Vote Easy in the Gentle Parenting Awards 2016!

sky gentle parenting awards

 

Easyblinds are up for the Gentle Parenting Awards for a second year in a row! Having won the Gold Award last year for our newest portable blackout blind, easynight, we are now entered in four categories for our top two selling blinds:

  • Best Nursery Product – easyblackout
  • Best Sleep Aid – easyblackout and easynight
  • Best Travel Accessory for Under Ones – easynight
  • Best Travel Accessory for Over Ones – easynight

So, if you’ve been impressed by our products and how they’ve revolutionised your sleeping pattern for you and your family, we’d love to gain your support! Gentle Parenting are also giving away a batch of baby goodies, so get involved and have your say in one of the biggest parenting and baby product accolades of the year!

Since 2002 we’ve worked to bring you the best quality blackout blinds to give you and your children #easysleep. Our blinds are easy to use, effective and affordable.

Easyblinds has been made by Mums for Mums for more than 14 years, and it’s thanks to our loyal customers that we’ve made it this far!

Voting closes at 5pm on Sunday 14th February.

Please click here to access the Gentle Parenting survey site.

Thanks for voting! And don’t forget to share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Facebook!

The easyblinds team

Gold_Awards_badge

Posted in Miscellaneous, Sleep Experts

Make your bedroom a sleep-friendly zone

Wondering why you’re not sleeping well at night? There are a variety of reasons for this, such as diet, lack of exercise, stress levels, the list goes on. But studies show that you’re more likely to get a good night’s rest if you cut off distractions and make your bedroom peaceful and sleep-friendly.

So here’s some tips on how to make your bedroom a sleep haven! Don’t worry, we’re not going to go all Feng shui on you – just simple changes can make a huge difference!

1. Reduce clutter

bedroom

Remove all paper-work and clutter that could be making you stressed. For your bedroom to be a sleep sanctuary you need to make it all about relaxation, so limiting what you have and making the bed the focal point of the room will make it easier to shut off when you get in. Leave distractions for the living room and leave the bedroom to be a clear space for you to feel completely at rest.

2. Add some jasmine and lavender 

essential oils

Herbal and essential oils such as jasmine and lavender can be found at your local pharmacy and are popular sleep remedies. As well as making your room smell gorgeous, jasmine is known for it’s calming effects, especially if you are stressed out, and lavender aids a faster and deeper sleep. Keep a small bottle of each by the bedside and sprinkle a few drops on your pillow – it will work wonders!

3. Keep it quiet

easyblinds pic3

Noise is another important issue, but with our ear plugs, you can guarantee that you’ll have sounder sleep (they even come with a free eye mask!). They’re equipped with a special filter allowing certain sound frequencies to be heard, whilst limiting others, so whilst traffic and ambient noise can be kept at bay, sounds such as a crying baby or an alarm will remain sufficiently audible.

4. Keep it cool

Ever wondered why you sometimes wake up feeling shattered even though you’ve still had a decent amount of sleep? Sometimes this is due to temperature, as during your sleep, if you’re too hot or too cold, you’ll toss and turn and fall into light sleep rather than deep sleep, making it easier for you to wake and reducing the positive effects you need from enough deep sleep. The average temperature people tend to like when going to bed is 18 Celsius, but this can change from person to person. Just make sure you are comfortable with the heat of your room before deciding to climb in for a night of slumber.

5. Cut out the light

Easyblinds

The interruption of either natural or unnatural light is one of the main causes of a lack of sleep. Our blackout blinds are great for solving this problem as it cuts out all light (as long as there are no lights on inside!) so you don’t need to worry about street-lights or the sun peeking through. They’re easy to put up and take down so you can turn your room into a sleep sanctuary fast and effectively. Read our reviews for our easyblackout kit and see why our customers wouldn’t look back after reaping the benefits of their blackout blind!

And there you have it! Have you got any tips that have helped make your room more suitable for sleep? Share them with us @easyblinds or on our Facebook page.

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, Sleep Experts, Uses for blackout blinds

Get your child in the back to school sleep routine!

kidsleep

It’s almost time for the kids to go back to school! However, getting back into the usual routine can be tough, especially after a relaxing couple of weeks. Here’s 5 tips to help get your child back into the school sleep routine:

1. Encourage your child to sleep at the usual time of a school night a couple days before school starts

This will help them to get back into the routine before school even starts so they’re not so groggy on the day they know they’ve got to wake up. Entice them with a day of fun activities so they know they have a reason to stay up as well, instead of feeling like they’re waking up earlier for no reason. Having a set waking and sleeping time also helps the body to adapt its body clock so your child will feel fresher on a school morning.

