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Gadgets to gastronomy: five steps to a better sleep

Struggling to nod off? From the essentials to the wacky, we’ve got some top tips to help you sleep.

 

Desperate for a good night’s sleep? You’re not alone. Almost half the British population claim they only get six hours’ sleep a night or less, in what is said to be a “”. Sounds serious? Well, getting less than seven hours sleep per night could put your health at risk. Sleep loss is associated with everything from .

So what is causing it? Sleep loss is often attributed to the increase in use of electronic devices, but can some gadgets actually help you get to sleep? Or are there natural, quick fixes to aid your sleep? We want to help you sleep better, so we’ve put some tips together to help you get the rest you deserve.

Before we get technical, let’s start with the basics. Having a good quality, comfortable and supportive mattress is key to getting a good night’s sleep. , a new bed is associated with an increase of 42 minutes of sleep. That’s why it should be replaced every seven years; not only for support, but to rid your bed of the dust mites, skin and sweat that is .

But there’s no point getting a new mattress if you’re not going to protect it with a top quality mattress protector like MATTRESSGUARD – especially when you can .

So, you’ve got a new mattress (dust mite-free), and you’ve guarded it with a mattress protector, but what about bedding? Luxury bedding can go a little way toward the perfect night’s sleep. are soft to the touch, absorb moisture and have antibacterial properties, making it perfect for sensitive skin. Ideal when teamed up with a hypoallergenic, temperature-regulating mattress protector.

If you fancy trying something a little different, what about a blanket that ‘feels like a hug’? This is believed to reduce stress by simulating deep touch pressure, therefore increasing serotonin and melatonin – exactly what you need to get to sleep.

Now, it’s time for the adventurous among us to step up. It may not be advisable to stare at a screen before bed, but not all electronics have a negative impact on your sleeping pattern.

In fact, some are gadgets are specifically designed to help you sleep better, and one in three people admit to using tech-based sleep aids every single night.

If you’re looking for gadgets to induce a deep slumber, then we have the answer. Why not try a ? It’s a light box that that mimics the sunrise and sunset.

Most people will have heard of white noise to help sleep, especially with newborns, but if you want to get futuristic, then take a look at the , which creates a ‘sound blanket’ customised to your room’s acoustics. It masks sounds from within or outside your room by emitting noise from two plug-in points at opposite sides of the room.

If that’s a bit too futuristic for you, then there’s more natural ways to aid sleep. Did you know that what you eat can impact your sleep pattern? , foods that are high in tryptophan and vitamin B6 will help you make melatonin, the sleep hormone. So get munching on chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, lentils, cheese, eggs and whole grains. Alternatively, get melatonin directly from tart cherries or oats.

Get restless legs at night? Try foods that are high in potassium, like bananas and apricots, or magnesium-rich, such as whole grains, nuts and dark green leafy vegetables. A 2011 study at the Taipei Medical University also recognised that kiwis have high levels of serotonin, which is critical to sleep.

Timing is everything. Eating the right foods can help, but you also have to make sure your eating patterns are right. Make sure you eat breakfast as it , minimising adrenaline production and helping to produce melatonin later in the day (essential for sleep). Don’t drink coffee after 3pm or eat fruit right before bedtime, as both with make you more alert.

Timing your exercise is also important. If you have a workout too close to bedtime it can affect your sleep patterns, so make sure you finish exercising a few hours before getting under the covers.

Whichever of our tips you try, it should go some way to helping you sleep better. Get the basics right: start with the bed, change your eating habits, and explore some gadgets.

When your head hits the pillow you can drift off into the land of nod, comfortable on your bouncy new mattress, temperature-regulating super-soft mattress protector, with a stomach full of melatonin-inducing food and the ‘sunset’ from your bedside table. Now that sounds like the remedy for a good night’s sleep.

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