COVID 19 and Delivery Update

We are a proudly Australian owned and operated business and are committed to continuing to support you in this difficult time.

With the health and safety of both employees and customers our priority, we have been working closely with government agencies and industry bodies to ensure our manufacturing and distribution sites remain within best practice hygiene protocols and in accordance with all state and federal requirements. We are exceptionally thankful and grateful for your support at this time.

In regards to deliveries, as at the 1st of September 2021, “COVID-19 cases in Victoria and NSW are causing additional delays with freight partner collection." Detailed information can be found at: https://auspost.com.au/service-updates/domestic-delivery-times. We thank you for your order, and will do our very best to get it to you as soon as possible.

For further information or if you have any questions, please reach out to our client services team on clientservices@sleepcorp.com.au

Blog

Sleep Debt

Many things can interfere with us getting enough sleep.  A late night movie, completing a work assignment or a night out with friends.

For an adult the recommended amount of sleep for our bodies to function effectively is 7-9 hours a night.  Sleep debt is where there is a difference in the amount of sleep we should be getting versus the amount of sleep we are actually getting.

Short term sleep debt can result in a lack of concentration, irritability and poor judgement, affecting our ability to learn and complete tasks, and increasing the likelihood of accidents or errors to occur.

As sleep is restorative, longer term a chronic lack of sleep can contribute to health problems including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.  You may also be more susceptible to experiencing anxiety and depression.

Naps

If you have had a late night or are feeling tired a nap may help during the day, reducing fatigue, increasing alertness, improving your mood, performance and reaction time. A nap may also help you prepare for and be able to better cope with a late night out, shift work or a long drive.

Ideally a nap should only be 15-30 minutes long.  This will ensure that when you wake you are still in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep.   Any longer, where you enter the deeper stages of sleep you risk waking up with what is known as sleep inertia.  Feeling groggy and perhaps more tired and with less energy than before your nap.

Sleeping in

Many of us enjoy a weekend sleep in, catching up on sleep lost during the week. Whilst it may seem a good idea and make you feel less tired, if you are sleeping in do not sleep for more than 2 hours longer than normal.   Sleeping late into the morning can further disrupt your sleep patterns by making you feel less sleepy when you should be going to bed at night.    

How to avoid sleep debt

Sleeping in or taking naps may make us feel less tired in the short term but they are not a solution for long term chronic sleep debt and the potential long-term effects on your health.

Avoiding sleep debt, and providing your body with the sleep it needs requires a regular sleep routine and good sleep hygiene habits.

  1. Keep to a regular routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, ensuring you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a day needed.
  2. Wind down before bedtime by reading a book or listening to soothing music.
  3. Resist the urge to check work emails and social media and switch of all screens including the TV at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings.
  5. Have a good sleep environment, dark, quiet and cool (between 16°C and 18°C).

It may take time to get into a routine but by following good sleep hygiene and a regular sleep routine you will regain the energy you have been lacking and it will benefit your long term health and wellbeing.

Sleep Well, Live Well

Can't Sleep?

Protect-A-Bed Can't Sleep

Do you find it hard to get to sleep or do you wake up during the night thinking about things?

Frustrated and tired do you begin watching the clock and start worrying about not getting to sleep or not getting enough sleep?

If you are finding that you are having difficulty sleeping, try following these tips.

  1. Mindfulness Meditation

Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit and close your eyes.  Focus your mind on your breath, inhaling and exhaling deeply.  Continue focussing on your breath. Don’t allow your mind to wander to the days activities or the future.  Regularly practicing mindfulness meditation for five minutes or more, can help you relax and let go of your daily stresses.  A technique that at bedtime, you can also undertake to help your mind relax and fall asleep.

  1. Exercise during the day

Exercise has been found to help reduce anxiety and stress.  Although hitting the gym, or participating in group sports is not an option right now, make sure you undertake some form of exercise each day.  Take a walk around the block or try an online workout or yoga class.   It takes as little as 5-10 minutes a day to reduce stress, boost mood and keep the body strong while improving alertness during the day and sleep quality. 

  1. Set-aside ‘Worry Time” in the early evening

Get into a routine of setting aside some time each evening to think about the things that have happened during the day and the things that you need to address tomorrow or in coming days.  Jot down the problem, or what is worrying you and make plans or develop possible solutions.  Writing things down will help you process what you are thinking about and help you free them from your thoughts when it is time to sleep.

  1. Keep an hour before bed as “Wind Down Time”

Have your evening meal at least two hours before bedtime and avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day.   Allow your mind and body to relax and wind down at least an hour before bed.  Play quiet music, read a book or take a bath.  Avoid, the evening news, social media and using screens, which emit blue light.

