I believe sleep problems are close to epidemic levels.

So many people I talk to have problems sleeping, which is worrying because sleep, I think, is probably THE most important thing for our health.

The good news is, I’ve experimented with various sleep remedies (I used to suffer from poor sleep) and I know what works!

So much so I’ve dedicated a series of posts to the topic.

Post 1 (this one) starts with the absolute basics needed for a good night sleep.

I hope this helps you.

Your Bed

Let me start with the basic but probably the most important.

Your bed.

You spend a whopping 25 years sleeping, therefore it’s absolutely vital that your mattress is the best quality you can afford.

The Sleep Council http://www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/ recommend you change your mattress every 7 years and say this about the importance of a good mattress:

The foundation of a great night’s sleep is a comfortable bed. The right mattress can make a huge difference between a restful and restless night, saving you from fatigue and irritability for the rest of the day. An unsupportive mattress will encourage a poor sleeping posture, which prevents you from good sleep. If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it’s probably time to change your mattress.”

They also recommend you buy a mattress that has been approved by the National Bed Federation. Visit their website here NBF Website http://www.bedfed.org.uk/ for recommendations.

Aside from the expert advice, it’s obvious that if your bed is uncomfortable then you are not going to sleep.

Therefore, make sure you dedicate time to testing various mattresses to see which suits you the best.

Also, get the widest bed appropriate to the room it’s going to be in. Wider beds, particularly if sharing will make a difference.

Finally, your mattress needs to be flipped (turned over) every 3 to 6 months!

In summary:

  • Best quality mattress you can afford that has been NBF approved
  • Test various mattresses to ensure you get the right one for you. If sharing a bed, make sure both of you test.
  • Get the widest mattress / bed appropriate for the room it’s in.
  • Buy a new mattress every 7 years
  • Flip your mattress every 3 to 6 months.

Your Bedding

The bedding in hotels is lush and that’s because they only use the best quality bedding and bed linen.

So, where your duvet, pillows and bed linen are concerned again, go for the best quality you can afford.

Cotton, wool and down will give you a better night’s sleep than the cheaper man made alternatives.

Now for the topic of washing your sheets.

Expert advice to kill the nasties is:

  • Wash bedding WEEKLY at 60 degrees and
  • Iron (the heat from iron will kill bacteria)

I’ve found I definitely sleep better with fresh bed linen, so if you are suffering from poor sleep it may be worth changing your bed linen more frequently than you are currently.

Your Bedroom

Needs to be a sleep sanctuary.

This means:

  • Dark – black out blinds if you can please
  • The Right Temperature – the sleep council recommends between 16 to 18 degrees
  • Fresh Air – I believe to be vital for a perfect night sleep. But this obviously depends where in the world you are living.
  • Lighting – Before bed time keep the lighting in your bedroom to a suitably subtle glow. Prepare your body that it’s time to sleep.
  • Neat and Tidy – Tidy room and tidy mind. Tidy mind means relaxation. Relaxation means sleep.
  • Quiet – if you are having problems sleeping or get woken up, you may need to relocate your bedroom. My husband and I did this for example. We moved from the front of the house to the back because it was quieter.

I hope this has helped you.

The basics, but very relevant.

Keep an eye out for further posts on this topic!



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