Commonly Asked Questions about Sleep and Sleep Products
Q. Is it true that napping can be bad for you?
A. There’s nothing wrong with taking a short nap. But if you’re napping all the time, it could be a sign that you aren’t getting the deep, restful sleep you need.
Q. Does the mattress affect how a person sleeps?
A. Mattresses either encourage sleep or rob you of sleep, and can determine how refreshed you feel in the morning. Your body needs a comfortable, supportive mattress – and it will let you know if you don’t have one.
Q. What are some ways to get a better night’s sleep?
A. A few key things should help. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. This will help keep your biological clock in sync. Develop a sleep ritual by doing the same things each night just before bed. Parents often establish a routine for their kids, but it can help adults, too. A routine cues the body to settle down for the night. Another hint: Unwind early in the evening so that worries and distractions don’t keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Finally, create a restful sleep environment – sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation – to get your best night’s rest. If you’re sleeping as much as you need, but still find that you’re sleepy during the day, you should consult your doctor to see if you might have a medical condition interfering with your sleep.
Q. What’s the right amount of sleep?
A. It differs for every person. Some people may need as much as 10 hours a night and others need much less. The average person needs 7-8 hours a night. If you find yourself sleepy during the day, you probably need more sleep at night. Or if you sleep longer on the weekends than during the week, you probably need more sleep during the week.
Q. What can people who work at night do to sleep better?
A. Anyone who sleeps during the day needs to make sure their room is dark – use heavy window coverings to block out the light. This is important for everyone, but particularly for people who sleep when it’s bright outside. Also, make sure your room is cool, between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 18 degrees Celsius). Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation that offers you enough space to move around comfortably. And sleep in a room that’s quiet. The sleep environment is a very controllable part of good sleep – whether you’re sleeping during the day or at night. You can adjust the temperature, replace an uncomfortable or worn-out mattress, block out noise with earplugs or a white noise machine and keep light from your bedroom with dark blinds or eye shades.
Q. Is there a problem with falling asleep on the sofa watching television?
A. If you regularly fall asleep on your sofa, you may not be getting as much sleep as you need at night in your bed. Or maybe your sofa is more comfortable than your bed! In either case, you should make sure to practice good sleep habits – from sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress to not drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.
Q. What if there’s no time for sleep? What can people do to sleep better?
A. Exercise regularly – people who exercise a few times a week sleep better than people who don’t. Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco products late in the day. All can interfere with sleep. Sleep in a dark room, on a comfortable, supportive mattress. Keep the room cool and quiet. And if you find yourself too stressed to sleep, make a list of all the things you need to do. Once you’ve made your to-do list, give yourself permission to relax and sleep.
Q. Can people make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping in on weekends?
A. No. If you sleep more on the weekends than during the week – and many of us do – this indicates that you have a “sleep debt.” A sleep debt accumulates when you don’t get enough sleep. The only way to reduce the debt is to sleep as much as your body needs every night.
Q. How can someone tell if they have a sleep disorder?
A. See your doctor. You may have a medical condition that interferes with getting a good night’s sleep.
Q. What’s the best mattress?
A. The answer is a matter of individual taste. There is no one-size-fits-all. To determine the mattress that’s best for you, use the process of elimination with a “rest test.” As you lie down on store mattresses, pay attention to three of the mattress’s most important features: comfort, support and space. The mattress that best fulfills the combination of these needs is the “best” mattress for you.
Q. How can I best shop for mattresses?
A. Understand your needs before you start. Think about your lifestyle. And what about your body? Has it changed and how has this affected your needs for support or your comfort preferences? Finally, think about space needs and if you have a partner, take your partner with you to shop for a new mattress. It’s important to find something to meet both your support needs and comfort preferences. Armed with this information, go to a mattress retailer you trust, someone who will answer your questions with information. Then, take a “rest test” to compare the feel of different mattresses by lying down on them. You will quickly find some mattresses you like and others that do not meet your personal comfort preferences and support needs. Through this process of elimination, you can determine which mattresses you like best.
Q. How can you tell when a mattress is “used up?”
A. Your body should tell you when it’s time for a new one – but are you paying attention? If you regularly wake up feeling stiff and sore or if you aren’t sleeping as well as you did a year ago, it may be time to replace what you’re sleeping on. At least twice a year, check for visible signs of wear and tear and ask yourself if you’re sleeping better or worse than you did a year ago and if a new mattress might improve your sleep.
Q. What should people look for in a new mattress?
A. Four keys to keep in mind are support, comfort, space and matching sets. The mattress that’s right for you will keep your spine in proper alignment – how your spine is when it’s in good standing posture – supporting your body and cradling it along its curves. The right mattress will also be comfortable for your body. Keep in mind that your comfort preferences are likely to change as you age. Make sure the mattress provides enough space for easy, free movement. Couples should sleep on a queen or king-size mattress. And keep in mind that a mattress and foundation are designed to work together. Buy them as a set and get the most out of your investment.
Q. What is the best way to try a mattress?
A. The best way to try a mattress is to take the “SLEEP Test”:
Select a mattress. Lie down in your sleep position. Evaluate the level of comfort and support. Educate yourself about each selection. Partners should try each mattress together. Don’t be embarrassed! You don’t think twice about test driving a car, and you shouldn’t think twice about “SLEEP Testing” a mattress. Lie down on the mattress for several minutes and assess how well it provides support and how comfortable it is for you. The only way to tell if a mattress is right for you is to lie down on it.
Q. How much should I spend on a mattress?
A. In short, spend enough on a mattress to ensure that your individual comfort and support needs are being met. Be sure not to shortchange yourself out of a good, quality night’s sleep and buy the best mattress you can afford.
Q. What size mattress does a couple need?
A. Couples should sleep in a queen or king-size mattress for free, easy movement. Couples who sleep on a full mattress are only allowing themselves the same room to move around as a baby has in a crib.
Q. What can new parents do to sleep better?
A. It’s a universal fact – new parents just sleep less. So get the best sleep you can, even if it’s for shorter periods of time. And learn to sleep when your baby does. It may be tempting to tackle chores while your baby sleeps, but a quick nap will help boost your energy.
Q. Should a parent pass down an old mattress to a child?
A. If a mattress is no longer comfortable for you, it’s not good enough for someone else – especially your child. As kids grow, they need supportive and comfortable bedding as well.
What to expect from your new mattress
All mattresses manufactured in the United States are hand-assembled, which means that no two mattresses will ever be identical. Each mattress will have unique characteristics which include, but are not limited to, skipped threads, crooked seams, and fabric scuffs. These slight imperfections do not affect the manufacturers warranty or the physical performance of the mattress.
Tall, thicker mattresses
Today’s mattress options are often thicker and higher off the ground than older mattresses, resulting in a less than perfect fit for your sheets. Deep pocket sheets or high contour sheets are available for these types of mattresses.
New padding layers will begin to form to your body immediately, and as a result you can expect the formation of body impressions – an indication that the mattress is working for you. Padding settling is a normal occurrence and can be reduced, but not eliminated, by following a monthly rotation schedule.
Give it some time. Your new mattress may not feel exactly like the one on the showroom floor. It often takes four to five weeks for your body to adjust to the stronger support of a new mattress, especially because your old mattress has been breaking down over the years. Patience is important.
A new mattress needs a strong foundation beneath it for support. If you did not purchase a new box spring along with your new mattress, please be advised that improper support of a mattress will eventually cause it to sag, and may invalidate your warranty.
The handles on the side of the mattress are for adjusting placement, not rotating or lifting the mattress. Using the