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Bedding down to health

Bedding down  
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Brought to you by:

The Sleep Council
 


Despite the fact that we spend around eight hours a day in bed, most of us are surprisingly complacent about our place of rest.

In fact a poor bed can lead to worse things than a lumpy night. Tiredness, back problems, bad moods and a strained relationship with your partner are just some of the consequences, so it really is important for our health and wellbeing that every now and then we give our beds an MOT of sorts.

March is National Bed Month - the 18th to be held in fact - and to celebrate The Sleep Council has re-launched its web site at www.sleepcouncil.com with a fresh, easier to navigate new look and some fresh new features - including a brand new interactive bed selector, which aims to point you in the right direction for buying the right new bed.

But even armed with these tips, buyers should beware the seven deadly sins of bed buying, says The Sleep Council!


1. Not doing any homework before buying a bed. There’s as many different beds as there are sandwich fillings so work out what kind of bed you want first (divan or bedstead; springs or foam; adjustable or static; with or without storage etc)

2. Buying a bed without first testing it out – you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive – and you spend as much if not more time in your bed!

3. Spending as little as you can get away with instead of as much as you can afford. You get what you pay for (think of it like this: over seven years a £700 bed costs less than 4p a night. What can you buy these days for 4p!)

4. Buying a standard 4’6” (135cm) double bed instead of a roomy five footer that ensures less partner-disrupted sleep.

5. Forgetting a BEDroom is exactly that. A place to rest, relax and sleep and not a room packed with sleep distracting gadgets and TVs.

6. Not taking care of your bed – it’s hardly high maintenance so follow the manufacturer’s care instructions to make the most of it.

7. Ignoring the seven year itch – even the best of beds will not retain the same levels of comfort as the years go by – it deteriorates gradually and you and your support and comfort needs change, too. So don’t ignore the warning signs (dips, roll-together and neck or back ache etc) – invest in a new bed before your sleep quality starts to suffer.

Make sure you have the perfect place to relax for comfort for your body and mind. Then you can tackle the day in the best health available to you!

Jessica Alexander from the Sleep Council and Pauline Rawlings joins us live online on Thursday 1st March at 3pm to discuss the right bed for you.

TRANSCRIPT:

H: Murray Norton, Host
J: Jessica Alexander, Sleep Council
P: Pauline Rawlings, Bed consultant

H: Hello and welcome to the Lifestyle Show, brought to you by the Sleep Council, I’m name is Murray Norton.  Now if you wake up in a bad mood or with a bad back, perhaps your sleep has been a bit interrupted, and it’s having a real problem with your relationship.  Well we can solve all of that because just like your car, your bed may need an MOT.  To take us through the MOT I’d delighted to say that from the Sleep Council we have Jessica Alexander, Jessica good to have you with us, and we also have an experienced bed consultant, and that is Pauline Rawlings, Pauline thank you for coming along.  We’ll find out more about an experienced bed consultant – it seems like an easy lie-down job to me!

P: Always lying down on the job

H: Always lying on the job.  Tell us about MOTs for the bed Jessica, what do we mean by that?

J: The bed MOT is something we developed at the Sleep Council a number of years ago and it’s a means of encouraging people to check their sleeping surface and their sleeping environment on a regular basis to see whether or not it’s still doing the job it’s intended to do.  A quick evaluation of the state of the bed itself in terms of wear and tear, but also of whether it’s still meeting your needs and your body’s needs because those will change over time as well

H: I’m guessing that we don’t change our beds enough?  That’s one of the problems isn’t it?

J: Most of us don’t.  On average a bed should be changed around every 10 years and it does vary depending on its quality and also how much use that it gets, how much wear and tear it gets.  But you might need to change it more often, not just because it’s worn out but because you’ve developed different needs for your back support, you’ve changed weight, you’ve got a new partner, you’re sleeping on your own, you used to sleep – all these things can change as well and they can all be triggers for changing your sleeping surface, your mattress
 
H: Ok we’ll look at some of those in more detail as the program unfolds, now Pauline you’ve been a bed consultant – we said experienced bed consultant, 23 years worth of dealing with beds and people buying beds for that matter

P: Yes, very much so

H: Some interesting stories must have come up during that time?

