If you live in a town or city, then the rumble of traffic noise might wake you earlier than you’d like. In most urban areas, the morning’s peak traffic starts at about 7:00 am. If you live in a more rural area, birdsong might have disturbed your sleep a couple of hours ago.
The 24-hour sleep guide
Your guide to a better night's sleep
“What we do, where we live and what we eat all influence how well we sleep at night. Add to that the inner workings of our own bodies and the complicated mix of hormones and chemicals that control our sleep, and you’ll see how important it is to get the right amount of sleep – and how easy it is for something to upset this very delicate balance. Take a look at this sleep guide for all the things might be affecting your sleep every day.”
Dr Ranj, Furniture Village sleep ambassadorWake up
Good morning! This is the average wake-up time in the UK. If you’re not bouncing out of bed, it could be that you’ve not had the good quality sleep you need to face the day.
See what might be keeping you awake >
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Right about now, your body is at its peak of cortisol production. Cortisol is the hormone that controls our flight or fight response to stress, and also helps regulate our sleep/wake cycles. It helps give your body its get-up-and-go. Cortisol levels are higher first thing and that’s what makes you feel more alert in the morning.
If you're off to school or work, make sure you start the day with a nutritious breakfast that’s designed to keep you going through the morning.
See our breakfast recommendation >
If you’re struggling to concentrate and wish you could just take a nap mid-morning, it might be time to take stock of how well you’re sleeping at night.
With a couple of hours to go before lunchtime, you might be ready for a snack. If you’re feeling a little slump here, have something that contains complex carbohydrates to release energy throughout the rest of the morning and get you through until lunchtime. Now might also be a good time to have your caffeinated drink, if you need it.
Lunchtime at last. Eating mindfully now will set you up for the rest of the day, and for a good night’s sleep. Try a salad with turkey or tofu – both contain tryptophan, an amino acid which your body uses to make sleep-friendly melatonin and mood-regulating serotonin.
If you’re tired after lunch, dehydration could be a factor. In fact, staying hydrated during the day is essential for your physical wellbeing – and affects how well you sleep at night.
Learn more about the link between hydration and better sleep >
So you’re picking up the kids from school and your energy levels are crashing. Try a reviving snack like some fruit or a handful of nuts. Almonds are rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that can also help you sleep better.
Read more about the top 5 foods that can help you sleep better >
Whether you’re out and about, working from home, or looking after the kids, you may be feeling tired after a long day.
And relax. For many, the working day ends between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. While you may try to catch up on tasks in the evening, now’s the time to think about unwinding before you go to bed.
Create the perfect ambience in every room with stylish and soothing lighting >
If you work nights, your day might just be starting. Of course, sleeping during the day comes with some significant challenges.
How to combat sleep distractions >
Around about 7:00 pm is the ideal time you should eat dinner. Any later, and you run the risk of a disturbed night’s sleep.
See why you should avoid eating too close to bedtime >
If you’ve had a glass of wine or beer with dinner, remember that it takes an hour for the average adult to process one unit of alcohol. Even a small amount in your system can affect the quality of your sleep.
The perfect bed makes it easier to relax. Shop our huge range of beds and mattresses to find the one for you >
As the sun goes down and the world becomes naturally darker, your body produces more of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.
Blue light disrupts this, so turn off your digital devices at least an hour before bed.
Prepare your environment for a better night’s sleep >
Even at night, the world can seem like a brightly lit place. Moonlight, street lamps and even, depending on the orientation of your bedroom window, light from car headlights can make it hard to settle down to sleep.
What might be keeping you awake >
It’s time to get those teens to bed – they’ll thank you tomorrow. Teenagers generally need between eight and ten hours of sleep a night, so a little after 10:00 pm is the perfect time for them to turn in if they have to be up by 7:00 am or 8:00 am.
Create the perfect bedroom for every member of the family >
Your screen went dark a couple of hours ago. Now it’s time to put down your book and turn off the lights. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of good-quality sleep every night.
What you can do if you can’t fall asleep >
If you’re burning the midnight oil, as they say, now’s most definitely the time to get to bed. Going to bed too late, night after night, could leave you with a substantial sleep debt.
We sleep in cycles, each of which comprises several stages concluding with REM (rapid eye movement sleep) which is the sleep stage where we dream. As each cycle usually lasts about 90 minutes, you’re probably completing your first one right about now.
Wide awake at 1:00 am? Many TV channels broadcast through the night so it’s tempting to reach for the remote control. But if you’re struggling to get to sleep, try something more calming, like reading for a few minutes or making yourself a warm (caffeine-free) drink.
Still awake? While this might seem like a wonderful opportunity to get some work done or even finish watching that box set, restricting your hours of sleep can really affect your health.
Still struggling to drop off? If your sleeping environment is messy, your brain interprets this as an unfinished task. You could try clearing the clutter – it might help you sleep better. If you struggle to sleep on a regular basis, though, it might be a good idea to have a serious look at your sleep habits and sleep hygiene.
Create a tidy space that invites restful sleep with help from a spacious storage bed >
The restorative stage of sleep – REM sleep – gets progressively longer as the night goes on.
This means that the longer you sleep, the more time you spend in this important phase when your brain consolidates and processes information.
As morning light begins in the summer months, some birds begin their dawn chorus early. If it’s winter and still well before the sun rises, enjoy a few more hours of undisturbed sleep.
The factors that can cause poor sleep >
Farmers, commuters and early-morning exercisers may be up at this hour. If it’s a long time before your alarm and you’re wide awake, it’s time to consider your diet and sleep habits.