ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Nearly three-fourths of American baby boomers are not getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, blaming sleepless nights on economic, financial and family woes. In fact, one in six of the eighty-two million strong generation report chronic sleep problems — difficulty falling asleep every night of the week — according to a recent sleep survey of U.S. boomers (44-62 year olds) conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC).
In today’s 24/7, sleep deprived society, sound sleep is such an elusive luxury that boomers say they would be willing to sacrifice chocolate (27 percent) and silence their cell phones (22 percent) forever in exchange for great sleep every night for the rest of their lives. Four percent of female boomers even said they would be willing to swap sex for a lifetime of better sleep.
“Quality sleep is vital to proper health and well-being at any age; it’s critical to look, feel and perform your best,” says Karin Dillner, director of communications of the Better Sleep Council. “What many people may not realize is that you don’t need to go to extremes to get better sleep. It could be as simple as improving your sleep surroundings.”
For the best sleep, the BSC recommends creating a bedroom that is dark, quiet, comfortable, cool, uncluttered and free of laptops and televisions. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. And it’s important to sleep on a supportive and comfortable mattress.
As people grow older, their bodies and sleep habits change, affecting their need for comfort and support as they sleep at night. The BSC advises evaluating the mattress every five to seven years. In fact, survey results revealed that the majority of boomers who get the recommended seven to eight hours of shut-eye each night are sleeping on a newer mattress (less than seven years old).
According to the same survey, if money was no object, boomers say they would rather have a new mattress over a new computer, refrigerator or dishwasher. But upgrading the mattress doesn’t need to break the bank.
“The best quality mattress is simply the one that meets your own personal needs for comfort and support, not necessarily the most expensive one in the store,” Dillner said. “Mattress shopping is about finding the best quality you can afford.”
With roughly 27 million boomers sleeping on a mattress more than seven years old, the BSC offers the E.A.S.E. method to help guide consumers through the mattress evaluation and shopping process:
1) Evaluate your current mattress to determine if it’s time for a new one. Among other indicators, if you wake up with stiffness, aches or pains, or if your mattress is sagging, it may be time for a new one.
2) Arm yourself with the knowledge needed to make the best purchase for you. Just as with any other major purchase, it’s important to do your homework. Visit http://www.bettersleep.org to learn about important ‘mattressology’ terms before you shop.
3) Shop to find the right mattress to suit your individual needs. Be sure to test drive the mattress in the store by lying down on it (in your typical sleep position) for at least fifteen minutes.
4) Ensure that you protect your new mattress by purchasing its matching foundation (boxspring), supporting it with a sturdy bed frame and covering it with a quality mattress pad that will keep it fresh and clean.
With a better night’s sleep on a quality mattress, boomers may feel more rested and ready to achieve their daydreams. According to the survey, boomers fantasize the most about the freedom to travel (41 percent), winning the lottery (39 percent), retiring early (28 percent) and even sleeping as late as they want each and every day (12 percent).
For more tips on how to shop for a mattress and how to get a better night’s sleep, visit the BSC’s Web site at http://www.bettersleep.org.
About BSC: Established in 1979, the Better Sleep Council (BSC) is the consumer education division of International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). 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. For more information, visit http://www.bettersleep.org.
Survey findings are taken from a survey of 500 baby boomers (born
1946-1964), conducted by the polling company(TM), inc. from July 16-18, 2008. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.