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Having a good bed does not only mean lying comfortably, but also is an important investment in your health and your future. You will want an anatomical-friendly bed with a mattress which is neither too soft nor too hard. Generally it is advisable to change mattresses latest after 8-15 years (as they begin to sag or to deform). Try to keep the quality of your mattress constant, by rotating it at least once a year.
Different people use different beds. Many people don't even sleep in beds. Bed preferences may depend on culture, age, and personal taste. Most of this page is based on dominant customs in the U.S. or Switzerland. Nighttime sleep locations may vary from naptime locations. A siesta in a hammock in the back yard can be relaxing, but if you are in the full sun, you will need sunscreen and insect lotion to protect your skin. Sleeping in a recliner in front of the television set while it is still on will not promote quality deep sleep.
At the beginning of life, infants in some countries sleep in beds designed especially for them, such as bassinets, cradles, or cribs. For these beds, safety is important, so that the infant doesn't fall or get stuck. In some cases, a newborn may sleep in the parents' bed or, temporarily, in a drawer on the floor near the mother's bed for convenience during the night. Sometimes, during the day, babies sleep in a playpen, in a baby carriage (or stroller or pram), or while being carried by the mother in some sort of a pack or sling on the mother's front, side, or back. For babies who go out, some nurseries have "portable cribs" or stacking cribs resembling "bunks."
Often, older toddlers move to a single bed, which may be a smaller size (youth) or a standard size (twin) bed. Some children who share their room enjoy sleeping in bunk beds or in a bed with a trundle that stores under another one during the day. Bunk beds are also used sometimes in camp cabins or in military barracks.
Young girls often prefer a bed with an elegant canopy, a style of bed formerly used by kings and queens.
As teens mature, most choose to redecorate their bedrooms, asserting their own styles. Many will choose a daybed or a larger double bed. The daybed is also useful for those living in a small apartment.
Some college dormitories use "extra-long twins" or single beds with longer mattresses. College students often sleep in dormitories, with two or more students sharing a room, in doubles, triples, or suites, or find roommates to live away from home and to share the expenses of off-campus apartments.
Adults usually choose from larger beds, sized as: double, queen, king, or even California-King.
In many crowded living conditions, including apartments, housing shelters, and more, bunk beds or cots are used to accommodate more people in cost- AND space-saving beds for the smaller or more cramped living spaces. Hotels, inns, motels, and hostels are all places to sleep when people are traveling. They may use cots, or hotel suites may be set up with pull-out sofas, to accommodate on a temporary basis more than the usual number of sleepers for a particular room. Many families in the U.S. have a sleeper sofa, which can be converted, or "opened up" or "pulled out" for company's use for a few nights, then "folded up" and used again as a couch during the day.
Traditional mattresses in the U.S. have been filled with foam, innersprings or coils, or even goose feathers or down. Other special bed systems have been designed which aim for improved comfort or pain relief. Among these are the:
As with the bed, also the pillow size and stiffness should be to help your spine. Lying on the right pillow should put your head in a position in which it would be, if you were standing. Best results are achieved by a pillow which is slightly stiff, but not too hard.
Even the content of the pillow can influence sleep, especially to people suffering allergies who react negatively to pillows with feathers. In this case it may be a good solution to opt for pillows with synthetic content. These synthetic pillows should be washed frequently along with all bed linens in very hot water in order not only to kill the dust mites. For nasal congestion or for neurally mediated hypotension, you may want your head or the whole head of the bed elevated; for people with poor circulation, with swollen ankles, or for someone who has been on their feet all day, they may want to elevate their legs. Before making any changes to your sleep routine position, it might be helpful to consult with a doctor to ask how it would affect your personal medical / health situation.
The Tempur-Pedic pillow is one brand that "creates instant relief for upper back and neck pain. Anatomically correct shape provides maximum support. Specially treated, dust mite resistant Velour covers," according to their promotional material. (6) There are many different companies that work in attempt to create varieties of bedding for individuals' preferences.
Although it might sound awkward, in some cases of insomnia it might help to orient your bed, so that your head points North when you're sleeping. It is said that by doing so, your blood pressure lowers itself, which results in a better sleep. Some alternative (non-Western) medicine seeks to align the body position with the earth's electromagnetic fields or to place the sleeper's body in a certain position relative to the bedroom doorway itself and/or to the layout of the bedroom and orientation of the house
Note: These are not necessarily the dominant customs, but varieties represented in a book which shares about children from different lands. (4) There are also interactive links where you can read or submit accounts from our site visitors about sleep customs and bedtime rituals in your culture or family.
is what our visitors have to say about their bedtime rituals and/or sleeping customs.
Please submit about your sleeping customs and/or bedtime rituals if they vary
from the ones we have listed so far.
What helps you fall asleep at night? What are your culture's bedtime customs for sleeping?
(1) promotional material, including "Sleeping on a Select Comfort Air Bed Relieves Back Pain," from Select Comfort Direct Corporation: 6105 Trenton Lane North, Minneapolis, MN 55442; 1-800-831-1211 ext. 8078
(2) promotional material from Comtrad Industries, 2820 Waterford Lake Dr., Suite 102, Midlothian, VA 23112 , Promotional flyer "6052-15526. Schuck, Judy, and others. " Lower back pain and sleep quality is improved with an adjustable air sleep surface." Sleep: official publication of the American Sleep Disorders Association and the Sleep Research Society, v. 21, 19998, suppl, p. 290.
(3) The Magnetic Story: by MagnetiCo Inc. Sleep Pad. MagnetiCo: Canada, 1998.
(4) Kindersley, Barnabas and Anabel. Children Just Like Me: a unique celebration of children around the world. London, Dorling Kindersley Limited, in association with the United Nations Children's Fund, 1995. 80 p. Countries used: p. 15-16, 30, 44, 52, 54, 58, 62, 66, 68, 70.
(5) Sutterlin, Judith. E-mail correspondence to Emilie Sutterlin, personal correspondence Tuesday 6 April, 1999.
(6) "Tempur-Pedic Mattresses and Pillows." Permission granted from Brookstone, Tysons Corner, VA.
Quotation from, URL: http://www.groovymall.com/groovymall/brookstone.htm
(7) "Waterbeds with heaters are very therapeutic." Quotation from URL: http://abcwaterbed.com/winstallb.htm[an error occurred while processing this directive]