P: Some very interesting stories yes, people’s reluctance to lay on a bed to try it is a huge problem, the British public are very self-conscious about being asked to lay down in a public environment.  But I did have a young couple one Saturday morning come in with magazines and lay on a bed for four hours to make sure it was the right bed for them so –

H: Was that ok, was that acceptable?

P: That’s perfectly acceptable, I’d far rather somebody tried a bed for four hours than four minutes and it was the wrong bed for them, so yes

H: Next time I want a lie down I’ll go and buy a bed.  In the meantime of course if you’ve got any questions, all you’ve got to do is fill in that little box at the bottom there, we’re waiting for your questions now so if you’ve got a question about beds and sleep and about your bad back, and anything related to sleeping and getting a comfortable night’s sleep, it will be related to your bed so get those questions into us now, we’ll get them through to our guests in the studio, it’ll come up on the screen here and we’ll be able to relay them on, so as soon as you can with those please.  In the meantime, let’s just talk about some, let’s go a bit deeper into looking at beds.  We’ve got mattresses in front of us here, and you couldn’t help but recognise – if I just put the clipboard down and have a look at this first one, I haven’t seen one like this before.  Talk me through this

P: This is what we call an open coil spring, because all the springs are open within the mattress.  This is just a skeleton of a mattress, just an example of what your mattress might look like on the inside

H: Ok so that is, that’s it, stripped of everything else?

P: That’s it stripped of everything

H: We wouldn’t see that –

P: That’s the support of a mattress

H: Alright.  I just wanted to clarify that because we have got that sitting on the table here and people will be wondering why we’ve got that.  Now we’ve got some other selections of mattresses here and I think we ought to look at these whilst we’ve got them, because they’ll be catching people’s eye

P: This shows the construction of the other type of spring in it, which is pocket springing.  Here you’ve got springs in their own little pockets, so they all work completely individually to take on the contour of the body

H: Ok

P: And alongside we have some fillings that are typical to some mattresses, there’s horse hair here –

H: Do they still use that?

P: They do in firmer mattresses there’s still horse hair yes.  And there’s a layer of wool across here for body comfort, so that’s just showing –

H: So this is a selection of the sort of fillings you will get –

P: In some mattresses yes

H: Fillings of the sandwich

P: That’s it

H: Ok, having got those out of the way I’m going to once again put those down there and see if we can come up with this.  Now this seems very much similar to that

P: Well it is, this is showing the skeleton with the padding on.  This is how one sided mattress is constructed, you’ve got a spring unit with the fillings on top for your body comfort and ultimately if you tip that forward, a quilted design on the top, that’s all nice and comfortable for you to lay on

H: It really is

P: And that’s showing a type of foam there, on top of the spring unit

H: Wonder where the rest of this bed is! That’s how they would put together –

P: That’s how a mattress is put together yes

H: Finally we’ve got, in fact a couple of different selections here, this seems very unusual

P: This is latex foam, this is gum from a gum tree made into foam.  Environmentally-friendly, wonderful if you’ve got allergies and very comfortable to sleep on, but like any rubber it’s sort of a bit springy, a bit like a spring unit, it has got a spring to it

H: Right that’s one type of foam, this is another type that seems more familiar to me

P: That’s the wrong way up actually if you don’t mind.  This is showing another type of foam mattress with what we call memory foam on the top, this is a much softer foam than the latex

H: It leaves an imprint

P: It can leave an imprint if you leave your hand on there for a few seconds and then take it away and then it recovers its shape, but it’s showing how a memory foam mattress is layered with ordinary foams as well

H: With having all these different selections it must be very confusing for the general public to know what they should be going for, and – are they all good or are they all good for different people?

P: They can all be good, they all do a different job, sometimes they are led by price, but the padding on the springs is what gives you body comfort and that can build up the cost of a mattress. A cheaper mattress will have probably a few less springs and a bit less padding, going right through to a luxury mattress showing with wool in or with the memory foam in

H: I suppose the impact that these mattresses are going to have on your back is the important thing?

