How to make bedtimes easier when the clocks go forward.

As the days get brighter we all eagerly await the warmth of spring and the longer, sunnier days. However, first we need to get through the clocks changing, and for those with young families this can be a challenge. Those hard worked for sleep routines are about to get challenged. Here are our tips to survive the clock changes and to limit the impact as much as possible.

1. Make the change gradually.

In the days leading up to the clocks changing, begin moving your child’s bedtime by 10 to 15 minutes so by the time they do change your child should be unaware there is anything different. Remember to gradually change other aspects of the day such as meal times and nap times too.

2. Get some blackout blinds.

Being able to control the light which enters your child’s bedroom can have a big impact on their sleep. By using blackout blinds as the clocks change and the days become longer will not only help with the initial clock changes but to create and maintain a bedtime room and sleep pattern throughout the year. Have a look at www.easyblindsonline.co.uk to find one that suits your needs.

3. Maintain a bedtime routine

Bedtime routines are an important part of sleep for children. Try avoiding electronic items in the hour leading up to bedtime, ensure play is calm and relaxed and share a bedtime story each night. Make sure to keep the routine the same each night.

4. Relax

Whatever happens this weekend, keep relaxed and with a relaxing and structured bedtime routine your child should soon adapt to the new time.

Posted in Uncategorized

Planning a nursery? Here are our top tips.

No matter the size of the room you have available for your new addition, or even if it’s setting up an area in a shared bedroom, the main considerations are the same to create an effective nursery.

1. Cot
There is every size and shape of cot available with a whole array of extra functions. As far as sleep is concerned, a cot with a new, firm mattress is more than suitable. Importantly, cots should be kept free of anything non essential so find a shelf for babies cuddly toys and leave the cot area uncluttered. Cellular blankets or sleep sacks are ideal solutions for keeping baby warm and safe. Consider the placement of the cot in the room. Try not to place it next to windows or radiators and consider it’s closeness to switches and plugs.

2. Changing area
Having everything close to hand is the most helpful advice here. Consider where you will have your changing mat and then work from there. Make sure wipes, nappies, nappy bags, creams etc are all within easy reach so you never have to leave baby to get something. A shelf or storage unit above the area where you change baby is one solution.

3. Furnishings
Furnishings are a great way to enhance or add colour and pattern to babies room. Lots of shops do themed ranges or you could chose a pattern or colour to tie everything together. Seating is really helpful but doesn’t need to be expensive. Somewhere to sit and feed or read a story before bed can make bedtime and middle of the night visits much easier. Blackout blinds mean you can transform the bedroom from day to night quickly and simply -essential for day time naps. With easyblinds, these can be put up simply and used with other blinds and curtains.

4. Storage
If your lucky enough to have built in wardrobes, consider adding a second rail ( children’s clothes are obviously smaller so you can hang twice as much this way) or add extra shelves or a storage unit in the bottom to give you more space. It’s amazing how such small clothes can take up so much space. Storage shelves such as Ikea’s Kallax are a great way to store toys so they are easily accessible but neatly stored away. Consider hanging nets for soft toys so they don’t take up too much floor space.

5. Extras
Monitor’s for some are essentials, for others, where baby can be easily heard throughout the home, less so. Consider your needs: are you going to need something portable so you can move around the house during nap times? Do you need to be able to see baby or is hearing them enough? Do you want to be able to view them from your phone or enable others to check in and see them from theirs?
Thermometers can be reassuring. Check your baby monitor doesn’t already have one built in. Using the thermometer to judge how many clothing layers/blankets are needed can be useful, especially in summer months.
By the time your baby goes into their own room you will know if they need an interactive mobile above their cot to settle or if they need white noise to drift off. For that reason leave these purchases until you know you need them.

Posted in Uncategorized

Are you ready for bed?

Many of us are more than ready for bed at night after a long day, but are we truly ready for bed? In a world of technology, we are exposed to constant bombardment from the internet, television and social media. As well as this, the working day often doesn’t finish at 5pm and therefore it’s getting harder to relax before bed. Here are some ideas to help make sure you are truly ready for bed….

