Sunday, June 12, 2011

How's Your Bed?

  An old mattress or a mattress that is not designed to suit your particular needs can cause an array of issues. According to the American Chiropractic Association, if you're waking up sore or not sleeping well, it may be time to invest in a new mattress for your bed. Though the association says there is no standard life span for a mattress, The Sleep Better Council recommends replacing your mattress every five to seven years. 


o    Pain is a common symptom for those who sleep on bad mattresses. Many old or inexpensive mattresses lack proper body support because they have uneven surfaces. Sleeping on lumpy or sagging mattresses can cause back pain and muscle aches because, according to "The Chiropractor's Self-Help Back and Body Book," they allow your spine to bend, which strains your muscles, joints and ligaments. Improper  support with a mattress can place tremendous amount of pressure on your neck, mid back, and lower back. 

Insomnia and Poor Sleep Patterns
o    Sleeping on a bad mattress can cause insomnia and poor sleep patterns in some people. "The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy" says that you may not realize that your old mattress is keeping you from falling asleep and snoozing soundly. Many people may toss and turn for the better part of the night as they try to find a comfortable position on the mattress. Sometimes, purchasing a 1- to 2-inch-thick mattress pad can help with this issue. 

o    Poor sleep patterns and insomnia can lead to daytime fatigue. "The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy" recommends that if you're feeling low-energy during the day, you investigate the role your mattress may play in that matter. If you are sleeping so restlessly that you feel physically and mentally fatigued during the day, it is time to explore trading in your bad mattress for a newer model. 

Asthma and Allergies
o    An old mattress can trigger asthma symptoms and allergic reactions in those with these conditions. "Asthma: The at Your Fingertips Guide" says that bad mattresses often contain dust mites and materials that can trigger allergic reactions. This can be particularly true of older mattresses, which are less likely to be made from hypoallergenic material. Purchasing a new mattress and covering it with a special mattress cover can cut back on these reactions and keep the bed from becoming infested with dust mites. 

Useful mattress facts...
  • A mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are gaps between your body and your mattress (such as at the waist), you're not getting the full support that you need.
  • If you do have back pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. But do this just until the pain goes away; such firmness is not good for "routine" sleeping.
  • Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise, or upside down, so that body indentations are kept to a minimum. It's also good to rotate the mattress frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
  • If you're waking up uncomfortable, it may be time for a new mattress. There is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on the kind of usage it gets.
  • Be aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress. For example, if you've lost or gained a lot of weight, if a medical condition has changed the way you sleep, or even if you have changed partners, it could mean that it's time to find a new mattress that will accommodate those changes and help you sleep more soundly.
  • If you're not in the market for a new mattress, and your current mattress is too firm, you can soften it up by putting a 1- to 2-inch-thick padding on top of it - usually available at mattress and bedding stores. 
* Information obtained from the American Chiropractic Association (

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