Are you suffering from sleepless nights or restless sleep? Do you spend a good majority of your night tossing and turning only to wake up utterly exhausted in the morning? If you are finding it hard to get your required zzz’s, the problem might be your mattress. A mattress plays a pivotal role in getting a restful slumber. Your mattress directly affects your quality of sleep and your overall sense of well-being during your waking hours.
Sleep Research Indicates the Importance of a Mattress
Drs. Andy Krystal and Jack Edinger from Duke University partnered with the Research Triangle International to embark on a four-year study of how your mattress can impact your sleep and health. The study evaluated over 16,000 nights of sleep with 128 study participants. The participants were all normal, pain-free adults. The study focused on the direct impact that a mattress has on the participant’s sleep patterns and their overall physical health. They also studied if a mattress can cause physical daytime aches and pain.
Unlike previous studies that have been undertaken by researchers to study if a mattress has a direct bearing on a person’s sleep and well-being, the Krystal and Edinger research project enlisted the help of participants from a wide spectrum of diversity such as age and body size. They also used seven types of mattresses that varied in firmness. Each study subject slept up to four weeks on a mattress before switching to a different mattress with a different firmness ratio. The study clearly showed that the firmness of the mattress affected how the person slept. Some people slept best on a firm mattress, but others gained their best sleep on a soft mattress.
Children and Babies
You should also not overlook the importance of purchasing a new mattress for your child. Many children don’t show outward signs of being tired from poor sleep, but there are often telltale indications that your child might not be getting the sleep he needs. Are his school grades suffering? Do you have a hard time getting him up in the morning? Does he regularly toss, turn, and kick his bedding off the bed? An appropriate mattress for your child’s body type is just as important as it is for an adult.
Your baby’s crib mattress is also extremely critical to your baby’s moods. Babies sleep 12 to 17 hours per day. If your infant is cranky, or fails to start sleeping through the night when he should be having a restful slumber, it might be time to purchase a new crib mattress for your little one.
When to Upgrade Your Mattress
The National Sleep Foundation states that humans spend up to a third of their lives sleeping. Because sleep plays such a crucial role in your life, you should take the importance of a mattress seriously. Many people wonder when they should start to shop for a new mattress. Here are several signs that indicate you might want to consider upgrading your mattress to attain a more restful night.
1. Pain — Do you wake up in pain? If your mattress is worn, sagging, or starting to show lumps where it shouldn’t, then chances are good that your body is taking a beating trying to adjust to the mattress’ uneven surface and lack of adequate support. Your muscles and joints might hurt in the morning, which is a strong signal that you need a new mattress. Even if you do not immediately suffer from physical pain when you first wake, it’s not uncommon for your neck, hips, or back to start to stiffen and ache as the day progresses because of the uncomfortable sleep positions your body underwent during your nightly sleep phases.
2. Age — Even a firm mattress loses its firmness as it ages. As the years pass, you might not notice that your firm mattress has become softer. Plus, your body changes as you age. Maybe your body once required a firm mattress, but now you could benefit from a softer mattress for a good night’s sleep. As we gain weight, our body often requires a firmer mattress. Remember, that a mattress that once felt firm when you weighed 150 pounds might now be too soft if you weigh 200 pounds. If your mattress is older than five years, or you have gained physical weight, you should probably purchase a new mattress.
3. Allergens — Even with regular bedding changes, mattresses still suffer from a buildup of skin cells and oils. All of those substances are would-be allergens that might make you sneeze or suffer from stuffed sinuses. Nobody sleeps well if they cannot breathe successfully, so making sure your sinuses are clear is of paramount importance to gaining a restful slumber.
4. Noise — Has your mattress started to creak and groan when you roll over? Mattress springs often begin to break down with age. The springs start to make noise and groan. A noisy mattress interrupts your sleep cycle even if you don’t notice the noises when you are awake. It’s not uncommon for individuals to tune out common noises during their wakeful hours, such as a bed’s many squeaks and groans. However, when you sleep, especially when you are first drifting into a deep slumber, your body is often attuned to outside sounds. Some scientists consider such a phenomena a throwback to our caveman days when we used to have to remain alert to possible predators and attack. Such a primal survival mechanism makes small noises from your mattress especially disturbing and might prevent you from gaining adequate sleep.
Are You Getting The Sleep You Need?
The UCLA Sleep Disorder Center suggests asking yourself a few questions to determine if you are getting a good night’s sleep. If you answer ‘true’ to any of these questions then you might want to consider purchasing a new mattress as your first step in attaining a fulfilling sleep cycle.
1. Do you feel sleepy during the day; even when you feel like you get a good night’s sleep?
2. Do you get irritable and short-tempered when you can’t sleep?
3. Does it take you a long time to fall asleep?
4. Do you frequently wake up earlier than needed and cannot fall back asleep?
5. Do your legs jerk and move during the night?
6. Does your sleep partner say that you snore during the night?
7. Do you ever wake up at night gasping for air?
8. Have you ever fallen asleep while driving or working?
Considerations When Shopping for a New Mattress
When you replace your mattress, remember that you should also replace your box springs. As time passes, the box springs also begin to sag and change form. If the box springs are warped, they will be unable to successfully hold the new mattress in an acceptable position and might even damage your new mattress. Many modern mattresses no longer require the structural support of box springs.
At Urban Mattress, we sell a wide array of mattresses to meet your sleep needs. We sell classic mattresses, natural/organic mattresses, and children’s mattresses. Our sales professionals know how important a mattress is to your health and life. We encourage you to spend time with our mattresses and try them out before you buy. Please contact your local Urban Mattress store to learn more about our large inventory of mattresses.