1. Put your phone down…. and leave it alone.
Many studies have shown the use of technology before bed causes difficulties in falling asleep. An article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine https://dx.doi.org/10.5664%2Fjcsm.3272, showed a particularly significant relationship between poor sleep and using the more interactive technologies of phones and laptops an hour before bed. The hour before bed seems to be the important window for sleep and therefore is an important hour for us, and our families, to find a more relaxing and calming activity to help us fall asleep more easily.
2. Keep your bedroom cool.
For most of us, keeping our homes warm in winter is as easy as the turn of a dial or the press of a button. However, does this mean we are making our homes too hot? In summer this can be a little trickier unless you have air conditioning fitted, but what temperature should our homes be to help us sleep better? According to The Weekend Australian https://goo.gl/aLbDg3, a temperature of between 16 and 18 degrees centigrade has been found to be the most suitable for sleep. So, turn down the heating a bit (or a lot) and see if it helps you sleep better tonight.

3. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet
In the modern world most us have electric lighting meaning we can work and play for as many hours as we like, unlimited by daylight hours. It’s not just indoor light either, street lights and light from other houses and industry pollute our night sky meaning its never truly dark. As humans we require darkness to produce melatonin, which tells our bodies to sleep. Blackout blinds are a great way to prevent external light entering the bedroom. At easyblinds www.easyblindsonline.co.uk our blackout blinds leave no gaps so are a great solution to external light for all the family. Don’t forget to turn off night lights and other devices which omit light too!

4. Avoid caffeinated drinks and foods
Coffee, chocolate and soft drinks all contain caffeine which is detrimental to sleep as it is a stimulant. Try to reduce or avoid its consumption in the evenings to ensure it is not impacting on your sleep as The Sleep Foundation https://goo.gl/nMfxVE reports it can take 6 hours for half of the caffeine consumed to leave your body.

5. Create a bedtime routine
We all think about creating bedroom routines for our children but forget about the importance of creating one for ourselves. Decide on a suitable bedtime which will give you the right amount of sleep. Try to create a routine which leads to that bedtime, concentrating on the hour before bed and ensuring it is relaxed and allows you to unwind. Try to stick as closely as possible to this routine to allow your body to adapt and gain the positive effects.

Posted in Uncategorized

5 great uses for easyblinds…

Posted in Uncategorized

Ten family activities to make post-Christmas traditions.

family christmas walk

It’s over for another year. The whirlwind of excitement that is Christmas has passed. But for most of us with children, much of the holiday remains before the return to school in the New Year. So why not create some post Christmas traditions to help you relax after the excitement and exhaustion of the Christmas period and to make the most of the holiday time left with the children? Here are ten different activities you might what to try…..

1. Go on a scavenger hunt
Whether this be in a forest, park or even on the beach. It’s a great way to get everyone outdoors and have fun at the same time. Wrap up warm and head out with a list of items (or pictures for younger children) to search for in your chosen location. The children will be encouraged to walk further with the anticipation of finding items on the list and learn more about the world around them in Winter.

For older children, why not give Geocaching a go. A great way to get everyone working together and exploring the local area.

2. Watch a film
Of course the cinema is a great option, with lots of cinemas offering deals for kids during the holiday period. However, if you’d rather stay at home, then why not turn your living room into your own cinema. Rearrange the furniture, cinema snacks at the ready and if you want to create a realistic cinema experience then Easyblinds on your windows will create that darkened cinema environment.

3. Play board games

Board games can be a great way to spend family time together and help everyone relax after the rush of Christmas. With such a wide range available there is something to suit every family and create some wonderful memories.

4. Visit a local attraction
In winter we often forget to make the most of our local attractions. Obviously some close over winter months but there are still plenty that remain open year round, and with fewer visitors in many of them you don’t have to battle the crowds. Places such as zoos, museums, castles or National Trust or English Heritage sites are often cheaper during winter months, if they are not already free. Best of all, discover somewhere new to visit as a family that you can continue to visit in the new year.

