The Sleep Council is urging people to make the most of their extra hour in bed this National Sleep-In Day (Sunday, October 27, the day the clocks go back) by resetting their whole bedtime routine.
More than a third of all Brits survive on less than six hours sleep*, and although sleep needs differ, the recommended amount for adults is between seven and nine.
Said The Sleep Council’s Lisa Artis: “Most of us love a lie in and the extra hour in bed is a good reason to doze a little longer than normal. But if you’ve been having difficulties at night or feel sleepy all the time, it’s also a good time to review your sleeping habits.
“A regular routine and a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to your general health and wellbeing, so use National Sleep-In Day to reassess your sleeping habits and look at what could be causing any sleep problems.”
The Sleep Council has created The 30 Day Better Sleep Plan to help people get a better night’s kip, and to prevent more serious and prolonged issues.
The 18 point question and answer format, which is available for free on the website builds a downloadable tailored plan which people are encouraged to follow for 30 days using The Sleep Council’s sleep diary to track improvements. It covers everything from bedtimes and sleep environments to diet and alcohol consumption.
The Sleep Council has also produced some tips for making the most of having a lie-in:
- It may sound obvious, but one of the most important things is to remember to switch the alarm off before you go to sleep!
- Unplug any phones in the room and ensure that radios or televisions are not set to come on at any time in the morning. Also, exposure to even the weakest glow at night – even your TV’s standby button – can sub-consciously play havoc with your body’s circadian rhythms.
- Make sure you close the curtains – preferably good heavy ones to block out the daylight and not to disturb your mid-morning slumber.
- Make sure you are sleeping on a good bed – you can do everything else right but if your bed is old and uncomfortable, you may struggle to nod off or stay asleep.
- The bigger your bed, the less the chance your sleep will be disturbed by your partner.
- A room that’s too hot, too cold, too stuffy or too draughty can disturb sleep. Aim for a room temperature of around 16-18°C (60-65°F).
- Make sure you have adequate bed clothes and pillows. Use the right tog duvet for the time of year, layer with sheets or blankets which can be easily removed and wear bed socks if you’ve got cold feet.
- If you have young children, take turns with your partner for lie-ins, with the ‘on duty’ partner responsible for keeping noise levels down.
- Double glazing will cut down on a lot of external noise, but a cheaper option would be a pair of earmuffs or foam ear plugs.
- Avoid alcohol the night before. It’s not a sleep aid and will play havoc with sleep patterns. It may help you fall asleep initially but will interrupt your sleep later in the night and early morning – you will wake dehydrated and needing the loo!