How Mattress Affect Sleep

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How mattress affect sleep

How can a Mattress Affect your Sleep and Health

How can a mattress affect your sleep and health? Let’s discuss the top scientific factors that affect sleep and solve this question by re-engineering the question by starting from the end result. How can we ultimately get the best sleep? I am going to break up the issues into two broad categories; mechanical and physical.

The three most important mechanical and physical factors that affect sleep are:

COMFORT/SUPPORT

TEMPERATURE

ENVIRONMENT/TOXINS

COMFORT AND SUPPORT:You can get a mattress that feels comfortable when you first lay down on it. but it may not have support. This is the case in so many cheap, soft, mattresses and the result can be very harmful to the spine and ultimatley to a person’s health. It is imperitive that the mattress provide proper support (especially with scoliosis) that maintains the basic spinal curves, to keep the four primary curves in alignment. Bad (and usually old) mattresses allow gravity to win and don’t support the spine in its neutral configuration, taking the spine out of it’s optimal anatomical position. This can cause increased stress and strain and cause injury and increase the chances of age related degenerative arthritis. The inverse is also true. There are mattresses that have a ton of support but may not be comfortable. If a mattress is too hard or very unforgiving, it may hold one’s spine up and not sag, but it may be so uncomfortable that one develops pressure points or it is simply so uncomfortable, you can’t get to sleep (insomnia) or it continually awakens the person (sleep disruptions), both which can lead to poor health.

My recommendation is to have atop layer of pressure relieving foamto reduce, absorb and distrubute pressure properly and choose a mattress that has majority of the underlying foam layers forsupport. JUSTSLEEPbeds.com has JUST the right amount ofpressure relief and supportbuilt into every mattress to optimize your health and sleep experience.

TEMPERATURE:The optimal mattress would be made from a material that self regulates and changes the temperature around the body to reduce the chance of over-heating or alternatively cooling to uncomfortable temperatures, both which can affect the soundness of one’s sleep. The worst case scenario is a mattress with a material that traps one’s body heat or alternatively, a mattress material that doesn’t create enough insulation under the body to keep the body warm. In the deep sleep (aka, beauty sleep or "delta sleep"), research has shown that our body temperature will be reduced by about one degree to allow our body to maintain this deep restful sleep stage. A mattress that traps heat can reduce this powerful stage of restful sleep during the night.

My recommendation is to get a mattress that has permeability, breathability and does not trap heat. The most important concept in heat regulation is creating a “temperature neutral” environment that does not generate nor does it reduce a person’s temperature. This is obtained through a mattress’ “breathability”. This is very important to deep sleep, a very important sleep cycle that helps regulate and promote our health through protein synthesis and cellular repair. I have a created two mattress lines, THE PREMIUM and the THE SELECT. The Premium has an upper layer of a plant based coconut foam imported from Italy that has certified breathability and a second layer, a Talalay latex that has air vent holes drilled that increases it’s breathability as well. The SELECT has a gel-infused memory foam that has air vent holes for improved breathablity and gel "swirls" that increase the elasticity and "push-back" to help keep you spine in alignment and also help in keeping the temperature JUST right.

Environment:An old or non-certified mattress can create off gassing, can harbor bacteria and dust-mites, can be allergenic and can create other adverse environment such as mold or mildew. Any or all of the above can affect one’s health as our bodies react to these foreign matters as toxins and can even effect the respiratory system. There are a variety of bedding materials on the market including feathers, foam and synthetic fiberfill. Research shows that both synthetic and down can be full of dust-mites and millions of fungal spores. It’s the dust mite’s feces that can play havoc with our respiratory systems and Aspergillus, the most common fungus (especially found in synthetic pillows) is also very problematic for adults and children with mold allergies, asthma, sinus problems, or compromised immune systems.

My recommendation is to purchase a mattress that is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial and dust mite resistant. Talalay latex, the primary foam in our PREMIUM line of mattresses at JUSTSLEEPbeds.com mattress is resistant to all of the above and both the coconut and latex foams used in the upper layers of the PREMIUM line are Oeko Tec certified to be devoid of any harmful substances that may negatively affect one’s health.

There are other very important factors such mental and physical that effect sleep and you can read more about these in my new book "Unlocking the Mysteries of Sleep". My new book is available free of charge on the JUSTSLEEPbeds.com website. Other factors such as anxiety, stress, depression, alcohol, eating habits, hydration, bed partner, ambient noise and light are very important to look at and will be discussed in an upcoming blog.

Wishing you the best of health through sleep!

