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How to guarantee a great night’s sleep

If you’re struggling to get to sleep, rest assured (no pun intended) you’re not alone. Figures released in July estimate that 20 million of us Brits get less than the recommended 8 hours per night, with 38% of us complaining that we’re tired all the time.

Up to 20 million of us aren’t getting enough sleep at night

We’re frequently reminded, not getting enough sleep is a slippery slope – one that can have catastrophic consequences on both our emotional and physical health, especially in children who rely on sleep for development. But, there is a way to guarantee shuteye every evening, and say goodbye to sleepless nights for good. Did you know that…

  • Your weight has a bearing on which mattress tension to opt for
  • The position you lie in might be stopping you from sleeping
  • Your mattress filling can be the root cause of your restlessness

One size does not fit all

It’s no secret at Willow & Hall that we offer a range of bed and mattress styles. And, the reason we offer more than one is because not everyone is suited to the same type. Few people know this, but your weight should actually dictate the firmness of your mattress. In fact, the heavier you are, the firmer the mattress you should select. This is because you need more weight to engage the springs in firmer styles. So, if you’re as light as a feather a firm mattress and bed combination won’t give you any support whatsoever. Here’s our suggestions to help you choose the right mattress for you:

  • Standard firmness if you’re less than 10 stone
  • A firm mattress if you’re between 10-15 stone
  • Very firm if your weight is 15 stone or more

Does your mattress complement your sleeping position?

Different mattresses suit different sleeping styles. Not only does the way you sleep have a direct bearing on the mattress and bed pairing that best suits you but it also influences which pillow type you should use too.

  • If you sleep on your back…

Firm mattresses are generally recommended for back sleepers because they offer better support to your lower spine than their softer counterparts.

  • If you sleep on your side…

Side sleepers (incidentally the most common sleeping style in the UK) are best off with a standard firmness and high pillow, which gives maximum support to your head, neck and shoulders through the night.

  • If you sleep on your front

If you lie on your front in bed then a very firm mattress is likely to be your best option. With this sleeping style we’d also recommend a low pillow to cradle your neck comfortably and prevent any muscle pain in bed.

Front sleepers should consider a very firm mattress type

It’s what’s inside that counts

Just as important to consider when choosing a mattress is the filling it contains. The best mattress styles feature natural, breathable, fillings that won’t let your body temperature drop too low nor cause you to overheat in the night. Feeling hot or cold will only stir you from slumber and break up your sleep cycle, meaning you won’t feel well rested when that 7am alarm call sounds.

Breathable mattress fillings however attack moisture and keep the air circulating at an optimum temperature, giving you less reason to wake up in the night reaching for the covers you kicked off earlier. When thinking about mattress fillings you should also consider whether you need a coil or memory foam style. So, here are a few tips to help you differentiate between each:

  • Open Coil

Open coil mattresses feature hundreds of springs that jointly recoil and contract as you change position in the night, keeping you asleep by gently moving in tandem with you.

  • Pocket Sprung

The springs in pocket sprung mattresses are individually heat-treated. They move independently too, giving you exceptional support that contours to your body with precision, and doesn’t disturb anyone else sharing your bed at the same time.

  • Memory Foam

Memory foam is designed to distribute your weight evenly, and seamlessly moulds itself to your body. What’s more, it’s perfect for relieving pressure. So, if you’re someone who suffers from achy joints and a bad back, this style provides excellent support.

If you share your bed then pocket sprung mattresses work best

Your bed is important too

We’ve put a lot of emphasis on mattresses so far, but the truth is it’s actually the joint combination of the right mattress, paired with the perfect bed base, that fuels a great night’s sleep. It doesn’t matter how brilliantly designed, deep or luxurious, your mattress style is – if it’s resting on an inadequate bed, you just aren’t going to feel any benefit.

A supportive bed frame should be made from a solid hardwood, so it’s robust and strong enough to hold a mattress in addition to your body weight. And, it should have solid-wood slats, which offer support to the mattress so it can do its job correctly. From there, selecting a bed that’s right for you is simply a case of aesthetics. So, as long as the quality makes the grade, a bed frame should last you up to 10 years.

When it comes to sleeping well your bed frame also plays its part

Making sure the whole family sleeps well

Of course, one of the other most common causes of sleep deprivation in adults is having a newborn baby or toddler who keeps you awake at night. In this instance, nipping the behaviour in the bud as early as possible is the key to restoring quiet at night, and making sure everyone in the household gets the vital sleep they need.

Sleep training little ones early can make the world of difference

Willow & Hall founder, Sarah Massouh, recently found herself in this position following the birth of her baby daughter Sofia. On the advice of a friend, Sarah turned to a baby sleep expert, Natasha Cross, founder of Baby Sleep Matters, for help. So, if you’re in a similar boat, or about to welcome your first baby into the world, here are 5 top sleep training tips from Natasha that you can put into practice…

  • Start before your baby is born

Sink or swim works in some situations, but not when sleep training your child. So, give yourself a leg up and learn the techniques before your baby comes along. That way you can get into a good routine right away.

  • Ditch the sleep aids

 A lot of parents rely on dummies, musical mobiles or cot toys to get their baby to sleep. But, teaching your child to rely on these aids is a slippery slope. Instead, focussing on self-soothing will produce better long-term results.

  • Make the final feed a filling one

Feeling hungry is one of the most common reasons for wakefulness in infants. So, whether you bottle feed or breastfeed, make sure your child is really well fed before you put them down to sleep for the night.

  • Don’t let them cry out

 Self-soothing doesn’t mean ignoring your child when it’s in distress. But, it’s important to establish why your child is awake. So, try to distinguish your child’s different cries, as it will help you recognise what’s wrong sooner.

  • It’s never too late

While it’s better to instil sleep training early on, it’s still possible to coach children up to 4 years of age. So, if your toddler is the one waking up, sleep training can resolve the problem. If Baby Sleep Matters sounds like it might be able to help you in getting your toddler to sleep, just as it did Sarah, then you can contact Natasha via her website.

Or, if you’re the one struggling to sleep at night, chances are it’s time to invest in a brand new bed and mattress. To see our full selection of bed and mattress styles, all of which can be ordered in 130 different fabrics and delivered within 4-5 weeks, visit our website. Or, for more advice contact our Customer Service team on 020 8939 3800 or email theteam@willowandhall.co.uk.

Kind regards,

The Willow & Hall team

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