The Importance of Sleep
Sleep, or more importantly the lack of it, is a huge issue in today’s society. As scientific research proves time and time again the massive consequences of sleeping for less than eight hours a night, our lifestyles push us into sleeping for less, not longer.
The longer working hours and increased stress that most of us fall prey to play havoc with our natural hormonal systems that regulate our sleep. And lack of sleep has increasingly been linked to memory impairment, depression, stroke, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and weight gain. Yet still, a lie in is perceived as ‘laziness’ and cachet is attached to those individuals that brag of ‘pulling an all nighter’
So what can we do to help increase our chances of a good night’s sleep?
- Giving ourselves the opportunity to gain our required eight hours. It may seem simple but if you have to be awake at 6.30am for work, going to bed at midnight is never going to allow you the full quota. A regular sleep time and wake up call will help your body adapt better than erratic bedtimes.
- Avoid exercise late in the evening. Exercise is definitely good but ideally not in the two or three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid evening caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine can stay in the body for up to eight hours so is best avoided after lunchtime.
- Try to get outside in the morning. To best align with our bodies ideal state of rising and sleeping with the sun, try to get out into the sunshine (well, at least daylight!) in the morning and dim the lights in the evening. This is why sitting in front of computer screens or mobile phones in the evening is so disruptive to sleep – the light they emit tricks our bodies into thinking it is morning.
- Relax before bed. Create a night time ritual that may include a soothing bath, reading, music, yoga or meditation.
- Ensure that your room is cool and dark with minimal distractions. Mobile phones in the bedroom are a definite no.
- Avoid afternoon naps. A lunchtime nap in the Mediterranean style has great health benefits, but sleeping after 3pm will interrupt your ability to sleep at night.
What we do at Dorset House to help you sleep well
Our sleep environment at Dorset House has been carefully planned to help you gain a great nights sleep. Bedding is natural – Egyptian Cotton sheets and Hungarian Goose down duvets as this helps regulate your body temperature better than man made materials. Our mattresses are high quality pocket sprung with a medium to hard support and there is a choice of pillows to ensure that you have the right height for your preferred sleeping position.
Our heating is timed to drop down in temperature at night and gently warm you up again in the morning – and on a hot night, rather than environmentally disastrous air conditioning, our windows open to let in cooling sea breezes. Windows have their original shutters as well as a second layer of blackout curtains to keep out any chinks of daylight. Our media units have dimmable displays.
We fully encourage guests to get out into the fresh sea air and offer a range of maps and recommended routes to help you gain your exercise and daylight exposure during the day and your treats tray in the room includes a relaxing chamomile tea.
The Dorset House Sleep Package
For those guests that seek a little extra help, our sleep package includes:
- Yellow Gorse Pillow Spray – a blend of essential oils chosen for their sedative, relaxing and calming properties
- Yellow Gorse Chamomile and Lavender Sleep Balm – a rich balm of oils and waxes to rub into hands and feet before sleep to soften and feed skin while you sleep
- Spacemask – A game changing eye mask designed to help you drift off. The Jasmine scented eye mask heats up on contact with air to ease tension and encourage circulation, creating a soothing, sleep inducing effect.
- Heath and Heather Night Time Teabags
- Earplugs (for those sensitive to the sound of seagulls)
This is available to order at time of booking on our website (£20) or can be added as a treat during your stay.
For More Information
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is an eye opening read full of scientific research urging you to prioritize your sleep.