The importance of a good pillow

The importance of a good pillow

Struggling to get a decent nights sleep or find your self tossing and turning trying to get comfortable?

Most people spend at least one-third of their lives with their head on a pillow. The older you get, the more you realise the importance of having a good pillow.

Not only does the pillow need to be a good one, but it needs to be one that is suited to your body, your health, and the way that you sleep.  Check out this list to learn more about how to choose a good pillow.

Pillows truly affect the way that you go about your day, and you probably aren’t even aware of this fact. Your pillow affects the way that your neck aligns with your spine, which can either alleviate or put more strain on your back and shoulders, affect headaches, and have an overall impact on how restful your sleep is. In order to determine the best pillow for you, consider the shape of your spine as well as the position you sleep in for most of the night.

Choosing the right pillow for your sleeping patterns

Back Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying flat on their backs should choose a flat, thin pillow that also supports the head and the spine. Wedge pillows are great for providing this support.

Side Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying on their sides need a contoured pillow that provides firm support. In most instances, it is healthy for side sleepers to place a pillow between their legs. This pillow allows the spine to stay in alignment, and will leave the back feeling less strain from sleeping on the side.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers do not need much support for their head when sleeping. The thinner the pillow, the better, as this will prevent the head from rising too much and putting strain on the neck. In many instances, stomach sleepers will find comfort from placing a pillow under their stomachs to prevent lower back pain.

If you have any questions or require advice on the best types of pillows to purchase, please get in touch today by calling 01270 879379 or book an appointment at our showroom today.

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How to Choose Your Perfect Mattress

How to Choose Your Perfect Mattress

There are three common types of mattresses: innerspring, foam, and adjustable. There’s no one “right” material to choose, but in general, side sleepers need a softer mattress, stomach sleepers need a firm one, and back sleepers fall somewhere in between.

Beyond the types of mattresses and firmness, you’ll need to think about a few other factors. From sleep style to negotiating with a bedfellow, here’s what to look for based on your needs:

If you like a bed with bounce

Traditional innerspring styles have that familiar bouncy feel and may be firmer. Interconnected coils are extra-durable, but individual “pocketed” coils, each covered with fabric, reduce the ripple effect that happens when someone on one side of the bed moves.

If you prefer a firmer base

Memory foam options have less spring and offer more pressure relief. To determine quality, look at the density and thickness of the foam, which will determine how deep you’ll sink. The newer, online mattresses generally use several different layers of foam, with heavier ones on the bottom for support and lighter, cooler kinds on the top for comfort.

If you want a plush top

Innerspring mattresses typically have either a fiberfill or foam outer layer, covered in quilted ticking. But even if you want an uber-plush feel, don’t be swayed by a thick-looking pillowtop as it can compress over time. It’s often best to choose a firmer, well-quilted mattress, and then cover it with a replaceable mattress topper.

If you like to change it up

Consider an air-filled mattress. Two side-by-side chambers allow you and your partner to customise the mattress firmness separately. There are also foam mattresses with soft and firm sides, so you can just flip it over as needed, and modular designs that let you move around the springs on the inside.

If you sleep on your side

You’ll want a surface that will support your body weight, and conform to your shape. Innersprings may have more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses, but a soft foam mattress or one with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips can work for side sleepers, too

If you sleep on your stomach

The last thing a stomach-sleeper probably wants is an enveloping memory foam — it would feel smothering! Instead, a firmer bed will provide the best support. Consider a firm foam, dense innerspring, or air-filled mattress.

If you sleep on your back

You’ll want something in the middle — a surface that supports, but has some give so your spine is kept in a healthy alignment. You’ll find happiness with any of the mattress types, but you should do your best princess-and-the-pea impression to see what feels best to you.

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How to get a better night’s sleep despite coronavirus worries

How to get a better night’s sleep despite coronavirus worries

Between homeschooling unruly kids, concerns about your finances and worrying about the health of friends and family, getting a full night’s sleep is no easy feat these days.

