The secret to a blissful night's sleep is a good bed, and a good bed requires a little effort and love... If you're having trouble sleeping, have you tried any of the following?
1. Strip the bed
If a genie granted me 3 wishes, one of them might have to be a freshly made bed to climb into every night... Fresh linen makes all the difference to the way you feel as you prepare for a good night's sleep, so no matter how painful, make sure you remove and wash your linen and mattress protector from the bed often enough. A 40ºC wash should be enough (washing your sheets on too hot a setting can damage the linen's fibres) for regular cleans, although you should ideally take sheets, pillow cases and mattress protectors for a thorough clean to your nearest eco-cleaner twice a year (for bulky items we can come and pick up at your home).
To dry - tumble dry on low heat (don't overload and don't overheat as again this damages the fibres or cause creases) or hang neatly on your washing line when the linen is still humid. Sheets are much harder to iron if they weren't dried properly in the first place!
2. Clean the duvet
Duvets, much like sheets and pillowcases, require washing every once in a while. It's a bit more of a pain because most people usually don't have a large enough washing machine at home (washing them in too small a machine will result in the filling becoming all bunched up and the duvet losing its "fluff"), and so it is recommended that you take them to a launderette, or to your (natural) cleaners once or twice a year for some professional care. Again, we're biased - but we really recommend that you try to find a natural garment cleaner for the job, as the thought of lying in a bed made with petroleum-derived, chemical-soaked sheets and duvet every night somehow hasn't got any appeal...
3. Wash your pillows
You read right: much like sheets and pillowcases, pillows need to be washed regularly. The results might surprise you - goodbye flatness, hello fluffiness: not only is it the hygienic thing to do, washing them gives them a boost, too. Obviously use a delicate cycle on your washing machine and try to wash them in pairs, as they will bounce off each other which preserves their shape. Air-dry. Do check the care label before washing, as whilst polyester and some of the latex pillows are ok to be machine-washed, it is not advisable for down and feather ones - they will need a bit more professional care to make sure the feathers do not escape the case and don't lose their oil, which would make the pillows very flat.
4. Give new life to your mattress
If you knew what makes it through to your mattress over time even if you have a mattress protector... you'd drop whatever it was you were doing right now in search of your hoover! dust, skin particles, dust mites (eew) - these are a few of the lovely things that have been accumulating in the indented areas of your mattress over the last few... years? since you last vacuumed your mattress - or even since you purchased it. Yes, vacuumed - nothing less will do. Remove the mattress protector for washing, air the mattress for a little while (preferably in the sun with a handful of baking soda sprinkled over it), and then vacuum it all up using the upholstery attachment of your vacuum cleaner - making sure you don't miss the previously mentioned indented areas which are a nest for the nasties. It's also good practice to flip your mattress over one season and rotate it (so the foot becomes the head and vice versa) the next. This will ensure a longer life, which is not a bad thing considering how much mattresses usually cost...
5. Indulge in a little lavender water
Lavender is good pretty much everywhere in the bedroom. We've written about it already but the scent of lavender enhances sleep - so don't hesitate to sprinkle or spritz everywhere you can. You can sprinkle a handful all over your mattress instead of baking soda before you air it. You also should try to iron your creased pillows cases or duvet covers with some lavender linen water as it makes ironing easier, and leaves your linen feeling fresh. You can spray the air with this lovely fragrance too before you turn in - doing so every night will create a fragrant "anchor" which will tell your brain that it's time to relax and let go.