What to Know About Your Bed for Better Sleep

Your bed could be impacting how you sleep, here's what to know

Is it your bed that’s affecting the way that you sleep? Believe it or not, if you aren’t respecting or properly caring for your bed, you’re short-changing yourself in terms of sleep quality. If you want to start sleeping better, here are a few things you need to take note of.

The bigger, the better.

This one seems obvious: the bigger the bed, the better you’ll sleep – especially if you share your bed with someone else. What could be better than having the space you need to spread out? The Better Sleep Council recommends a queen-sized mattress, at the very least, for two people sharing a bed.

There are no “sides” when it comes to restful sleep.

Do you always sleep on the same side of the bed because sleeping on the other side just doesn’t feel right? While it may be your instinct to sleep on the left side of your bed every night, you may find it more beneficial to utilize your bed in its entirety. You don’t want to risk your mattress getting lumpy, misshapen and uncomfortable over time. By treating all sides of your bed equally, you’re more likely to get restful sleep for longer than you would have by sticking to one side because you won’t be compromising the integrity of your mattress.

Flip and rotate your mattress regularly.

That said, it’s essential to flip and rotate your mattress at least twice per year to ensure that it’s receiving an equal amount of pressure on both sides, and to reduce its risk of becoming lumpy or misshapen.

You can’t forget to replace your pillows.

You can sleep in a large bed with attention to all sides and avidly practice proper mattress care, but the difference between an awesome night’s sleep and a poor night’s sleep also depends heavily on your pillows. The longevity of your pillows is determined by their quality, with a cheap pillow lasting you anywhere from 6-12 months and a high-quality one lasting anywhere from 18-24. But if you’re unsure, the best test to determine whether or not your pillow needs replacing is by folding it in half (⅓ if it’s a body pillow) and seeing how quickly the pillow springs back to its original form. A good pillow is full, fluffy and springs back immediately. One that needs replacing won’t return to its original shape and fullness.

Your bed is for sleep (and sex) only.

It’s no secret that most of us use our beds for more than sleeping. But it’s high time to skip having snacks in bed and taking your work to bed with you, and to start respecting your bed as the one, sacred place reserved for completely unwinding – whether this be in the form of restful sleep or getting intimate with your partner. When you bring other elements like work, food, or electronic devices into the mix, your brain doesn’t register your bed as the place for sleep to occur, leading to insomnia, anxiety and racing thoughts when you lay your head down at the end of the night.

Your mattress can’t last forever.

With proper care, your mattress can last you 5-7 years. But generally speaking, if you find that you’re waking up tired, with aches and pains, or that you’ve recently had a remarkably better night’s sleep in another bed compared to your own, it may be time to make a change. Investing in a high-quality mattress can be costly, but has a significant impact on the kind of sleep you’re getting. Remember: you’ll spend a third of your life on your next mattress, and since the kind you get will affect your sleep, you can expect to see changes in other areas of your life, from your happiness and health to your overall productivity

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