09:00 Monday 21 October 2013

National Clocks Go Back Week: Sleep tips for the whole family

Written byWarren Evans

As animals our basic instinct is to hibernate during the darker, colder autumn and winter months. However we all know this is just not possible - life and work must go on!

And that's why Warren Evans, the London bed maker, and Belsize Health, the complementary health centre, are teaming up to launch the first ever national Clocks Go Back Week this October.

Running from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th October (when the clocks go back) Warren Evans and Belsize Health will be offering free professional advice and tips on how to get a good night's sleep, ensuring we adjust well to the extra hour and cope better with the change of climate and daylight.

Each day will focus on a different holistic discipline, such as Acupuncture, Yoga, Homeopathy and Naturopathy. A qualified professional will share their sleep tips on the Warren Evans blog and explain the science behind the therapy.

Dave Gibson, Warren Evans' trusted Sleep Advisor, says:

"Sleep can often be overlooked in our busy lives but this is very unhealthy. Quality sleep is central to human health and happiness. As well as playing a vital role in cerebral development, sleep is crucial for the maintenance of cognitive skills such as thinking, speaking and learning.

"Our sleep is disturbed in the darker months and we can often feel extra tired and fuzzy headed. At Warren Evans we understand how important sleep is and that's why we've  teamed up with Belsize Health. If our free advice can help a handful of people get a better night's sleep, and see through the hazy fog, it will be worth while."

As part of the week the public will be asked to share their how they will be spending the extra hour when the clocks go back on the Warren Evans Facebook page. A double bed and mattress will be awarded to the best.

Here are a few tips from Dave Gibson, Warren Evans' trusted Sleep Advisor to get you started:

1) Make getting to sleep a ritual, try to go to bed at the same time every night with a similar routine if possible.Before going to bed, try having a warm bath.

2) Avoid using your PC for at least 2 hours before you go to bed. Computer screens emit blue light, which tricks your brain to stop producing Melatonin. The blue light hits the light receptors at the back of your eyes and basically tells your brain that it's time to get up!

3) Avoid eating before bed, as a full stomach will keep you awake. In addition you won't metabolize the food and you will put on weight. It has also been shown that if you don't get enough sleep you are prone to put on weight around your mid-riff.

4) Get rid of your work worries and write a list before you go to bed.

5) Drink valerian tea. Valerian is a safe herbal choice for the treatment of mild insomnia. Most studies suggest that it is more effective when used continuously rather than as an acute sleep aid. A potential advantage of valerian over sleeping pills is the lack of sleepiness on awakening.

6) If you are waking with back pain and you feel uncomfortable during the night see if this improves by turning your mattress. If this does not work then consider a new one.

Equally get the size of your pillow right. It needs to keep your neck level with the rest of your spine. Typically one medium/firm pillow does the trick

7) Get your bedroom right. Get rid of all TVs, PCs and make it a room to sleep in. Change your bed linen frequently.

8) Eat foods that help you sleep. Include milk. Typotophan, an amino acid in milk products, can help reduce stress. The calcium helps your body optimise the benefits for sleeping, and the warm temperature can add to the soporific effects.

9) Don't drink caffeine late in the day, or alcohol late in the evening both will keep you awake.

10) Meditate. Meditation and self-hypnosis actually appear to increase alpha-theta activity and frequent practice is often prescribed as a means of supporting the body's ability to repair and recuperate. Prolonged periods of relaxation also up the secretion of mood-altering neuro-transmitters (e.g. serotonin and dopamine), which results in a more resourceful state of mind.

National Clocks Go Back Week starts on Monday 21st October offering professional tips and advice at www.warrenevans.com/blog.

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