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Levels of firmness

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Page 208

A hard bed provides support. As long as you don't have buttocks, a lower back, or shoulders.


Yes, we know that bodies are not perfectly straight. We also know that the parts that stick out will wind up bearing all our weight if we sleep on, say, a floor. Despite this, why is it so exasperatingly easy to select a bed that is too hard?

It's not only because some folks (Martin Luther?) believed that sleeping on hard surfaces builds character. The real culprits are the words we use to describe beds. They're tricky. In the language of beds, the word "support" is often used as a sur­rogate for "hard" i.e. something positive when you actually mean the opposite. And "soft" is confused with a "hammock."

Neither extreme is good for sleeping. The fact is that your back also ends up in the wrong position if you are lying on something too soft. So, it is ex­tremely important to choose the level of firmness that is just right for you.

To that end, we have two pieces of advice:

r) Lie down. In the right bed, your body sinks

just the right amount so that your spine, neck, and trachea end up in a straight line. The bed fills in the blanks so that your weight is evenly distri­buted, and all parts of your body are supported, for example, your lower back when you're lying on your back. You'll know it when you feel it because your entire body will relax, and you' II experience the euphoric feeling of floating as if on clouds.

2) Try it out. Try it out. Try it out. And then try it out again. Dispense with the labels. Forget your preconceptions about how hard or soft your new bed needs to be. Instead, let your body decide

- it's often a much better judge than your brain.

And you can relax, our sleep coaches in the Hastens stores will not get tired of you trying out mattresses. They have the same level of persever­ance as the springs in our beds.