P: Very much so, the support is what’s vital these days.  It’s no longer considered necessary to have a firm bed for a back problem, you need good support for your back to tuck in the back and support you properly

H: Let’s have a look at an image of something that’s too soft, and people can see now a too soft image, and just talk us through that, that means that the back is curved a little bit doesn’t it?

J: Yes as you can see from the red line in the picture here, the body is quite obviously sinking down too far into the mattress and the spine is going out of alignment, because what we mean when we say the right support when you’re buying your bed is that when you’re lying down your spine remains in correct alignment, essentially if you’re lying on your side it should remain, it should appear straight, if you’re lying on your back obviously your spine is not a straight object so it should keep in alignment

H: Is that something you should test Pauline, I mean surely we should be doing this again in the shop when we’re buying the bed, we should be lying on it saying “no, that one’s too soft because…”

P: There is a simple test of just tucking your hand under your back when you’re lying on your back on a mattress in a shop, if there’s a void there and you can get your hand in easily, it does actually mean that the mattress is too firm and it’s not coming into your back to support

H: Glad you brought that in – let’s have a look at the picture and the diagram of too hard and if a bed is too hard, because traditionally this is what people do, they go for the hard bed – oh you’ve got to have a hard bed, it’s got to be rock hard, that’s not the right thing is it?

J: We’re unfortunately still living with the consequences of received wisdom of sort of 20 odd years ago when it was considered that hard beds acquired the name orthopaedic beds, still around today, they basically just mean a firmer type of bed, and it’s not necessarily what you need.  You certainly need correct support and if you’re quite a sort f well-build person, both in terms of weight and height, then you’re going to need firmer support than in you’re a nice, petite, seven stone little lady

H: Right

J: Quite obviously.  But what you don’t need is rock hard because that actually will create pressure points which will create aches and pains, whether in your back or shoulders

H: And you might as well just sleep on the floor if that’s the case

J: Well absolutely

H: And we don’t want to do that

J: Not very comfortable as most people who sleep on the floor will probably tell you

H: It’s been a few years Jessica but I know I’ve done it yes

J: At least after a certain age

H: Of a certain student age, yes

J: I think when you’re young, you probably can sleep on a clothes line, you know there are less issues, but as you get older, unfortunately the aches and pains do start to accumulate

H: This is the story of the three bears then, not too soft, not too hard, just right

J: Absolutely

H: So let’s have a look at the diagram of the “just right” bed, and just talk us through that

J: Yes here as you can see in the picture, when the bed is just right then your spine is in the correct alignment but there is enough give in the mattress for your body contours to sink in where they need to and that’s really what should be happening to get the correct support.  After that, comfort is a very subjective issue and the type of comfort that you go for, the type of fillings that you choose, will be a very individual personal choice.  Some people like to, that feeling of sinking into a mattress, some people will prefer something much more bouncy, some people will swear by a water bed, which has it’s own unique feel, so that’s where lots of different solutions come in, but essentially the one thing we all need to start with is considering the correct support

H: Now Jessica you brought in an interesting point there, some people are quite heavily built and some people are petite seven-stoners, what if you’ve got a couple and one is quite heavily built and one is a petite seven-stoner, and I’m not saying which way round but I think we’ve got an idea!  So if that’s the case, how does that work with the bed because you almost need two different beds then?

P: Sometimes you do go for two different beds, you can buy beds that link together with a zip so you can have a firmer mattress alongside a softer one, sometimes people just go for a one piece mattress that can actually have two separate spring units in it, so you can still have a firm side and a softer side, or perhaps they have to compromise them sometimes

H: Right let’s take some of those questions, there are questions coming in.  thank you very much indeed for those, keep them coming in, little box at the bottom there all you’ve got to do is type your question in, send it to us, Jane wants to know “Jessica said we should change our beds every decade.  Is that the whole bed or just the mattress we should be changing?”

