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The Sleeptember Challenge

By Thomas Harrison   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Wednesday 27th August 2014

The Sleeptember Challenge

Sleep deprivation really isn’t as trivial or as harmless as many would like to believe. Consistently failing to get enough sleep can increase the risk of developing serious health issues like cancer, type 2 diabetes, dementia, muscle aches, depression, and heart disease, as well as lowering your life expectancy. It is believed that over 30% of the population are sleep deprived, and worryingly, the figure is increasing every year among young people.

Sleeptember aims to raise public awareness about just how dangerous sleep deprivation is, and how you can improve your sleep hygiene. Take the challenge…

1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every dayKeep your body clock in sync.

This keeps your body clock in sync. The body clock is an internal system present in all humans and animals which regulates different bodily functions at different times of the day. Going to bed and waking up at the same time will make falling asleep and getting up easier for you, because your body will be trained to do so.

2. No television or mobile phones in bed

Phones are too much of a distraction in bed, and 90% of young people literally sleep with their phone which is leading to a sleep-deprived generation. The light from electronic devices inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you feel tired. Avoid any electronics in the hour before bedtime otherwise your brain will find it hard to wind itself down.

3. Get 8 hours every night

Although everyone is different, the amount of sleep the average person needs is around 8 hours. Research has found that those who sleep for 6 hours or less were 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who got 8 hours sleep a night. There are 5 stages to sleep, and those 5 stages last around 90 minutes in total – we need to experience 5 or 6 full cycles of those 5 stages in order to get the most from our sleep, and 6 hours doesn’t allow this to happen.

4. Keep a sleep journal

Keeping a journal could show any patterns in your sleep quality, which could be useful in identifying if you have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders like insomnia often go undiagnosed and there is a lot of medical help available. Note down what time you went to bed, when you woke up, how easily you fell asleep, and even what you dreamed of to make it a little interesting. Writing things down is also a useful way to de-clutter your mind, or as a means to wind down in the hour before bed – being stress free is absolutely essential to falling asleep, and putting pen to paper at night can put your mind at ease.

5. Avoid the snooze button

Are those 10 extra minutes’ sleep in the morning really worth it? Actually, no. The snooze button confuses your body clock, and can send you back into a deeper sleep, meaning you’ll feel more tired and more disorientated when you do eventually get up. We’d recommend moving your alarm away from your bed so when it goes off, you have to get up to turn it off.

6. Mattress audit

You’ll spend 1/3 of your entire life on a mattress, and it should be seen as the single most important piece of furniture in the home. Most people don’t replace their mattress or bedding as often as they should, and if it feels You'll spend 1/3 of your life on a mattress.saggy, is older than 5 years, or you noticeably feel how much more comfortable hotel mattresses are, then it may indicate that your mattress is too old. Furthermore, if you’re consistently getting a poor night’s sleep, then your mattress could well be the culprit even if it’s relatively new - it may be too hard, too soft, or made out of the wrong material to fulfil your needs. The right mattress leads to better health. For more information about buying a new mattress, you can consult our handy Mattress Buying Guide.

7. Bedroom audit

The state of your bedroom has a big influence on your sleep hygiene. It should be tidy, there should be no light or sound when you’re trying to sleep, and there should be nothing in there which entertains – the brain needs to see the bedroom as a place for sleep and not as a place for stimulating activities.

The challenge is relatively simple and doesn’t require too much effort. But you should feel, and look, noticeably better by the end of the month, and these small lifestyle changes could make a significant difference to your general health and well-being. Those who sleep the longest tend to be fitter, healthier, more intelligent, less at risk to some serious health issues, and have longer life expectancies – those benefits are definitely worth aiming for, all it takes is a good night’s sleep! Sleep soundly this September.




Back to School Sleep Tips

Tuesday 26th August 2014

Back to School Sleep Tips

The school summer holidays are nearly over, and those long, lazy days of freedom will be replaced with hours spent back in the classroom before long. For lots of children this will be a rude awakening, literally, as summer holidays are typically a time for lie-ins and later bedtimes. Going straight back into ‘school mode’ from such giddiness can be a difficult transition, and there may be some resistance to early nights and early mornings.

Regular good quality sleep is of course important in every stage of life, but it is particularly so for school-age children as it plays such a key role in learning and all aspects of development. School is a demanding process; from the length of the day, the variety of lessons and academic expectations, to the social aspect of fitting in and co-operating with others – all-in-all there’s a lot going on. It’s certainly not a place where a tired, sleep deprived child can thrive.

So, here are some tips to make sure your child starts the new school year well-rested and ready to go.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Back to School Sleep Tips

Bed-sharing, Multiple Partners and Unwashed Sheets - Welcome to a Fresher Student’s Bedroom

Tuesday 19th August 2014

Bed-sharing, Multiple Partners and Unwashed Sheets - Welcome to a Fresher Student’s Bedroom

Our latest sleep survey took a timely look at first-year university students, and unexpectedly uncovered a whole host of shocking statistics.

Polling nearly 3000 students who have recently completed their first year living at university, we found that washing bed sheets wasn’t high on the agenda, with the average time between changes some two and a half months. Almost as worrying as that was what happened in the bed throughout that debut year at university, with sleep appearing to be the last thing on a student’s mind.

