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Start Everyday with a Good Night's Sleep™

Sleep Guide

A good night’s sleep, just like proper diet and exercise, is essential to your mental, emotional and physical health. Yet many people just do not get the recommended amount* of sleep needed each night to perform their best during the day**.

Instead, they sacrifice sleep and wake up to the consequences including difficulty concentrating, irritability, weakened immune system and even higher stress. The good news is that it does not have to be this way.

Better sleep can be as simple as sleeping on a better mattress! This brochure provides solutions ranging from how to select a new mattress, to tips on creating a sleep sanctuary, which will help you improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your sleep.

*Sleep experts recommend getting eight hours of sleep each night (7.5 – 8.5 is optimal).

**At least 40 million Americans each year suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems. (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, May 2007)

When is it time for a New Mattress?

A comfortable mattress: The Foundation of a Good Night's Sleep

The “shelf life” of a mattress depends on several factors such as usage, quality, and even your own changing comfort and support preferences. In general, a mattress set that has been in use for five to seven years may no longer provide proper comfort and support, and should be evaluated.

A scientific study from Oklahoma State University, “Subjective Rating of Perceived Back Pain, Stiffness and Sleep Quality Following Introduction of Medium-Firm Bedding Systems,” found that participants with mattresses five years old or older reported significant improvements in sleep quality and comfort when sleeping on a new mattress, regardless of the sleeper’s age or weight.

So it is important to compare the mattress and box spring/foundation you are sleeping on now to newer models every few years. After all, a new mattress can make the difference in how you feel and function each and every day and help you Start Every Day With a Good Night’s Sleep™.

You May Need a New Mattress if…

Like your favorite old chair or worn pair of shoes, your mattress can still feel comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper comfort and support it needs. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether it’s time to buy a new mattress and box spring/foundation:

  • Your mattress is five to seven years old
  • You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains
  • You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel or friend’s guest room)
  • Your mattress shows signs of overuse (it sags, has lumps, etc.)

If you can relate to any of these, It's time for a new mattress.

Choosing the Correct Mattress: What are your Options?

The right mattress for a great night’s sleep is the one that meets your personal needs for comfort and support. But before you start shopping for a new mattress, you will need to know some bedding basics. With some general mattress information on the variety of choices available, it will be easier to choose the right bed for you—and get a great night’s sleep.

  • Type
  • Quality
  • Size

Type

  • Innerspring - The most widely purchased type of bedding uses the support of tempered steel coils in a variety of configurations. Varying types and layers of upholstery provide insulation and cushioning between your body and the spring unit, resulting in a range of comfort choices.
  • Foam - Solid foam mattresses also offer a wide choice of sleeping sensations or “feels.” They can be made of a solid core or of several layers of different types of foam laminated together. Advanced technology in polyurethane foams, refinements to traditional latex and the new visco-elastic (“memory”) foams have added to the choice of comfort, support and performance.
  • Airbeds - Airbeds are now designed to look like the familiar mattress/foundation combination, with an air-filled core providing the support instead of an innerspring unit or foam core. These designs also offer a range of “feels” and typically are adjustable to suit individual sleeper’s needs.
  • Other Sleep Options - There are many popular mattress alternatives to address individual's comfort, support and space needs, including futons, adjustable beds and water beds. Futons are a popular alternative for those who need a sofa by day and a mattress by night. Electrically adjustable beds enable sleepers to adjust the head and foot of the bed to the most comfortable position. And most waterbeds are now designed to look like the familiar mattress/foundation, with a water-filled core providing support, coupled with layers of upholstery for insulation and surface comfort.

Quality

Regardless of the type of sleep system you decide to purchase, always evaluate a mattress for comfort, support, durability and space. The mattress that best addresses these needs is the mattress for you.

  • Comfort - Today’s top quality mattress/foundation ensembles are built for superior comfort. Luxurious new cushioning materials and extra-soft surface treatments create a plusher, more comfortable feel.
  • Support - A good mattress and foundation will gently support your body at all points and keep your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture. Pay special attention to your shoulders, hips and lower back—the heaviest parts of the body.
  • Durability - It’s the quality of the materials used and how they’re put together that determines how long a mattress and foundation will provide comfort and support.
  • Space - Cramped quarters can turn sleeping into a nightly wrestling match. A healthy person moves anywhere from 40-60 times a night, including dozens of full body turns. You need freedom of motion while you sleep and to help you relax while getting to sleep. Make sure that your mattress gives you room to move around comfortably throughout the night.

Size

Two people sleeping on a full sized (‘double’) mattress only have as much personal sleeping space as a baby in a crib. It is recommended that bed partners buy a mattress no smaller than a queen mattress.

  • California King 72” x 84”
  • King 76” x 80”
  • Queen 60” x 80”
  • Full (Double) 53” x 75”
  • Twin 38” x 75”

Deciding between a queen or king size mattress really boils down to personal choice. A queen bed is 60 inches wide by approximately 80 inches long, perfect for couples who prefer close quarters. King beds are 76 inches wide by 80 inches long, the best choice for couples that want maximum personal sleeping space. Both twin and full sizes are approximately 75 inches long, which may be too short for some adults, especially men. Full size allows only enough space for a single sleeper shorter than 5 feet 5 inches tall.

Content Provided by The Better Sleep Council

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