Most people spend approximately one-third of their entire life lying in bed. The quality of your mattress can make a huge difference between waking up feeling refreshed and waking up in pain. In fact, old worn-out mattresses are an extremely common contributor to chronic back and neck pain. Good health and sleep are closely linked. Just as we improve our eating habits for better health, we should also improve our sleep habits. Good sleep not only reduces back problems, it also helps to prepare us for a more productive day. If you think that your mattress may be past its prime, here are some tips to help you select the right mattress for you:

• There is no single mattress that works well for all people. Look for a mattress that is adjustable in firmness and support for you.

• Find a mattress that has proper support for good sleep posture. Good sleep posture is nearly the same as good standing posture, with the ear, shoulder, hip and ankle all in alignment. This will require different levels of support for different parts of the body.

• Mattress firmness and support are not the same. Mattress firmness describes comfort and conformability. Look for a mattress that is comfortable.

• Look for a mattress that manages temperature and moisture.

• Know when it’s time to get a new mattress. If an old mattress sags visibly in the middle, it is definitely time to purchase a new one. Putting boards under a sagging mattress is only a short-term fix and may cause more back problems and low back pain in the long run.

• Shop for the best value and quality of the mattress rather than for price. Finding a high-quality mattress is usually worth the investment, considering the effect a mattress can have on your overall health and comfort. A mattress with replaceable parts can extend the mattress life and maximize your investment.

• Give the mattress a test-run in your home. When shopping, many people spend a few minutes on a mattress in a showroom. They usually spend more time checking the comfort of a couch! It is not possible to determine if a mattress is right for you unless you sleep on it for many nights. If two people will be sleeping on the mattress, both should test it at the same time to make sure they have enough space and to determine if it is right for them.

• Look for a mattress designed to eliminate the need to flip or rotate (and possibly injuring yourself in the process).