The Ultimate Hibernation Products for Autumn / Winter

Animals are renowned for it, but science has proven that hibernation in humans is brilliant for health and wellbeing. It can help to overcome a number of ailments – including stress and the common winter cold – as it gives the body and mind time to heal.

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Officially, hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in endotherms. Hibernation refers to a season of heterothermy that is characterised by low body temperature, slow breathing and heart rate, and low metabolic rate.

So while humans with busy lifestyles can’t spend weeks on end under the covers, having a few hours of hibernation each month could make a huge difference to our state of mind and health.

How to hibernate

Hibernation is about curling up, getting warm, battening down the hatches and just letting ourselves do what animals do in winter. Think of a small mouse. The mouse finds a cosy place, builds a nest, finds some leaves and then curls up and goes into a deep, long sleep.

Products for Human Hibernation

 

  1. Duvets are the ultimate products for heavenly hibernation

Duvets are a means to cocoon the body in the warmest, comfiest natural materials on the planet. Whether it’s snuggling under goose and duck feather and down or enjoying the superior drape around the body of synthetic duvets that contain silk fibres these are the products for the ultimate experience of feeling encased in luxury.

Our white Duck Down Duvet collection is beautifully lofty with a high down fill. 80% duck down clusters are combined with feathers and encased in naturally breathable soft pure cotton cover.   Constructed in a square cassettes layout to ensure an even distribution of fillings throughout the duvet, this product drapes beautifully and naturally around the body – leaving no draughts for cold air to encroach on that perfect night’s sleep.

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Silk is the secret ingredient for a light yet cosy duvet which drapes beautifully around the contours of the body. The Fine Cotton Company’s Double Silk Duvet has a natural silk floss filling that continually adjusts to the individual’s body and the ambient temperature of the room.

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  1. Faux Fur Throws For Winter Hibernation

Throws are also perfect for Winter Hibernation.

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A luxurious faux fur throw will instantly deliver a feeling of warmth and security. Tactile, sumptuous and indulgent, blankets and bed runners from The Fine Cotton Company come in a selection of mock animal furs – Lynx, Lady Grey, Ermine, Latte and Truffle.  Curl up and snuggle down under a layer of luxury.

 

  1. Hibernate in Style

Wrap yourself up in pure luxury with the deliciously soft lambswool and angora throws which have the luxurious feel of cashmere. Sumptuous and simply gorgeous to touch, these exquisite throws provide the finishing touch and a splash of colour to any room. Fine a cosy place and enjoy a long deep sleep.

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Time to Hibernate

Five of the Best Natural Materials to Bed Down in this Winter

Happy family concept. Feet of father, mother and four children in colorful knitted socks on white bed. Family sleeping together.

Winter should be filled with long blissful walks on a crisp day, followed by a  roast dinner and cuddling up beside a roaring log fire.  When it’s cold outside there’s no better time to create a snug and comforting sleep sanctuary inside; somewhere to hide away from the winter chill.  And we always choose natural and organic materials to stay cosy. They’re far superior to synthetics in terms of how they affect the body during sleep.  Natural fibres and fillings such as cotton, goose down, silk and flannelette will actually help to regulate your body temperature as you sleep, keeping you warm in winter and cool in the summer.  They’re also breathable and allow ventilation that draws moisture away, which makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Here’s our pick of the top five:

Flannelette

A chic and snug option for winter bedding, flannelette is currently enjoying a revival in UK homes.  Loosely spun fibres produce a fluffier texture to the fabric so it’s velvety soft to sleep on. This also has an insulating effect, traps warm air and provides extra heat for those who feel the cold. Where flannelette may appear thicker, it’s actually very light weight, plus it can be washed frequently with a reduced risk of shrinkage, so it’s ideal for children’s rooms. Like this sounds of this super soft natural fabric? Try our Stowe Brushed Organic Cotton Bed Linen

Silk

It’s advisable to opt for a higher tog duvet when temperatures tumble; a 10.5 or 13.5 tog rating will provide the extra warmth needed in the cold weather.  And it is possible to up the tog rating without feeling weighed down with a natural silk floss filling that continually adjusts to your body and the ambient temperature of the room. Silk filled duvets drape lightly over the body and are luxurious, light and thin. Try our Silk Winter Duvet.

