Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Science of Sleep; A Great Night's Sleep Is the New Must-Have. Snuggle Down, Tracker on Wrist, Plug in the Bed and Relax, Says Barbara Chandler

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Science of Sleep; A Great Night's Sleep Is the New Must-Have. Snuggle Down, Tracker on Wrist, Plug in the Bed and Relax, Says Barbara Chandler

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Chandler

THERE'S nothing better than a good night's sleep. March is National Bed Month, an annual sales promotion launched by the British bed industry more than 20 years ago to persuade people to chuck out their old bed and buy a new one.

Today's makers stress the health and wellbeing benefits of restful sleep and it's working. Bed sales at John Lewis are up 10 per cent year on year, while on the internet are countless firms selling beds "in a box" and making competing claims. Just be sure you can send the product back if it doesn't suit.

The National Bed Federation's "tick logo" means a bed conforms to laws covering fire safety, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions. Visit bedfed.org.uk for a guide to buying a bed.

monitor your sleep This new craze is fostered by wearable fitness trackers that sit on your wrist and record your total sleep time, whether deep or light, and how often you wake through the night. The Fitbit Alta comes in pretty pink, priced about PS130, while the new Nokia Steel HR is about PS250. People are even buying stand-alone sleep monitors, with sales up 55 per cent at John Lewis in the past six weeks. For about PS130 you get sleep analysis, soothing sounds "synced" with your breathing, and a gradual wake-up call for "a relaxed start to the day".

In Sheen, Brent Cooper, London's "Mr Bed", has been selling major brands in the capital for 40 years. He brought Hastens, the premier Swedish brand, to Chelsea. Then two years ago he opened Westend Bed Company in Upper Richmond Road, SW14 (020 7723 2925; westendbedcompany.com), where he demonstrates the latest trend in hi-tech beds: motorised sleeping.

support your spine These beds plug into the mains with a control to adjust the way they support you. New in from Italy is the Nottinblu, the "fluid pressure-balanced sleep system" bed, which automatically adjusts to keep your spine in correct alignment, even if your weight and shape alter over time. They also suit a modern lifestyle. "Now you can comfortably lounge to surf the Net, check your social media and emails and watch TV," says Cooper. "Just adjust the bed to suit."

He's also stocking the Supercad from Treca Interiors in Paris, with four silent motors to adjust five independent sleeping surfaces. This type of bed will cost PS4,000 upwards, though Westend has "normal" beds from PS1,000.

"People simply don't spend enough on their bed," says Cooper. "My customers rock up in a Rolls but won't fork out for a good night's sleep that could change their lives."

He claims this "power steering for your mattress" will be ubiquitous in 10 years' time. Indeed, you really have to "test drive" these new beds to see what suits and Cooper has a private sleep room for you to do just that.

'organic' british beds Using natural materials, sourced and assembled in Britain, is another big trend for beds. …

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