New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around. New Website Launched. Come have a look around.

Rhythms of Rest: Guide to Resetting Your Sleep-Wake Cycle

Rhythms of Rest: Guide to Resetting Your Sleep-Wake Cycle
20 December 2023 Samantha Anderson

TEMPUR® sleep specialist shares complete guide to a healthy sleep-wake cycle ahead of Festival of Sleep Day (3 January).

Following the busy festive season, the Festival of Sleep Day (3 January) is the perfect excuse to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation. But for those who have unwittingly disrupted their natural sleep-wake cycle thanks to late nights, alcohol, and little to no exercise, sleep may be harder to come by than usual.

TEMPUR® sleep specialist & sleep counsellor, Thomas Høegh Reisenhus, says: “Naturally aligned with the cycle of day and night, the circadian rhythm is the 24-hour internal body clock that regulates cycles of alertness and sleepiness by responding to changes in our environment.

“In order to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and create a stable cycle of restorative rest, it’s important to keep a consistent sleep schedule. A healthy lifestyle consisting of daily exposure to natural light and regular exercise will also help maintain this sleep-wake cycle, which is why it’s not unusual to find your natural rhythm slightly out of sync at this time of year.

“If you’ve been more focused on festive fizz and dancing into the small hours than sleep, now is the perfect time to reset your sleep-wake cycle to ensure you start the year as you mean to go on and enjoy plenty of restorative rest in 2024.”

Read on for Thomas’s guide to ensuring a healthy sleep-wake cycle…

 Importance of exercise

Enjoying regular exercise can improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep. The relationship works both ways – exercise gives you a much needed boost of endorphins, helping to alleviate daytime sleepiness whilst reducing sleep onset (the time it takes to fall asleep) come nighttime. It really is a win-win.

For general health and wellbeing, 30 minutes of moderate activity every day or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week is recommended.
Moderate activity could include a morning yoga or pilates session, or, if you’re struggling for time, a simple walk in the park on your lunch break. If you prefer to get a sweat on, vigorous activity like a run, gym session or a game of five-a-side will all get the heart pumping.

Exposure to daylight

Research suggests that vitamin D plays an important role in sleep. Adults and children with a deficiency are more likely to suffer delayed bedtimes, struggle with sleep duration and quality, and wake throughout the night.

Many vitamin D receptors are located in the parts of the brain that are involved in sleep, so a lack of this vital vitamin might prevent these areas from functioning properly. Vitamin D also plays a part in the production of melatonin, aka the sleep hormone, which helps with the regulation of human circadian rhythms and sleep.

Don’t forget to enjoy stroll in the sunshine and ensure your workspace allows you adequate exposure to natural light to ensure your levels of this sunshine vitamin are maintained no matter the time of year.

Egg yolk, fortified cereals, mushrooms, and fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna and salmon, are all great sources of the vitamin too, whilst supplements are also easily available. And if the sun does make an appearance… make the most of it and soak up the goodness.

Limit tech before bed

A solid wind-down routine is undoubtedly the magic ingredient for a good night’s sleep, whereas overstimulation from TV shows, gaming or scrolling social media will have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling on edge.

Electronic screens – smartphones, laptops, tablets etc – also emit blue light, which can upset the body’s production of melatonin, disrupting the natural circadian rhythm and further impacting the ability to sleep.

Instead of spending the evening glued to screens, opt for a relaxing bath, a cup of chamomile tea, light stretching or reading a beloved book; these are all activities that will help us to unwind and achieve the necessary state of relaxation required for sleep.

Caffeine and alcohol: dos and don’ts

Whilst many of us turn to caffeine for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up and alcohol to help us unwind after a busy day, these habits could be having an adverse effect on our ability to sleep.

Caffeine’s stimulatory effects peak 30-60 minutes after consumption but can last for up to six hours. Come bedtime, caffeine can impact the onset of sleep, and reduce time spent in Stage 3 non-REM sleep – the period of deep sleep that you need to feel refreshed in the morning – which will reduce the overall quality and quantity of sleep throughout the night. So, it’s advisable to switch to decaff from midday latest to ensure you aren’t left feeling wired come bedtime.

Following a boozy night out, most people wake feeling tired and sluggish no matter how many hours they spend in bed. This is because the alcohol in your system interferes with your sleep cycle, reducing the amount of time spent in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage – the state in which we dream and is linked to emotional processing, memory consolidation and brain development . In order for us to wake up feeling refreshed, all parts of the sleep cycle need to be achieved in their correct amounts.

It takes the body around an hour to process just one unit of alcohol, which is equivalent to less than half a standard glass of wine or pint of standard strength lager, so it’s important to plan ahead. This could mean sticking to just two drinks at dinner so that when bedtime comes around your body has purged the alcohol, or at least greatly decreased it to a level where it won’t affect sleep. Alternatively, you could embrace Dry January and eschew alcohol altogether.

Sleep hygiene

When it comes to the ideal environment for sleep, think cave-like – dark, cool and quiet. It’s worth considering investing in black out blinds to block out light, however a comfortable eye mask will also do the trick.

In terms of temperature, your bedroom should be slightly cooler than the rest of your home – around 18°C is ideal. To ensure you don’t overheat, opt for cotton bedding and pyjamas, which will allow your skin to breathe and help keep you comfortable during the night. If you feel cold, try layering blankets on the bed (which can easily be removed in the night) or wearing a pair of cosy socks, which can assist the body’s internal temperature regulation.

One of the most important considerations should be what you’re sleeping on. Investing in a quality mattress that adapts to your body and keeps your spine straight, whilst absorbing pressure and providing relief in any painful areas or joints will result in a better night’s sleep and better quality sleep long term. There are many different types of mattress to choose from – sprung, memory foam, hybrid – so it’s imperative to visit a store and discuss your needs with a trained expert before purchase.

For more information on TEMPUR® visit


Notes to editors:

  • For more information on TEMPUR®, visit
  • Please contact us should you be interested in receiving product for review or for competition prizes

For further press information, please contact:
Tilly Everard | Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)203 440 8930
E: [email protected]

TEMPUR® researches, develops, manufactures and distributes mattresses, pillows and other sleep products to improve the sleep experience worldwide.

TEMPUR® Material is the original pressure relieving mattress product made up of viscoelastic – billions of ultra-sensitive open cells that exist between a solid and a liquid state. TEMPUR® products provide the ultimate comfort and support, helping you to get a great night’s sleep night after night.

Each TEMPUR® product undergoes sixty-seven different quality checks, ensuring superior quality and durability.

TEMPUR® products can be purchased direct via the TEMPUR® UK website, Dreams, John Lewis, Bensons for Beds, and Furniture Village or from leading independent retailers or from any of 10 TEMPUR® brand and outlets stores.

TEMPUR® is a subsidiary of TEMPUR® Sealy International Inc.

Follow TEMPUR®: