Shift work is harmful to sleep. Our body’s internal clock is designed for us to be active in the day and asleep at night and the damaging effects on our health are well known. There are reports that anti-social hours can prematurely age the brain and dull intellectual ability and that night shift work is linked to obesity as employees who sleep during the day burn fewer calories than when sleeping at night. Daytime sleep is less efficient that night time sleep as you’re constantly battling against disturbance factors – such as light, noise etc – and challenging your body’s natural circadian clock. With an estimated 4.1million people working night shifts, it’s important that those who do understand the importance of sleep and do what they can to achieve better daytime sleep. Lack of quality sleep can lead to all sorts of issues from sleepiness and fatigue in the work place to poor concentration, absenteeism, accidents, errors, injuries etc. The combination of shift work and added stre


  WHY DO YOU KEEP WAKING UP AT 3AM? Hands up if you’re part of the 3am club? And when we say 3am club, we don’t mean partying until 3, we mean finding yourselves wide awake in the early hours of a morning! For many of us, 3am is the witching hour, for others it may be 2am or 4am. Whichever it is, it’s important to note that it is relatively common and it is harmless  – if  you drop back off to sleep soon after. It doesn’t mean you can’t sleep and it doesn’t mean you have insomnia. NOBODY SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT Waking up at night isn’t a problem – In fact, we wake several times a night anyway (from noise, partner disturbance or being too hot/cold) and most of the time you won’t even realise – apart from the groggy trips to the loo! Our sleep runs in about 90-minute cycles and within that cycle we go through different  stages of sleep . These are punctuated with brief awakenings. As we go through the night we spend more time in lighter sleep which is why brief awakenings can feel more


 STRUGGLING TO SLEEP IN WARM WEATHER? HERE'S 6 TIPS TO HELP YOU OUT! 1 - DON'T NAP! Hot weather can make you feel more sleepy, because you are using your energy to regulate your temperature. It might be tempting to have a nap - but don't! If you're struggling to sleep in the heat at night, you might want to try and catch up during the day. If you can stay awake though, that'll mean you can save all your sleepiness for at night so you'll be more likely to fall asleep and stay snoozing. 2 - STICK TO A ROUTINE! Try and keep to your usual routines and bedtime. Changing your habits can disrupt your sleep so do everything you'd usually do before going to bed. 3 - KEEP YOUR BEDROOM COOL! A really good way to beat the hot nights is to make your bedroom as cool as possible. Draw the curtains during the day to keep the sun out. If it's cooler outside open windows to get a breeze, but if it's hotter outside it's better to keep them shut. Some people find a

Five tips to sleep like an Olympic athlete during coronavirus crisis

In a time of such uncertainty, good quality sleep may not come easily to many of us. Luke Gupta, who works as a senior physiologist and sleep scientist for the English Institute of Sport, helps ensure Great Britain’s top Olympians get a good night’s sleep before big competitions. He shares his tips on how to sleep well amid all the anxiety brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. 1. Are you calm before bed? Inevitably there will be nights when you go to bed and you are not calm. You might have just had a stressful phone call or checked the latest coronavirus news before you went to bed. Of course we want to know what is going on because there is a lot of uncertainty. The problem isn’t necessarily that we’re doing that - it’s the timing of it. It creates a sense of heightened alertness that means it will take a long time to go to sleep. If you have just checked the news and it’s stressed you out, don’t try and sleep because it is unlikely to happen. If that is the only ti

Sleep Your Way To Better Health

Sleep is often seen as a slight mystery. We spend around one third of our lives asleep without really understanding much about what happens to our bodies during this time. But with reports that  30 percent of people are sleep-deprived , and also scientifically proven associations between  sleep patterns and health , it is clear that how we sleep can influence our overall well-being. Learning more about an individual’s sleep pattern can provide many insights into their health. On an personal level, we often ask several revealing questions such as: Do you typically sleep 7-9 hours each night? Are you comfortable through the night? Do you usually wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day? Do you fall asleep easily within 30 minutes? Do you typically remain asleep throughout the night? Are you able to clear your mind of any worries before going to bed? Are you free from any night time perspiration? Do you have an evening routine to help wind down before going to bed?

How to sleep like a Premier League footballer

Want to sleep better? For an ever-increasing number of people, the answer is "yes". There is certainly a lot of advice out there about how to achieve a good night’s rest: evict the TV from your room, source the perfect bed and power down your tech an hour or two before retiring. But what are the sleep-hacking secrets which have helped some of the world’s top footballers? In  Don’t Tell Me The Score , Simon Mundie sits down with elite sports sleep coach Nick Littlehales, whose focus is to maximise athletes' recovery by putting them in touch with the way they are designed to sleep. Here are Nick’s tips for how to sleep like a Premier League footballer... 1. Think in cycles, not hours Needing eight hours a night is a myth, says Nick. Our sleep follows a natural 90-minute cycle as we move between deep NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) and REM sleep. The important thing, he says, is not to interrupt one of these phases, so structure your sleep in multiples of 90 minu

Tips For Keeping Warm In Bed

There’s certainly a nip in the air and as we hurtle into winter, there’s nothing more comforting than curling up for a long sleep in a warm, cosy bed. According to one survey around half (49%) the population suffers sleepless nights because of the cold. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed shivering. With temperatures usually at their lowest in the early hours, many people find that they are sometimes too cold and uncomfortable to be able to get a good night’s sleep. Here’s some great tips to keep you warm in bed so you get the quality sleep you need: Wear night clothes such as pyjamas or a large T-shirt to keep you warm. Natural fibres such as wool, cotton or silk will keep you warmer than synthetic materials. Get rid of icy toes by putting on a pair of super soft bed socks. The extra layer under the covers can help improve circulation in your extremities, which can help you fall asleep more quickly. Have a warm (not hot!) bath just before you go to bed. This will