November 26th 2023.
If you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, it could be because your mattress and bedding are to blame. It's not just your caffeine intake and exposure to blue light that are preventing you from getting a good night's rest.
Having the right sleep setup can help ease your discomfort. According to sleep expert Dr Sophie Bostock from Bensons for Beds, the key considerations for sleep furniture are to ensure that the joints are well supported, so that the muscles are not under tension.
If you wake up with pain, it's likely that your mattress is the problem. It can help to see how you fare in a different bed. Rebecca Swain, director and mattress specialist at Winstons Beds, says that a mattress that is too soft will cause your back and hips to sink and become misaligned with your spine, causing pain in the lower back. On the other hand, a mattress that is too firm can put pressure on joints which can also be uncomfortable.
If you are sharing a bed, it's important to have a larger mattress to reduce the chance of being disturbed by your bed partner.
When looking for the right mattress, it's best to try one out in person, but online options with a trial period are a good option too. Carefully consider the filling of the mattress, as this can influence the support and comfort it provides. Take-tale signs that your mattress has the wrong filling for your body include waking up sore and stiff, feeling restless and getting too hot or cold during the night.
For the best breathability and support, go for a pocket spring mattress and natural fillings like wool, cotton, silk and cashmere. Fibres like organic flax help with even weight distribution and horsetail aids with spinal alignment and moisture wicking. Polyester and nylon fillings may be too warm, but they offer easy-clean comfort and longevity. Hybrid options of synthetic and natural materials are also available.
It's not just mattresses that can affect your sleep either. Chris Tattersall, Sleep Expert and MD of Woolroom, advises to avoid synthetic bedding fibres like polyester as they don't allow air to circulate effectively, resulting in a stuffy and humid sleep environment. Synthetic bedding tends to repel rather than absorb moisture, making it difficult for your body to regulate its temperature, causing you to sweat and overheat.
Finding the perfect mattress and bedding combination can feel like a never-ending journey, but once you've hit that sleepy sweet spot, every bedtime will be a true fairytale.
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