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Published: Thursday, 2/1/2007

Sleep Sanctuary Leads to Sweet Dreams

(NewsUSA) - When you have trouble falling asleep or getting the good night's rest you deserve, it's time to wake up. And millions of Americans are waking up to the importance of a comfortable sleep sanctuary - including a quality mattress - that meets their needs for restorative, rejuvenating sleep.

In fact, 84 percent of those polled in a 2006 Better Sleep Council survey reported positive changes in either the quantity or quality of sleep when sleeping on an especially good mattress.

"If you wake up with aches, pains or stiffness, or you've had a better night's sleep somewhere other than in your own bed, it's time for a bedroom makeover," advises Nancy Shark, executive director of the Better Sleep Council.

Creating a personal sleep sanctuary is a way to treat yourself well each and every day, and it's easier than you may think. Regardless of space or budget, the BSC offers these five steps to transform a bedroom into a cozy sleep retreat:

Assess it

Evaluate your bedroom environment. Take note of lighting, temperature, noise levels, mattress quality and comfort, decor and clutter.

Visualize it

Once you identify trouble spots, start visualizing the bedroom of your dreams. Think of a room where you have enjoyed an extraordinary night's sleep. Also, look through magazines for inspiration.

Invest in it

While creating a sleep sanctuary doesn't have to break the bank, it's important to invest in a quality mattress and foundation. If you've had your mattress for more than five to seven years, it's likely not providing the necessary comfort or support. Treat yourself to a new one.

Create it

Focus on the elements of design, such as color, texture and accessories. Select colors that make you feel at ease. Use photos and mementos to make it personal and include something organic to add life. Above all, keep it clean and uncluttered.

Enjoy it

To fully enjoy the benefits of your sleep sanctuary, make a larger commitment to sleep by making it a priority. Keep a consistent sleep routine; exercise regularly, but not immediately before bedtime; and reduce intake of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine near bedtime.

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