Sleep expert calls for the nation to reassess its relationship with sleep this World Sleep Day

A leading sleep expert is calling for Brits to reassess their relationship with sleep this World Sleep Day (Friday 16th March) as shocking research reveals nearly 50 percent of us are sleeping on second-hand mattresses.

Silentnight’s sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan believes the worrying findings could be contributing to chronic sleep deprivation, with 25 percent of people in the UK getting less than five hours sleep a night.

The research from bed maker Silentnight revealed that 22 percent of people keep their old or secondhand mattresses for two decades – causing major sleep deprivation due to sagging, not to mention bed bug infestation. This is despite industry guidelines saying we should replace mattresses every seven years.

The average person sheds one pound or nearly half a kilogram of skin and hair every year onto their mattresses and the research warns failure to replace them regularly can lead to the spread of dangerous infections like staphylococcus, norovirus and even MRSA.

Dr Nerina Ramlakhan said: “I see so many people who have a strained relationship with their sleep and as a nation, it’s something we need to address.

“I think we really need to assess how high up on our priorities list sleep is. We spend a third of our lives sleeping yet so many of us aren’t getting enough, and when we do sleep we’re doing it on uncomfortable second-hand mattresses. A good environment is an essential part of getting deep, restorative sleep and this means everything from the right light and temperature in your bedroom to the right comfort of mattress. Everyone is different and has different sleep needs.”

The research said half of Britons sleep on a secondhand mattress with 37 percent sleeping on a mattress that’s more than 10 years old. Twelve percent of people believe mattresses last for life.

Liverpudlians were revealed as the worst offenders in the UK, with 68 percent sleeping on a bed bought for someone else and 72 percent not thinking to change their mattress until it’s at least 15 years old.

Angela Moran of Silentnight said: “It’s clear that people find the mattress buying process confusing and often get stuck in a rut sleeping on the same old mattress for many years. But it is so important to change your mattress regularly, not least because of the unpleasant build up of skin and hair cells. Mattress fillings will also settle over time providing less push back, which can lead to feeling stiff and achy in the morning. Likewise mattresses with open coil springs will also start to sag causing even more aches and pains. We understand from our rigorous testing and research that everyone is different and has different sleep needs. It’s so important to really invest time into choosing the right bed for you. It’s definitely not a one size fits all approach.”

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