How Bed Surfaces Affect Your Sleep

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How Bed Surfaces Affect Your Sleep

The feel of your mattress, pillows, sheets, and pajamas affects the quality of your sleep. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive so that you wake up feeling rested, not achy or stiff.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily better to sleep on an extra firm mattress, so use your body as a guide for what feels best through the night. Many sleepers, especially side sleepers, prefer a softer mattress. The same applies to pillows: soft or firm is a matter of preference, but think about replacing pillows when they become lumpy or shapeless. The type and number of pillows you use depends in part on your sleeping position.

Temperature plays a big role in quality sleep. Mattress materials, as well as the fabrics on your bed and your body, deal with heat differently. For example, many people find memory foam comfortable, but some materials can trap heat and make it more difficult to sleep in warmer months. For pajamas and sheets, it may help to choose a breathable cotton fabric so that you don’t overheat. There are newer fabrics available that also have the ability to wick away moisture—especially helpful if you sweat when you sleep.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bad Bed?

Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only.

Pop quiz: how old is your mattress?

Unless you bought it within the past year, you’d probably have to count backward, and do some tricky memory math to try to figure it out.

Most of us don’t think much about our mattresses, which is odd, considering how much of our lives we spend on them. Just because we’re unconscious for most of those hours doesn’t make our beds any less important. It’s the opposite, in fact.

A good night of rest is one of the best things you can do for your health, so having a supportive bed is key. And it’s not just for your comfort, although that is one of the reasons. Theeffects of sleeping on a bad mattressextend beyond your bedtime and can even affect your breathing and mental health.

In this article, we’ll give you some guidelines on how to know when it’s time to say adios to your old bed and replace it with something new.

Life Expectancy of a Mattress

How long you can reasonably expect to keep your bed varies depending on who you ask. Mattress manufacturers will tell you once every eight years, but Consumer Reports says a quality bed should last for ten years. Call it paranoia, but it seems like the manufacturers are trying to steer us into replacing our beds more quickly than needed.

That being said, there are a lot of factors that can affect the life expectancy of your sleeping surface:

Type of mattress:Natural latex and high-density memory foam last longer than innerspring and low-density memory foam.

Quality:Usually, you get what you pay for.

Your age and weight:Heavier people will naturally make a mattress compress or sag more quickly. And as you age, you become more sensitive to subtle indentations.

Lifestyle:If you use your bed only for sleeping and take good care of it, it’ll outlive something that has kids jumping on it or sustains other bouncy extracurricular activities.

When to Ditch Your Old Bed

Dust Mites

10 million. That’s the average number of sleeping partners you have on any given night. These microscopic dust mites feed on your dead skin cells and use your bed as a toilet. Gross, isn’t it. It’s a good thing you can’t see these guys because they’re downright gross.

Many of us unknowingly sleep right on top of them without realizing it, but if you’ve got allergies, asthma, skin rashes, or experience tightening in your chest when you lie down for sleep, you may be allergic to dust mites and their fecal matter.

To prevent their population from raging out of control, make sure you wash your sheets weekly in hot water, vacuum the surface of your bed, and keep the temperature and humidity in your room as low as possible.

Over the course of several years, these critters multiply. If you haven’t taken precautions to control their multiplication, it might be time to consider a new bed sooner rather than later.

Body Pain

An aging mattress often bows or sags in the middle where we put the most weight on it. When this happens, we might wake up with low back pain, stiffness or sore muscles.

If you find that you feel this way after a night of what should have been restful sleep, it might be time to find something new. If you put it off too long, the pain can become chronic and could increase your chances of injury.

Deformation

Deformation, or sagging, occurs when the surface of the bed gets indents in it from years of bearing your weight. Take out your measuring tape and take a look at whether or not there are any visible areas of sagging. Some companies cover this under warranty provided you’ve taken good overall care of the rest of the surface.

Hygiene Issues

Dust mites aren’t the only thing you have to worry about. As humans, we’re pretty gross ourselves. As we sleep, in addition to skin cells, we also secrete about a cup of water per night. What doesn’t evaporate, soaks right through our sheets and into our mattress. It encourages the growth of mold and mildew.

Thankfully, a waterproof mattress cover can prevent this issue from happening, but if you didn’t put one on your bed from day one, you’ve most likely got some spores sprouting up.

Allergies

It’s not the dust mites themselves that people are allergic to, it’s their fecal matter that causes the itchy eyes, rashes and breathing challenges. Other culprits include mold, mildew, pet dander, dust, and pollen.

All of these things build up over time, so the longer you have your bed, the higher the chance of having an allergic reaction.

Joint Soreness

If you wake up in the morning or the middle of the night feeling any aches and pains, your bed could be the culprit. It’s likely that it’s not providing ample support to keep your spine in alignment. It’s natural for a sleeping surface to become softer over time, but if it becomes too soft, you’re in for a night of tossing and turning.

When you lie down, your spine should maintain a natural, relatively straight line. When a bed ages, it can cause your body to dip. If you spend hours in this position, you’ll likely feel the effects.

