Arts & culture

How to sleep better

Put a spring in your step and ensure a restful night’s sleep by making sure you’re getting the most out of your mattress
Nothing beats a good forty winks to make you feel refreshed and energised – and the foundation of good sleep starts with a comfortable bed. “Buy the right bed and you could be buying into night after night of quality sleep,” says Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council, whose latest campaign ‘May Be Time For A New Mattress’ highlights the benefits a new, comfortable and supportive bed can bring. Pillow talk Regularly assessing your sleep quality and comfort levels is essential. If you’re not sure if it’s time to invest in a new bed, answer the questions below. Three ‘yes’ answers and you’re not getting the best possible night’s sleep; five or more and it’s time to buy a new bed.

  • Is your mattress seven years old or more?
  • Would it be embarrassing if neighbours saw it without its covers?
  • Does it make suspicious noises in the night?
  • Did you have your best recent night’s sleep in a bed other than yours?
  • Are you waking up more frequently feeling unrefreshed and aching?
  • Do you and your partner roll towards each unintentionally in the middle of the night?
  • Do you have enough space to sleep comfortably?
  • Is the mattress sagging?
  • Does it feel lumpy in the night?

The foundation of a good night’s sleep is a comfortable, supportive bed. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on an old, sagging or bumpy bed. A mattress that will hold your spine in correct alignment and provide comfort and space will ensure you wake less, move about less, are less disturbed by your partner and more likely to wake up feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. – It is important you make time to try out a variety of mattresses to find the one that is most comfortable for you, and your partner. Comfort is very subjective and what’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. Think about whether you like soft sinking or a firmer feel. Size matters so opt for the biggest size you can afford. For added reassurance that the mattress you’re buying is safe, clean and honest look for the NBF Approved ‘big tick’ label.

Ideally, when it comes to pricing, spend as much as you can afford – you get what you pay for, both in product and service. Plus it’s probably one of the most important investments you’ll make, not just for your home but also for your own wellbeing. Remember, every £100 you spend represents less than 4p a night over seven years. – It’s important to focus on the quality of the frame and the mattress – they need to work together. When buying a new bed it can be false economy to change only the mattress and keep the original base, especially if you are buying a divan set. The old base could reduce the useful life of the new mattress as well as the comfort and support it can offer. It can also invalidate manufacturers’ warranties or guarantees. – For a long time, it was believed that a hard bed was good for a bad back. Nowadays it’s generally accepted that this is not necessarily the case and could in fact cause more damage. A supportive and comfortable mattress is the best option – it doesn’t matter what type of construction it is. Any reference to beds being orthopaedic – or similar medical sounding terms – does not automatically mean that the bed has been professionally assessed or recommended. It is a term loosely used by manufacturers to refer to extra-firm models in their range.