Alpaca Wool

Alpaca fibres are naturally anti-allergic and can be used to kerb the effects of common allergies such as asthma which can worsen in winter due to the prevalence of colds and flu.  Made from hollow fibres, Alpaca wool has the same temperature regulating quality as many natural fibres.

Our Anti-Allergy Organic Alpaca Duvet Collection is handmade using unique stitching techniques for maximum airflow, this organic duvet is completely free from chemicals for a healthy, natural sleep environment.

Angora

The fluffy surface texture of Angora wool produces unrivalled luxury and softness.  It’s revered by knitters who refer to this extra fluffiness as the halo. The Angora fibre has a hollow core so it’s cosier and lighter than lambswool.

Try our Lambswool and Angora Throws – Blended with lambswool this lustrous textured Monaco throw is available in a vivid punchy pink along, soft blues, greys and cream.

Or the reversible Newbury Lambswool and Angora range gives even more options for changing up interiors.

 Goose Down

Natural down can be very lightweight.  A luxurious goose down duvet is an investment for those who love sleep without the feeling of too much weight on them – large clusters of down trap air and cover the body evenly and lightly.

Try our Supreme Hungarian Goose Down Duvet for the ultimate in sleep luxury.

 

Image Adobe Stock © Vitalinka

 

Five Natural Ways To A Good Night’s Sleep

Are you one of those people that toss and turn for hours every night, only falling into a deep sleep when the alarm goes off? Well you are not alone, as the NHS reports that one in three of us Britons go through periods when we have trouble sleeping and that one in ten of us regularly takes some type of sleeping medication. Shockingly, around 15.3 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets were handed out to patients suffering from insomnia during the last year according to the Economic and Social Research Council. While having a few nights of disrupted sleep causes nothing more than a bit of tiredness, poorer performance at work and irritability for a few days, scientists have conducted many studies that prove that being sleep deprived over a long period can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, weight gain, strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Chronic insomnia is even believed to be a contributing factor to developing cancer and that if you don’t get enough hours you can expect to have a shorter life.

The stressful, busy life that many of us lead in this modern world is one of the major reasons why we are finding it so hard to sleep. And although sleeping tablets can be very effective for helping with a short term bout of sleeplessness, they are not a long term solution for chronic insomnia. So if you are fed up with feeling weary all the time and dragging your way through the day, don’t despair as luckily there are many natural ways in which you can help yourself get a satisfying night’s sleep. So what can you do to get that quality sleep time that you so richly deserve and wake up in the morning feeling vibrant, optimistic and energetic?

1. Your Bedroom Is Just For Sleep

Your bedroom is where you sleep and spend the greater part of each night, so it has to be just that – a bedroom. Your bedroom should only be used for sleep and lovemaking and nothing else. If you have created a work station in your bedroom, use it to watch TV or do one of your hobbies, stop this right now and move the equipment out into another room if at all possible. If you are really short of space and can’t move these activities elsewhere in your home, try and use screens to create a discrete space for your bed. To sleep well you need a space that spells sleep and rest for you; a space where you can put mentally put the day’s activities away and relax.

