Dr. Alan Hedge is a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. He is also a certified professional ergonomist. Dr. Alan Hedge explains how to buy the best mattress for a good night’s sleep. Following is a transcript of the video.

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping.

Most people go and buy a mattress in a mattress store, and what they do is they’ll sit on the edge of the mattress, and bounce up and down, and say, “hey, this feels good!”

Unfortunately, that’s not how you sleep. You actually lay on the mattress, and you move around at night. And the same with the pillow. You’ll see people saying, “Buy this pillow. It’ll keep your head in the same position all night long.”

You want to be able to move around because movement really helps circulation in the body. And it helps the muscles so that you wake up feeling more refreshed. There’s been a lot of interest in the idea of memory foam.

Memory foam is something that, when you lay on it, conforms to whatever shape it is: the shape of your body. But remember that you want to be able to move around. You don’t want to sink into something that locks you in one position.

So, the key is that, if you can, is to get at a store that will let you try a mattress out. Then, you can really know how it works. If you can’t do that, then take your shoes off, lay on the mattress, roll on your side, roll back and forth. Figure out: “is this really going to work for me?”

You want to get a new mattress at least every 10 years and a new pillow every 2 years because when you’re in bed, you actually shed a lot of dead skin. And that skin goes into the mattress, and then, there are little critters called dust mites that will eat that skin. So, after 10 years, you’ve got a lot of stuff in there that you really don’t want to be sleeping on.

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