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  > General advice on mattresses, beds and sleeping

Do you remember the last time you got a really great night's sleep? Was it a year or more ago? Perhaps it wasn't even in your own bed. Where were you? A hotel? Your favorite easy chair?

All too often, the answer is somewhere other than your own bed. But, you should be getting your best night's sleep on your own mattress.

If you find you're not sleeping as well as you should in your own bed, you may want to consider that your mattress and foundation could be robbing you of sleep. It may be time for a new mattress if:
• You wake up with pain, stiffness, or soreness
• You are not sleeping as well as you were a year ago
• You had your best night's sleep somewhere other than your own bed
• Your mattress shows visible signs of wear and tear
Too often, people are unaware that their mattress is no longer meeting their needs. You can avoid sleepless nights by carefully evaluating the comfort and support of your sleep set twice a year to make sure your personal comfort preferences are still being met.

If you're still not sure whether your mattress is stealing your sleep, you may want to visit your local retailer to compare the comfort and support of new sleep sets in the store with your old set at home.

Mattress Life Span

Your mattress won't last forever. A combination of factors works together to determine how long your mattress will provide optimum comfort and support.

It's All About You
Lifestyle. Changes in lifestyle, such as moving into a new home or getting married, may call for a change in your mattress.
Your Body. As we age, our bodies change. What was comfortable and supportive when you were 25 may not meet your needs when you're 35 or 45. Likewise, the amount of space that's right for a six-year-old may not be enough for a 16-year-old. Make sure that every mattress in your home meets the sleeper's current needs for comfort, support, and space.
It's Also About Your Mattress
Age. Don't look to the age of your mattress or the warranty to determine whether it's time for a new mattress. Neither are indicators of how long your mattress will maintain optimum comfort and support.
Quality. A poor-quality mattress set can deteriorate quickly, while top-quality sets can provide comfort and support for a number of years.
Use. A mattress set that is used nightly or that gets more of a workout (e.g., you watch television or read in bed) will lose its comfort and support more quickly than a set that is used less often, such as a guest room bed.
Tips for a Restful Night's Sleep
•1.Keep regular hours
Keep your biological clock in sync. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning — even on weekends.
•2.Develop a sleep ritual
Do the same things each night just before bed to cue your body to settle down for the night.
•3.Sleep on a comfortable
Supportive mattress and foundation. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on a sleep set that’s too small, too soft, too hard or too old. Since you will spend 1/3 of your life in your bed, a quality innerspring mattress and foundation is one of the most cost-effective purchases you can make. Studies have shown that an innerspring mattress and foundation create the least tension, strain and muscle fatigue on the lower back, therefore giving you a better night's sleep and allowing you to wake up refreshed and feeling great.
•4.Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help to relieve the day’s tension — but not too close to bedtime or you may have a hard time falling asleep.
•5.Cut down on stimulants
Don’t consume stimulants in the evening - it interferes with falling asleep and prevents deep sleep. Caffeine is a known stimulant and the last thing you want in your system when you're trying to sleep. It can be found in coffee, teas, sodas, chocolate and certain medications, including nasal sprays. Be aware of your caffeine intake and limit it to the early hours if you must have it at all. Late-night trips to the coffeehouse may be fun, but they'll wreak havoc on your ability to sleep. Try decaf!
•6.Don’t smoke
Smokers take longer to fall asleep, awaken more often and experience disrupted, fragmented sleep.
•7.Drink only in moderation.
Don’t drink alcohol shortly before bedtime. It interrupts and fragments sleep.
•8.Unwind early in the evening
Try to deal with worries and distractions several hours before going to bed. Create a bedtime routine that makes you comfortable. If you're concerned about your big day tomorrow, keep a pad and pencil by your bed and make yourself a to-do list. This will put your mind at ease and allow you to sleep better. Try a warm bath or calm music. If you're lucky, get a massage from a friend!
•9.Create a restful sleep environment
Sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. Quiet or quiet sounds are essential for quality sleep. Fall asleep to music only if it is non-distracting and uninterrupted by radio announcers who can scare you out of an otherwise restful sleep! Try sleeping with a fan, humidifier or air conditioner on. The low humming sound can be quite soothing. Heavy drapes can stifle outside noise, and the telephone ringer can always be turned off! Have your room dark. Your body is accustomed to sleeping in the dark, so even if you work the night shift and sleep during the day, trick your body into thinking it's night time by making the room dark.
•10.Sleep Position
Try and avoid sleeping on your stomach, as that position forces your back's natural "S" curve into an unnatural arch. If you sleep on your back, a pillow under the knees will help maintain your proper spinal curve. The most natural position is the one you learned before you were born, the fetal (side) position. Snoring can often be reduced by using additional pillows to raise your head and shoulders. Also, try sleeping on your side rather than your back, as people tend to snore more on their back.
•11.Make sleep a priority
Eliminate violent or emotionally stimulating shows late in the evening. If you really want to watch them, tape them and watch them the next morning as you prepare for your day. Say "yes" to sleep even when you’re tempted to stay up late. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
The following information is adapted from The Better Sleep Guide, a free brochure from by the Better Sleep Council's "Consumer Information Series."

Create A Restful Sleep Environment

Good sleep habits and a restful sleep environment play an important role in how well you sleep. Is your bedroom a good place to sleep? Noise, light, an uncomfortable or worn-out mattress and foundation or a room that’s too warm or too cold can set you up for poor sleep.

The four factors of the sleep environment:

•1.Mattress and Foundation. Be sure your mattress and foundation meet your needs for ideal support, comfort and space.
•2.Light. Light is one of our body’s most powerful time cues and can stimulate the brain into wakefulness long before the alarm goes off. A dark room is the most conducive for sleep, day or night.
•3.Noise. Sudden, loud noises from inside or outside the home can disrupt sleep. Steady, low sounds (whir of a fan or air conditioner) help block out other noises.
•4.Temperature. The ideal bedroom temperature is 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. A room that’s too hot or too cold can disturb your sleep.
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