Sleep Blog

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How often should you wash your bed sheets?

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Washing our bed sheets can be a chore, but recent reports claim we should be washing our bed sheets once a week to stave off dead skin cells, unwanted bacteria and dust mites.

Paul Morris, who has 20 years of experience specialising in household protection against the spread of microbes, said: “I would recommend washing sheets at least once a week. The key to keeping bacteria away is the quality of the wash.”

“’It is extremely important to wash bed sheets on a regular basis as the build up of dead skin cells can lead to dust mites, unwanted bacteria and unpleasant odours.’

And though once a week may not sound as bad as you were expecting, it’s more than the average person currently cleans their bed sheets.

The research, from Time 4 Sleep, reveals less than a third (28%) of UK households change their sheets once a week, while 40% of Brits change their bed sheets once every two weeks.

24% of us wash them just once every three to four weeks.

Paul recommends washing sheets weekly on a high temperature or, if you want to be more economical using an antibacterial agent.

BBC DIY SOS - Children in Need

Supporting BBC DIY SOS – Children in Need Project

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We are delighted to be supporting the BBC DIY SOS team with their amazing Children in Need project this year, by donating a number of beds to help with the rebuild of a support centre for volunteer-led charity The Roots Foundation Wales.

Based in Swansea, The Roots Foundation Wales was set up by an inspiring individual Emma Lewis, who with the crucial support of an amazing team gives the desperately needed help and support to young people in care, children in need and young adults who have left the care system and are trying to live independently.

Established nearly seven years ago, The Roots Foundation Wales has spent the last two years in a dilapidated wooden hut, with the lack of space and facilities making it truly difficult to provide the workshops, one-on-one support and group therapy sessions to those who really need it.

From Wednesday 6th to Sunday 17th September 2017 – in just eleven days – the DIY SOS team along with generous support of volunteer tradespeople, suppliers and the local community in Swansea successfully built from the ground-up, a new purpose-built support centre covering a huge 320 square metres.

Constructed specifically for the charity’s needs, The Roots Foundation Wales’ new home includes a large youth club space, therapy and workshop rooms and a kitchen for cooking classes. There is also office space for Emma and her team, plus several independent flats for young people transitioning from the care system into adult life.

This incredible rebuild will make a real difference to The Roots Foundation Wales and the young people it supports and enable the charity to go on to help so many more children and young people in care for many years to come.

The episode will air on BBC One on Wednesday 15th November, at 8pm during the BBC Children in Need Appeal week.

The Roots Foundation

Sleeping

The best sleep practice for winter months

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The winter time change is always a little more welcome than the summer as we gained that extra hour in bed, but what impact does this really have on our sleep?

Does the time change affect your sleep?

It can take several days for our internal biological clock to re-synchronise with a new schedule, whether it’s a clock change or a timezone difference. For some people, this can lead to disrupted sleep and feeling tired throughout the day.

However it seems that the seasons can affect our sleep more so than the time change itself. The lack of light exposure throughout Autumn and Winter can affect a proportion of people in terms of mood.

So what is the best sleep practice for the winter months?

  • Avoid bright light exposure at night
    This includes mobile phone and tablet screens as the blue light omitted tends to delay the body clock – so they shouldn’t be in the bedroom.
  • Get up at the same time in the morning each day
    Waking up at the same time everyday will stabilise your circadian rhythm. As a result, you should naturally become tired at the same time every night.
  • Expose yourself to light in the morning
    It’s important to seek out exposure to morning light where you can because light is a strong cue to alert your internal clock that it’s time to wake. If you get up before the sun rises, which is most likely during the winter months then wake-up lights such as those from Lumie can help you maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
  • Exercise
    To keep energy levels high and to ensure you’re tired enough to get to sleep ‘earlier’ on Sunday night, try to exercise outdoors where possible to take in as much natural light as possible – this will help adjust the body’s circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine
    Alcohol and caffeine have been proven to give you a less restful sleep. Instead try sleep-inducing foods and drink such as; almond milk, oat crackers, peanut butter, cottage cheese or a small bowl of yoghurt with granola or chopped nuts on top.
slumberland-fitbit

Sleeping Soundly: Catch up with our #SleepBetter winner

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In May we ran a #SleepBetter campaign with Fitbit UK to highlight the importance of quality sleep and give one lucky person the chance to win a Slumberland kingsize mattress and two Fitbit Alta HR devices which track your sleep data.

