With 31 days dedicated to highlighting improved sleep, National Bed Month in March is the ideal time to get it right between the sheets.
And, obvious though it might be, the best place to start when working towards a better night’s sleep is your bed.
Said Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council: “It’s about reassessing your sleep quality and comfort levels and our simple bed MOT (Mattress Obsolescence Test) can help to determine if your bed has had its day – and night! It’s a two-minute-test that should be done every year after the first three to five years; and every six months after that.
“If you answer ‘Yes’ to three questions, you’re not getting the best possible night’s sleep. Five or more ‘Yes’ answers and it’s time to buy a new bed.”
- Is the 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 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 it sagging?
- Does it feel lumpy in the night?
- Is the bed too small to give an undisturbed night’s sleep?
- Is the divan or base uneven or sagging?
- Are the legs and castors worn out?
Said Lisa: “Research shows buying a new bed can lead to a real improvement in sleep – up to an hour extra – and if you sleep better you feel much better. Remember to buy as big as you can, spend as much as you can afford and look out for the National Bed Federation’s Approved big tick logo to ensure you’re buying a product that is safe, clean and honest.
“The right bed is extremely important to health and wellbeing because our sleeping environment will affect the quality of our sleep – which in turn has a big effect on how well we feel, both physically and psychologically. A bed with the correct support, comfort and space will ensure you wake less, move about less, are less disturbed by your partner and are less likely to wake up feeling tired or aching.”
Ideally try before you buy, as comfort and support are very individual assessments. Take your time, spending at least 10 minutes lying down in your natural sleeping position – together if the bed’s for two – it needs to be right for both of you.
Said Lisa: “Too often, people rush the bed buying experience – some spend less than two minutes trying them out! It’s a huge investment and time needs to be taken to choose the right bed.”
Two free leaflets from The Sleep Council – the Bed Buyer’s Guide and the Good-Night Guide – provide more information on how to improve the quality of your sleep and the different types of beds available. Call freephone 0800 018 7923 or visit the web site at www.sleepcouncil.org.uk.