It’s one of the most important things for our physical and mental well-being, but many of us struggle to get a decent night’s sleep. Even the soundest sleepers will experience nights when they just can’t drop off or will wake up feeling groggy, tired and far from refreshed. Whether getting enough restful sleep is a constant struggle for you or you are lucky enough to only experience problems occasionally, there are some simple steps you can try to help you nod off and not wake until morning.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?

While you are no doubt aware that eight hours is considered the optimal amount of sleep, the true requirement varies hugely between individuals. The vast majority of people require between seven and nine hours a night, but there are many who can function on less than this. Margaret Thatcher famously got by on just four hours sleep a night when she was Prime Minister, but this would be unimaginable for most people! Newborn babies need up to 18 hours sleep a day, but the number drastically decreases as they get older. The requirement for sleep drops throughout the childhood and teenage years, before levelling out after the age of 18. Older people often find they need less sleep than young adults. If you’re regularly tired, then the most likely problem is that you’re either not getting enough sleep or the quality of your sleep isn’t good enough.

The Importance of the Right Mattress

Not all mattresses are manufactured to the same specification, so it’s important to shop around and find your perfect match. Some people naturally prefer a firm mattress with very little give, while others like something softer. Whatever type of mattress you opt for, it’s important you get one that provides the correct level of support. A poor-quality or past-its-best mattress can lead to all manner of aches and pains, including neck pain and back ache. You are more likely to toss and turn if your bed is not comfortable. Needless to see, this won’t help your sleep quality or leave you feeling ready to face the day when you wake up.

It’s generally recommended that you replace your mattress every eight years, and sooner if you notice signs of wear and tear or feel it’s lost support. When you consider that you spend around one-third of your life in bed, it makes sense that you should go for the best quality available. Things to look out for include a visible dip in the mattress or being able to feel the springs through the mattress. These are signs you need to replace your mattress immediately. If you share your bed with a partner and find yourself rolling towards the middle of the bed when they move, your mattress isn’t providing the level of support it should. If you barely give your mattress a second thought when you’re changing your bedding, it’s time to take a closer look and check for signs of wear.

Choosing a Pillow

Your choice of pillow is just as important as your mattress when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. The type of pillow you find comfortable will come down to personal preference, but you may also have physical ailments that mean you have different requirements. It’s important not to just bulk-buy a value pack of pillows for the entire family, as everyone will have different needs. For example, if you or a family member has allergies, a hypo-allergenic pillow will help reduce symptoms. If you suffer from a bad neck regularly, consider an orthopaedic pillow that provides unbeatable support for your head and neck. Adding a pillow protector is essential also to keep your pillow spotless.

Sleeping Aids

If you’ve created the perfect relaxing haven and your bed is all set up for a great night’s sleep, but you still struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, it might be time to try some of the sleeping aids on the market. Things like pillow sprays or balms that you put directly onto your pulse points can be a great help, as they are formulated with oils proven to aid relaxation. If you are a light sleeper, consider investing in a decent eye mask, earplugs and even black-out blinds to limit the chances of being woken by light or noise. Once you get used to sleeping with an eye mask and earplugs, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

There are also a number of apps on the market that can be downloaded to your smartphone. These range in price from free to several pounds, so read reviews and ask friends to get an idea of the best ones. Some play soothing sounds to relax you and help you drift off, while others (such as Pillow monitor your sleep patterns and give you tips, such as going to bed earlier than usual.

If you’re concerned about the quality of your sleep and feel it may be time to replace an ageing mattress, check out our collection of luxury beds and mattresses. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team if you have any questions about the best bed and mattress for your needs. Whether you’re looking for beds in Woking, beds in Newbury or beds in Winchester, we can help you enjoy a refreshing and relaxing night’s sleep.