We all want to sleep easy and having a comfortable mattress is vital, but we are all different. Some of us sleep on our backs, others, on our fronts, you may even prefer the foetal position. Either way, the big question is how do you choose the perfect mattress for your sleeping style?
It seems selecting the place you will spend a third of your life laying on is harder (or softer) than I first thought, so some expert advice is required.
Where better to start than sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep therapist and author of Tired But Wired, who has teamed up with none other than mattress Kings and Queens, Silentnight.
Why we need 40 winks
No sleep means a severe lack of brain power. According to BBC Science, after being awake for 17 hours there is a decrease in the body and brain’s performance, the equivalent to having two glasses of wine…that’s over the drink driving limit in the UK!
Dr Nerina explained to Silentnight how although nobody is 100 per cent sure why we need sleep, it is believed it is to recover the body and brain from all of the stresses and cognitive strains of the day. This rebalancing, physically and mentally means you feel fresh and vibrant for the following day.
Without this all important sleep, you can burnout, become grumpy, irritable, forgetful and lose concentration easily – something we’ve probably all experienced after an all nighter.
Silentnight’s expert advice
I spoke to Helen at Silentnight who was kind enough to send me this information about finding the best mattress for you, gathered from years of research and experience in the world of sleeping comfort.
• Your height, weight, build and sleeping position will decipher what is the most comfortable mattress for you. It has to offer the correct support, and only you can be the judge of that. The firmer the bed, the more capable it is of supporting heavier builds.
• A mattress should not only be comfortable, but also help you achieve good posture. Should it be too soft, your body will naturally slouch, but too firm and it can cause pressure points in your hips or shoulders.
• Your mattress should support your body, whilst moulding to its shape too. Should you sleep on your side, your spine should be horizontal with the bed, which will allow you to turn easily.
• Comfort is subjective – you may like sleeping on your back on a firm mattress, whilst your partner prefers to sink into the bed and sleep on their sides. You and your partner have to trial a mattress before you can make a decision.
Okay, so we now know what we are looking for when shopping for a bed, but surely you don’t just run into the mattress shop and start diving under duvets, getting into your usual sleeping position and having a good kip? Well, Helen went on to explain that, actually, this is exactly what you need to do (maybe without the running and snoozing).
• At Silentnight, we often say you wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive, and it is exactly the same principle for mattresses. You need to try one out to find the one for you. Some retailers will exchange a bed if it is uncomfortable, but most won’t, so it is vitally important to get it right first time.
• If the bed is for two, you need to shop together – otherwise there’s a chance only one of you will be comfortable.
• Buying the perfect mattress isn’t something you should rush. Have a few hours ready to put each type of mattress to the test so you can really appreciate the differences, if not they could all feel wonderful.
• When testing mattresses, wear comfy clothes, take off your shoes and coat and lay down for at least 10 minutes. Don’t be embarrassed if you take half an hour to get to grips with a mattress, you need to be relaxed to ensure the most sublime comfort for your slumber.
A blissful night’s sleep is easy to achieve if you have a support mattress, preventing you from waking up feeling sore and stiff or, in some cases, uncomfortable sleeping can cause pressure points in your back. These can cause great pain and discomfort if you sleep on an unsupportive mattress regularly.
Take a note of the best mattress for you, then shop around for prices. There are bargains to be had, although a good nights rest shouldn’t be skimped on. You’re probably going to spend another 20,000 hours in bed.
After all this trial and error, it’s only natural that you’ll want a little lie down.