How sleep patterns change as you age

When we’re so focussed on daily tasks, we rarely think about the other half of our time: When we’re sleeping. We spend almost half our lives asleep, and though we may not realize it, our sleep patterns change as we age.

To maintain optimal health, it’s important to understand what these changes are to both your physical and mental needs.

Why we sleep more growing up (from birth to teen years)

There’s a reason newborn babies tend to sleep throughout the day. Their brains are developing and they are constantly learning new things, and sleep is vital when it comes to their growth. This continues all the way to puberty, when the growth hormone is at its highest. Sealy mattresses are not only for grown ups – did you know we also manufacture cot mattresses? Sealy cot mattresses are manufactured with a non-allergenic, anti-bacterial material and a pocket innerspring system designed to support babies’ growing bodies.

Children need at least 12 hours of sleep. This gradually decreases as they enter their teens. Teenagers experience slower sleep pressure, meaning they feel the desire to sleep later than an adult would. As a result, teenagers typically have high energy levels throughout the evening and night.

Little wonder most parents struggle to keep up with the teenage angst of their kids and their associated sleep patterns!

Parents need to play an active role during these formative years. Setting ground rules and limiting certain activities may help manage this potentially difficult situation. While it’s tempting to pass on your old mattress to your young teenager, it’s advisable to invest in a mattress that will support them as they grow, encouraging the best possible sleep.

Adult years – from 20 to 40

As you enter adulthood, your priorities and time commitments naturally change. Typically, the sleep pattern of a healthy adult requires six to nine hours of sleep. Depending on a number of factors, like lifestyle and responsibilities, being deprived of sleep in your adult years is felt more acutely than in your teens.

You have more on your mind as an adult. Work, marriage and having kids can take a toll on your stress levels, thus affecting your sleep.

Even though your college party days may be behind you, alcohol overconsumption is a real thing and will lead to sleep problems. This not only affects your mental health during the day, but can also affect your ability to sleep well at night.

To really get a good night’s rest, it’s important to view the bedroom as a place to relax and unwind. Avoid making late night phone calls or working on your tablet.

Reserve the bedroom for sleeping and intimacy.

How Sleep Affects Older People (Ages of 50 to 60)

As you pass middle age and move into the realm of seniorhood, sleep can become more of a problem. As you grow older, you produce less growth hormone, and as a result, you experience less deep sleep or REM (rapid eye movement), which is a restorative sleep.

Elderly people tend to sleep and wake early. Sleep patterns are likely to be fragmented as a result of reduced REM. Reduced sleep in older adults can lead to depression and trouble recalling events during the day.

People at this age tend to fall asleep easily, but have difficulty maintaining quality sleep. As a result, the body produces less melatonin.

This can lead to a lot of physical problems, like diabetes, weight problems and even breast cancer. What’s worse is that senior adults tend to need more medication for their various ailments, which can compound sleep problems.

Overcoming sleep problems at any age

Sometimes you need to put in a little extra effort if you want to improve your sleep patterns. If you’re trying to sleep better, try the following things:

Do aerobic exercises

The benefits of exercise can never be overstated. Studies have shown that performing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise four times a week can help seniors sleep a lot better at night.

Avoid caffeine when possible

Most of us can’t help but drink our fill of caffeine on any given day. But that cup of black coffee can cause your nervous system to become over-stimulated, keeping you wide awake when you need to get some shut-eye. Limiting your caffeine intake or avoiding it entirely is important if you’re having problems with insomnia.

Use a quality mattress

Even if you have gotten used to your mattress, you should take note when it doesn’t feel right. That aching back you feel first thing in the morning might mean you should look into finding a replacement. This is especially true if your mattress is seven years or older.

Quality sleep is important at any age. Take the proper steps to balance your life, ensuring you maintain a healthy physical and mental state. This will go a long way towards helping you sleep, thus allowing you to have the life you deserve.

Does your child need their own mattress?

Whether your child has started out sleeping in their own cot or co-sleeping in your bed, there will come a time when they need their very own ‘big girl’ or ‘big boy’ bed.

Many parents are tempted to buy the cheapest, throw-away mattress available as they predict that their kids will:

  1. Wet their bed
  2. Spill tea/juice/milk on their bed
  3. Jump on their bed
  4. Land up coming through to sleep in their parents’ bed anyway.

These parents are absolutely correct. However, there are a few more things to consider when purchasing your child’s first mattress.

  1. Children grow rapidly

Rapid growth means that children need more and more support the heavier they become. It can also mean growing pains that may be reduced when children have postural support from a high quality mattress.

  1. Sleep is neuro-protective

A good night equals a good day. A good mattress equals good sleep. Sleep enhances your child’s brain development and impacts their ability to learn and cope with everyday life. If you want your child to have the best, deepest sleep possible then you should provide them with the best mattress you can afford.