We caught up with our winner Becky Powley three months later to find out how her prizes are improving her and her partner’s sleep – plus the cat’s!

Slumberland: Hi Becky, congratulations again on being our #SleepBetter campaign winner. We hope you and your partner have been enjoying your wonderful prizes!

Have you noticed a difference in the quality of your sleep since receiving your new Slumberland mattress and Fitbit devices?

Becky: Definitely, I was usually getting around 6 – 6 ½ hours sleep midweek before getting the new mattress, now it’s usually around 6 ½ – 7 hours midweek if not more. The bed is so much more comfortable I am definitely taking myself up to bed earlier – so even if I’m not sleeping I’m relaxing for at least an additional hour more before going to bed. I am also falling asleep much more quickly than on my old mattress, I used to regularly struggle to get to sleep, so that has also definitely improved!

Slumberland: Are you finding the sleep insights on your new Fitbit Alta HR useful?

Becky: So useful! Particularly when I’m feeling tired, it’s useful to see whether it’s because I’ve had less sleep than usual. I love the ‘bedtime reminder’ as it helps me stop what I’m doing and actually put time aside for sleep.

My other half also appreciates the alarm function – it vibrates on your wrist waking you up which is much less offensive than a traditional alarm noise in the morning!

Slumberland: Have you noticed from your Fitbit data a correlation between exercising more and getting better quality sleep?

Becky: I haven’t seen a huge difference between my sleep when I do or don’t exercise, but that might because I exercise almost every day so am probably always tired/recovering. I have however noticed how little I do move working in an office on those days where I don’t exercise!

Having a Fitbit has made me more aware of the pressures I put my body under when I do exercise and I am definitely more aware of making sure I am eating and sleeping enough when I’m training particularly hard!

Slumberland: Is your new Slumberland Melody mattress helping you achieve a better night’s sleep?

Becky: 100%. Both Rowan and I have said that the mattress is so supportive (neither of us are getting as many back aches and pains) and I also think I’m sleeping much more soundly, as I don’t remember the last time I woke in the night. When it’s a weekend and I know I can have a lie in (or even an afternoon nap!) I have no problems at all enjoying some extra hours of Zzzzz’s. It is so comfortable we have nicknamed the mattress ‘the cloud’!

Slumberland: How does this impact your day to day life?

Becky: It has actually impacted my day to day life much more significantly than I could have imagined! As my whole bedtime routine has changed because I actually look forward to going to bed now, I definitely feel more refreshed waking up, which in turn is making me happier generally.

Slumberland: Would you recommend a Slumberland mattress or Fitbit Alta HR to friends and family or both?

Becky:  With the mattress, I genuinely do not think we’d ever change from a Slumberland mattress now, I’d definitely recommend them to everyone. My sister is just about to move into her first home and I’ve said to her that the investment is definitely worth making! Again with the Fitbit devices I’d really recommend them, lots of my friends have different Fitbits so we really enjoy comparing our step and sleep data. I like my Alta HR particularly because I can get more in depth data because of the heart rate monitor.

A huge thank you!

Even the cat is loving the new mattress! :)

Fitbit Sleep Stages

Fitbit launches Sleep Stages & Insights

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There’s no doubt that exercise is good for sleep – many studies have documented the benefits of exercise to improving general sleep patterns. However new advances in sleep tracking from Fitbit can now go that step further to give you personalised guidance and actionable insights to help you improve your sleep from your Fitbit data.

By tapping into your night-time heart rate and movement patterns, Fitbit devices* will now be able to estimate how much time you spend in light, deep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

By logging each of the stages of your sleep, along with the whole of your Fitbit data (everything from your diet to your exercise patterns), Fitbit can now discover trends about what may be affecting your sleep and offer you tailored guidance on how to improve it.

For example, if you use a Fitbit device that automatically tracks sleep, one insight via the Fitbit app may read: “There seems to be a strong correlation between your sleep and your runs. The last 10 weeknight logs show that you had 20 mins more restful sleep on days you ran vs. days you didn’t.”

Fitbit app sleep data

This kind of information previously only accessible through a sleep lab can help you better understand how exercise and diet directly affects your sleep patterns. Furthermore, it will help you to make lifestyle changes that will improve the quality of your sleep overtime and, in turn your overall health – something we certainly approve of.

