We spend on average 33 years of our life in bed, either trying to get to sleep or actually sleeping! That’s a lot of time in a poor position if your mattress, pillows and sleeping position aren’t great. If you manage to get everything right, you’ll find you fall asleep quicker, your sleep will be less restless, and you will wake up feeling great. Get it wrong and you will struggle to get out of bed in the morning, wake up feeling groggy and like you tossed and turned all night.
The ideal sleeping position is lying on your side, shoulders pulled back and square, knees pulled up slightly with a pillow between them. We know, not overly romantic, but definitely better than having to be carried out of bed to go to the loo in the morning when your back goes again! To help support your head and neck, a great tip is to use bath towels instead of a pillow as bath towels don’t compress as much as pillows do, giving more support through the night. The best way we have found is to lie the towel down and fold it into three along the short side so it is long and thin, then begin to fold the towel along its long side until you find the correct thickness for your shoulder depth. Hopefully this diagram helps explain what we mean.
When choosing a bed and mattress, it’s very easy to be swept up in all the marketing that goes on, so here are a few easy tips to remember when going mattress and bed shopping. First and foremost, to get the most support out of your mattress, the best type of bed is a divan base as the gaps between the slats reduce the amount of support from your mattress. If you have a slatted bed, try to cover the slats with some plyboard to give the mattress a stable foundation, giving you extra support and increasing the life of your mattress. Now onto the mattress! The ideal mattress is as firm as possible. We know that some of you might prefer sleeping on a big fluffy cloud, but as far as your body goes you are ALWAYS going to be far better structurally on a firm mattress! When it comes down to what your mattress is made from, there are a few good options, depending on your budget, but latex, sprung or pocket sprung are a great place to start, gel mattresses and memory foam are definitely ones to stay away from as they’re generally too soft and don’t support the body in the right way. Just remember, more expensive doesn’t always mean better, often times its purely branding and marketing you pay for. Here are a few diagrams to show you the ideal sleeping position.