If you’re a hotel owner you’re no doubt bracing yourself for the summer months. Aside from being a busy time of year you will see an influx of people staying at your establishment and hopefully putting their heads down for a night or two in your contract beds!
However, with the glorious summer comes a bit of an issue for a lot of hoteliers and that’s the lighter evenings. While we all remember the misery of dark evenings and cold mornings in the winter time, when summer finally comes, the sun doesn’t go down until past 9pm and it rises much earlier in the morning.
This can be a real issue for light sleepers – and all the best contract beds in the world won’t help someone with sensitivity to light!
It might sound made-up, but there was a revelation recently that will blow your mind if you’re part of a couple. We’ve all had moments in relationships where we’ve warred and rowed; one of the most common causes of arguments in the bedroom is the question of who gets to sleep where in the bed. Choosing your side is the first big drama thrown up by a burgeoning relationship because each person has to feel comfortable in their new domestic situation. As if that wasn’t enough, it now turns out that sleeping on a certain side can heavily influence your state of mind in the day. Continue reading »
We all know that losing sleep can stop you feeling 100%, but were you aware of the connection between insomnia and depression? Millbrook Contract Beds brings you another informative article on the subject…
Have you ever been asked how you are and responded with “depressed”? We all feel down and upset every so often – ups and downs are just part of being human – but depression is not a mood like this. Depression is a serious disorder which manifests as persistent anxiety, hopelessness and disinterest in things you may have enjoyed beforehand. It affects the way you think, the way you feel, and everything you do – even sleep.
Many things have been thought of as potentially bringing on depression. Most popularly accepted is the ‘diathesis-stress’ theory, where individuals with a greater genetic predisposition (a ‘diathesis’) to the condition consequently have a greater chance of falling into a depressive state following a triggering event (the ‘stress’). This may be anything as drastic as losing a loved one or as minor as a mild illness, depending on the individual involved and the context of the stress.
Regardless of the cause, depression is a condition that affects and disrupts every part of life. Recently, though, there have been several studies concluding that there is a definite connection between certain sleep disorders and depression. This relationship is not one directional – some are diagnosed with depression before sleep disorders, and others vice versa.
A complication of this is that insomnia and depression are both listed as symptoms of each other. In short, an individual diagnosed with depression may have difficulty sleeping, while insomnia itself may have a depressive impact on a person’s affect. This relationship makes the diagnosing and medicating processes difficult. Regardless, if you believe you have symptoms of one or both, Millbrook Contract Beds recommends you seek immediate medical treatment.
Insomnia itself can come under several guises – it is not just being unable to sleep. Difficulty getting off to sleep is one type of insomnia, and another type involves being unable to stay asleep, with the sleeper constantly waking early. When combined with depression, these two damaging conditions can worsen each other.
There are many therapies and medications available for both depression and insomnia, and several of these are designed to work with both conditions together. We recommend you speak with a doctor and seek treatment if you experience sleep disturbances and daytime drowsiness or if a mood disturbance interferes with your daily activities.
On a lighter note, remember to follow us on Twitter – we regularly post thought provoking or amusing sleep-related content and usually try and send you off to sleep with a smile. For now, that’s all from us at Millbrook Contract Beds – we hope you all sleep well!
If you run a hotel or perhaps a healthcare establishment, you probably spent a lot of your time working and no doubt, miss out on sleep regularly. Therefore, in today’s blog, Millbrook Contract Beds thought it was about time we gave you some top tips to get better sleep as we approach the Easter and summer season.
If you are the sort of business owner that tends to get ad-hoc lie-ins or perhaps even have a little tipple before bedtime, you could be doing more harm than good to your sleeping regime and health.
So rather than put off an early night you may want to put some of these little tips into practice and you could find an improvement to so much more than just your level of tiredness!
First off, as hard as it may seem, relax your mind. You could try some easy breathing exercises or if you can, maybe even a massage or aromatherapy. Lavender is particularly good for relaxation and sleep! Basically, try not to take the weight of your hotel or your business to bed with you.
Gets some exercise regularly. It could be a walk with the dog or half an hour in the hotel pool (if you have one). Studies show that exercise is a brilliant way to improve your sleeping patterns. Just be aware that doing it close to your bedtime is not too wise as it will make you wide awake! Early morning are a great time for exercise and many people feel more ready for the day if they’ve put in some time in the gym.