2. Creating The Right Environment For Sleep

Have you ever had a good look around your bedroom and assessed whether or not it is optimised for helping you sleep? If you are having trouble sleeping, you may need to make some changes in your bedroom, so that you can enjoy your eight hours of blissful slumber every night. Starting with the bed, check that the mattress you are sleeping on is the right one for you and supports your body properly. What about your bed linen? If yours is old, worn and mismatched, maybe now is the time to invest in some new sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. We humans are very visual creatures, so if you come into a bedroom that is tidy, well-coordinated and visually pleasing, you are going to find it much easier to relax and drift off to sleep. It also helps to make sure that your bedroom smells nice for when you want to try to go to sleep. Try burning something soothing like lavender oil before you lie down for the night, or put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball and pop it under your pillow. Ensure that you choose organic cotton bed linen, as commercially grown cotton contains strong chemicals that can irritate your skin as you are sleeping and can even affect your breathing. Also make sure that your bedroom is always properly aired, as this will also help you to sleep well. Leave a window open and turn the heating off even on a cold, winter night, as it is hard to sleep properly in stuffy, hot rooms.   If you suffer from the cold invest in a quality, high tog duvet and a hot water bottle to keep you cosy.

 

 3. Keep Your Bedroom Dark

Have you ever thought of how dark your bedroom really is at night? We live in a world full of electrical light sources, so you may think that you are sleeping in a darkened room but actually you may have light coming in from outside, while inside there may be screens glowing or standby lights on electrical appliances burning. These lights, however dim, get mistaken for daylight by our brains, which then confuses our body clocks. Our brains produce a hormone called melatonin which helps to regulate our sleep patterns, but if there is too much light in the room while we are asleep, the brain won’t produce the amounts of melatonin we need. Even though our eyes are closed during the night, our brains can still detect any light in the room through our eyelids.   We evolved in a world where we would go to sleep when darkness fell and there were no electric lights, and would wake naturally as the sun rose. So your bedroom is not the place for electrical appliances with flashing lights or screens. Remove as many as is feasible, and if you must keep some then switch them completely off at night, so the standby light is not on. Similarly, if you really must have a computer or tablet in your bedroom, shut it right down before you start to nod off, so there is no glow from the screen. If light is coming in your bedroom window from street lights outside, it is time to invest in some heavy duty curtains or blinds, or sew some blackout linings onto your existing curtains. As you are winding down for the night, gradually dim the lights in your bedroom, so that you brain is naturally led towards the sleep state and you will find that you drop off really quickly when you switch off that one remaining lamp.

 

 4. Create a regular Sleeping Routine

One of the great things about growing up and becoming an adult is that we can now do what we want when we want. Unfortunately, however, having an erratic schedule could be one of the major contributors to your insomnia. Many of us have lives where we get up early for work during the week, stay out late partying and then sleep in at the weekends to catch up. But sleep experts are now saying that one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good night’s rest is to have a regular sleep schedule that you keep to even at weekends. So it is recommended that you get into bed and go to sleep at roughly the same time every night and then aim to wake up at the same time every morning. And you may even be surprised to find that getting up at seven o’clock on a Sunday morning isn’t so bad after all? If dropping off still proves to be a problem, then implement a regular winding down schedule. Stop doing any tasks that require a great deal of thought and concentration a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed, switching off computers and TVs. Listen to some soothing music, take a gentle walk in the fresh air or have a long hot bath. Read a book or magazine and make yourself a hot, caffeine-free drink to sip. Whatever you choose, try and do the same things in sequence every night, so that your mind begins to associate your activities with preparing for sleep. Likewise, if you are one of those people who just lays in bed worrying and fretting instead of sleeping, decide that you are going to put your worries away for the night and leave them outside of your bedroom. While you are cleaning your teeth in the bathroom every night, just visualise or imagine that you have a box on top of the bathroom cabinet for your stresses and worries. Identify what is on your mind and mentally put that worry away in the box for the night. There is nothing you can change in the middle of the night, so what is the point of fretting about it? If sleep is still elusive, try some reverse psychology. Most people lie there telling themselves that they can’t sleep or will never get to sleep, which is a self fulfilling prophecy. Instead, try telling yourself that you intend to stay awake all night, and see how fast you drop off! You can always decide to pick your worries up the next morning if you really have to, but wouldn’t it be much better for you if you decided to pack them away for good?

