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The Value of Sleep: Sleep Therapy, Mattresses, Sleep Improvement Courses and Relaxation

Have you ever wondered if you really snore? Do you have problem sleeping at night? Maybe you constantly search the internet using search terms like, “tried but can’t sleep,” “I can’t sleep” or “will CBT help me sleep?” If so, read on as the value of a good night’s sleep should not be underestimated. This article seeks to promote some of the potential services and deals on sleep therapies available in the UK, as well as looking at other sleep factors such as mattresses and sleep wellbeing/relaxation.




Reader Offer: Right now you can get a full week sleep study for just £5, less than £1 a day, with the code: LOVESLEEP. Access the 7 day sleep study for £5 (2 days free for first month). Start Sleeping Better today with SleepHubs!

What is Sleep Therapy?

Sleep therapy is a way of addressing sleep related issues without the need for medication. Whilst some medicinal supplements may aid sleep, they can often mask other issues or actually make sleep patterns worse. Companies like SleepHubs offer online sleep improvement courses, some of which lead to sleep therapy. Sleep therapy courses and treatment plans offer most people the chance to address lifestyle issues and habits first. Since sleep disorders can link heavily with emotional health problems such as stress, anxiety and the onset of depression, therapy may be the best option to start with.

The most effective therapy method, according to research in the US, is CBT. CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and it is a therapy method that aids a patient’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep for the required amount of time. This in turn enables a patient to feel healthier and more alert during the day. The length of therapies vary, but most are around 6 weeks via SleepHubs and they seek to address two main components in terms of a patient’s sleep health:

  • Cognitive Therapy: This aims to teach you the ability to recognise and change how you react to thoughts – especially negative, damaging ones. People can often get stuck in a negative sleep cycle, this cognitive therapy component can teach you the tools to spot the issues and address them reflectively. You are, in effect, challenging your internal programming to establish positive intent.
  • Behavioural Therapy: This element teaches you the recognition of negative behaviours and gives an understanding of how these can be addressed. The aim is to seek to replace a negative sleep habit with a positive habit to build a positive cycle. Commonly this is addressed through sleep diaries; just like the 6 week CBT course from SleepHubs via the Somnify Platform.




Online Sleep Improvement Courses from SleepHubs

The founder of SleepHubs Charlie Alton was prone to snoring in his teens. He played lot of sports at the time and discounted the heavy snoring as something to do with the active lifestyle, so didn’t give it a second thought. However, as time passed by, Charlie started to notice his lifestyle and family make-up changed, impacting on his sleep patterns. He became more aggravated and became utterly exhausted.

Often Charlie would fall asleep on the sofa at 9 and wake up at 1am. He would become grumpy, short tempered and irritable. The sleep patterns continued to change and he started nodding off in meetings at work and simply couldn’t stay awake in the afternoons. Eventually after the collapse of many things in his life, he started to realise he had a problem with his sleep, including not breathing while asleep.

The NHS referred Charlie to sleep clinic where he had to try various different tests including the Epworth Sleepiness Test (ESS) and was given a kit to wear at home to check his sleep habits. Whilst Charlie had to go through some truly horrible tests and trials to help with what was diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea, he did ultimately manage to change things for the better. But the experience highlighted two things:

  1. The need for people with sleep issues to visit their GP or seek help earlier before bad habits become ingrained.
  2. The process of going to sleep clinics, or engaging in sleep improvement courses, needed to be more friendly, appealing and user friendly.

This is where he started to develop SleepHubs.

Reader Offer: Right now you can get a full week sleep study for just £5, less than £1 a day, with the code: LOVESLEEP. Access the 7 day sleep study for £5 (2 days free for first month). Start Sleeping Better today with SleepHubs!




How does the SleepHubs online sleep improvement course work?

SleepHubs is an online sleeping improvement service that aims to help those with sleep issues via a 4-step sleep improvement scheme.

  1. The first part of the SleepHubs 4 step process is a sleep “screening.” This is essentially a check-up to see if SleepHubs believe your sleep can be improved. The process only takes a minute via a simple questionnaire and you’ll get an email from the SleepHubs team with both your sleep survey results and suggested next steps for addressing your sleep issues.
  2. If your SleepHubs screening score suggests that your sleep can indeed be improved, the assessment system will then invite you to complete a more thorough sleep study . This study is completed via the Somnify treatment platform (Icelandic CBT sleep experts) and consists of 7 days of sleep diaries. This is to obtain info on your habits and sleep pattern. Part of the assessment process also seeks to highlight particular risks such as Insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, and other specific sleep disorders. You’ll then have your results discussed with their Sleep Mentors.
  3. Diagnosis is the penultimate stage of the SleepHubs online sleep improvement course. This may be via a portable home diagnosis kit that can be sent to you for conditions like OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnoea). Results, if needed, can be shared with your local NHS practice or GP is you wish for follow up.
  4. Finally, SleepHubs offer an array of treatment options for your needs. Some of the common sleep conditions can be treated at home using specialist equipment such as C-PAP. An insomnia diagnosis can be addressed via home therapy sessions in your own home and there’s also face-to-face video support too.

