I often see patients suffering for years because they’re sleeping on the wrong mattress. Sleeping like this is terrible for your health.
Not only does an uncomfortable night’s sleep rob you of energy, it also causes many health problems. Poor sleep increases stress, pain, and emotional distress. It also reduces memory and cognitive performance. In my practice, I often see neck and back pain that results from bad mattresses.
How Do I Know If I Need a New Mattress?
- Your mattress is more than 8-10 years old
- You wake up stiff and sore
- You hear the bed creak or sway when you roll over
- You notice your partner getting out of bed or rolling over
- When you travel, you sleep better in other beds
- Your mattress is sagging
- You toss and turn all night due to discomfort
Are Expensive Mattresses Always the Best?
Check out high-end mattresses first. Even if they are out of your budget, you’ll learn about the best features and experience the most comfortable options.
Higher-end luxury beds tend to offer support along with comfortable padding. A lower-end discounted bed is often firm, but less comfortable. If your budget is smaller, you can make a firm mattress a little softer by adding the foam topper that works for you.
What’s the Best Mattress for My Pain?
Patients with lower back pain often prefer a firmer mattress. A firm bed stops the spine from sinking into the mattress. Sinking in can irritate the facet joints in the spine.
Patients with neck, shoulder and upper back pain tend to like a softer or more plush mattress.
What’s the Best Mattress for My Sleep Position?
Side lying sleepers need a softer mattress. A plush mattress maintains the spine’s natural position and takes pressure off the shoulders and hips. Plush bedding cradles the body and disperses weight across a broader surface area.
Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress. Sleeping on your stomach in a soft bed can stress the thoracic and lumbar parts of the spine. The weight of the belly and pelvis also compress the bedding. A firmer mattress is necessary to support these areas.
Back sleepers prefer a medium to firm mattress.
Can I Find the Right Mattress by Shopping Online?
The best mattress for you is the one that is supportive to your body and your sleep position. To figure that out, you’ll need to try mattresses in real life. Many online retailers offer a trial period for you to test drive a mattress.
How Do I Know I’ve Found the Right Mattress?
Allow time to lay on the mattress for a while. Ask the sales rep for a test pillow, assume your usual sleep position, and stay there for 5-10 minutes.
Make sure your spine is aligned. A picture of yourself laying in your favorite sleep position will tell you if the mattress is right for you. See if you can draw a straight line from your head to your tailbone. Is your pelvis rotated? Is your spine sagging? Do you see any weird angles in your body from sagging in the mattress?
What If I Sleep with a Partner?
Make sure to test mattresses with your significant other. Many of my patients have back pain because their partner picked out an inappropriate mattress. You both need to find the mattress comfortable and properly supportive.
Many of my patients find that changing their mattress changes their life for the better. A good day begins with good sleep. Good sleep begins with the mattress that is right for your spine. Invest time and energy into your health by investing in the best mattress you can afford.
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