Lack of Sleep

If you’ve slept eight hours but still wake up groggy, it could be your bed’s fault. A night or two won’t kill you, but chronic sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health conditions. Not only are you depriving your body of the time it needs to repair and restore itself, lack of proper bedtime also results in daytime drowsiness, poor judgment, and mood swings.

How to Fix a Bad Mattress

Mattress Topper

If you’re not quite ready to invest in a whole new bed, you can extend its life by about a year if you add a mattress topper. It can smooth out any dips and sags and provide extra cushion and support.

Look for one that doesn’t trap your body heat. That way you’ll sleep both comfortable and cool.

Mattress Cover

If you’re suffering from allergies, you can create a barrier between yourself and those icky dust mites by adding a mattress cover to your bed. Some even have a bit of padding to make your experience extra comfortable.

Make sure the one you get is waterproof to prevent even more moisture from sinking down into bed.

Pillows

The right pillow can work wonders. If you feel yourself dipping down into the surface, relieve the pressure by placing a pillow between your knees for side sleeping. If you’re more of a back sleeper, put the pillow underneath your knees to give you a bit of lift and take the strain off of your lower back.

For those who sleep on their stomach, a pillow placed at the pelvic area helps prevent your body from bowing or arching.

Sleep Environment

Even if you have the best and newest mattress money can buy, you won’t rest well if your sleep environment is subpar. Here are a few tips to prepare your bedroom for a night of blissful shuteye:

  • Room temperature: cooler rooms help you sleep better than warm ones. This is because our body’s temp naturally drops at night. By keeping your bedroom cool, you allow nature to take its course.
  • Remove distractions: kick the television out of your room, or at least turn it off by a certain time. The same goes for electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. The last thing you need to do before your bedtime is stalking your high school ex on Facebook.
  • Eat and drink appropriately: avoid drinking a gallon of water before bed. The same goes for caffeine and excessively spicy foods. All of these serve to keep you awake and could send you to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell if My Mattress is Bad?

There are some telltale signs that you’ve got a bad mattress. Some of them may surprise you. Here are our top five things to look for:

  1. It takes you a long time to fall asleep: if you’re not comfortable, it’s more difficult to fall asleep.
  2. You wake up tired: your old mattress could be causing things like sleep apnea or other breathing issues that compromise the quality of your sleep.
  3. Your sex drive is low: this is surefire sign that you’re not getting enough Zzz’s
  4. You wake up feeling congested or with a stuffy nose: Unless it’s allergy season and you’ve got hay fever, waking up congested or stuffy is a common symptom of a dust mite invasion.
  5. Your skin looks lackluster or even starts breaking out: lack of quality sleep increase stress hormones, which result in acne, a loss of skin elasticity, and even wrinkles.

Can It Possibly Cause Sciatica?

If you know anyone that has sciatica, you’ll probably hear them complain about it constantly. It’s quite painful. Sciatica is a painful, tingly or numbing sensation down the side or back of the legs that runs down the sciatic nerve (the nerve that starts at the low back and runs down to the feet).

It’s caused by degenerative disc disease and sleeping on a bad mattress can accelerate or exacerbate sciatica symptoms. Therefore, indirectly, you could say that it can cause sciatica. It certainly won’t help!

Conclusion

Sleep is an essential function for everyday health. And as you’ve read here, not getting adequate sleep can cause wrinkles. Nobody likes wrinkles.

Think back to when you purchased your bed. If it’s been more than five years or you’ve cut some corners on its care maintenance, it might be time for something new. Your health is your greatest asset, and a new bed is a simple and inexpensive way to protect it.

Sources and References:

  1. Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. How to Find Bed Bugs – epa.gov

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Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

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There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to better health and better rest, but no one has time to sleep, let alone figure out how to upgrade the sleep they’re getting.

From figuring out how to buy a mattress, suggesting ones that are good for different needs and body types, or breaking down the newest science behind technology and wellness breakthroughs, Sleep Advisor has you covered.

The Best Mattress for a Better Night’s Sleep

Buying a new mattress? Here are tips for finding the right mattress for you.

You spend about a third of every day in bed. Whether that time is spent blissfully slumbering — or tossing and turning — depends a lot on your mattress.

"A mattress can impact a person’s sleep," says Michael Decker, PhD, RN, associate professor at Georgia State University and spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

One way that your mattress affects your sleep has to do with the network of fine blood vessels, called capillaries, that runs underneath your skin.

"When you lie on any part of your body for an extended period of time, the weight of it reduces the flow of blood through those blood vessels, which deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients," Decker says. This causes nerve cells and pain sensors in your skin to send a message to your brain for you to roll over. Rolling over restores blood flow to the area, but it also briefly interrupts your sleep.