5. Get crafting with the remains of Christmas

There is always so much left over from the Christmas celebrations, so why not put it to good use rather than filling the bins and craft some items you can use next year from the left overs of this. You can spend time with the children creating items that will bring back the memories of Christmas past for years to come.

6. Have a family photo shoot

I’m not suggesting you hire a professional photographer for this one, but that you create your own photoshoot. The options for this are wide and varied, from indoor shoots using a sheet as a backdrop and raiding the kids dress up box for props to finding an outdoor location where you can have fun staging photos as a family.

7. Have a picnic

Yes, I know it’s winter but picnics are great all year round! Find somewhere you’d like to visit or plan a walk or outing with a picnic built in. Pack a flask of soup, sandwiches and a blanket and you’ll soon have a new post Christmas tradition to look forward to each year.

If the weather’s too much to face, or leaving the house is just too much, then a picnic inside can be magical too!

8. Make a Thank You video

Create a video of your family as a thank you to those who gave you gifts this year instead of sending a letter. This can be simply saying thank you to the camera, a montage of your family playing and using their gifts, clips of your holiday adventures or a full production scale video set to music. Whatever your video production skills, this is a lovely way to thank friends and family as well as create a memory of this Christmas’s events whilst spending time as a family.

9. Go to a pantomime or play/ Put on a play

Most pantomimes run well into January so are a great post Christmas tradition to have. If a pantomime isn’t your cup of tea, then plays for children can often be found during December and January too.

Why not create your own play at home and perform for friends or just for your own entertainment. You could even video the production to enjoy for many Christmases to come.

10. Rest

Find a day to take time to rest and do as little as you can. Stay in and just play with those Christmas gifts. Eat leftovers and wear your pyjamas all day. Have an early night, forgetting the housework and making a good night’s rest a priority.  Easyblinds in your bedroom windows will help ensure a great nights sleep and  you may even get a lay in too!

Sometimes the best days as families are those simple days where we are just together with no timetables or agendas.

 

Share with us your post Christmas traditions you have with your family.

Posted in Entertainment

WIN our Award-Winning Easyblackout Blind!

Easyblinds april comp

What We’re Giving You The Chance to Win

This month we’re running our second competition of summer 2016! (Congratulations to Beth Bowdler who won our June competition for an easynight blackout blind!) This time we’re giving entrants the chance to win our most popular blackout blind, the easyblackout kit!

Worth up to £38.95, this blind will be a fantastic addition to any home, particularly the bedroom or your baby’s nursery! Awarded gold in the Gentle Parenting Awards 2016 as the ‘Best Nursery Product’ and silver as the ‘Best Sleep Aid’, both parents and shift workers have trusted this easy-to-use method to help them (and their little ones!) get some well-needed shut-eye.

Gentle Parenting gold and silver 2016

Click here to find out how a blackout blind could benefit you by helping you get better sleep. 

About the Easyblackout Velcro® Blackout Kit

Hailed as one of our original blackout products, this blind is so simple, effective and long-lasting. Simple cut the material to size, attach your Velcro to the window frame and pop the material on to achieve total darkness! You can forget that pesky sunlight creeping in through the edges of your curtains, interrupting your sleep! Whether you’re a night worker or a parent looking for a solution to managing your child’s bedtime routine, this will be the perfect accompaniment to your home. Don’t take our word for it, just take a look at our reviews! More than 95% of our customers gave this a five-star rating!

What You’ll Win

The winner will receive a size 3 easyblackout blind (our standard size that fits regular-sized windows) in a choice of either white or cream (can choose a different size if needed!).

How to Be in With a Chance of Winning

The competition will run from Monday 8th August until 11.59pm on Monday 22nd August. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is a) follow us on Twitter and b) retweet one of the posts we send out relating to our competition, which you can find on our Twitter page.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 23rd August.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Terms and Conditions

  • The entrant must be aged 18+ to be in with a chance of winning.
  • Entrees from across Europe may be counted.
  • Multiple entrees will not be counted (e.g. multiple retweets and retweeting via more than one account); one follower and one retweet = one entry.
Posted in easyblinds competitions

Sleep Your Way to Success!

