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How to Combat Christmas Stress

By Thomas Harrison   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Monday 15th December 2014

How to Combat Christmas Stress

It’s that time of year yet again. However, the festive period is often a time of overindulgence for many, especially in the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day: and that’s fine, we all deserve a break every now and then, but it’s still important to keep track of your sleep quality, which is a big ask considering all the stress, excitement and social events happening over the festive period.

The run-up to Christmas

This is one of the most stressful times of the year for adults: all that worrying about who you need to buy presents for, all the jobs you need to do, how you’re going to organise Christmas dinner, who’s cooking what etc. Stress is one of the main causes of sleep deprivation, and drifting off at night relies on the brain being completely free from the distractions and anxieties about everyday day, and here are some ways to help achieve this:Merry Christmas!

1. Write down your worries – It’s a massive cliché, but it really does help, and don’t disregard it until you’ve tried it. By putting your worries down in writing, it’s a subconscious way of letting your mind know the issue will be addressed, but it doesn’t need to be worried about right now.

2. Establish a wind-down routine at night – It’s vital that in the hours before sleep, you don’t do anything too stimulating. Things like eating, exercising, watching TV or browsing social media stimulate brain activity and hinder the production of certain sleep-inducing hormones. For example, the hormone melatonin is responsible for feeling tired, and the light emitted by electronic screens tricks the brain into thinking it’s still daytime, and therefore time to be awake. Another good tip is to avoid alcohol in the hours before bed, whilst it may appear to help you wind down, in reality it ruins your sleep quality, which is just going to create more stress the next day.

3. Practice mindfulnessMindfulness is an increasingly-popular relaxation technique, and similarly to the first point, it aims to focus on the present, rather than future obstacles or anxieties of the past. The practice begins simply by controlling your breathing, and although that may seem trivial, most people are unaware of just how much their breathing changes when they’re thinking stressful thoughts – concentrate on every inhalation and exhalation, slow it right down and notice how your heart rate falls, followed by your stress levels – you’ll be drifting off in no time.

4. Keep a consistent sleep schedule – You can almost train the brain to go to sleep if you go to bed at the same time every night – this keeps your body-clock in sync. The body clock, more officially known as your circadian rhythm, is responsible for regulating different bodily functions depending on the time of day – things like when to eat, when’s best to exercise, when to be most alert, and more relevantly, when to sleep. If you’re always going to bed at different times, then your body clock will struggle to establish a routine, and this’ll inhibit the production of sleep-inducing hormones and chemicals. This also means waking up at the same time every day, so why not check out our wake-up hacks for great tips on how to wake up feeling fresh and ready to go in the mornings.

New Year’s resolution: sleep better!

Prioritising your sleep is a great New Year’s resolution, and once you get into the habit of getting a good night’s sleep you will begin to notice a new you. The long term benefits of consistently sleeping well are too good to ignore: those who sleep the best tend to be the happiest, the healthiest, the most intelligent, and less at risk to some serious health problems like obesity, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer, depression, heart disease, and many more. However, consistently sleeping well is easier said than done, but we believe we have the answer to a better night’s sleep: an Ergoflex memory foam mattress. Why not treat yourself this Christmas, especially if it’s been a while since you bought your current mattress. Our memory foam mattress composition has been scientifically engineered over three generations to provide unparalleled sleep comfort – and the best thing is, you won’t have to worry about Santa being able to fit the mattress down your chimney because ours come vacuum packed inside an easy-to-manage box – it couldn’t be easier!

Season's greetings from everyone at Ergoflex – we wish you all the very best for the coming year!




‘Tis the Season to Be… Tired? Parties & Visiting Relatives Top Sleep Loss Poll

Wednesday 10th December 2014

‘Tis the Season to Be… Tired? Parties & Visiting Relatives Top Sleep Loss Poll

Christmas is a time for family, fun and socialising… or should that be sleep loss, stress and household tension? Well, the results of our latest sleep survey show that the festive season can cause a great deal of lost sleep for various reasons, and some things that should be fun can turn out to be anything but when it comes to reality. Overall, 71% of us experience less sleep than usual over Christmas and New Year, with the average amount of sleep lost coming in at over 30 hours for the period.

