As we head towards the end of October, we also prepare to make the return to Greenwich Mean Time. While there’s a time change to adjust to, more importantly, the day the clocks go back, Sunday 26th October, is National Sleep In Day! Will you be staying in bed for an hour, or will you be getting up to make the most of the extra time? Either way, it’s as good a time as any to improve your sleeping environment and ensure that you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible as we say goodbye to British Summer Time.
So, how can you improve your sleep environment?
Invest in some thick curtains or even put up a blackout blind. The mornings are going to be lighter again for a little while, which can really disrupt your sleep in the morning.
Minimise light in the room as much as possible throughout the night — any chargers that light up, TV standby buttons, or other sources of light, however small, should be turned off, as even they can keep you from falling asleep.
Make sure you’ve set the temperature so that it’s comfortable for you. With the recent cold spell, you might have turned up your thermostat, but this may not be the ideal temperature during the night — anything over 24°C is likely to make you restless. On the other hand, if you’ve been holding off on putting the heating on, now’s the time to do it, as you’re also unlikely to be able to sleep if the temperature is below 13°C. If you find you’re too cold, make sure you switch to a winter duvet! (You can try to win one in our Facebook competition right now!)
Settle in for the night with a milky drink or a herbal tea — no caffeine, of course! And however much you might think it helps you drift off initially, ditch the alcohol too, as it makes for a poor night’s sleep overall.
A shower can invigorate you before you go to bed, so if possible, take a hot bath instead to help you unwind. You could use some lavender bubble bath or essential oil, which is known for its relaxing properties.
If you do intend to have a lie-in, check you’ve put back all your clocks on the Saturday night — a lot of digital clocks now go back automatically at the exact moment of the change (2am), but the last thing you want is your analogue alarm clock going off an hour before it should!
Whether you choose to lie in or not, have a wonderful National Sleep In Day!