According to a survey carried out in January 2013, revealed by The Sleep Council, the average British adult sleeps for 6 hours and 35 minutes each night – this is 18% less than the NHS’ recommendation of 7-8 hours sleep (NHS).
Reading deeper into the results of this study it appears that 7% of adults are said to have less than five hours of sleep per night whereas 7% are reported as having the opposite of between 8 and 9 hours.
Those of us who do get the recommended 8 hours of sleep (38%) said that they slept very well most nights, which adds to the argument that 8 hours of sleep are good for you (41% of Britons said they felt positive after a good night’s sleep).
How Sleep Affects Us
Our bodies work hard during the day to keep us awake, alert, and productive so like most things in nature they need a period of rest to restore our energy for the following day’s activity.
“With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine)” (BBC Science).
How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
There are several recommendations on how you can get a better night’s sleep from the NHS, scientific research, and bed experts. Here are just 5 of the recommendations we agree with:
1. Set a regular time that you go to sleep and wake up at every day (also known as setting your body clock) and stick to it, even on the weekends. Be sure that it allows you to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
2. Clear your bedroom of digital clutter such as a televisions, computer devices, and stereo systems because their displays and operation lights emit light at a time of the day that is normally dark, tricking your body into thinking that it needs to wake up.
3. Purchase a new bed if yours is more than 7 years old (The Sleep Council recommends replacing your bed every 7 years). More than 1 in 10 Britons revealed that their bed was to blame for their rough nights of sleep. The study also revealed that the divan bed was the most popular owned bed in the UK.
4. Try having a bath or hot shower before settling into bed as it relaxes your body’s muscles. If you are able to regulate the temperature of your bed to make it warmer rather than colder then this could also help with making you relax into a sleep.
5. Drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed because it contains an amino acid called tryptophan that has been known to encourage sleep.
More advice on how you can improve your sleep can be found here:
National Bed Month
The research published by The Sleep Council was perfectly timed for release during the UK’s National Bed Month (March) – an annual awareness event hosted by The Sleep Council that aims to educate people on the importance of sleep and how we can improve our health through different lifestyle decisions connected with sleep.
To celebrate the month, we at Frances Hunt encourage you to get the recommended hours of sleep into your bedtime by following the advice in this article and by checking out our range of bedroom furniture that can help give you the comfort you need to visit the land of nod.