Now, more than ever, we’re all struggling to get our recommend seven to nine hours of sleep.
Around six out of every ten Brits struggles to get a good night’s kip, with everything from gadgets to kids to stress being blamed.
Not only does getting the right amount of sleep prevent you from dragging yourself round the office still half asleep, but it also has a surprising range of health benefits, including helping us lose weight and improve our memories.
But while it’s quite clear we all need more sleep, actually doing it is another matter. So if you suffer from any of these popular sleep problems, how about trying some of these science-approved methods?
Probably the most common problem people face is actually getting off to sleep in the first place.
While it’s quite straightforward, to avoid coffee at night, you’d be surprised at how many people need their caffeine fix late at night.
Of course, caffeine is a stimulant, and is only going to keep you awake, so make sure you cut it out at least a couple of hours before heading to bed.
Electronic gadgets such as phones and tablets are also a big barrier to sleep as they expose you to blue light which affects your melatonin and tricking your body clock into thinking it’s still daytime, so knock these on the head too!
Struggling To Stay Asleep
One of the most common reasons people wake up during the night is after drinking alcohol.
This is because alcohol reduces your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which the most restorative stage of sleep, where we dream the most.
While a nightcap might help you nod off, it’s only likely to make you wake up later on, and the more you drink, the worse the effects will be.
It’s also a good idea to keep your room at a stable temperature of somewhere between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.
This is because your body temperature needs to lower to initiate sleep.
Struggling To Get Up
It’s one that we all struggle with, but the fact is that the only way to really get yourself up in the morning is to get into a regular routine and stick to it.
This is because it maintains the timing of your body’s circadian rhythm (body clock). This means that your body will automatically know when to wake up, essentially acting as its own alarm clock.
It can also help to improve the quality of your sleep as well!
Sleeping on your side is a good way to try and stop snoring as it means that the base of your tongue is unlikely to collapse into the back of your throat, which obstructs your breathing.
Having said this, it will only work for certain snorers, as for some, the sleep position isn’t the root of the problem.
Something else you can try is clearing out your sinuses with saline before bed, as this helps with the nasal congestion that can cause snoring.
The best thing to do if you suffer from acid reflux is obviously to speak to your doctor as they can help you out with some medication.
However, another tip which we would have is to sleep on your left side on an elevated pillow.
The gravity from sleeping in an elevated position keeps the stomach’s contents where they belong.
As for why sleeping on the left is better than the right, the truth is that scientists aren’t actually sure, but one hypothesis states that the sleeping on your right relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.
There are a couple of steps you can take to alleviate the pain from night-time leg cramps.
It all depends on the individual but we recommend stretching or massaging the muscle, or applying heat to the affected area.
For neck pain, we recommend changing your pillows at least once every two years.
We would also recommend our range of memory foam pillows which mould to fit the contours of your neck and body, giving unrivalled support and ensuring that your neck and spine are in a ‘neutral alignment’.
If it’s your shoulder that gives you grief, we don’t recommend sleeping on your side, as this will only aggravate the pain.
If the pain is only on one side, then it might be ok to just sleep on the opposite side. Another tip is to hug a pillow to give it that extra bit of support.