Do you wake up in the mornings with a stiff, sore, and achy back? Does it make it difficult for you to get out of bed and get moving in the mornings? Maybe your mattress is at least partially to blame. Goldilocks got it right when she tried a couple mattresses before picking the one she could sleep on. You may not be rudely awakened by three annoyed bears, but you may wake up with other problems.
How many hours do you typically sleep each night? If you sleep 6 hours per night, that means you spend 1/4 of your life in bed. Eight hours hours per night adds up to 1/3 of your life. That is A LOT of time on your mattress. If your mattress is old, worn out, or otherwise unsupportive, this can mean a significant part of your life suffering from back pain unnecessarily.
How do you know it’s time to replace your mattress? Is your mattress over 8 years old? If so, it may be time to consider replacing it. Some mattresses do last longer. However, if you have difficulty sleeping through the night or wake up with pain on a regular basis, you should take a serious look at making the investment in a new one. 1
Once you have decided to invest in a new mattress, you need to look at all the available types, as there are several options out there. These range from coil spring (with or without a pillow top), memory foam, latex, and air chamber to name a few.
So, how do you choose the right mattress for you? For starters, it is important that your mattress supports your body in a neutral position, supporting proper spinal alignment. It is important that is not too firm, pushing too hard on pressure points like your hips and shoulders. However, if it is too soft, it will not hold your spine in proper alignment when you sleep.2
Once you think you have found the mattress you want to purchase, be sure the retailer you are buying it from has a generous return policy if you sleep on it and find it is not as comfortable as you thought it was when you spent those 2 minutes lying on it in the store. Many retailers will allow you to sleep on your new mattress for a few nights with the option to return it if it does not work out. Some will even give you up to 30 nights.
In addition to investing in the best mattress for you, I recommend you also purchase a breathable waterproof covering that completely encases the mattress and zips closed. Most mattress do not break down merely from the weigh of your body weight. Over time, perspiration will penetrate into your mattress, if not protected properly. This accelerates the degradation of the materials in your mattress, causing it to break down sooner and will ultimately affect how it supports your body.
You spend a lot of time on your mattress. Choose wisely when you invest in one and take care of it so it can take care of you.