3 Common sleep myths to forget about in quarantine

We’ve all heard that cheese before bed gives you nightmares, alcohol can help you get a better night’s rest, and that we need eight hours of sleep each night, but is this true? In some cases, these claims are little more than old wives’ tales and by following some, you could actually be disrupting your sleep.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the science behind some of the most common sleep myths, so we can put them to bed once and for all.

EATING CHEESE BEFORE BED WILL GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES

It’s perhaps one of the most common sleep myths around, and many people assume that eating cheese before bed can give you a bad night’s rest. But, if you find yourself waking up from dreams of monsters and ghouls, it’s probably down to something other than the full camembert you ate before heading to bed.

This myth was debunked back in 2005, when the British Cheese Board conducted a study to find out if cheese before bed can really cause nightmares. They gave 200 participants 20g of different types of cheese before bed for a period of a week. Overall, 72% of them reported sleeping well each night and, of the 67% who said they could remember their dreams, none of them reported having any nightmares.

Interestingly, this myth does have some merit. The same study found that, although eating cheese didn’t cause bad dreams, there was a correlation between the types of cheese people ate and the content of their dreams. The results showed that:

  • 85% of female participants who ate Stilton reported unusual (but not scary) dreams,
  • 65% of participants who ate Cheddar had dreams about celebrities,
  • Over 65% of participants who ate Red Leicester reported dreaming about their old school days,
  • 100% of female participants who ate British Brie said that they had relaxing dreams, but male participants eating the same cheese reported cryptic dreams,
  • Around 67% of participants who ate Lancashire cheese said they had dreams about work,
  • And over 50% of participants who ate Cheshire cheese said they didn’t dream at all.

While the claim that eating cheese before bed seems to be a myth, there does seem to be a correlation between types of cheese and the content of dreams. None of them seem to be particularly bad, though. So, if you’re experiencing scary dreams, it’s probably down to something other than your love of cheese.

YOU SHOULD TRY TO SLEEP FOR EXACTLY EIGHT HOURS EVERY NIGHT

You’ve probably heard that adults need eight hours of sleep each night to avoid the risk of over or under sleeping. But, is this true?

Research published by the Nature and Science of Sleep concluded that there is no correct number of hours you should sleep for each night, and that the optimum number of hours can vary depending on factors such as your age, health, and lifestyle. For example, high performance athletes should get more hours of sleep each night to account for their energy usage and focus during the day. Therefore, the amount of sleep you should be getting each night depends entirely on who you are. To find out how much sleep you need based on your age, take a look at our handy chart below:

As a general guide, healthy adults should aim to get 7–10 hours of sleep each night. This means, if you find yourself sleeping in for a bit or waking up a little early, you don’t need to worry about getting your full eight hours. Experiment a bit with your sleep times and track how alert you feel each day to find the optimal sleep time for you.

HAVING A DRINK BEFORE BED CAN HELP YOU SLEEP

Some people say that drinking acohol before bed can help you sleep and, although this might feel like the case, a little tipple on a night could actually be giving you a worse quality of sleep. Research conducted by the Sleep Disorders and Research Centre of the Henry Ford Hospital found that, although alcohol helped participants fall asleep quicker, it resulted in lighter sleep and more disruption during the later stages of sleep. This, combined with more frequent toilet trips throughout the night, could cause significant disruption to your rest, and you’ll probably wake up feeling tired in the morning.

So, if you’re thinking of having a glass of wine tonight to help you sleep, you might want to try a cup of warm milk instead.

Sleep First, Then Work

Fisher, Hogan, and Fields (2019) from the Deloitte consultancy group have just published some excellent pointers on how organizations can become sleep-friendly, or what they call a sleep-first-then-work culture.

As most workplaces and organizations these days have necessarily extended their operations globally, we all find ourselves increasingly working late nights or early mornings, thus cutting into sleep schedules. Fisher et al. summarize the deleterious effects of sleep loss on organizational bottom lines. After the long list of the negative health and mental consequences of sleep loss on employees, the authors observe:

“From an organizational perspective, a lack of sleep often has a direct impact on workplace performance. People’s ability to learn, concentrate, and retain information is greatly impacted by how well-rested they are. Insufficient sleep causes individuals to be more emotionally unstable or moody and has been tied to aggression and forgetfulness. Preliminary research also suggests that individuals who lack sufficient sleep are more prone to unethical behavior. These factors can yield negative consequences for organizational teamworkand individual performance.”

