Now that the heatwave is finally over, getting that elusive good night's sleep seems possible once again. But ambient temperature is not all there is to sleeping well. The Fine Bedding Company (opens in new tab) has collated important research on how to achieve a good night's sleep to make restless nights a thing of the past. Perfect bedtime reading, if you ask us.
Should you change your duvet?
If you are too hot or too cold during the night – a common complaint – your bedding could be the culprit. That down duvet may be lovely and fluffy, but it could be keeping your body too hot, so opt for natural, moisture-regulating materials such as wool, or high-tech synthetics.
Neuroscientist Dr Penny Lewis who runs the sleep lab at Manchester University advises that 'a good duvet can help us to maintain a comfortable body temperature while we sleep even if the room is a bit too warm or too cold. If it is highly breathable, for example with natural or technically innovative synthetic fillings, it can also prevent moisture from accumulating.' The tog count, or weight, of your duvet is also important: investing in different duvets for different seasons is a worthwhile investment, particularly if you tend to overheat during the night.
Choose the best pillows for your sleeping position
If you wake with a stiff neck or shoulders, your pillow could be the culprit. As a rule of thumb, if you are a back or stomach sleeper, go for a softer pillow; if you tend to sleep on your side, you're likely to need a bit more support. The material of your pillow may be less important than the quality of its construction, so it's not all about buying the most expensive one you can afford. Always test your pillow before purchasing if possible.
Take hygiene seriously
Washing your bedsheets regularly may seem obvious, but how often do you wash your duvet and pillows? Bedding that isn't cleaned regularly can be responsible for allergies and can worsen conditions such as asthma and eczema. So pop your bedding in the wash every two to three months.
The Fine Bedding Company's spokesperson, Helen Johnson, concludes, 'We like to compare the importance of good quality filled beddings to the importance of good underwear. Even the most sophisticated dress won’t look great if your underwear isn’t doing its job right – and it’s the same with bedding. If the bits beneath the sheets aren’t performing then, no matter how pretty it looks, the cover or mattress won’t make a difference.'