The blue light emitted from devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and the TV, can at night all reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.  This may result in difficulty sleeping and increased drowsiness during the day.

By keeping us engaged and stimulated they are also hard to walk away from and make it difficult for our brains to relax and wind down at the end of the day.

  1. Ensure good sleep habits and comfortable sleep environment

Keep a regular bedtime, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  This helps create a natural rhythm, and sleep-wake cycle for your body.

Ensure the bedroom is free of distractions.  No televisions, computers, radios and phones.

If your mobile phone is in your room and used as an alarm, ensure it is in do not disturb mode so you are not woken by late night text messages or notifications.

Keep the bedroom dark and ensure the room temperature is not too hot or cold which may make you restless and it difficult to fall asleep.  According to the Sleep Council UK

 “A cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) is thought to be an ideal temperature in a bedroom. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.” 

Make sure your sleep environment is healthy. Dust mites found in bedding are a common cause of asthma, allergies and asthma.  Protect-A-Bed mattress, pillow and quilt protectors will provide an allergy barrier against any dust mites living in your mattress or quilts.

“If you get into bed and cannot fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and return to another space in the house to do a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music. Lying in bed awake can create an unhealthy link between your sleeping environment and wakefulness. Instead, you want your bed to conjure sleepy thoughts and feelings only.”  - sleepfoundation.org

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your health, well being and ability to effectively function during the day, so if you find you are having continuous problems getting a good night’s sleep talk to your doctor.

Sleep well, live well

Turn back the clocks this Sunday, and follow these 5 tips to help your body clock adjust

Protect-A-Bed Daylight Savings

It is the first Sunday of April this weekend which means daylight savings is over, and it is time to turn our clocks back an hour at 3am to 2am.

Today, most smartphones and computers will automatically do this for us, but if you have an analog clock you should set yourself a reminder to do this before you go to bed Saturday night.

As the days shorten, by turning our clocks back, it means we are exposed to more bright light in the mornings. 

As quoted in a 7 news article, Sleep and Circadian Researcher at Central Queensland University Amy Reynolds says

“Exposure to bright light in the morning, which happens when we are not on daylight saving time, is more ideal for our systems, as it synchronizes our body clocks to the day, and to the social requirements we have in the world, things like starting work and school in the morning.”

Changing our clocks in either direction changes the principle time cue (which is light) for setting and resetting our 24 hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Therefore, our internal clocks become out of sync.

To help you adapt your circadian rhythm to the new time
remember the following tips:

  1. As an adult, it is advised to get eight hours of sound sleep, fatigue can exacerbate the negative effects of changing the clock so avoid depriving yourself of sleep and go to bed at an appropriate time.
  2.  Avoid alcohol close to going to sleep. Studies show that it reduces rapid eye movement or (REM) sleep, thus impacting on your brains ability to sleep properly.
  3. Limit caffeine intake 6 hours prior to bed, research has shown that caffeine taken 6 hours prior to sleep has significant effects on sleep disturbance. This will impact on your ability to get a restful sleep.
  4. As light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin expose yourself to light during the day, but minimise all light sources when you go to sleep.  Try to avoid the blue light from cell phones and other screens at least two hours before bedtime.
  5. Improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to creating a sleep friendly environment through things such as calming bedtime routines, exercising several hours before sleeping, listening to music, reading a book or having a hot shower before bed.

Turn back your clocks this Sunday and remember that with a good night sleep you will feel and function better. 

Napping

Protect-A-Bed Blog - Napping

 

If you are finding yourself feeling tired and sleepy during the day a nap may be beneficial.  Reducing fatigue, increasing alertness, improving your mood, performance and reaction time.

A nap may also help you prepare for and be able to better cope with a late night out, shift work or a long drive.

As recognised by the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia 

"Naps can also be good at times when you feel sleepy and you are worried about how well you can do things if you continue without rest. If you feel drowsy during a long drive in the car, a short nap can be taken in a rest area. This will make you more alert during the next phase of the drive.

Some studies have found that if you start to feel sleepy while driving, it helps to have a cup of coffee, immediately followed by a nap of about 15 minutes. The caffeine takes about 30 minutes to start working so when you wake up both the nap and the caffeine will start to make you feel more alert."

How long to nap for

The secret to waking up refreshed from a nap is setting an alarm and making sure you don’t nap for too long. 

Ideally a nap should only be 15-30 minutes long.  This will ensure that when you wake you are still in the lightest stage of non-REM sleep.   Any longer, where you enter the deeper stages of sleep you risk waking up with what is known as sleep inertia.  Feeling groggy and perhaps more tired and with less energy than before your nap.

