Alex Hurt, Weavers’ House Spa Director looks into how we can really get a good night’s sleep
Catching those zzz’s seems to be a hot topic, with some recent research linking this with life expectancy. There seems to be a multitude of factors that induce a good night’s slumber, and seemingly this is more scientific than it is about relaxation. The recommended amount of sleep per night is 7-9 hours, and this includes 5-6 cycles of the sleep cycle. As a rule, after 15 hours of being awake you may start to feel tired and start dreaming about your bed (for others this could be less or more). I know if I start thinking about my sofa whilst I am out, it’s definitely time to go home!
So, you’re getting a little sleepy what can you do to enhance your sleep and get the rest that you really need? Firstly, dim the lights. Many of us have LEDs in our home, along with use of our phones and tablets. These all emit a blue artificial light, whilst very helpful and more energy friendly this artificial light has a major effect on our ability to sleep.
The body’s biological clock works in rhythms that are set by the amount of light or dark that the body is exposed to; there are called circadian rhythms. They control the timings of many physiological processes including sleeping and feeding patterns as well as brain activity, hormone production and cellular renewal. It’s recommended that no blue light is taken in 30-60 minutes before bed. So, exchange your kindle or iPad for an old-fashioned book, for at least half an hour before bed.
Are you a ‘foot in’ or ‘foot out’ sleeper? The ultimate temperature for a good night’s kip is between 15-22 degrees Celsius. A cool room aids a more restful sleep, however interestingly cold feet can be pretty disruptive to sleep - so if you find your tootsies chilly, don a pair of socks and keep them warm.
Recently I purchased an air humidifier with a diffuser after reading that sleeping in a room with cleaner air will assist breathing, reduce coughing and increase sleep quality. Adding a sprinkle of lavender to soothe and relax me off into la la land, I have to say this has given me a new dimension to a good night’s sleep.
Being a big believer in bedtime rituals, I’m not ashamed to admit my bedside table is filled with sleep aids and well being tools. My absolute favourite was introduced by a girl friend who came to stay recently. A heavy rain storm seems to be the therapeutic fix I need to feel fully rested; we played a recording and I was out like a light. Alas we can’t always have a storm overnight, but there are many recordings for us to listen to. This is a game changer, and makes me feel more energised, positive and motivated for the following day. If storms don’t do it for you - find something that does.
All in all, sleep should be enjoyable and it’s vital to efficient functioning of the body and mind. Sleep is restorative, and gives our cells time to renew and our mind some time off. Don’t ever under value sleep, it’s imperative.
Throughout sleepy October as the clocks wind themselves back, why not visit Weavers’ for our 60-minute Sleep Well treatment? Our sleeping pill of a massage with soft feather-like strokes, infused with lavender and we’ll even tuck you in with a duvet and send you out with a hot chocolate and an aromatherapy sleeping balm, all for £85! We recommend you book a taxi home or stay the night at The Swan Hotel.
Schedule your Sleep Well massage by calling 01787 246 246 or email us using the contact form below.