We’ve all no doubt seen the advertisements on TV for various mattresses, even ones that feature adjustable soft-hard settings for both sides of the mattress. How much does a good mattress help you sleep well?
First, price does not always equate to the perfect mattress for you. Price often reflects marketing costs (fancy TV ads, etc.) Finding the right mattress is really a personal process, as everyone’s needs are different. Not everyone reacts the same to each style of mattress. Some sleep better on hard mattresses, some on softer mattresses.
If you’re on the wrong, or not quite right mattress, you will find yourself rolling over a lot during the night, and rolling over disrupts the sleep process. The reason you roll over stems from the constriction of your blood vessels, or capillaries, from lying in one position too long.
“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,” says Michael Decker, RN, PhD, associate professor at Georgia State University. The resulting discomfort will send a signal to your brain to roll over to a new position.
A mattress that reduces pressure on the body can therefore help reduce your rolling over, but one style doesn’t suit all. A mattress that’s too hard might cause more pressure in some people, while one that is too soft might exacerbate matters for others. Generally, a mattress that is not too hard and not too soft might work best for most people.
Adjustable beds can be great if you need to elevate your head while you sleep because of COPD or heartburn from GERD. Physical conditions such as neck pain also can dictate a certain type of mattress to alleviate discomfort.
The way you sleep also affects the quality of your sleep. Generally, sleeping on your back is the most likely to cause snoring. Sleeping on your side is generally the best way to go.
While buying the right mattress can help you sleep better, if you’re a chronic snorer, suffer from insomnia, or suspect you have a sleep disorder, you should seek professional evaluation and treatment. Don’t wait to take this important step. A good night’s sleep results in a greater daytime experience.