When we were small, bedtime tended to be a well organised routine! Bathtime, maybe a glass of warm milk…then 7pm, up to bed! Brush teeth, wash face and if you were lucky, being read to for half an hour.
However we get older, those routines change and certain habits creep in, such as checking your mobile in bed, bingeing on the latest box set or eating late. Not ‘winding down’ before bedtime can lead to sleep problems like insomnia, which in turn affects our ability to perform our daily and/or work tasks. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly, impairing your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. Over time, lack of sleep leads to anxiety, and stress, whereas sleeping well helps you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Sleep is also an essential function to keep physically healthy. This is the time that your body goes into ‘repair’ mode, as well as keeping your immune system in good shape. Lack of sleep makes us more vulnerable to illness.
But how much sleep do you need?
The table below sets out the generally recommended hours of sleep for each age. It’s also worth bearing in mind that keeping regular sleeping hours will help your brain and internal body clock to get used to a routine.
|Age Group||Age Range||Recommended Amount of Sleep per Day|
|Newborn||0 - 3 months||14 - 17 hours|
|Infant||4 - 11 months||12 - 15 hours|
|Toddler||1 - 2 years||11 - 14 hours|
|Preschool||3 - 5 years||10 - 13 hours|
|School-age||6 - 13 years||9 - 11 hours|
|Teen||14 - 17 years||8 -10 hours|
|Young Adult||18 - 25 years||7 - 9 hours|
|Adult||26 - 64 years||7 - 9 hours|
|Older Adult||65 years or older||7 - 8 hours|
Of course, you are likely to sleep more soundly if your sleep ‘environment’ is relaxing, calming and cosy. Technology has been proven to get the brain working busily again, so it’s best to put the mobile and the box sets aside at least 30 minutes before bedtime, to avoid too much brain stimulation before it’s time to go to sleep. Keeping an even temperature throughout the night is also a very important element of a more peaceful night. You are more likely to suffer from interrupted sleep if you are waking up too hot or too cold every few hours. So, what you sleep on and under can make a big difference in helping you to keep your body temperature consistent.
Bedding and bedlinen made from natural materials is breathable and this helps to keep your body temperature more stable. Synthetic fibres can trap heat, so if you are already feeling too hot, this is likely to make you feel even hotter! At Devon Duvets, our talented seamstresses individually handcraft award-winning duvets , mattress toppers and pillows, here in our Devon workshops and we only ever use 100% natural materials. For example, our wool duvets are made from soft layers of 100% authentic tracable British wool, encased in a high quality 260 thread count cotton casing. Wool is well-known for it’s breathable qualities and can help regulate your body temperature, resulting a better sleep. Wool is also dust mite resistant so can help if you are experiencing problems sleeping as a result of allergies.
For more tips on sleeping well, check out The Sleep Council, a charity that offers advice and support on sleep issues.