J: It slightly depends on what you’ve got, whether you’ve got a bedstead with slats or a metal sprung base, or whether you’ve got a divan, you certainly should be changing the mattress more often.  Divan sets are usually made together and if it’s a divan set with a fully sprung base which is the best type of base to have because the sprung base acts as a giant shock absorber and will increase the durability and improve the feel of the bed as well. But those two are built together and if you try and put a new mattress on an existing divan base it won’t perform as well

H: Sure

J: It might wear out more quickly, won’t be covered by manufacturer’s guarantees.  But I think you’ve got to keep, when we were talking about the MOT earlier, it does cover both mattress and base, and you need to keep an eye on both and make sure that the base hasn’t started to loosen up round the joints or lost castors or feet become loose because all those things would actually effect the performance of the mattress

H: In terms of that 10 year gap that we’re talking about, there are obviously things that we’re going to come to in a moment that you can do during those 10 years to keep the bed in tip top condition – I mean it’s highly high maintenance a bed really is it?

J: No it’s not high maintenance, but it is a very good idea to use a mattress protector to keep it clean, to vacuum it gently so that you don’t disturb the fillings but vacuuming it on a fairly regular basis every few months which helps to remove any dust and fluff, and also reduce any dustmites or dustmite droppings that might have collected.  Air it regularly because obviously we sweat at night and lose a lot of body moisture, and you need to throw off the bedclothes, when you change the bedclothes every, presumably every week, leave it to air for a while so that it gets properly ventilated

H: Doesn’t stay damp otherwise I suppose – horrible thought isn’t it, damp bed?  We’ve got questions coming in, in fact two questions that are exactly the same but from different people and they even up the genders, if I can put it that way!  Paul wants to know “my wife thinks that spending too much money on a bed is a waste of money, how can I persuade her otherwise?”  And then Jill from Brighton has said much the same “I’ve nagged my husband that we need a new bed, ours is 16 years old and he doesn’t want to spend the money – how can I convince him that our bed is past its best?”

J: Well you know that laboratory tests have shown that a bed of about 10 years old will have actually deteriorated by as much as 70% from its at new state, in terms of fillings, flattening, being affected by body moisture, however well you ventilate it, and all the other things that are going on with the heavy use a bed gets, so after 16 years you are definitely not getting the support and comfort you would have got with a new bed

H: Pauline you’re the experienced consultant when they come into the shop, into the showroom, so what would you be saying to either of these couples when they come in?

P: Budget can be an issue and I think it’s a good idea to discuss budget before you go and buy your bed, and look at the bed at the price that you’re prepared to spend, but always buy the best bed that you can afford at any one time, because you will get a better night’s sleep from a better bed, and ultimately you’ll get your money back because it will last a little longer, and yes as Jessica said the fillings wear out, you get spring fatigue, and you do need to consider changing them regularly.  But a better bed will support you better for longer

J: And I think it’s a good idea to remember that in terms of value that if you spend £1000 on a new bed and it lasts for say 10 years, it’s actually costing you 27p per night

H: 27p a night for a good night’s sleep, that’s not bad is it? I‘d pay that!  It’s got to be worth it for that.  If you’ve got a question then please do get in touch, we’re halfway through the show already and plenty of questions coming in.  Chris from Royston wants to know “my wife has back problems and needs a firmer mattress.  However I’ve always slept on softer mattresses.  By sleeping  on a firmer mattress I’m now starting to suffer.  What can we do, we don’t want to be sleeping separately?” I guess that’s one thing that does happen a lot doesn’t it, people don’t get a good night’s sleep they end up sleeping on separate beds?

P: People do sleep in separate beds for different reasons and sometimes the feel, the firmness of the bed can be one of those issues.  It really depends on how compatible they are in body size as well which we’ve discussed earlier, and a pocket sprung bed can sometimes help even if it’s a little firmer, it will still give differently and give different comfort, so on one hand it is firm, the springs are giving so they might be more comfortable for the gentleman that does prefer a firmer bed for his wife

J: I think we also have to make, go back and make the point though that  - what does this lady actually mean by firmer, and what does this gentleman mean by his wife needing a firmer bed, whose actually told them that, is it that they need a firmer bed or is it that their current bed is too soft for their current needs because it’s not giving them the right support or just too old and has got sagging and isn’t giving them the support any more?  But back to that point being a bit wary about firm per say, it will depend on the person’s weight and build, but thinking about correct support rather than just firmness

H: Let’s talk about the mattress and servicing that mattress. You were saying about airing the mattress, flipping the mattress is very important as well, in fact Denise from Leeds wants to know “I flip my mattress every month” – not whilst sleeping in it obviously – “yet the mattress still bends in the middle causing my partner and I to roll inwards together” – the old roll together mattress.  “The bed is only four years old, surely I don’t need a new one already?”