However “If you’re lucky enough to be able to lie down for 90 minutes, your body should have time to make it through one complete sleep cycle where you go from the lightest stage through the deepest stage of sleep and back again, so you’ll wake feeling refreshed.”- sleep.org

 How you can make your nap better

  • Be sure to set an alarm so you are not napping for more than 30 minutes.
  • Nap in a quiet, dark place at a comfortable temperature without any noise or distractions

“A cool 16-18°C (60-65°F) is thought to be an ideal temperature in a bedroom. Temperatures over 24°C (71°F) are likely to cause restlessness, while a cold room of about 12°C (53°F) will make it difficult to drop off.”  - Sleep Council UK 

  • If you are napping regularly try and nap at the same time each day.
  • 2-3pm may be the ideal time to nap. We often feel most sleepy in the early afternoon as it matches a low point in our bodies circadian rhythm.
  • If taking a nap in your car, ensure you are in a safe place

And if napping regularly

Be mindful to remember that a nap does not replace a good night’s sleep.  A nap too late in the day may make it harder to fall asleep at night. And if you find that you are relying on naps during the day or you are not able to sleep at night due to naps talk to your doctor.

 

 

 

Combating Jet Lag

Protect-A-Bed Blog - Tips for Combating Jet Lag

What causes Jet Lag?

Jet lag occurs when you fly across one or more time zones.

Daylight plays an important role in our body’s natural biological clock or circadian rhythm, affecting the release of Melatonin which tells us when we should go to sleep and wake up.  Jet lag occurs because our body's circadian rhythm has not had time to synchronise to the change in time zones.

The result, our body is telling us to stay awake when it’s late at night, or telling us it’s time to sleep when it is the only the middle of the afternoon.

Jet lag, affects different people differently, and can happen to anyone regardless of their age or level of fitness.

As recognised by betterhealth.vic.gov.au it is also often worse if you are travelling in an easterly direction

Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is less confused if you travel westward. This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day-night cycle (the normal tendency of the body clock in most of us is slightly longer than 24 hours). Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock. If you suffer badly from jet lag, it may be worthwhile considering a westerly travel route if possible.

Symptoms of Jet Lag

The symptoms of Jet Lag vary between people.  They may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lack of concentration

Coping with Jet Lag

Jet lag generally lasts for 2-3 days and although there is no cure there are things that you can do before, during and after travel to help.

Before Leaving 

  • Ensure you have had enough sleep leading up to your travel and are not already suffering from a lack of sleep.
  • If possible, begin moving your sleep patterns towards the sleep and wake time at your destination. Go to bed and get up a little earlier or later, gradually adjusting the length of time before your trip.

During the Flight 

  • Change the time on your watch to the time at your destination as soon as possible. The sooner you make the change, the easier it will be.
  • Open the blinds on your flight to allow in sunlight only during the daylight hours at your destination.
  • Try to sleep on the plane during the night time hours at your destination. A sleep mask, headphones or ear plugs may help block out any light and noise.
  • Attempt to eat and sleep on the plane at the same time you will be eating and sleeping at your destination.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine that may disturb your sleep cycles.  (see our blog on Coffee and Sleep) 

 After the Flight

  • Adjust your sleeping and eating patterns to the new time zone as soon as possible. Try to stay awake to your usual bedtime and get up when you normally would rather than having a sleep in.
  • The Sleep Health Foundation does recommend that you can take short naps when adapting, which may help you feel more alert if necessary but also state that
“It is important that you sleep for no longer than 30 minutes and that you are awake for at least 4 hours before you go to bed.” 
  • If possible, during the day get outside or expose yourself to as much natural light as possible. Remember that daylight works with our Circadian Rhythm which tells us when it’s time to be awake and sleep.
  • When ready to go to sleep, make sure the room you are staying in is set at the optimal temperature for sleep which is around 18-20 degrees and use ear plugs or headphones to drown out any unfamiliar sounds that may stop you falling asleep or wake you in the night.

Most importantly be prepared to give yourself the time to adjust. It will often take at least 2-3 days.

 

5 tips to improve your sleep this daylight savings

Protect-A-Bed Daylight Savings

It is the first Sunday of October and we all know that means it is daylight savings time.

Daylight savings puts our clock forward an hour and although this can be fantastic for people who want to enjoy those long summer nights it can have a negative impact on our sleeping patterns.

Even one hour of sleep loss over a few nights can have marked effects on our mood and health.

