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Series 5: 4. Mattresses



Gregg Wallace is in Leeds, at an enormous mattress factory where they produce 600 bouncy beds every day. He follows the production of pocket-sprung mattresses from the arrival of hard steel right through to soft bedding heading out of dispatch. Along the way he learns how lengths of metal are stretched into thin wire and coiled into springs which are placed into individual pockets. And how the mattresses are designed to wick sweat away from our bodies with the help of natural fibres like hemp and wool.\n\nMeanwhile, Cherry Healey is learning whether there are benefits to be had from taking an afternoon nap. She meets up with a sleep scientist who tells her that we should be making time for a snooze rather than reaching for a cup of coffee. To prove his point, he runs an experiment which demonstrates that reaction times can be improved by a short sleep. 20 minutes is the optimum nap time - any longer risks falling in to a deep sleep which is difficult to wake from. And she is visiting a sheep farm where she sees how wool is shorn and discovers its amazing anti-bacterial and fire-retardant properties, which make it perfect for lining a mattress.\n\nHistorian Ruth Goodman is investigating the origins of the modern mattress. She lies down on a straw stuffed sack which the lower classes would have slept on in the middle ages and learns how steel transformed our bedtime habits, first with the 'innerspring' and then with the more comfortable 'pocket spring' technology. And she learns how a famous Scandinavian inspired home store is responsible for our enduring love affair with the duvet.

Source: BBC 2

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