Let’s face it, we aren’t getting enough rest. We’re all guilty of it with today’s fast-paced lifestyles getting in the way of what really matters – our health. These days, we think we’re invincible and believe that since we’re ‘managing’ without sleep, it’s not really going to catch up with us. WRONG.

sleeping woman 3

Sleep is integral to both our physical and mental health. Whilst some can survive on four hours a night, eventually they’ll find themselves prone to illnesses such as heart disease.

The National Sleep Foundation indicates those who rest fewer than six hours are twice as likely to have a stroke than those who get more shut-eye. That’s regardless of their age, weight and recreational habits.

However, Editor-in-Chief of Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington says that times are changing. Whilst lack of sleep was previously seen as a ‘badge of honour’, people are turning to prioritising health and well-being. She’s calling it ‘the sleep revolution’, whereby people are encouraged to get more sleep in order to achieve success. Huffington also predicts that we can expect to see as many nap rooms as conference rooms in the future!

Whether or not this ‘sleep revolution’ will come to fruition is questionable. Especially as we’re always on the look-out for ways to conquer tiredness without turning to the pillow – i.e. coffee! What is clear is that as technology continues to dominate, we cannot get away from our basic human need. We haven’t found a food replacement. In fact, we’ve more than doubled our appetites compared to that of 50 years ago. However our attitude to sleep still has our seven to eight hours sitting on the back-burner as a luxury to enjoy every once in a while.

How Successful People Sleep

Turn off devices at least an hour before bedtime…

Whether it’s browsing Twitter or watching a TV programme, they’re all doing the same thing – sending your brain into a ‘hyperactive’ mode. Staring at a bright screen, which we already do enough of during the day, is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Studies have also found that the quality of sleep gained is far less than if you switched off a lot earlier. So the next time you find yourself yawning before the day has even started, try switching off. Give your brain a break!

Eat at least two hours before bedtime…

When we eat we do automatically become tired, however it’s best to leave it a while before you hit the sack. Mainly for reasons such as weight gain. Give yourself a chance to digest. Take a walk after dinner instead of sitting down straight away. You’ll not only have great sleep but you’ll find yourself feeling less stodgy in the morning!

Exercise for better quality sleep…

Exercise is great not only for physical well-being and fitness, but also for our mood. The endorphins released during exercise help us feel happier and more alert, whilst also helping us get a restful night. Find what suits you, whether it’s exercising in the morning or evening, and you’ll find you will sleep deeper and sounder.

Set a routine and stick to it…

If you go to bed at 9pm one night and 12pm the next, but wake at the same time each morning then you’re sure to feel tired. Our bodies are quick to adapt and prefer routine. So if you go to sleep and wake at the same time each day you’ll eventually only need your alarm for formality’s sake.

Be strict with yourself and give your body that time to shut down and regenerate. Don’t be disheartened if at first you just find yourself staring at the ceiling or counting sheep. You are still resting even if you haven’t yet fallen asleep. Be patient and eventually you will nod off and just continue to stick to that routine.

Avoid alcohol and – unfortunate but necessary – caffeine…

Clogging your body with toxins and stimulants is not the way to go for overall health. Some may find having the odd glass of wine actually helps get them settled for bed, but you need to nip that in the bud.

Whilst it can make you drowsy, making this a habit will mean that the quality of your sleep will be next to none. You’ll wake up both dehydrated and feeling as if you’ve barely slept a wink. Try cutting down the alcohol and avoiding caffeine from the mid-afternoon for a better night’s sleep. Cut it down gradually so your body can adjust. Eventually you’ll find yourself wondering why you ever relied on it.

Trust a blackout blind!

Whether your a working parent or a shift-worker, blackout blinds are a fantastic sleep accessory for both adults and kids. Click here to find out why blackout blinds are the ultimate sleep solution.

