Sleep -Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

Sleep- Are you a gold medalist or a runner up? Do you sleep peacefully or toss and turn all night and wake up grumpy?

Sleep – Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

As a gold medallist do you sleep peacefully or toss and turn all night and wake up grumpy and a runner up?

Are you a gold medalist or a  runner up? Person in bed wide awake at 1 am
Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

As March is National Bed Month, I thought I had better focus some attention on it for you!

It was introduced by the Sleep Council ( who knew they even existed?) and the National Bed Federation. This is an annual event held every March to promote sleep, the importance of a decent bed and of course why it impacts your sleep.

Your bed / mattress can make a huge difference to your sleep.

So are you a gold medallist?

I definitely am not!

A poor runner up would be my classification and a comment like “Must try harder” would be applied!

So let’s dive under the duvet and see what we can learn.

What is sleep?

Sleep is time deliberately spent at rest or inactive.

There are 2 main sleep cycles.

REM – Rapid Eye Movement occurs about 60 -90 minutes after falling asleep, this is when you may your most have vivid dreams.

Non REM – Non Rapid Eye Movement is when deep sleep normally occurs.

By the way we need both types.

Why do we need sleep?

This time allows the body to repair, recycle and clean out unwanted information and waste products.

Doesn’t your body, health and mind deserve to rest in comfort?

A disturbed night doesn’t allow your body to do it’s job properly when you are awake.

How much do we need?

We spend a third of our lives asleep.

Average adults should have 7 – 9 hours

Children 9 -13 hours

Wouldn’t you like to wake up refreshed and full of beans and with a smile that makes people wonder what you have been up to all day long?

Your bed and mattress matter

When did you buy a new mattress?

Did you know you should change your mattress every 7 – 8 years?

On average a mattress is subjected to more than 20,000 hours of wear and tear in its 7 year life*. (*National Bed Foundation)

Remember to include your pillows and duvet in your checks and the base your mattress sits on. They work hard for you too, so check them for wear and tear, support and warmth on a regular basis.

Take the Bed MOT using the link and discover the destiny of your current mattress.

Most bed companies offer trial periods when you buy a new mattress and will usually take the old mattress away on delivery saving you a job.

I know what you are going to say…..

Yes, they are expensive but aren’t you worth a gold medal’s night sleep?

A peaceful / restful night of sleep allows your body to focus on healing itself. The muscles will repair themselves making you stronger and fitter from all the exercise you have done that day.

The brain can do its valuable filing and defragging of the information you have taken in during the day.

The digestive system can get the most out of your nutrition making you healthier.

Your immune system can rest after defending you all day.

Now you can start to see the importance of regular good quality sleep.

The odd bad night here and there is less of an issue. In general, these can be attributed to something you are concerned about before you go to bed.

Now, I have been know to get up in the morning and physically kick the bed in total disgust, hence being a runner up.

However, it was not really the bed’s fault.

Causes of being a runner up

You may not like some of this section.

Too much alcohol or coffee before bedtime. They are both stimulants and their job is to wake you up or keep you awake!

Overuse of digital devices before bed. Again, it is thought the ‘blue light’ emitted can interfere with your sleep rhythm

Eating a large meal before bed. Apart from possibly being uncomfortable, your digestive system will have to work harder, requiring more effort, using more calories and keeping you awake in the process.

Uncomfortable – a survey by the *NBF cited that 21% of people say their bed is uncomfortable.

Top tips to become a gold medallist!

Allow yourself time to unwind before you go to bed. Treat it like a powering down phase in your body. This will give your body time to adjust and slow down before you hit the pillow.

Daily exercise, you don’t have to run a marathon, just move your body, go for a walk, dance around the kitchen, go swimming any activity that you like doing and do it for long enough to get out of breath and raise your heat rate for several minutes.

Go to bed and get up at the same time. This will establish a routine and your body will thank you for it. (I know there are exceptions and it is difficult with shift work and young children for example but try even a couple of nights a week will make a difference.)

Have a warm bath a couple of hours before you go to bed. This will induce sleepy hormones and allow your temperature to lower after the bath.

Check the temperature of your bedroom, ideally it should be about 18 degrees centigrade.

Use a sleep app to help you get to sleep.

Of course regular massage treatments can help too!

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, a good night’s sleep is underrated and we should all try and be better at it.

Haggis doesn’t seem to have a problem with it though!

Dog fast asleep

Let me know what you think, sleep well,


Help Yourself

Sleep – Are you a gold medallist or a runner up?

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