  1. Others will use your child’s mattress

Playing ‘musical beds’is common when you have one or more young children. In all likelihood, you and your partner will end up sleeping on your child’s mattress from time to time.  Not to mention the guests that may end up using your child’s room over the festive season.

  1. A single mattress may not be the one you want

If you are going to fall asleep with your child or put two children to sleep together then a little more space can mean a lot more sleep for everyone. Choosing a ¾ or double mattress may be a bit more costly but it can make the world of difference to your sleep quantity and quality.

Sealy offers a wide range of mattresses to suit your family’s needs. Have a look at to find your Sealy.

No-flip mattresses make life so much easier!

Did you know that most modern mattresses don’t have to be flipped? Sealy No-Turn mattresses are here to make life just that little bit easier.

Also know as ‘one-sided mattresses’, no-flip mattresses are built from the ground up and offer phenomenal support, customisation and comfort. Instead of having a supportive core surrounded by comfort materials on both sides, no-flip mattresses start with a supportive layer on the bottom and have comfort layers stacked on top.

Sealy No-Turn mattresses have twice as many comfort layers when compared to traditional coil-spring mattresses.

This allows for many remarkable benefits:

1. More potential to create a more comfortable mattress.
2. Twice as many comfort materials means that the single sleeping surface should theoretically last twice as long.
3. Reduced motion transfer for those who share a bed with an active sleeper. Just because they move, doesn’t mean your whole bed needs to.
4. Less effort required to prevent uniform wear and tear – rotating definitely requires less manpower than flipping does. Plus, most Sealy mattresses come with convenient side handles designed for easy handling.

This is just one reason why you need to replace your decade-old bed. Design and manufacturing of mattresses has changed dramatically. Technology has improved, new materials have been developed and comfort choices have been expanded to give you a greater selection.

Is it time to shop for a new mattress? Visit our website to view the Sealy range and get to a reputable retailer to try one out.

Read more:


The Sealy Cot Mattress – Giving your baby the best start

Every parent aims to give their baby the best they can and most nesting begins with just that… building your baby’s very own nest or nursery. Most moms-to-be feel terribly anxious until they are satisfied with where and how their baby is going to sleep. One of the biggest decisions that parents-to-be face is whether to co-sleep with their baby or put their baby in its own cot. The Sealy Cot Mattress is the answer for many moms.

Whatever you decide, there will be many times in that first month (and beyond!) where a cot will be a practical solution during self-care activities (bathing, dressing etc..), whilst minding other children or pets or if co-sleeping means you’re not getting much sleep at all.

The style of cot is dependent on your personal taste but a good quality mattress is a must. Sealy has two exciting products that will surely enhance your nest. The first is the Sealy Cot Mattress made of natural fibres that are waterproof, but breathable. The mattress fibres have a polyurethane layer that allows air to pass through but prevents liquids from following along. This ensures that the mattress retains its anti-bacterial properties despite the spills and thrills that come along with baby-rearing. At the same time your baby is ensured comfort and ventilation. Furthermore, Sealy’s individually wrapped pocket springs give postural support to your babies developing body. To clean simply wipe down the mattress with a damp cloth.

The second product is the Soft Touch Bamboo Cot Mattress Protector. Bamboo is a soft, natural fibre that absorbs six times more moisture than cotton. The mattress protector serves to make your mattress last longer but also to keep your baby as comfortable as possible.

A good night’s rest is one step closer with a safe sleeping environment that is clean, dry and warm. Visit the Sealy website to find out more about Sealy’s range of mattresses and accessories.

Read more about babies and sleep here:

Sleep thieves that may be waking your baby

Reader-approved sleep tips for Mombies

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!

Can better sleep mean better grades?

Poor sleep can negatively impact your child’s grades, emotions and overall behaviour. This means you might need to introduce an earlier bed time. Or let your child sleep in. Or invest in a new mattress.

While very little research has looked at the link between sleep and intelligence in children. It is clear that sleep deprivation eats our brains (yes, really!) and that sleep is an important contributor to developing long-term memory, but can better sleep mean better grades?

FACT 1: An intelligent child who is sleep-deprived will get poorer grades

It appears that we all inherit 40-50% of our intelligence. We could call this our baseline intelligence. Certain behaviours will help us maintain or develop this intelligence (like eating nutritious food and getting good sleep), whilst other behaviours will erode this intelligence (not eating well or not getting enough sleep).

If your child is not getting enough sleep, it would impact their visual visual intelligence and problem-solving abilities (think maths, science and design). For more read: The Sleep EEG as a marker of intellectual ability in school-age children.