Don’t bring your laptop or iPad into the bedroom when you are getting ready for sleep. Just because you’re in bed you may be tempted to check your emails one last time! Don’t! At 2am in the morning the reality is that you won’t be able to do much anyway. So create a calmer bedroom and leave communications outside!
As we’ve previously mentioned, an evening tipple may seem to relax you but in reality alcohol is a diuretic and means you are much more likely to wake up during the night. Drinking is also more likely to make you snore, which could end up annoying your partner.
Have a cut-off point for drinking tea or coffee. Caffeine as we all know is a stimulant and will keep you awake much longer. Better stick to water!
While the hotel industry is synonymous with late eating, do try and avoid a heavy meal if you can. You might think it’s more convenient to eat at 9 or 10pm, but you risk a whole host of issues if you do. Aside from heartburn, many foods have natural ingredients in them that will keep you awake!
If you are desperate for something to eat close to bedtime, best stick to cereal. It’s good on the calories and is not likely to make it difficult to sleep.
One of the most important factors to good sleep is to set a regular wake up and bedtime. Even on weekends or days off. It is well researched that people who get up at the same time every single day feel better overall than those that don’t.
Sleep is an area of research scientists don’t know that much about. In fact we are only just beginning to learn about what happens in the darker recesses of the human mind during sleep. In fact, Polysomnography or the study of sleep is relatively new, and much of what we know about sleep we have learned in the past 25 years.
Here at Millbrook Contract Beds, our primary concern is good sleep. So we thought we’d look at some sleep in more detail in a two part blog exploring some of the more surprising things we know about sleep and how it affects us.
Although it is not yet known exactly why we sleep, there is strong evidence to suggest that it is essential to good physical and mental health. However, poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, strokes and obesity, and can even cause personality disorders.
According to a recent study using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality index, for example, participants with borderline personality symptoms were shown to have poorer overall quality of sleep than those without.
Likewise, studies into the relationship between sleep and heart disease have also found that too much sleep can be bad for you too. Such studies have shown that there is also a link between heart disease and sleeping for 9 hours and over.
It is well know that sustained periods of wakefulness can directly impact upon physical and mental health. Indeed, the subject of one study for Australia’s National Sleep Project experienced hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision and slurred speech as a result of staying awake for 18 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes.
Another research project for Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, proved that sleep is linked to both memory and learning in general. In the study, a basic form of induced learning called classical conditioning was used to train participants to sniff pleasant smells while asleep retain the associations when they woke up. Both good and bad smells were used in association with certain audio tones. The result of the study showed subjects to sniff strongly when hearing a tone associated with a good smell and weakly in response to a bad one. In fact the study goes further than simply linking sleep with subconscious learning and proves that it also plays an important part in the production of memories. Participants were shown to continue to sniff either strongly or weakly in accordance with the associated tone even after waking.
Dreams are not only a way for the brain to process the bombardment of information that we are exposed to during the day but also the means by which the brain organizes thoughts and memories. Much like a computer needs to be ‘defragmented’ from time to time in order for it to make best use of its operating system and memory capacity, so too does the brain need reorder and reorganize itself once in a while. It was once thought that dreams only occur during REM sleep, however, it is now known that we have two types of dream. Dreams that happen in REM sleep are weirder and more symbolic and those that occur at other times are more mundane; associated with everyday anxieties and thoughts. It has also been suggested that dreams necessary for the production of long-term memory and that if we do not dream or suffer from insomnia then memories do not develop or become overwritten by newer ones.
So, to find out more about sleep and for general news and information about contract beds, continue reading our popular blog.
At Millbrook Contract Beds we always try to give you the best sleep advice and information about sleep as possible and
Insomnia is a common problem that affects many people. We all know what the condition is but more often than not simply put up with it, thinking that it will go away or rely on sleeping pills for a good night’s sleep. The severity of the condition can vary considerably from sustained wakefulness at the end of the day, to waking up for huge periods of time every night. In its milder form the condition is referred to as Transient Insomnia, which generally lasts around half an hour to an hour while the body and mind are settling down to sleep. However, its most extreme manifestation Chronic Insomnia can constitute huge periods of sleep deprivation, resulting in physical and mental fatigue combined with hallucinations .
