5 Ways To Make Sleeping In Your Bed Healthier
It’s where we doze off every night, but most of us probably don’t give too much thought about whether our bed is the most healthful for us. While any bed offers sweet relief in the first few minutes, will it provide the best support and ensure we wake up well-rested without aches? Well, finally get that good night’s sleep with these five tips!
1. Choose a good mattress
Even if you’ve heard it a thousand times, we’ll say it again: A good mattress supports your back and prevents aches in your body. It certainly plays a critical role to restful sleep! Picking a suitable mattress is a pretty personal affair as each one of us has different needs. For example, people who pack a bit more weight would need a firmer mattress that doesn’t sink in too deeply, whereas someone lighter would not have the same concern.
To guide you in your next shopping trip for a mattress, here are a few key pointers:
- Look out for how it adheres to your spine when you lie on it. Your spine should be straight when you lie on your side, and in its natural curve when you lie on your back.
- Your mattress shouldn’t be wafer-thin, as thinner mattresses may not provide the adequate support your back needs. If ever you’re in doubt, err on the side of caution and get a thicker mattress that comes with pressure-relieving materials such as memory foam and latex.
- In addition, the mattress you’re lying on shouldn’t sink more than 2.5 inches into the bed. If it does, that’s a sure sign that it’s too soft for you. Old mattresses that have been slept in for a decade or more can have this same problem, so that’s when you know it’s time to chuck it!
2. Choose suitable pillows
Be it to hug or to have fights with, a bed is never complete without pillows. They’re also important for head and neck support so that we don’t wake up with migraines or a stiff neck. Experts recommend different types of pillows for back sleepers, side sleepers and stomach sleepers, but since we tend to shift from one position to another as we sleep, your best bet is a medium-density pillow which can accommodate all positions. If you suffer from allergies, you might also want to go for hypoallergenic pillows made of natural fillers such as kapok, buckwheat hulls and natural latex that are less likely to trigger allergic reactions.
3. Type of bed linen
Since bed linen stays close to our skin for hours on a stretch, make sure to get comfortable sheets and blankets that wick away perspiration and are not scratchy. Cotton is a good option as it dries fast, is durable and easy to clean (so no tedious hours of laundering every weekend!). It’s also less expensive than silk or silk blends, if you prefer something more affordable.
Cotton-polyester blends do a good job too and are usually less expensive than 100% cotton, but don’t get one with too high polyester content as polyester isn’t as absorbent and can hold body oils and odours.
4. Regular cleaning
This might freak you out, but other than your partner, your sleep companions include the microscopic dust mites crawling beneath your sheets. Feasting on the dead skin cells we shed at night, dust mites flourish and multiply in beds warmed by our body heat. While nobody likes to sleep with creepy crawlies in their bed, it’s their fecal matter that is harmful and can trigger asthma and allergic reactions. Be sure to clean your bed linen as often as once a week in hot water to kill the dust mites.
5. Don’t sleep with your phone
Playing Candy Crush before bed, as it turns out, isn’t the unwinding activity you expected it to be. Research has shown that the blue light emitted from your phone screen can keep you awake by simulating daylight and inhibiting the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.
In addition, our phones emit a small amount of electromagnetic radiation that can delay the time it takes for us to enter deep REM sleep, which is when our bodies repair themselves and prepare for the coming day. Do put your phone, tablet and computer away for at least two hours before bedtime.
By taking care of the bed you sleep in, you’ll be sure to sleep like a baby!