Do you feel like you’ve not fully rested after a night’s sleep? May be you are suffering from allergies, or it’s that sore back. Experts say a good mattress could be the perfect remedy
You wouldn’t go running or go hiking on a mountain top without the right gear. Yet, even when we end up spending a third of our lives sleeping, many of us haven’t sufficiently prepared our beds — particularly when it comes to mattresses. There’s no better feeling than getting into bed after a long, gruelling day. All you want to do is burrow into bed and get six to nine hours of sleep, and wake up fresh the next day. Nevertheless, sometimes your mattress can make achieving this goal difficult in many ways, all of which can eventually affect your health.
Allergic to dust mites
Everyone has unseen roommates: dust mites. Have you met these unwelcome guests? These microscopic creatures, distantly related to ticks and spiders, live in humid climates and feed off the dead human skin found in household dust, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid spots like your bedding, mattress, and upholstered furniture.
If you’re allergic to dust mites, it means your body is sensitive to their faeces and decaying bodies. Coming into contact with this debris can cause symptoms of an allergic reaction like coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. If you have asthma, it could also trigger symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, coughing, and wheezing. Whether you’re dealing with allergies or asthma, having dust mites in your bed can mean restless nights full of symptoms.
The bad news is that it’s very difficult to totally eliminate dust mites. However, there’s a lot you can do to get rid of them. For instance, you can buy an allergy-proof cover made of tightly woven fabric to zip around your mattress or the pillows. This creates a barrier between you and the dust mites, and they won’t trigger your allergies or asthma, plus the dead skin you shed can’t get to them, which prevents them from eating and reproducing. Washing your bedding at least once a week with water, that’s at least 130 degrees Celcius can also kill them.
Good spine support
When it comes to your mattress, adequate spine support is absolutely essential. Your spine, which is made up of interlocking bones called vertebrae, has some natural curves in it. You have to sleep in a way that supports those natural curves. Any push or pull on your spine, due to a soft or saggy mattress, could put pressure on the ligaments and tendons that connect your spine to other bones and muscles. The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that lower back pain is very common and up to 80 per cent of adults will experience it. There are many things contributing to this, but how do you know if your mattress is the culprit? If you wake up and you’re sore, that could be a sign that it’s time to buy a new mattress. A sagging or lumpy mattress could accentuate neck pain too.
Avoid joint pain
When you’re putting your full body weight onto a surface for hours, you need that surface to withstand it. If your mattress is too firm, excess pressure on areas like your shoulders, hips, knees, side, and back can lead to aches and pains. Mattress toppers can come to your rescue, as they’re often designed to offer the plush experience that a mattress that’s too firm, can’t.
No night sweats
Do you ever wake up in a pool of your own sweat? A few different things can lead to night sweats — a term used for repeated periods of excessive sweating at night for a medical reason — including medications like antidepressants and conditions like anxiety or menopause, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, sometimes when no medical issue is responsible for sweating profusely at night — it’s potentially the mattress that’s to blame.
Experts say that if a mattress is made from a material that hugs the body, such as a dense foam, the heat released from your body during sleep can be trapped, leading to excessive heat retention and sweating.
You might be able to fix this by wearing nightclothes with breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. You can also opt for sheets made of these fabrics if they seem lighter than what you have, or look into mattress toppers that contain cooling gel to keep you from overheating at night. There are even entire mattresses made with specific cooling technology. If you have night sweats, though, a good first step is addressing the underlying problem with your doctor. They may be able to recommend solutions for your specific situation.
An uncomfortable mattress might cause interrupted sleep, or even long-term sleep deprivation. Constantly being tired can obviously mess with your mood, concentration levels, appetite, athletic performance, and immune system. However, a lack of sufficient sleep is also linked with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. It can also make every day feel like a colossal struggle.
In the long run, it’s very important that you sleep well, and your mattress plays a big role in that.