We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, yet many of us still don’t prioritise our sleep health. Most of us are no stranger to shrugging off fitful sleep or seeing 3am wide-awake-ness as ‘just one of those things’. Our diets, fitness levels, and mental health have become a top priority for most of us, but our sleep health, which affects all of those things, remains neglected. Luckily, Belgian company European Bedding is on the case (or should we say, mattress…).
From depression to heart disease, poor sleep hygiene can play total havoc with the body – and often does, without us making the connection. Junk food cravings, raging hormones, chest pains; it’s likely that our sleep cycles play a part. It’s not just physical issues, either; insufficient sleep can affect the capability of our long- and short-term memories, as well as cause brain fogginess and a general lack of awareness. *A recent study found that the quality of participants’ sleep had decreased since COVID-19 broke out, showing that we can’t just blame our interrupted snoozes and perpetual sleepiness on a busy social life or long commute.
When it comes to sleep wellness, European Bedding has the foundations taken care of, literally. They create the things we sleep on. Mattresses, bed frames, sheets, and pillows might not seem that important to sleep health, but restless nights and sore muscles are too often the result of sleep furnishings gone wrong. As well as feeling divine, their products offer comfort in a bigger sense – they’re made of natural materials which can only be good for us natural beings. They use organic latex, which comes from the rubber tree, and has inherent elastic properties. Latex is also naturally resistant to dust mites and mould – a big deal for residents of humid Asia, people with allergies, and really anyone who doesn’t fancy the nightly cup of sweat they excrete to turn their mattresses to mould!
Being natural isn’t eco enough for European Bedding, who opt for organic latex (and are officially recognised as meeting the Global Organic Latex Standard) in order to preserve the planet. Organic latex avoids the land and water contamination that often comes from chemical pesticide use. Their eco-efforts can be seen through the whole business, from the other materials they use (organic cotton, bamboo lyocell certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production, wood from FSC-certified sustainable forests) to their production process (certified carbon-neutral). They also donate to the Sumba Hospitality Foundation which helps the eastern Indonesian island of Sumba to grow as a sustainable tourism development, focusing on the local people, protecting the environment, and showcasing the island’s natural beauty. If that doesn’t put your mind at peace and encourage a reassured rest, here are five tips on how improve your sleep health:
1. Get into the groove
No, we’re not talking about dancing, but rather establishing a routine. There has been a big focus on morning routines in recent years, but how we spend the hours before sleep is just as important. Journaling, taking a bath, going for a short walk, and writing the next day’s to-do list are all recommended ways to honour our body’s falling cortisol levels and wind down before hitting the hay.
2. Know yo’self
Bodies were not created equal, meaning everyone has different preferences and needs when it comes to finding their perfect mattress mate. European Bedding offer different levels of firmness, and each mattress has 7 comfort zones, created to cater to natural contours. They also have pillows with different levels of firmness and in different shapes for the whole family. Springs-in-backs and cricked necks, be gone!
3. Play it cool
Think about the temperature of your bedroom and your body. As nighttime approaches, our body temperature decreases. Going to bed in a cool room encourages sleep, and prevents you from waking up drenched in sweat when your body temperature naturally rises later on. It can also decrease the risk of diabetes and obesity. Opting for mattresses, pillows, and sheets in natural, breathable materials, such as European Bedding’s lyocell bamboo, can also keep the sweat at bay!
4. Step away from the device
We’ve heard it a thousand times before, yet many of us still attempt to go from screen to sleep every night. Here’s why being sans screen before bed is so important: the blue light emitted by electronic devices directly disrupts our body clocks which function by correlating lightness and darkness with certain times of day. Ergo, that evening Instagram scroll or late-night Netflix binge is likely to make us feel more alert and have us waking up in the middle of the night, confused and exhausted.
5. Pick a time
Speaking of body clocks, they tend to like it when we set a specific time to wake up – and stick to it. Science says that waking up at the same time every day can reinforce our natural circadian rhythm (body clock) which can then prompt us to sleep at the same time every night, too. A mismatch between our lifestyles and body clocks doesn’t just confuse our clocks, it can also weaken our immune systems, upping our chances of falling ill.