The effects of the initial time change for daylight savings on the body is often likened to jet lag.  Losing an hour of light in the morning and gaining it at night it effects our bodies as if we are in a different time zone.

This is because changing the clock in either direction changes the principle time cue (which is light) for setting and resetting our 24-hr natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Therefore, our internal clocks become out of sync.

As it is staying light later in the day it can be harder to fall asleep and likewise staying darker in the morning can make it harder to wake up.

Tips to help you adapt your circadian rhythm to the new time:

  1. It is advised to aim to get eight hours of sound sleep, fatigue can exacerbate the negative effects of changing the clock so avoid depriving yourself of sleep and go to bed at an appropriate time.
  2.  Avoid alcohol close to going to sleep. Studies show that it reduces rapid eye movement or (REM) sleep, thus impacting on your brains ability to sleep properly.
  3. Limit caffeine intake 6 hours prior to bed, research has shown that caffeine taken 6 hours prior to sleep has significant effects on sleep disturbance. This will impact on your ability to get a restful sleep.
  4. As light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin expose yourself to light during the day, but minimise all light sources when you go to sleep.  Try to avoid the blue light from cell phones and other screens at least two hours before bedtime.
  5. Improve your sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to creating a sleep friendly environment through things such as calming bedtime routines, exercising several hours before sleeping, listening to music, reading a book or having a hot shower before bed.

Spring your clock's forward and get the most out of the warmer days by undertaking good sleeping habits.  With a good night sleep you will feel and function better.

 

10 TIPS for a Better Night's Sleep

Sleep is vital to our health and well-being, affecting how we feel, and how productive we are. 

If you are not getting the 7-9 hours of quality sleep a day that most adults need, you may be among other things, lacking in energy, getting frustrated easily, feeling sleepy during the day and having trouble concentrating.

  1. Establish a routine – try and go to bed at the same time each night. We all have an internal body clock, controlled by a part of our brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This triggers a hormone called melatonin which makes us feel sleepy at night.  This clock is most effective when one has a regular sleep routine and when working effectively you will feel sleepy at your bedtime.
  1. Avoid caffeine for at least four hours before going to bed. Not just coffee and tea, this also includes soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolate.  Caffeine is one of a number of stimulants that can make it harder to get to sleep, make you sleep more lightly and wake up more during the night, often to go to the bathroom.
  1. Avoid Alcohol for at least 4 hours before bedtime. According to the Sleep Health Foundation  “Although alcohol will make you feel sleepy and may help you fall asleep at night, it actually disrupts your sleep later.  In the second half of the night, sleep after drinking alcohol is associated with more frequent awakenings, night sweats, nightmares, headaches and is much less restful”
  1. Avoid cigarettes all together but if not possible at least 2 hours before bed. Like caffeine these are a stimulant making it harder to fall asleep and to stay asleep.
  1. Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach. Your evening meal should ideally be a least 2 hours before bedtime.  Although you don’t want to be hungry if your stomach is too full and uncomfortable it can be difficult to sleep.
  1. Dim your devices screens in the evening and try putting a curfew on your devices of 1-2 hours before bedtime. The longer the better, and no checking email or social media in bed.  The blue light emitted from devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and the TV can, at night, all reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.  This may result in difficulty sleeping and increased drowsiness during the day.
  1. Ensure you have a comfortable and healthy sleep environment.  There should be no distractions, such as televisions and phones, in the bedroom.  You should be warm but not too hot.  The ideal ambient temperature for falling asleep is in the high teens – between 15°C and 20°C.
  1. Use Protect-A-Bed mattress, pillow and quilt protectors. These will create a healthier sleep environment providing a barrier against dust mites.  Approximately 30% of us are allergic to dust mites, which live in our bedding and are a known trigger of asthma, allergies and eczema.  
  1. Set aside the hour before your bedtime to just relax and wind down. Listen to music or perhaps read a book.  If you find you can’t shut down your mind when you go to bed use this time to think about the day gone by and the day ahead.  Write down any plans so that when you go to bed you have already thought through them.  And if your mind continues to be active in bed, try thinking of something relaxing and calming.  A walk along the beach, a favourite memory....
  1. If you are having trouble nodding off to sleep, after 20-30 minutes get up. Just relax or read a book (no devices!) and go back to bed when you feel sleepy. Sleep is not something you can force and you do not want to associate going to bed with not been able to sleep and feeling frustrated.

Just remember that what works for one person may not work for another and it is not always possible to stick to a set routine.  By adopting these habits however your sleep should improve.  With the right amount of quality sleep you will feel better and be more productive.  If you are not finding anything that works you should consult your GP.