Tuesday, August 16, 2022

5 ways to get better sleep

Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has released a list of their top five ways to get the night’s rest you have been dreaming of.

“So many things can get in the way of a decent night’s sleep, from uncomfortable pillows and too-firm mattresses, to bad lighting and poor temperature control,” says CHOICE expert, Chris Barnes.

“CHOICE experts have spent hours analysing and testing various types of pillows and mattresses in our labs, and gathering our best tips on heating and lighting to get you set up for a good night’s sleep.”

Here are CHOICE’s top five 5 ways to get better sleep:

1. Buy or customise a mattress that’s perfectly suited to you

Mattress manufacturers tend to make all sorts of claims about the firmness of a mattress, or how ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ they’ll make you feel. However, it’s important to be wary of these claims. Take the time to do your research and test out the mattress before you buy if possible.

“Our test results show that mattresses rarely, if ever, live up to their advertised ‘firmness’ claims. However, we have seen more bed-in-a-box manufacturers that allow you to customise your mattress to create the ideal firmness level for you, so they’re worth looking into. Some have various firmness layers available that you can add or remove until the mattress reaches your desired comfort,” says Mr Barnes.

2. Make sure your pillow is still up to scratch 

You can always find out whether your pillow is at the end of its lifespan by doing a quick and simple ‘fold test’.

CHOICE expert Chris Barnes conducting the ‘fold test’ on a pillow.

Put your pillow on a flat surface and fold it in half, then hold it down for 30 seconds to a minute.

If your pillow doesn’t bounce back to its original shape, it’s probably time for a new one. Additionally, if it’s out of shape or if you’re waking up in pain, it may be a sign that you need a new one.

3. Get your bedroom temperature right

The perfect temperature for your bedroom depends on your personal preference. Generally, the optimum temperature for sleep is about 18 degrees celsius. In winter you’ll probably want to either rug up with fleece PJs, extra blankets and a hot water bottle, or get yourself a heater that can keep the temperature in that comfortable range.

“A reverse-cycle air conditioner on a low, quiet fan setting or a portable column heater are both good solutions. Just don’t leave heaters with exposed elements on unattended overnight, ” says Mr Barnes.

4. Adjust your lighting

How you light your home, and particularly your bedroom, can have a huge impact on your sleep rhythms.

Light bulbs come in a range of ‘colour temperatures’ from 2000 to 6500 Kelvin (K). The higher the number, the cooler the colour temperature and the bluer the light it emits. For a bedroom, you want soft, warm and gentle lighting to prepare your body for sleep, so go for something around a warm white (3000K) bulb that emits a yellowish light.

5. Be wary of products that promise better sleep

Marketing claims promising a better night’s sleep are everywhere, but the evidence in many areas is lacking. Over the years CHOICE has looked at sleep remedies from weighted blankets to products designed to combat snoring and sleep apnoea. The findings, it says, aren’t always positive.

“Products that promise to give you a good night’s sleep have long been a feature of CHOICE’s lab testing and investigations. Unfortunately, they often don’t work as promised. If you have serious sleep problems, the best course of action is speaking to a health professional,” says MrBarnes. 

Read the full article on CHOICE’s 5 ways to get better sleep here: choice.com.au/bettersleep

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