– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Sleep scientists have worked out a formula for the perfect night’s sleep.
Professor Jason Ellis, the director of the Centre for Sleep Research at Northumbria University, has broken down each of the components that we need to get a decent night’s shut-eye – so you can wake up refreshed and raring to go.
The first aspect of the formula is sleep duration, with Professor Ellis recommending we get seven to nine hours of deep sleep – not counting those half-awake moments after pressing the snooze button. In fact, we should avoid setting earlier alarms than we need, as the next element is sleep efficiency – the percentage of time spent actually asleep in bed. According to the insomnia expert, this should be at least 85 per cent – so no dozing and having a lie-in as it could be disrupting your sleeping patterns.
Stressing the importance of sleep in relation to feeling our best during the day, Professor Ellis told Cover Media: “Good quality sleep can have such a positive impact on a number of things. From concentration to creativity levels and even how we approach challenging situations.”
To achieve this one needs the perfect bedroom environment – with Professor Ellis’ team finding that we sleep best with a maximum bedroom temperature of 22 degrees Centigrade, minimal lighting, and noise levels well below 40 decibels. Getting a good mattress that feels comfortable and supportive is also key to this.
Negative factors can also play a big role in damaging sleep quality – and the research recommends cutting out caffeine six hours before bed and completing exercise and eating at least two hours before you hit the hay.
According to research commissioned by mattress company Nectar Sleep, who teamed up with Professor Ellis’ team on the study, an incredible 72 per cent of Brits feel they do not get enough sleep. However, he believes we can improve the quality of our sleep by a third by following his tips – even those with problems with insomnia.
“Though avoiding caffeine and minimising noise may sound obvious, when combined with the other formula components, people might just be surprised about how much better they can actually sleep,” he added.