So today is World Sleep Day. So I hope you all got a good night’s sleep last night in preparation! World Sleep Day, for those of you who don’t know, is an annual event that is organized by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) in celebration of sleep and it aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders.
Research shows that we spend up to one-third of our lives sleeping, which is just crazy when you think about it. Sleep is a basic human need, like eating and drinking, and therefore it is crucial to our overall health and well-being. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep is known to have a significant negative impact on our attention span, memory recall and learning. It can also lead to conditions such as obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety and even psychosis. Therefore quality sleep is really important for ensuring that we have a great quality of life. And to get a good nights sleep you really need to invest in a good quality bed. But what does that mean?
To find out what makes a quality bed I decided to consult a company that is renowned for producing great beds and improving quality of life for people the world over. Established in 1852, Hästens has spent over 160 years perfecting the knowledge and skills of generations of master bed builders. The hand-crafted beds, which are still built today at the original site in Sweden, are made using natural materials such as cotton, horsehair, flax and wool, which have been sourced for maximum comfort and performance.
In fact, every detail of a Hästens bed is finished by hand, from cutting the fabric to stitching the seams. According to the Hästens team, the craftsmanship that goes into creating this hand-finished quality cannot be matched by modern machinery or manufacturing techniques. The care, dedication and attention to detail that goes into every stage of making a Hästens bed is apparently something that a machine cannot recreate.
Jan-Erik Leander heads up the Hästens’ team of master craftsmen and with over 24 years of experience as a bed-maker he is hoping to pass his knowledge on to future generations of bed builders. He says: “The craftsmanship here at Hästens is unique and simply can’t be taught in any school. We have an internal apprenticeship programme where new employees work side by side with an experienced craftsman who mentors and guides them. My goal is that the apprentices I train will some day become better than me!”
Years and years of experience are what the master craftsmen use to ensure that every Hästens bed is as good as it can be. “We use our common sense and natural instincts when making the bed,” explains Leander. “By working by hand, we can ensure that the quality of the fabrics, tailoring, fitting, wooden frames and springs are always perfect. We know how the materials should feel and distribute them evenly over the bed’s surface to maximise comfort. When working with natural materials, craftsmanship is extremely important. The materials must be processed and it is by touch and experience that we determine if the bed is perfect.”
Leander himself sleeps in the first Vividus prototype that Hästens ever built and before that he had a 2000T, which he slept in for over 16 years. “My favourite part of bed-making is when I reflect on how the beds we make will improve people’s quality of life.”
However, having a good quality bed is only part of the equation. There are also numerous other factors that contribute to getting a good night’s sleep and Hästens has put together a list of top tips for achieving the best night’s sleep.