Did you know these facts about mattresses?
Mattresses don't have to be hard as a board to be good for you. According to a
landmark study conducted in Spain and published in Britain's prestigious medical
journal The Lancet, back pain was less with medium firm mattresses than with
firmer ones. The study also suggested that sleeping on a new mattress was
beneficial to back-pain sufferers.
According to the Better Sleep Council, it's time for a new mattress and
foundation when: 1) you wake up with pain, stiffness or soreness; 2) you aren't
sleeping as well as you were a year ago; 3) you had your best night's sleep
somewhere other than your own bed; and 4) your mattress shows visible
signs of wear and tear.
The ideal mattress yields to your body contours, while still retaining firmness.
People who sleep on their sides and stomachs tend to need more "give" than
those who sleep on their backs. A woman's hips will need to sink deeper than a man's.
When you shop for a new mattress, lie on your back for at least five minutes. The
mattress should stay in contact with your body, so that your hand fits snugly into the
small of your back. Switch to your side and make sure you don't notice
pressure on your hips or shoulders.
Know which size is the right size for your needs. Factors to consider include the
height and weight of the sleepers, the space in the home the bed will occupy,
and the average usage of the bed. Buy a full size bed for single occupancy, usually
only if the sleeper is under 5 foot 5 inches tall, or if you have a very small space.
Buy a Queen size bed for single sleepers over 5 foot 5 inches, guest rooms, smaller
master bedrooms, and for couples who like to snuggle closely. A King size
bed is the best choice for couples that want maximum personal sleeping space.
However, be aware than King size beds can be difficult to navigate through some
hallways, doors and stairways.
How long your mattress continues to give you the comfort and support you need to get a
good night's sleep, depends on its quality, how it's used and how well you take
care of it, as well as changes in your body, lifestyle and comfort preferences.
A good idea is to compare your mattress and foundation to newer models every few
years. Mattress technology is constantly advancing, so it's worth your time to
see what's new in sleeping comfort.
When you need a new mattress, you need a new foundation (also known as a boxspring)
too. The foundation acts as a shock absorber, cushioning the wear and tear of
nightly use. A matching foundation contributes to the support, comfort and
durability of a new mattress. The two are engineered to work best together.
If you buy a used mattress, even if it's been recovered, you are getting more than what
you bargained for. Research conducted for the International Sleep Products Association
revealed the presence of bacteria, mold, fungi, blood and other body fluids, hair,
skin and pollen in renovated mattresses. These mattresses can also contain significant
populations of dust mites, those microscopic members of the spider family who feed
off skin flakes and cause allergies in millions of people. Check out the content
labels on the mattress you buy to make sure it's new.
Did you know these facts about sleep?
People who get too little sleep tend to gain more weight, according to the Tri-State
Sleep Disorders Center of Cincinnati. Sleep deprivation lowers levels of the
appetite-regulating hormone leptin, causing us to crave carbohydrates and store
fat. So to get rid of that extra weight, eat right, exercise, and get a good
A good night's sleep is not defined by how much you sleep, but how uninterrupted
your sleep is. Sleep researchers say the biggest sleep disrupters include caffeine,
too much alcohol, shift-work, sleep disorders such as apnea and snoring, and a poor
sleep environment. For a good night's sleep, the Better Sleep Council recommends:
1) minimize light – darkness is nature's cue for sleep; 2) keep noise down –
even if you think you can "sleep through anything", research shows that
you may be in a lighter stage of sleep if it is noisy; 3) make sure the temperature
is not too hot or too cold – low to mid 60's is the best; and 4) sleep on a comfortable
mattress and foundation that offer support for you and your partner.
If you nod off during the office meeting – don't blame the boss for his or her
boring presentation! Boredom doesn't put you to sleep unless you're sleepy.
And if you're sleepy it's because you didn't get enough sleep.
The 2002 National Sleep Foundation's poll showed a direct relationship between
sleep and mood. People sleeping less than 6 hours are more likely to describe
themselves as stressed, sad and angry. Those who are often sleepy during the
day are angrier and more dissatisfied with their lives. "Some of the problems
we face as a society – from road rage to obesity – may be linked to lack
of sleep or poor sleep," said Richard Gelula, NSF director. "In sum,"
he says, "You are how you sleep."