What are the risks?
There are 2 major risks that instantly spring to mind, your mattress itself and the structure of your bed frame.
1. Bed bugs
I believe that you have probably heard about them already. Bed bugs are a type of insect that love to feast on human blood and they usually bite us at night time. What do these bites do to our bodies? Bed bug bites can cause a variety of health problems like skin rash, allergic reactions and mental health problems as well. Bed bug bites usually appear as a small area of redness or even a blister. Unfortunately, it takes a couple of days to get rid of the itchiness and you can also feel tired and have a fever. The good thing (if we can say that) about bed bugs is that they do not transmit any diseases. They usually like to bite our legs, arms, feet and shoulders. Check your bed regularly to avoid bed bugs.
So, my dear sleep lovers, there are four main strains of bacteria that really like to spend time with us in between the sheets! The first and the most common bacteria is called gram-negative rods. Gram-negative rod causes pneumonia and other commonly known infections. Unfortunately, not everybody knows that gram-negative rods are very dangerous and can have an antibiotic resistance. It means that we should wash our sheets at least a couple of times per month. Other bacteria that are in our sheets are called bacilli. Bacilli love not only our bed but also our food – they the usual suspects when it comes to food poisoning, but gram-positive rods aren’t as harmful as gram-negative ones. The forth and the last bacteria is called gram-positive Cocci. After a week of using the same sheets, our bed has almost 5 million bacteria…but after 4 weeks there is almost 12 million. It is very important to change the bed sheets. Why are there so many bacteria in our beds? Because we lose some skin at night, we sweat etc. Tip: try to have a shower before going to bed, not only in the morning. Then your bed will be fresher and a little bit cleaner!
3. Back pain
First of all, you need to take care of your posture. The best position to sleep is on your right hand side, with your knees bent up slightly. This is the best option for blood flow, as you have the smaller and lighter left lung that rests on the heart in this position, maximising blood flow. Remember to sleep on the pillow because the pillow fills the gap between the shoulders, neck and head so the spine and neck remain in good alignment. Do you know how much work our necks do every single day when we sit or stand? That is why it is so important to take care of our posture also at night.
4. Bed frame risks
The best thing that you can do for your back health is to invest proper money into a new bed. The mattress is the most important thing but the bed frame is also a part of it. What risks does the bed frame have? The quality of the bed frame is the key point. Is it wooden? Metal? To be honest, the best ones are wooden – because they are natural. You need to check if the bed frame is durable and well-designed. Every single bed slat needs to be checked as well as every single joining pin. A good sturdy bed is a recipe for a great night’s sleep.
So how much sleep should you be getting on average?
9 hours? 6 hours? It’s not just the number of hours you need to sleep but there is something more important – the quality of your sleep. If you sleep a lot of hours but still have trouble waking up in the morning and feel drained, the quality of your sleep is not good enough. We know the 2 different stages of sleep – deep sleep and REM. Deep sleep is the time when our body repairs itself and builds up energy for the next day, while REM sleep takes care of our mental health. If you want to sleep better you have to avoid avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and noises at night. Try to use ear plugs – even if we sleep our ears still listen to everything around us.
Normally, we need about 8 hours of sleep, but it does depend on the individual person.
How often should I change my mattress?
The life of a mattress depends on… the quality of the mattress. It depends on how you take care of your mattress, our posture during sleeping in it and how often you change the sheets. If you want to get the best quality sleep so your body can relax and regenerate – you will need a good mattress. There are three types of mattresses. Soft mattresses – conform to your shape but do not support across the entire body. Medium firm mattresses – comfortable, support and alleviate pressure point pain in most people. Very firm mattresses – very good support but no conformability, which can lead to pressure point pain. If you see that your mattress has changed its shape and you feel a change in your sleep quality it means that it is time to change the mattress.
How often should I change my bed frame?
What are the main signs that say it’s time to change the bed frame? It’s cracking or creaking when you get in or out, the mattress does not sit well, split wood, bent screws or other hardware issues, bad quality of sleep and bent slats. Remember, whenever you buy a new mattress it is also a good idea to consider the age and performance of the bed frame. An old bed frame changes the quality of your sleep, even if you have a new mattress.
Sleep is extremely important to living a healthy balanced lifestyle, if you want to read more about this subject, you can click here.