5. Drink and Eat Yourself Into Sleeping Naturally

We are what we eat and drink, so it stands to reason that what we put into our bodies can either help or hinder our sleep. Many people have a few glasses of wine or beer in the evening in the mistaken belief that it is helping them sleep. In fact, although they may fall asleep faster, they will generally have a night of broken, disrupted sleep and will not go into the deep sleep part of the cycle that our bodies need to become truly rested and refreshed. Traditionally warm milk or a hot milky drink like cocoa has been the bedtime drink of choice for insomniacs. Hot milky drinks help us sleep because they are rich in calcium which relaxes us. They also contains tryptophan, a substance that the body can convert into serotonin in the brain, making us feel contented, relaxed and drowsy. The trouble is that a lot of us don’t like the taste of hot milk, but if you still want to get your dose of tryptophan, why not try snacking on a turkey sandwich during the evening? Turkey is a good source of protein and tryptophan, and the carbohydrate in the bread will make it easier for the brain to use the tryptophan. Another drink that recent studies have shown to be good for promoting a great night’s sleep is tart cherry juice. Packed with antioxidants, Montmorency or tart cherries are rarely eaten as fruit because they lack sweetness, but are often made into a potent cherry juice concentrate, that is now sold in a lot of health food shops. Dilute the cherry concentrate with water to make a refreshing, fruity drink or add to a healthy, milky smoothie and sip during the evening before bedtime. The reason why drinking tart cherry juice can help you to sleep is that is packed full of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleeping patterns. There are also some herbs that can be drunk as teas or taken as tinctures that can naturally help you to sleep. One of these is valerian, a flowering plant that has been utilised as a medicinal herb since antiquity. It is taken to reduce anxiety, relieve muscle tension and help you drift into a deep sleep. Valerian is truly one of nature’s natural tranquillisers, and its efficacy is thought to be down to helping increase the levels of gamma amino butyric acid or GABA in the brain, which is believed to boost relaxation levels and reduce anxiety. Having a mug of camomile tea before bedtime is also another natural way of helping you sleep, as it is very calming and will help your body rest. For a stronger infusion pour hot water over dried camomile flowers, and add some honey and lemon for taste. For a relaxing bath, just hold some camomile teabags under the hot water taps as you are running it and then just get in and luxuriate. One of the more unusual natural foods I came across that promotes sleep is lettuce. Apparently, including lettuce in your evening snack gives you a supply of a substance called lactucarium, a natural opiate found in the white, milky sap at the base of the lettuce heart and leaves that soothes and sedates your nervous system.

So, as you can see, if you have trouble sleeping there are many natural ways of aiding sleep that you can try. Everyone is different, so you may find some things work for you better than others, but I’m sure that very soon you will be enjoying a great natural night’s sleep!

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information given in this article about natural aids to sleeping should in no way be used to replace advice given to you by your doctor or health professional. If you suffer from a serious medical condition or are at all concerned, then you should always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting to take any form of dietary supplement or natural remedy.

Top Tips to help your children get to sleep

In our recent survey we asked for your top tips to help your children get a good nights sleep.

Thank you to all who entered.

Here are the top 7 tips:

  1. Relaxing Bath before bed
  2. Bedtime story
  3. Work out a routine and stick to it!
  4. Dark Room with blackout blind
  5. Warm Milk or a snack
  6. Cool Bedroom
  7. Lavender Oil on the pillow

 

Please let us know if you have any more tips!

 

10 of your Tips for the Perfect Night’s Sleep

Thank you to all who entered our Facebook Competition to tell us your top tip for a Perfect Night’s Sleep.

Here are the first 10 of the hundreds we received.