Posted in How To Get A Good Nights Sleep

Blind of the Month: Original Velcro® Blackout Blind

velcro kit gingham 1-385x385

With sunnier mornings, brighter evenings and summer just around the corner, it’s time to prep your home with some must-have sleeping accessories. Whether it’s for your newborn, toddler, teenager or tossing and turning partner, investing in a blackout blind will work wonders for their sleep routine.

So, for those who are tired of having sunshine in their eyes as 5am or need to be awake for that early start and so need an early night, rely on your trusty blackout blind to make sure you get your recommended amount of shut-eye.

Click here to take a look at all of the blackout blinds we currently offer, or read on to see why the Original Velcro® Blackout Blind Kit is this month’s favourite blackout blind kit. 

1. It’s one of our most effective products, without a hefty price tag. 

Many of the parents and night-shift workers who have bought with us before have said just how much they love this blackout blind kit. Starting from just £17.95, this blind is effortless to put up and take down, and lasts absolutely ages! Unlike other blackout blinds, there’s no need to remove any existing curtains you have up and there’s no gaps around the edges for sunlight to creep in through. We’ve been selling this since 2002 and it remains as popular today as it did when we launched it 14 years ago.

Click here to read some of the customer reviews and to see the simple steps to putting it up in your home.

2. It a lighter, less bulky fabric

Compared to most of our other kits, the Original Velcro® Blackout Blind Kit has a much lighter fabric with a soft feel, and being less bulky it folder up smaller so it’s easy to tuck away when you’re not using it.

3. There is no sewing involved, no drills, screws or frames, and no other fittings are required

At easyblinds, we like to minimise effort and maximise comfort, so all you have to do is cut the material to size, attach the self-adhesive Velcro® around the window frame you want to use, stick the wide loop fastener tape on your blackout blind and press into place! Your kit will have everything you need and easy-as-pie instructions with it, so you can get your blind up and running before you know it!

4. It’s perfect for the nursery and comes in five different colours!

Most blackout blinds are plain and can be quite unsightly, but the Original Velcro® Blackout Blind comes in five different colours (white, cream, walnut brown, seaspray blue and aloe green) in a gingham pattern, so it’s ideal for either your bedroom or baby’s nursery.

Buying your first blackout blind? Click here to find out why a blackout blind is a fantastic sleep solution and an absolute must-have for your home. 

Posted in Blackout blinds for the nursery, Uses for blackout blinds

How Lack of Sleep Can Trigger Food Addiction

Love food? Love sleep? Don’t we all! However, recent research has found that a lack of sleep can result in overeating and weight gain (as well as a number of other health issues!) – meaning that getting those 7-8 hours a night are even more crucial than we thought. 

How does it work? Well, naturally, a lack of sleep makes us feel lethargic – so what do we crave? Sugar! We’ll crave chocolate bars, crisps, practically anything with a high sugar and fat content, just so we can last the day.

A recent study published in the Sleep journal found that young, healthy adults who only had on average 4.5 hours of sleep per night had higher levels of ghrelin in their system (the hormone which tells you that you’re hungry and increases your appetite) compared to the levels of leptin (the hormone which tells you that you’re full and therefore reduces your appetite). Snack consumption was therefore greater in comparison to those getting the recommended 7-8 hours.

So, the next time you find yourself craving endless amounts of sugar, it’s not a lack of willpower that’s doing that – it’s most likely due to a chemical imbalance after a restless night.

Photo Credit: Paul W via Flickr

Photo Credit: Paul W 

What can you do for better sleep?

In a world where technology rules our lives, it’s hard to shut off and say “tonight, I really am going to get that early night,” but you owe it to yourself and your health to do it.

