National Bed Month is an initiative of The Sleep Council, the consumer education branch of the trade association for British bed manufacturers, the National Bed Federation. The Sleep Council is an impartial organisation that advocates healthy sleep habits. The Sleep Council focuses on raising awareness of the importance of a good night’s sleep. As part of their awareness campaigns, The Sleep Council organised the National Bed Month initiative in 1990 to provide helpful advice on how to improve sleep quality and how to create the perfect sleep environment.
Surveys and Research
The Sleep Council has carried out surveys and research projects through the many years that it has been in operation. They have analysed sleep in male and female children, teens and adults, looking at the effect of stress on sleep. Their Great British Bedtime Report is a wonderful guide on the British people’s sleep habits. This organisation aims to bring to everyone’s attention the positive impact that a good night’s sleep can have health and well being. They provide many suggestions on good lifestyle habits to follow and what factors to eliminate to avoid disturbed sleep.
National Bed Month 2018 is an entire month that is devoted to improving your sleep with a comfortable, supportive bed, pillows, and bedtime habits. Take a more active role in your sleep health this month!
According to the Bedtime Report, Britain’s sleep habits have declined since 2013. 61% of Brits sleep between only five and seven hours per night with 12% getting less than five hours. This means that almost a third experience poor sleep. The results indicate that stress and worry (45% vs 53%), partner disturbance (25%), noise (20% vs 18%) and discomfort (13%) are the top culprits.
So how do we go about getting better sleep?
First of all, The Sleep Council recommends that we all learn to destress so that it doesn’t affect our sleep quality. Exercise is a great stress-reducer, and a regular exercise routine can help alleviate anxiety and worry. Just don’t exercise too hard when it’s near your bedtime! Meditation is also a good way to de-stress. Coupled with massage, meditation has been known to promote relaxation and help people drift off into a nice sleep. Aromatherapy oils can also help a great deal in promoting relaxation and inducing sleep. Don’t forget the classic bubbly bath and warm milk or herbal tea to help induce sleep. A bit of reading can also help you to take your mind off worry and wind down for bed.Avoid conflict before bedtime as well, as unresolved issues can make it very difficult to get good rest.
Secondly, creating a good sleep environment is essential. If your partner has a different sleeping schedule that you or is a noisy sleeper, consider discussing ways to regulate your sleeping habits. Coming to an agreement on your sleeping habits can do wonders for your sleep - and your relationship! In addition to this, make adjustments so that the ambient temperature and lighting is conducive to sleep. Keep your room cool and block out as much light as you can when you sleep, including light coming from electronic gadgets. Block out all noise as well, using high quality earplugs when you are not able to control the source of the noise.
Thirdly, create comfortable sleep by using only the best beds and pillows. Make sure that you’re not using mattresses or pillows that are over seven years old. These old things are saggy and lumpy, not to mention very unhygienic. Old beds and pillows are notoriously uncomfortable - even if you’ve used them for so long that you don’t really notice it anymore. Make an investment in your well-being with a nice new, comfortable bed and pillows that can give you the support you need. Fun fact: your head weighs about five kilograms, and seven out of the spine’s total of 33 vertebrae are in your neck. You need a good mattress - or at least a supportive mattress topper - and a good pillow to properly hold your head. When your head and neck are in correct alignment, it helps prevent neck pain and headaches in addition to promoting proper circulation and giving you adequate support so that your muscles can relax and your spine can decompress.
Take action for your sleep health today. Start working on taking away all the factors that are preventing you from sleeping well. Cut out stress, light and noise, and start creating a better sleeping environment with comfortable quarters and good bedtime habits.