2. More exercise

One of the main reasons we all feel reluctant to head back to school/work is because we’ve become lethargic. Relaxing is beneficial but there does come a point when you’ve done too much of it that you don’t want to do anything else! Try and have some more exercise with your child, making it fun, so they feel more in the spirit of being active. The exercise will also make them more tired towards the evening, making them more inclined to sleep earlier and have better quality shut-eye.

bikes

3. Make bedtime interesting

Children nearly always don’t want to go to bed but then don’t want to get out of it in the morning. Make bedtime fun and interesting – read them a book they love or tell them a story. If they’re not in the mood for sleep, a hot chocolate and a bath might do the trick!

4. Blackout blind it

Use a blackout blind in your child’s bedroom to shut out all light, which helps to produce the hormone melatonin and makes sleep more inviting. It also helps to prevent disturbances from outside light as the sun rises in the morning, so they sleep right through until their alarm (or Mum or Dad) wakes them up! Check out our range of blackout blinds here. Our new portable blackout blind, easynight™, is just £12.95 and includes suction cups!

easynight-pack-385x385-300x300

5. No sugars in the evening

Try and eliminate sugary foods and drinks at least 4 hours prior to your child’s bedtime as this will only increase their energy, making it harder for them to get to sleep.

Have you got any back to school sleep tips? Share them with us @easyblinds or on Facebook.

 

 

Posted in How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Experts

What you didn’t know about sleep

Sleep

Along with food and exercise, a healthy sleep routine is absolutely essential. Sleep provides us with energy, the production of new cells to make us healthier and stronger and helps us to restore information and keep our brains in active order. Plus it’s meditative and helps us to get well-needed rest before the start of a new day. But here’s what you didn’t know about sleep…

1. Some studies suggest women need up to an hour’s extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more likely to get depression than men.

2. After five nights of partial sleep deprivation, three alcoholic drinks will have the same effect on your body as six would when you’ve slept enough.

3. The “natural alarm clock” which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.

4. Exposure to noise at night can suppress immune function even if the sleeper doesn’t wake. Noise during the first and last couple of hours of sleep has the greatest disruptive effect on the sleep cycle. Here’s a link to our ear plugs with a free eye mask!

SleepSoft_webphoto2-385x385

5. British Ministry of Defence researchers have been able to reset soldiers’ body clocks so they can go without sleep for up to 36 hrs. Tiny optical fibres embedded in special spectacles project a ring of bright white light (with a spectrum identical to a sunrise) around the edge of soldiers’ retinas, fooling them into thinking they have just woken up. The system was first used on US pilots during the bombing of Kosovo.

6. We didn’t always sleep right through the night. Recent evidence shows that until the 17th century, it was normal for people to sleep in two chunks, waking half way through the night…every night.

7. Nearly half of all teenagers are sleep-deprived. Teenagers have the worst body clock as they often sleep late and wake late on weekends, and then have to wake up early on weekdays.

8. You can catch up on lost sleep. The only risk is over-sleeping, which can make you just as lethargic as not getting enough sleep!

9. Some scientists believe we dream to fix experiences in long-term memory, that is, we dream about things worth remembering. Others reckon we dream about things worth forgetting – to eliminate memories that would otherwise clog up our brains.

10. Certain types of eye movements during REM sleep correspond to movements in dreams, suggesting at least part of the dreaming process is similar to watching a film.

cinema

11. REM dreams are characterised by bizarre plots, but non-REM dreams are repetitive and thought-like, with little imagery – an obsessive suspicion that you left your mobile somewhere, for instance.

12. A new baby typically results in 400-750 hours lost sleep for parents in the first year. OMG!

13. Both whales and dolphins literally fall half-asleep. Their brain hemispheres take turns so they can continue surfacing to breathe.

14. 12% of people have black and white dreams. Before colour television, however, the number was 75%!

15. Scientists have determined that counting sheep is ineffective for putting oneself to sleep. It’s found to be too boring, and, in fact, imagining a calming landscape generally works much better.

16. You sleep about 1/3 of your life in total, which for the average person is approximately 25 years. Blimey!

17. That moment right before you fall asleep when all of a sudden you jolt wide awake has a name – it’s called a myoclonic jerk. So that moment that always makes us look crazy is actually a thing.

mr-bean-falls-asleep-in-church[1]

 

Posted in Sleep Experts

Sleep mistakes we make every day

Are you one of those people that never wants to go to sleep but then never want to get up in the morning? Don’t worry, the majority of us do it! Here are five mistakes we make every day when it comes to sleep:

1. Just one more episode…

tv sleep

What ever happened to ‘early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise’? Netflix – that’s what happened. We know it’s wrong when we hit that ‘play next episode’ button but we do it anyway. According to American comedian, Henry Youngman: “If you’re going to do something tonight that you’ll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.” And boy, was he right!

