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!
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.
At Christmas it can be extremely hard trying to maintain a good sleep routine.
If we’re not socialising and going to parties, we’re over indulging on food and drink or worrying about presents and what time the turkey needs to go in the oven!
Here’s our top tips to stay on top of your sleep and make it through the festive season awake and alert.
1. Stick to Routine Try as much as possible to keep regular sleeping hours – we know it can be hard when you’re staying up late for Santa, but going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time, all the time, will programme your body to sleep better. Also, regular, moderate exercise such as swimming or walking can help relieve the day’s stresses and strains. But not too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. A good brisk walk is ideal to stop you feeling sluggish after a hefty Christmas dinner!
2. Create a Restful Environment Keep the Christmas decorations to the other parts of your home – your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep and it should be neither too hot, nor too cold; and as quiet and dark as possible. It might also be handy to keep some ear plugs handy to block out the sound of your partner’s alcohol or feast-induced snoring!
3. A Comfy Bed Make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. It should be as big as possible so avoid partner disturbance. Perhaps a new bed should be on your Christmas present list!
4. Don’t Over-Indulge Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, can play havoc with sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night. It is hard in the party period but try to swap to water a couple of hours before bedtime.
5. Make Time for ‘Me’ Time Try to relax and insist on some ‘me time’ before going to bed. Have a warm bath, listen to some quiet music or do some yoga – these all help to relax both the mind and body. It’s also important to resolve arguments before bed. Ongoing conflicts are not conducive to putting you in the right frame of mind for sleep!
Most of the thing around us does not happen just randomly, instead follows a pattern, including sleep. Yes, you may or may not be aware of it, since you remains so indulge in sleep, while sleeping on orthopedic mattress. So, now that we have your attention, let’s discuss the different stages of sleep.
Even though you remains in a trans-state during your ZZZs state, a lot happens in your body. It switches between sleep cycles namely, REM and non-REM. So, what is this REM, Rapid Eye Movement for sure, but what does it mean? You are about to find it out. But let’s discuss the non-REM first.
The sleep cycle
The sleep is first initiated with Non-REM and then followed by a shorter period of REM, when one cycle, the cycle starts over again.
It comprises of three stages, where each of them usually lasts for about 5 to 15 minutes. You go through every stage before you finally reach to REM sleep. While you are in NREM cycle, your body repairs and heals, along with building muscle and bones and strengthening the immune system. Sleeping on a right orthopedic mattress, helps you even more to repair your back aches.
Stage 1– After you lay down and close your eyes, this stage initiates and can last between 5 to 10 minutes. Even though, you have started sleeping, you can get back to being fully awake in a matter of seconds. It can be distinguished by experiencing ‘hypnic jerk’, a feeling of falling from a height and suddenly jerking awake in bed. The blood pressure decreases along with slowing the breathing in this stage.
Stage 2– It usually last for about 20 minutes, and can be distinguished by slower heartbeat and lower body temperature. Your body is experiencing a light sleep and limits its activities, getting ready for a heavy sleep. As your brain begins to emit waves with larger wavelength, it becomes more difficult to wake you up. We spend almost 45 percent of the entire sleep duration in stage 2.
Stage 3– It is the deep sleep stage and initiates after 35 to 40 minutes of sleep. Your body stops responding to external disturbance and it becomes even more difficult to wake you up. Even if someone does, you are likely to feel disoriented for a few moments. At this stage the REM takes over gradually.
REM is characterized by your eyes move rapidly in various directions, which does not happen in the previous cycle. This is the stage, when you dream. The first episode of REM last mere for 10 minutes, but as you keep sleeping, eventually, the REM span gets longer up to an hour. It lasts only about 20 percent of the entire sleep duration.
The three basic needs without which we cannot survive is food, clothes and shelter. The fourth element would be ‘sleep’. No matter how happy and cheerful we may be throughout the day, we need sleep to complete the night. Similarly no matter how busy or tiring we be each day, the sleep we get each night on mattress in Ireland is what let us carry on. There are several aspects correlated with sleep, and one of the most important aspect is the amount of sleep required.
As already mentioned, the role of sleep is irreplaceable and in a vital parameter of our health and overall wellbeing, so much that we almost spend one third of our life on sleeping. But how much sleep is required by our body to re energize? Ideally our cardinal clock tells us when to sleep and when to wake up being respective of sunset and sunrise. Some people say that we need eight hours of sleep daily to meet our bodily requirements. But in reality this does not hold true and is subjected to change from person to person. The quality of sleep, the lifestyle, the stress in workplace, the sleeping posture and the type of mattress in Ireland all plays crucial role to determine the ideal amount of sleep one need each night.
