Clocks going back: how to prepare your little one!

It’s that time of year again: sneezing left, right and centre; wacking the heating up; feeling extra groggy in the ‘midnight’ mornings; and preparing ourselves for the run up to Christmas.

This weekend will see the end of daylight saving time for 2015 with the clocks going back an hour this Sunday 25th October.

For those of you with little ones, you’ll know how sensitive their sleep pattern is, so here are a few tips to make the process a little smoother.

Steer your child away from sugary food and drinks, particularly after 2pm

Sugary foods and fizzy drinks aren’t great at the best of times, but for a good night’s sleep it’s important your child steers well clear of them in order to wind down, otherwise the energy boost could see them staying up well past the hour!

After dinner, instead of a sugary dessert, why not try giving them fruit such as bananas, oranges or cherries? They’re known for helping the body to produce the ‘sleep’ hormone, melatonin, which basically controls our body clock. If your child experiences troublesome sleep, it’s definitely worth trying!

cupcake

“I’m off to bed now, too!”

Let’s face it, children are copycats – if they see/hear that you’re up it’s likely they’ll want to stay awake too. See this as the perfect opportunity to give yourself a break as well and get the early night you deserve! If you’re all in sync it’ll make the process even smoother.

bed-sharing

Fill the time with a fun activity

Usually, children will adjust to the new routine anywhere between a few days and a week, but in the meantime fill the time with something that will make your little one barely notice the time go by. Read something to/with them they love or play a game they enjoy. Allowing them to exercise during the day is also great for winding them down, but try and avoid television right before bed as that’s more likely to produce a less restful night’s sleep.

bedtime stories

Block it out with a blackout blind

The beauty of a blackout blind is that it allows you to enjoy great sleep without the disturbance of outside factors such as light (and even noise!), thereby creating a cosy sleep sanctuary for both babies and parents to enjoy. With a blackout blind in your little one’s nursery or bedroom, they’ll snuggle up and doze off, even if it is still light out – they’ll be none the wiser. It’s great for being in complete control of your little one’s sleep pattern. Check out our reviews to find out why parents trust our products to give their children (and themselves!) great sleep!

With the winter months coming up, blackout blinds also provide great heat insulation – saving you a little on the heating bills! See more fantastic reasons to invest in this popular sleep solution here.

Easyblinds april comp

And now you’re all set! Got any tips you’d like to share with us and the rest of the parenting community? Be a part of the conversation with us on Twitter @easyblinds or on our Facebook page. Reminder: clocks will go back at 2am this Sunday 25th October!

Posted in Baby advice, Benefits of Blackout Blinds, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Routines

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

The 7 Hours 7 Days Sleep Challenge!

Are you getting enough sleep? The answer is most probably “no”. For the majority of the population, adults are getting on average 6.5 hours a night on weekdays. However many sources, including WebMD,  say that we actually should be getting between 7-8 hours per night. That’s over 120 hours of lost sleep every year!

This is where the 7 Hours 7 Days Sleep Challenge comes in! We, here at easyblinds, fully support maintaining a healthy lifestyle and, particularly, a healthy sleep routine. So, for 7 days, starting from this Sunday 7th September until Sunday 14th September, we’re encouraging as many of you as possible to get 7 hours of sleep each night. Go on, we know you can do it!

With the right amount of sleep, you’ll feel happier, healthier and more energetic. Sticking to the same sleeping hours every day will also keep you from feeling lethargic on a regular basis.

For those of you who struggle getting to sleep at night, and find yourself tossing and turning, try out these tips:

1. Cut caffeine out before bed. You’ve heard this one before, but so many still do it!

2. Try not to watch TV before bed, instead try reading a book – that usually does the trick!

3. Even if you feel like you can’t sleep, just lie there. Seriously. Close your eyes, lay still and get comfy. Music can also help. You will get there eventually, and even so, the time relaxing there motionless still counts as resting.

4. If you know you usually take some time to get to sleep, trying getting into bed and doing tip 3 around half an hour before you actually expect to be asleep.

5. Make sure light in your room is limited and the temperature in the room suits you. This is where easyblinds comes in! At the moment, we have two competitions running – one to win our new blackout blind, easynight, and another with our Go Anywhere blackout blind up for grabs! Click the links to check them out and enter!

Good luck! Let us know how you get on @easyblinds.

lion yawn 2

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, easyblinds competitions, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Routines

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

5 Tips To Get Your Baby To Sleep

baby-sleeping

Since the beginning of time, mothers have tried different techniques to try and keep their little one(s) to sleep and stay asleep, but it’s still very much a trial and error procedure.

As summer is now upon us, it can be harder to encourage some shut-eye for your baby, so here are 5 tips to get you going:

1. Keep your baby cool

Of course, the warmer you are, the more lethargic you tend to get, but being too warm can also be a problem, and can result in your baby becoming restless and agitated. Cradle your baby in your arms with a fan on low nearby and see how that works. Also, keeping a blackout blind in the bedroom can help to minimize the heat.

2. Keep outside and artificial light to a minimum (esp. during late afternoon and evening)

If your baby is napping during the day, the sun can often hinder what should be a restful sleep. Our blackout blinds not only help to keep the room cool, but it will block the outside light, encouraging your baby to have an undisturbed nap-time.

3. Hydrate your baby and wind your baby before a sleep

Too often do babies wake earlier than they should because they are slightly dehydrated, hungry or need winding. The rubbing of the back will calm your baby; perhaps even a light massage can help too. If you’re still having trouble, just try keeping your baby in your arms as the warmth, comfort and the smell of you will promote ultimate relaxation!

