Five ways to feel the benefits of extra sleep every day
Sunday, 28 October is the official end of British Summer Time. Yes, it's true, the long, hot summer already feels like a distant memory. Many people across the country will relish the extra hour in bed permitted by the start of daylight savings. But is there a way to experience this feeling of extra sleep every day of the year? Here are five tips that can help improve the quality your of sleep and leave you feeling energised when you wake.
1. Too cold for comfort
Everyone is slightly different but most studies recommend setting your bedroom thermostat to around 18.5°C for a decent night's sleep.
Before sleep your body's internal temperature drops by around half a degree and continues to fall during sleep. But if our bedrooms or duvets are too warm, our bodies can't lose heat. That can lead to restlessness and discomfort. A cooler room can help you sleep.
2. Exercise for sleep!
Being physically active during the day can improve the quality of sleep you experience during the night. As the nights draw in and we often feel the need to hibernate during the dark and cold evenings, fitting in regular exercise can become more and more difficult.
A good way to get the whole family moving on a winter's evening is to move along to a Super Movers Just for Fun film. Designed to get your heart beating faster, and with catchy tunes to brighten anyone's mood, they are an easy way to get active when outdoor options can feel limited.
3. Regular power naps
Sleeping all night, but still tired in the day? In many cultures an afternoon nap or siesta is a way of life and the health benefits are impressive with increased stamina, reduced heart disease, improved mental ability and better moods. Studies have shown that a one hour nap can actually improve your mental alertness by up to 10 hours.
Lots of mammals sleep irregularly throughout the day too, it's just humans that choose to sleep in large chunks throughout the night.
Humans are actually pre-programmed to sleep twice a day with your perfect nap zones around 2am and 2pm which explains why you're often tired after lunch.
4. The sound of silence
As you sleep your brain is busy registering the noises around you. Sounds will cause you to wake and move throughout the night, especially during the lighter stages of sleep.
Your brain reacts differently to sounds too. In light sleep an area of the brain called the thalamus begins to filter the flow of information from your senses to the rest of the brain. If a baby cries you still wake up but you can comfortably sleep through the noise of a ticking clock or traffic outside.
Making your bedroom a quiet space, will make it easier to get into a deep restful sleep. For some this might mean removing a loud ticking clock from a wall, removing electronic devices or closing the window on a noisy street.
5. Cut down on the booze and caffeine
Alcohol may help you fall asleep quickly but it doesn't help you to maintain sleep. After an initial period of deep sleep, the second half of the sleep cycle is interrupted by periods of wakefulness.It also takes longer to reach REM sleep which explains why you feel so tired after a good night out.
Although a strong coffee might feel like a great treat, too much caffeine can make it difficult to unwind. Caffeine works by blocking the action of adenosine - a molecule that tells your brain to feel tired. Caffeinated drinks - including tea and many fizzy drinks - can make it hard to get a good night's slumber even if you have them earlier in the evening. That's because caffeine can stay in the system for five to nine hours. Perhaps, not the best way to get a good night's sleep.
Super Movers aims to get children moving throughout the day with lots of free, easy-to-use video resources and great football-inspired incentives like a visit from the Premier League Trophy. Brain Booster routines star famous faces and cover key areas of Numeracy and Literacy. They can be used in the classroom or at home to help children feel refreshed and energised whilst learning. The Just for Fun routines help get the whole family active together. Why not have a go?