P: Frankly that’s a very difficult question to actually answer because it depends on the construction of the bed and why it’s folding in the middle as to whether or not it’s because the bed has worn out or faulty.  It’s a really difficult one to answer, but it could be a suggestion to go back to the store they bought it from and discuss this with the salesperson to see if there is something wrong with the mattress or if it does actually need replacing because it has worn out

H: Ok, alright.  Good questions coming in from one and all.  What’s the average cost of a bed, I mean what should people be spending on a bed?

J: There is such a huge range of cost, I mean –

H: Trouble is it’s a fashion icon now, isn’t it, whether you’ve got a sleigh bed or whether you’ve got one of these low, modern ones or –

J: I mean people always spend thousands of pounds on a beautiful bed frame, a solid wood, solid cherry –

P: Leather

J: And then perhaps buy a very cheap mattress but if you take the basic divan set alone, you know just – you could be paying for a double bed anything from a couple of hundred pounds or even less, up to several thousand pounds – it’s a big range

H: What’s the minimum price that you’d go in at? Sorry to pin you down

J: Really difficult question to answer –

H: It depends what the surroundings are –

P: It really does depend on what you have to spend in your pocket the day you go to buy a bed but you should consider that a cheaper bed will not last as long so you may have to replace it more often, so if a cheaper bed is what you can afford at the time as reluctant as you are to say go for it, then perhaps consider in a couple of years time when you’ve got a bit more money buying a better bed

J: I think it would still be a good idea, or a better idea, to invest in a new budget bed rather than accepting a second-hand bed from someone though because you don’t want to be taking on a bed with impressions made by someone else’s body, their sweat, their skin scales –

H: No thank you

J: And all those nasty things

H: No thank you

J: Second-hand beds are not a good idea, so given the choice a budget bed would be a far better option than a second-hand bed

H: Thank you very much to Debbie Hollins, Debbie sent a question in, she just wants to know, she’s recently bought a bed, it was at the weekend – last weekend – and it has a very strange smell to it, that new smell that mattresses sometimes have.  Is this normal or is there something wrong with the mattress? Depends what the smell is I suppose

P: I doubt there’s anything actually wrong with the mattress if it’s new.  Sometimes the smell is, unfortunately chemicals because beds have to be treated to be flame retardant, and the chemicals can sometimes leave a smell and obviously because you’re laying on a bed it’s in your face, and usually air the bed every day.  If you can leave a bedroom window open for half an hour to air the bed, the smell should disappear very quickly

H: Alright I know there’s a website where people can choose the right bed for them

J: There certainly is

H: So let’s hear a little bit about that first of all

J: Yes we’ve just re-launched a new website and we have a new feature on it, my bed profile it’s called and here people can go in and go through a series of fairly simple questions, either for themselves if they sleep on their own or for them and their partner if they share a bed, and it just helps to narrow down some of the options available, you know we ask about height and weight and whether you’ve got any allergies or back issues, and just point people in the right direction in terms of the sort of thing that they should be looking for, and that coupled with our bed buyers guide which is a leaflet that they can either download or send for from the website also, those two things will arm them with a lot more knowledge about what’s out there and what sorts of things they should be looking for and what sort of questions they should be asking or be asked in the shop

H: Presumably when they put in their information to their profile it would feed down and filter down to a whole pile of results as well?

J: That’s right, obviously you go through the questions, you get a set of results which will for instance you know if you filled in the form and you’ve said you’re 16 stone and 6’ 5, it will suggest that you probably need a firmer option in terms of what’s out there

H: And a longer length too

J: And obviously a larger sized bed, because ideally you should be looking for a bed that’s 6 inches longer than you

H: Do they come in different length sizes, beds?

