Category Archives: Sleep Disorders

Sleep Better to Feel Better

Sleep Better to Feel Better

Monday 16th May marks the beginning of Mental Health Week.

According to the Mental Health Foundation: ‘Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.’

We spend a third of our life in bed, so why compromise on the cost of a good night’s sleep?

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7 Stress Busting Tips to Help You Sleep

7 Stress Busting Tips to Help You Sleep

Not all stress is bad, right?

You know the drill. It’s Sunday evening, you’re lying in bed just about to nod off when, pop!, you’ve just joined the wide awake club.

Whether it’s work, family, financial or health worries, all these stressful thoughts can make it difficult to fall asleep, and even stay asleep!

If stress is really that bad for our sleep, what can we do to make it better?

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5 Tips to Better Teen Sleep

5 Tips to Better Teen Sleep Is your teen sleep deprived?

With exams just around the corner, young people up and down the country are risking peak performance by losing out on vital sleep.

Whether it’s due to pulling all-nighters for exam revision, or having too much screen time, sleep loss can have a huge impact on young people’s health, behaviour, mood, concentration, memory and, ultimately, performance at school.

We look at the effects of not getting enough shut eye and how best to get our teenagers to sleep more.

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Three Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep

Three Steps to Better Sleep

Research shows that more and more of us are not getting enough sleep. In fact, 33% of us get by on less than 6 hours slumber a night!

Given that a lack of sleep can cause problems with our mental and physical health, it’s worth establishing a few new ground rules for a better night’s sleep. Continue reading

Sleeptember Stress Busters

Sleeptember Stress Busters

With the launch of Sleeptember the Sleep Council’s latest research found that 90% of people admit to suffering from some form of stress in their lives, with almost two out of five saying they are regularly, frequently or constantly stressed.

In Northern Ireland 88% of people say they suffer sleep problems when stressed (UK Highest) and 76% have suffered from a sleep disorder. A further 46% say they regularly, frequently or always are stressed.

With millions of people caught in a vicious cycle of stress and sleepless nights the month of September has been identified by health professionals as being one of the most stressful months for many.

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The Benefits of a Sleep Diary

Keeping a Sleep Diary

One of the most common questions our customers ask our staff when buying a new bed is: ‘Will this help me sleep better?’ The simple answer is yes, especially if you’ve been experiencing sleep disturbance because of an old, worn and uncomfortable bed. However, replacing an old bed with a new bed is only one part of the solution in ensuring a good night’s sleep.

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Don’t Let Stress Steal Your Slumber


According to The Sleep Council’s Great British Bedtime report, the economic downturn has meant that many people are too anxious to sleep. The report found that 47% of the respondents to the survey said that stress or worry was keeping them awake at night:rising to 54% of women, compared to 40% of men.

Jessica Alexander of The Sleep Council said: “A good night’s sleep can be affected by everything from stress at work or money worries to more practical considerations such as a bedroom that is too hot or cold, or an uncomfortable bed.

“We know from past research that, as a nation, stress levels rise during periods of economic uncertainty and this can have considerable impact on our sleeping habits – as it clearly is doing now.”

Stress can make it difficult for people to fall asleep and to stay asleep, thereby affecting the quality of sleep.

Why we need to sleep

Sleepless nights contribute to a low immune system and can be to be blame for constantly catching colds and bugs. People who sleep less might also weigh more as they have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone.

Prolonged lack of sleep can also make us more irritable and anxious: getting a good night’s sleep can boost our mental wellbeing. Studies have also shown that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes.

Relaxation Tips to Help Relieve Stress

Relaxation can help to relieve the symptoms of stress. Not only can relaxation help calm us down but it can also help us take a step back from a stressful or worrying situation. The NHS has also produced a very useful guide on stress relieving relaxation techniques, which you might find helpful.