With so many extra stresses to think about, it’s not unusual to spend the night tossing and turning, only to catch a glimpse of the clock and realise you’re way behind on your sleep schedule.

At this stage, you might be wondering whether you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re anxious, or you’re anxious because you can’t sleep. The truth is, it may be both. Being in a heightened state of stress can delay the onset of sleep and cause anxious thoughts to occur at night. But lack of sleep can cause anxiety disorders too.

Make sure you maintain a routine

With everything going on at the moment, it can be really difficult to maintain a routine. Whether you’re furloughed or working from home, it is likely your ‘normal’ routine will have changed quite a lot from what it was before.

Try to wake up and go to bed at a similar time to what you would before lockdown began. This will help you maintain a regular sleeping pattern – you should be aiming for seven-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half hours per night.

Avoid napping during the day and make time to wind down before bed to help you get to sleep more easily. You can do this by either reading, practising mindfulness or taking time away from technology.

Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol

Drinking tea, coffee or energy drinks during the day can impact your sleep at night. While people process caffeine differently, as a general rule it’s recommended that we stop drinking caffeine after 3pm – so consider switching to decaf or herbal teas after this.

When it comes to alcohol, consumption may make you feel sleepy and reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. However, once the alcohol wears off, it is likely you will sleep more lightly and have more disturbances during the night, leaving you feeling less refreshed in the morning.

Most people are well aware of the physical health benefits of cutting down on alcohol – but there are also mental health benefits too. For example, alcohol can make people feel more anxious – so cutting it down can help manage anxiety.

It’s also important to consider the impact of smoking on your sleep. Nicotine can increase your heart rate and alertness, so if you smoke before bed, you may feel more awake and struggle to fall asleep.

Take some time out from staring at the ceiling

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, don’t lie in bed worrying or feeling anxious. Get up and read a book, or listen to a podcast or relaxing music.

This can get your mind to focus on something else and ultimately help you feel sleepy again. Try to limit your screen time though, or use devices on night mode, so the light doesn’t further disturb your sleep pattern.

Posted by m6beds in Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress
COVID-19: how does the coronavirus pandemic affect your sleep?

COVID-19: how does the coronavirus pandemic affect your sleep?

The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down and affected all aspects of our lives, including our health, livelihoods and much more. With the UK under COVID-19 lockdown and the public instructed to stay at home, many of us are feeling isolated and anxious – and it is affecting our sleep.

Coronavirus and sleep problems

There is a global sense of anxiety at this time. When turning on the news or talking with neighbours, friends and family, it is hard to escape the overall state of the planet right now, whether you are feeling the effects or not.

A sleep expert has said that we are asked to stay in our homes so we don’t maintain our usual routines which might include increasing or decreasing work, activities, and time away or with our loved ones. We get less exercise and light exposure – two very important regulators of sleep.

Anxiety in a generalised sense creates what we will refer to as arousal, or excitement or alertness. Arousal is triggered by the ‘fight or flight’ response, which releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and prevents you from falling asleep.

How to improve your sleep quality

Everyone will have an occasional bad night, but regular poor sleep puts you at risk of certain medical conditions such as obesity and it can have a negative impact on your mental health. So how can you improve the quality of your sleep?

Stick to a routine

“Wake up and get up at the same time each day – no snoozing. Get light straightaway – natural if possible but artificial will do, and move and eat. This combination of behaviours will not only eventually lead to feeling super refreshed on waking, but also will do wonders for your sleep at night.”

Get up if you need to

Get out of bed instead of lying there unable to sleep, whether at the beginning, middle or end of the night.

“The simple reality is that lying in bed willing yourself back to sleep won’t work, but relaxing wake time will increase your sleep drive which will help you sleep.”

“So go away and distract yourself from sleep, but be mindful that you need to stay in your ‘relax/wind down’ activity phase.”

