5 Top Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

To help get those lacking sleep get started on their journey to sweet dreams, here are five top tips that aren’t only free (or involve making purchases we all do only more sensibly and cost effectively), but which could individually and better yet combined stand to save us all financially as well as save us literally from otherwise suffering a potentially rather frightening wakeup call in terms of our health and wellbeing.

  1. Stop Leaning on that Caffeine Crutch

Our love of caffeine in the UK is bigger than ever before. Whilst in the Victorian period the fashion for cocaine cough sweets and opium laced tinctures kept the nation placated, in more health conscious and regulated modern times we instead to turn coffee to keep us bright eyed and bushy tailed.

The problem is that whilst coffee, coca cola and energy drinks are all fantastic at keeping us going, they can be so good in fact that come bedtime they can also prevent us from stopping, slowing down and ultimately nodding off. Hence, more and more of us, rather than kick caffeine to the curb, simply consume more to provide us with the energy needed to keep up after another sleepless night.

To break the vicious caffeine merry-go-round so many of us seem stuck on, the best tip is to cut out the caffeine dramatically if not entirely. And, remember, it isn’t just coffee that contains it; caffeine in fact is present in a whole host of food and drink from chocolate to tea and even ‘decaffeinated’ drinks.

  1. Indulge in a Little Pillow Talk

Whilst one type of pillow talk is likely to keep a couple up, the literal kind could hold the answer to unlocking a sound night’s sleep and permit you entrance into the land of nod and sweet dreams.

Pillows, after all, are something we rely on, quite literally and every single night. Despite this, many people fail to buy the right ones because they do not realise that pillows need to be purchased according specifically to a person’s individual sleep positing and taking into account any aches, pains and conditions a person might have to accommodate for them if not eradicate them.

  1. Take a Hint from the Hippies

With a staggering 50% of us Brits, according to an article published by the Guardian Newspaper and available to read via the Guardian website, surviving on too little sleep and risking developing insomnia if not actually and already failing to get the recommended eight hours due to it, meditation is worth, well meditating on even for those of the least spiritual persuasion – not least because, as the article exposes, surviving on too few Zs raises the risk of developing and suffering from all manner of health issues from diabetes to heart failure.

Mindful meditation, specifically, has also now been proven to reduce instances of insomnia as well as improve or even cure those already experiencing it, according to research carried out and the results published by eminent Harvard Medical School academics.

  1. Get Out of It

In order to sleep well your bed should be used for two activities and those two activities only, and they are sleep and sex. This means you can kiss goodnight to those long Sunday lay ins cuddling up to your iphone, listening your ipod or flicking through the TV channels, at least if you want to enjoy sweet dreams come bed time.

The fact is we subconsciously make associations that can dramatically and disastrously in some cases affect our lives when we, for example, stop using our beds for their intended uses and start lounging about them as if they are sofas and using our bedrooms as living rooms Then, it is unreasonable really to expect our minds and bodies, when we climb into bed, to get the message that we want to sleep. Instead our minds can get confused and think it is ‘Twitter update time’ or time to start poking folk via Facebook.

Hence, to take control of bedtimes, be strict about what you do in bed; that is, if you aren’t about to have sex or sleep…get out of it.

  1. Move It or Lose It

According to an article published by the Independent Newspaper and available to read via the Independent website, a staggering 80% of us Brits don’t get enough exercise to even maintain a healthy lifestyle, never mind earn those killer abs and ghetto booties so many of us in 2016 covet.

Perhaps less surprisingly it is the poorest of us here in the UK who suffer most. Yet, with exercise being free there are no excuses. That is, we can all afford to leave the house in order to take a brisk walk in the evening, at the very least. In fact, doing so is likely to save families money as it means switching off the TV, lights and heating and putting down the snack food.

So, whatever your financial status, level of health or daily routine, fitting in a little daily exercise is something none of us have an excuse to bypass; after all, simply choosing to miss out on an hour or even half an hour’s evening TV watching to instead go for a jog, get on a bike, take the dog (or your family) out and get moving could stand to save you all a lot of lost Zs in the long term.

How to Choose the Right Duvet Tog

What is a tog? What duvet tog do I need? Why are UK duvets sold according to a tog rating? To answer all of these questions and clear up the confusion for those looking to buy duvets here in the UK, here is a quick explanation and guide.

What are Togs?

It is a common misconception that tog ratings applied to and featured on the packaging in which UK duvets are commonly sold refer to either the weight or quality of the product inside.

In fact, duvets of all qualities are sold in a number of tog ratings and the quality might affect the price of a duvet, but not the tog rating. Further, the ‘amount of togs’ a duvet is sold advertised as having needn’t necessarily affect its weight; the material with which a duvet in stuffed will definitely affect its weight meaning that two duvets of the same tog rating but which are stuffed with different materials could weigh different weights. But then, what does tog refer to or mean?

‘Togs’, when applied to duvets sold within the UK, refer to a measurement of ‘thermal resistance’. This is why a heavier duvet might be sold as a duvet of fewer togs than a lighter option; the lighter option, depending on its stuffing, could better retain heat and keep a person sleeping beneath it warm. Hence, tog ratings feature on almost all duvets sold within the UK as a duvet tog rating provides the best indicator of how insulating a duvet is.

The origin of the word can be traced back to its use as a casual and slang term for clothing as further explored via the Collins Dictionary website. Meanwhile, you can learn more about the history and origin of the duvet by referring to the article: 10 Curious Things About Duvets, featured on the Apartment Therapy website.

How to Buy the Right Tog Duvet

The best advice for buying the right tog duvet is to invest in both a low and a high tog duvet to provide you with a summer and winter duvet.

Suffice to say, you needn’t buy four duvets due to the fact there are four seasons as both the spring and autumn seasons here in the UK tend to enjoy similar temperatures. Further, Britain’s climate tends to swing between extremely low winter temperatures and inconsistently high and at other times more temperate summer temperatures. Hence, it is common of us Brits to swap straight from a winter to summer duvet.


More Information about the Humble Duvet and its Origins

Whilst duvets have only been popular bedding additions bought and sold within the UK since the 1960s’ (surprisingly perhaps) they were first devised some 300 years earlier. Why is this, and why did it take the duvet so long to catch on?

To find out and learn much more about the albeit astonishing history of the humble duvet, visit the BBC website and give their article: Almost 300 Years Without a Duvet, a read. Whilst it might not make you better informed when purchasing a new duvet, it could make you a more valuable member of your local pub quiz team and while certainly enlighten you as to why it is every night you snuggle down beneath a duvet rather than swathe yourself in bed sheets.