  1. Practise deep breathing and deep muscle relaxation in a quiet and comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Try and give your mind time to calm down before you try to sleep.
  3. Read a book, which will help relax the  body and tire your eyes.
  4. If you’re concerned about something, try and write your worries down in a notebook.
  5. Try and keep a regular bedtime.
  6. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol.
  7. Ensure your bed and mattress are giving you the right comfort and support levels to aid better sleep.

What to do now

If you are concerned about your health, consult your GP or see medical advice at the earliest convenience. At Dalzell’s we have expert staff on hand to advise on choosing the right bed and mattress to aid better sleep. With over 500 beds and mattresses in stock including orthopaedic and memory foam beds, we’re confident that you’ll find the right bed to meet your needs. We recommend you visit us in-store so you can try out a range of different beds, or if you’re short for time, why not give us a call T: 028 3755 1260 or email us where our staff will be only too happy to advise you on what best suits your circumstances. Just a short drive down the M1 from Belfast, and conveniently located to Newry, Armagh and Lisburn, Dalzell’s of Markethill is your local, friendly independent bed and mattress retailer. What’s more with Free Delivery* and Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed throughout Northern Ireland, and Counties Monaghan, Louth and Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, you’ll know you’re getting the best deal, at thr right price. Not only that, we’ll also unpack and set-up your new Divan Bed in a room of your choosing and dispose of all the packaging. 

*Delivery throughout the rest of Ireland available at Highly Competitive Rates



Top 6 Sleep Myths

Have you ever said to someone: ‘I had a bad night’s sleep last night’, for them to respond by saying: ‘Get your head down for a few hours this afternoon and you’ll be alright’?  They may be right in that a quick nap can help rejuvenate the body but if napping after 3pm, it may affect you getting to sleep later that night, thus creating a viscous cycle.  Some other common sleep myths include:

Sleep Myths Busted

Sleep Myth 1:

Everyone needs 8 hours of sleep at night.


Sleep is vital to our health and well-being, and is just as important as diet and exercise. Prof Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, says that we don’t need eight hours at all, suggesting that the average sleep length is seven and a quarter hours with lots of people having more or less than the average. Teens / young people need about 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night to function best. However, many young people do not get this amount as they tend to go to sleep later at night and are up early for school during the week. Check out our self-help sleep tips for teens. Younger children need even more sleep. When children don’t get enough sleep their behaviour and mood can be affected. They may become hyperactive at night leading to drowsiness during the day. Check out our guide to help your child to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Myth 2:

The weekends are a great time to catch up on all that sleep you’ve missed during the week.


Although it’s very tempting to have a lie-in on weekends,  it’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule seven days a week. Regular bedtime and waking times will make it easier for you to naturally fall asleep at night.

Sleep Myth 3:

Older people need less sleep that younger people.


The Sleep Council has found that that older people may experience changes in their sleeping patterns due to numerous factors such as brief arousals in the night, loss of deepest levels of non-REM sleep, more daytime napping, a drop in body temperature during sleep and they prefer earlier bedtimes and earlier wake-up. However, research has shown that we need just as much sleep when we’re older as we did when we were younger.

Sleep Myth 4:

Layering the duvets, blankets and covers to make the bed really toasty will help you sleep better.


Believe it or not but the body needs a cooler temperature to aid restful sleep. 16-18°C is the perfect temperature for the room to be. To keep the bedroom cool try opening windows  to create a draught and keep your curtains or blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun out.

Sleep Myth 5:

A nice glass of wine will help you sleep better.


Alcohol may make you tired and put you to sleep faster but will interrupt your sleep later on in the night.

Sleep Myth 6:

Snoring is harmless.


People who snore regularly could be at risk of serious health problems, including sleep apnoea, which can result in high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. For more information on sleep apnoea, check out our recent blog post.

