Having a good old snooze – it's by far one of the most important things in life.
If we don't get a good night's kip, our health suffers, our skin looks pitifully lacklustre, our concentration is dismal and we turn into moody gremlins who moan about seemingly petty matters to anyone who dares cross our snooze-deprived selves.
Being a fan of a beauty-boosting '8 hours a night', I was excited to be recently shown how sleep should really be done.
A good bed and the right environment is essential. The vast majority of us naughtily succumb to the bargain bed philosophy and focus our attentions on a snazzy duvet or eye-catching bedside furniture -- but the bed itself needs to be the real focus.
We spend a third of our life in our boudoirs, so to show how important the bed buying decision should be, Swedish bed manufacturer Duxiana kindly invited me to try one of their High Performance Sleep Systems – aka the best bed in the world. The daddy of all beds. The bed to end all beds.
You get my point....
So off I went with a sleep-loving loved one to Hanbury Manor in Ware, Hertfordshire, where I took part in the Ultimate Sleep Experience.
The grandiose Jacobean-style manor was a scenic slice of escapism - just one hour away from the bustling city streets of London. Oh how we marvelled at the 200 acres of lush green grounds - complete with a shimmering lake and ample golf course.
When we got to our elegantly designed suite, we were truly in awe of the 'DUX 818' bed - a massive, yet stylish creation that was almost impossible to prise ourselves off.
We discovered that it was expertly engineered by clever Swedish designers to give you the best sleep of your life. An extra hour of deep sleep in fact - a claim backed-up by nap-loving researchers at the Karolinska Institute.
The bedlinen looked and felt deliriously comfortable and oddly (yet in a good way), the pillows had springs in them! What the...?
I was later told that this was to enable air to circulate correctly around the head and to provide the right kind of support whilst you drift away each night.
No more dodgy neck pains after waking. Yay!
We also noticed that there was a glowing Lumie Lights sleep machine by the bed, which uses light therapy and soothing lavender essential oil to help aid the relaxation process at bedtime.
|The essential sleepy time kit|
There was even a nourishing serum by one of my favourite beauty brands - Rajeunir, to help deeply hydrate our skin during our regenerative sleep.
After managing to tear ourselves away from such an exquisite slumber haven, we decided to explore our opulent surroundings.
We relaxed our weary urban bodies in the blissful spa area before embarking on a hearty three course feast in the hotel's restaurant. Oh how we nomed...
|Nom Nom Nom|
With our tummies nicely rounded, we rolled ourselves back to our suite to find that our Duxiana bed was still as inviting as ever and that the Lumie Lights machine had permeated the air with a soothing lavender scent.
We also decided to gorge on fine puddings whilst watching back to back OITNB on Netflix - an essential prerequisite before our bedtimes (screw this whole 'no eating after 7pm' malarkey).
As we gradually felt our eyes closing with tiredness, we cooed with adoration at the serious comfort levels of the bed. The mattress seemed different to other mattresses. We learnt that it was in fact, not a single mattress at all, but a series of highly configurable elements which allow you to adjust where you want or need more or less support.
The bed's 'Pascal Cassette system' means you can tailor it to keep your spine straight as you sleep - essential for getting you to the key deep sleep part of your nightly sleep cycle.
Here comes the science bit...
There are, as DUX researchers told me, 4 stages to sleep and it’s during these various stages that the body actually goes about repairing itself. The Karolinska Institue in Stockholm looked at a number of mattress types and helped the DUX engineers refine their designs to make the classic DUX bed, which cleverly adapts to your shape and weight - giving you the straight spine and support needed to maximise the benefits of sleep.
During the night, the brain is far from resting. In fact it’s really active, but in a different way – processing conscious thoughts of the day, repairing connections, producing delta waves important in self-repair.
Equally, our skin needs deep sleep in order to repair and regenerate. As the largest organ in the body, you will start to see the signs of its unhappy wrath if you don’t get enough quality sleep.
The DUX 818 bed is also developed with a special lumbar support mechanism, which allows you to alter another element of the support “firmness." This is niftily adjusted by a little crank mechanism made of polished steel - a nice touch Duxiana.
The question is, did we get a good nights sleep?
We did indeed. I think I slept for an extra two hours than usual and woke to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to start the day.
Ok, maybe I nearly missed breakfast because trying to leave this magical bed was almost impossible (not sure if this is a good or a bad thing) and I felt a niggling feeling of annoyance that from that moment on I could never look at my once beloved bed in the same way ever again.
DISCLAIMER: Although my Ultimate Sleep Experience was a generally pleasurable experience resulting in a pleasing 9 hour kip, I feel obligated to say that once you have slept in a bed as good as the DUX 818, no other bed will compare - resulting in feelings of distain (and even anger) for other perfectly innocent beds.