In today’s world we are surrounded with several electronic gadgets such as mobile phone, video games, addiction to social networking etc lead us to a huge exposure to artificial light which disrupt our sleep cycle. Some energy drinks and caffeine products also mess with our sleeping pattern and these may come handy when you are occasionally trying to stay awake such as while driving at night or preparing for examination. However a regular use of such products can cause serious trouble while sleeping.
The ideal sleep ranges for a person based on their age is as follows-
Newborn (less than 3 months)- between 14 to 17 hours.
Infants (between 4 to less than a year)- narrows down to 12 to 15 hours
Toddlers (aged 1 to 2 years)- between 11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers (aged 3 to 5 years)- narrows down to 10 to 13 hours
School children (aged 6 to 13)- to accommodate school hours, sleeping reduces to 9 to 11 hours.
Teenagers (between 14 to 17)- reduces further to 8 to 10 hours
Young adults (between 18 to 25)- between 7 to 9 hours
Adults (between 24 to 64)- it remains same i.e between 7 to 9 hours
Elders (more than 65)- it reduces by one hour i.e 7 to 8 hours.
Sleeping may seems like the most natural and easiest thing, because even babies manage to do it all the times, but the science behind sleep can be quite complicated. Not getting adequate amount of sleep can cause zombie walking in the morning followed by fatigue the entire next day. Three things plays important role in it- Sleeping for right amount of hours, sleeping in the right mattress in Ireland and sleeping in the right position. Lets understand the last part- sleeping positions.
Diabetes, obesity, heartburn and dementia all can find its way to your body if you fail to get quality sleep for quite a long time. And your sleeping position can play significant role in it. There are three most common sleeping position and we will find out pros and cons of each of these.
Advantages – If you are a back sleeper, you are more likely to have a straight spine as it does not put any extra strain on it. It is actually a boon for spine and neck, as it allows the neck to be in neutral position. Sleeping on the suitable mattress in Ireland can also provide additional support to your body weight.
Disadvantages – If you are back sleeper, if are more susceptible to experience snoring and suffer from sleep apnea. The reason being, your tongue gets backward resulting in blockage the passage of air and thereby inducing sleep apnea.
Advantage– This is considered as the most favourable sleeping positions. In fact the doctors advice to sleep on side especially during pregnancy and as a remedy if your are suffering from persistent snoring. It is also beneficial if you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn and help to sooth it.
Disadvantage– Sleeping on particularly one side can exert too much pressure of stomach and lungs. If your weight is more than ideal, side sleeping can induce arm numbness because all your body weight is now resting on only one side of the body.
Advantages – If you are suffering from sleep apnea and loud snoring, then sleeping on your stomach can ease and eliminate it in practically no time.
Disadvantages – Sleeping on your belly for a long time can bend the natural shape of the spine and thus in a long run can cause severe back injury. Also, you are bound to move your head on either side of the pillow in order to breath, thus it also injures your neck.
There is no denying that sleep sounds like a relief after a hectic schedule. Those 6 to 8 hours sleep a day is what allow us to deal with everyday stress. As we grow up, our love for sleep grows more and more and we fall in love with beds in Ireland. Ideally our sleeping duration is supposed to relax our body and rejuvenate us, but sleeping in the wrong posture can result in stressing the body even more.
You fill find lots of people who sleep on their stomach, but can it cause any trouble or help to sleep better, let’s find out.
Let’s start with spine
Several stomach sleepers experience some sort of pain, either in neck, joints or back. The magnitude of this pain can affect the quality of sleep and thus can result in fatigue and restlessness during the day. Several studies suggest that sleeping on your stomach can strain your back, especially your spine. The prime reason being the fact that most of the body weight lies in the middle portion of the body, i.e around the spine. Sleeping on the stomach makes it difficult to uphold the neutral position of spine while sleeping. Thus the stress on spine increases significantly. Since the spine is the main controlling head of the nervous system, several body parts feel numb after waking up.
Then comes the neck
Since you cannot breath across your pillow, you need to turn your head to either side of the pillow. This results in twisting and misalignment of the neck with the spine. You are less likely to feel any major change after a single night sleep or for a while as that matter of fact, but after a period of time, you are more likely to notice the strained neck and eventually result in major neck injury. A portion of neck called the herniated disk gets jammed after a long period of sleeping on belly and can cause rupture of a gel like substance and can result in severe damage in long run.
Dealing with the snores
The only benefits you can get from sleeping on your stomach is significant diminishing of snoring and sleep apnea.
Extra caution for would-be-moms
When you are eating for two, remember to get adequate sleep for proper growth and development of the baby. Also avoid sleeping on belly at all cost as it can cause some serious trouble for your little one. Moreover while sleeping on back, your baby does not get squeeze between your belly and your bed and thus gets adequate room to stay comfortably.
