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Lack of sleep is detrimental to our health, you don’t need me to tell you that. We all know that a bad night’s sleep can leave us feeling grumpy and in a bit of a fug the following day. But how many of us know that the longer effects of disturbed sleep can be even more profound. There are thousands of pages on the web, including the NHS website, that link lack of sleep obesity, heart disease, diabetes and shortening of life expectancy.
All slightly terrifying when you think about it.
So how do we make sure we get a good night’s sleep?
Well getting the fundamentals right is the first step. Starting with our mattresses. So many people tell us they are not getting a good night’s sleep but haven’t really considered that their mattress hasn’t been replaced in decades. They really do need to be replaced every eight to ten years. And in fact the mattress that was comfy and perfect ten years ago might not be comfy now. I know from my own experience that I need much more of an orthopaedic mattress than I had ten years ago. Yeah I am getting old! I need the support.
Though if you asked Mr B he would probably want one of those fancy couples mattresses that split so that you can have different firmness on each side.
If you have a comfy mattress I am fairly sure that is more than half the battle for a good night’s sleep. I have heard friends say “Oh I am not sleeping very well at the moment” and then blaming it on being stressed at work and whilst that might be true if you then ask when they last changed their mattress their face goes blank!
Yes we can cut down on our caffeine consumption after 6pm and use of blue light emitting screens before bedtime but none of that will make a lot of difference if the mattress we are sleeping on leaves us feeling lethargic the next day.
The mattress we sleep on can even help with (dare I say it) menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes. Having a mattress that is breathable can make a huge difference to those symptoms, a friend of mine recently changed her mattress for exactly this reason and had the best night’s sleep she has had in years.
If you find yourself feeling shattered when you first wake up, don’t start making drastic lifestyle changes and blaming it on your diet until you’ve considered whether it could actually be your mattress you need to change.
Image of mattress courtesy of Shutterstock