So simple, so natural, so essential...but sometimes so hard to achieve.
Words by Natasha Were.
Considering we spend a third of our lives, or the equivalent of 100 days per year in bed, it's surprising how little we prioritise creating the right sleep environment. We spoke to the professionals at Bedside Manor to get the lowdown on creating bedroom conditions that are conducive to a deep, uninterrupted slumber.
Choose a mattress as you might a car. You wouldn’t buy a new set of wheels without test-driving it first, the same rule applies for a mattress. Don’t just sit on it. Lie down, get comfortable, close your eyes for a few minutes. The right one will soon become clear.
Similarly, only you know how soft or firm you like your pillow. If you love the support of down or duck feather pillows but they make you sneeze and wheeze, synthetic microfibre fill provides similar support minus the allergens.
Far from being a nonessential accessory, a mattress topper or protector should be obligatory. Not only do these add a hygienic layer (they’ll protect your mattress from stains, dust and mites) but one with a little fill can transform an uncomfortable mattress into a restful retreat.
Next, dress your bed. Your sheets, coverlet or duvet set the tone for the bedroom. Bedside Manor recommends a solid foundation that you can accessorise easily with pillows or throws to change up the look.
For those who don’t know what they want, Bedside Manor offers a complementary consultation. Your choice should not be style over substance.
“Choose bedding that works for you, rather than just going for the aesthetic,” they advise. “It doesn’t make sense to have a beautiful looking bed that makes you uncomfortable.”
It’s easy to underestimate the importance of having excellent bedding, Bedside Manor notes. The perfect bed should have linens that breathe, keeping you at a pleasant temperature. 100% cotton is the top choice for a satisfying sleep, and percale cotton, with a tight weave is particularly good for those who feel the cold. Linen, made from flax, is very breathable and gets softer with every wash; bamboo and tencel (made from the eucalyptus plant) are also very soft and have good antibacterial properties.
It’s a myth that high thread counts equate with better bedding. It’s the quality of the fabric that matters. “You can have a high thread count product that is made from a terrible material or a lower thread count made from a fabulous long staple cotton,” say the experts at Bedside Manor.
Go for quality fabrics and count sheep if you need to count anything. Humans are hard-wired to sleep during the hours of darkness so close the drapes, turn off the light and leave your screens outside. Tune out, switch off... and sleep well.
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