2. Sleeping in on days off

sleep in

During the week, our bodies get into a routine of waking up at a specific time. You’ll find that after going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, your body will become adjusted you’ll feel a lot less groggy than if your body clock was out of whack. So sleeping in on the weekends may feel good but it won’t help you come Monday morning! Giving yourself half an hour extra sleep is fine, but if you’re oversleeping hours past your usual waking time, your body won’t be happy!

3. Too much light!

Image courtesy of exclusivenews.co.in

Image courtesy of exclusivenews.co.in

A dark room immediately sets the tone for a peaceful slumber so turning off the lights will definitely help you get to sleep faster. Our blackout blinds aid sleep by setting the mood and also ensuring that natural light won’t make its way into your room, so you can enjoy undisturbed, good quality sleep.

4. Caffeine

coffee-293220_640

Experts suggest that we should stop drinking caffeinated drinks after 2pm in the day, as the caffeine stays in our system and can often be the reason we find it harder to fall asleep at night. Hard to do, of course! But give it a go, you may be fresh enough the next day to not even need your caffeine boost!

5. Stressing about a lack of sleep

not getting sleep

Before an important day, we often struggle to get to sleep, sometimes even though we are really tired. Then when we notice we only have a few hours until our alarm goes off, we stress out even more. In the moments that you’re lying awake, you’ve got to turn your thoughts and stresses off in order to allow your body to coerce itself into sleep. Sometimes reading a book can help, but never – NEVER – count sheep. Counting will only make you think more than you should when your mind should just be blank.

What’s your sleep mistake? Share it with us @easyblinds or on Facebook.

Posted in Sleep Experts, Sleep Routines

How Lack of Sleep Affects Your Skin

1959, SLEEPING BEAUTY

As we saw from our post two weeks ago on ‘How to Look Rested When You’re Not’, there are quick fixes to looking glowing and healthy on little sleep, but unfortunately in the long term, no moisturiser can do the trick.

Sleep isn’t only necessary for rest and information retention – it’s also your body’s way of repairing itself.

While you rest, new cells grow, replacing old ones (TIP: Use an exfoliant most mornings to wash away the dead cells) .

Not getting enough sleep could result in drained, unhealthy looking skin that could age well before its time.

According to WebMD, the British Medical Journal found in a study that sleep-deprived faces were rated as less attractive and less healthy.

Feeling mentally drained will also make the muscles in your face more tensed, which could lead to wrinkles and skin with a rough texture and uneven pigmenting, according to youbeauty.com.

Also, if you’re getting less sleep, you’re more likely to crave sugar and fats to get you through the day, which will result in break-outs and oilier skin.

In a survey by the Sleep Council, women said that top tell-tale signs of a lack of sleep were shadows and bags under the eyes, as well as washed out, pasty-looking skin.

94% of women said that the best way to look and feel better was a good night’s sleep.

A few weeks ago, easyblinds launched the #7Hours7Days Sleep Challenge, raising awareness about the importance of getting at least 7 hours every night.

If life is too hectic to do this every night, try doing it 2-3 times a week and feel the difference.

If you can, try a full 7 days of 7 hours a night – soon you’ll realise that an extra hour or so in bed will make the hours you spend awake more productive, and you’ll feel and look better, too!

If, however, you are continuously getting poor sleep, consult your GP as you could have insomnia.

Over a third of people in the UK are said to have episodes of insomnia during their life, largely due to stress, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Have any questions or comments? Tell us @easyblinds or on our Facebook page.

Posted in Sleep Experts

Is Oversleeping Bad For You?

alarm

Getting lots of sleep? That’s great – around 65% of the adult population are said to not be getting the correct amount of sleep – but you’re not one of them! It also means that you’re giving yourself less of a chance of developing all sorts of chronic illnesses by allowing your body, particularly your brain, to regenerate – ready for the next day.

However, like anything, too much of it can be bad for you. Are you getting over 9 hours every day, sometimes more, and even incorporating daily naps into your sleep cycle? Studies show that between the ages of 21-65, sleeping this often can actually cause similar effects to under-sleeping, such as exhaustion. According to WebMD, oversleeping has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and depression. Obesity, headaches, and back pain are amongst some of the physical side-effects of long-term oversleeping.

Depending on the person, your sleep needs will differ, but typically, between 7-9 hours every night is the amount most adults should aim for. Don’t confuse oversleeping with just getting an extra hour more than usual for a night or two – you will know when you’re oversleeping as you will feel incredibly groggy and lethargic! Treating yourself to an extra long night can be refreshing, just avoid doing it on a prolonged basis.