Each stage of sleep serves a different purpose, so understanding how much of each stage you log can help you identify and address sleep-related issues. Below is a breakdown of what you need to know about each sleep stage:

  • Light Sleep (including sleep stages 1 and 2) occurs throughout the night and is important for memory, learning, and letting your body recover from the day; for most people it is 50-60 percent of your night.
  • Deep Sleep (sleep stage 3) promotes a healthy immune system and muscle growth and repair; for most people it is 10-25 percent of your night (depending on age).
  • Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Sleep is when most dreaming occurs and is important for mental recovery and memory formation; for most people it is 20-25 percent of your night. Most REM sleep comes at the end of the night, and is often the stage that’s cut short when your sleep duration decreases.
  • Awake minutes (between 10-30 times per night) are a normal part of your sleep cycle each night, and is typically when your heart rate is more elevated during sleep.

*Sleep stages and sleep insights now available on the Fitbit Alta HR and Fitbit Blaze devices and coming soon to Fitbit Charge2 available at https://www.fitbit.com/uk/home.

 

Best essential oils for sleep

Best Essential Oils For Sleep

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If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, then certain essential oils which can help induce sleep may be just what you need. Essential oils have grown in popularity as a natural treatment for many ailments, including pain relief, reducing stress and anxiety, and aiding sleep. Read on to discover the 9 best essential oils for sleep.

Sleep problems are on the rise, with the Sleep Council’s latest Great British Bedtime report stating that at least a third of us are getting a poor night’s sleep every night.

How to use essential oils for sleep

There are different ways you can use and benefit from essential oils. Try applying diluted essential oils to the soles of your feet, palms, and wrists prior to bed. It’s important that, for most essential oils, you dilute them with a carrier oil like coconut, castor, or olive oil, because applying the essential oil directly onto the skin can lead to irritation. To make the right combination, you should use one teaspoon of carrier oil for one drop of essential oil.

Another way to use essential oils is through a diffuser, which will disperse the scent throughout your home.

Lastly, you can also spray the essential oil onto your pillowcase or bedding prior to bed.

9 best essential oils for sleep

  • Lavender: Lavender oil is the most commonly used oil to promote sleep, and is the most widely studied.
  • Clary sage: Clary sage has been found to work similarly to lavender, and research has found it to be the most effective anti-stressor.
  • Chamomile: Roman chamomile has been found to be the most effective type of chamomile, offering relaxation properties and reducing stress. Chamomile becomes even more effective when combined with lavender.
  • Cedarwood: Cedarwood offers an earthy fragrance and can help induce a sense of calmness.
  • Sandalwood: Sandalwood has sedative and antidepressant effects, along with promoting circulation and supporting the nervous system.
  • Marjoram: Sweet marjoram can aid with sleep disorders thanks to its calming and sedative effects. It has also been found to help reduce blood pressure.
  • Valerian: Valerian has long been known for its calming and sedative effects, and it is effective when used topically or diffused.
  • Ylang ylang: It’s fruity and florally scent can help promote relaxation, thus improving sleep. It is often added to other oils to improve their effectiveness.
  • Vetiver: Vetiver is known to have sedative properties, along with being muscle warming and tension easing. This oil helps aid with hormonal stress, muscle ache, and restless leg syndrome, which can all keep you awake at night. You can add vetiver to a warm bath prior to bed to ease tension.

 

Slumberland Baby

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We are delighted to announce that we are launching our first Slumberland cot mattress collection which will debut at the Harrogate International Nursery Fair on 28th to 30th March 2017.

As one of the few big British Bed manufacturers we certainly know a thing or two about the importance of sleep. Therefore we have designed the Slumbertime Collection with both the baby and parents in mind, knowing that when your baby gets the best night’s sleep possible, then so can you.

Proudly made here in the UK, the Slumbertime Cot Mattresses feature long-lasting responsive springs to provide the best comfort and support throughout your baby’s precious development years.

The outer cover offers a soft breathable sleeping surface which allows the free flow of air to help keep your baby cool and regulates their heat. The sleeping surface which is washable at 60⁰c, killing all germs and bacteria, also benefits from the Anti-allergy Actipro treatment to provide your baby a healthy sleeping environment.

Considering that your baby will spend over 50% of their early years sleeping, buying a cot mattress should be one of the most important purchases you make.

