Preparations for a good night''s sleep
Individuals keen to achieve a sound and restful night's sleep in their own bed have been advised of a number of simple tips that could see them drop off to sleep in no time.
The latest blog post from the Sleep Council highlighted an array of methods that can help the body prepare for rest.
It noted the simplest of things can include enjoying a hot bath before getting ready for bed
- as this will raise the core body temperature and help people to feel cool as they are dropping off to sleep.
A glass of warm milk or herbal tea can also be a good option for those hoping to make themselves that little bit drowsier before bedtime. However, drinks that have any amount of caffeine or other stimulants in them should be avoided.
Getting into a happy and relaxed frame of mind will also help individuals to get a better night's rest, as taking the time to de-stress and unwind from the rigours of the day can ensure a deeper and more untroubled sleep.
People who find it difficult to relax are advised to imagine themselves lying on a warm beach, surrounded by soft sand and the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore, lying with their eyes closed and allowing all their troubles to melt away.
Individuals are then advised to tense their toes for a few seconds and then release them, repeating this action as they slowly move up their body, from their calves, to thighs, bottom, arms and shoulders.
This repetitive stretching and relaxation of the muscles will help to relieve stress and allow people to drift off easily into a calm and relaxed night's sleep.
Research carried out by Dr Chris Idzikowski on behalf of the Sleep Council recently showed that Brits should be changing their beds every seven years and their mattresses
more often in order to ensure they continue to receive the proper levels of support and comfort when sleeping.
The study showed that people who regularly suffer from back problems could see a 63 per cent improvement in their symptoms simply by upgrading their bed or mattress to a newer model.
Meanwhile, those who sleep with a partner may be disturbed during the night by snoring - an issue that impacts on the ability of millions of people across the UK to achieve a proper night's rest.
As a result, Premier Inn carried out a study as part of National Stop Snoring Week to ascertain the true extent of the problem and found that of 2,000 couples interviewed, 20 per cent said one partner kept the other awake regularly with their snoring.
On average, partners lost two hours of sleep per night because of this problem, while a fifth of snorers themselves claimed they woke up at least once a week through their own heavy breathing.
Claire Haigh, Premier Inn spokeswoman, commented: "People suffer from snoring to varying degrees and the research shows how something like snoring can impact on our day-to-day lives, especially if one person in the relationship is missing out on much-needed sleep."
In order to tackle the issue, sufferers are advised to sleep on their front, as this allows a greater opening of the upper airways and can reduce the severity of bouts of snoring.
Other positions that have similar benefits include sleeping on your side, as this too provides easier breathing than sleeping on one's back, while at the same time it helps to elongate the spine and could be beneficial to individuals who suffer from aches and pains of the back throughout the day.
Posted by Michael Ewing