Try not to nap during the day if you aren’t used to doing it. “It will only dilute the quality of your sleep at night, and get your brain into new habits which will be hard to break”.

Turn off the news

“Don’t watch the late news, and avoid talking about stressful things close too bedtime, if you are worried about things, try to distract your mind by thinking about something pleasant, although not emotionally engaging.”

Relax properly

Relaxation doesn’t lead to sleep unless you are doing the above steps to regulate sleep and build up sleepiness at the right times.

Certain activities may help you relax, such as listening to a relaxing audio, and trying meditation or breathing exercises, but this doesn’t mean you will sleep.

“When you are increasingly anxious or panicked, don’t focus on sleep – focus on reducing the anxiety, ground yourself. Plant those feet firmly on the floor. Pick five things in your room. Describe function, appearance, smell, texture. Repeat. Remind your brain you are safe. Calm that heart rate and temperature down.”

Posted by m6beds in Choosing The Right Mattress, Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses
Buying the right mattress

Buying the right mattress

When you buy a new mattress, you’re also investing in yourself and your well-being. After all, if you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, you’re spending about a third of your life in bed. So, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new mattress—and how do you buy one you’ll love sleeping on for years to come?

How Long Should a Mattress Last?

If you’re making any big lifestyle changes in the near future—for instance, if you’re moving in with a partner and want to upgrade to a bigger mattress, or you’re shopping for a grown-up bed for your child—it’s obviously time to make the purchase.

If it’s been over a decade since you got a new mattress, it might be time to switch. Experts agree that mattresses should last around 10 years—sometimes even more, especially if it’s a high-quality product and you take great care of it over the years. But in general, you want your mattress to last for at least seven to eight years, preferably ten.

Types of Mattresses

Whether you’ve purchased a mattress before or this is the first time you’ve ever had to shop for one, you need to know what kinds of mattresses are on the market. These are the main types you’ll see as you shop—make your decision based on how you like your bed to feel.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is a mattress that’s primarily made up of metal coils, with a soft cushion around it. Over the years, these cushions have been made from anything from cotton to wool to feathers. These mattresses tend to be firmer and have some bounce to them.

Foam

These mattresses don’t have any metal coils inside, but are made entirely of layers of foam or memory foam, a synthetic material (essentially polyurethane) designed to support your body and adapt to it. Rather than rest on top of a memory foam mattress, your body will sink in a little and be cradled by the foam.

Latex

Latex is a natural material made from the sap of a rubber plant, but you can also find synthetic latex mattresses on the market. Rather than sinking in to the mattress like you would on a memory foam bed, the latex compresses and conforms to the general shape of your body while still having more bounce-back.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress is the best of both worlds. The bottom layer of the mattress will be innerspring coils, while the top layer will be either foam or latex, depending on which material you prefer. How it feels will depend on whether you choose foam or latex.

If you are looking to purchase a new mattress, contact us today and we will be happy to help you find the perfect fit for you!

 

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How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep Better

M6 Beds top tips on how to get a better nights sleep.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by experimenting with the following tips, you can enjoy better sleep at night, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

Tip 1: Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.

Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimise the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.

Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

Tip 2: Control your exposure to light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm.

Tip 3: Exercise during the day

People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

  • The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
  • It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. So be patient and focus on building an exercise habit that sticks.
Posted by m6beds in Bed Buying Tips, Bedroom, Better Night’s Sleep, Better Sleeo, Coronavirus, Improve Sleep Patterns, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Patterns, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality, Snoozing, The Right Mattress
Sleep Disorders and Problems

Sleep Disorders and Problems

Are you regularly struggling with a sleep problem? It may be a sleep disorder. Here’s how to recognise the symptoms and get the treatment you need.

What is a sleep disorder or problem?

Many of us experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. Usually it’s due to stress, travel, illness, or other temporary interruptions to your normal routine. But if sleep problems are a regular occurrence and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from a sleep disorder.

