While most people are aware that adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night to function properly, the National Sleep Foundation estimates that 47 million Americans are not getting adequate sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep can contribute to behavioral problems, decreased productivity and risk of injuries. One element of obtaining productive sleep is selecting a mattress that is right for you. Choosing the right mattress can improve the quality of your sleep, reduce pain and stiffness, and increase alertness during your waking hours.
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Consider your size, and the size of other people who will be sleeping in the same bed. According to the Better Sleep Council, healthy sleep can involve between 40 and 60 movements per night, including about a dozen full body turns. Choose a mattress that offers plenty of room, so you don't feel cramped--insufficient room can lead to poor quality sleep. A queen or king-sized mattress is a good choice if you sleep with a partner, because it is both wider and longer than twin or double-sized mattresses.
Assess areas where you experience pain after a night's sleep. According to the Grand Junction Sentinel website, the lumbar region bears the stress of bending, stooping and lifting, so it is one of the most common pain areas. If you experience pain in this area, choose a mattress that offers support without being too hard.
The number and quality of coils determines the firmness of the mattress. Generally, a twin mattress should contain at least 420 coils, while a full or double mattress should contain 600 or more, according to the Grand Junction Sentinel website. A queen mattress should have at least 736 coils, while a king mattress should have 900 or more.
Try out several mattresses before making your choice. One manufacturer's "firm" mattress may be harder than another's "extra firm" model, so it is important to actually lie down on each mattress to assess its firmness and comfort level.
Look for a balance of durability and cost. High-quality mattresses are designed to last 10 years or longer, but they are considerably more expensive than "bargain" mattresses. Decide on a realistic budget, and then look for the most durable mattress you can find for the money. This will help prevent you from having to buy another mattress in a few years.