4. Pop the washing machine or hoover on

This is a trick that can sometimes work like magic, but it depends on the baby as some will only rest when there is complete silence! Many people have tried and succeeded, and even my Mum used the technique when I was small! The droning and consistent sound is almost hypnotic to some, so why not give it a go?! Alternatively you can download apps and CDs that will do the trick.

5. Talk/Read whilst stroking them

The first 6 months is the most important time for building that special bond with your baby. They will never tire of hearing your voice, so reading to them or talking to them is recommended as much as possible. Even just stroking their arms or their head whilst they doze off is calming and comforting, especially since they can still smell and feel you.

If you have a technique or two that has worked for you, why not share it with us on Twitter? We’d love to hear from you @easyblinds. 

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, Better sleep for toddlers, Children's Sleep Problems, Sleep Routines

Sleeping Habits of the Stars! Weird Routines You Didn’t Know…

Think you were fussy about getting your beauty sleep? Think again: here are a few strange celebrity sleeping habits…

1. Eminem

eminem

According to firstworldfacts.com, this world-famous rapper uses plastics and aluminum foil on the window as a sunlight-blocker! Looks like he needs to get ordering some easyblinds…

2. Mariah Carey

mariah_carey_p

Glamour.com finds that the international diva sleeps for 15 hours a night…and that’s not all – she also sleeps with over 20 humidifiers in her room! Apparently she likes it to be like a “steam room”.

3. Tom Cruise

tom-cruise-2010-48266

Plushbeds.com have said that whilst married to Katie Holmes, he slept in a snoratorium – a room specifically designed to prevent snoring! Other famous snorers include Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill.

Do you have a strange sleeping habit? What’s your sleep routine – tweet us @easyblinds

 

 

Posted in Sleep Routines

The Benefits of Napping – How 30 Mins Can Improve Your Brain!

power naps

According to the National Sleep Foundation, naps can actually be very beneficial for our mental alertness and performance.

They distinguished between three types of napping: planned napping (for instance, when you know you’ll be up much later and so plan to nap in order to avoid fatigue later on); emergency napping (spontaneous napping after finding that you are struggling to concentrate and function; and, habitual napping (where you go for a nap the same time every day, no matter what the situation is).

For most people, the first two examples are the most likely reasons for napping during the day, but studies have found that maybe the stigma of habitual napping isn’t necessarily laziness – but subsequent consistent alertness. So, how can napping actually help? Below are some tips and stats found by the National Sleep Foundation:

  • Napping has been found to be psychologically beneficial. A nap acts like a mini-holiday. It’s an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation – without having to actually go anywhere!
  • 20-30 minutes is recommended for short-term alertness. You’ll feel much more energised and ready to go; however a lot of people consider having a mid-day sleep as also being a nap – anything longer will be sleeping, not napping, and it’ll not only make you feel groggy afterwards, but it will interfere with your night’s sleep and your body clock will get confused!
  • Scheduled napping has also been prescribed for those who are affected by narcolepsy.
  • Naps can enhance your performance, and has been shown to reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.

According to The Daily Mail, Prime Minister Winston Churchill swore by afternoon siestas. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, on the other hand, was known for only having 4 hours a night! But her former assistant actually revealed that she relied on vitamin B12 injections to boost her energy levels throughout the day! So the next time you think you need to be invincible, try taking a nap beforehand and see how it goes!

 

 

 

Posted in Sleep Routines

Study Finds Less Sleep = Less Brain Cells

According to a recent BBC article, mice that had prolonged lack of sleep had their brain cell capacity reduced by 25%, as stated by the Journal of Neuroscience. This is apparently the first study to have found that reduced shut-eye correlates with reduced brain cells.

US scientists believe that this mirrors the brain activity in humans, meaning that reduced sleep can could cause serious problems.

Read the full article here.

So, for those of you missing out on some well-needed rest, what should you do? Here’s a few tips!

1. If possible, stick to a routine. The body-clock is vital!

2. If you can’t sleep with any noise, try some earplugs.

3. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and big meals before bed.

4. And if you can’t sleep with any light, try our blackout blinds!

 

Posted in Benefits of Blackout Blinds, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Experts, Sleep Routines, Uses for blackout blinds

Sleep Expert – Tracey Hogg the Baby Whisperer

In our first sleep expert feature we discussed Gina Ford’s method, today we will introduce you the Tracy Hogg the Baby Whisperer.

Tracy’s method is a much gentler approach to sleep but still involves a nightly routine.

Tracy uses the EASY method:

E – Eat

A – Activity

S – Sleep

Y – You (time for you)

One of her main no-no’s is feeding your baby to sleep. Baby should not be feed to sleep and they will not learn to self sooth.

The EASY method takes around 4 hours a night and 1 ½ hours a nap time.

It is a long routine but thousands of parents swear by EASY.

This is an ideal routine some a parent that wants a gentle approach.

Tracy Hogg has written several baby books that will teach you’re the EASY Method.

 

Posted in Preparing for baby, Sleep Experts, Sleep Routines

Sleep Routines at Different Stages

Here at Easyblinds we believe a good sleep routine is the key to a good night’s sleep for both you and your child.

Whether your child is a newborn or a toddler we have a suggested bedtime routine for you:

Newborn Sleep Routine

6 Month Old Sleep Routine

1 Year Old Sleep Routine

Toddler Sleep Routine

The key to any successful routine is consistency.  Once you have decided to start one then it is important to do the same thing each day.

Make sure that everyone that is involved in your child’s care knows the routine and sticks to it.

It will take a few days for the routine to stick and then you will wonder how you ever lived without it!

 

Posted in Better sleep for toddlers, How To Get A Good Nights Sleep, Sleep Routines