A sleep disorder is a condition that frequently impacts your ability to get enough quality sleep. While it’s normal to occasionally experience difficulties sleeping, it’s not normal to regularly have problems getting to sleep at night, to wake up feeling exhausted, or to feel sleepy during the day.

Types of common sleep disorders

Insomnia

Insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or sleep well at night, can be caused by stress, jet lag, a health condition, the medications you take, or even the amount of coffee you drink. Insomnia can also be caused by other sleep disorders or mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Whatever the cause of your insomnia, improving your sleep hygiene, revising your daytime habits, and learning to relax will help cure most cases of insomnia without relying on sleep specialists or turning to prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that causes an almost irresistible urge to move your legs (or arms) at night. The urge to move occurs when you’re resting or lying down and is usually due to uncomfortable, tingly, aching, or creeping sensations. There are plenty of ways to help manage and relieve symptoms, though, including self-help remedies you can use at home.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common (and treatable) sleep disorder in which your breathing temporarily stops during sleep, awakening you frequently. If you have sleep apnea you may not remember these awakenings, but you’ll likely feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in your productivity. Sleep apnea is a serious and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder, so see a doctor right away and learn how to help yourself.

Posted by m6beds in Insomnia, M6 Beds, restless legs sydrome, sleep apnea, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Problems, Sleep Quality
Sleep Needs – How many hours of sleep do I need?

Sleep Needs – How many hours of sleep do I need?

How many hours of sleep do you need? What happens when you don’t get enough? Explore the stages of sleep and how to get on a healthy sleep schedule.

Why is sleep so important?

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

How many hours of sleep do you need?

There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.

Just because you’re able to operate on six or seven hours of sleep doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel a lot better and get more done if you spent an extra hour or two in bed.

While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more. And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, most older people still need at least 7 hours of sleep. Since older adults often have trouble sleeping this long at night, daytime naps can help fill in the gap.

Below is a recommendation of how many hours sleep different ages should get:

Posted by m6beds in Coronavirus, COVID19, Investing in a Bed, M6 Beds, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Quality, Sofa Bed
Are sofa beds just a good as a sofa?

Are sofa beds just a good as a sofa?

Considering buying a sofa bed, but wondering if a plain old sofa might be wiser? In case you needed convincing, we’ve come up with the best reasons to buy a sofa bed not a sofa.

  • A SOFA BED IS AS COMFORTABLE TO SIT ON AS A SOFA

Approach buying a sofa bed just like you would a sofa, checking its frame and fillings for both quality of construction and how it matches your personal preferences. Sofa bed fillings include foam (for a firmer, smart-looking seat); fibre (for soft support); or plump feathers (for a soft, squashy looking sofa). Sofa beds do tend to feel firmer than sofas, so picking one with a combination of softer cushion types – fibre seat cushions and feather back cushions, for example – will give you the best balance without compromising on the look.

  • MODERN SOFA BEDS ARE JUST AS GOOD LOOKING AS SOFAS

Gone are the days when sofa beds were lumpy, heavy pieces of furniture you felt you had to reinforce the floor for. Many, sofa beds are as chic and svelte as they’re non-bed sofa counterparts. Just look at this Mid-century modern style sofa bed (below) for proof of our point.

  • SOFA BEDS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES

Sofa beds used to be narrow two-seaters at best. Now, there are beds in a box, loveseats, two-seaters, three-seaters and L-shaped, all of which can be easily converted into sleep surfaces to suit your space and guest numbers no matter what size your home is.

Function-wise, there’s plenty of choice, too, from pull-out sleep surfaces to sofa beds with backs that fold backwards to provide an instant double bed. Choose one that suits you best: pull outwards and you’ll need plenty of floor space in front of the sofa bed; fold backwards, and you’ll need to pull out the entire sofa before you can push the back down.

  • SOFA BEDS COME WITH CLEVER, SPACE-SAVING FEATURES

We know what you’re thinking: if you’ve got a sofa bed, you’ll need somewhere to stash all that extra bedding. Well, the good news is that many sofa beds come with hidden storage. And if you don’t want to keep bedding in there, they may great places to stick all that household clutter you’ve gathered and don’t have a place for.

