A Seniors Guide - How to buy a Mattress
Mattress shopping made simple -
Knowledge is power - Before you shop, go online and research mattress brands and styles.
Shop together - If you share a bed with someone, bring them. Both should test the mattress together and agree on the preferences or at least reach an agreement - which you must be very good at by now.
More Room Means More Comfort - The average person moves 40 to 60 times per night. Therefore, if you're a light sleeper and sleep with a partner, you should consider a queen or king size bed to accommodate each of you comfortably.
Test the mattress - According to Consumer Reports, "Consumers should test a bed at least 15 minutes. Don’t worry; a good salesperson should leave you alone while you do this."
Buy the set - Mattresses and box springs are designed to work together. Getting one without the other can reduce the comfort and support they provide. Also, it may reduce the life of the bed and possibly void your warranty.
It is good to be curious - Ask the salesperson how the mattress you are interested in differs from others in the store. Also, if you intend to buy, find out if the delivery of the new bed and remove of the old one is included.
Know the policies - Some mattress stores may let you try certain mattresses. Be sure to ask all the details. It may affect where you shop.
Be aware of your comfort preferences - Within each brand and type of mattress there are various levels of comfort such as firm, plush and pillow top. Each has its advantages, but in reality it is personal preference. Go with what feels best on your shoulders, back and hips.
Tips to help end restless nights
Poor night's sleep? You're not alone. One in two seniors suffers from sleep deprivation. Seniors are sleeping during the day because they simply do not have enough quality sleep at night. Here are some tips to help.
Set the mood. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and clean.
Prepare your mind and body for sleep. Establish a bedtime routine of reading for pleasure, listening to music or do some stretching. A hot bath just before bedtime can also help you sleep. This will improve circulation and make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
Take a walk in the early evening. Staying physically active during the day helps you sleep more soundly at night. And getting fresh air and sunlight has also been shown to lead to a better night's sleep.
Watch your prescriptions. Talk to your doctor about the sleep related side effects of medications. Although some medications can help you get to sleep, they are often the cause of light and fragmented sleep, and waking up early.
Limit the time you're in bed. Stress, depression, boredom and pressure from your partner may have you going to sleep earlier than you need to. Often going to bed too early increases fragmented sleep. Staying in bed too long also will promote disturbed sleep.
White noise can help you sleep. If you live in an apartment or busy street, you may consider using a fan or sound machine to drown out the noise from neighbors and traffic.
Staying mentally active. Participate in hobbies, academic courses, volunteer work and social activities that will keep you mentally alert at during the day and early evening.
Don't nap for too long. Keep daytime naps to less than 20 minutes. Longer naps can make it difficult to sleep at night.
Caffeine affects the mind for a long time. Try not to drink beverages containing caffeine after 2pm. As we age, coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate may make it harder to stay asleep.
You may need a new mattress if you...
- You often wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and discomfort. And no, it's not only because you are older.
- Your bed has not aged as gracefully as you. It dips like a hammock and is all lumpy.
- You have often thought to yourself, "I need a good night's sleep. I just want to sleep in my chair."
- You bought your mattress when being an empty nester was something you looked forward to.
If you're still reading, you probably have a bed that is more than seven years old, which is the age The Better Sleep Council notes is when a mattress stops giving the necessary support. Ultimately, your body will change a lot in seven years, and your mattress should keep up with your needs.
Which mattress is right for you?
A mattress that helps put an end to restless nights. And since there is so much variety out there, here's a little help to make the decision easier.
Traditional spring mattresses, the more traditional type of mattress set, usually in open springs and metal coil springs with layered upholstery on top. When purchasing you hear the term "coil count." In general, the higher the number, the more support, but the value of support really depends on the design of the coils and quality of padding used.
Wrapped coil spring mattresses have a system of coils individually wrapped in cloth, so that each coil independently adjusts to your body. Because these springs move individually, if your partner tosses and turns, it will not wake you up from your sleep cycle.
Latex and memory foam mattresses have maximum pressure relieving materials designed to reduce pressure points and support your natural body alignment. Memory foam is sensitive to temperature and adjusts as your body warms up. Latex foam offers durability and pressure relief and is available in many different comfort options.
Hybrid Mattresses feature layers of memory foam and/or latex on an internal spring system to provide a more traditional feel with technologically advanced pressure relieving materials. These beds give you comfort and support of two technologies. If you're not sure you want buy an all-foam mattress, it is a good compromise.