Our Guest Blog: The Effect Mattresses Have on the Quality of Sleep
Everyone has experienced a sleepless night or insomnia at some point. For many individuals, it may come as a surprise that your mattress may be at fault. Sleeping on a too firm or too soft mattress can impact the quality of your sleep, the way that you function during the day and your pain levels. According to a study by Research Triangle International, different support levels can play a strong role in your overall health. In the study, they looked at 128 subjects over the course of 16,000 nights of sleep. By the end of the study, researchers discovered that finding a medium-firm mattress was the best way to ensure quality, pain-free sleep.
Deciding What “Medium-Firm” Means
Most of the studies on mattresses and sleep have determined that medium-firm mattresses are the best for a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, there is no way to standardize what “medium-firm” actually means. A firm mattress may feel soft for an overweight individual, while the same mattress could feel too firm to someone who weighs just 125 pounds. Likewise, individual preferences also play a role in the type of mattress that suits each person. Despite these differences, the average person already knows how important a good mattress is to their sleeping habits. In a National Sleep Foundation poll in 2011, 92 percent of respondents said that a comfortable mattress was extremely important to getting enough rest.
Limiting Your Stress
In 2009, a small study tracked a total of 59 participants for 28 nights on their normal mattress. Afterward, the participants slept on a medium-firm mattress for another 28 nights. During this time, the participants were asked to discuss their stress levels based on symptoms like trembling, worrying, irritability, racing thoughts and headaches. At the end of the study, the results showed that using the new, medium-firm beds was correlated to a significant reduction in stress. This was thought to be due to the improved quality of sleep as well as the lower pain levels associated with using the new mattress.
Your Mattress Could Improve Your Allergies
Surprisingly, mattresses can be at fault for some of your allergy woes. An estimated 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, and these dust mites find a home in your mattress. Washing your sheets and pillowcases in hot water can reduce the issue, but you may need to invest in an allergy-proof slip cover. You can use this mattress toppers buyers’ guide to figure out the right allergy-proof cover for your bed. If you still have an issue, vacuuming the mattress can help to remove some of the remaining dust mites.
Lowering the Pressure on Your Body
A medium-firm mattress has been proven to be the most effective way to sleep, but this might not be enough for your body. Certain people need to have comfortable support pads that prevent their body from feeling too much pressure. For these individuals, a mattress topper can provide a layer of cushion between the firm mattress and your body. By sleeping on the right bed, you reduce the amount of pressure on specific body parts and limit the amount of pain that you feel the next day.
Frank Apodaca runs the blog at The Sleep Judge. A site dedicated to helping people get a better sleep and providing reviews on sleep products. You can follow The Sleep Judge on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.