The COVID-19 pandemic has changed sleep globally. After a turbulent year and a bit, and with autumn and winter now approaching, it's time to reclaim our sleep and boost the quality of shut eye we're getting.
'Around the world, people recognise they are not sleeping enough, and for some the pandemic has negatively impacted their sleep,' says Teofilo Lee-Chiong, M.D., Chief Medical Liaison, Sleep and Respiratory Care at Philips.
In fact, a recent study by Philips surveying 13,000 adults in 13 countries, revealed that 70 per cent have experienced one or more new sleep challenges since the start of the pandemic, and 60 per cent report that the pandemic has directly impacted their ability to sleep well.
While some people relied on lifestyle strategies – such as soothing music, meditation or reading – to address their sleep woes, others turned to the Internet to learn more about treatments to improve sleep (34 per cent). More than half (58 per cent) expressed a willingness to seek help for sleep-related concerns in the future from a sleep specialist via telehealth services.
Innovations in smart furniture, soft furnishings and sleep aids continue to grow. Our mattresses are working harder, with wellbeing tech integrated into the wider bedroom space, but we're also turning to apps and devices (brands are increasingly integrating sleep aids into home tech), to help beat burnout, find calm and finesse our rest.
A good night's sleep can boost the immune system and keep anxiety at bay and there are plenty of products supporting our quest for quality sleep. Here are a few...
It's time to upgrade your bed tech and fine tune your slumber. When it comes to sleep and investing in bedroom furniture, a mattress is the one thing you should definitely splurge on. A new mattress (it's recommended that you change your mattress every six to eight years) and more importantly, the right type of mattress, can revolutionise your sleep.
Sleep tech firm Simba are experts in the science of sleep and the newly-launched Hybrid® Luxe Mattress is the deepest, plushest mattress Simba has ever made. Tried and tested, this mattress-in-a-box (it arrives vacuum-packed, ready to unbox and sleep on) is medium-firm in feel and offers luxury hotel-quality sleep every single night. It's super comfortable and gently moulds to your body whilst giving you the utmost support. If you often struggle to fall asleep, you'll be pleased to know that you'll easily enjoy a solid night's sleep from your first night and you'll never feel more rested waking up each morning. In fact, it will probably make you want to stay in bed longer.
Some technical bits: Measuring 31cm deep, Simba's most advanced mattress is constructed of 10 layers and three tiers of up to 6,000 titanium Aerocoil® springs. This gives you unparalleled air circulation, thermal control and pressure-less support. Basically, it will give you the greatest ever sleep.
Other features include a hypoallergenic knitted cover and 100 per cent bamboo heat regulating wool. The latter is not only naturally antibacterial, breathable and moisture-absorbing, but thermal regulating, anti-static, and wrinkle resistant, too. Plus, the breathable, top surface layer with open-cell casing is what Simba calls its 'plushest sleep surface ever.' All of the above contributes to a comfy night's sleep.
Don't stop at a new mattress, in a recent survey by DUSK, 93 per cent of respondents said they sleep best in newly washed bedding. For a fresh and stress-free sleep sanctuary, it's important to ensure your home and bedroom are kept clean and hygienic.
Tom Parker, Bedrooms Business Leader at IKEA UK & Ireland, says comfort is key when trying to get a good night’s sleep. He suggests dressing your bed with the JUNIMAGNOLIA quilt cover set made from lyocell and cotton. 'Both are natural and soft materials, with lyocell absorbing and drawing moisture away from your skin, moderating your temperature and keeping you snug all night long.'
And where you rest your head is equally important. It can be hard to find the right pillow but Simba's newly-launched sustainable Hybrid® Pillow is a worthwhile investment. At £99, this pillow offers space-inspired temperature regulation which absorbs, stores and releases heat when you need it. It's a great customisable pillow too – it comes with hundreds of Nanocubes® that can be added or removed to tailor the height and firmness. Perfect for fussy sleepers or those that want to fine-tune their comfort level. Tried and tested, it's firm, offers good support, and stays in shape, though give the filling a shake once every two weeks to keep it perfectly plump.
If you really want to gain a better understanding as to what's impacting your sleep, the Google Nest Hub (2nd gen), which launched in April, will help you rest well at night. A key feature is Sleep Sensing, which uses Motion Sense (powered by Soli low-energy radar technology) to analyse how you're sleeping. The device monitors movement and breathing in bed — all without a camera or wearable. The built-in microphone plus ambient light and temperature sensors are able to detect sleep disturbances like coughing and snoring, or the light and temperature changes in your bedroom. Clever, right?
Ashton Udall, Google Nest Product Manager, says: 'We knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, so we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep.'
You can get personalised insights and tips weekly via the Nest platform (simply ask: 'Hey Google, how did I sleep last night?'). Sleep Sensing can also connect to your Google Fit app on Android and iOS devices.
Today, essential oils are used more and more for aromatherapy, skincare, and alternative healing practices in a bid to ease daily health and wellness troubles.
New research commissioned by Puressentiel, makers of clinically proven essential oils, found that 48 per cent of the nation get less than six hours of sleep a night; one in three say are sleeping less since Covid-19 began and 21 per cent have been prescribed sleeping tablets.
'There is a growing interest in all forms of botanical ingredients and consumers are taking a much more proactive interest in health maintenance, as well as self-care for ongoing issues,' says GP, Dr Nisa Aslam. 'There is a long history of traditional use of many essential oils and this is now supported by clinical trials and a better understanding of how and why they work. Particularly around challenges, such as sleep, respiratory health, stress and musculoskeletal pain.'
The Puressentiel Rest & Relax Air Spray can be used by the whole family. The 100 per cent natural solution helps you achieve a peaceful, serene, and restful night's sleep. Puressentiel say feedback from 1,814 users reported a 98 per cent satisfaction rating. Simply spray in the four corners of the room or on a tissue placed on your bedside table.
This Works' popular Deep Sleep line is famed for its unique blend of chamomile, lavender and vetiver oil, which is designed to help you fall asleep faster. And according to the brand, 100 per cent of testers said they would recommend it to a friend, with 97 per cent agreeing that they slept better. The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is a real winner and often best-seller. We've rounded up some of the best sleep sprays here.
Fragrance expert Robin Fisher, Product Manager at ARRAN Sense of Scotland, says lavender should always be a go-to when it comes to sleep. He explains: 'Lavender has long since been used to aid sleep, so a spray of our Glen Iorsa Calming Mist on the pillow or in the room before bedtime helps to restore inner calm and promote a restful night’s sleep. Clary sage is another ingredient that promotes good sleep by helping to reduce the effects of stress, which can be found in our Apothecary Seaweed & Sage collection.'
Sometimes all it takes to help us sleep soundly is to utilise sleep audio – from meditations to music – to put our minds to rest every night.
Calm is the leading mental wellness brand with the number one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Its extensive library of sleep stories, soundscapes, music, and other audio-guided content is designed to help you fall asleep fast every night. Similarly, you can download the Headspace app to doze off with relaxing sleep sounds, dreamy music, and wind-down exercises – it's ideal if you struggle to 'switch off' once in bed.
• There are of course some decor changes you can make to your bedroom to help promote a restful sleep. From colour palettes to lighting, read these bedroom decorating hacks from the House Beautiful editors and 5 interior design mistakes that could be ruining your sleep.
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