How the whole family can get a good night's sleep in the UAE

Why catching some proper ZZZs is so important

How the whole family can get a good night’s sleep in the UAE

When you first find out you are pregnant, there is an expectation that you will be spending the first few months of your new arrival’s life in a sleep-deprived haze. But your precious little ones getting older, doesn’t necessarily mean that things get better in the snooze department.

From babies who wake up throughout the night to feed and toddlers who climb out of their beds, to primary school kids who refuse to go to sleep and teenagers who keep you awake by coming home later than their curfew, having kids feels like you’re kissing goodbye to quality sleep for a long time.

Sleep is important though, for parents and for children, both in terms of mental and physical wellbeing.

“We sleep, on average, around eight hours a day, which is about one-third of our lives, and this third directly affects the other two-thirds,” says sleep expert Dominik Zunkovic, the founder of UAE-based mattress company WHISPER.

“During sleep, the human body is working to support and maintain our physical health. Also, it is in the deeper stages of sleep that our body is able to reenergize and remove harmful toxins from our brains, which if they build up over time can lead to disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism, or worse can be life-threatening,” Zunkovic explains.

Far from being a simple case of getting into bed, shutting your eyes and waking up eight hours later (bliss) there is far more to ensuring the whole family sleeps well and wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

While a lot of us bring our children into our bed when they wake up at night because it seems like the easiest thing to do (and it’s actually quite nice to have a sleepy snuggle) this can have a detrimental effect on how well we sleep.

“Although it can be a comforting feeling to sleep with your young loved ones, it is definitely something that can also disturb your sleep,” says Zunkovic.

“The worry of not rolling over on your child can keep you out of the most restorative stages of deep sleep, while any tossing and turning could also wake you up completely.”

And having a good mattress is key because dust mites, bed bugs, and bacteria are a big factor that will negatively affect your sleep environment and cycle.

“To prevent congestion, skin irritations, and allergies it is vital that you rid your bedroom of these tiny creatures. Get a mattress that has real silver in it to prevent all bacteria, dust mites, and bed bugs and keep your sleep haven squeaky clean,” advices Zunkovic.

Then there is the age old questions between mums and dads: “do we go for a hard or soft mattress?”

Zunkovic answers: “Whether a mattress is soft or firm should have very little to do with whether or not the sleeper experiences pains and soreness after they wake up. Years ago, doctors used to recommend firmer mattresses to tackle these pains as it was the closest thing to offering proper support.”

“Thankfully, over the past decades foam technologies have improved a lot and we are now using high density dynamic foams to design mattresses ergonomically, which allow your hips and shoulders (the bulkier parts of your body) to sink in more and ensure proper spine alignment.”

And apparently it is this proper alignment that will ultimately ensure you wake up without any pain or soreness, regardless of whether a mattress has a plush soft comfort level or a firmer setting.

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