Did you know that most of us spend more money on holidays each year in pursuit of some rest and relaxation while sleep on an old, lumpy, mattress night after night at home without a grumble? This comes as a big surprise when you consider that we spend more than a third of our life in bed. Put simply, by the time you are 60, you will have spent 20 years of your life between the sheets.
There have been a number of surveys about sleeping patterns, including how large proportions of the population are not getting enough sleep or are having trouble sleeping. According to research conducted by Future Laboratory (April 2009), 8.5 million Britons are sleeping as little as four and a half hours a night and 1.5 million exist on as little as 3.5 hours.
One in three of those surveyed felt that being sleepy affected their daytime performance and one in four said that it made them feel irritable and unable to function properly.
A good bed is hugely important because our sleep is hugely important- it’s when our body takes time to restore itself: tissues regenerate, muscle builds, fat metabolises and blood sugar and insulin regulates.
Lack of sleep can be the cause of many aches and pains, both physically and mentally. Sleep deprivation reduces our ability to think, to handle stress, to maintain a healthy immune system and to moderate our emotions. It can make us irritable, slow down our reaction times and has even been linked to heart disease and depression. In short, no sleep is no fun!
Although we are usually not aware of it, we all toss and turn all through the night and in moderation, this is normal- it’s the frequency at which we toss and turn that is important. An uncomfortable mattress means we toss and turn more frequently, resulting in poor sleep. A comfortable mattress on an old, worn out base can cause problems too, so it’s important the base is in a good condition. Another thing to consider is your back. Many people complain from back aches and pains, which could be caused by sleeping uncomfortably on worn out beds.
Furthermore, we all sweat an average of half a pint each night which is absorbed by our mattress. We also shed dead skin cells that attract dust mites, known to trigger or worsen allergies in many people. For this reason, you should change your mattress every 8-10 years.
Buying a new bed is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make, so be sure to seek out expert advice and get a good look and feel of what you will be spending all that time on! To start you on your way, Furniture Village’s Expert Bed Buyer, Sue Killick has shared her top 10 tips to consider before buying a new bed:
- A mattress that is 8-10 years old will have deteriorated by as much as 75% from when it was new and will be home to thousands of dust mites which can trigger or worsen allergies
- Your bed should be 10-15cm longer than its tallest occupant for a satisfying night’s sleep
- If you share a bed with your partner, make sure you try out the bed together and if both of you have very different weights, you may both find comfort in different mattress tensions- for example a zip and link system.
- If you suffer from allergies or asthma, make sure check what your mattress is made of- it’s simple thing many people forget to consider.
- Make it realistic- take off your coat and shoes and lie down in several different sleeping positions.
- Lie on your back and slip your hand between the base of your spine and the mattress- if this is difficult the mattress may be too soft, and if it is too easy the mattress may be too hard
- Bigger is better- buy the biggest bed you can comfortably fit into your room ensuring you leave enough space around your bed to open drawers and wardrobes
- A new mattress on an old bed base will develop the same faults as the old one, so buying a complete new bed could be more cost effective
- Remember that every £100 you spend on a new bed costs only 2.7p per night over 10 years- a bargain!
- Ask the FV Bed Shop experts for advice about caring for your bed and about the Furniture Village five year quality guarantee.