Do you often wake up from a good night's sleep thinking: 'Wow, I feel so rested! So rejuvenated! So ready to take on this day with buckets of POW!'?
No, us neither.
So it should come as little surprise to learn the Sleep Council's latest The Great British Bedtime Report revealed that only 17% of people quizzed on their sleeping habits said they slept 'very well most nights'. This is down from 25% who said the same in 2013. Sigh! (Or rather, 'yawn'!)
The report also uncovered that 74% of Brits get less than seven hours of sleep per night, and 12% get less than five hours (in previous studies, it had been 5%).
It's enough to make you want to just curl up and take a big old nap, isn't it?
Luckily, there is a solution. As sleep expert Dr Laura Lefkowitz explained to The Daily Telegraph 'The brain has a pattern of sleep. It’s not like you just fall asleep and hour one is the same as hours two and three and five and nine.
'It goes through cycles. Within each there is what we call non-REM [Rapid Eye Movement] sleep, and then REM sleep.'
In order to get the best night's sleep, you must make sure you don't wake up in the middle of such a cycle. If you do, chances are you'll emerge a little groggy and, you know, exhausted. Each cycle lasts roughly 90 minutes long and ideally you should aim for five or six a night.
So, how do you make sure your wretched alarm doesn't start BRR-BRR-BRR-ING in the middle of a cycle? Use a sleep calculator, of course!
What's that, you ask? Well, it's an online tool that uses the time you need to be up in the morning to work out (through sleep cycles) the best time for you to go to sleep – timing it so that when you arise, you wake up at the end of a cycle and not half-way through.
Web Blinds – the online retailer of made-to-measure blinds – has recently designed such a calculator and you can try it tonight, by simply clicking here.
So it's: here's to a good night's sleep – finally.