Many Australians have experienced restless nights where they can’t seem to get comfortable in bed. Unfortunately, if one partner is tossing and turning throughout the night, they are likely to keep their partner awake, as well. This is known as ‘partner disturbance’.
“If both you and your partner are sleeping well and moving normally, as we all move when we sleep, it is very unlikely that any movement will wake you,” says Daniel Green, Research and Development Manager at Sealy.
“However, if you or your partner are not comfortable when you are sleeping for any reason, then there can be excessive movement which can cause partner disturbance.”
While it is tempting to purchase a mattress that minimises the feel of movement altogether, Sealy believes it is far more important to address the cause of discomfort so that both partners can enjoy deep, restorative sleep.
Here are some common factors that contribute to disturbed sleep and how to resolve them.
Tossing and turning
This is often a sign of restricted blood flow; we shift positions because a spot has gone numb or sore. For example, people who sleep on their side put more pressure on a concentrated point in the hips and the shoulders, so some side sleepers prefer a softer or plusher sleep surface to ensure maximum comfort.
If you find you or your partner are constantly re-positioning yourselves in bed, you may need to consider upgrading your mattress. The Sealy Posturepedic range has pressure-relieving comfort layers designed to alleviate discomfort to your pressure points.
Back aches and pain
A non-supportive mattress may cause your spine to dip or ‘hammock’ throughout the night. If your back is placed in this position for extended periods of time, it can cause muscular tension and back pain. As Daniel explains, maintaining the natural alignment of your spine while sleeping can do more than reduce aches and pains.
“Reducing the stress and stretch on your muscles can allow you to sleep longer with a higher quality of sleep,” he says. To this end, Sealy Posturepedic continue to develop mattress technology that is backed by orthopaedic research for correct support.
Asthma and allergies can be worsened by old or poorly-maintained mattresses. Our beds and pillows are ideal environments for dust mites to flourish, so it’s important to replace an old mattress or, if it is relatively new, ensure you maintain it. Sealy’s Health Shield fabric treatment may alleviate some of these symptoms as it protects from bacteria and mould.
Disturbed sleep can also be a result of feeling too hot or too cold at night. If heat is the issue, it’s important to look for a mattress that has air flow, ventilation and quick evaporation. Here are some other handy ways you can help stay cool at night and ensure a better night’s sleep.
Poor mattress design
Not only does a bad mattress increase your chances of suffering from any or all of the above, it can cause numerous side-effects including depression, lack of concentration and poorer overall performance levels both physically and mentally.
“In the modern world, sleep is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives; we are getting less sleep so we need it to be more effective. And to sleep well you need a good sleep environment — a key part of this is the mattress. If it is not right or performing correctly for you then you won’t wake feeling refreshed and energised,” Daniel tells us.
Preventing partner disturbance
By eliminating the cause of your disrupted sleep, you are limiting the chances of waking your partner. If you are both able to relax into deeper, more restorative sleep then there is less likelihood of partner disturbance.
Though there may be other factors contributing to the matter (such as medical conditions), selecting the right mattress is one of the best things you can do for you — and your partner’s — sleep.