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14 facts you probably didn’t know about your bed

How often do you find yourself mumbling ‘Just five more minutes’, in the morning? Probably fairly frequently – your bed is one of the best places in the world, especially when you have to get out of it! But we’ve found some bed facts that might change your mind…

1. The very first beds were pretty gross

Beds have been around since Neolithic times, when people would sleep on basic, raised platforms. The first beds like the kind we know today arrived in Ancient Rome, with mattresses made of cloth bags stuffed with wool and hay, which were usually infested with bugs. Eww.

2. The world’s biggest bed is MASSIVE

It was made in the Netherlands in 2011, and at 87ft long and 53ft wide there’s plenty of room for stretching. Or having the best slumber party ever.

3. People say ‘sleep tight’ for a reason

Back in the 15th and 16th centuries mattresses were kept raised up by ropes attached to bed frames, which needed regular tightening.

4. Four poster beds weren’t just designed to look pretty

They might look Instagram-worthy, but four poster beds with their romantic canopies were actually invented in Tudor times to protect sleepers from falling plaster and bugs.

5. You should be thankful for your lovely soft pillow

Ancient Egyptians used carved wooden headboards instead of pillows, while some people in 15th century Britain thought pillows should only be used by women in childbirth!

6. …and your duvet

Duvets were big news in Europe in the late 17th century and a merchant named Paul Rycaut tried to introduce them in the UK, but no-one was interested. It wasn’t until luxe department store Harrods starting stocking them in the 1950s that people paid attention, and by the 1960s they were the bedroom norm. Until then everyone just relied on blankets.

7. It’s actually better if you don’t make your bed

Well, straight away, at least. Letting your bed ‘air’ out for a while after you get up helps to keep dust mites and bed bugs at bay – sorry Mum! You should also change your sheets once a week to get rid of all the sweat, hair and skin that you shed every night (yep, it’s there, even if you can’t see it). Who needs an excuse though? Getting into a bed with freshly-washed sheets feels amaaaazing.

8. You should try to avoid doing your homework on your bed

You associate your bed with sleep, and homework with thinking, right? So if you do homework on your bed you’re basically giving your brain mixed signals, making it hard to focus when you’re supposed to be studying, and making it hard to shut your brain off when you’re supposed to be sleeping. It’s not very good for your back and posture either – a dedicated homework space is a much better idea.

9. …and don’t play with your phone, either!

Your phone gives off a blue and white light that stops your brain from releasing melatonin, which helps you feel sleepy at night. This means you might find it harder to nod off come bedtime. If you can’t bear to part with your phone before bed, try downloading an app like Twilight or CF.lumen, which filter out the blue light and give everything a gentle (and temporary) red hue.

10. Weekend lie-ins can make you feel more tired

You need around nine hours of sleep every night, but homework, hobbies and Netflix means it’s easy to fall short of that during the week, which is why you probably have a lie-in at the weekend. But this doesn’t help you to ‘catch up’ on missed sleep – it just messes up your internal body clock, which can make you feel even groggier when Monday morning rolls around. Ideally, you’ll get up around the same time every morning – even at the weekend – but we won’t tell anyone if you hit snooze 10 times in a row.

11. Finding it hard to get out of bed is a real condition

It’s called dysania, and scientists believe it’s a form of chronic fatigue syndrome.

12. Most people sleep in the foetal position

That is, slightly hunched up on their side, with their knees bent. Some scientists say that the best position to sleep in is on your back, as it lets your head, neck and spine rest in a neutral position, but not many people sleep like this (plus it’s not great for snoring). Even fewer people sleep on their stomachs. There’s no right or wrong position to sleep in, really – it’s whatever is comfortable for you.

13. It’s better to sleep in a cool room, rather than a warm room

Sleeping in a cool environment is linked to deeper sleep than a warm space, which is why it’s so hard to sleep on a hot summer night. Don’t let yourself get cold, though – it’s all about the temperature of the room, not under the covers, so just make sure you’re at peak personal cosiness.

14. It’s totally okay to sleep with a teddy

It doesn’t matter how old you are, sleeping with a stuffed toy or a special blanket is completely normal, plus it can help you fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep. It’s basically like having a slumber party with your best friend every night – just remember to give them a clean now and then!

Image: One Day at a Time

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