The more I read about how to lead a reasonably healthy lifestyle, the more it seems to revolve around getting a good night’s sleep. As a mother of two small children, that seems to make perfect sense to me! I can certainly feel the difference between a decent night’s sleep (about 7 hours) and not enough, and it’s even more obvious in the kids.
It seems that either too much or too little sleep is a potential source of problems, so it makes sense to have a decent mattress – and, because it’s a relatively large investment, it makes sense to take care of them. Here are some tips I’ve picked up; Bedstar have a good checklist of mattress care ideas as well.
Turning a mattress regularly is a great way to prolong its life – most people (including me) know this already, but few (including me) actually do it as often as they should! Ideally they should be turned once a month, both lengthways and sideways. Not only does this spread the load that the mattress supports, but it helps with keeping it aired. Memory foam mattresses only need turning end-to-end (lengthways) – the foam is only on the top!
A great idea – especially for kids’ mattresses – is to get a topper or mattress cover. Not only do they protect the mattress from any “accidents”, but they can also make a firmer mattress more comfortable. It’s also possible to buy anti-allergen covers, for pillows as well as mattresses, so if you or your kids are feeling stuffy at night, give them a try.
Both kids’ and adults’ mattresses should last between 7 and 10 years, and these days – would you believe it – when you buy a new one they come with manufacturers instructions. It is actually worth reading them, as various types will have different recommendations, and to get the most use out of them it’s a good idea to stick to those suggestions. For example, a new one may need to be aired before putting the bedlinen on, as some have anti-bacterial or other chemicals in that need to dissipate for a few hours before use.
It goes without saying that allowing kids to use their bed (or yours) as a makeshift trampoline is a bad idea, both for the mattress – and them, when they fall off. If anyone has any ideas how to stop them however, let me know! Similarly, you should try and avoid sitting on the edge of the mattress, for example when you’re hauling yourself out of bed in the morning.
Finally, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of rolling the covers back when you get up and allowing the bed to air; if you can get your little ones to do the same, you’ll be doing well. Moisture is no friend of the mattress!