In minor cases people can believe that their sleep disorder is more serious than it actually is and misrepresent it to others. We are not always aware of what constitutes sleep and can in fact have many small breaks in our sleep cycle, which could be misconstrued as wakefulness. Likewise, we can recover lost sleep through catnapping and sometimes even sleep with our eyes open! Indeed, we often underestimate how many hours we have actually slept, thinking that we have only slept for a few hours, when in fact we have had almost a full night’s sleep.
Changing sleeping habits can be hard and insomnia and other sleep disorders can require medical treatment. However, there are plenty of other things you can do to help you to sleep better.
One of the most effective ways to get better sleep is to improve the quality of your bed. It’s all very well worrying about the problem of not getting to sleep and blaming it on the anxieties in your everyday life, however the cause could be as simple as an uncomfortable bed! Tossing and turning is a direct result of pressure to the extremities of our bodies such as knees and forearms. This could be down to insufficient padding between you and the frame or worse still a sunken mattress with broken springs. A memory foam mattress or mattress topper can help prevent discomfort by moulding itself to your body, providing support for your extremities. Never again will you change position because of uncomfortable elbows, knees and ribs!
If you in a couple and are choosing a new bed then we recommend that you go for one that is larger than you need. A king size bed will not only provide you with extra comfort but also the extra space needed for both of you to have a comfortable night’s sleep.
Extra support is always important in a bed, especially if you suffer from back paint or achy joints. So a good firm base combined with a memory foam mattress is good for such problems.
Allergies like asthma can also be a cause of poor sleep. If you are an allergy sufferer then we advise that you invest in a latex mattress and hypoallergenic bedding.
We spend approximately 335 of our lives sleeping. Therefore a good quality bed is always worth the investment. If you are having trouble sleeping, then it may be down to quality or condition of your bed. So if you are considering replacing your bed, then take the time to consider the factors involved in helping to provide you with everything needed to help you get that perfect night’s sleep.
Here at Millbrook Contract Beds we are continually highlighting the importance of good sleep. However, the impact of regular and thorough sleep is greater than simply enabling you to perform better at work. Good sleep is a holistic treatment for the body, and therefore lack of it can be detrimental to a person’s health and wellbeing as a whole. Sleep and dreaming are fundamental to maintaining a healthy body and mind. If we liken the human body to a computer then sleep is the way in which the body recharges and the brain de-fragments in preparation for the busy day ahead.
Lack of sleep can result in our some pretty significant effects on our bodies and minds. Indeed, sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on both our physical and mental health. Moreover, lack of sleep also impedes our ability to function day-to-day. One study, for example, shows that staying awake continuously for 24 hours can lead to a reduced hand-to-eye coordination comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
In today’s fast-paced world we often underestimate the significance of sleep, however it is as important to our bodies as food and water. As a result, insufficient or disrupted sleep cause physical and mental fatigue; a state in which our bodies and minds are unable to function as they should. Besides this obvious but fairly significant impact, sleep deprivation has also been linked to emotional problems such as depression, mania and various types of addiction.
War on bodily terrors
When we sleep, our bodies release cytokines. Cytokines are protein molecules that signal other cells and start up the war-machine to combat viruses and bacteria as they invade the body and begin to reproduce. If these invaders remain unchecked then they can begin to overrun our bodies and we fall ill as a result. Lack of sleep can affect the body’s production of cytokine and this can result in a failure of the immune system to response effectively to attack. For this reason good sleep is particularly important in winter, when viruses and bacteria are more prevalent.
Regulation of a typical sleep cycle
During a typical sleep cycle the brain regulates the process through the production of various hormones produced by the hypothalamus. One of the most important of these neurotransmitters involved is serotonin, which makes us feel well and happy in ourselves, is one of the body’s most effective calls to action. The body uses hormones to control three different processes that constitute sleep regulation. These are the homeostatic, circadian and ultradian processes. The first process is the body’s need for sleep, the second controls how long each stage of the sleep cycle will last and finally the ultradian process, the function of which we do not fully understand.