That’s a lot of sleep missed, let’s take a look at the main reasons behind it.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: ‘Tis the Season to Be… Tired? Parties & Visiting Relatives Top Sleep Loss Poll

The Shocking Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Friday 5th December 2014

The Shocking Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

There is a widespread ignorance towards the consequences of sleep deprivation – many people underestimate the value of consistently getting a good night’s sleep, and treat being tired as being a relatively harmless part of everyday life. In reality, consistent sleep deprivation has some serious consequences, and it really doesn’t take that much to be sleep deprived. Not sleeping enough negatively impacts pretty much every aspect of your everyday life, both mentally and physically, and even if those consequences aren’t immediately visible, consistent lack of sleep really takes its toll over the years. Let’s take a look at the real price of poor sleep.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: The Shocking Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Is Pillow Talk Over? How Social Media is Dominating our Bedrooms

Wednesday 3rd December 2014

Is Pillow Talk Over? How Social Media is Dominating our Bedrooms

Pillow talk between couples may be a thing of the past as social media makes its way into the bedroom on smartphones and tablets, according to our latest sleep survey. We quizzed co-habiting couples on their pre-sleep routines and found that simply chatting together wasn’t on the agenda for most, with technology-related activities firmly taking priority before lights out.

The top five most-popular activities for those who don’t go straight to sleep were;

  1. View social media – 59%
  2. Watch TV – 53%
  3. Browse internet on phone/tablet – 46%
  4. Read a book – 21%
  5. Pillow talk with partner – 11%

It’s easy to see how the advancement in mobile technology has shaped what we do before sleep, but is that progress coming at the cost of our sleep and even our relationships? Let’s take a look at the situation.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Is Pillow Talk Over? How Social Media is Dominating our Bedrooms

The Incredible Things Happening in Your Body as You Sleep

Friday 28th November 2014

The Incredible Things Happening in Your Body as You Sleep

It’s far too easy to assume that when you fall asleep at night, your body goes into some sort of ‘shut down’ mode, waking up in a similar state to when you went to sleep. Although some functions of the body do dramatically decrease during sleep (like heart rate and blood pressure), there are actually some pretty amazing and surprising things happening in your body through the night – let’s take a look at some of the more fascinating ones. 

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: The Incredible Things Happening in Your Body as You Sleep

Men Choosing Style over Sleep – Survey

Tuesday 25th November 2014

Men Choosing Style over Sleep – Survey

Our latest look at the UK’s sleep habits focused on the morning routine, and found that men in relationships took on average longer than women to get ready, and that they’re waking up extra early to do so – sacrificing sleep and time in bed for their style.

The survey polled 1,837 UK men in relationships, and some 52% claimed that they took longer than their partner to get ready in the morning, with the average time spent clocking in at a lengthy 58 minutes. Of the respondents who said that they had a longer routine than their partner, 42% admitted to setting an extra early alarm in order to fit their lengthy morning process in before leaving the house. How early? The average wake-up time of those polled was 06:35, showing a rather surprising level of dedication to their style, but perhaps a startling disregard for sleep.

Focusing on exactly what such a morning routine entails, a massive 75% said that grooming/beauty dominated their time.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Men Choosing Style over Sleep – Survey

What’s the Difference Between Memory Foam Mattresses?

Thursday 20th November 2014

What’s the Difference Between Memory Foam Mattresses?

Memory foam mattresses are a relatively new arrival on the scene, and consumers can be forgiven for thinking that there are only one or two types available. However, as with most products there’s a massive number of variations in memory foam mattresses, from cheap options that use the lowest quality materials right through to superior grade, luxury alternatives at the upper end of the market.

Again, as with most other things, it’s fair to say that you get what you pay for – when the price of a memory foam mattress appears ‘too good to be true’ it will invariably be an inferior, poor quality product that, a) won’t contain genuine memory foam material, and b) won’t be able to offer anything like the expected performance levels of a premium alternative. Even when it comes to some of the more expensive offerings you might not be getting what you expect. When it comes to mattresses, and memory foam mattresses in particular, the price shouldn’t be considered in isolation when you’re making a buying decision. Broadly speaking, the offerings can be split into three categories; lower-end, mid-range and top-end.

Let’s take a look at the differences.

 

Category: Memory Foam Mattresses

Read full: What’s the Difference Between Memory Foam Mattresses?

Does Counting Sheep Really Help You Fall Asleep Faster?

Friday 14th November 2014

Does Counting Sheep Really Help You Fall Asleep Faster?

We’ve previously discussed some of the more common myths surrounding the world of sleep, but one myth that deserves a whole blog of its own is the idea that counting sheep can be used as a tool to induce sleep. It’s an idea that’s widespread in popular culture, and the image of sheep being counted is synonymous with sleep across many different countries and cultures. It’s even been used by Mr. Bean (albeit incorrectly) as part of the bedtime ritual, but the question remains: does counting sheep really work?

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Does Counting Sheep Really Help You Fall Asleep Faster?

The Secret Life in Your Mattress

Friday 7th November 2014

The Secret Life in Your Mattress

Your mattress. The sanctuary onto which you lie every night. The most comfortable and relaxing space in your life. But mattresses are often much more than that.

