More than 50 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. What many don’t realize is the significant role a good mattress plays in getting quality, restorative sleep.
“Our bodies do the vast majority of healing during sleep,” says Dr. Travis Russel, Chiropractic Director at Chiro One. “If we are battling additional physical stresses from an unsupportive or improper mattress, then our bodies’ recuperative abilities are diminished.”
So how does one go about finding the best mattress that will lead to better sleep? There are two main factors to consider when shopping for a new mattress.
The right type means the right sleep
Memory foam mattresses tend to offer the best pressure relief because of their shock-absorbing foam layers. People who suffer from back or joint pain often prefer the support that memory foam mattresses provide.
Innerspring mattresses are usually better for sleepers who like to change positions throughout the night. The pocketed springs in these mattresses allow for better freedom of movement.
Latex mattresses offer the best of both worlds. They allow for easy movement while still contouring your body. However, you should expect to pay more for this type of mattress.
Why firmness and support are key
Knowing your sleeping style and body type can help you choose the right firmness level and support of your mattress. “For example, a woman who has wider hips and prefers sleeping on her side may require a softer mattress to cushion pressure points,” says Dr. Jill Pickens, D.C. at Chiro One. “Conversely, a person who prefers sleeping on his or her back would benefit from a firmer mattress to create more support for that position.”
Ultimately, you’ll want to find a mattress that keeps your body in its most natural position, Dr. Scott Bautch, president of the American Chiropractic Association Council on Occupational Health explains. “Your shoulders and hips need to sink a little into the mattress, and the mattress should meet your waist.”
Remember that a good mattress is an investment in your health. As Dr. Bautch advises, “You need to be mindful about the purpose of sleeping — the need for the body and brain to rest and recover from the day’s activities — and make it a priority.”