Some people will go to extreme lengths to get a little shut-eye, as a travelling Saudi royal staying at our client’s 5 star hotel in London proved. Bringing with him an 80 piece orchestra, just in case he need to be lulled to sleep, the orchestra checked out a month later never having taken their instruments out of their cases. We like to think our bed linen gave him a perfect night’s sleep!
Picture: Piggy and Polly
Of course not everyone can budget for an orchestra, and with the clock change fast approaching why would we need one? We can look forward to a much welcomed extra hour in bed. However, any time disruption can affect our circadian biological clock. Moving our clocks forwards or backwards by even an hour changes the principal time cue - light – which sets and resets our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. This can lead our internal clock to become out of sync with our current day-night cycle and dramatically affect our mood and sleep.
According to Sleep Doctor, Michael Breus, it can take about one day to recover from each hour of time change, as those familiar with the groggy effects of jet lag will be all too aware. More surprising perhaps is the unique way each of us is affected by time disruption, which can alter depending on our age, health, whether we’re already sleep deprived or getting the amount and quality our body needs, right down to what we ate or drank that day.
Simple ways to reset your internal clock (without a full orchestra):
Create a sleep friendly environment
Get the basics right by creating the perfect sleep sanctuary. Keep the room temperature slightly cool, invest in a good quality bed and mattress and change to a warm feather and down 10.5 tog duvet. Take the pillow test below to check it’s still springy, and buy a fluffy new pillow if not. Keep clutter and technology firmly behind closed doors, or better still, bin any junk for good.
Eat and exercise well to sleep well
Warm oats, bananas, toast – there’s no shortage of yummy foods linked to helping us drift off to sleep. But as the days get shorter and our exposure to sunlight reduces, we need to boost our production of the feel-good hormones with exercise and Vitamin D-rich foods. Where possible, get more active and increase your intake of fatty fish, cheese, egg yokes, and dairy and grain products fortified with vitamin D. Avoid late night no-nos such as caffeine and alcohol, and only eat sleep-promoting foods just before bed.
Adopt bedtime sleep rituals
Adopting healthy habits and practices really is the key to sweet dreams. Avoid stimulants such as alcohol and establish a regular bedtime routine. This might include making a cup of warm milk, winding down with a good book, wrapping up in a gorgeous faux fur throw or listening to the radio - there’s actually a station called Sleep Radio designed to help you nod off. Avoid blue light-emitting devices that can suppress the secretion of melatonin, and if you’re away from home, follow our simple tips to getting a good night’s sleep.
Picture: Artist Residence Instagram
Take the pillow test to find out if your pillow is still in good shape.
1 - Lay your pillow across your arm
2 - Does the pillow have a slight fold with ends that stick out? Keep.
3 - Does the pillow fall over your arm like an old saddle bag? Replace.
Next clock change
Date: 25th March 2018