P: They certainly do you can buy –

H: I know they come in different widths but –

P: There are standard sizes to beds, for instance a standard double is 135cm wide by 190cm long –

H: Sorry can you say that in English –

P: Yes 4’6 by 6’3 –

H: Thank you

P: My language as well.  The next size up is a kingsize which is 5’ wide by 6’6 long, so by going wider you already have longer, but there are manufacturers that will make extra length to your beds as an add-on cost which is sometimes essential if you’re over 6’6 tall

H: I’m glad you mentioned something longer than that because that will probably answer Peter’s question, Peter Bains he wants to know he’s some 6’5 (it must be quite cold up there) and regularly gets back problems whilst sleeping. “Which bed style is best for me?” he says

J: I think it’s quite possible if he’s sleeping on a standard length bed that his back problems might in part be due to the fact that he’s sleeping in an awkward position and hasn’t got enough room to stretch out, so he’s a prime example where by going to a retailer and asking for extra length, 7’ is quite commonly specified for instance and if he wants it in a single size or a double size, you know that’s quite perfectly possible to be achieved

H: So presumably with a 7’ bed to be in proportion it will be extra in width as well?

P: Not necessarily no you can still have as Jessica just said, even a single bed, a 3’ wide bed made 7’ long.  There are some very tall teenagers out there at the moment who perhaps don’t have enough space in their bedroom for a double bed, so they need an extra long single. Well you can get an extra long double, you can get an extra long kingsize

H: Would you recommend a 5’ bed as opposed to a 4’6?

P: If you’ve got space in the bedroom definitely

H: Every time?

P: Definitely

J: A 4’6 bed gives each person 2 /3 inches essentially to sleep in

H: Cosy though?

J: Pretty cosy

P: If you’re a new baby it’s the right size

J: It’s about the same size as a cot, as the amount of space a baby has in their cot.  There is plenty of evidence both from research that we’ve done and from other people’s research that partner disturbance is one of the main reasons why your sleep quality might be poorer than it could be, so the more space and the bigger the bed you can get in a room the better, for a good night’s sleep

H: Plenty of questions left in the last, just over 5 minutes that we’ve got now, Peter wants to know “at the weekends” – I do this as well Peter- “I sleep in for too long”, you know the weekend lie-in, love the weekend lie-in, except that in Peter’s case he wakes up after a long lie-in with his lower back hurting. “Is this simply my bed or is it because I’ve stayed in bed too long?”

P: Again it could be either and it could be that his bed needs replacing, allowing him to sleep longer in it, it could just be that his body’s used to his 8 hours sleep and it really doesn’t need any more, although we all love to be lazy on a Sunday, or those of us that can be, sorry excuse me, those of us that work Sundays I beg your pardon, we do like a lie-in when we can, but it isn’t necessarily good for us

J: Again it’s one of those almost slightly sad facts of life that keeping regular hours is an awful lot better for us in terms of sleep quality -

H: Than the up and down –

J: Than the up and down where you’re sort of trying to catch up at weekends – nice though that might be it’s actually not the ideal sleep pattern

H: Anonymous question in, from somebody that says “I’ve slept for years with my mattress on the floor” – I remember student days too – “my flatmate is quite, my flat is quite minimal” says the person not their flatmate, the flat is quite minimal – “is this good for you or is a bed frame advisable?”

P: A bed frame is advisable really.  It will take up the same amount of space as your mattress but it’s just bringing you off the floor, if, for no other reason other than hygiene reasons, the build-up of body moisture and dust mites in a mattress would drop through a bed frame and then you can clean them up, vacuum them up, so really you should be coming off the floor at some stage in your life. 

J: This is obviously a young person, because anyone over a certain age would not be wanting to get up off the floor like that

H: Can I just ask about bed height, because I’ve seen beds in showrooms that are incredibly low to the floor, and I’ve seen some that I’d need a step ladder to get up on?