FACT 2: A child with lower intelligence cannot sleep their way to higher intelligence

While sleep allows your brain an opportunity to heal and restore, it does not ‘create’ intelligence. However, having enough energy to fully embrace learning opportunities during the day will enhance your child’s ability to absorb these learnings and sleep will help cement this learning.

Whatever your child’s IQ may be, help them get the sleep that they need to perform well at school by using a bedtime routine.

Remember also that an uncomfortable bed will impact your child’s sleep just as much as it would yours – so think twice before giving your child your old mattress. Investing in a good bed for your child could mean a happier and calmer child. Visit the Sealy website to view our range of beds:

Not sure if your child is getting enough sleep? Click here for a handy infographic from The Better Sleep Council:

How much sleep does my child need?

Article written by Roxanne Atkinson

Firm, plush or somewhere in between?

Let’s take the mystery out of buying the right bed. Below are the basic ‘rules’ when trying to find a mattress you love.

Buy a firm mattress if you:
• Are a back sleeper
• Weigh 100kg or more
• Have little or no joint pain

Buy a plush mattress if you:
• Are a side-sleeper
• Weigh 65kg or less
• Need a body conforming mattress to improve your circulation
• Need a body conforming mattress to relieve hip and shoulder pain

Buy a medium mattress if you:
• Vary your sleep position
• Weigh between 65 and 100kg
• Need some support but feel uncomfortable on a conforming mattress

But what do you do if you and your partner vary in terms of height, weight and sleep position?
1. Compromise and buy an extra-length, medium mattress that may suit you both. Individually wrapped pocket spring beds, like the selection in the Sealy Crown Jewel range, offer less partner disturbance.
2. Make up a king-size bed by combining two single beds.
3. Choose the Sealy Posturematic Designer Series that allows each sleeper not only to select their mattress-type but also their sleep position.

When looking for a bed to fall in love with, the most important factor is how the mattress makes you feel. If you have any doubts, then keep going until you find the mattress of your dreams, the one that makes you feel like lying down forever.
To find out more about how the position you sleep in impacts your sleep read this article:
Sleep positions that might be causing you pain

For more great tips about how to go about buying a new bed, read this article:
The Goldilocks Theory: Too hard or too soft?

Use the interactive Mattress Comparison Tool on the Sealy website to find the perfect Sealy bed for you.

Written by Roxanne Atkinson

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.

Sleep and happiness – what is the connection?

Most of us want to be resilient, happy people that can cope with life’s ups and downs, however, most of us are trying to achieve this with grit and determination when what we really need is maybe a nap or two. It’s a proven fact that there is a vital connection between sleep and happiness.

Even one night of poor sleep can send many into a state of morning grouchiness or even worse – a grump attack that could last all day until the sleep is replenished. A growing sleep debt is associated with increased risk of mental illness and poor interpersonal relationships. Yes, it is hard to be happy when you are sleep deprived!

So good sleep means more happiness, but does happiness mean better sleep? Indeed, the answer is yes. Anxiety is a leading sleep thief, whilst well-being promotes good quality sleep. Endorphins known as ‘happy hormones’ work alongside your sleep hormones to promote a deep, happy, dreamy sleep state.

Unsurprisingly, your bed plays a big role in your happiness. A recent article in the Huffington post claims that the simple act of making the bed just might be the world’s easiest success habit. It’s correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.

And of course, Sealy is your ideal sleep partner because every Sealy mattress is brilliantly engineered to support your body as you sleep peacefully. The result is a healthy, restful sleep, night after night.  It’s just what you need to perform at your best day after day. Visit the Sealy website to find out more about our range of mattresses:


How to clean your mattress

Mattresses can harbor all kinds of nasty things. Allergens like mould, pet hair, skin flakes and dust can be fought with fresh air and a good dose of cleaning. Nothing feels better than clean.
Step 1: Wash
Remove all bedding and mattress covers and give them a good wash.
Step 2: Sprinkle
Sprinkle the mattress with bicarbonate of soda and let it sit on top of the mattress for a few hours. The bicarbonate of soda granules absorb the moisture and any offensive odours from sweat, urine, coffee or wine.
Step 3: Vacuum
Vacuum your mattress to remove any dirt, pet hair, dust, dust mites as well as all the bicarbonate granules.
Step 4: Air
Nothing kills bacteria faster than fresh air and sunshine. Open the windows and curtains and let in as much fresh air and sunlight as you can. Even better, take your mattress outside.
Step 5: Protect
Protect your now beautifully clean mattress with a mattress protector. Sealy mattresses are built to repel allergens as they are made from bamboo and aloe vera fabrics known for their non-allergenic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-dustmite properties. There are also Sealy Top of Bed products available that can give your mattress an extra 5 years of life!
Like these products? Visit to find a stockist near you.
Whatever you find works for you, the Sealy team wish you a sneeze-free Spring and happy Spring cleaning!