Sleepwell in 2016 with Slumberdown

With the start of a fresh new year, many of us are making New Year’s resolutions to improve our wellbeing, performance and generally to get us motivated for the year ahead.

But did you know one of the best things you could do to improve all of these things is to sleep better? Sleep is not only good for maximising your daytime potential, but sleep also helps restore your body, mood, memory, performance and helps you to control your weight. 

Our recent study of 2,000 adults revealed the top 50 things most likely to send us to the land of nod include a hot bath, the sound of your children reading to you, luxury bedding and work meetings. Do any of these look familiar to you?

Here’s the full list of the top 50 things most likely to send you to sleep:
1.    A dark room26.    A burning candle
2.    A freshly made bed27.    Golf
3.    Luxury bedding28.    Camomile tea
4.    Reading a book29.    Snooker
5.    A large meal30.    Herbal tea
6.    A cuddle31.    A Star Wars film
7.    A hot bath32.    Formula One
8.    A fleecy blanket33.    College or university lectures
9.    A hot water bottle34.    An episode of Downton Abbey
10.    The sound of a TV show in the background35.    Match of the Day
11.    The sound of rain36.    Question Time
12.    Your hair/arm/back being stroked
37.    A long game of Monopoly
13.    Watching a long film38.    The shipping forecast on Radio 4
14.    A warm office39.    Shopping channels
15.    Sitting on a train40.    The Antiques Roadshow
16.    Sitting in a car41.    A Lord of the Rings film
17.    Smell of lavender42.    Revising for an exam
18.    Work meetings43.    Prime Minister’s Questions
19.    A ticking clock44.    Horse racing on the TV
20.    A cat purring45.    Final Score/Soccer Saturday (Football results programmes)
21.    Political party broadcasts46.    Whale music
22.    Classic music47.    Newsnight
23.    Cricket48.    Reading with a child/listening to a child read
24.    Powerpoint presentations49.    Incense
25.    Reality TV50.    Writing an essay

It also emerged 87 per cent of Brits have nights where they struggle to get to sleep, with three quarters admitting they wish they got more shut-eye than they currently do.

For half of Brits, a lack of sleep has resulted in more than just feeling tired for the day with 28 per cent saying it has led to rows with their partner, while another 20 per cent have made a mistake at work.

So we thought we would call in the advice of our very sleep expert, Sammy Margo, to give to you the very best advice to beat the January blues and to give you the best night’s sleep of your life. Here are Sammy's top five tips to help you get the best night's sleep ever in 2016.

1.  Upgrade your bedding
One of the most important items that can aid a restful night’s sleep is good quality bedding, so for 2016 review your sheets, duvet, mattress and pillows for a better night's sleep. The premium Slumberdown Sleepwell collection is the most indulgent range yet whilst still being incredibly affordable. There are some fantastic deals on at the moment at George at Asda, Morrisons, Matalan and Tesco so go check them out! 

2. Review your bedroom
In order to get a good night’s sleep your room needs to be:
Cool – keep you bedroom at 16-18 degrees centigrade to allow the release of your sleepy hormone melatonin
Dark- even a tiny bit of light in your room can disrupt your sleep rhythm and the release of your sleepy hormone melatonin so consider an eye mask or black out blinds.
Quiet- shut out any outside noise with ear-plugs 
Uncluttered - your room needs to be a safe haven for sleep with no distractions so consider a clear out

3. Get some work life balance to ensure good night’s sleep
Keep as active as you can during the day which may need some thought. Blue light exposure to screens suppresses the release of your sleepy hormone melatonin so it is key to not spend longer than necessary at computer screen and have a technology cut off time before bedtime.

Get more fresh air to and from work, try getting off the bus a stop earlier, or taking a walk on your lunch break and try to have meetings away from your desk.

4. Food for sleep
There are also a range of snooze foods which contain high levels of Tryptophan which will help to promote a good night’s sleep. They include bananas which is practically a ‘sleeping pill in a peel’, turkey, almonds, oats, marmite type substances, dairy products and soya products.

5. Pull your socks up
Try wearing socks to bed. Although your bedroom needs to stay cool, you won’t get a good night’s sleep if your feet are too cold. Research has shown that wearing socks reduces night awakenings as the body’s heat distribution system is strongly linked to our sleep cycles.

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