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Sleep Sensitivity

Why Better Health Starts with a Better Mattress

Photo: Courtesy of Kinga Cichewicz

The mattress is arguably the most important piece of furniture in any home. The quality of life you lead while awake largely depends on how well you sleep at night. And while your mattress is only one piece of the puzzle (sleep environment, sleep hygiene practices, medical conditions, sleep disorders and a slew of other variables are other factors), it should always be the starting point on the road to a healthy sleep.

The mattress buying process

Current research demonstrates that sufficient sleep can be both life-enhancing and life-changing. As a result, improved options for the mattress selection process through a wider array of materials, technologies, purchase, warranty, comfort guarantees and delivery options are readily available. In addition, many manufacturers, retailers and related organizations offer consumer guidance, education, information and support to assist in the selection of the appropriate sleep surface components. One example is the Better Bed Quizzz, developed by the Better Sleep Council and designed to help consumers evaluate their needs before shopping for a new mattress.

Investing in sleep

Despite its importance, adequate sleep eludes many of us. Yet the benefits are innumerable and putting sleep first is an investment with high yields. In reality, no one can afford to skimp on sleep. Research has demonstrated that sufficient sleep confers a host of benefits. Getting enough restful sleep leads to improved cognition, productivity, stress management, weight management and so much more.

Best foot forward

Shoemaker John Wildsmith famously said, “You are either in your bed or in your shoes, so it pays to invest in both.” A mattress will not cure a medical condition, treat a sleep disorder or make you go to sleep on time (although it may help tempt you into bed at a reasonable hour) but you simply can’t put a price tag on a good night’s sleep. Because sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, a mattress warrants increased consideration as an integral component of healthy sleep.

Terry Cralle, R.N., Clinical Sleep Educator, [email protected]

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