It’s National Bed Month (March 2018), so what better time to focus on one of the most important contributors to a good night’s sleep – our bed!

Said Lisa Artis, sleep guru at The Sleep Council: “We spend one third of our lives in bed so it’s essential it’s comfortable and supportive. This year, as part of National Bed Month, we are raising awareness of the importance of replacing your bed, ideally every seven years, and why old beds are bad for you.”

National Bed Month is one of The Sleep Council’s annual awareness campaigns to highlight the impact of a good night’s sleep on health and wellbeing.

Said Lisa: “Your current bed might not look worn out, but it won’t offer the same comfort and support as it did originally. Our research shows that sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can rob you of up to ONE hour’s sleep per night* so investing in your bed is essential to a restful night. What’s more, we lose around half a pint of fluid every night, and shed a pound of dead skin cells each year – more good reasons for a trip to the bed shop.”

Here is sleep guru Lisa’s advice on beds:

• It’s not just the bed’s ability to provide proper support that declines with age. A build-up of moisture and skin scales makes beds a favourite breeding ground for the common dust mite: bad news for the nation’s 5.4 million asthma sufferers** and a grim thought for those sleeping on second-hand beds with other peoples’ sweat and skin scales!
• Lying on an old bed – at worst completely worn out, at best moulded to your shape or someone else’s – is likely to be storing up future trouble for backs; and more than 100 million working days are lost each year because of back problems.
• The older your bed, the less likely it is to be one of the generous sizes now available: king or super king size. The UK comes bottom of the world league for bed sizes we most commonly buy – ours being among the narrowest and shortest in the world. As well as being old, lumpy, unhygienic and sagging in the middle, an old 135cm (4’6”) double bed gives each sleeping partner just 68cm (2’3”) of space. That’s the same size of space we give a baby to sleep in! The bigger the bed, the less disturbance from your partner.
• Independent test house FIRA (the Furniture Industry Research Association) confirms that a bed’s materials could have deteriorated by as much as 60-70% after seven years.
• In seven years, you spend over 20,000 hours in bed (that’s over 850 days or nearly two and a half years), not just lying there, but tossing and turning as much as 60-70 times a night. With figures like that, it’s not hard to see why beds wear out in time. If your bed doesn’t come up to scratch, it’s time to invest in a new one.
• Choose a reputable dealer with knowledgeable staff and do ‘try before you buy’. Remember, you get what you pay for, so spend as much as you can afford: every £100 spent will cost less than 4p a night over 7years.
• If you buy online, check the reviews and makes sure the seller offers secure credit card transactions, clear delivery prices and a returns policy. Stick to reputable brands such as National Bed Federation approved members – look for the NBF logo and its tick of approval!

* The Sleep Council Great British Bedtime Report was conducted by Atomik Research, who questioned a sample of 5,002 people via an online survey (first conducted in 2013). Participants in the 2017 survey, while similarly represented, were not the same as those questioned in 2013. The exact cross tabulation of questions was asked i.e. age, gender, marital status, geographical area, income etc. The survey was conducted between 27 December 2016 and 4 January 2017.

**Figure from Asthma UK

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