How Your Mattress Affects Your Sleep
A decade back, research was conducted on 59 healthy men and women who slept on their old mattresses for 28 consecutive nights, and another 28 straight nights on new, medium-firm mattresses. They were asked to check on their stress levels depending on such factors as worrying, nervousness, headaches, and more. This new setup caused “a remarkable reduction in stress,” says the study, probably because of the resulting increase in sleep quality and decrease in pain that came with the firmer beds.
Mattress allergies have something to do with dust mites at least. Those invisible creatures feed on dead skin cells, an entire host of which can be found in and on any used bed. At least 20 million Americans are are allergic to the buggers, which can be particularly problematic for asthmatics. Regular washing of sheets and pillowcases in hot water helps to remove dust mites. Then put a slipcover to prevent them from going from the mattress to your sheets and pillows onward. Of course, you have to clean the mattress itself, and this can be done effectively with a vacuum.
There’s no standard definition of the softness or firmness of a mattress. A 200-pound person may, for instance, think that a mattress is soft, and someone half his weight might say it is firm. You may hear terms such as “ultra-plush,” but to know what exactly that means, you have to actually lie on the mattress. There’s little proof as well that a mattress’ firmness will have an impact on your sleep. It’s just all about your comfort in the end. Therefore, before you pay for a mattress, take it for a “test drive” 20 minutes no less.
If you see a spring or even a hole with stuffing sticking out, that’s a very obvious sign you have to purchase a new mattress. However, those aren’t not the only reasons to go to the store. If sleep has become harder to come by at home, you might have to make an investment, especially if you feel better rested after after sleeping somewhere else.
What the Experts Say
Experts say bedrooms must be used strictly for two purposes – sleep and sex – or your brain will not stop thinking about work even when you’re in bed, and that only makes good sleep harder than ever to achieve each passing night. Electronics certainly don’t belong with you on your mattress; that blue light can wreak havoc on your brain’s natural bedtime mechanism and keep you up for longer. So if you’re determined to improve your sleep, there’s no better way to begin than with your own habits.