Sleep Tips from the Experts
When you buy a new bed, you’re not just investing in a piece of furniture: you’re buying the promise of a better night’s sleep. To celebrate World Sleep Day on 19 March, the Design Centre asked its specialist bed showrooms – Rested, Jensen Beds and Savoir Beds – to share tips on what will help deliver those precious eight hours’ of shut-eye, night after night.
Savoir Beds (whose ‘Moon’ bed is pictured above) works with sleep expert Dr Rebecca Robins, an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and associate scientist, division of sleep and circadian disorders at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Robbins suggests that the stress and uncertainty of the past year means it could be an opportune moment to make changes. “Now might be the perfect time to refine your sleep routine, change unhealthy habits, and find a rhythm that works for you,” she says. “Not only is healthy sleep critical for our immune system, our brains and bodies, sleep is also vital for our mood, productivity, and the quality of our lives.”
What you do during the day is just an important as your night-time routine, says Robbins. Her tick-list of positive steps includes avoiding caffeine after 2pm, regular exercise and eating a lighter evening meal. As far as choosing the right bed is concerned, she suggests making sure that your chosen mattress offers good support for the head, neck and spinal column – something that Savoir Beds can customise to your needs. It also offers split-tension mattresses so that two bed-sharers can have different types of support; only natural materials are used (horsetail, wool and cotton) to ensure perfect breathability and temperature regulation.
Over at Rested, managing director Toby Walzer explained how technology is now playing a big part in helping us sleep better, via a video tour of the showroom (watch the whole video here). “The number one reason for breaking your sleep relates to temperature control, and encouraging air flow through a bed is a really good way to stay in the right temperature zone throughout the night,” he says. Dutch brand Auping’s mesh bases allow ventilation under the mattress, and they also electrically adjust, even waking you up in the morning at a specified time by smoothly moving you into an upright position. The bed pictured above is its new ‘Noa’ model, a collaboration with Danish designer Eva Harlou.
Beds from another Rested brand, Freshbed, go one stage further when it comes to ventilation, incorporating air-purifying filters that distribute clean air throughout the mattress. “It’s highly hypoallergenic,” says Walzer. “That movement of purified air creates a very healthy, enriched and fresh sleep experience every night.” As for sheets, Rested sells Formesse’s ‘Bella Donna’ knitted cotton bedlinen, which Walzer says helps to regulate temperature better than a closely woven textile – implying that our obsession with high thread counts might be misplaced.
Like Rested, Norwegian brand Jensen Beds reports that adjustable beds are among the biggest industry trends, as people seek added functionality and better control of their posture. It has narrowed its better sleep tips down to three simple commands: firstly, take a break from emails and other online activity a few hours before you plan to go to sleep, which will help stop your mind from trying to tackle the day’s events while you are lying in bed staring the ceiling. Secondly, keep a gratitude journal, noting two or three things to be thankful for every night – studies show that writing things down can have a therapeutic effect, and that by focusing on the positive, you may fall asleep faster and sleep better. Lastly, have a routine, and stick to it – our bodies work better when we wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, which unfortunately means not turning that alarm off at the weekend. Thankfully a lie-in is still allowed and Jensen Beds’ accessories, such the fold-out breakfast tray recently added to the collection (pictured above), can ensure that you start the day in style.