The authors also make an excellent point (now a well-established fact among sleep researchers) that REM sleep and dreams significantly promote creativity and innovative forms of thinking. In sum, not only does a lack of sleep negatively affect the productivity and mental health of workers, it inhibits creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Organizations need a well-rested workforce if they are to survive and thrive in the modern, globalized, competitive marketplace.

What can an organization do to become a sleep-first-then-work culture? The authors provide some pretty sensible first steps:

  • Discourage or disable after-hours emails, meetings, and work hours.
  • Provide educational programs on sleep.
  • Create programs that incentivize sleep: “Aetna pays its employees a little more than U.S. $1 for every night they get seven or more hours of sleep. As Aetna’s CEO Mark Bertolini stated, ‘Being present in the workplace and making better decisions has a lot to do with our business fundamentals.’ He explained, ‘You can’t be prepared if you’re half asleep.’ Since implementing the policy, Aetna has measured an uptick in worker productivity by 69 minutes per month”

Tips On Keeping Warm In Bed

There’s certainly a nip in the air and as we hurtle into winter, there’s nothing more comforting than curling up for a long sleep in a warm, cosy bed.

According to one survey around half (49%) the population suffers sleepless nights because of the cold. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed shivering.

With temperatures usually at their lowest in the early hours, many people find that they are sometimes too cold and uncomfortable to be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Here’s some great tips to keep you warm in bed so you get the quality sleep you need:

  • Wear night clothes such as pyjamas or a large T-shirt to keep you warm. Natural fibres such as wool, cotton or silk will keep you warmer than synthetic materials.
  • Get rid of icy toes by putting on a pair of super soft bed socks. The extra layer under the covers can help improve circulation in your extremities, which can help you fall asleep more quickly.
  • Have a warm (not hot!) bath just before you go to bed. This will warm you up and will also help to make you sleepy.
  • Have a warming milky drink.
  • Try to take some exercise, not too close to bedtime, which will get the circulation going and help to keep the body warm.

Bedroom tips to keep warm

It is also worth looking at the bedroom, the bed and the bedding all of which play a part in keeping you insulated in the cold night air.

  • Keep the bedroom warm, but not too hot, and free from draughts. Ideal room temperature is 16-18 degrees Celsius.
  • Avoid a saggy bed. It may be nice to cuddle up for warmth but it can be very uncomfortable and clammy when you are thrown together by a bed that isn’t giving you the correct support.
  • Look for a mattress which has a thicker side for use during the winter. A soft sleeping surface is a better insulator than a flat one. Use a fleecy underblanket to retain the heat.
  • Choose a duvet with a high tog rating or use several layers of bedding rather than one single layer. Layers will trap warm air and are easily removed if you get too hot.
  • An old-fashioned hot water bottle is still one of the most effective ways to keep warm once in bed. Make sure it has a cover on it to avoid scalding and also so that it won’t feel cold in the middle of the night.
  • Electric blankets or duvets are ideal for adding some extra heat to the bed. Underblankets will pre-heat the bed while overblankets maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.

10 Ways to Improve Your Sleep By Mattressshop.ie

1. Make Your Bed Every Morning

Set a goal to make your bed each morning to create a relaxing bedroom for the night ahead

2. Measure Sleep With A Sleep App

Do you know exactly how much sleep your getting? If you’re a tech-savvy sleeper, you can use sleep apps paired up with the Sleeptracker app to monitor the quantity and quality of your sleep.

3. Rearrange Your Schedule

Make a lifestyle change by going to bed one hour earlier for one week. Then, document your diet, work productivity and exercise to see how it’s impacted.

4. Start A Mattress Savings Fund

If your mattress is 7 year old it may be a good time to buy a new mattress online.

5. Buy An Alarm Clock And Keep Your Phone In Another Room

The proximity of smartphones to the bed can disrupt sleep, even if it doesn’t make any noise during the night. Replace your phone alarm with an alarm clock, and be sure to leave your phone in another room.

6. Replace Caffeine With Water After Lunch

Stay hydrated and limit caffeine intake after lunch. We may not realize it, but caffeine can have longer-lasting effects than expected.

7. Turn Off The TV And Blue Screens Before Bed

Help your body prepare for a restful night of sleep by mellowing out at least one hour before bedtime. That means no TV, tablets or smartphones!

8. Keep A Worry Journal

Before going to bed, write down all the things that are causing you stress or anxiety to ease any tension.

9. Take 20- to 30-Minute Naps

Had a bad night’s sleep? Aim for short naps to help improve alertness.

10. Only Hit Snooze Once

Strive for uninterrupted sleep! Set your alarm for the latest setting you can to still wake up on time.

Explore the bedroom below to find out what can help or hinder your sleep.

