rush to get everything sorted, as you’ll already have a duvet waiting. Once you have a duvet, everything else just falls into place, and your guests will enjoy a comfortable, relaxing stay.

Browse our selection of Four Seasons duvets to find the right one for you here.

Treat Your Dad to A Good Sleep This Father’s Day

From sleep deprived nights after you were born, taking care of you when you were sick, checking for scary monsters under the bed, picking you up from parties when you couldn’t get a real taxi, educating you on the best bands from the 1970s into the early hours of the...

10 Tips For A Good Sleep Before Results Day

You’ve done the hard work – all those months of studying are behind you. After finally being able to close the textbooks and give yourself some peace for a couple of months, you may now be getting worried and nervous: tomorrow, you find out your results. Whether...

Give the Gift of Good Sleep This Mother’s Day

Flowers and chocolates are the go-to choices for how to treat your mother on Mother’s Day. While these are lovely ideas, there is a third option that your mum would love this Mother’s Day – the gift of a good sleep! What Good Does Sleep Do for Your Mum? Every mum...

Sleep Well Before Your Wedding Day

When the wedding day approaches, many brides and grooms may feel excitement bubbling up, as well as stress seeping in. With this mix of anticipation, restless nights can be inevitable. It may be one of the best days of your life, but that doesn’t mean that it will be...

What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning,...

Sleep Talking

After a long, loud day, everyone enjoys the quiet of sleep. However, when the person sleeping next to you starts to mumble or talk, it can be funny at first – and then it becomes frustrating. The person who’s talking in their sleep isn’t aware that they’re doing it,...

Everything You Need To Know About Sleep Tracking

Everything You Need To Know About Sleep Tracking

 

 Sleep tracking comes in many shapes and forms, but how do you track your sleep? From DIY wearables and smartphone apps, to the old fashioned way of paper and pen, there are many different ways to follow your sleeping routine. Below, we’ll discuss these methods and the importance of tracking your sleep.

Why should you track your sleep?

Sleep is an important factor for your health. It keeps your immune system balanced, regulates your moods, and helps your body to rest and repair. Getting your forty winks is just as important as eating well, exercising, and making healthy lifestyle choices. So it’s important to keep an eye on how you are sleeping and now, with modern technology, this is open to everyone.

Tracking your sleep helps you ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. If you think you have a sleep disorder though, like sleep apnea, insomnia, or something else, sleep tracking is critical to receiving a proper diagnosis.

Paying attention to your sleep is the first step to enjoying a better sleep.

Sleep tracking wearable devices

Sleep tracking wearable devices often take the form of a small, clippable device you attach to your clothing, or a separate wristband or smartwatch. These devices track other important health facts in addition to sleep, such as your daily step total and heart rate. They provide a more holistic view of your overall health and wellness.

Fitbit

Not only for keeping an eye on your physical fitness, the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR wristbands include automatic sleep tracking.

Automatic sleep tracking will record your sleep and then review your sleep duration in the Fitbit app. You will receive handy sleep insights and can also view the stages of sleep you are reaching each night.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch does not provide sleep tracking on its own, but many sleep tracking apps integrate with it, such as Pillow and Sleep Tracker.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a built-in sleep tracker that logs your sleep. You can activate the option to record REM sleep in its settings. After an update in October 2018, this is set to default. To save on battery life, it is no longer required to set it to monitor your heart rate to track your sleep.

Sleep Tracking Apps

 

Sleep tracking apps are available on your smartphone or tablet. Their convenience makes them incredibly popular, as does their price and ease of use. These apps use your phone’s accelerometer to monitor your breathing and body movements while you sleep. Many also claim to be able to determine what stage of sleep you are in, so they can time your alarm to go off when you are most likely to be in a light stage of sleep (making you less drowsy).

However, sleep tracking apps rely solely on your phone’s accelerometer, and since you make similar movements during deep and light sleep, there’s no way the phone can tell what stage of sleep you’re in. Also, it’s important to note that, if you share the bed with a partner or pet, their movements can interfere with your data

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However, these devices are a useful first step in determining whether you need to see a doctor about a potential sleep problem. Find out more about sleep tracking apps in our article here.

The old fashioned way

If you prefer to keep things tech-free, you can try a sleep diary.

For each day, note the following:

  • When you went to bed
  • When you woke up
  • Total time spent asleep
  • Any naps
  • Other information, such as exercise, diet, energy level, feelings of fatigue, or naps taken

There are many ways to monitor and track your sleep. However, if you think you may have an issue with sleep, get in touch with your doctor as they can best advise the right route for you.

 

 

 

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An Introduction Into Circadian Rhythm

Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day?

 This is caused by your circadian rhythm, but just what is it?

 

What is a Circadian Rhythm?

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

For many, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night. This usually happens somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., when you’re usually fast asleep. Another time this can happen is just after lunchtime (around 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., when you tend to crave an afternoon siesta). These times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness

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What affects my Circadian Rhythm?

A part of your brain called the hypothalamus controls your circadian rhythm. But other factors, like lightness and darkness, can also effect it.

When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm coincides with the cycle of day and night and why it’s so hard for night shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night.

What Could Help Keep My Circadian Rhythm Regular?

Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits. When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a get together that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm. This is why you can feel out of sorts and as if it’s harder to pay attention.

If you find it particularly difficult to rise in the morning, there are helpful products, such as the Lumie Bodyclock that simulate a sunrise to gently wake you from your sleep.

Maybe you are having trouble getting to sleep or want to keep an eye on your nightly sleep pattern. The Beurer SleepExpert Sleep Sensor monitors your sleeping habits, which allows you to identify sleep patterns and take informed measures to tackle them.

Your circadian rhythm will likely change as you get older, and you may not have the same sleep/wake cycle as your partner, child or parents. But the more you pay attention to your body and notice feelings of alertness and drowsiness, and the more time you spend developing good sleeping habits, the better your sleep will be and the more rested you’ll feel.

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