Here’s some tips to get you reaching for the pillow and not the chocolate:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Turn off all technology (TV!) at least an hour before bed
  • Don’t go to bed on a full stomach, make sure you eat around two hours before bed
  • Use a blackout blind to create a dark environment that tells your brain you’re ready for bed
Posted in Miscellaneous

Why a Blackout Blind is the Ultimate Sleep Solution

Sleep is an essential for healthy functioning in everyday life, but unfortunately most of us don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours per night. But instead of finding a solution, we continue to toss and turn at night only to feel groggy and miserable the next day.

snoozy banner

But that’s where we come in. Our specially designed blackout blinds help to counteract this, providing you with the sleep sanctuary you deserve. For those who are affected by outside light or artificial light, such as street lamps, our blinds offer you the solution you’ve been looking for! With no room for gaps where light can stream in, our blinds block out the light to give you and the whole family a peaceful night’s rest, and they’re so easy to put up – just follow three simple steps and you’re set! Great for parents, night workers, children and babies!

So, why invest in a blackout blind?

1. Our blackout blinds can be put up and taken down whenever you like!

We also have a range of portable blinds, so you can have your #easysleep wherever you go! Why not try our new and improved award-winning blind, easynight? It’s the lightest blind on offer so it’s easier to carry and can fold up really small – perfect if you plan on doing some travelling!

2. Help your kids stick to a reasonable sleep routine

Our blackout blinds don’t only block out the light to stop unnecessary waking during the night, but they encourage sleep, too! When it’s dark, our body produces a hormone called melatonin to help induce sleep so you’ll fall asleep faster. Read our customer reviews to find out how our blackout blinds have helped to regulate their little ones’ sleep routine. Why not try Jo Tantum’s Go Anywhere portable blackout blind? Expertly designed to help your baby achieve restful sleep in the nursery or on the move!

see how to help your little one's sleep

3. Blackout blinds are especially good for night-workers, parents and anyone who wants to sleep during the day

Without having the disturbance of outside light. Perfect if you’re a shift worker that needs to make the most of all the sleep they get, or even for mums and dads that need an extra hour or two during the day to make up for the sleep lost at night!

4. Blackout blinds keep rooms warmer in winter and cooler in summer!

Our blackout material is silvered on one side for better light and heat reflection, making your room cooler during summer and warmer in the winter. A perfect solution for all seasons of the year!

5. Safety first! No pull cords

Our blackout blinds have no pull cords, so you can be guaranteed that your child will be safe with our blinds in your house.

6. Fancy a trip to the cinema?

Why not stay in the comfort of your own home and use a projector to project a screen onto your blackout blind?! Our material is up to 2.7m wide, which is often hard to find, so you can enjoy the big screen at home – perfect for entertaining the kids during the holidays!

7. Privacy!

You won’t need to worry about the neighbours peering in! Perfect for places like the bedroom!

8. Don’t let street lights bother you…

You won’t need to worry about street-lights making it harder to get to sleep when it’s blocked out with a blackout blind! Remember, the more light there is in your room, the less likely you are to get a decent quality of sleep. Deep, uninterrupted sleep means you will feel more refreshed and healthy.

9. You can easily cut our material to size so it can fit your window, or keep it large to fit multiple windows – the choice is yours!

Any window, anywhere, can be blacked out with an easyblind.

10. Doesn’t just block out light, it can also keep out noise! 

Outside noise can sometimes be a problem, but blackout blinds can help. All noise will not be blocked out, but it will muffle the sound to give you a peaceful, light-free environment for a good kip! If that’s not enough, why not try these earplugs which come with a free eye mask!

11. We are affordable!

Our blackout blinds are cost-effective and the quality of sleep you get will be worth it! Our award-winning portable blackout blind, easynight, is just £20.95 and we’ve got a range of other blackout blinds starting at just £10.95! Our blackout blinds can last for years so for a long-term solution, these are definitely worth the buy!

12. We are award-winning!

Easyblinds has won gold in the Gentle Parenting Awards for the second year in a row! Having won ‘Best Sleep Aid’ in 2015 for our newest portable blind, easynight, we are pleased to announce that we have won ‘Best Nursery Product’ for our original easyblackout blind and ‘Best Travel Accessory for Under Ones’ for easynight once again!

For affordability, effectiveness and great service, trust easyblinds!

Easyblinds (1)

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds