January 2016

responsive-comfort-header

10 Benefits of a Healthy Sleep

By | Health & Wellbeing | One Comment

Prevent weight gain
A study by a group of scientists at Uppsala University, Sweden, found that lack of sleep can increase your weight by slowing your metabolism down. The research suggests that a good night’s sleep can actually prevent weight gain.

Improve focus
The Slumberland Slumber Survey discovered that one in three of us rate our sleep ‘poor’ to ‘terrible’. A bad night’s sleep can leave you struggling all day, whereas a restful night of uninterrupted sleep can help you feel ready to take on the world.

Be happy
Almost two thirds of us blame our irritability on lack of sleep, according to the Slumber Survey. Our Slumberland spokesman says: “It’s unsurprising that only 1% of those asked in the survey claim to feel fantastic when they wake up.”

Look more attractive
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, a sound sleep can make you look healthier and more attractive. 23 people were photographed in the study, after a normal 8 hours of sleep and after a night of sleep deprivation. The images were shown to 65 people who rated each photograph on health, attractiveness and tiredness. The sleep deprived group scored lowest in all three categories.

Make better decisions
We’ve all been told at some point to ‘sleep on it’ – hoping that your decision will be easier in the morning. Scientists believe that your brain searches for a solution to your problem even while you are asleep. So even if you don’t wake with an answer, you’ll feel fresh and rested and able to make a better decision after a restful night of sleep.

Live longer
It’s true. People who sleep less have a shorter lifespan. Studies have found that people who sleep fewer than six hours at night have a higher risk of dying sooner than people of a similar age who get their eight hours.

Be a winner
A good night’s sleep will improve athletic performance. As part of a study in 2008, five swimmers extended their sleep to 10 hours per day for six weeks. By the end of the study the athletes could swim faster and their reaction skills had increased. With the average Brit sleeping for seven hours every night, maybe a few more hours could make us quicker and sharper.

Be healthier
Lack of sleep will suppress your immune system, making you vulnerable to infection. In 2009, a study found that sleeping for less than seven hours at night increased your chances of catching a cold. Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered that the risk increased three times compared to those sleeping for 8 hours or more every night.

Enhance your memory
While we are sleeping, our brain processes vital memory information. A study published in the journal, Sleep, found that people who slept less than six hours at night for two weeks scored less on memory tests then those sleeping for eight hours.

Be better in bed
The Sleep in America poll in 2010 found that the better rested you are, the better sex you’ll have. The poll found that 20 – 30% of men and women felt their sexual relationships were affected by their tiredness.

Live-Longer-Healthy-Sleep

Live Longer with Healthy Sleep Habits

By | Health & Wellbeing | No Comments

If your New Year’s resolution wasn’t about getting a healthy night’s sleep, then maybe you should read on. If we asked you how much sleep you should get to help you live as long as possible, you might think the more the merrier! But getting too much sleep can be just as detrimental to your health as not getting enough. So what is the magic number?

Using a 2002 study of over one million Americans, led by Dr. Daniel Kripke at the University of California at San Diego, we take a look at how your hours spent snoozing could be affecting your lifespan.

5 hours or less

Getting enough sleep is very important, and this little sleep is likely to be having a big impact on your health. With increased risk of illnesses, as well a lack of focus in the day, these missed hours of sleep can add up for an even bigger impact. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to several health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease – and being tired all the time is linked with depression. It’s worth making a lifestyle change to snatch these precious hours of sleep: get a job with a shorter commute, reassess your workload, get more exercise and improve your diet – your sleep is that important!

6 hours or less

At six hours you’re getting less than the bottom level of healthy sleep recognised in the 2002 study. Under sleeping regularly can wear you down quickly, so if this is becoming a regular habit you could try our sleep tips or talk to a sleep specialist. According to a 2007 article in the San Francisco Chronicle, people who slept less than six hours a night had a 70 per cent higher risk of death than their peers who were sleeping seven to eight hours a night. This could be linked to illnesses, but also more accidents happen when you’re not functioning properly on too little sleep.

7 hours or less

Many of us panic when we check the clock before drifting off and notice we’ll only get 7 hours, but there’s no need to worry. According to the 2002 study 7 hours is bang in the middle of healthy sleep times. 6 and a half however, you’re reaching the lower limit of healthy sleep. However, if you wake up feeling refreshed most of the time, this sleep cycle might just suit you better, but if you’re lying awake desperately trying to sleep, then give our sleep tips a read here.

8 hours or less

Eight hours seems to be held as the gold standard of sleep – but the 2002 sleep study noted that people who slept for this long a night could actually be 12% more likely to die within the next six years when compared with their 6.5 – 7.5 hour sleep study counterparts. If you’re hitting more like seven and a half hours then you’re in the upper limit of healthy sleep times.

Over 8 hours

Whilst some might think this many hours of sleep is a dream come true, you could be sleeping your way to health problems. If you’re hitting the 9-hour or more mark regularly, it could be an idea to talk to your doctor. Those who chronically oversleep often suffer from issues such as sleep apnea or depression. In teenagers this amount of sleep is common, however, as they need this amount of sleep to be refreshed.