Some now come with pull-out tables to hold food and drink, too. If you don’t believe us take a look for yourself!

  • SOFA BEDS ARE GREAT FOR KIDS’ SLEEPOVERS

If your child’s bedroom is small, a single armchair sofa bed or bed in a box in the corner is a useful buy; failing that, a double sofa bed in the living room will accommodate them, especially as they get older and want to stay up all night watching their favourite programme on TV!

  • SOFA BEDS ARE BETTER THAN SOFAS BECAUSE THEY SAVE SPACE

In a small house, flat or flat/house-share, sofa beds for small living rooms will be invaluable, giving you a spare bedroom when you need it at the drop of a hat.

Having a sofa bed in the living room, snug, TV room or in a bedroom makes perfect sense for families in larger homes, too, where guests might be frequent, but a guest bedroom not worth the space sacrifice.

Posted by m6beds in Bed Storage, Good Investment, Guest Bedroom, Improve Sleep Patterns, Investing in a Bed, Kids, Kids Sleeping Patterns, M6 Beds, Make Your Bed In The Morning, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattress, Save Space, Sleep, Sleep Quality, Small guest room, Sofa Bed, Sofa Beds, The Right Mattress
Exposure to blue light from phones and computer screens ‘makes it harder to fall asleep’

Exposure to blue light from phones and computer screens ‘makes it harder to fall asleep’

Researchers say exposure to blue light could increase the risk of damage to eyesight and make it harder to fall asleep.

Work an arm’s length from the screen

Fully extend your arm and work from a distance – looking from your eyes to the end of your fingertips.

Use this as a minimum distance to reduce the stress on your eyeballs. 

20/20/20 

Simply put, every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for a minimum of 20 seconds at least 20 feet away.

This will help to reset your visual systems and eye through any long periods of screen work.

Screen height

Height and level of your working screen can have a big impact on eye strain and posture.

Research has shown that it is better for the screen to be located higher than the users’ watching level – the middle point should be 5-6 inches below the straight line of the users’ vision.

This makes the space between upper and lower eyelid more open, often resulting in dryness of the eyes.

Consider your device

Usually the biggest, newest phone is best, but not for your eyes. An iPhone X is 20 per cent brighter than an iPhone 6 and emits higher levels of blue light.

This is the difference of a 100 per cent increase in harmful blue light exposure!

Put a post-it note on your screen titled ‘BLINK’.

Normally, in a minute, we blink up to 20 times. This is controlled automatically by our central nervous systems so we’re not conscious of blinking.

While on screens, this is actually reduced to 3-5 times a minute meaning our tear films cannot be maintained and the eye does not remain lubricated.

A post-it-note on your monitor saying ‘Blink’ should help you consciously make an effort to blink. It’s simple but definitely works.

Advice

Buying a new bed or mattress is one of the most important purchases you can make and ensuring you pick the right one to suit your individual needs is incredibly important. There are so many different types of mattress, places to buy them from and varieties is feels and components, it can feel like a complete minefield!

Here at M6 Beds our aim to guide you through this minefield, showing you beds which best suit your needs, your required level of comfort and pressure relief required to get that restful night sleep. We’ve compiled a list of ‘common mistakes’ to avoid when mattress shopping to ensure you choose your perfect bed.

Posted by m6beds in Blue Light, Buy The Right Bed, Choosing The Right Mattress, Choosing the right pillows, comfy bed, Computer Screen, Coronavirus, COVID19, Improve Sleep Patterns, Invest In A Bigger Bed, Investing in a Bed, Look After Your Bed, M6 Beds, Make a Bed, Mattress Care, Mattress Type, Mattresses, Pillow Choice, science of nodding off, Sleep, Sleep Better, Sleep Distruption, Sleep Quality, Sleep study, Temperature