Looking for that perfect mattress to get your beauty sleep on? Teja Lele Desai has a few tips

Good night. Sweet dreams. But are you having a good night? A good night’s sleep plays a vital role in promoting emotional wellbeing, physical health and longevity. Research has shown that people who sleep the requisite number of hours on a regular basis tend to live longer and healthier lives.

The amount of hours you need may vary, but equipment that encourages good sleep is a must. After all, if you sleep eight hours a day, it means that you’re likely to spend one-third of your life in bed! Shouldn’t you invest in everything that ensures that you make these hours the most comfortable?

One of the most important aspects is, of course, the mattress. It is an investment that lasts for many years, and costs a lot. So it’s wise to think about what you buy and pick the mattress that suits you best.

First, a healthy sleeper moves around a lot in bed — it could be between 40-60 times. Choose the right size of bed to allow yourself the freedom to move in sleep. Mattresses come according to bed sizes — twin (39” by 74”), double (54” by 74”), queen (60” by 80”) or king (78” by 80”). Make sure the bed is at least 10 cm longer than the taller sleeper. And ensure the mattress fits. It should not hang over the end or move loosely.

The most important thing to consider while buying a mattress is comfort. The right mattress is one you lie in, not one you lie on or sink into. A good mattress will support your entire body and keep your spine in the same position as when you are standing in a good posture, say experts. It must support your body in a neutral position — the spine should have a nice curvature, and the buttocks, heels, shoulders and head must be supported in proper alignment. The shoulders, hips and lower back need special attention. Too little support can lead to back pain; too much can create uncomfortable pressure. Research has shown that, on a 10-point hard-to-soft scale, people who slept on a medium-to-firm mattress (5.6 on the scale) had less back pain than those who used a softer one.

One person’s firm may be another’s soft. A mattress should be chosen for specific people, not for the entire family. Pick a pillow that’s soft but supports your neck to improve the quality of your sleep.

A mattress has a life span that lasts anywhere between 5 and 15 years. Keep in mind that it can collect dust mites, fungus, and other germs that can lead to allergies and affect sleep patterns. Junk it when it’s time, not when it is in tatters.

The last word. Always insist on a trial, however embarrassed you may feel to lie down in a showroom. And never go shopping when tired; any mattress will seem the right one then!