  • A comfy bed and a comfy pillow are essential!
  • A comfy pillow and the correct tog duvet
  • A few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at bedtime is fantastic for helping you relax
  • A glass of warm milk last thing
  • A lovely bath with relaxing oil and a cup of hot chocolate before bed
  • A very dark and cool room
  • Always sleep with the windows open
  • Always buy good quality bedding, you sleep much better
  • Change your diet! Eat tryptophan rich foods eg bananas, milk, cheese, pumpkin seeds
  • Don’t go to bed too late so you have time to unwind, clean fresh sheets and reading a nice book help me to have a perfect sleep

 

We hope you find your way to getting the Perfect Sleep. Please let us know if you have any great tips

Bedroom Colours: How Do You Sleep?

Room colour does influence your mood and set the tone for your living environment. Therefore it’s important to choose a bedroom décor that will help you relax and induce sleep.

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Creativity

Orange expands your thinking. It reduces self-consciousness and allows you to express yourself with confidence. Use it in your home when you want to feel younger. It is the colour of laughter and celebration.

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Order

Deep blue encourages efficiency. It will purify your thinking, so you can cut through the clutter and discover what is most important in your life. It helps you integrate the big picture with the little picture. Wear dark blue when you need to make a decision.

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Calm

Blue gives a sense of peace. It dissolves tension and promotes tranquillity. Light blue especially brings ease into the home and harmony into relationships. Wearing or surrounding yourself with it helps calm aggressive tendencies and eliminates discord. Those with bedrooms this colour tend to get the best rest – nearly eight hours a night – and wake feeling happy and positive.

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Energy

Bright red will fortify you. It is a stimulant. It promotes courage and fearlessness. Use this color when you want to increase self-confidence. But too much red can make you feel overly excited or agitated. A little goes a long way.

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Concentration

Yellow increases your focus. It is known for enhancing intelligence and mental agility. It can help stimulate conversation and clarify thoughts. People sleeping in rooms decorated in calm colours, such as yellow, blue or green, received the best night’s sleep.

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Health

Green is also the colour of healing. It represents nourishment and helps steady the body, balancing your equilibrium and encouraging stability. Use it to rejuvenate yourself, to promote physical and emotional well-being. Green and yellow are also winners, with those choosing these colours clocking up roughly seven hours and 40 minutes of sleep.

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Sensuality

Deep red inspires passion. It helps awaken the libido. Use it to move you through inhibitions and emotional blocks that prevent you from expressing yourself. It will remind you to live life fully and to love your body. Try a deep red…ottoman, lampshade, accent chair.

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Rest

Aqua inspires trust. This is the colour to use when you need to relax. Wear or surround yourself with it if you have difficulty sleeping, dreaming, or meditating.

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Get Your Beauty Sleep

Get Your Beauty Sleep

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They say that an hour before midnight is worth three afterwards. That’s the age-old adage. But does it have any substance? Some people swear that sleep is the most powerful rejuvenating treatment of them all. And  apparently Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zelwegger swear it keeps them beautiful. Beauty sleep is real, it’s free, and when you skimp on sleep, it shows on your face.

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Tired skin sags, bags, and loses its luster. From 8pm to 11pm is the time for hydration and stimulation, while 11pm to 3am is the time for nutrition and regeneration, and 3am to 5am is the time for resting. While you sleep, your skin renews itself and new skin cells grow and replace older cells, repairing and restoring and rebalancing. It’s also a time when all sorts of hormonal and metabolic changes happen in and the body, including your skin, so it’s time to remember that a lack of sleep can disrupt those processes.

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Seven or eight hours of sleep is ideal for most of us. More than that can mean we wake up looking puffy and feeling sluggish. Of course, very few adults are in bed at 8pm and, as the hormone that triggers sleep – melatonin – peaks at around 11pm, this is the time we should naturally get tired.

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Not enough oxygen in your bedroom affects blood flow to the skin, causing puffiness. Make sure the room is not too warm – switch off the heating, and open a window. And also having a comfortable bed and good bedlinen always helps.

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