Find out more about the Slumbertime Collection here.

Designed for baby sleep

Get Fit While You Sleep

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Sleep and exercise have a symbiotic relationship. The more you work out, the more quickly you’ll fall asleep, and the better that sleep will be. Likewise when you are well-rested, you are able to perform at top efficiency in your workout.

Check out the info-graphic by our friends at Fix.com below for great tips to help you get closer to your health and wellness goals.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Slumberland-model

Clean Sleeping – 2017’s health trend backed by Gwyneth Paltrow

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Gwyneth Paltrow, founder of healthy lifestyle website, Goop has revealed her ultimate beauty secret – a great night’s sleep!

Just like her clean eating routine, she follows ‘clean sleeping’ – essentially consistent quality sleep, “ideally” 10 hours every night to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and radiant glow.

Speaking in her new book ‘Goop Clean Beauty’, which was released just last month, she explained:

“Sleep plays such a powerful role in determining your appetite and energy levels that I believe it should be your first priority, even before you think about your diet.”

“Call it vanity, call it health, but I know there’s a huge correlation between how I feel and what I look like when I roll out of bed in the morning” says Gwyneth.

And she certainly has a point; it’s been clinically proven many times just how negative affect a lack of quality sleep can have on you.

Weight gain, inflammation, depression, anxiety – they’ve all been linked to a lack of sleep because of the effect that sleep has on our hormones.

When we are asleep, our cells rebuild and repair themselves – the growth hormone functions only at night. So if you have a disturbed night’s sleep, this function is impaired.

This means that yes ladies, beauty sleep is a real thing! Whilst 10 hours may be unlikely, we advise you aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night to help you wake up feeling refreshed and looking you best.

The following may help:

  • Go to bed at a regular time. Set the alarm for the same time each day – even weekends – to develop a regular sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet – an eye mask and ear plugs can help.
  • No coffee or tea (they all contain caffeine) before bed. Instead opt for a herbal decaffeinated tea.
  • Try deep breathing, or meditating for 10 minutes before bed to help clear your mind.
  • Don’t exercise immediately before going to bed because it increases your adrenaline levels, heart rate and body temperature making it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Add a few drops of aroma-therapy oils (lavender or ylang ylang) to your bedtime bath to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
  • The right mattress is crucial. The Slumberland Harmony Comfort Collection has been created using a host of innovative materials carefully selected with the best sleeping experience in mind.
katarina_blog

Christmas with an Olympic athlete

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We catch up with our Healthy Sleep Ambassador, Katarina Johnson on how she’ll be spending this Christmas this year.

While we’re all snuggling up in our Christmas jumpers Katarina has to keep up her training and make sure her training suits the weather conditions.

It becomes more about life conditioning of the body. A lot of long runs to get the lungs going. A lot of drills to condition the body to move in the right way and also gym work to strengthen every single muscle in the body!

I don’t dread the cold weather this year because I’m in the sunny south of France!’

Illness and injury are always a risk in sport, with one cold or bout of the flu threatening to halt training programmes and push back progress.

‘I am quite careful and cautious when using gym facilities. I always take a hand gel with me everywhere and make sure I use it before my hands go anywhere near my mouth/face! Injuries in the winter are less common for me. It’s just about being sensible and speaking up to the coach if I’m feeling run down that week. I am aware of not pushing my body too far over the edge too – still working hard but finding the proper balance.

Sleep is so important, especially because I have started doing two sessions a day now. I have to have a 40-minute nap in-between sessions to recharge and allow my muscles to recover properly before starting again.’

Even at an Olympic level you have to be able to give yourself some time off (even if it’s just one day!) – so how will Katarina be spending Christmas?

‘I will be spending Christmas Day in my aunties house with my entire family. There are around 20 of us give or take. Thankfully I am not in charge of the cooking or hosting so I just show up and enjoy! There’s no real prolonged ‘time off’ for me. I will get Christmas Day off but you have to keep the body ticking over. The tracks tend to close over Christmas so it will be more runs in a local park or going the gym and less technical work.’

Kat’s dogs are her pride and joy – so what canine presents will she be treating them to this year?

‘I’ve already bought them little tartan bow ties to go around their collar. And probably just their favourite treats. My next door neighbour bought them a doggy selection box last year, which I thought was pretty cool.’