Like eating well and being active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to our wellbeing. Here our sleep expert Sammy Margo offers some top tips based on the common questions she gets asked.
Q1: What is the number 1 thing I should do to ensure you I get the best night’s sleep?
Invest in a good bed. Often the cause of peoples problems goes right back to their bed not giving them the support and comfort required.
Q2: What are the top things to be avoided?
The odd glass of wine or ‘nightcap’ before bedtime is fine, but drinking more than this before bedtime can hinder a good night’s sleep by keeping us in to the lighter stages of sleep for longer.
A big meal before bedtime can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep, so ensure you keep meals light if eating after 6pm. Foods like marmite on toast, camomile and honey and bananas are known as ‘sleepy snack’s as they increase the level of sleep hormone, melatonin, in our body.
Q3: What should I be doing before bedtime to help relax and get a good night’s sleep?
Humans are more like a dimmer switches than an on and off switch when it comes to relaxation so it’s important to make sure you take time to relax before bedtime. Reading or listening to music should be part of your bedtime routine.
Sleep and getting older
As we age our bodies naturally require less sleep, however many of us are still not getting enough! Sleep problems like insomnia can become more common along with health problems such as arthritic pain, poor circulation, back ache, restless legs, symptoms of diabetes and breathing problems, all of which can hinder a good night’s sleep but there are many things you can do to improve your night's sleep.
Q1: I’m a bad sleeper and often find myself waking up in the middle of the night. What would you recommend?
If you find yourself waking up in the night or struggling to get to sleep in the first place, don’t just lie there. If after 20 minutes you’re still awake, get up and do something relaxing like read a magazine or listen to an audio book until you feel sleepy again.
If you feel you’d like more help, a Cyclo-Therapy bed may be the answer. Cyclo-Therapy is a unique form of massage therapy that is medically proven to help relax the body and help you get a better night’s sleep. The soothing vibrations help to release pressure and tension and relax your body.
Q2: Sleep is painful as I have arthritis and experience poor circulation which leaves me stiff and in pain - is there anything I can do to get a better night’s sleep?
New research by Adjustamatic, reveals that alarmingly 1 in 5 of us wakes up in pain so you’re not alone. Having arthritis and poor circulation can make it difficult to get comfortable and find a position that doesn’t cause you pain. Getting the right support from your bed is crucial to ensure you’re not putting unnecessary strain on your spine and the rest of your body. The gentle rhythmical movement used in Adjustamatic’s Cyclo-Therapy beds are proven to reduce joint pain, relax muscle groups and reduce swelling, which leads to improved joint mobility.
Swellings associated with poor circulation, varicose veins and other circulatory issues can also be eased by the rhythmical vibrations found in Cyclo-Therapy. The gentle movements act as a muscle relaxer that results in greater blood flow and widening of the veins and arties that relieves swelling and pressure, allowing you to feel more relaxed.
Q3: What is the best sleeping position to get off to sleep?
Some people only get comfortable in one sleeping position; others choose to sleep in a variety of ways. Whichever position is right for you, make sure you feel supported and your back maintains the natural curve of the spine to minimise stresses and strains.
If you continue to have problems, visit your GP or sleep specialist for advice.