Why ‘sleep more and sleep well’ should be everyone’s new year resolution
Sleep is a valuable commodity in our fast-paced digital world, but the benefits of more and better sleep are enormous. Forget Crypto, sleep is the thing we should all be looking to invest in this year if we want to live richer lives.
They say ‘new year, new you’, and whilst you may have a list of new year’s resolutions as long as your arm, there’s no better way to ensure a happier, healthier 2022 than revitalising your sleeping routine.
It is well documented that 8 hours of sleep per night is optimal, so why do so few of us find it possible to achieve this? Mrs Thatcher may have managed on only three or four, but going to bed late and rising early is not a pre-requisite for success. Winston Churchill worked through the night, but would often sleep for five or six hours, rising late and reaching his full 8 hours with a two-hour nap mid-afternoon.
Of course, whilst sleeping more is a healthy ambition, there is no point in doing so if you are sleeping badly. We’ve partnered with Savoir Beds to offer five ways in which you can sleep more and sleep better in 2022…
Invest in your bed and mattress
If you spend a third of your life sleeping, it’s worth doing it properly and doing it comfortably. A recent study looking at the benefits of a new mattress over 28 days revealed that it reduced back pain by 57%, shoulder pain by 60%, and back stiffness by 59%. It also improved sleep quality by 60%.
Savoir has been perfecting the art of sleeping for over a century, and are industry-leaders when it comes to crafting quality, long-lasting and comfortable beds and mattresses. Savoir’s sleep consultant – Dr Rebecca Robbins – works in collaboration with the bed-making team to ensure their beds provide a quality of sleep that enhances all areas of wellbeing, performance, anti-aging and immunity.
A made-to-order, bespoke Savoir mattress, which is tailored to each sleeper, is designed to keep the spine in proper alignment all night and relieve pressure points. Which can make all the difference to perfect sleep. Choosing a bed, mattress and bedding from naturally breathable and thermo-regulating materials is important for maintaining a cool body temperature – which helps you sleep longer.
A good bed is an investment that will pay dividends for years – and even decades – to come. Not only will you sleep better, thus being more productive, healthier and happier, but quality beds like those made by Savoir are sustainable and last a long time. You can sleep better and help the environment! Thousands of mattresses – often covered in non-biodegradable plastics – end up in landfill each year, whereas Savoir mattresses are made from the finest natural materials available and can be adjusted if you’re not satisfied. The team at Savoir are constantly looking for new materials to use alongside the tried and tested ones – horse tail, Mongolian yak, cashmere, cotton and wool.
Develop a healthy routine
Your body has an in-built clock called the circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. Getting into a regular routine of waking and sleeping is essential for allowing your circadian rhythm to re-calibrate. After a few weeks of regular bed times and waking times, you may not even need an alarm clock as your body will naturally wake you up.
It means an end to staying up late and weekend lie ins. “Any more than an hour’s difference to your normal schedule and you will actually impose jetlag-like symptoms on your brain,” says Dr Robbins.
Instead, a disciplined approach will make your sleep more productive. “The secret is, when you stick to a strict bedtime and wake up time, you actually need less sleep, because your sleep becomes so efficient,” she says.
Of course, no one wants to go to bed early every night, but the good news is that the occasional late night won’t affect your circadian rhythm too much. This means you can still hit LouLous on Thursdays and maintain a healthy sleeping routine for the rest of the week.
Sleep cannot be hurried
The more you think about it, the more unreachable it becomes. Like so many things, this is true of sleep. A calm, slow bed-time routine is important for a sound night’s sleep. If you go to bed in a rush, you are likely to be restless, sleep shallowly and fitfully, and ultimately not benefit from your sleep as much as if you had gone to sleep feeling relaxed.
No one knows the importance of taking one’s time more than Savoir, who hand make all their beds and mattresses individually for each customer. They hold no stock, starting work only when an order is placed. A single craftsperson takes each bed from inception to completion, uniquely tailoring it to each specification, body and style.
Since their foundation 100 years ago, Savoir has used techniques that have been passed through the generations; painstakingly star-lashing hourglass springs for just the right amount of tension and stability; hand-teasing horse tail to ensure even distribution; hand-stitching along the grid pattern of their famous Trellis ticking. It takes three years for a Savoir apprentice to learn their craft, and a lifetime to perfect it. No wonder the Savoy hotel continue to buy Savoir beds for their suites.
The most popular bed in Savoir’s range (and the one featured in many of the Savoy’s suites) is the No. 2. Originally developed for the famous hotel in 1905, the bed has cradled the likes of Winston Churchill, Giacomo Puccini and Marilyn Monroe on its springs.
Unwind before bed
Investing in a calming routine before bed will help you to fall asleep more quickly and more deeply, according to studies. “The time before bed is actually very much part of our sleep routine,” Dr Rebecca Robbins, sleep consultant to Savoir Beds and author of the best-selling book ‘Sleep for Success’, says. “People often think that they can switch from going a million miles an hour to sleep, instantly, and it doesn’t happen that way.”
Be it a hot bath or shower (as you step out into the cold air, your core body temperature drops, making you feel sleepy) or listening to the latest business biography on audible, the key is slowing down and feeling comfortable. “Comfort is something we all crave as human beings. It is this comfort that allows us to slip into a sound sleep at night” says Dr Robbins.
For those who like nothing better than a bit of Netflix before bedtime, it’s also a good idea to stop watching TV a while before heading to sleep, as the blue light wakes you up and the information overload can hype you. Try reading a book or magazine instead; Gentleman’s Journal subscribers receive a bi-annual print magazine in addition to full online access and exclusive events.
Meditation can also be helpful. Research suggests that meditation can improve insomnia as well as sleep quality for those with healthy sleep. Take a look at the best wellness and meditation apps to use in 2022.
Recharge with a nap
We often feel tired after lunch as our body temperature dips after eating. If you’re working from home and your Savoir bed is in the next room, try channelling your inner Churchill with a restorative power nap rather than reaching for a coffee.
“Naps can be part of a healthy sleep routine,” Dr Robbins says. “They can be used to replenish sleep debt, or just when you get that sleepy feeling after lunch.” Twenty minutes is all you need to recharge the batteries – the same time as it will take to walk to a coffee shop, queue and walk back – but if the quality of your work improves after a short nap then it’s well-worth taking one for productivity’s sake. In one New Zealand study, researchers found that those who had a short sleep at work scored better on tests of alertness and performance.
It is clinically proven that more and better sleep enhances mental and physical wellbeing, slows the effects of ageing, assists muscle repair and generally makes you happier. So why do we not invest in it more? We often think that day time hours are more important, but then we spend a third of our life sleeping. It is clear that there needs to be a major shift in our attitude to sleep. Rather than seeing it as something that has to simply be done, we must see it as a worthwhile investment in our longterm health and wellbeing. Crypto may be all the rage right now, but more and better sleep is what we should all be investing in this year and in the years to come.
Want some other new year’s resolutions? These are the style resolutions you should be following in 2022…
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