Americans have a sleep problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 35% of adults get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. What’s worse is those who do sleep long enough don’t necessarily get restful sleep. The National Sleep Foundation found that about 35% of adults rated their sleep quality as poor or only fair, and 45% said insufficient sleep had affected their daily activities sometime during the past week.

Poor sleep (either quality or quantity) has been linked to obesity, mood disorders and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, so this lack of rest is a serious problem.

If you’re not getting the rest you desire, it might help to look at your habits, mattress and sleep setting.

Sleep Self-assessment

Ask yourself these questions. They’ll not only help you decide if you need a new mattress, they may help you zero in on the exact problem(s) preventing perfectly restful sleep.

  • When was the last time you enjoyed a really good night’s sleep?
  • How many hours of sleep do you normally get at night?
  • Do you feel fully rested when you first wake up?
  • If the answer is “No,” is that a recent development? Does less than restful sleep occur nightly, or just some of the time?
  • When you first wake up, do you have stiff joints or pain in specific areas of your body?
  • If the answer is “Yes,” is that a recent development? Have you had an injury or arthritis that might be contributing to it?
  • How long does it usually take you to fall asleep once you’re in bed?
  • Do you often wake in the night?
  • If so, how often?
  • Is there a particular reason for waking, such as trips to the bathroom?
  • Do you feel you need to nap during the day, or catch up on sleep on weekends?

Comfort vs. Support

Now, let’s look at what those answers show and what to do about them. One thing to bear in mind is the difference between comfort and support when it comes to sleep.

Comfort relates to the whole of the sleep experience, and will affect the ease and depth of your sleep. For example, a mattress that’s less than truly comfortable (or a sleeping environment that’s too noisy, warm, bright, etc.) can delay falling asleep and cause you to wake more frequently. It can also lead to more tossing and turning. This can lead to little or no time in the parts of your sleep cycle that do the most to restore and rest your body.

If you’re waking up less than fully rested, it may be a comfort issue. But if you consistently wake with pain or joint stiffness, this is likely to be a support issue. A mattress that is old or poorly designed can fail to support your spine properly, leaving it out of alignment. This, in turn, can lead to back pain, general stiffness and sore muscles.

What To Do About It

If your main issues are comfort related—fatigue, frequent waking, trouble falling asleep—you should consider a new mattress. Choose your next one carefully with the help of store personnel so you can maximize deep sleep.

But also make sure you follow good sleeping practices. Make sure your room is cool, dark and quiet. Go to bed at the same time each night and have a winding down routine you engage in before bed. Avoid screentime right before bed; it’s best to stop using phones, tablets and computers at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

If your main issues are support related, a new mattress is definitely the solution. Again, make your choice with the assistance of store personnel. They can help you determine what firmness and other features you need to keep your back and neck in proper shape.

To find a great mattress and helpful staff, stop in to our store in historic downtown Freeport. When you’re done, you’ll be able to rest easy.