There is an art to sleep. For some, it comes naturally with an ease and grace that can seem blissfully tantalising to those for whom it evades. But the luxury of a night of uninterrupted, restorative sleep, is possible for anyone. It just takes a bit of investment.
How to craft the perfect night’s sleep is something that Savoir has taken seriously for more than a century. Our beds have supported the great and the good through momentous occasions in history. We’re dedicated to handcrafting layers of the finest fibres to deliver the best night’s sleep.
Sleep is the foundation to everything it means to be alive and well. Research consistently tells us the wide-ranging health benefits of a good night’s sleep, from better heart and brain health, younger skin, improved mood and more creative thinking. Good sleep can improve every aspect of our health and lives. “Sleep allows our body really to repair and regenerate from the inside out,” Dr Rebecca Robbins, sleep expert to Savoir, says.
“Sleep can virtually reverse the signs of ageing, physically, both internally and externally”
But the pursuit of healthier sleep is “a long-term investment,” Dr Robbins argues. And one we need to take seriously. “We need to learn to re-prioritise sleep,” she says. “It has never been more needed during the present time, fraught with uncertainty and anxiety, we need to focus on our sleep to reap the vital role it plays in our mental and physical wellbeing.”
Dr Rebecca Robbins, Sleep Expert to Savoir
Over a third of adults report sleeping less than the recommended seven hours per night, according to the Sleep Foundation. “There is an expectation that sleep should just come easily because it’s a natural process,” Dr Robbins says. “Then when it doesn’t, it can feel like something is wrong with you.”
Savoir, along with Dr Robbins, is on a mission to help regain the power of sleep. Bringing together Dr Robbin’s research and our expertise of crafting bespoke beds, we have looked deep into the science of sleep and the fundamentals of quality sleep to create a new set of behavioural interventions that can transform your sleep. Helping you to look, feel and perform better, for both tomorrow and in years to come. “Because restorative sleep – and the health benefits it brings – should be in reach for everyone. But restorative sleep takes motivation, focus, and time,” Dr Robbins says.
Together with Dr Robbins we have distilled the most up-to-date scientific evidence to help you build your own, bespoke sleep plan with the aim of improving both the amount of time you sleep and the quality. “Small changes to your sleep routine can reap major rewards in terms of improved sleep and next day performance.”
“The pursuit of healthier sleep is a long-term investment that will pay off for our bodies, skin, brain and minds.”
The foundation of a good night’s sleep starts with a supportive bed and mattress. According to a study on sleep quality published in SAGE Journals co-authored by Dr Robbins, “mattress and pillows were really high on the list of sleep satisfaction,” she says.
Support from your bed is paramount to good sleep. “The mattress is of course the foundation of restorative sleep,” Dr Robbins says. “An unsupportive mattress will limit the quality of your sleep.” She adds that while it’s a myth that there is an optimal sleeping position for all of us, the right mattress needs to support the spine and keep our head, neck and back in the correct alignment throughout the night. “There’s nothing worse than waking up with a stiff neck,” she says. A made-to-order, bespoke Savoir mattress, which is tailored to each sleeper is designed to keep the spine in proper alignment all night and relieve pressure points. Which can make all the difference to perfect sleep.
Choosing a bed, mattress and bedding from naturally breathable and thermo-regulating materials is important for maintaining a cool body temperature – which helps you sleep longer, according to a study reported in the journal Nature And Science Of Sleep. “A mattress that retains heat will also limit the quality of your sleep,” Dr Robbins says. Savoir has always been dedicated to using natural fibres that support sleep by helping regulate the body’s temperature and wick away moisture.
We all know that we should aim for between seven to nine hours a night, something science tells us is optimum for most adults. But while duration is one aspect, Dr Robbins says focusing on consistency around our sleep routine is far more productive.
Just as children need set bedtimes, so do adults. “Falling asleep at the same time and waking up at the same time, that’s everything,” Dr Robbins says. The reason is that it allows the body to work with – rather than fight – its natural circadian rhythm, our body’s internal 24-hour clock that controls the timings of every organ system and bodily process. If we stick to a schedule, our body learns when to expect sleep and wakefulness.
It means an end to staying up late and weekend lie ins. “Any more than an hour’s difference to your normal schedule and you will actually impose jetlag-like symptoms on your brain,” she says.
Instead, a disciplined approach will make your sleep more productive. “The secret is, when you stick to a strict bedtime and wake up time, you actually need less sleep, because your sleep becomes so efficient,” she says.
Spending time on a calming routine before bed helps us fall asleep quicker, according to studies. “The time before bed is actually very much part of our sleep routine,” Dr Robbins says. “People often think that they can switch from going a million miles an hour to sleep, instantly, and it doesn’t happen that way.”
The key is to feel comforted and secure – be that a bath or an audio book. “It’s all the things we do for our children when we put them to bed, but have got out of the habit of doing for ourselves,” Dr Robbins says. “Comfort is something we all crave as human beings. It is this comfort that allows us to slip into a sound sleep at night.”
One way to help yourself wind down is to practice meditating. Research suggests that meditation can help improve insomnia as well as sleep quality for those with healthy sleep. “All of us encounter stress — it’s part of our everyday life — and how we deal with it impacts our sleep,” she says. “Meditation has been shown to help.”
Taryn Toomey, wellness expert and founder of The Class, shot by Jaimie Baird for Savoir
Lying in bed awake at 3am is one of life’s greatest frustrations. However, just hoping to drift back to sleep could be counterproductive. “It’s something many of us were told to do – stay in bed if we wake up. But as a sleep scientist, I realise that it’s actually one of the worst things that we can do if we’re struggling to sleep,” Dr Robbins says.
Instead, she advises getting up after 15 minutes, keeping the lights low and either doing some gentle yoga, reading or doing some non-stimulating tasks, like folding laundry, before returning to bed.
Studies show that getting out of bed if you struggle to get back to sleep can actually help you nod off sooner. “We want to keep the bed as the place where sleep happens,” she says.
If you feel an afternoon slump, instead of reaching for a coffee, try a short, restorative nap. “Naps can be part of a healthy sleep routine,” Dr Robbins says. “They can be used to replenish sleep debt, or just when you get that sleepy feeling after lunch.”
In one New Zealand study, researchers found that those who had a short sleep at work scored better on tests of alertness and performance. “I think lots of leaders in businesses are now realising that afternoon performance is better for a short nap,” Dr Robbins says. “It’s compelling to think that the future of the workplace might be more open to that.”
Dr Robbins’ tips to napping:
1. Aim for a 20-minute nap between 2-4pm. “Just after lunch, our body temperature dips, which coupled with the sensation of a full stomach can make you feel quite naturally sleepy,” she says.
2. Find a quiet place to lie down. For those working from home, drawing the curtains and retreating to your Savoir is the obvious choice. But increasingly offices and gyms are investing in nap pods for staff.
3. Put on an eye mask to block out afternoon light.
4. Set an alarm to keep it short (20 minutes is ideal, but even 10 minutes can help). “If you’ve had a night of poor sleep, you could go up to 90 minutes and aim to repay a bit of your sleep debt. But for those who are healthy sleepers, more than 20 minutes can affect your next night’s sleep.
Find out more about Dr. Rebecca Robbins.
Join us on our journey with Dr. Robbins as we explore the impact sleep has on our immunity, anti-aging, performance, and brain health. Sign up for our newsletter via the enquire button to be the first to receive our findings.