Advice on how to sleep better with Sleepio, the Sleep App.

The Sleepio App and software from the NHS offers a Sleep Therapy service with some potential useful elements. Unfortunately the service is mainly for London based postcode but you can check out their website to see if they expand their coverage and potentially use the online elements online. Sleepio will ask you a few base questions and then give you advice and activities to try over the days and weeks. The service seeks to address issues via a reflective cognitive approach.




Can your mattress make a difference to your sleeping?

I treated myself to a memory foam mattress a few years back. It was a SilentNight Miratex mattress, a type of memory foam mattress. I was pleasantly surprised by the comfort it gave and the initial quality of sleep however over the months I found that I started to get back ache and sleep worse.

I visited numerous bed and mattress sales outlets and stores and tried out various different firmness of mattress, both sprung and memory. I was particularly impressed by the Dreams sleep system in their showroom which offered customers the opportunity to lay on a special computerised device that analysed their sleep positions, body weight and type, then suggested the ideal mattress. Now, whilst I had to take it with a pinch of salt that the computer seemed to recommend all of the most expensive mattresses in store, it does in some ways make sense. after all if a computer is going to recommend the best bed for you then ultimately you’ll likely to pay a higher price for a more premium mattress.

There’s a great variety in terms of price range when it comes to mattresses however one suggested by the Dreams computer were the Hypnos beds “Premier Bed”. It has a hefty price tag but is commonly regarded as one of the best mattresses in the country; used in many hotels, including Premier Inn.

After realising that a comfortable bed doesn’t lead to a pain-free sleep, I made the jump back from memory foam mattresses to the hypnos Premier bedstead 1200 coil sprung mattress. The price in dreams was recently expensive as with a lot of the main retail park stores. The most competitive company I found for the best mattresses for sleep was mattressman.co.uk. not only do they regularly have sales, they also seem to have the most commonly low generic prices for beds and are available both in-store and online.

Setting up delivery with MattressMan was simple and they offered a very quick turnaround on the delivery of the mattress in stock, also offering to take away the existing one for recycling. I can honestly say the Hypnos is the best mattress I have ever slept on. It’s not only comfortable, but more importantly, it  supports my back in a way that leaves me refreshed in the morning rather than aching and tiresome. At the time of writing MattressMan had 15% off all mattresses using the code “mattress15”. Visit MattressMan for find great deals on Hypnos Mattresses.

While searching for the best mattresses for sleep, it’s well worth checking out the newcomer to the mattress marketplace MattressNextDay. They currently have £50 off 400+ mattresses with the code MND50. Some of their offers currently on site include:

How to get free sleep casts, sleep improvement courses and meditation playlists from the HeadSpace App.

Sometimes the process of falling asleep in the first place can be an issue. I’ve found a pen and paper by the bed to note down thoughts from the day before trying to sleep can help, however there is another fabulous App you may wish to explore to help a transition into sleep.

The App I’m referring to is called “HeadSpace”. The HeadSpace app is built around a suite of tools, raging from meditation courses to sleep sounds and relaxation stories. There’s also a Sleep “SOS” section, specifically designed to help those who wake during the night with worries or pains to slip back into their sleep calmly.

The quality and flexibility of this app is amazing. My personal choice from the app is the HeadSpace sleepcasts. “Rainday Antiques” is an ambient 40 minute narrated story that always helps me settle into a calm and serene sleep. You can get free trials of the HeadSpace Sleep App. As a bonus to employees in education, the NHS etc you can get a whole year’s membership (usually £40) for FREE by following the below instructions:

headspace app free wellbeing for teachers

How to get £49 worth of HeadSpace for FREE

  1. This works for Teachers, NHS Staff and Students via the following links HeadSpace Student, HeadSpace Free for Educators and NHS,
  2. Register via the links and then send the team at HeadSpace proof of your student status to get a whole year’s student access for only £9.99 (Rather than £49.99) or proof of employment for a whole year’s FREE teacher/NHS membership (Usually £49.99)
  3. Proof of employment can by a letter headed with your employer details, or in my case I simply sent the top of an expenses sheet with my name and work address.
  4. Once the team receive your proof they’ll send you a code to put in during a “full registration”. This code will give you the discount Headspace Student rate or the FREE educator membership.

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