Life is busy, and it can be hard to get the rest you need to keep going. For many people, lack of sleep can cause, or exacerbate the symptoms of medical conditions. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, take steps to get more sleep, and better quality sleep, to stay healthy and avoid health issues. For many people, something as simple as a new mattress or pillow can have a profound effect on symptoms.
Those who suffer from anxiety often experience symptoms at night. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, three-fourths of adults whose sleep is affected by stress or anxiety say that their sleep problems have also increased their stress and anxiety: 54 percent say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night, and 52 percent of men and 42 percent of women reported it affected their ability to remain focused the next day. In addition, when many of these people awaken during the night, not being able to fall back asleep causes even more anxiety, which causes a vicious cycle of stress and sleeplessness.
A mattress that doesn’t support well not only exacerbates back pain issues, but can cause new ones. The wrong mattress can cause the spine to become misaligned and strain back muscles. People who struggle with herniated discs, bulging discs, or degenerative disc disease would probably benefit from a firmer mattress. Because no two people’s back pain is the same, it is difficult to make a generalized statement about the best position to sleep in, but typically sleeping on the side causes less strain. For those who are more comfortable on their back, it is best to slightly bend the knees and place a pillow under them for support. This eases strain on the back. The absolute worst choice for back pain is sleeping on your stomach. It tends to make your back arch, and after staying in that position for an extended period of time, you may experience increased pain symptoms.
Those who suffer from neck pain often describe their discomfort at its worst when they wake in the morning. A lot of that could be avoided with the right mattress. In addition, a pillow that aligns the neck and spine will help tremendously. As with back pain, side sleeping is recommended over sleeping on the stomach.
Sciatica and Nerve Issues
Sciatica is a condition where a nerve in the lower back is compressed, which causes radiating pain and numbness in the lower back, buttocks, and down the back of the legs. It can be quite painful, and sleeping often worsens nerve issues because laying down can put additional pressure on nerves for hours at a time. Sufferers from nerve conditions often awaken during the night in pain, and have a hard time going back to sleep. In addition, that pain continues on throughout the day.
Experts agree that with sciatica and other nerve conditions, a firm mattress is the best choice. For those who are comfortable sleeping on their side, lifting one knee towards the head and placing a pillow underneath it will help keep the pressure of the sciatic nerve.
Chronic pain is a constant issue for arthritis sufferers, and the location is different for each patient. But one thing that is common across the board is the importance of sleep. According to the Arthritis Foundation, Osteoarthritis negatively affects sleep patterns, as it makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Whether the afflicted area is the knee, hands, fingers, neck, back, or hips, many people complain that their pain is worse in the morning. Researchers think a lack of sleep may trigger inflammatory pathways that exacerbate arthritis pain. For arthritis sufferers, a softer, more plush mattress is typically better for falling asleep and staying asleep, and an older, harder mattress can contribute to elevated pain levels.
Sleep is essential for autoimmune disorders. In essence, these conditions cause the body to fight against itself, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms. Whether the diagnosis is Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or one of the other 80 autoimmune diseases, the one thing they have in common is the need for sleep. Sleep problems can increase levels of stress hormones and aggravate flares, which interfere with everyday life. Those who have an autoimmune disorder and are struggling to sleep, should consider changing their mattress and other bedding to see if it makes a positive difference.
Hip issues are most prevalent in older generations, when getting a good nights rest is essential for staying healthy. Lack of sleep makes you more susceptible for everything from the common cold to dementia, and painful hips sometimes get in the way of getting decent rest. If you have hip pain, especially in the morning, try sleeping on your side with a rolled up towel or small pillow between your knees. That will keep hips aligned while you rest. An overly firm mattress can also contribute to hip pain.
Allergies and Asthma
If you continually wake up to sneezing, a stuffy nose, and headache, you may not be fighting off a cold, but dealing with allergies. Mattresses are a dust mite’s idea of heaven, as they feed on the dead skin of humans and animals. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 20 million people in the United States have a dust mite allergy, and exposure to them can cause traditional allergy symptoms, or an increase in breathing problems for asthma sufferers.
Older mattresses also harbor microscopic particles of dust, which are another known problem, because they contain particles of pollen, mold, and other allergens. If allergies and asthma are an ongoing problem, there’s a good chance that replacing an older mattress will improve symptoms.
Undiagnosed Medical Conditions
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things a person can go through is ongoing symptoms that have no diagnosis. Things like joint pain, or migraine headaches, that have no explanation might be attributed to your mattress. Even if you have a newer mattress, many of them on the market today are constructed with adhesives that contain harmful chemicals, and materials heavily treated with pesticides. Then, in an effort to make them fire-retardant, they are finished off with another layer of harmful chemicals. If you are experiencing ongoing medical concerns without answers, think about the possibility that your mattress is making you sick.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem. Many people have found that investing in mattresses made of natural materials have eliminated these mystery symptoms, allowing them to move on with their life free from pain and stress.
These are just some of the medical issues people deal with on an ongoing basis. Often one simple change can drastically increase quality of life, so consider looking into a new mattress. How a mattress is constructed, its level of support, its ability to keep your body temperature constant, and its firmness, all contribute to each individual’s medical needs.
If you would like more information on mattresses, contact you local Urban Mattress store. The average person spends a third of their life in bed, so it is important to invest in bedding that is comfortable, and contributes to your overall health.