 

secret life mattress

They can be home to a whole host of insect-like creatures - some invisible to the naked eye, some visible – that can number in the millions. The presence of this life within your mattress and bed can go unnoticed, or the symptoms of their habitation may be seen but not associated with a veritable living world beneath, and occasionally on, your body. This is the story of the secret life in your mattress.

So what exactly can live in and around a typical mattress? Let’s don our protective masks, go beneath the surface and find out.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: The Secret Life in Your Mattress

Alcohol & Sleep: How That Evening Glass of Wine Ruins Your Sleep

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Alcohol & Sleep: How That Evening Glass of Wine Ruins Your Sleep

It’s common in many cultures for people to wind down before bed with a glass of wine or two, or any alcoholic beverage for that matter. Whilst there are some health benefits to drinking wine (in moderation), consuming alcohol before bed wreaks havoc with your sleep, and ultimately, your health.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Alcohol & Sleep: How That Evening Glass of Wine Ruins Your Sleep

5 Amazing Facts about Your Body That Will Blow Your Mind

Monday 3rd November 2014

5 Amazing Facts about Your Body That Will Blow Your Mind

The human body is without doubt the most complex machine that exists, and its magnificence will probably never be exceeded by any man-made object. It’s a work of art, completing millions of microscopic processes every second, processes which have been moulded over the course of billions of years of evolution. It’s easy to forget just how amazing your body is and how much we take it for granted – some these facts will hopefully remind you of just how amazing yet complicated you are, and obviously since this is an Ergoflex blog, some of these facts might just relate to the world of sleep…

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 5 Amazing Facts about Your Body That Will Blow Your Mind

Sleep-friendly Superfoods – Your Secret Weapons for Great Sleep

Thursday 30th October 2014

Sleep-friendly Superfoods – Your Secret Weapons for Great Sleep

superfoods and sleep

The term ‘superfood’ has entered the mainstream in recent years, reserved for a set of foods that pack an extraordinary nutritional punch compared to their lesser, non-super counterparts. Superfoods are usually discussed in terms of their detox qualities or their energy-producing abilities, and they’re valued by those who follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. But did you know that there are some superfoods that include sleep-boosting potential among their many powers?

Diet and sleep is inextricably linked. What we put into our bodies during the day of course has a direct effect on our energy levels during daylight hours, and making the wrong food choices – whether it’s what we eat, how much we eat or when we eat it – can spell disaster for our sleep quality that night. In an almost cruel twist, how well we sleep during the night is largely responsible for our appetite and cravings the following day. This means that a bad night’s sleep can easily lead to a day of high energy cravings and overindulgence of the types of food that should really be avoided, and another night of poor sleep to follow.

So, introducing one or two snooze-inducing superfoods into your daily diet may just be the difference between good nights and good days, or falling into the vicious circle of cravings, energy spikes and continuous bad sleep.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Sleep-friendly Superfoods – Your Secret Weapons for Great Sleep

Are You a Yearner or a Log? Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Are You a Yearner or a Log? Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings

The act of falling asleep isn’t an exact science – everyone has their own unique way of doing so, and we can sleep in many different positions. Most of these positions fall into three distinct categories, each with their advantages and disadvantages: on your back, on your front, or on your side. Let’s take a look at the three categories and at the variations within each…

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Are You a Yearner or a Log? Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings

The Hidden Dangers of Drowsy-Driving

Monday 27th October 2014

The Hidden Dangers of Drowsy-Driving

Many of you have probably never even considered the dangers of driving whilst tired, or weren't even aware of the concept of drowsy-driving: in reality, drowsy-driving is a serious health hazard and there are some worrying statistics for the number of fatalities linked to the issue. This may come as some surprise considering how much coverage other driving issues such as drink-driving and speeding get in the press and on the news – so why is society so ignorant towards tired-driving?

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: The Hidden Dangers of Drowsy-Driving

What Your Dream Says about You

Thursday 23rd October 2014

What Your Dream Says about You

The interpretation of our dreams has become a very popular subject in recent years, although the origins of dream interpretation can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt where dream meanings were depicted using hieroglyphics. As a society, we’re always striving for self-evaluation and self-improvement, and analysing dreams can be a way of discovering how you’re really feeling inside. However, dream interpretation is not without its critics and analysis shouldn’t always be taken literally – our own research found that people were only really likely to believe the meaning of a dream if it was a positive meaning, opting to discard any negative analysis. Although dream interpretation is only really just guesswork, it can offer some good insights about your own personality, so read on to discover what your dream could be saying about you…

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: What Your Dream Says about You

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