A good night’s sleep means more than a quality mattress and pillow. Wrap up in luxurious linen and create an inviting bedroom with a neutral environment and loads of textures to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day.
The importance of decent sleep can not be overstated. Not only is it vital to our everyday vitality and wellness, it’s also essential for our long-term health. “Good quality sleep is where most of our bodies’ growth, healing and physical restoration occurs,” explains Sleepyhead marketing manager, Felicity Turner. “When you get anything less than seven hours of quality sleep, your body produces a chemical (amyloid beta) that is known to be connected to the development of Alzheimer’s.”
The first step to ensuring you wake up feeling rested is having the right mattress. The role of a mattress is to provide a comfortable sleeping environment that eliminates pressure points and supports the body so it can maintain proper spinal alignment, leaving the muscles relaxed and restored. “You can’t experience REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep if you’re on an uncomfy surface,” Turner points out. “You’ll be constantly in motion, tossing and turning.”
Despite common myths, a hard mattress isn’t necessarily good for your back, Turner cautions. “It’s good for some people, just not everyone,” she says, recommending buyers seek the assistance of a mattress specialist when purchasing their new bed, and take time trying different kinds. Selecting a new, supportive pillow is equally important, she adds. “We fundamentally believe that a mattress should never be purchased without a pillow to suit. The mattress supports your body, but the pillow is the bed for your head.” Perhaps most importantly, however, is acknowledging that hand-me-down mattresses are a bad idea. Mattresses don’t last forever, Turner says, and a secondhand mattress is unlikely to serve you any better than it served its previous owner.
Create an inviting bedroom
Once you’ve found the right mattress for you, it’s important to create an inviting bedroom environment. Noise, temperature and light all contribute to quality sleep, so organise your space according to your preferences. Your bedding should also be taken into consideration. “Look for natural fibres, which help regulate temperatures and circulate air,” Turner advises. Sleepyhead’s new range of sheets, pillows and duvets are made from natural fibres for this very reason.
Selecting quality fibres is part of textile designer Fleur Maggs’ job. “We use a mix of knit and woven damask textiles depending on the product we’re designing,” she explains. “We may also use speciality yarns like silk, linen or cashmere in premium ranges which feel luxurious and also have inherent natural benefits.” Maggs, who oversees the design process from concept to creation, says that knit is the most popular textile by an overwhelming margin. “This is because of the softness you experience when you initially touch it and when you’re sleeping, it’s amazing!”
There can be up to four new fabrics across the mattress top, border and bed base, Maggs says, noting that it isn’t all about the mattress. “Textiles used on headboards and bases are upholstery quality,” she says. “These are pieces of furniture, so the textiles have the performance expectation like other furniture in your home.”
Finally, fibres aside, developing sleep rituals is also essential for quality sleep. The body takes 30 minutes to prepare for sleep, so allowing yourself time to relax and calm the mind before you get under the covers is crucial. “A night-time ritual such as having a shower or reading a book before sleeping signals to your body that it’s time to start winding down,” says Turner. Following a routine is even more helpful, so try to be consistent with timing.
Read more: How to create a welcoming winter bedroom