 

All studies should be taken with a pinch of salt, and it’s not exactly clear how hours of sleep directly relate to a lower lifespan, as existing health issues also adversely affect sleep quality. However, if you think you’re over or under sleeping, adjusting your sleep routine can help boost your immune system and help your brain refresh for the day ahead – which can only be a good thing.

Dry-January-Mocktails

Dry January Mocktails

By | Food & Drink | No Comments

Many people are taking part in dry January this year, whether it’s to lose a few pounds, save a few pennies, or just feel better within themselves. But how many of you have considered how alcohol impacts your sleep too? By disrupting your sleep routine, alcohol leaves you feeling groggy in the morning instead of well-rested. To help you keep to your resolution, or even if you just fancy a tasty alternative to alcohol, we’ve got some tempting ‘mocktail’ recipes for you to try. As well as being a healthier alternative to alcohol (and delicious too!), they also won’t effect your night’s sleep, leaving you feeling much happier in the morning.

Apple & Elderflower Spritz

A simple, light drink with a refreshing touch.

You’ll need:

  • 75ml elderflower cordial
  • 1l cloudy apple juice
  • Small handful of chopped mint leaves
  • Bottle sparkling water

Method:

  1. Firstly, mix the elderflower cordial with cloudy apple juice.
  2. Add the chopped mint leaves, stir well, then pour into a chilled flask.
  3. Pour half glasses of this mixture and top up with sparkling water.
  4. Add crushed ice and enjoy!

 

Fruity Mojito Twist

A fruity showstopper for parties, a non-alcoholic twist on the classic.

You’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • big bunch mint
  • 2 lime, quartered, plus slices to garnish
  • 1l pomegranate juice
  • 500ml lemonade

Method:

  1. The day before your party/event, divide the pomegranate seeds into an ice cube tray, top up with water and freeze.
  2. Take half of the mint and tear into small pieces – put these into the jug with your the lime quarters. Using a rolling pin or wooden spoon, crush the mint and lime to release the flavours.
  3. Add the pomegranate juice and lemonade to the jug.
  4. Put the pre-made ice cubes in each glass then, using a small sieve, strain over the pomegranate mix.
  5. Garnish with lime slices and sprigs of mint.

 

Home-made Limeade

This ones not really a mocktail, but it’s a nice, simple recipe for a tasty treat.

  • 12 limes, 10 chopped, 2 sliced
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1l soda water

Method:

  1. Lay the lime slices on a tray and freeze for at least an hour.
  2. Put the remaining 10 chopped limes into a food processor or blender along with the sugar and 100ml water. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mix through a sieve and have a taste of the juice – if it’s too sour you can always add a bit more sugar. You can also make this part 2 days ahead of your event and chill in the fridge.
  4. Pour into a big jug with crushed ice and the frozen lime slices, and top up with chilled soda water.

 

temp-range

Air Circulation and a Comfortable Sleep

By | Health & Wellbeing | No Comments

Regulating your body temperature

When your body becomes warm in bed, sweaty, moist and uncomfortable – your blood pressure increases. Your brain is then awake and so are you. The human body is most comfortable when it is able to dispel its excess heat. There are three main factors related to your comfort while you sleep:

  1. Ambient temperature: your body is most comfortable when the ambient temperature is between 22°C and 27°C.
  2. Relative humidity: most people feel comfortable when the relative humidity of the sleep environment is between 40% and 60%.
  3. Air speed: if the air in our sleep environment is not moving, our body cannot dispel its excess heat and we feel uncomfortable. Likewise, if the air moves too fast, it’s not comfortable. The optimum air speed for a good night’s sleep is 15 metres per minute.

temp-human 

Other effects of poor air circulation

If the design of a mattress, and the materials used, do not allow an efficient air circulation, the interior temperature and humidity of the mattress increases. When the temperature and humidity increases, this creates the perfect environment for mites and bacteria to grow at speed inside the mattress. Efficient air circulation, however, promotes a hygienic sleeping environment where the air takes away moisture preventing the growth of bacteria.

Slumberland Secret to Good Health

Responsive Comfort with Affinity™ Foam

By | Health & Wellbeing | No Comments

Being too warm and unable to move freely are not conducive to a comfortable and undisturbed night of sleep. An Affinity™ Foam mattress will disperse the heat you produce while sleeping – taking it away from your body. And the comfort, support and flexibility it offers means you can change position effortlessly.

affinity-foam-diagram

Heat Dissipation Affinity™
Affinity™ Foam is unlike a standard mattress foam or filling in that it is able to disperse heat effectively. Rather than retain the heat your body produces, and hold it against your skin, the open cell structure allows the heat to rapidly disperse. So you are kept at the ambient body temperature for an undisturbed night of sleep.

Thermal images taken at 0 and 1 minute after a person has left the sleep environment:

leading-brand-heataffinity-foam-heat

Resilience
Traditional foam mattresses have no bounce, making it difficult to move once you are in a certain position. Affinity™ Foam is instantly responsive, offering optimum comfort and support while allowing you to move easily.

Mattresses constructed with Affinity™ Foam have superior resilience normally only associated with a premium pocket sprung mattresses.

  • Optimum comfort and support through the use of highly resilient, high density, full depth Affinity™ Foam technology
  • Tested to BS EN ISO 8307.2007 Determination of resilience by ball rebound