Fact: Good sleep hygiene improves your mood

A clean sleep environment has a whole host of benefits for our health. When it comes sleep hygiene, a comfortable mattress and clean bedding are two of your most important factors to consider. It’s no secret that a clean, tidy room improves our mood.  

In fact, there’s actually a scientific correlation!

A 2009 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin showed that women who described their homes as cluttered were also depressed, tired and more stressed.

For starters, even something as simple as making your bed in the morning provides you with a sense of achievement before the day has even begun, and I think we can all agree that there’s no better feeling than crawling into a crisp, freshly made bed after a long day at work.

But what are the best ways to keep your comfortable mattress and linen clean without sacrificing their quality?

How to take care of your mattress:

There are a few tell-tale signs you’re in need of a new mattress. As a rule of thumb, they should be replaced every seven to 10 years, but if you find your mattress is becoming uncomfortable or saggy, your spine isn’t aligned properly, or your asthma/allergies are worsening (this can be due to dust mites), it may be time to invest in a new one.

Until that time comes, though, you can take care of and potentially prolong its life by using a mattress protector. As well as reducing stains and the risk of bed bugs and bacteria from moisture, a mattress protector can actually enhance your comfort, making for an even sounder night’s sleep!

How often you should wash your bedding:

Most people do not wash their bedding nearly enough. Yes, life is hectic and the last thing you want to do after a long day is wrestle with a new set of bedding. So you just hop into bed and vow to ‘do it tomorrow’.

We get it! But regularly washing and changing your bedding has such an array of benefits that it really should be a top priority.

You need to change your bedding every one to two weeks. Here are a just a few tips to keep it looking fresh and new for longer:

Tips for washing your bedding:

  • Wash bedding at a low temperature to avoid shrinkage
  • Use a good quality detergent to ensure you still get a decent clean even at a lower temperature
  • Turn the bedding inside out to avoid the colours running (and to prevent fitted sheets from becoming misshapen)
  • Add a fabric conditioner for extra comfort and a fresh scent
  • If possible, air dry your sheets for an even fresher feeling
  • Deal with any stains before washing – there are loads of techniques you can try, from specialist stain removal products to old-school hacks such as running the stain under cold water before washing

You know we’re the people behind your comfortable mattress, but did you know Sealy also makes bedding? It shouldn’t really be a surprise, since we are totally and utterly dedicated to sleep… we know for a fact that good sleep improves lives!

Taking care of your sleeping environment is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health and wellbeing. Better sleep = higher productivity, improved mental health and a stronger immune system, to name just a few of the perks.

So, get those sheets in the wash, invest in that new mattress or simply tidy your room, safe in the knowledge that you’re investing not only in better sleep, but an overall improved quality of life!

A little bit of cleaning could help you sleep better

Did you know that there are some simple habits that could get you closer to a great night’s sleep?

A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation showed how vital the bedroom environment is to getting good sleep.

David Cloud, the NSF Chief Operating Officer told WebMD: “We’ve looked a lot at how medical and behavioral issues affect sleep, but we really hadn’t looked at the sleep environment in such depth. Frankly, we were surprised to see that senses like touch, feel, and smell were so important.”

Here’s what to do to sleep better:

1. Make your bed each day

Bed-makers are 19% more likely to have a good night’s sleep than those who leave their beds unmade.

2. Change your bedding regularly

75% of people reported sleeping better on clean linen that had a fresh smell.

3. Clean your room

A calm and clean room helps 66 – 75% of people sleep better.

4. Clean your mattress

Your mattress is the most essential part of your sleep environment. Look after it and it will look after you too. Not sure where to start?

Follow these helpful steps to ensure you get rid of sleep thieves such as dust, mould and pet hair without harming your mattress.

Prolong the life of your Sealy Mattress… Invest in our range of mattress and pillow protectors that will not only protect your mattress and pillows, but keep them clean and healthy.

Ignore thread count – it’s quality, not quantity that counts

Since the mid-1990s, bed sheet manufacturers have been boasting about thread count. Like most things, they have preached ‘more is better’ and charged more for higher thread counts.

Thread count is the number of threads that occur in a square inch of fabric. Threads can run horizontally, this is called ‘weft’, or vertically, this is called ‘warp’. A low thread count could mean a thinner, more fragile fabric, whilst a higher thread count could mean you have a fabric that will wash well and last longer.
But don’t be fooled

“Once you get beyond 400 threads per square inch, be suspicious” says Julian Tomchin, retired Vice President of homestore Macy’s in the USA. “An 800-thread-count sheet made of two-ply yarn should legitimately be relabeled as 400,” he said. “That’s how you get 1,000 threads per square inch: creative counting.”

So if you can’t rely on a number, then what can you rely on?

“You can’t tell a good set of sheets until you feel them,” Tannen says. “Pull it out of the package, or look at the sample on the floor. Look at the stitching. Is it tight? Is it neat? Although a lot of products are machine-made, if the craftsmanship looks good, that’s a sign of a product that will last.
Jim Symmes, vice president at Revman International, which manufactures sheets for prominent brands such as Tommy Bahama and Laura Ashley agrees.

