Sleep, Mood and Your Mattress

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Overlooking the obvious? Two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans report they are not likely to evaluate their mattress for comfort and support and, if needed, consider buying a new one.

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In our 24-7 society, exhausted Americans seem to be willing to try almost anything to cope with sleep-deprivation and emotional stress; however, they may be missing some of the most obvious solutions. According to the findings of the 2006 Better Sleep Month Survey, Americans may be turning to “quick fixes” in lieu of focusing on lifestyle changes and potential long-term solutions to improve their sleep.

The annual poll revealed that more than half of Americans are unlikely to take some basic steps to improve the quality of their sleep. Sixty-six percent are not likely to evaluate their mattress for comfort and support and, if needed, consider buying a new one. (As a rule of thumb, after five-to seven years of use, it’s a good time to evaluate your sleep set.)

“The survey results show that people overlook some of the most obvious components of quality sleep,” said Nancy Shark, executive director of the Better Sleep Council. “Take for example the reluctance, even if needed, to replace an old mattress. The mattress is literally the foundation of our sleep. Comfort and support aside, we spend an average of four entire months every year entirely on our bed. Given that kind of usage, your sleep surface cannot be an afterthought.” For more on survey results visit

Catch 22: Sleep and Emotional Well-Being

It is well-known that sleep problems can be a key sign of depression. What people may not realize is that the reverse is also true — sleep disorders can actually trigger mood disorders and depression. As researchers learn more about the underlying cyclical connection between sleep and our mental health, the important balance is becoming even more apparent.

The Better Sleep Month survey found that better sleep did result in better mood among respondents. When asked to rate their sleep quality, quantity, and overall mood over the course of one week, people who obtained seven or more hours per night were more likely to rate their general mood as excellent (57 percent), as opposed to those receiving an average of six hours of sleep or less (45 percent).

Five Tips to Improve Sleep

In the 2006 Better Sleep Month survey, only 25 percent of respondents rated the quality and quantity of their sleep as excellent. That means that 75 percent need to take action to improve their sleep. The Better Sleep Council offers the following advice for Americans this May:

About Better Sleep Month

Each May the Better Sleep Council sponsors Better Sleep Month to help educate Americans about the impact of sleep on various aspects of our health and quality of life. Better Sleep Month marks the time to take action and make sleep a priority. For more information on Better Sleep Month 2006: Sleep and Emotional Well-Being, please visit:

Dr. Amy Wolfson, sleep expert, psychologist, professor and author of A Woman’s Book of Sleep and is available for comment regarding this survey and the important role sleep plays in the quality of one’s life. Find more on Dr. Amy Wolfson and her book at Please contact Jeanette Casselano at 202.828.8833 for more information.

About Better Sleep Council

Established in 1979, the Better Sleep Council is a non-profit organization supported by the mattress industry. The BSC is devoted to educating the public about the importance of sleep to good health and quality of life and about the value of the sleep system and sleep environment in pursuit of a good night's sleep.


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Jeanette Casselano