The quality of your sleep has a direct impact on your daily wellbeing, from your physical health such as aches, pains and energy levels, to your mental wellbeing such as brain power, emotional balance and mental health.
But as the cold mornings continue to make getting out of bed a daily challenge, it can be hard to believe it may be possible to wake with a spring in your step. However, experts say there are a few small changes you can make to help you feel more energized and alert when the alarm bell sounds.
Here, the sleep experts at Sealy UK, have compiled a list of sleep hacks to wake up feeling refreshed.
Find the right sleep position
The position you sleep in can have a big impact on how you feel when you wake up. People often blame poor sleep on aches and pains on external factors such as exercise, injuries or their posture at work, without considering how your spinal alignment during sleep can have a knock-on effect.
Falling asleep on your back is considered one of the best ways to support your spine throughout the night, as it is deemed to be the most natural spinal position, helping to alleviate aches, pains and even wrinkles.
Most of the population sleep on their side, most commonly in the foetal position, which involves sleeping on your side with your knees bent towards the chest. Generally, this position is moderately supportive, providing you support your head and neck correctly with a high loft pillow. However, to achieve better spinal alignment in this position, it’s worth placing a firm pillow between your knees. This helps to prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment, and reduces the stress on your hips and lower back while you sleep.
In comparison, sleeping face down on your stomach puts the greatest amount of pressure on the spine which can cause strains, stiffness, back and neck pain which inevitably impacts how refreshed you feel when you wake up.
Prioritise quality over quantity
When it comes to sleep, quality is more important than quantity. Having a longer, but more disturbed sleep will leave you feeling more fatigued and rested than a shorter, high-quality slumber.
The best way to minimise any possible disturbances in the night, is to banish phones or pets, and anything else that could wake you up in the night. Another consideration is to make sure your mattress is designed to limit partner disturbance, so that if you partner tosses and turns in the night, it won’t be felt on your side of the bed.
If you’re a heavier sleeper or you sleep with a partner, then it may be preferable to opt for a mattress with Edge Guard Support, as this will offer your whole body the full support it needs in order to rest as comfortably as possible.
Rise with the sun
A recent study found that waking with the sun rise, rather than setting your alarm to wake up before the sun rises, has a plethora of benefits including having a positive impact on energy levels.
This is because day light is the principal controlling factor on our natural body clock, and forcing yourself to wake up before sun rise, rather than waking naturally, causes an imbalance of the body’s cortisol levels, which in turn causes us to feel tired and sluggish. As unachievable as this may sound, particularly in the summer months, research proves that early risers are more productive and energised throughout the day.
However, if waking with the sun rise isn’t feasible for your routine, especially during the winter months where the sun rises much later in the morning, you can invest in a ‘sun rise alarm clock’ which mimics the sun rise by gradually increasing light levels in the room.
Find a mattress that supports you
When trying to achieve a quality night sleep, it is vital that you sleep on a mattress that’s right for you and your body.
Start by determining your preference for comfort. If you’re looking for something with medium firmness, you should opt for a mattress with a layer of latex that cushions the body for a comfortable sleep. If you prefer medium-firm support, you should try a hybrid mattress which contains Geltex, which works to provide pressure relief for your body. If you like a firm support, then an Orthopedic mattress may be most suitable.
When making the decision, it is worth touching and feeling the products in person, to assess which mattress is the right for you. You should compare various brands and visit a showroom to see each in person, as what one person deems a firm mattress, may be deemed medium or soft by another.
Avoid the snooze button
When getting up in the morning, it might be tempting to set your alarm a little earlier so you can hit the snooze button for an extra ten minutes. However, this can actually make you feel worse when you eventually get out of bed, as going back to sleep prepares your body for another sleep cycle.
Instead, set your alarm for the latest possible moment and move your alarm clock to the opposite side of the room so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. You are much less likely to get back into bed once you are already up.