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Front Page » August 21, 2008 » Focus on health » Good sleep depends on the napping surface
Published 2,609 days ago

Good sleep depends on the napping surface

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Choosing the right mattress is one of the biggest decisions a person or couple can make when it comes to the creature comforts of home. The right mattress should not only be comfortable, but be good for a person's health. While comfort is important, so is support, most notably for the back.

The right mattress will make it easy for a person to hit the hay at night while also ensuring they won't awake feeling as if their back is tied in knots each morning. To ensure getting a good night's sleep, consider the following tips.

•Try it out, and take the time to evaluate any mattress purchase carefully. Mattresses come in many varieties, and some might not be suitable for all people. For those with a history of back pain, it's best to look for a mattress with a reputation of providing strong support to sleepers. A mattress that falls short in the support department will lead to poor sleeping posture, which can strain muscles and result in a misaligned spine. Both of these are catalysts for lower back pain.

Since every person is different, there is not a mattress out there that works for everyone who has experienced back pain in the past. That only highlights the importance of taking time when shopping and trying out the variety of mattresses on the market. Even those without a history of back troubles should not be timid when trying out a mattress. Give it a genuine try, lying down long enough to see how the back responds and how much support it provides.

•Be sure the support extends across the whole mattress. Particularly for couples, the support a mattress provides should span the width of the mattress, and not just the middle. A good way to determine how much support the edges of the mattress provides is to roll from the center of the bed to the sides a few times. A mattress that provides poor support on its edges will be noticeable, while one with universal support will not waiver in comfort.

•Go with a trustworthy name. Name brands might be more expensive, but they also have a proven track record. That's especially important when it comes to purchasing a mattress, as no one wants to sacrifice a good night's rest for the sake of saving a few dollars. A mattress is a long-term investment, so saving a dollar or two should not be the top priority. Also consider the store from where the mattress is being purchased. The right store will be flexible with delivery options, offer a good warranty, and might even take out the old mattress when delivering the new one. Lesser-known stores might not offer such services, in particular, longer warrantees.

•Purchase the mattress and box spring as a set. According to the Better Sleep Council, mixing and matching a mattress and box spring could potentially decrease the life expectancy of a new mattress. Because a mattress is such a big and important investment, purchase both the mattress and box spring together as a set.

•Rotate and reposition the mattress according to manufacturer guidelines. To ensure that a mattress wears evenly, be sure to rotate and reposition the mattress as suggested. If the mattress is not flipped or rotated one side or spot will wear down fast, while the rest will do so more steadily. This will eventually cause the replacement of a mattress earlier than normal, or could result in a bad night's sleep or other problems, such as back pain, down the road.

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August 21, 2008
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