The clocks go back on Sunday in preparation for Autumn/Winter, so we can all look forward to a guilt-free extra hour in bed. National Sleep-in Day is the perfect excuse for a lie-in, something us Brits find tricky to do according to our research...
Our study of over 2,000 people, revealed that nearly half of Britons (44%) don't actually enjoy a lie-in, even at the weekends. What's more, three quarters (79%) of us have admitted to feeling constantly tired because of a sleep related issue, such as insomnia.
Launched by The Sleep Council, National Sleep-In Day will take place on Sunday 26th October and will mark the end of British Summer Time. In preparation, we are encouraging people to address their sleeping habits and we want to give you some sound sleep advice. Here are some tips from our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, to help pave the way to a great night's sleep:
• Don't skip breakfast - skipping breakfast or eating breakfast too late (an hour after your get up) suppresses the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and causes the body to produce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. People who don't eat breakfast never feel like eating so it's a vicious cycle. Break the cycle by starting small - a small handful of almonds, a piece of toast with nut butter, or a small bowl of full-fat yoghurt with a sprinkling of chopped nuts and honey. Include protein in your breakfast to help to optimise melatonin production.
• Enough water - not drinking enough water throughout the day causes dehydration and creates restless muscles and 'scratchy' sleep. Aim to drink two to three litres per day.
• Get some rest - working or pushing yourself relentlessly throughout the day overstimulates your nervous system leading to that 'tired but wired' feeling when you get into bed. Take three to five minute breaks every 90mins throughout the day - move, close your eyes, eat something nourishing but most importantly, try to get away from technology. Your sleep at night will be deeper and more restful.
• Reduce technology before bed - electronic devices overload the 'working memory' of the brain and leads to noisy thought-filled sleep. Aim for an electronic sundown of 60-90mins before getting into bed.
• Don't take emotional baggage to bed - write your worries or 'to do' lists down before going to bed and think of all of the small positive things that happened in your day as you drift off to sleep, let go, let go, let go...
Practice all or at least two or three of these tips every day for the next 21 days to notice lasting benefits.
Don't worry if you don't manage to lie in this National Sleep In Day. Dr Nerina says: "The emphasis should be on quality deep sleep, rather than the amount of sleep you get. Make sure that you take the time to enjoy the extra hour in bed restfully and avoid over scheduling your weekend, which will allow you to sleep better at night. If you need a nap during the day to re-energise make sure that it's no longer than 15-20 minutes."