I know I said that the whole sleep thing would only be three articles long, but apparently I lied. This will be the last one, though. I promise. I was lying awake the other night (apparently I wasn´t following my own tips) listening to the radio when I heard an obnoxious commercial from a mattress store. The sales pitch didn´t convince me, but it did get me thinking. We are at least supposed to spend a third of our life lying on a mattress, so it only makes sense that we should have a mattress that works for us so that we can get the sleep we need to be productive. This morning I set out to find the tips that will help us know if our mattress is doing its job. At the risk of sounding like a furniture salesman, here are the best of what I uncovered:
Is there enough space? — If you sleep alone then this may not be much of an issue. If you share your bed with someone, though, then you really need to make sure that there is enough room for both of you. If you spend the night fighting for space then you are not getting your rest. If you keep getting kicked and scratched and punched all night then you aren´t going to be at your best in the morning. It makes sense to have a big enough mattress, and it is worth the investment to get a new one if yours doesn´t fit the bill. If you do go shopping, though, make sure that you take your partner with you. If two people are sleeping on a mattress then two people should pick it out.
Is your mattress older than you? — I have read estimates of the lifespan of a mattress ranging everywhere from 5 to 20 years (the shorter life spans are likely advocated by the mattress makers and sellers who would happily give you a new one every few years). Regardless of exactly how long you should keep a mattress, it only makes sense that some mattresses have clearly been around too long. If you got your mattress from their parents (and especially if they got it from their parents) then it may be time to go shop for a new one.
Do you wake up sore? — If you wake up in the morning feeling like you have been tackled by two offensive lineman repeatedly while you sleep then you either need a new mattress or you need to quit sleepwalking. There is a terrible radio ad that I hear 20 times a day that asks if your mattress is talking to you. They mean that you should come in and see them if your back is sore or your legs ache or your shoulder is cramped when you wake up. If you´re not waking up feeling your best then you obviously aren´t going to perform at your best throughout the day.