College is many people’s first exposure to the strict deadlines that they will be dealing with for the rest of their lives. Many professors have admitted, over the years, that they know their students are not learning so much with rote memorization and stressful finals—not material anyway. What students are learning is how to take on a project, complete it, and succeed. Life after school, in the working world, does not relent. When people find themselves tired and struggling to keep the busy pace of life, confusion comes. Most people would be incredulous if they were told that their firm queen mattress was the culprit in their struggles to perform well at work.

They might cite the fact that they have been sleeping on that bed for years as evidence that there’s nothing wrong with it, or they may push back saying, “It’s only because I’m not sleeping enough.” However, research disagrees. Medical experts now understand that when a person is faced with a choice between five hours of sleep on a good mattress and eight on a bad one, the former choice is better than the latter.

Sleep is tricky business. Why so few people accept the research that poor sleep is to blame for poor productivity or health issues is simple: they don’t know they are getting it. The vast majority of people who suffer from bad sleep wake dozens of times each night, only momentarily to twist, or adjust their weight because of a bad mattress. In the brief moment they awake, there is no cognitive awareness and so, the following morning, they are tired, but do not know why. The situation is complicated with a person who’s already working with five or fewer hours of sleep since there is little chance they will understand the importance of a mattress in their successful slumber.

Whether people believe the affects of poor sleep are caused by their ten year old firm queen mattress or not, the consequences of this truth should persuade them to change. Bad sleep habits compound. Science has shown that the body is not capable of “make-up sleep.” Once a person has lost the hours, he or she cannot get them back. The toll is taken on the brain and immune system already. The longer bad sleep is the routine, the wider reaching the consequences are on a person’s long-term health. The best way to combat this problem is just to invest in a good mattress.