So, what do you do about it?

It’s simple – don’t panic and set a structure, then stick to it. A lot of people think that your brain only wakes you up when you’re ready, and that oversleeping is just a sign of “body regeneration”, but don’t be fooled. Ever feel like sleeping longer when you’ve just woken up? Of course you do, that doesn’t mean “sleep more”, it just means that you’ve woken from a deep state of unconsciousness (REM sleep) and you’ve probably got loads of sleep residue in your eyes. Jump in the shower and you’ll soon wake right up.

If you’re finding that oversleeping is less of a habit and more of a necessity, consult your doctor to test for hypersomnia or depression.

Did this help? Tell us @easyblinds.

Posted in How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Experts, Sleep Routines

Are you sleep deprived?

homer-sleep1

This week, easyblinds took the ‘Are You Getting Enough Sleep?’ quiz! The result: we’re not sleep deprived! Yayyy!!

Does the same go for you? Take this quiz from the Ladies’ Home Journal to find out!

Sleep deprivation can be dangerous for both your physical and mental health. The less sleep you have, the more likely you are to have:

a) a poor diet

b) a car accident

c) increased irritability and

d) a greater likelihood of depression

You can turn your life around by prioritising sleep a little more! Whoever said that “sleeping’s for the grave” was wrong. To lead a great life tomorrow, you need to get some great sleep tonight!

If you’re someone who is often awakened by outside light, give our easyblinds a go! You’ll sleep through the sunshine! Whatever the sleep problem, there is always a solution. So, find it and get some #easysleep today.

If you’re feeling tired, see this video to find out how you can justify sleeping in this weekend:

In the long term, keep away from these sleep-snatchers for better sleep and improved energy:

  • Alcohol (don’t overdo it!)
  • Fizzy and caffeinated drinks
  • Using your mobile and watching television right before bed
  • Eating too much before bed
  • Not drinking enough water!
  • Smoking

Try cutting out some of these, and see how your sleep improves! Message us @easyblinds on Twitter and let us know how you get on! Watch out for the #easysleep challenge, coming soon!

Posted in Sleep Experts

Less Sleep Could Create False Memories

memory

A month ago, it was found that less sleep ages your brain. Now, new research has found that the less sleep you have, the more likely you are to remember things that have actually never happened!

According to Medical News Today online, researchers have found that a lack of sleep could increase the likelihood of false memory development.

Lack of sleep has previously been found to influence decreased cognitive function, but studies on false memories have previously been limited and not conclusive.

One of the researchers found that those who slept 5 hours or less a night were linked to increased false memory formation.

In an experiment, one group was allowed to sleep and another was not, after being shown a series of photos of a crime taking place .  It was found that those who did not sleep had a greater increase in the number of false memories, which did not actually correspond with what they had previously seen.

Have a look here to find out more about how sleep influences your memory.

Never underestimate the power of sleep! Make sure you’re getting enough rest; if you’re finding that your memory isn’t as good as it should be, then it’s probably a sign that you need some more shut-eye.

Did you know that if you fall asleep in less than 5 minutes when you hit the pillow, it’s a sign that you are sleep-deprived? See how long it takes you tonight! 

Posted in Sleep Experts

Less Sleep Ages Your Brain!

 

bigstock-Brain-Aging-46500448-996x497

Ever hear of the phrase ‘use it or lose it’? Well research published in the last few days on medicalnewstoday.com has found that when it comes to sleep, this phrase can definitely be applied.

According to the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, a lack of sleep in older people can lead to a speeding process in the aging of their brain.

After investigating the sleep patterns and subsequent brain functions of people aged 55 and over, every hour of reduced sleep resulted in a decline of cognitive performance.

Researches said that this brain degeneration can lead to the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

So what’s the best amount of sleep you should be getting? Prof. Michael Chee said: “Work done elsewhere suggests that 7 hours a day for adults seems to be the sweet spot for optimal performance…”

BEWARE OF THE HEAT!

This summer you may be experiencing a lot of tossing and turning in the night due to the high temperatures. According to The Independent online, summer 2014 is set to be the hottest on record! So, here are some night-time tips:

1. Keep a fan near you bed to keep cool – but make sure you’re well covered as you may wake up with a stiff back if the fan has been on you all night!

2. Stay hydrated – have a tall glass of cold water a little while before bedtime to keep you from dehydrating during the night.

3. Get an easyblind! Our blackout material is designed not only to keep the sun out (especially with these sunny evenings!) but they also keep your rooms cool during the warm summers. Have a look at our kits here.

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Experts