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Blackouts and Sweet Dreams: How the Right Mattress Defies Load Shedding

Author imageThe Mattress Warehouse

The South African experience has become characterised by load shedding, with regular power outages now an unavoidable part of our daily routine. But how does this relate to mattresses, you may wonder? Maria Marchetti-Mercer, a Professor of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, sheds light on the connection. She explains that load shedding disrupts not only our sleep patterns but also our entire daily routines, compelling us to adjust when we go to bed or wake up to align with Eskom’s load shedding schedule.

In 2023, The South African Depression and Anxiety Group [SADAG] surveyed 1,836 members on the impact of load shedding on their daily lives. According to this survey, a staggering 44% of respondents cope with power cuts by resorting to sleep.

At The Mattress Warehouse, we understand the importance of a good night’s sleep, even amid blackouts. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between load shedding and sleep, and how the right mattress can make a world of difference.

Understanding the Impact of Load Shedding:

As mentioned, load shedding not only interrupts our daily routines but also disrupts our sleep patterns. The sudden loss of power can lead to discomfort, restlessness, and even anxiety. Additionally, these power outages often mean hotter nights without the comfort of a fan or air conditioning, and the absence of ambient noise can make even the smallest disturbances more noticeable. Sleep quality is essential for your overall well-being, affecting your mood, cognitive function, and overall health.

So, what are we to do about it? According to Dr Claire Lownie, “there is very little we can do to change load-shedding. However, being aware of the underlying effects, is an important step towards managing how it affects us”.

Creating the Perfect Sleep Sanctuary:

Investing in the right mattress can significantly transform your sleep experience during load shedding. At The Mattress Warehouse, we provide a range of mattresses designed to cater to various sleep preferences and needs. If you’re uncertain about which mattress suits you best, take a moment to explore our posts on FAQ: Your Bed Questions Answered and 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Mattress for more detailed information. For additional guidance, our Reviews and Comparisons section will help you make an informed decision. 

The SADAG survey also reveals that some respondents have expressed experiencing a newfound difficulty in emotionally regulating themselves. Load shedding can undoubtedly trigger frustration and annoyance. However, one effective way to counteract these negative emotions is by carefully selecting calming bedroom colours. Creating an environment with soothing hues can help offset the irritations caused by load shedding, promoting a more tranquil atmosphere in your bedroom. For additional insights on utilising colour psychology in your home, explore our post: How to Use Colour Psychology in Your Home: An Expert’s Guide.

Tips for Better Sleep During Load Shedding:

  1. Soothing Sleep Sounds: If you are used to falling asleep to ambient noise, consider downloading a soothing video or audio track from platforms like YouTube, Apple Music, or Spotify to create a tranquil sleep environment.
  2. Temperature-Regulated Sleep Surface: South African nights can get warm, especially during load shedding when air conditioning is not an option. We suggest investing in a mattress that is designed with advanced temperature-regulating technologies, helping you stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. For more practical tips on how to stay cool during summer, visit Too hot to sleep? Keeping cool in Summer.
  3. Seasonal Sleep Hacks: You can insulate your sleep space against heat and cold. Use blinds during the day to block out excessive warmth in your room, and in the evening, open windows to invite in cooler air, recommends Alena Maschke. The opposite applies during Winter. According to Megan Buerger, following sundown, you should close your blinds or curtains to provide insulation against the cold outdoor air. Furthermore, to conserve heat, it is advisable to shut doors to unused rooms and seal potential draft points under doors and windows with rags or thick towels.
  4. Consistent Sleep Patterns: Dr Claire Lownie suggests that you maintain your usual sleep patterns and routines, even when faced with unexpected power outages.

Load shedding may be an unavoidable part of South African life, but it doesn’t have to compromise the quality of your sleep. With the right mattress and bedding, you can create a sleep sanctuary that withstands the challenges of load shedding, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day – even when the lights go out. Prioritise your sleep, and allow our mattresses to bring you comfort amidst South Africa’s load shedding struggles.


Buerger, M. (2021, February 19). How to stay warm and safe in a winter power outage. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/02/19/power-outage-what-to-do/

Lownie, C. (2019, March 19). Load-Shedding: How It Is Making Us Stressed and Depressed. Retrieved from https://drclairelownie.co.za/load-shedding-how-it-is-making-us-stressed-and-depressed/#:~:text=We%20also%20tend%20to%20sleep,and%20inability%20to%20complete%20tasks.

Marchetti-Mercer, M. (2023, November 27). Energy crisis takes a toll on pandemic-weary mental health. University of Johannesburg. https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/opinion/2023/2023-11/energy-crisis-takes-toll-on-pandemic-weary-mental-health.html

Maschke, A. (2018, May 9). Here’s how you can sleep through the overnight Palm Springs power outage this week. Palm Springs Desert Sun. https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2018/05/09/heres-how-you-can-sleep-through-overnight-planned-power-outages/588427002/

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group [SADAG]. (2023, March 5). SADAG’s New Load Shedding Survey Results sheds some light on the impact on Mental Health in South Africa [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www.sadag.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3282:sadag-s-new-load-shedding-survey-results-sheds-some-light-on-the-impact-on-mental-health-in-south-africa&catid=149&Itemid=601

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