Top tips for sleeping well

  1. Keep regular hours.
  2. Create a restful sleeping environment.
  3. Make sure your bed is comfortable.
  4. Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee – especially in the evening.
  5. Don’t over-indulge. Too much food or alcohol, especially late at night, just before bedtime, can play havoc with sleep patterns.
  6. Try to relax before going to bed.
  7. Don’t take your worries to bed.
  8. If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

What to do next

At Dalzell’s of Markethill our expert staff are on-hand to advise on any sleep needs you or your family have. As a Sleep Council retailer, we take your concerns seriously and will provide you with the best advice on beds, mattresses and bedding to suit your particular circumstances. Visit us in-store, call 028 3755 1260, email or go online where you’ll find lots of information on getting a good night’s sleep, best buys and choosing the right bed for you. A short drive from Dungannon and located conveniently between Armagh and Newry, we’re perfectly placed to accommodate your new bed purchase. What’s more, we provide a Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed service and Free Delivery of your New Bed throughout our Free Delivery Zone, which extends across to Belfast and all of Northern Ireland, and Counties Louth, Monaghan and Dublin, in the rest of Ireland.



What is Sleep Apnoea?

There has been much discussion in recent weeks about sleep apnoea since John Cleese tweeted a photograph to see if he suffered from the condition. The image showed Cleese covered in wires as part of an experiment to check whether he had the condition. So, what exactly is sleep apnoea?

The NHS describes the condition as one that ‘causes interrupted breathing during sleep‘, with two types of breathing interruption:

  1. apnoea – the muscles and soft tissues in the throat relax and collapse sufficiently to cause a total blockage of the airway; it is called an apnoea when the airflow is blocked for 10 seconds or more
  2. hypopnoea – a partial blockage of the airway that results in an airflow reduction of greater than 50% for 10 seconds or more

Diagnosing the condition

There are many different ways of assessing whether someone has sleep apnoea. People may complain of excessive daytime sleepiness, accompanied by irritability and restlessness. More often than not though, it is usually a partner or someone else who recognises the symptoms before the person does. The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association has identified common symptoms, which include:

  1. Extremely loud heavy snoring, often interrupted by pauses and gasps
  2. Excessive daytime sleepiness, e.g., falling asleep at work, whilst driving, during conversation or when watching TV. (This should not be confused with excessive tiredness with which we all suffer from time to time)
  3. Irritability, short temper
  4. Morning headaches
  5. Forgetfulness
  6. Changes in mood or behaviour
  7. Anxiety or depression

A person with OSA will usually have no memory of breathlessness, so they are often unaware that they are not getting a proper night’s sleep. More often than not, it is a partner or someone else who recognises the symptoms before the person does.

Treating Sleep Apnoea

Fortunately Obstructive Sleep Apnoea  is treatable with a variety of treatment options available to help reduce the symptoms. Making changes to one’s lifestyle, such as losing weight, stopping smoking or cutting down on alcohol , can often help mild cases of sleep apnoea. Sleeping on your side, rather than on your back, may also help to relieve the symptoms of OSA. Other environmental changes  include reducing the amount of light and noise in your bedroom, avoid watching TV or using electronic devices in the bedroom,  and building in some time to relax before going to bed. Of course, it’s important that you are sleeping on the right bed and mattress are providing you with the right comfort and support levels. If you’re not sure if your bed comes up to scratch, take the Bed MOT to find out. For those that experience a more severe condition, breathing apparatus while sleeping may be used.

What to do next

At Dalzell’s of Markethill we want to make sure that you are getting a great night’s sleep. For us that starts with the right bed and mattress so that you get the the maximum benefit from your sleeping environment. Visit in-store today at Dalzells, your local Bedding Experts in N. Ireland. Located in Markethill, with plenty of free on-street parking and just off the A28 between Armagh and Newry, we’re a short 15 minute drive from Portadown, 20 minutes from Dungannon and Banbridge. You can of course always place your order and gain expert advice from our experienced team over the phone on 028 3755 1260 or even by Email.  Whatever way you shop with us you can be assured of A Great Deal and Expert AdviceWhat’s more we offer a Free Delivery and Free Collection and Recycling of Your Old Bed Service across Northern Ireland and Counties Louth, Monaghan and Dublin, with competitive rates across the rest of the UK and Ireland.