Now this I know is a topic that rarely gets covered but man is it important.
How well are you resting?
A number of factors come into play. You need a quiet, dark room. The suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
But above all, you need a good mattress. This is by far the most important piece of furniture in your house, the one that directly impacts your quality of life the most, how well you rest during the night and how well you perform during the day. It’s the one you spend 7 to 8 hours sleeping on. Make that nine if you’re lucky.
What’s this got to do with survival you ask? Everything. Proper rest is almost as important as a proper diet. It will directly impact both your mood and physical condition. Many people just get a cheap piece of foam and consider the matter done, only to wonder why they feel tired all day, or why their back, neck or head hurts. To heal, to be productive during the day, to be rested and therefore alert you simply need to sleep well.
Personally, I guess I was spoiled from the start. Knowing how important a good mattress is, it was the thing I spent the most money on when I first got married. We bought a Simmons Beautyrest with pocketed coils. Man was that nice. Maybe the best mattress I ever owned. Because of that Beautyrest I learned to appreciate pocketed coil springs and always stuck to those until last year. I somehow ended up with one of those spring mattress that aren’t pocketed, just a bed of connected springs. It was cheap garbage and by far the worst mattress I even slept on. For almost an entire year I dreaded going to bed, woke up with a stiff neck, felt tired all day. You know how that is, you know something needs to be done but you keep postponing it. One day I woke up and promised myself I would not continue to suffer this nonsense, especially given how easily my “problem” could be solved by just buying another mattress. Well, that was the beginning of period of days dedicated to research and finding the right mattress.
This is what I learned:
1) You get what you pay for but sometimes you over pay. If you want quality then it wont be cheap. The Simmons Beautyrest I mentioned before is a classic, still in production and a top of the line mattress, but some of their best models cost over $2,500. You can buy a lot of foam mattresses with that money.
2) Then again sometimes you are also getting ripped of. A +$1.000 foam mattress is still a piece of foam, even when fancy trademark names and new foam “technology” is used in the marketing of said product.
3) Get pocketed coils. This is what the best, most expensive mattresses have always been made of. This means springs in individual wrappings, so that each one works independently. When this method is done properly there is no movement transmitted from one side of the bed to the other. Even if you jump on one side and try to sleep in the other.
4) Get one that offers at least 6 months of trial and +10 year warranty.
5) Get one that uses quality, if possible natural fibers.
6) Get one that has a good thick bed topper(pillow top) as pictured below.
7) Go with “firm” for your mattress. When combined with a pillow top it makes for the best of both worlds.
After researching for several days I went to IKEA and got myself their top of the line mattress, Hesseng. The Hesseng is made of thick gauge pocketed coils, uses horsehair as filling, along with cotton and wool, all natural fibers. The topper, Tromsdalen is also natural silicon. This makes for a super fresh, well ventilated mattress.
If you need a new mattress look for this one in IKA (although I don’t believe its available in America yet, better check). IKEA gives you 12 months to try the mattress and a 25 year warranty. That’s pretty good.
IF not go for the Simmons Beautyrest. You cant go wrong with either one. They aren’t as cheap as a piece of foam but the quality is on another level as well.
If still on the fence and looking to save a few bucks at the expense of the quality of your rest, remind yourself that you deserve the best you can afford. Especially for a bed in which you’ll spend 1/3 of your life in.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.