On the back of our ‘Maybe time for a new mattress campaign’ which ran throughout nov we wanted to find out “when you last bought a mattress, what did you buy?”
And here are the results:
A third of you will buy a mattress with a divan base and nearly a quarter bought with a frame. It was reassuring to see that just over half of you do buy a mattress with some kind of base but nearly a third (30%) buy just a mattress.
When buying a new bed it can be false economy to change only the mattress and keep the original base, especially if you are buying a divan set. The old base could reduce the useful life of the new mattress as well as the comfort and support it can offer. It can also invalidate manufacturers’ warranties or guarantees. A bed is a mattress and a base working together – don’t consider them in isolation.
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.
Have a warm bath just before you go to bed. This will gently warm and relax you to help you feel sleepy.
Have a warming, milky drink.
Try to take some exercise which will get the circulation going to help keep the body warm – but don’t do vigorous exercise too close to bed time as you may feel too invigorated to sleep.
Keep the bedroom warm, but not too hot, and free from draughts.
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.
A hot water bottle is an ideal way 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 are ideal. Underblankets will warm the bed up before you retire for the night, while overblankets maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.
Sleep is the mysterious shift in consciousness that our bodies require every day. It’s vital for our health and wellbeing, and not only do we function less well when we don’t get enough quality sleep, but it can lead to long-term health problems. That’s why we need to do all that we can to ensure that we enjoy quality sleep and deal with any sleep problems.
The Sleep Cycle
During sleep our heart rate drops, our body temperature falls and we experience complex changes in brain activity. An EEG (electroencephalogram) gives us an insight into the brains electrical activity when we sleep:
When we first fall asleep we enter non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. NREM is divided into three stages: – NREM1 – NREM2 and – NREM3, each stage becoming progressively ‘deeper’.
Stages 1 and 2 are light stages of sleep from which we can be easily roused.
Stage 3 is a deeper stage of sleep from which we’re more difficult to rouse, and some may feel disorientated if woken from this stage of sleep.
Generally, after going through the NREM stages, we enter stage 4 which is known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which the EEG shows as being similar to wakefulness or drowsiness. It is during the REM stage of sleep that we dream.
Each cycle lasts around 1½ hours and we need to experience all four stages in order to wake up rested.
A good night’s sleep consists of five or six cycles, whereas disturbed sleep consists of far fewer.
Sleep is largely controlled by sleep pressure, and the circadian rhythm, or our body clock, which is a 24 hour cycle that regulates all our biological and physiological processes. It anticipates environmental changes around us so that our bodies can adapt to them.
In ideal situations, the circadian rhythm will naturally rise in the early morning, promoting wakefulness and alertness, and will reach a peak in the evening. After a waking period of around 15 hours the pressure to sleep becomes greater and greater, in other words, we get tired. With the onset of darkness, the circadian rhythm drops to the lowest level and helps to maintain sleep.
To ensure you experience good sleep it’s essential to follow good lifestyle habits and to eliminate the factors that are causing you disturbed sleep. For example making sure that your bedroom is the right environment, looking at the lighting in your home, and avoiding foods and drinks that can hinder sleep.
When the clocks change it can be a nightmare for parents. Children’s bedtimes and wake times change and it can take anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to get back in sync. Here are some top tips on how to overcome some of the problems of the clocks going back an hour on Sunday 30th October.
• Delay the start of your child’s bedtime routine, at least a week before the clocks change. Aim for around 10 – 15 minutes earlier every few days until bedtime has moved by an hour. Don’t worry if they still wake at the same time in the morning, it takes a couple of days to establish a new sleep pattern. Hopefully by the time the clocks go back on Sunday 30th, your child will have adjusted to the clock change.
• Toddlers still having a nap in the day should be encouraged to take the nap later or to be slightly longer so that they are able to go to bed that little bit later. Alter babies’ naps in the day.
• During the day before the clocks change, keep young children active – lots of fresh air and exercise – so they sleep well. But don’t totally wear them out as over-tired children are harder to get to sleep.
• If they wake up at their usual time you should encourage them to remain in bed – half an hour is probably your limit! If you don’t already have them, black out blinds or really dense curtains will help to keep morning light out.
• You may be gaining an hour but don’t go to bed an hour later than usual as chances are you won’t get the opportunity to lie-in!
It is worth noting that children with good sleep routines tend to cope better with the changes in time as they know what to expect at the end of the day. A good bedtime routine – teatime, followed by quiet play, bath, story and bed is typical. Ensure the environment is right for sleep – it should be cool, quiet and dark and make sure the bed is comfortable and supportive.