Make 2018 the year of more and better sleep

Make 2018 the year of more and better sleep

Loads of us are under slept and as you'll know, being tired day in day out is NOT GOOD. But don't reach for the sleeping pills, just listen to the sleep experts. A tidy room helps and no phone by the bed yeh!

By Noah Dugall
A tidy room really does aid sleep

If you have to wade through piles of clothes and books to reach the bed you'll be stressed by the time you get into it! Bedrooms are best kept tidy and with soft light provided by a lamp on a bedside table. And choose natural, tactile materials for your furniture and soft furnishings such wood, cork, wool and linen. Pictured above: bedside table from Oka.

De-clutter your room 
Sleep expert Dave Gibson says a simple thing we can all do is to tidy our bedroom and reduce the clutter - particularly on our bedside tables because they can often become piled high with stuff.
'Tidy room / tidy mind is often a phrase which springs to mind when talking about how having an unorganised messy bedroom table can affect our sleep. Having a lot of clutter stacked up on our bedside table can prevent us switching off as it often reminds us of unfinished business and tasks left uncompleted, leading to an increase in stress and anxiety and therefore stopping us getting to sleep easily.
'Indeed, neatness and lack of clutter is positively associated with allowing the brain to focus and to be able to perform tasks proficiently, as a study from Princeton University demonstrated.  A perfect bedroom for sleep is a quiet, dark, cool and comfortable environment in which we can relax and switch off. Studies also show that reading is a great way to undwind, with a neat bedside table the perfect place to rest your nightly read.
'However, while the beside is the best place for books, it's the last place I'd suggest putting a mobile phone on, even if it's being used as an alarm. Instead put phones away from your bed overnight, avoiding the temptation to both use them late at night, and to stop them being used with their snooze function, which can also disrupt a healthy sleep routine.
Get an alarm clock!
'From a ‘good sleep hygiene viewpoint’ I recommend stopping using mobile phones as alarms altogether. Instead, swap them for an alarm clock, and ideally a dawn simulator, which is a great, natural way to gently wake up, especially in rooms with fully blackout blinds. If someone is using an LED alarm on the bedside table, I suggest turning it to face away from them so the light doesn't disturb them in the night. 
In short if you're someone who struggles to get to sleep, start by clearing your bedside area so your table just has a book, an alarm clock and a lamp (with dim illumination), and a glass of water if you tend to wake up thirsty at any point.
And furniture brand Oka did some research recently into bedside tables and what Brits keep on them.. see the findings here
Bedside table from Oka
Keep lamps with low wattage bulbs

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