How to get the most out of your sleep

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A great night’s sleep is absolutely vital when it comes to resting our bodies and minds. So, when we don’t get enough shut-eye, it can take a serious toll on our energy, productivity and mental health.

It’s highly likely that every one of us have experienced trouble with sleeping at some point in our lives. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, up to a third of the UK adult population regularly suffer from insomnia, while almost half of Britons say that stress or worry keeps them awake in the early hours.

If you, like so many others, find yourself tossing and turning at night, then we’re here to help. Read on to find out how to improve your sleep and why a bedside gadget like an alarm clock radio can aid your quest for the perfect slumber.

How much sleep do you really need?

The average human spends around one-third of their life asleep, but are we getting enough? Many people are unaware of just how much sleep they should be getting on a nightly basis. Research has suggested the optimum amount of sleep for the typical adult is between 7-9 hours, but this will vary across ages.

Check out the chart below for an in-depth look at recommended sleep times:

Maintaining a healthy routine also plays a big factor for sleeping better. Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or ‘circadian rhythm’ as the experts call it, can be achieved by sleeping and getting up at a similar time every day.

Setting an alarm on a regular basis means you can schedule a daily wake-up call to ensure you hit the correct amount of sleep. If you want to indulge with a weekend lie in – particularly after a late night – then create a separate alarm and cherish some extra time in the haven of your bed. Just make sure to not sleep in for too long, as this can have a negative effect on your sleep-wake cycle!

Winding down

Although the idea of a good night’s sleep may seem like a thankless task when you’re wide awake in the middle of the night, you have more control over your sleep than you realise. Making sure you’re totally relaxed before getting into bed makes a huge difference when it comes to quality of sleep. However, this can be much easier said than done – especially for those with a stressful lifestyle and busy daily routine.

Listening to music is a great method of winding down while in bed. We recommend playing something soothing, like classical music, at a quiet volume. Tuning into the same radio programme every night can also form part of a bedtime ritual, which experts advise to those suffering from insomnia.

You may also choose to listen to different kinds of sleep-inducing sounds using a Bluetooth enabled bedside gadget. Whether it’s the sound of raindrops or podcasts like Sleep With Me, there’s something available to aid every troubled sleeper. Check out our Chill Out playlist for the ultimate soothing soundtrack.

Another great way of guaranteeing a relaxed mind is by avoiding bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime. Siesta S6 and Siesta Rise S both feature clever CrystalVue+ displays which automatically dim to match the room’s surrounding lighting. This ensures easy visibility, while also being kind on sleepy eyes.

Blue light emitted from electronic screens disrupts the sleep hormone melatonin and makes you more alert. While most smartphones enable you to switch this off with a night mode, we recommend that you completely detach yourself from social media, texts and emails as this can be a major distraction for the brain.

The power of naps

If you’ve suffered from a bad night’s rest, then napping is a great way to make up for lost sleep. Experts suggest that 15-20 minutes is the perfect length to enjoy all the benefits of napping, such as heightened alertness and an improved mood.

Nap for much longer than this and you’ll hit a deeper sleep, which slows down brain waves and leaves you feeling groggy when waking up.  

Morning motivation

Mustering up the courage to get out of bed can be a real struggle, especially on a typically dreary British morning. Blast away those morning blues by awakening you to the glorious sound of your favourite digital radio stations. With a huge library of incredible radio programmes to choose from, it’s easy to discover your rise and shine.

For an extra burst of encouragement, turn on our Morning Motivation playlist while getting ready for the day ahead.

Other top sleeping tips

  • Stress can affect sleep for many people due to the mounting worries of day-to-day life. Meditating and breathing exercises can help clear your mind for a great night’s doze.
  • Keeping a note pad by your bed. When you have the world going through your mind before sleep, just jot thoughts down and you will feel more in control and relaxed.
  • Those who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less tired during the day. Time your exercise right and avoid working out too close to bed time as it can interfere with sleep.
  • Try to plan dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods and liquids within two hours of bed. Also try to avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
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A new version of the Sensia please, it was the best radio you ever made!!!