The clocks go back an hour at 2am on Sunday 27 October, giving us an extra hour to spend in bed – here are some handy sleep tips to help you make the most of that extra time.
Winter time has come around again, and this weekend the clocks will officially be jumping back an hour across the UK.
Right now, we’re still using British Summer Time (which sounds rather ironic when you look outside) but on Sunday night at 2am we’ll be switching back to Greenwich Mean Time – and that means we get to spend a whole extra hour in bed.
So before the arrival of party season (and the inevitable late nights that come with this time of year), now is the perfect time to use that precious extra hour to catch up on some much-needed rest.
But it’s not always as straightforward as that, of course. Whether ‘always on’ culture is making you too anxious to switch off in the evenings or your late-night shopping habits continue to disrupt your nightly routine, getting to sleep in the first place is often the main barrier to a good night’s rest.
If you’re struggling to sleep at the moment, or simply want to learn how to improve the quality of your rest, Calm have shared some of their top tips for achieving that sacred good night’s sleep, so you can make the most of your extra hour in bed on Sunday.
1. Let your mind wander
“Rather than watch a film with a complex narrative that keeps your mind whirring, play something you’re not interested in,” Calm recommends. “Baa Baa Land is an eight-hour slow-motion film with no plot, dialogue or actors, created by Calm. It’s the first screen epic starring only sheep, and a cast of hundreds at that. Count them if you can – but don’t stress if you can’t. Sit back, wind down, drift off to sheep.”
Other ways to let your mind wander could be doing some mindless doodling, rewatching one of your favourite shows or listening to a soothing podcast.
Today, more and more people are turning to podcasts to them you towards dreamland. One of the world’s most popular and long-running sleep podcasts, Sleep With Me, has been downloaded over 70 million times, while another, Sleep Whispers, receives an average of 8,000 downloads a month.
According to sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley, this is no surprise. “If you’re listening to the radio or a podcast, you’re not worrying about your mortgage or your relationship or your job,” he says. “It distracts your brain from the stresses of the day without you having to pay close attention.”
2. Find the perfect soundtrack to help you relax
Whether you prefer the sound of falling rain or a crackling fire, the latest National Trust research found that listening to natural sounds such as birdsong and rustling leaves made participants feel 30% more relaxed – just what you want when you’re heading off to bed.
The Calm app has also carefully curated selection of white noise playlists, sleep stories, meditations and music to drift off to, so you’ll never be short of material.
To properly indulge in the relaxing experience, lie back in a dark room with your phone on the cabinet beside you. Then, when you feel relaxed, all you need to do is curl over and close your eyes, ready to make the most of your extra hour in bed.
3. Utilise the power of scent
You can use a sleep mist or essential oils to create soothing smells and inspire your senses to relax. A calming and familiar scent (such as lavender) is a powerful sleep aid that you can use to ritualise bedtime wherever you are staying.
“Spritz your pillow with some of the Calm Pillow mist; a combination of lavender, chamomile, frankincense and essential oils. Blending scent with sound is another great way to release tension, and relax your mind.”
And it doesn’t just have to be a pillow spray: applying lavender oil straight to your skin can also be a great way to reap the benefits of the scent while giving your skin a treat too.
There are a lot of essential oils out there on the market, so take a look at our beginners guide to get started. Also make sure to check out this list of 17 different oil-infused beauty products which are approved by Stylist’s beauty desk.
For more information on how to achieve a restful night’s sleep, and other ways to relax, visit https://www.calm.com/blog/