Home Health & Wellness Experts Share Why You Should Be Utilising Light and Sound to Enhance Your Bedtime

Experts Share Why You Should Be Utilising Light and Sound to Enhance Your Bedtime

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With Friday, 15th March marking World Sleep Day and nearly 1 in 5 Brits (18%) admitting that they sleep five or fewer hours a night, it’s clear the people of the UK are in need of some assistance to get their 40-winks.

The NHS recommends that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, while children need nine to thirteen hours. Being sleep-deprived can have a major impact on both your physical and mental health, so it’s important to prioritise getting enough hours of shut-eye every night.

With this in mind, sensory experts have come together to reveal how you can use light and sound to create the perfect atmosphere for a good night’s sleep:

Set the sound

Hannah Samuels, audiologist at Boots Hearingcare commented, “Sound is so important when curating the perfect atmosphere for any space. Our recent survey revealed that the top three most relaxing sounds for people in the UK are waves, rain on a window and birds singing. These sounds are all natural variations of green noise, which is known as ‘nature’s lullaby’.

Catalin Zorzini, founder of Earth fm says: “Green noise typically features less hissy and aggravated tones than its cousin, white noise. This makes it perfect for relaxing, as countless generations of ancestors had it as a reliable companion throughout their day.

“From soothing rainfall to lapping waves, nature sounds can help enhance our ability to unwind, especially when they’re at the gentler end of the scale. It’s no surprise that a third of Brits voted birdsong as the sound they found most relaxing. In fact, a National Trust study found that birdsong and rustling leaves boost relaxation by 30% and are even ‘more relaxing than guided meditation recordings’.”

Hannah adds: “Another noise frequency that can help with sleep is white noise, which can be particularly effective for people experiencing tinnitus as it distracts the brain from the sound of tinnitus and makes it easier to tune out and fully relax.”

Ease your way into darkness

Psychotherapist Dr Jo Gee explains: “Light is vital in our sleep cycles and how much sleep we get. Circadian lighting supports our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock. Both natural and artificial lighting in the home can regulate our body clock’s day and night cycles and, in turn, improve sleep, mood, and our overall sense of well-being.

Marlena Kaminska, designer at ValueLights shares: “Our recent research revealed that more than 1 in 10 people (13%) admit to sleeping with the ‘big light’ on, referring to the ceiling lights. Sleeping with exposure to such bright lighting can have a negative impact on the quality of sleep you’re able to achieve and leave you feeling sleep deprived.

“For the best night’s sleep, exposure to warm coloured lighting, such as red, orange, and yellow, is best. It goes without saying that you should avoid exposure to blue light, such as staring at your phone screen before bed, but the warmer lighting can in fact help you sleep.

“Much like the sounds that help us relax, replicating nature can also help us sleep – for example, by gradually easing ourselves into darkness, much like a sunset. Optimising your bedroom lighting with a sunrise alarm is a great way to achieve this – with a warm-toned soft light that reduces to darkness after a 30-minute relaxation period where you can really switch off, relax your mind, and tune in to the green or white noise sounds playing.

“Setting up timers and using smart bulbs is an easy way to elevate your everyday routine, helping you wind down at night but also easing you into the morning. Opting for an alarm with a gradual sunrise can ease the transition between sleep cycles, improving the overall quality of your sleep.”

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