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Bedding – mattresses, linen and pillows

Sleeping aids play a vital role in all our lives, without them life would surely be less comfortable, and sleeping would be less restful. When considering sleeping aids one can visualise an array of gadgets. Modern-day sleeping aids such as sleep monitors, alarm clocks, wake- up lights and sound machines all play a vital role in contemporary society. The main task of a sleeping aid is to help you sleep, so it is well worth investigating a few of the essential aids. Amongst these, we can mention the mattress, linen and pillows. These items a vital role and will contribute to a good night’s sleep.

The Importance of a Good Mattress

History of the mattress

The origin of mattress dates back to the Neolithic period; it has transitioned into one of the most used items in our homes. Early mattresses consisted of a pile of leaves, grass and straw, covered with animal skin. Around 3100 BC the Egyptians used palm leaves and heaped boughs to create raised beds.

In 3600 B.C.E. the Persians made beds of goatskins, they filled the skins with water. In the 16th and 17th century, during the Renaissance, mattresses were made of pea shucks, straw and sometimes feathers. Quality linen or cotton became the standard mattress cover in the mid-18th century.

The inventor of the innerspring mattress was Heinrich Westphal. He died of poverty, and he never profited from his brainchild. Today mattresses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Gone are the days of straw, leaves and branches. Contemporary mattresses offer ultimate comfort and durability. Modern-day mattress shoppers have a wide variety of choices when selecting a bed. Amongst those choices are sleeping positions, weight, length and activity levels, of the sleeper. Al of these factors will ensure that you enjoy an uninterrupted restful night’s sleep. As Ricky Martin rightly said: “I don’t need anything to live, to be honest. Give me a mattress or a futon on the floor, and I’ll be the happiest camper.”

Today almost 49 percent of people agree that the mattress is one of the most important contributing factors when one considers a good night’s sleep.

How can your mattress benefit sleep?

When considering a mattress, you have to do your homework before you purchase your new piece of furniture. Consider your length and the length of your partner. Height plays a vital role in the choice of a cradle if you buy a bed that is too short your feet will be dangling from the edge. Not an ideal situation for a good night’s rest! These days beds come in standard lengths as well as extra length. So, whether you are buying a single, double, queen size or King size bed, be sure to measure your height and to opt for the extra length bed when you purchase your new mattress.

Sleeping Positions and your mattress

Some people sleep on their tummy while others prefer sleeping on their back or side. Side sleepers will need a softer and thicker mattress. Your body will sink into the cushion, and you will rest comfortably in your cradle, be sure to buy a bed with a dense top layer or consider an all foam brand mattress like Kooi. Back sleepers will need a top layer that is about 5 cm thick –  

Linnen and Covers

Like a book without a cover, so it a mattress without its covers, or better said, it’s linen. Quality linen will ensure the ultimate night’s rest. Therefore it is essential to choose the correct bedlinen. When snuggling into your bed at night the crispness and freshness of clean bed linen will evoke feelings of happiness, calmness and restfulness. If you select bed sheets, it is essential to ensure that the material has breathable qualities as this will ensure that you will feel equally cool and cosy when you are sleeping at night. One of the finest quality materials used to manufacture sheets is Egyptian Cotton. These sheets are an expensive natural fibre product. If you consider the hours that you will spend in bed; it is well worth the investment. Natural fibres like cotton or bamboo are always preferable to synthetic sheets. You will pay more for these luxury fabrics, but as the Irish saying goes: “a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” When in slumberland one can do with all the support available!

Some recommend that one should pay close attention to the colour of the bedsheets. The well-known Dr Oz, suggests that sleeping on orange, yellow, red or black sheets will benefit sleep. According to him, white sheets will reflect light and this whiteness will stop the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that is responsible for the regulation of sleep. If the output of melatonin is interrupted, it could lead to insomnia. It is interesting to note that Dr Oz has an approved sheet colour chart. So next time you go shopping for sheets, be sure to look out for those darker colours, as they seem to unlock the key to a good night’s snooze.

grey linen

Pillows

Another important sleep accessory item is the pillow. As Keith Pierce, executive vice president for band operations at Wyndham Hotel Group told CNN Travel: “There’s more to pillows than just pillows.”  The International Association of Bedding and Furniture stipulates labelling of every pillow with a law label. The reason for this law tape dates back to the 1800s. During this period pillows and mattresses were stuffed with hospital blankets that might have carried smallpox and tuberculosis. A law was passed to protect sleepers against diseases; the law states that all pillows and comforters manufactured in the United States have to list the exact percentages of fills.

Very interesting to note is that The Conrad Centennial Singapore has a “pillow menu”. Guests can choose up to 16 pillows off this unique menu. Amongst these choices are down, foam, buckwheat, tatami and porcelain. Some cushions also have jade, wood and bronze fillings, these fillings have been common in China from the 6th to the 20th century. Manufacturing of modern-day pillows consists out of a variety of luxury items such as natural fill, synthetic fill and foam pillows. There is no one size fits all cushion, selecting a pillow is an individual choice based on individual needs. Of importance here is the pillow’s size, firmness, plumpness and supportiveness.  Gone are the carved stone pillows of ancient Egyptians, today cushions are manufactured to provide ultimate support for the structures of the head, neck, shoulders, hips and spine. So be sure to make that investment in your sleeping health.

21-st century shoppers have many choices available, so whether you decide to sleep on a Tempur-Pedic, foam, gel or spring mattress, the decision is yours to make. A wide range of pillows is also available to aid in your sleep and be sure to choose the best Egyptian Cotton Linen available. Investing in your sleeping aids is an investment in your life, you will notice increased energy levels, better work performance and regular sleeping patterns.

closeup photography of brown pillows

Happy Sleeping