CHOOSE A SUPPORTIVE BED
Selecting a new bed can be daunting – you may have had your current bed for over a decade and don’t know where to start? Find out how to identify the best bed for you:
WHO IS THE BED FOR?
The first question to ask yourself when choosing your new bed is – who will be sleeping in the bed? We all have different sleep needs. If you’re sharing a bed with a partner, it’s best to choose the bed together, to make sure it meets both of your needs. Likewise, if you are choosing a bed for a child or teenager, it is ideal to take them with you to ensure the bed meets their needs.
THINK ABOUT YOUR SLEEP PREFERENCES
Before you pull out your wallet, think back to your recent sleeping experiences; what works and what doesn’t with your current mattress? Think about your sleeping position, the space you need around you when sleeping and any areas where you might need extra support (for example, your neck, shoulders or lower back). All of these will help determine the best bed for you. It’s important to consider your own personal preferences … Whether you like to sink into a soft mattress or prefer something firmer? Being comfortable is key to a restful night’s sleep.
SELECT LUXURIOUS LINEN
Good quality linen can make a huge difference to your sleep experience. With the help of linen lover Paula Wallace, Creative Director of Wallace Cotton, here are our top tips:
CONSIDER YOUR FABRIC CHOICE
In any season, natural linen is wonderful for a good night’s sleep. It’s a good choice if you are inclined to heat up when you sleep, to lessen heat-induced restlessness. Pure cotton sheets are crisp and cool and come in a range of finishes and thread counts for all personal preferences. For an ultra-crisp and cool feeling choose a cotton percale such as the Heirloom Sheet Set, or for silky smooth feeling in bed, opt for a high-thread count sateen, such as Monarch Sateen Sheet Set giving you a soft, luxurious feel.
WHAT THREAD COUNT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
While a high thread count is a good indicator of quality, the type of yarn and weave will also affect the feel of the fabric. Good quality sateen bedlinen should have a high thread count with diagonal threads on the surface of the fabric. If you like a soft, silky feeling, choose a lustrous cotton sateen. Percale is a closely woven square-weave fabric with a similar number of vertical and horizontal threads. Percale fabric can be woven up to 500 thread count and has a cooler crisper feeling against your skin.
ESTABLISH BED-TIME ROUTINES
Bed-time routines are important to help establish a good night’s sleep. The state of our mind before we sleep impacts on the type of sleep we will have. We asked Dr Tony Fernando, Insomnia and Sleep expert to share his top five relaxation techniques to help encourage sleep.
- It’s important to avoid wake-promoters, like smart phones, tablets and laptops at least an hour before going to sleep. Though helpful in many ways, they can be toxic to our sleep because they emit strong blue light, which promotes wakefulness and alertness. Blue light can delay the onset of sleep and affect our natural body clock. Additionally, interacting with devices keeps our mind busy and active, something we want to avoid before we go to sleep. Using apps that decrease the light intensity of the device can help minimise the impact of blue light on sleep. Better yet, place devices aside or on ‘flight mode’ at least an hour before bed.
- Reduce alcohol before bed. Alcohol can promote relaxation and even induce a nice sleepy feeling, which can in-turn onset sleep. But, it can cause disruption in the middle of the night, making sleep superficial and unrefreshing. It can worsen snoring and sleep apnoea and be the cause of more frequent bathroom trips.
- Engaging in non-stimulating chores or activities can help us unwind before bed. Activities that do not need much thinking like folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, reading or listening to music can become bed-time routines that help calm the mind before going to sleep. After a while, our minds will start associating these activities with relaxation and going to sleep.
- Problems, unresolved issues, things that have happened in the past, and future worries can impact on the quality of our sleep. A helpful way to shift the focus away from our over-active minds is to pay attention to our body. Try doing soft, easy stretches for five to ten minutes before bed. Performing slow body scans can help you to notice knots and tension in your body, which you can then relax through stretches. Progressive muscle relaxation, which involves contracting and relaxing body parts, is a well-known technique which can also help calm the mind before sleep.
- Overthinking and rumination can often ruin our sleep, making us feel alert and threatened. Try using a gratitude journal and write down three things that you are thankful for before going to sleep. This is a great way to focus our minds on good things, rather than unresolved problems. If practised for a period of time, gratitude journals can also increase our level of contentment in life. Engaging in mindfulness practices, where we notice the present in an accepting and kind way, can help ease our busy minds. For beginners, try using mindfulness apps and once you have learned the basics, you can try it on your own.