The se­crets to a per­fect night’s sleep

CAN YOU MAKE UP FOR A BAD SLEEP THE FOL­LOW­ING NIGHT?

Closer (UK) - - Inside This Issue... - ● For more in­for­ma­tion and sleep­ing tips, visit your lo­cal Ben­sons for Beds store or visit www.ben­sons­forbeds.co.uk

Yes, you can, but do it in small chunks to avoid con­fus­ing your in­ter­nal body clock. Get­ting 30 min­utes ex­tra rest each night for a few days af­ter a poor night of sleep is much bet­ter. Sleep­ing in for more than two hours at the week­end knocks out your nat­u­ral rhythm, which ex­plains why you of­ten feel a bit tired and con­fused if you over­sleep.

CAN YOU WORK OUT HOW MUCH SHUT-EYE YOU NEED?

It de­pends on the per­son but, in gen­eral, most UK adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. A great method to work out your op­ti­mum sleep time is to keep a di­ary. In it, you should keep a record of the time you went to sleep (try to work this out rather than record when you went to bed) and woke up, how long you slept for and how you felt the next day. Af­ter a cou­ple of weeks, have a look back through your di­ary – the days you felt alert and en­er­gised are prob­a­bly the days you got the right amount of sleep for you.

SHOULD YOU BOTHER WITH A NAP IF YOU ONLY HAVE 20 MIN­UTES SPARE?

In short, yes. If you can barely keep your eyes open, a brief nap will im­prove your alert­ness, per­for­mance and over­all mood. Even 10 to 20 min­utes helps.

DO SCREENS RE­ALLY AL­TER YOUR SLEEP PAT­TERN THAT MUCH?

Yes. Our eyes have light sen­si­tive cells, which tell your brain whether to be awake or asleep. Phones, tablets and TVS all emit a level of light sim­i­lar to the sun, which if viewed just be­fore go­ing to bed can stop the pro­duc­tion of mela­tonin, the sleep pro­mot­ing hor­mone, mak­ing it harder to drift off and fall into a deep sleep. Switch off all elec­tronic de­vices at least 30 min­utes be­fore go­ing to bed and dim your lights. Get into the habit of do­ing this and you’ll soon be­gin to ex­pe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits of great qual­ity, nat­u­ral sleep.

HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU NEED TO SLEEP? DOES SHAR­ING A BED WITH A LARGER PART­NER OR KIDS AF­FECT THE QUAL­ITY OF YOUR SLEEP?

It to­tally de­pends on the per­son but, yes, it can de­ter­mine the qual­ity of your sleep. Some love to feel snug in a tight space or hug­ging with a part­ner, while oth­ers need a lit­tle more room to stretch out. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily space you need, rather the right po­si­tion – whether that’s foetal or starfish! In­vest in a big bed to al­low you to sleep in the way your body needs.

DOES WHAT YOU WEAR TO BED MAKE A DIF­FER­ENCE TO SLEEP QUAL­ITY? AND IF SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR?

It’s re­ally im­por­tant to choose sleep­wear that feels com­fort­able, but also some­thing that helps reg­u­late your body tem­per­a­ture. Wear cot­ton if you get hot dur­ing the night, flan­nel fab­ric is good if you feel the cold (plus a pair of socks) and silk is great for com­fort.

Is a 10-minute nap worth it? Can cheese cause night­mares? Dr Guy Mead­ows, from Ben­sons for Beds and The Sleep School, an­swers all our burn­ing shut-eye ques­tions…

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