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Expert's corner: sure-fire ways to optimise your sleep

Because everyone dreams of a restful night’s slumber…
   Amanda Peters  |  written on: 11-03-2019 09:00am

Since it is National Bed Month and World Sleep Day on March 15th, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss this all-important necessity – sleep. Apart from creating a calm and relaxing environment to send you off into a peaceful slumber, it is essential to get the fundamentals correct.

With sales of super king size mattresses on the rise as reported by John Lewis & Partners, customers are also turning to technology to help shape their bedtime routine.

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John Lewis & Partners Croft Collection King Size Skye Upholstered Bed Frame in Shawford Grey, £799



Katherine Mitchell, John Lewis’ sleep expert says, “Our shoppers are beginning to invest more in their sleep and rightly so, because so many of us aren’t getting enough. We all have such busy day-to-day lives and it can be hard to cut off at the end of the day, but with a few key investments and habitual changes you can really make a big difference.

“Small changes like fresh bedding, pillows to suit and changing your bedding along with the seasons can all help, as can finding and investing in the right mattress or getting a helping hand with the latest tech.”

Katherine shares what to look for when choosing a mattress and pillows, and suggests small changes that can make all the difference in getting a solid night’s sleep.

On choosing the correct mattress:
- When it comes to choosing a mattress, it’s crucial you actually try it out. We suggest lying down on the mattress for at least five minutes to get a true feel for it. The feel of a mattress is key to knowing if it’s the right one for you.

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John Lewis & Partners Padma Parquet Bed Frame, Double, Brown, £699, Dakara Seagrass Basket, £30



- Your sleep position determines which type of mattress to choose. Those who sleep on their side need a gentler spring to allow the body to sink in and keep the spine straight. Those who sleep on their back need a firmer surface.

- Go as big as you can afford – it truly is an investment. If you share a bed with your partner, a good test of size is to lie side-by-side with your hands behind your head and elbows out – if your elbows don’t touch then it’s the right size for you.

On choosing the correct pillow:
- Pillows should be replaced more often than a mattress as the level of support deteriorates over time. Pillows should support the head and neck, keeping the spine aligned during sleep.

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- We recommend suitable firmness based on your sleeping position.
FRONT sleepers will want a softer pillow which is not overfilled to maintain their head and neck position.  
SIDE sleepers benefit from a more supportive pillow with a medium to firm feel.
BACK sleepers will need a medium pillow to keep their spine straight. Too firm and it could cause neck and shoulder pain

Top tips to achieve a better night’s sleep:
- Put your phone down
As a society, we spend up to nine hours a day staring at screens. The light from our phones can trigger our brain, tricking it into staying awake and this can hinder our ability to drift off naturally. Try charging your phone in another room to avoid the temptation of picking it up before you nod off.

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John Lewis No.152 Bedstead with Shelf, Band B, Mole Grey £899, No004 Sideboard, Walnut, £899



- It’s not about the coffee but when you drink it
Caffeine isn’t so bad after all, by all means enjoy that essential morning flat white as it’s not necessarily about the coffee but when you drink it. Caffeine takes around seven hours to leave our system so that morning coffee won’t affect your sleep but try to avoid having another one after lunchtime.

- Optimal sleep temperature
If possible, set the room’s temperature to between 15 and 19 degrees. This should suit most people. On a similar note, open the window a little if you can as fresh air helps regulate body temperature.

- It’s all about the layers
Layer your bed right and look at everything from mattress protection and toppers to duvets and pillows. Many shoppers forget that their sleep experience goes beyond just the mattress, but how crucial it is to, for instance, find a pillow that suits you best.

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John Lewis & Partners Mid Century Sweep Double Bedstead in Opulence Royal Blue, Super King Size, £899



Also read:
Here's how Nokia Sleep sets the best slumber mood

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Amanda Peters


KBB Ark Web Editor. I've been writing for design magazines for a few years now and like nothing more than ‘exploring’ other people's homes (with their permission, of course).

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