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Sleep is essential to every human being.

You can starve to death in two weeks, but you can die from lack of sleep in 10 days, according to statistics at the Better Sleep Council.

We spend 33 percent of our lives asleep, and those ZZZ’s recharge our brains, repair our cells and relax our bodies. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, it may be your mattress. Consider how an adjustable bed can improve the quality of your life.

Forget the visual image of a hospital bed. Modern adjustable beds are attractive and can fit into any bedroom décor, while providing flexibility and comfort while making it easier to find that perfect sleep position, says Charles Foster of Fosters Mattress in Waterloo.

“Today’s adjustable beds better fit our bodies and our lifestyles, too. In a purist world, the bed is for sleeping, but we take our electronic devices – laptops, iPads – to bed, too. You can adjust the head or the foot, bend the knees to increase circulation, raise the head to tilt the esophagus if you have acid reflux, adjust the bed to accommodate a sore back or alleviate pressure points,” says Foster.

When you hear the words “adjustable bed,” realize that it’s only the platform that a mattress sits on. “It’s the same space the normal box spring would go and looks very similar. You’ll also want to purchase a new mattress for the motion base as part of the package.

Basic adjustable beds can elevate head and feet. Higher-end models have much more to offer, such as the Serta Motion Custom Adjustable Base Foundation with six massage levels, Bluetooth Connectivity for smart phone and tables, USB power ports, a wireless speaker system and more.

In addition to comfort, there are health benefits for adjustable bed users. A massage function, for example, can improve circulation in diabetics.

There are other considerations, such as the size of the bed and choice of dual/split platforms that allow each side of the bed to be adjusted independently, motor, weight limit, battery backup, wired or wireless remotes to operate the platform.

Test the range of motion of the adjustable beds you’re considering. Ask about the warranty, delivery and setup options. When you find the one you want, now’s the time to choose the mattress.

“We have different mattresses that work on the platform, so it comes down to which you think is comfortable,” Foster says. Ask to try various mattresses – firm, plush, etc. – and text each one by lying down for 10 to 15 minutes to get a real feel for it. Test the range of motion on the adjustable bed.

All adjustable beds require surge protectors, Foster adds.

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