SLEEP MATTERS!

Sleep may be the last thing on your mind but here are some reasons why you should give it a little more thought:

 The right amount of sleep will make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

 Sleep deprivation can make it hard to concentrate and remember things – the last thing you need when you are in an exam situation!

 You are more likely to feel down when you are tired.

 Growth hormones are released when you are asleep.

 Getting a good night’s sleep can help you to cope better with the stress of life such as exams, parents and relationships.

 Lack of sleep can cause havoc with your skin and result in spots and pimples.

 Learning to drive is great but driving when sleep deprived is seriously dangerous.

 Bedtime routines aren’t just for young kids! Everyone benefits from having a routine in the run up to bedtime – even your parents.

 Try to do the same things at around the same time each night so that your body has time to prepare for sleep and relax.

WHY IS SLEEP SO DIFFICULT?

Do you find nodding off hard work? If you struggle to stop your brain going round at 100 miles an hour, here are a few possible reasons why:

 Your body clock alters in your teen years which means that waking and sleeping times get later and later. You will probably find that you prefer to stay up late at night but struggle to get up in the morning. This is normal. Getting into a good routine can help with this.

 According to some research using “screens” before you go to bed can double the length of time it takes you to fall asleep as it suppresses the production of your sleep hormone, melatonin. Ditch your phone, tablet or Xbox in the hour leading up to you bedtime.

 The school day may start early for you which means that you have to get up before your body has had enough sleep. However being overtired makes it even more difficult to fall asleep. Unfortunately we can’t change the time that school starts but what you can do is have a regular sleep and wake up time to help your body to cope better with the early mornings.

 Your diet may impact on your night time sleep. Fuelling yourself with energy drinks can mean it is harder to nod off. Likewise reaching for sugary snacks to give you that much needed energy boost can increase the chance of a restless night. And not getting right the amount of sleep can make you gain weight.

 You may be feeling stressed with exams looming. It is really important to share your worries with somebody or even write down any concerns. Try to find ways of relaxing in the evening.

 You may be uncomfortable and this makes falling asleep more difficult. Is your mattress and pillows providing you with enough support? Is your bedding comfortable? If not, it’s important to let your parents know.

The Best Present This Mother’s Day: Sleep!

Flowers and chocolates are perfectly reasonable presents but ask most over-worked, sleep deprived mums what they would like for Mother’s Day and I can safely say a good night’s sleep and a lie-in would be the preferred option!

Let’s face it, you’ve probably been giving your mum sleeplessness nights since you were born so this is the perfect opportunity to give back what you’ve taken from her!

Every mum deserves a day of pure relaxation and indulgence on Mother’s Day and the ultimate treat has to start in the morning with a nice long lie-in (no early morning wake up calls please!) in a comfortable, snuggly bed, swiftly followed by breakfast in bed.

And a good night’s sleep does work its magic on skin, mood and energy levels.

Instead of splashing out on an expensive new face cream, getting some uninterrupted zzz’s will have a similar effect for the best woman in your life – brighter eyes and skin as our bodies go into repair mode overnight, regenerating skin, blood and brain cells, as well as muscles.

From all of us here, Happy Mother’s Day!

Saying Goodbye to Your Old Mattress

When you’re done with a mattress it’s tempting to try to find another use for it. Handing it down to your kids, putting it in your guest room, selling it on Donedeal, or donating it to a charity might seem like good options. But while this seems savvy, it’s actually a bad idea. If a mattress is no longer good enough for you to use, it’s not good enough for anyone else. In particular, old mattresses are harmful for children, whose active, developing bodies require the support of a good-quality mattress.

A Proper Send-Off

We’ve all seen mattresses that have been improperly disposed of. Mattresses don’t belong on the side of the road, in the bottom of a lake or in the middle of a field. Your mattress did a good job for you for many years and now it’s your turn to take care of it. Dispose of your mattress in a safe and responsible way:

  • Ask the store where you bought your new mattress to pick up your old set when they deliver the new one. Most retailers routinely offer mattress pick-up and disposal service as part of the purchase price or for a small fee.
  • Call your local  garbage collector or Local Council . They usually have provisions for picking up larger items.

Sharing a bed is still Popular

Two years after we last asked the question ‘Do you sleep in the same bed as your partner?’ as part of our monthly poll series, it was reassuring to see that the statistics had barely changed – and yes we do still enjoy sharing the bed with our partner!

feb-poll-results
Just over half (51%) still snuggle up to each other in bed (47% in Feb 2015). Good news as sleeping with your partner can actually benefit your health and increase the odds of your having a longer lifespan. This is because people tend to feel more secure and safe when in a relationship, decreasing the levels of stress hormones and increasing oxytocin, the love hormone – leading to less interrupted sleep.

