5 smart moves to get a better night's sleep

Don't buy a cheap mattress

You will spend about a third of your life in bed. Why would you choose a second-rate mattress?

The 2011 Mattress Matters study by doctors at the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Mo., determined that mattress firmness can affect not only sleep quality but also common health complaints, including daytime pain and grogginess.

While mattresses were once limited to variations of sealed coils and plush, firm or pillow top, today’s options include foam, flex and gel varieties.

To help you shop, here's what mattress retailer Sleepy's, which has more than 700 stores in 13 East Coast states, advises, according to its "snooze director" Emily Barrett (she's a social media and marketing professional):

* Replace a mattress every 8-12 years or sooner if you notice you are not sleeping comfortably.

* Research and test. Take note of any particularly restful nights you’ve spent on a bed other than your own, and check out that mattress by name when you go shopping.

* Don't make your decision based solely on price.

* Don't shop alone if you have a partner. Today’s technology allows both partners to sleep on the same mattress while providing the support and comfort that fits each one.

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