Why Can’t I Sleep—Haven’t I Tried Everything?!

While some sleep problems may be the result of serious sleep disorders, a sleep survey conducted by Arc Consulting for the Better Sleep Council concluded that sometimes all you need to do to get a good night’s rest is to replace your old mattress.

The majority of people in the study agreed that a bad mattress could mean back problems, poorer quality sleep and overall decline in health and wellness. But among these 400 adults, almost half of them (46 percent) said that they didn’t replace their mattresses until their old ones were in “bad” or “very bad” shape. In fact, those surveyed were 5 times more likely to blame their poor sleep quality on daytime stress than their substandard mattresses.

Andrea Herman, Director of the Better Sleep Council, said in general people took a quite impractical approach to diagnosing the root of their sleep problems. While theoretically they understood that replacing their mattresses could fix the issue, they often overlooked this simple connection between sleep and mattress quality when finding a solution became necessary.

The study confirmed this wide disconnect between knowledge and behavior. Respondent said that during normal daily life, they rarely thought of their mattresses. There didn’t seem to be a need to do so unless you noticed a specific problem with the mattress. People were much more likely to attribute problems to aspects of their lives that seemed more relevant, or more pressing, like stress at work and among family and friends.

How do I Decide When to Replace My Mattress?

Andrea Herman said that people who find that they toss and turn at night for no apparent reason should consider the condition of their mattresses. While stress may sometimes be an inevitable hindrance to even the best snoozers’ quality of sleep, getting a new mattress is a quick and easy fix.

Researchers suggested that people perform a formal “Rest Test” two times every year in order to evaluate the condition of their mattresses. Go to a home department or specialty mattress store and weigh how those new mattresses feel as compared to the one you use at home. When shopping for a mattress, keep these criteria in mind:

  1. Adequate Support
  2. Long-Term Comfort
  3. Sufficient Space
  4. Durability / Warranty
  5. Accompanying Bed Foundations
  6. Overall Value

Remember, a mattress is a big purchase that you will use every night. It’s important to make the right decision. Take your shoes off, get under the sheets, bring along your bed partner, etc. — the store employees won’t mind. How else will you know what it’ll feel like?


Contributor: Alex Smith of SleepDisorders.com

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