However bear in mind that around 50% of sleep disturbance is caused by sharing a bed with your partner. If you find your sleep is disrupted on a regular basis by a snoring partner, a duvet hogger and a bed companion who frequently tosses and turns it may be worth considering a larger bed or even separate bedrooms.

5 Alarming Signs That You Are Suffering From Insomnia

Sleep is critical for a healthy and happy wellbeing of any and all individuals. Let it be an infant or a working adult or an elder, sleeping is a miraculous transformation from being conscious to sub-conscious state. After a good night’s sleep on memory foam mattress, you are all set to go for another day. But, unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to enjoy a good night’s sleep each night.

It should not ring any alarm if you skip quality sleep just for one night, but if it keeps happening over and over again, then you might be dealing with insomnia. This is the medical conditions, where an individual repeatedly fails to get adequate sleep needed for maintaining normal body function.

Here are 5 signs that you might be dealing with insomnia

  1. Difficulty falling asleep

The encounter the first sign of insomnia is when you are unable to sleep in one go at night. Ideally you should be able to sleep after the entire day’s exertion, without any external help.

Difficulty in Sleeping - Mattress Shop Online

  1. Difficulty waking up

Insomnia is often calibrated only in one aspect, but failing to get up in proper time is also an indication that your body is not getting adequate rest during night. Ideally you should wake up after having a sleep of 7 to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.

Difficulty in Waking Up - Mattress Shop Online

  1. Depending on other substance

If under any circumstances, you need sleeping pills to help you sleep, most probably you are dealing with insomnia.

Depending on other substance - Mattress Shop Ireland

  1. Laziness during day

If you are feeling lethargic throughout the day, this might be another symptom of the same. People often describe it as feeling similar as malaise while falling sick. Prolong drowsiness throughout the day, often leads to poor performance in both work environment and social gathering.

Laziness during day - Mattress Shop Online

  1. Feeling irritated and mood swings

If you are missing out daily dosage of sleep for quite a long time, then you are more likely to be irritated throughout the day and encounter terrible mood swings. You become highly vulnerable to getting angry easily and falling into the trap of depression.

Feeling irritated and mood swings - Mattress Shop

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, especially if are feeling tired noticeably night after night. Chances are high that either you are suffering from insomnia or you are sleeping on the wrong type of mattress. For better sleep, try a memory foam mattress, which provides adequate support to your spine and helps you to sleep better.

What Is The Ideal Time For You To Tuck Into Bed?

As rightly said by Dalai Lama, “Sleep is the best meditation”. How can anyone deny the pleasure a complete sleep provides us? A full night’s sleep is the key of doing everyday works and plays a crucial role in shaping our lives. But what is the ideal time for you to sleep each night to get a full night’s sleep? Well, everyone has a unique need for sleep, depending upon your work life and the mattress and beds you sleep upon.

Getting quality sleep is essential for a healthy body, sound mind and clearly, on our moods as well. On an average, each sleep cycle comprises of 90 minutes and you are likely to have five of these cycles in each night. Simple Mathematics will show a total of seven and a half to eight hours of sleep is ideal.

Ideal Sleeping time - Mattress Shop Ireland

Coming back to the topic, regarding the best time to tuck in, how early or late should how get ready for bed? We recommend 10 p.m., but, no further than 11 p.m. The prime reason for the same is- one hour of sleep before the midnight almost accounts for two hours of sleep, which means you get more benefits by sleeping early. Similarly, the best time to get out of bed is between 5:30 to 6:30 a.m.

One simple way to find out the right time to tuck in bed is by back calculating from the time of waking up. For instance, if you get up at 6:30, count 7.5 hours back and sleep by 11 p.m. if you find it difficult to change your bedtime all of a sudden, we recommend you to follow this new bedtime for about 10 nights in a row and you will be surprised to find that your body will begin to adapt this new schedule automatically.

Ideal Sleeping time - Mattress Shop in Ireland

Many of you might find it difficult to resist the temptation to go back to sleep after waking up early. One small trick for it- go straight to the sunlight and be there for 10 -15 minutes. Do the first thing under sunlight. Let be reading newspaper or sipping hot coffee or simply soak in it. You will find that sunlight will help adjusting your circadian clock.

We, at Mattress Shop understands that, due to your work schedules and other engagements, often it becomes challenging to adhere to your sleep schedule. Thus, we offer quality mattress and beds for you to experience quality sleep throughout the time you sleep.