Why Do I Need to Change My Bed?
Just when you thought you'd got your head around all those sleep disorders and self-help ideas necessary for you to catch the perfect 40-winks, those pesky scientists have come up with yet another worry to keep you up at night.
The boffins at Utrecht university in the Netherlands have named a new phenomenon "bedtime procrastination" to describe the process whereby you know you should go to bed, you are tired enough to go to bed, it's time to go to bed, but you simply just don't go to bed. Maybe it's a MySky-ed episode of Game of Thrones, or maybe you're addicted to watching the cricket in England in the middle of the night, or maybe your bed just simply isn't inviting enough, but putting off going to bed is apparently ruining our health in just the same way as insomnia.
There are some pretty cool ways to stop procrastinating if you think that's your issue, but if you're not wanting to go to bed because it's just not that attractive an option any more, well maybe it's time to change your bed.
1) Is your couch comfier than your bed?
If you've had your mattress for more than seven years then it is probably getting a little tired. A mattress's lifespan is affected by quality, care and how you use it (for example reading, watching television and sleeping on it every night will shorten a mattress's lifespan in comparison to, say, a mattress in a spare room). Your mattress may be coping with a change in your lifestyle too - maybe it was bought for one, but now it's regularly putting up with two occupants every night; maybe you or you and your partner have gained a little weight since you first tested out your mattress.
Any of these factors can affect a mattress's lifespan and mean you might want to invest in something new, something more comfortable, and something which makes you smile when you think about turning in for the night - certainly something which is more attractive than late-night television!
2) Have you or your child outgrown your bed?
Getting kids to bed may be a slightly different problem to getting yourself to bed, but it still ends in the same place when it goes wrong: tiredness, grouchiness and poor performance at school or work. There's plenty of advice for parents on when to move your child from a crib or cot and into a bed - around three years old seems to be the best option - and how to make sure they don't get sleepless nights from the transition, but you might also consider upgrading a bed from a single to a double or queen for a teenager to make sure they're getting a good night's sleep.
Getting a teenager involved in buying a new bed - especially one which might double as storage or somehow incorporate space for a laptop or television - can also get them more interested in their bedroom and help you get them more interested in going to bed at night.
3) Has your bed become more functional than fun?
Your bed doesn't have to be simply the last box to tick in a busy day's schedule. It can also be a great place to spend quality and restful time, somewhere where your body can relax and heal itself while you do something you enjoy like reading, or browsing the web, or watching your favourite soap, or even playing a computer game. There's nothing like changing your bed for something really special to make you want to use it more, and if you have the cash to splash out on something top-of-the-range like an adjustable electric lifestyle bed, then you'll be sure to spend hours of comfort and relaxation in your bedroom.
Great features to look for when choosing a new bed are hydraulic head-tilts (something which goes up to 70-degrees is perfect for reading, watching television or playing computer games), massage settings (best options will have different massaging pads for your head and feet), entertainment ports such as iPod docking stations or built-in televisions and split mattresses so you and your partner don't have to agree to watch television or read at the same time.
4) Can you answer yes to any of these questions?
Have you had your mattress more than seven years? Do you wake up with stiffness or aches and pains? Are you sleeping worse than you were a year ago? Have you enjoyed a better night's sleep in a bed other than yours? Does your mattress show visible sings of wear and tear? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes? It's probably time to go and test-rest a new way to feel better about your bedroom.