Get the Ultimate Night's Sleep With Our Sleep Expert's Top Tips
Sleep plays a fundamental role in supporting our overall health and well-being. It allows us to function at our peak performance, enhancing our brain cognition, concentration levels and even our metabolism and immune system. Yet recent studies reveal that 1 in 3 adults experience trouble sleeping or don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night.
So what can we do to remedy this and improve our sleep quality once and for all?
From updating your mattress to controlling light exposure in your room, in this guide, we share some of our sleep expert’s top tips on how to achieve a blissful night’s sleep, night after night.
Keep Your Bedroom At A Cooler Temperature
The temperature of your bedroom can have a significant impact on your quality of sleep. According to research from the National Sleep Foundation, a colder room temperature was one of the most important factors in getting a good night's sleep. Our basal body temperature naturally dips slightly in the evening, so turning your thermostat down at night can help to send a signal to your brain that it’s time to prepare for sleep.
The recommended optimum temperature for a comfortable night’s sleep is anything between 16 and 18°C - so if you’re someone who typically likes to get as toasty as possible before bed, simply lowering your thermostat could instantly help you to achieve a better night’s sleep.
Consider Your Choice Of Bedding
With cooler temperatures in mind, your choice of bedding can also be integral to the quality of your sleep. Overheating during the night is one of the main culprits of a restless night’s sleep, so considering lighter thread counts and duvet togs can help to combat this.
It’s also important to take seasonality into account when it comes to selecting the optimum bedding to align with the current climate outside. Choosing season-appropriate bedding will help to promote uninterrupted sleep. For example, opting for a breathable fabric option, such as cotton bedding, will help to ensure a cool and comfortable night’s sleep throughout warmer months, due to cotton’s temperature-regulating properties. If you find it’s too warm for a duvet during the summer, simply using a soft bed throw can be a cooler alternative that still keeps you comfortable.
Ensure Your Room Is Dark Enough
It is recommended that adults should get approximately around 7-8 hours of good-quality sleep per night and this is partially determined by our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is the name we refer to for our internal body clock, which is ultimately controlled by light exposure. When it gets dark, this sends signals to our brain to begin releasing the sleep hormone melatonin, which triggers tiredness and tells us that it’s time to prepare for bed. On the flip side, increased exposure to sunlight throughout the day makes us feel alert, helping to improve focus and eliminate brain fog.
Similarly, when light floods the room in the early morning hours, it can significantly disrupt our sleeping pattern, causing us to wake suddenly and abruptly. Recent sleep studies reveal that waking slowly and naturally, from a lighter stage of sleep, has a positive effect on our daily productivity levels. Installing some high-quality curtains or blinds is an easy way to help prevent this problem from occurring. These will block out any morning sunbeams, allowing you to wake at the natural time your internal body clock is used to.
Top tip: if you're travelling, be sure to pack a comfortable eye mask to block out the light. This will help you to achieve the same level of blissfully uninterrupted sleep while you’re away from home.
Invest In A New Mattress
If you frequently wake up in the morning noticing aches and pains or stiffness in your body, this could be a sign that it’s time for a new mattress. Finding the right mattress to support you through the night is integral to healthy sleep cycles, as well as promoting proper posture and alignment. Old mattresses tend to bow in the middle where our weight typically lies. Continued sleep on an old mattress that’s lost its spring can lead to ongoing health problems over time.
Replacing your mattress with a new model will help to alleviate muscular pain due to lack of support. According to the experts at the Sleep Foundation, it’s advised that you should change your mattress every 6-8 years. If it’s not been this long yet but you’d still like to try something new to mix up your usual sleeping arrangement, investing in a high-quality mattress topper could be a speedy solution to a better night’s sleep.
Change Your Pillow Arrangement
It’s estimated that between 10% of UK adults experience neck pain, and in many cases, it could be our pillow arrangement that is to blame. While sleep experts typically recommend using only one pillow, the position you adopt the most when sleeping can also factor into your pillow choice.
Here’s a breakdown of what pillows are suitable for some of the most common UK sleeping positions:
Firmer pillows with a higher depth are often preferred by those who sleep on their side. Memory foam makes a great option for this sleeper, due to providing a supportive cradle for the head and neck, which starts high but levels out over time to prevent any stiffness.
Those who primarily sleep on their back often do well with a pillow of medium firmness and depth that is just thick enough to keep the neck and spine perfectly aligned when lying flat.
Sleeping on your stomach tends to leave the neck either significantly raised or pushed to the left or right side to allow for comfortable breathing. Due to this, stomach sleepers are advised to opt for a very thin, soft pillow, to prevent repetitive neck pain. Sleeping without any pillow at all can also be a healthy option for stomach sleepers and this helps to keep the spine as aligned as possible.
If you’d like more advice on changing your current pillow arrangement, check out our Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Right Pillow.
Discover More Sleep Expert Tips From DUSK
If you’d like to find out more information on tips and tricks to achieve a blissful night’s sleep, head over to the DUSK Inspiration page where you can find many more blogs and guides on sleep health to help you improve your nightly slumber.