Are You Getting Your Best Night’s Sleep?
Research and Innovations Sleep Country co-founder and Canadian sleep advocate, Christine Magee, provides valuable insight on the many ways to improve the quality of your sleep.
Mediaplanet Sleep is your business. Over the 22 years you have been in the mattress industry, how would you characterize the level of importance Canadians place on sleep?
Christine Magee: Over the years, our lives have gotten so much busier. While technology has enabled us to work from remote locations, it has also allowed us to work around the clock and be constantly accessible. This bond to our devices has considerably impacted the quality and length of our sleep.
There are so many technological advances in mattresses and other sleep accessories that can really address these issues.
In recent years, however, there is definitely a new wave of consciousness about health and wellness, which includes the importance of quality sleep. I’m confident we’re moving in the right direction. More research is being published and people like Arianna Huffington are bringing greater awareness to the importance of sleep on our overall well-being and productivity.
MP After helping so many Canadians over the years get their best night’s sleep, what are the most common sleep problems people have and exactly how have you addressed them?
CM: Sleep issues really vary from person to person. Some of the most common sleep issues are a sore back, trouble falling asleep, tossing and turning, and sleep disturbances from being too hot or too cold. Canadians tend to blame themselves for these issues and rarely think a mattress can help.
Lastly, always choose a retailer that has a comfort guarantee, so you can get it home, try it out for several weeks in your own environment, and exchange it if it doesn’t work for you.
There are so many technological advances in mattresses and other sleep accessories that can really address these issues. For instance, some mattresses are infused with temperature-regulating foams that help dissipate heat away from the body to minimize sleep disturbances; a lavender infused pillow can help calm the nervous system at bedtime; a mattress with extra lumbar support, or an adjustable lifestyle base to raise your feet slightly, can really minimize pressure on your lower back. Much like shopping for clothes that fit your body type and size — your mattress, pillows, and sheets need to be customized to how you sleep.
MP What advice or tips can you give to someone that needs to go shopping for a new mattress?
CM: Wear comfortable clothes so you can lie on the different beds and understand their differences. Be ready for a great conversation about how you sleep. Be honest and upfront about any sleep issues you have so a Sleep Expert can help you get the best products to address your personal needs. If you have a sleeping partner, come in together because the dynamic of you both sleeping in the bed together can definitely change the conversation. Take your time and really try and relax when you are testing out various mattresses.
Lastly, always choose a retailer that has a comfort guarantee, so you can get it home, try it out for several weeks in your own environment, and exchange it if it doesn’t work for you. Mattresses are not something you replace very often, so you want to ensure you get one that really provides a great night’s sleep.
MP How important is the pillow in conjunction with the right mattress?
CM: Very important. It’s an easy way to improve your sleep. Ensuring proper head and neck alignment is imperative. It’s also important to try the pillow out before you buy it, as there are many types available, and you want to ensure it will provide you with the right balance of comfort and support. Pillows wear out faster than mattresses so if you have neck pain, if your pillow is lumpy, or your pillow doesn’t spring back quickly when folded in half — it’s probably time for a new one.