Your mattress and bedding might be why you can’t sleep
Here's how to make the right choices for a better night's rest.
It’s not just your caffeine intake and exposure to blue light preventing you from getting a good night’s shut-eye – your mattress and bedding could also be to blame.
According to sleep expert from Bensons for Beds, Dr Sophie Bostock: ‘The key considerations for sleep furniture are to ensure that the joints are well supported, so that the muscles are not under tension.’
You’ll likely know your mattress is the problem if you wake up with pain, and it can help to see how you fare in a different bed; if your aches improve, consideran upgrade at home.
‘Typically, a mattress that is too soft will cause your back and hips to sink and become misaligned with your spine, causing pain in the lower back,’ said Rebecca Swain, director and mattress specialist at Winstons Beds. ‘On the other hand, a mattress that is too firm can put pressure on joints which can also be uncomfortable.’
Then there’s the issue of shared sleep. A bed that’s too small or a mattress that bounces and wakes you whenever your partner moves will lead to disrupted sleep.
Dr Sophie says: ‘If you’re sharing a bed, a larger mattress will reduce the chance of being disturbed by your bed partner.’
When looking for the right mattress, trying one out in person is best, but online options with a trial period ensure you aren’t stuck with something that doesn’t suit your needs.
Carefully consider the filling too, as this can influence the support and comfort it provides.
Rebecca says: ‘Tale-tale signs that your mattress has the wrong filling for your body include waking up sore and stiff, feeling restless and getting too hot or cold during the night.’
She recommends a pocket spring mattress and natural fillings like wool, cotton, silk and cashmere for breathability and support, along with fibres like organic flax for even weight distribution and horsetail to help with spinal alignment and moisture wicking.
Polyester and nylon fillings may be too warm for you, but offer easy-clean comfort and longevity. Or, you could go for a hybrid option of synthetic and natural materials to tailor your benefits.
Found your mattress made in heaven and still uncomfortable?
Some people find they sleep better with a duvet made up of natural fillings like feathers, down and wool, and prefer to avoid certain materials when it comes to bedding.
Chris Tattersall, Sleep Expert and MD of Woolroom, says: ‘Synthetic bedding fibres such as polyester don’t allow air to circulate effectively, resulting in a stuffy and humid sleep environment.
‘Synthetic bedding tends to repel rather than absorb moisture, making it difficult for your body to regulate its temperature, causing you to sweat and overheat in the night.’
It’s all a case of trial and error, and you may feel like Goldilocks at the Three Bears’ house before finding the solution for you. Once you’ve hit that sleepy sweet spot, though, every bedtime will be a true fairytale.
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