There are two main neurotransmitters or hormones involved in the processes that govern sleeping and waking. These are Melatonin and Adenosine. The former is beleived to be the hormone that induces sleep and the latter hormone is considered to be a controller of wake/sleep periods.
Sleep and memory
Sleep deprivation is believed to have a considerable impact on memory. Scientific research has linked the brains ability to memorise things with sleep. In particular, REM sleep has been shown to help the consolidation of memory, whilst deep sleep is linked to assimilation of declarative memories or those we can recall as facts or as if they were fact.
How much sleep do we need?
We all need sleep but the amount required depends on a number of factors, including age, physical activity levels, time of year, general health and individual variables. As a rule children and teenagers need around 9 to 10 hours and adults require need less sleep, usually around 7 to 8 hours, depending on lifestyle and health factors.
As you can see there are many mental and physiological processes involved in maintaining good sleep. Many of these are easily thrown out of balance by our lifestyle choices. However, whilst we cannot always reduce factors such as workload and stress, we can compensate in our choice of bed to insure better quality sleep.
The body language of sleep is a surprising thing. We all have our default sleeping positions and however hard we try, we can’t avoid reverting to them at some point during the night. However, you will be surprised to learn that there are only four main types of position. These have been identified by body language expert Robert Phipps, who has studied how these can reflect individuals’ personalities and general outlook.
Sleeping positions can also identify the smaller details of people’s lives such as whether or not they have had a stressful day. Indeed, one of the most common sleeping positions, the “foetal” position, reflects an individual’s need to return to a primal state of security and comfort.
The study, which was conducted using 1000 British adults, allowed participants to give more than one answer, which helped generate a more detailed picture of the relationship between sleep body language and lifestyle. The survey conducted with the help of Premier Inns who were able to develop “sleep-o-scopes” for individuals. Premier Inn spokesperson, Claire Haigh, suggests that the results were quite shocking as they “revealed just how stressed we are as a nation”.
So here’s what the four main positions say about us…
This position is all about returning to your comfort zone as a means of de-stressing yourself at the end of a hard day. It also reflects the individual’s ability to manage the trials and tribulations of life. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, people who sleep in this position usually sleep well and feel refreshed and renewed in the morning. Foetal sleepers are hard-workers who like order and may worry about things a bit too much.
This position involves sleeping stretched out in a straight line. People who sleep in this position are logical, but stubborn and inflexible. Indeed, this is not a very relaxing sleeping position and not very good at softening the muscles. While individuals who sleep in this way are stretching themselves at night, it is unlikely that they are doing so in their career or work lives.
The Yearner is a someone who sleeps with their arms outstretched. This gives the impression that they are chasing something, but equally they could also be being chased! People who sleep in this way are wanting more from life and looking for the challenges and exciting surprises. However, they are also the worst self-critics as they want everything to do to be perfect. They are always looking for perfection and do not know when to abandon a dream that is failing.
A Freefaller sleeps with their whole body outstretched, which is why it is often called the ‘starfish’ position. This position can also involve both hands reaching up to grip the pillow like the individual is trying to stop themselves from falling. It is also the least comfortable position to sleep in. Freefallers can be quite passive, letting life go on around them, which makes them feel out of control. A freefaller isn’t very good at finishing stuff and will tend to leave things to do until the next day.
As you can see the position people sleep in says a lot about their personalities and perhaps predicts some of the ways in which they can change to improve their well-being and indeed the quality of your sleep. So for those in the hospitality industry this is a good reason to provide the best beds possible to give guests a helping hand in sleeping in a position that will help them to fulfil their dreams. If you are concerned about the quality of your guests’ sleep, then contact Millbrook Contract Beds today.
Here at Millbrook Contract Beds we try to bring you a range of news and contract bed related blogs that will help you with every single aspect of sleep related needs.
So in today’s blog, we thought we would cover the things you may not realise about sleep that could be adverse to health!
Let’s face it, sleep is the single most important thing in your life aside from breathing. As well as being something that helps you to maintain your energy, it is also vital for your everyday performance in life.
Why we sleep at night…
Hundreds of years ago, we slept more at night because of our circadian rhythms, which were synchronised with the rise and setting of the sun. However, in modern times, the introduction of electricity meant that our original body clocks started to change. We therefore ended up with longer periods of activity and these days, a whole lot more distractions than we’ve ever had before.