 

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Bed-sharing, Multiple Partners and Unwashed Sheets - Welcome to a Fresher Student’s Bedroom

6 Ways to Banish Bedtime Stress

Monday 18th August 2014

6 Ways to Banish Bedtime Stress

Stress and anxiety are among the main reasons behind loss of sleep, with night-time worries keeping many of us awake. Here some quick ways to keep stress levels low at bedtime.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 6 Ways to Banish Bedtime Stress

5 Incredible Things People Have Done in Their Sleep

Tuesday 12th August 2014

5 Incredible Things People Have Done in Their Sleep

The process of sleeping should be a relatively straight-forward concept – you go to bed, eventually fall asleep, and then wake up the next morning in a similar physical and mental state to when you went to bed.  Imagine if this wasn’t the case. Imagine you woke up in a completely different place, or woke up to discover all your problems had been solved by a dream? Unbelievably, it does actually happen. Here are some of the amazing and crazy things people have done in their sleep…

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 5 Incredible Things People Have Done in Their Sleep

Sleep - The Facts

Tuesday 12th August 2014

Sleep - The Facts

All the important and surprising facts about sleep...

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Sleep - The Facts

How to Fall Asleep like a Pro

Wednesday 6th August 2014

How to Fall Asleep like a Pro

Isn’t it annoying how some people can fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow? Are you one of the ever-growing number of people who find it difficult to drift off at night? Fear not, we’ve constructed a handy guide on how to sleep like a pro.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: How to Fall Asleep like a Pro

Dreaming of Home – Beds top the list of most-missed things on holiday

Thursday 31st July 2014

Dreaming of Home – Beds top the list of most-missed things on holiday

What do you miss about home when you’re away on holiday? Pets? Friends and family? Favourite TV programmes? Well, according to the results of our latest sleep survey it’s your own bed. Of the 2,361 UK-based respondents, 21% said that their trusty bed at home was the thing they longed for the most.

The top five most-missed were;

  1. Own bed: 21%
  2. Pets: 18%
  3. Home-cooked food: 17%
  4. Favourite TV programmes: 13%
  5. Family and friends: 11%

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Dreaming of Home – Beds top the list of most-missed things on holiday

7 Surprising Ways Sleeping Well Can Improve Your Life

Wednesday 30th July 2014

7 Surprising Ways Sleeping Well Can Improve Your Life

Sleeping well is something many of us don't take seriously enough, but getting a good night's sleep really does play an important role in our well-being and long-term health. Read on to discover 7 surprising ways sleep can improve your life...

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 7 Surprising Ways Sleeping Well Can Improve Your Life

Bed-Sharing Guide: Is Sleeping Apart the Future of Relationships?

Monday 28th July 2014

Bed-Sharing Guide: Is Sleeping Apart the Future of Relationships?

Sharing a bed with your partner would be considered by many as being one of the most fundamental aspects of a relationship, but surprisingly, sleeping in separate beds is becoming increasingly popular among new couples.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Bed-Sharing Guide: Is Sleeping Apart the Future of Relationships?

Why a Good Night's Sleep Should Be Part of Your Weight-Loss Regime

Sunday 27th July 2014

Why a Good Night's Sleep Should Be Part of Your Weight-Loss Regime

If like so many of the population you’re on a diet, then things like eating healthily, your calorie intake and your exercise regime become a priority. And rightly so, those three factors are vital to any weight-loss programme, but how many of you would consider sleeping well as being as important as those other factors in trying to shed those pounds? Chances are, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the last things you’ll think of if you’re trying to lose weight, but the fact is that there is a very strong link between obesity and sleep deprivation.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Why a Good Night's Sleep Should Be Part of Your Weight-Loss Regime

7 Ways to Create the Perfect Bedroom

Wednesday 23rd July 2014

7 Ways to Create the Perfect Bedroom

Is your bedroom a space where relaxation is hard to come by? Here’s how to turn it into a haven of serenity and get some great sleep as a result;

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 7 Ways to Create the Perfect Bedroom

How Long Could You Go without Sleep?

Tuesday 22nd July 2014

How Long Could You Go without Sleep?

Sleep is an integral part of life and is something we all do on a daily basis. However, a good night’s sleep is not always possible and we’ve all been guilty of pulling at least one ‘all-nighter’ during our time, whether that be revising for an exam, caring for a loved one, partying too hard or having to travel at an awkward time in the morning. Whilst one sleepless night may seem relatively harmless, the potential health risks are actually quite severe. The question is, just how long could you go without sleeping?

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: How Long Could You Go without Sleep?

12 Ways That Sleep Deprivation Can Ruin Your Day

Wednesday 16th July 2014

12 Ways That Sleep Deprivation Can Ruin Your Day

Sleep deprivation won't just wreck your night... it'll make your day an ordeal too. Here's how;

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 12 Ways That Sleep Deprivation Can Ruin Your Day

Most-wanted Beds – Fun and fantasy outrank sleep

Tuesday 15th July 2014

Most-wanted Beds – Fun and fantasy outrank sleep

Our latest look into the sleep habits of the nation focused on beds, and revealed that many men harbour a secret desire to have their own versions of children’s novelty beds, while the bed that women are more likely to want was found to be a fairy-tale four-poster.

We asked 2,632 people in the UK what type of bed they had, and what type of bed they’d like to have. The light-hearted study showed that when it comes to bedrooms, many of us are young at heart.  

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Most-wanted Beds – Fun and fantasy outrank sleep

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