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I am the manager at the Select Comfort store in the White Flint Mall. Select Comfort is the maker of the “sleep number” bed. I have been involved in the mattress business for a little more than 10 years. Much of what was said in your story (“Washington Slept Here,” 4/16) about inner-spring mattresses is true, but people have been sleeping on them for over 200 years, not since 1920.

You cannot take an inner-spring unit out of an old mattress and recover it and have a good sleep surface. You also cannot just clean up a mattress and still have a good sleep surface. Even the inner-spring industry will tell you that mattresses will last for only about 10 years. After that time, the coils will have lost their memory and ability to return to their original shape—essentially, the springs will be sprung. In many cases, a spring unit will not even last for more than five years.

Better than 95 percent of all human beings do not get the proper quality of sleep. And 98 percent of Americans have back pain. One of the reasons for these numbers is attributed to their sleep surface.

During sleep, our heart and lungs are sending blood and oxygen through the muscles and to the brain, rejuvenating and healing our bodies. This is what helps us get up refreshed and ready to meet the world the next day. (We wonder why people are so cranky all the time; a lot of times, it is because they did not get a good sleep.) If a person is sleeping on an uncomfortable sleep surface, he will toss and turn at least every 10 to 15 minutes. This does not allow that person to rejuvenate and heal from the day before. The lack of good sleep will make him vulnerable to sickness, irritable, and most definitely a candidate for an early grave.

Sleep is very important to our health, so the mattress you should not be looked at as an unimportant piece of furniture. (This is why hospitals have beds, not just tables, to lie on.) Look at how much we spend on our cars. How much time do we spend in our cars? We spend many more hours in bed. Yet people are not willing to spend $1,000 to $4,000 on a comfortable bed? That tells me that their priorities are all wrong.

Store Manager

Select Comfort Store 146