And So to Bed

When it comes to feeling great, nothing compares to a good night’s sleep. 

 

Not everyone agrees on how much sleep we need. Napoleon, Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours a night and Thomas Edison claimed sleep was a waste of time. There is no set amount of time we need to sleep; requirement varies from person to person but most of us need about eight hours to keep us happy and healthy. The variation in requirement is greater still in the animal kingdom. Did you know a python needs a whopping 18 hours a day while a giraffe can get by on only two hours? We spend a third of our lives asleep and our cognitive function, physical health and mental well-being depend on us getting enough rest, so it’s a subject worth taking seriously. If you’re having trouble dozing off or staying asleep, here are some of our top suggestions...

 

1. Relax your mind: Trade racing thoughts for peaceful slumber with some simple deep-breathing techniques. Inhale through your nose for three seconds (using your abdomen rather than your chest) then exhale for three seconds, releasing any tension. Pause for another three seconds before taking your next peaceful breath. Practising this for 5-10 minutes each night can help calm the mind and reduce feelings of stress. Research has also shown lavender can help improve sleep quality, so why not try putting a scented oil on your skin or spritzing your pillow before bed? Look out for the lavender bags we leave on guest pillows each night! 

 

2. Calm your body: A massage is a great way to unwind and prepare for sleep. Pay a visit to our decadent spa and forget the stresses of the day as skilled hands knead away knots and worries. Sometimes gentle movement can be the magic answer for relaxation. A leisurely swim in our heated pool or time in the amphitheatre sauna can help release tension and prepare your body for sleep. 

Therapist putting hands on man's shoulders lying down

 

3. Switch off your screens: Our modern lives are often saturated with electronic devices but when it comes to bedtime, the blue light they emit can affect production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep. Reclaim your rightful rest and give yourself an hour of screen-free time before putting head to pillow. Instead, unwind with a book or luxuriate in a warm bath.

 

4. Avoid caffeine: Caffeine may keep you buzzing through the day but it can linger in our system for many hours, acting as a sleep thief in disguise. So, say "goodnight" to coffee and energy drinks by late afternoon and switch to herbal teas. Camomile is a great go-to, with studies suggesting it can help promote relaxation and ease anxiety.

 

5. And if you’re tired, take a short nap: We've all been there - that mid-afternoon slump where concentration fades and eyelids grow heavy. But before you reach for another cup off coffee (remember, caffeine is our sleep thief!), consider the secret weapon of the busy traveller: the power nap. A short, strategic nap can help rescue you from the clutches of daytime fatigue and reenergise you for the rest of the day. Timing is key though - aim to nap between 2-4pm, when our natural alertness levels dip, and for no longer than 20 minutes. 

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