Ideally, a mattress that reduces the pressure points on your body should give you a better night’s sleep, Decker says. Yet the ideal mattress is different for each person.

Which Mattress Is Right for You?

Finding the right mattress isn’t about searching out the highest-tech brand or spending the most money. "A much more expensive mattress doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better," Decker says. A high price tag is a product of both the materials that go into the mattress, and the marketing that helps sell it.

Instead of focusing on price and brand name, think about what you want in a mattress. "Selecting a mattress is very personal," Decker says. Some people prefer a firmer mattress; others favor a softer style.

Although there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to prove that one type of mattress will help you sleep better than another, people with certain medical conditions do seem to rest easier on a particular mattress style.

Anyone with back or neck pain should take a Goldilocks approach to mattress buying: not too hard, and not too soft.

"If you’re on too soft [of] a mattress, you’ll start to sink down to the bottom. But on too hard of a mattress you have too much pressure on the sacrum, and on the shoulders, and on the back of the head," says Howard Levy, MD, an Emory University assistant professor of orthopaedics, physical medicine, and rehabilitation.

Continued

A medium-firm mattress, or a firm mattress with a softer pillow top, will give your spine that "just-right" balance of support and cushioning.

An adjustable bed can be a good buy if you need to sleep with your head raised. Doctors sometimes recommend elevating the head to help people with COPD breathe easier, or to prevent nighttime heartburn from GERD. These beds can also allow you to adjust your knees and hips to a 90-degree angle, relieving some of the pressure on sore joints, Levy says.

If you have allergies or asthma, you might have considered buying a bed labeled "hypoallergenic."

"There are a lot of claims made by mattress manufacturers that their mattresses are hypoallergenic or don’t support the growth of dust mites, but I don’t know of scientific evidence to support these claims," says Paul V. Williams, MD, a pediatrics professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and an allergist at Northwest Allergy and Asthma Center in Washington state. Williams says dust mites will live anywhere there’s food — and that food is your dead skin cells.

Instead of investing in an allergy-free mattress, slip on a washable mattress encasing. It will form a barrier that prevents dust mites from getting to you. A mattress encasing cuts allergen growth by robbing dust mites of their food supply, Williams says.

And what about those space-age memory foam mattresses, which can cost thousands of dollars? There is some evidence they can help with back problems and improve sleep, but their advantage over a regular coil mattress is only slight. Where memory foam mattresses can really help you sleep is if you have an active bed partner who is keeping you awake, Decker says. Foam mattresses reduce motion transfer, letting you lie still while your partner tosses and turns.

Test Drive a Mattress Before You Buy

"You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it," Decker says. So why would you invest hundreds — or even thousands of dollars in a mattress without trying it out first? Take any new mattress you’re considering for a test nap. "People should not be embarrassed to go into a store and lay on a mattress for 20 minutes," Decker says.

Continued

For a more realistic test, sleep in the beds at different hotel chains when you travel. If you get an especially good night’s sleep on one of them, ask the desk clerk what brand it is.

When you test out a mattress, make sure it feels comfortable in every position, especially the side you favor for sleeping. The mattress should be supportive where you need it, without putting too much pressure on your body, Levy says.

Time for a New Mattress

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, the problem might not be your mattress type, but its age. "It’s really important for people to realize that mattresses have a certain lifespan," Decker says.

Keep your mattress too long, and the foam and other materials inside it will start to break down, compromising its ability to support your body.

Decker recommends keeping your mattress for no more than 10 years. After that, it’s time to go mattress shopping again.

Sources

Michael Decker, PhD, RN, associate professor, Georgia State University; spokesman, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Howard Levy, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, Emory University.

Berghold, K.Spine, April 2008.

Paul V. Williams, MD, FAAAAI, clinical professor of pediatrics,University of Washington School of Medicine; allergist, Northwest Allergy and Asthma Center.

Kovacs, F.Lancet, November 2003.

Halken, S.Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, January 2003.

How Electronics Affect Sleep

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How Electronics Affect Sleep

Our world is full of gadgets. For both work and entertainment, technology use is increasingly popular, and the evening hours are no exception. For example, a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 95% of people use some type of computer, video game, or cell phone at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.

But scientists are now finding that light from electronics has the potential to disrupt sleep, because it sends alerting signals to the brain. The circadian rhythm seems to be especially sensitive to light with short wavelengths—in particular, blue light in the 460-nanometer range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This light, which is given off by electronics like computers and cell phones, and also by energy-efficient bulbs, has been shown to delay the release of melatonin. In other words, electronics could keep you feeling charged past bedtime.

If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, consider keeping electronics out of the bedroom and turning them off—especially those used at close range—for at least an hour before bed. It can take some time for the body to come down from technology’s alerting effects. Protect your evening wind-down time by reading a book, for example. Let your body chemistry settle for the night.

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