P: The highest stress on your back in a day is getting out of bed in the morning.  If your bed is higher it’s actually easier to get out of bed, so it’s actually better for you, but the low-lying beds make a room bigger and they’re a bit more trendy, so perhaps if you’re younger, you’re quite happy to have a lower bed, and as you get silver haired as I am myself, you might need a slightly bigger bed to help you out of bed in the morning

H: Ok.  Plenty of questions still to go, we’ll try to get as many as we can in the last couple of minutes. Steve King wants to know “I’ve heard some great things about memory foam, now does it ever lose its shape and what is the expected lifespan of memory foam?”

P: At the moment the expected lifespan is roughly 15 years, they’re saying they should last 15 years. The memory foam has only come into beds in this country quite recently, only a few years, but it has been used in beds on the continent and in America for a lot longer and it does seem to recover its shape for a long, long time

H: This is the memory foam we’ve got –

P: That’s a memory foam on the top there, and it’s not like the old foams that break down and crumble because it has more elastic properties in there –

H: So it goes back but it goes back very slowly doesn’t it?

P: Yes it recovers slowly to its original shape, but very comfortable to sleep on

J: I think what’s very important to communicate to people is that we tend to talk about memory foam mattress as if it’s like one particular homogenous project – product – that’s the same for everything, and of course memory foam is just one element of a mattress construction, and it can be used in different densities and in different quantities, there’s no kind of legislation that says that if going to buy a memory foam mattress, it’s got x amount of memory foam in it, as yet, so you do need to be a little bit careful when you’re looking at these things as to just what the construction actually is and what is contained, because the name might be the same but you’re not getting like for like

H: Ok we’re talking technology and memory foam is obviously a product of that technology.  What about hydraulic beds?  Chloe says “I’m 65, I’m thinking of buying a hydraulic bed and do you recommend them, are they better or worse for you?” First of all what is a hydraulic bed –

P: Forgive us for smiling, a hydraulic bed, we assume you mean an electric, adjustable bed?

H: One that tilts forward and back

P: Exactly, one that will sit you up, raise your legs into a comfortable position. Some older people will gain huge benefits from having an adjustable bed if they need to sit up slightly when they’re sleeping or have their legs elevated for blood circulation while they’re sleeping.  They are also considered luxury beds these days, it’s not just the elderly and the disabled that use them, but some of them are very good and they will serve a purpose if you’re disabled it can be a great help to have you press a button to sit up in the morning and not have the strain of your partner or your carer lifting you, so they can be very good and I would recommend she goes to a retailer to have a look at them and try them out properly

H: Right we’ve got a last question and it’s in from Sarah, Sarah is just about to buy a child first bed, so first bed for her child, so obviously out of a cot into the bed, is there anything in particular you should be looking for here?

P: A child’s body weight is obviously very small because a child is very small, so they’re not going to make a huge impression on the spring units, so to give a child body comfort it’s really the padding you should be looking at more than the spring unit.  You should consider the spring unit as the child gains body weight, sort of 10 years old, young teenager and onwards.  But just look for the best bed again that you can afford at the time, but look at the padding, over priority of the spring unit because of body weight

H: Right well some great questions in there, we hope we got your question or one very similar to it answered for you.  It just gives us time to thank our guests, but before we go, Jessica where can people get more information, there is a website, we mentioned it before and presumably that and the leaflets are going to point them in the right direction?

J: Absolutely, our website address is very simple sleepcouncil.com and on the site there’s lots of information about how to get a better night’s sleep, how to go about buying a bed, but do the bed profile, you can do the bed MOT on there as well and send off or download the leaflet, particularly the bed buyer’s guide and armed with that increase in information and that advice, hopefully it will make it an awful lot easier to get the right bed which will make a huge amount of difference to the quality of your sleep

H: Excellent.  If anyone wants any more information there is a link at the bottom of the page, save you even having to type it in, just click on the link and you’ll got directly through to it.  Have fun doing the bed MOT, make sure you do it and in the meantime we thank our guests Pauline and Jessica thank you both very much indeed

P: Thank you

H: For your great advice today.  Sleep well whenever you do next sleep and thanks very much indeed for joining us, bye bye.

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