The Sleep Matters Club is a jam-packed hub of all things sleep-related. It’s a one-stop shop for those who are finding it difficult to enter the land of nod or are struggling to get their little ones to sleep through the night. For whatever reason you’re having sleep issues, we’ve got plenty of tips, sound advice, and inspiring ways to create the perfect sleeping environment.

Our mission is to get the nation sleeping well. Read on to discover the main points you should consider when aiming for a great night’s sleep.

Routine

It sounds boring but, Routine, Routine, Routine. It’s so important when it comes to maintaining an efficient sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same times every day really does help. This is to do with your internal body clock – your circadian rhythm. Find out how you can reset your circadian rhythm here.

We also have a podcast on how a poor routine can lead to bad sleep. Dr Pixie McKenna sat down with Issy Panayis, an early morning presenter and Professor Kevin Morgan, a Professor of Psychology and Director of a Clinical Sleep Research Unit. Watch below.

Napping

A 3pm post-lunch snooze sounds tempting, but did you know that it can have a negative impact on your sleep later at night? A seemingly harmless nap on the sofa for an hour or two can potentially interfere with your routine and body clock. However, if it’s a power nap then you could be on to something good. Check out this article on power naps to weigh up the pros and cons.

Sleep hygiene

The term sleep hygiene sounds like it’s just about cleaning your sheets, but there’s much more to it than that. Practising good sleep hygiene is essentially all the steps you take to put yourself in the best position for a great night’s sleep – whether that be changing your diet, introducing a relaxing bedtime routine, or simply identifying the cause behind your insomnia. Our Sleep Problems category features lots of common issues and how best to overcome them. For sleep issues related to COVID-19, check out our Sleep Solutions for Lockdown section.

Your environment

Creating the right environment for sleeping in is really important. The podcast below with Dr. Pixie McKenna, physiotherapist Sammy Margo, and interior designer Dee Campling identifies changes you can make to your bedroom in order to sleep better.

Bedroom temperature

Sammy Margo recommends that our bedrooms should be at a temperature between 16-18 degrees centigrade. Watch the clip below to find out why.

The temperature of a baby’s bedroom is especially important as babies are unable to regulate their own body temperatures like adults can. Find out how to achieve the perfect temperature for your baby’s nursery here.

Technology

Technology can be both detrimental and beneficial to sleep. You’ve probably heard that using your mobile phone in bed before going to sleep is a no-no, but do you know why exactly? It’s to do with the blue light from the screen that negatively impacts your ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. Find out more about melatonin and sleep here.

However, technology can be a good thing for people who want to monitor their sleep. Find out more about sleep gadgets.

What to do if you wake up in the middle of the night

Sometimes, counting sheep just doesn’t cut it. If you can’t drift back off after 20 minutes, the trick is to get up and find a change of scenery. Enter another room that’s dimly lit and try reading or listening to some relaxing music – but don’t start scrolling aimlessly on your phone! Check out our favourite podcasts to help you sleep. When you feel your head starting to drop again, head back to bed.

Music

Listening to slow, relaxing music is beneficial before bedtime. Team it with some sleep meditation and you’re onto a winner.

Caffeine

Research shows that drinking coffee less than 6 hours before bedtime results in an hour of lost sleep, so save it for first thing. Discover the best drinks to have before bed.

Stress

Stress and anxiety can dramatically hinder sleep. Discover ways to reduce anxiety for a better night’s sleep and check out the podcast below with Dr. Pixie McKenna, Marc Jones, and Graham Allcott.

Alcohol

Many of you will be familiar with the effects of having one too many, and that feeling of being “knocked out” when your head hits the pillow. However, while alcohol can help you get to sleep quickly, it’s not going to give you good quality sleep. Find out why having a nightcap is a bad idea.