“There are 200-count cotton sheets out there that are finished very nicely and actually feel like they have a higher thread count,” Symmes says. Read more here: Guide to buying sheets.
Sealy offers sheets and pillow cases made from quality 100% percale cotton with a 300 thread count. These sheets feel soft and luxe, but are crisp and fresh and help wick away both heat and moisture. Our unique fitted sheet comes with a 3-way stretch skirt offering a snug fit on the mattress. The skirt prevents the sheet from bunching up and moving, but don’t take our word for it, give it a try and you’ll love the difference it makes.

Want to dress your bed, with soft, breathable bedding made from 100% cotton Percale? Sealy has the answer. Click here to find out about our sheets and other bedding.

Written by Roxanne Atkinson

Read more about bedding:

Polycotton, cotton or linen – what bedding works best?

How to keep bedding clean – Part 1

How to keep bedding clean – Part 2


Here’s how sleeping naked will improve your life…

We all know that eating well and exercising regularly have massive health benefits, but eating well and exercising regularly are not that easy. They take effort… and time…. and motivation – which are often in short supply. Could a healthier and wealthier life be achieved by embracing something as simple as sleeping naked – which takes far less effort, time and motivation?

The research is in and it seems that you would have to be crazy not to sleep in the buff. Here’s how ditching your pyjamas can help you become healthier and wealthier.

1. Healthier

• Less restrictive clothing means better air flow and increased blood flow. This assists your skin health by preventing yeast and fungal infections that thrive in moist, warm environments.

• PJs also disrupt sleep (think twisted night shirts) and add to over-heating (think night sweats). Sleep quality and body temperature have a huge impact on cortisol, growth hormone and melatonin production. These hormones help the body heal and restore preventing diseases such as cancer and the common cold from taking hold of our bodies.

• The other benefit of a lower core temperature is weight loss. A cooler body creates and then burns brown fat to maintain a stable temperature for sleep. A hotter body produces cortisol and gets stuck in this stress-response. Whilst burning brown fat equals weight loss, surviving on high-levels of cortisol equals fat storage.

2. Wealthier

• Whilst only 8% of people sleep regularly in their birthday suit, those that do, appear to be wealthier than the average pyjama-wearing person. Perhaps its all the money they’ve saved on nightclothes?

• Learning to feel more comfortable in your own skin at night could help you ooze confidence during the day too. And confident people get the job, earn more and get promoted more often then their less confident co-workers.

• Sleeping in the nude improves your sleep quality, which means you’ll cope better with stress, make better decisions and be less likely to make mistakes. Bam! You’re making more money already and all you did was take your clothes off!

If health and wealth aren’t enough to make you strip down, then perhaps the promise of feeling happier will? Oxytocin is a ‘feel good’ hormone that is released when we have skin-on-skin contact. Holding hands, hugging and cuddling with your loved one could mean you feel happier all night and all day long.

If you’re sleeping in the nude, good quality bedding becomes more important than ever, right? Sealy’s soft, breathable sheets are made from 100% cotton percale, with a 300 thread count.

50 things you need to know about sleep

To celebrate our 50th birthday we are giving you the gift of sleep! Here are 50 things you need to know about sleep:

1. Sleep helps maintain solid relationships – both at home and at work.
2. Nap for 10-30 minutes a day and you will improve your productivity in the afternoon.
3. Sleep 7.5-9 hours each night and you will have less cravings for high-carb/high-fat food.
4. An adult’s sleep cycle is 90 minutes- set your alarm clock to go off when you would be scheduled to come out of a sleep cycle and you will find it easier to wake up.
5. Sealy sprung foundations act like a shock absorber contributing to your comfort and support.
6. Are you an early bird? You can thank your genes if you are a morning person.
7. Getting enough slumber improves your reaction times and decreases your risk of causing a car accident.
8. The average base and mattress set lasts about 8 years.
9. Sleep helps us feel happier about ourselves and others.
10. Sealy mattresses use Cool Gel technology to help keep you cooler at night.
11. Electric blankets might keep you warm, but they shorten the life-span of your mattress. If you must use an electric blanket, keep it at a moderate heat.
12. Children and teens who get enough sleep perform better at school.
13. Don’t skimp when buying a new bed for your child – their growing bodies need support too.
14. Good sleep equals less sports injuries for athletes.
15. Drinking warm, sweet milk will make you feel sleepy.
16. Get good shut-eye and halve your chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
17. Switch off all screens one hour before bedtime and you will fall asleep faster. There’s an app that can help you with that: The Net Nanny app.
18. A sleep mask can help you sleep more deeply.
19. Partner tossing and turning? A Sealy posture pocket mattress may be what you need to get a good night’s sleep.
20. De-clutter your bedroom to fall asleep faster.
21. A mattress protector can give your mattress an additional five years of life. Click here to view Sealy’s range of mattress and pillow protectors.
22. Use a happy scent like lavender and vanilla in your bedroom to build a positive association with sleep.
23. Taller than average? Sealy is available in standard 188cm and extra length 200cm in select models, providing a longer sleeping surface for the taller individual.
24. Cuddling stimulates both happy hormones and sleep hormones – give some hugs and kisses to your loved ones each evening.
25. A larger mattress means you are less likely to disturb your partner. Click here for tips on selecting the right kind of mattress.
26. Sleep-deprived people consume an average of 385 kcal per day extra. This is the equivalent of four slices of bread.
27. Do you doze on your back? Put a pillow under your knees to take the pressure off your lower spine. Click here to find out if your sleep position is causing you pain.
28. A warm bath triggers sleepiness. Bath just before climbing into bed and you will fall asleep faster.
29. Sleep naked and you could live longer!
30. When lying on your back or side, your pillow should keep your head in line with your spine.
31. Sex before bed can help you sleep better.
32. Do you suffer from allergies? A mattress with Aloe Vera fabric is the answer. It ensures your mattress is hypo-allergenic and stays cool, fresh and dry.
33. Getting enough sleep improves fertility in men and women.
34. Paint your bedroom in a calm shade and you will feel calm too.
35. Night owls seem to be smarter and more creative than those who keep a more conventional bedtime.
36. 85% of South Africans do not get the sleep they need (7,5 hours or more) each night. Find out more about South African sleep habits: Sealy Sleep Census results 
37. Never buy a mattress without spending at least one minute lying in the position you sleep in to see if it offers the right amount of support. Click here for tips on how to buy the perfect mattress.
38. Writing down five things you are grateful for each night before you go to bed improves your general mood.
39. Create happier dreams by listening to uplifting music just before bedtime.
40. A mattress does not need to be ‘firm’ in order for it to be good for you. Sealy mattresses offer the correct support regardless of the firmness.
41. Earplugs are a great way to mask loud noises that would otherwise disrupt your sleep.
42. Eat foods rich in B-vitamins, like bananas and oats, to help your muscles relax and fall asleep.
43. Fresh, breathable bedding helps your body warm up or cool down as needed. Buy the best quality linen you can afford to get a better night’s sleep.
44. Bamboo fabric is an intelligent textile technology with moisture wicking properties. It helps keep your mattress dry and your body cool.
45. Side-sleeper? Put a pillow between your knees to alleviate back and hip pain.
46. A double mattress offers a surface area equal to the width of one cot mattress for each adult. Now that’s a tight squeeze!
47. Candlelight does not interfere with melatonin-release, like blue electrical lights do. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner or bath and fall asleep with ease.
48. You will spend one-third of your life on your mattress – buy the best mattress you can afford.
49. Invest in a good mattress and it will cost you just a few cents per night over its lifetime!
50. Buy your bed from a retailer with a great reputation for service and integrity. Click here to find your closest Sealy retailer.

We want to give you more than just great sleep advice for our birthday. Whilst it may be our 50th birthday, we here at Sealy want to celebrate you, our loyal customer! Get your share of R250 000 by buying a Sealy mattress before 30 September 2017. Enter online here on our Sealy 50th Birthday page.

Buy a Sealy before 30 September 2017 and you could win your share of R250,000!
Buy a Sealy before 30 September 2017 and you could win your share of R250,000!

Reader question: Why do I always wake up tired?

Getting enough sleep (between 7 and 9 hours) is essential, but you have to keep in mind the quality of your sleep too. Sleep quality is influenced by many, many factors but some of the easiest to fix are your sleep environment and your sleep hygiene.

Your sleep environment is where you sleep. The greatest factor is the bed you are sleeping on – you need a firm base and the right mattress for your age and stage. Pain and discomfort will intrude on your sleep and see you tossing and turning rather than enjoying deep, healthy slumber.

Your sleep environment also includes what goes on top of your bed – your sheeting, duvet and pillows. Good quality bedding allows your body to regulate its temperature so you don’t wake up because you are too hot or too cold.

Ensuring that your bed is placed in a dark, cool room (around 21 degrees celcius) where you can relax and enjoy pleasant smells (think lavender and vanilla) and pleasant sounds (think music that relaxes you) will also promote greater sleep quality as well as faster sleep onset. Waking up during the night because of minor disruptions (dogs barking, mosquitos biting, smart phone notifications…) will diminish your sleep quality so try to take preventative measures before you climb in bed. Put your dog to sleep in his bed outside, turn on a fan and turn off your phone. (Read more: The ideal sleep environment)

Sleep hygiene also impacts sleep quality. Sleep hygiene is what you do before you go to bed and has recently been dubbed ‘clean sleeping’. The idea is to avoid anything that is known to interrupt sleep such as caffeine, alcohol and screen time and embrace habits that help you sleep better such as exercising regularly, drinking calming teas (rooibos or chamomile) and practicing breathing/meditation/prayer exercises.

Be it your sleep environment or your sleep habits that need some sprucing up, fear not, good sleep is on your horizon.