While it’s true that we all require different amounts of sleep at night, with some people needing five hours and others upwards of nine or ten hours, the advent of changes in the way light affects our life has resulted in more chronic sleep disorders than ever before.
The problem is that before bed, many of us watch TV, spend time on a laptop or iPad and then with a stimulated brain try to get to sleep.
Sleep deprivation and you…
Being deprived of sleep can have serious effects on your metabolism, your mood, appetite, concentration and even your memory. Not to forget it’s ability to increase the risk of high blood pressure and stress.
However, that said, having too much sleep is also potentially not the best thing to be doing either. Time and time again, those people who get up at the same time every day (including the weekends) and who go to bed at the same time, do claim that they feel generally more energised through the day.
Even too much artificial light has been linked to decreased levels of melatonin – which if you were now aware has been linked to ageing more quickly. Melatonin itself is essentially inhibited by light and it is in the dark that it is mostly produced.
So what’s the answer to having healthy sleep?
As you’d expect, a good balance of sleep is the best option. Trying to limit use of things like the TV and your iPad while you’re in bed is always a good idea and the use of lower level lighting in the bedroom can be used to encourage your body to switch off more easily.
Our advice is to have a bath, get in your pajamas and relax. You’ll be surprised how your body adapts to its natural state after a few weeks and will welcome the feeling of new energies throughout the day.
Who knows, if it improves your mental performance you may find it has a positive impact on your business or work too!
If you are expecting families taking a break at your hotel over Christmas, then you might like to give your guests some tips on how they will get their kids off to sleep. Christmas Eve can be exciting enough for children without the added thrill of staying away from home. Therefore, you might like to consider to a few ways in which your guests can settle their little ones down at bedtime.
Imagine the scenario from your guests’ perspective. They’ve arrived at the hotel and the kids are super excited. They’ve caught a glimpse of the presents as the car is unpacked and having seen the Christmas tree and heard the carol singers are now in a festive frenzy. So what is the best way to calm little ones down on possibly the most exciting night of their year?
Well firstly, one obvious yet effective way to make kids tired is by ensuring that they get some exercise before bed. You could always suggest a family walk in the afternoon, or if your guests are arriving late then a scheduled swim at the hotel pool, perhaps involving a game of catch with an inflatable ball will ensure that the children are suitably exercised before bedtime.
Keep their routines
Your guests will, no doubt have set routines for getting their kids to sleep when they are at home, so why should they throw these out just because they are on holiday? Consider supplying the things needed for bedtime routines such as books, teddies and special night-lights to maintain consistency of routine between home and away.
A warm bath before bedtime is not only a natural watershed between evening and bedtime but also helps children to relax. Perhaps the warm water activates some subconscious memory of the womb and sooths them into feeling completely secure.
Offer your guests warm milky drinks for their children. A warm drink is not only relaxing but helps to settle the stomach. Moreover, milk contains calcium, magnesium and L-tryptophan, which all contribute to good sleep.
A book before bedtime enables children to focus their attention on one thing rather than the myriad other distractions that surround them. Therefore, you might wish to consider selling children’s books for in the hotel shop or lobby.
Likewise counting sheep might seem like a dumb idea, but again helps children to focus and meditate, enabling them reach a calmer state, in which they are able to feel sleepy.
Set a wake-up time
Suggest to your guests that the family agree a shared wake-up time, for example 7am, and provide a wake-up call to ensure that your children know that they must get a full night’s sleep before they are allowed to open their presents.
No laptops or tablets
One last piece of advice to give your guests is to suggest that children don’t use laptops or tablets to watch TV or play games before bed. It might seem obvious but they disrupt the bedtime routine. Moreover, the light from a laptop can trick the body into thinking it is still daytime, which can halt the secretion of the natural sleep drug melatonin, resulting in a huge delay in the time it takes to get to sleep.
So if your guests are worried about getting their little ones off to sleep then you might wish to consider a few of these ideas and suggestions as a way to ensure that your guests get the best night’s sleep possible on Christmas Eve and wake up feeling refreshed and excited for all that you have lined up for them the following day.
Visit our blog here at Millbrook Contract Beds again soon for more tips and advise for hoteliers and other hospitality news and information.
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