We've truly woken up to the merits of a good night's sleep. Almost every week, one study or other shows the importance of getting a proper 40 winks to keep body and soul in tip-top condition.
A U.S. study recently reported that if students really want to gain perfect grades they'll need a whole month of perfect slumber. No wonder sleep has become big business. Here are some of the latest advances in the basics of bedtime.
Finding a pillow at the right height is key for premium comfort. That's why sleep brand Kally has launched an adjustable pillow (£39.99, kallysleep.com), which contains four independent, easy-to-remove hollow-fibre pads that allow you to adjust the height and density of your pillow.
Kally’s full body pillow, £49.99, kallysleep.com
Alternatively, you may want to plump for Kally's full body pillow (£49.99), which was developed by osteopaths. It's shaped like a tube so you can wrap yourself around it, and aims to keep your neck and back perfectly aligned to relieve pressure for back and neck pain and support for pregnancy, recovery and restless sleepers.
Kally offers a 14-night guarantee — if you don't like it, they'll refund you.
Designed to provide a warm, gentle pressure to give the sensation of a comforting cuddle, weighted blankets are part of the latest wellness trend.
In place of a duvet, they aim to maximise relaxation and minimise body movement to encourage a deeper sleep.
Historically, these have been available only online. But John Lewis recently began stocking quilted cotton blankets in a neutral grey shade which are made with weighted glass beads (from £48, johnlewis.com).
There are six different weights to choose from, and getting the correct one is crucial. 'We recommend customers select a blanket weight that is about 10 per cent of their body weight,' says Unna Patel, a buyer at John Lewis & Partners.
Online brands include Mela Comfort. Its blankets are also filled with glass beads and come in five weights. They cost from £124.99, though the company offers a 100-night trial, so if you don't like it, you get your money back (melacomfort.co.uk).
Body temperature plays an important part in getting a good night's sleep. Look out for duvets that have fillings or fabrics that change their state to keep you at a comfortable level. Soak & Sleep promises to keep you at a constant ambient temperature in winter and even in summer.
They are filled with a 'technical blend' of material, including Lyocell and polyester. The company claims the filling will absorb heat from your body when you're too warm and release it when the temperature drops.
Sleep tight: Bedding from The White Company, thewhitecompany.co.uk.
If you're a hot sleeper, this might appeal as it's a lightweight 4.5 tog (from £70, soak andsleep.com).
For something warmer, try wool-filled duvets. Penelope Bedroom's Woolly Pure duvet is 10.5 tog and promises exceptional sleep thanks to its British wool filling, proven to improve sleep quality by 25 per cent (from £140, penelopebedroom.co.uk).
The right fabrics will aid your sleep if you choose well. While cotton and polyester blends are much cheaper, you could pay in other ways. 'The perfect sheets need breathability, and that means 100 per cent cotton,' says Jed Coleman, founder of Rise & Fall bedding (riseandfall.co.uk).
Don't be duped by sheets that have a high thread count — the number of fibres per square inch of fabric. There is a sweet spot for each type of weave and you need to get the right balance between the two if you want the perfect night's sleep.
Coleman reckons the perfect thread count for a percale — a traditional one up one down weave — is 400.
'Anything above or below that figure does not get the balance right. For sateen (satin weave), the perfect balance is 600, making the sheets buttery soft and easy on the skin.'
There's no one-size-fits-all mattress. People have different needs based on size, shape, weight, sleeping positions.
Adam Black, co-founder of Button & Sprung, is one of many advocates of natural and chemical-free mattresses.
'Natural fibres facilitate a cooler and more comfortable night's sleep,' he says. 'It also means you sleep on a chemical-free, more sustainable and more environmental-friendly bed than the foam-based alternatives.' Pocket-sprung mattresses are popular. Going one step further, Button & Sprung mattresses (buttonandsprung.com) use mini springs in addition to the core pocket ones, providing contouring support at the body's pressure points throughout the night.
Prices range from £545 for 2,822 springs and from £2,600 for 29,760 springs.
A mattress topper can help a good night's sleep even further. The White Company's reversible topper is perfect for all-year-round comfort; use the merino wool side for that extra layer of warmth in the colder months, then flip it over to the crisp cotton side for something cooler in the summer. Prices from £150 for a double.
When it comes to selecting a bed frame, there are sizes, styles and storage to consider — all in a seemingly endless pool of price ranges and brands.
Of course, choosing a bed is a very personal task, however, there are some frames that are bound to please the most difficult of sleepers.
Loaf's Chit Chat bed has a stylish, squishy headboard in plush velvet — perfect for night-time reading or breakfast in bed — solid oak legs and sprung birch slats. They also offer a 100-night free trial on all of their mattresses (from £1,245 loaf.com).
Get Laid's bedframes have a totally different look — made from super-sold durable wood.
The frames are handmade and come in a range of finishes, and each bed comes with an 11-year guarantee and slats which are twice as wide and thick as average beds (from £259, getlaidbeds.co.uk).